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Colchester Student Lathe Help

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Stephen Osborne08/03/2019 11:42:54
31 forum posts
4 photos

I am negotiating to buy a Colchester Student lathe (age and model unknown).

However, the right-hand “Sliding’ lever appears to be missing. I have no idea if anything else under the apron is missing or damaged.

Do any of you Colchester owners have any ideas of the seriousness of this defect and are spares still available for this lathe.

Many thanks in advance

Nick Taylor 208/03/2019 11:48:36
102 forum posts

As I understand the MK1 students - I think there is only one lever under the apron. You move it along to either Sliding or Surfacing to engage which feed you want.

the artfull-codger08/03/2019 15:38:24
avatar
295 forum posts
28 photos

Stephen ,as Nick says there is only 1 lever under the apron [apron has 2 slots] lh one is for facing & the rh one is for sliding, I rarely use the facing slot,the later ones have only 1 lever, quite a lot didn't have a clutch [mine included it came out of ICI Wilton training school] there was a clutch made by matrix as an extra, I just hinged the motor platform with a balanced lever mechanism & it works a treat as a clutch but mines a flat belt drive which is better than vee belts, someone on a forum told me it was dangerous as it could catch & drive when your measuring in the chuck well mine never has & the absolute safe answer is to just flick the high/low gear lever in the middle till your ready to start again,I had an edgewick lathe that was built with the hinged platform clutch & it never caught up.

Graham.

Stephen Osborne08/03/2019 16:09:44
31 forum posts
4 photos

Nick & Graham

Many thanks for your prompt replies.

As soon as I had clicked 'post' I found out from another site that as you say, there is only one lever.

Also, this lathe has (compared to the Myford) a very large 4 jaw chuck which I guess weighs a lot. Is changing chucks a problem at these weights?

Regards

Steve

the artfull-codger08/03/2019 16:23:48
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295 forum posts
28 photos

Hi Steve, the 10" four jaw weighs the most, the 8" three jaw is lighter [but both quite heavy] I just have a piece of wood across the bed, the spindle nose is LOO taper with a key in it so after making sure everything is scrupiously clean & lightly oiled I have the key at the top & with the chuck on the timber it slides up the taper & is held on with a threaded ring [well I manage & I'm in my 70s!!!

Graham.

ega08/03/2019 16:26:37
2538 forum posts
201 photos

You don't say how large but if your Student has a 10 or 8" 4 jaw then I would agree that it will feel very big and heavy compared with the Myford 6" light pattern item. Ease of mounting is also a factor; my Willson has an L0 spindle which may be more difficult than the Camlock which I believe the Colchester has. You will no doubt have or make a cradle to sit on the bed and take the weight during changes.

I use an alternative system on the Willson which is OK but I have recently acquired a lighter 8" 4 jaw to supplement the 22KG 10" model. Being disinclined to change either for the three jaw chuck encourages the virtuous practice of centring the work!

ega09/03/2019 10:16:45
2538 forum posts
201 photos
Posted by the artfull-codger on 08/03/2019 16:23:48:

Hi Steve, the 10" four jaw weighs the most, the 8" three jaw is lighter [but both quite heavy] I just have a piece of wood across the bed, the spindle nose is LOO taper with a key in it so after making sure everything is scrupiously clean & lightly oiled I have the key at the top & with the chuck on the timber it slides up the taper & is held on with a threaded ring [well I manage & I'm in my 70s!!!

Graham.

Checking on lathes.co.uk confirms my recollection that some Students at least had Camlock spindles. The American taper spindles were apparently L0; to achieve the desired cleanliness they could, of course, be wiped with "LOO" paper.

old Al09/03/2019 11:03:53
186 forum posts

As a wimpy 16 year old apprentice, those student 4 jaw chucks took some lifting. Technique and try and find a place for them not on the floor (so you dont have to bend down so far).

I have the Mk 1 in my workshop, good for biggish stuff. Little ML7 for the lighter stuff.

There are 3 types of student, Mk1, mk 1 1/2, mk 2. all good, but check the head bearings.

Martin Cargill09/03/2019 11:13:10
176 forum posts

Nobody yet has mentioned the idea of clamping a piece of bar in the chuck before you remove it. It gives you a "handle" sticking out of either side of the chuck to make lifting easier. It also allows you to push the back end of the bar into the headstock and then lift the front to get the chuck started onto the LO taper.

Martin

ega09/03/2019 12:09:54
2538 forum posts
201 photos
Posted by Martin Cargill on 09/03/2019 11:13:10:

Nobody yet has mentioned the idea of clamping a piece of bar in the chuck before you remove it. It gives you a "handle" sticking out of either side of the chuck to make lifting easier. It also allows you to push the back end of the bar into the headstock and then lift the front to get the chuck started onto the LO taper.

Martin

This sounds like an improvement on my own method referred to above in which the bar projects from the back of the chuck only and the chuck is gripped directly by the operator. The disadvantage of a "handle" on both sides for me, however, is that I like to store my chucks resting on their jaws. I use a stout wooden bar, rather than steel, which minimises the extra weight introduced by the "handle".

Large faceplates can be a challenge, too, particularly if they are being mounted in a gap bed. The Willson's slant bed allows its cumbersome 16" faceplate to be suspended between the edge of the saddle and a length of angle temporarily bolted across the back of the cross slide before being slid on or off the spindle:

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