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C1 lathe opinions

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Former Member10/06/2019 08:45:51

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Mick B110/06/2019 09:25:23
2153 forum posts
117 photos

A quick look at Axminster and Arc websites suggests it could be difficult to get a compound slide for basic taper turning. Many or most turners would find that a problem.

Arc still have show accessories but have discontinued the base lathe.

Nick Clarke 310/06/2019 10:20:29
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1389 forum posts
61 photos

I have just upgraded from a C1 to a Sieg SC3 from Arc Eurotrade. Admittedly it is the longer bed versions but you are quite right it is a definite 2 man lift compared to the smaller lathe which i can manage on my own.

The mere fact that I feel the need to upgrade may give well out a message - there is a significant difference in capacity between the two machines, however that does not mean that the smaller lathe is useless.

Within its capacity it is a strong and apparently accurate machine. It has a smaller brushed motor and is definitley low powered, but taking small cuts it can work with steel as well as brass and aluminium.

There is no topslide as standard and while still listed they are expensive (£130+) and hard to find. In its favour however is that the lack of a topslide means that the crossslide has 2 t slots and can be used for boring and facing. Taper turning is quite possible by setting over the tailstock.

The lathe is quite expensive in comparison to the larger 'mini' lathes and some of the accessories that come with them (eg changewheels) are extra on the C1.

In the near future my machine may well appear on an auction site, but the fact that there are few advertised on eBay, and all of those have sold might indicate they are useful to the right person.

SillyOldDuffer10/06/2019 10:24:13
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8461 forum posts
1882 photos

Problem with small lathes is they're small! For fine work, model railways and clockmaking, small is beautiful, but as Napoleon remarked : 'God is on the side of the big battalions'. After a few happy years I found my C3 -sized mini-lathe was too small. This is a very common experience!

Cutting metal is messy, best kept out of the house if possible. I had the same idea of moving my mini-lathe indoors during the winter. However, using it in the garage soon showed oily swarf would be a problem if the same work was done in a bedroom. Not insurmountable, but keeping muck in a garage is less bothersome. I only work in the garage and wear more clothes and a cloth cap when it's cold. May not be your best solution, English winters are mild, and my garage is part of the house - well insulated; Not so practical if you have a sheet-steel free-standing garage in Arctic Canada!

I agree about moving mini-lathes. An easy two person lift, I wouldn't want to lug one about on my own.

Dave

Mick B110/06/2019 10:53:53
2153 forum posts
117 photos
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 10/06/2019 10:20:29:

...

Taper turning is quite possible by setting over the tailstock.

...

OK, but it's very limited in taper angle, not strictly correct in the engagement of the centres, not suitable for chuck work, and can be fiendishly fiddly to set straight again afterwards!

Chris Bradbury10/06/2019 11:14:09
22 forum posts
1 photos

I have owned my C1 from Axminster Tools for the last seven years. In my opinion it is a great little lathe. I move it around the workshop as the need arises. At 23kg it is easy to transport. I have a top slide which I rarely use, I do find the vertical milling slide and vise useful. You do have to take light cuts as it's very easy to overload the small motor. Would I buy one again the answer is yes I would it's a very handy addition to the workshop.

Chris

Nick Clarke 310/06/2019 12:56:12
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1389 forum posts
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Posted by Mick B1 on 10/06/2019 10:53:53:
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 10/06/2019 10:20:29:

Taper turning is quite possible by setting over the tailstock.

OK, but it's very limited in taper angle, not strictly correct in the engagement of the centres, not suitable for chuck work, and can be fiendishly fiddly to set straight again afterwards!

I agree but compromises need to be made when a small machine is used and what might be chuck work on a larger machine, for example, might need to be between offset centres on this one.

As regards resetting the tailstock in particular it is no more difficult to do than resetting the tailstock on any other machine, and I would not be really happy with the accuracy of resetting a topslide against the scale alone on any lathe, so the difference is less than might be imagined.

Hollowpoint10/06/2019 21:04:20
462 forum posts
56 photos

I have just sold mine. I bought it to use indoors but I was never really happy with its capabilities. It was OK on brass and aluminium but it struggled a bit with steel. I am much happier with the mini lathe I replaced it with.

Mick B110/06/2019 21:18:08
2153 forum posts
117 photos
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 10/06/2019 12:56:12:
Posted by Mick B1 on 10/06/2019 10:53:53:
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 10/06/2019 10:20:29:

Taper turning is quite possible by setting over the tailstock.

OK, but it's very limited in taper angle, not strictly correct in the engagement of the centres, not suitable for chuck work, and can be fiendishly fiddly to set straight again afterwards!

I agree but compromises need to be made when a small machine is used and what might be chuck work on a larger machine, for example, might need to be between offset centres on this one.

As regards resetting the tailstock in particular it is no more difficult to do than resetting the tailstock on any other machine, and I would not be really happy with the accuracy of resetting a topslide against the scale alone on any lathe, so the difference is less than might be imagined.

Don't know about the C1, but many tailstock alignments involve opposing adjustment screws, where different tightening torques can change the alignment, whereas topslide locking screws or nuts usually clamp straight down or straight inward, so don't. Unless you're going to parallel-turn for a considerable distance using the topslide, which I'd certainly find unusual, scale-setting it is generally quite good enough. If you need to use tailstock support in parallel turning using carriage feed, any tailstock offset is going to compromise that.

I was taught offset-centres to do a Morse taper shank exercise in my Government Centre Lathe course in 1975. I don't think I've used the technique for any real work since, and I don't think I've ever seen anybody else use it either.

Whereas turning a 60d included cone from the topslide (just for example) is quite a good way to go for a between-centres op without dismounting the chuck, and there's no way to do that with offset centres.

We all do different work, but I'd find it maddeningly restrictive to do without a topslide.

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