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Which Lathe???

I need a bit of help here.

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Paul Smith 3706/04/2020 21:17:31
66 forum posts

I thought that too.

thaiguzzi07/04/2020 11:05:59
691 forum posts
131 photos

If you are happy to spend 3k i'd be looking at nice, fully tooled Colchester Students, Bantams, Harrison L series or M 250/300 series.

The above are not much bigger a footprint than a Myford and are 10 times the lathe, nay scrub that, 50 times the lathe.

If you put in the search function on Ebay or an ad on Tony's Lathes site, a nice fully tooled A series Boxford can be had for 1500 quid.

They are out there, you've just got to find them.

I'd want my head examining paying 3k for a Super 7, when a generic Chinese 12/24 - 12/36 can be had fully tooled for a grand less.Most of these 6" CH Chinese lathes are copies of the Harrison M series. Camlock spindles, induction hardened beds etc etc etc.

Howard Lewis07/04/2020 11:49:01
3156 forum posts
2 photos

Do allow cash for tooling, both for the machines, and for hand tools, Taps and Dies, Drill Chucks, Collet Chucks, Reamers, a bench grinder, a good bench vice, if these are not already in stock.

A cheap vice will be useless, possibly not accurate and will probably break at the least opportune moment. A steel vice will be expensive, but you will only need to buy it once.

You will,be surprised how much you finish up spending on tooling. But you don't have to buy it all at the same time.

Power supply and lighting for the shop and benches can take up capital, if not already in place.


Paul Smith 3707/04/2020 17:44:11
66 forum posts

Thanks Mr Guzzi for the reply, i can see your point. but the bigger toolroom type lathes, do weight about 400 kilos+, so a diy move wouldnt be on the cards.

Yes Howard, i thought that when i priced up the boxford sts10.20. the lathe itself isnt priced too bad ,but add another 770 pounds for a pair of steadies and whatever else you need and it wasnt such a bargain after all.

Ive also found a Myford publication on what to check and how to check it on a potential new purchase, ive just checked my ML10 headstock and there is zero play in it. im pleased with that for sure.

I made some T bolts today for the ML10 cross slide,and a wooden chuck plate for the bed, another win !

Ian Skeldon 207/04/2020 18:03:19
478 forum posts
30 photos

I don't think that link for the boxford steadies is accurate, you can get both fixed and moving for a LOT less than that. I agree with most of the comments already made, in so much as getting a ML7 wouldn't be any significant step up. Current Chinese stuff is hard to beat for the price but if you can find a decent used older lathe such as Harrison or Colchester complete with change gears and steadies etc then providing it has no real issues I would go down that route. You might be able to get a friend to help move/install it with you, choices, choices.

Paul Smith 3707/04/2020 18:07:11
66 forum posts

Im trying to find out more about these boxford gear head lathes. Quite handy having three weeks off for annual leave

Tony Pratt 107/04/2020 18:07:20
1106 forum posts
3 photos

I fancied one of the 'newer' Boxfords but they seem to have a low top speed, I think the STS is only 1000 rpm?


Paul Smith 3707/04/2020 18:21:57
66 forum posts

The one i was looking at has a VFD fitted to it, so lord knows what speed it will run up to now.

Erik Werner Hansen07/04/2020 18:42:06
12 forum posts
1 photos

A 1000 RPM max. must be because it's a training lathe, built for education.

A new motor, a VFD or a new pulley could change that easily. VFD is best - gives unlimited range.

At that price, compared to the other lathes, I would do that. It looks like a good offer.

I don't, because I have a Colchester Chipmaster "Continental" at 550 kg - too much for the OP.

I have had a number of Super7's in great condition and left them because of:

1. Only imperial leadscrew - if fitted with gearbox, then changewheels needed anyway, so why bother?

2. No automatic stop or protection at all - if you make a mistake, it's costly.

3. Threaded spindle nose - no quick braking or backlwards running.

4. Size. Why pay a lot for a small, old design just because it's cult?

I did that - and a Super7 is nice, but the only improvement since ca.1958 was power cross feed in 1974.

I smile every time I touch my Chipmaster - it just feels so good. I fitted a Multifix toolholder - nice.

And I kept the variator, even if Tony Griffiths falsely tells anyone to chuck the variator and use a VFD.

The variator, although an old mechanical design, works wonderfully and is 3 times as good as a VFD!

A Bantam is a cheaper version of the Chipmaster with gears instead of variator. Very common. Check for noise

- gears wear, especially if abused in a school. But it should have the same feel as the Chippie. And it has a

Camlock D1-3" spindle nose. Do yourself a favour and get Camlock (DIN55029) or Keyhole (DIN55027 (or 22))

A Weiler LZ220 or Weiler Primus lathe would fit you sizewise as table lathes, but the first is rare and expensive

and the other really costs a bloody fortune (I have had both).



Edited By Erik Werner Hansen on 07/04/2020 18:43:10

Paul Smith 3707/04/2020 20:24:56
66 forum posts

Thanks Erik, theres a lot of food for thought there for sure. Ill continue my research !

thaiguzzi08/04/2020 16:33:04
691 forum posts
131 photos

Re weight.

You only move once. Or twice.
Its not like you are moving on a weekly or monthly basis.

Concur with the above, the Chipmaster is a wonderful lathe, and again not much bigger a footprint than a Super 7.

Erik Werner Hansen08/04/2020 18:36:09
12 forum posts
1 photos

A chipmaster is nearly 52 inches in length, but then you have to modify the hinges for the changewheel cover. I'll have to do that myself, since I don't have the room to fully open it.

But a Chipmaster with a working variator is becoming a rare item these days, I think. And it may be more lathe than the OP is asking for. I think it's a great lathe, but less might do?

Footprint is not all - I wanted a FP1 tool mill. Then I read the FP2 has only a slightly larger footprint. Forgotten was the much larger range of the X-axis, and in all it is much more beefy. So when every FP1 went to someone else (on eBay), I bid on a FP2 - and won. I now have one of each in my small 12 square meter workshop and I can attest, the FP2 takes up quite a bit more space. Half of it is intimidation, as the FP1 is smallish and rather cute, while the FP2 looks like it means business. 1100 kg vs. 660 kg is quite the increase.

So it is when comparing the Super7 with the Chipmaster.

But to the OP I'll say: Buy as much lathe as you have space for and can afford.



Edited By Erik Werner Hansen on 08/04/2020 18:36:42

Edited By Erik Werner Hansen on 08/04/2020 18:37:04

Edited By Erik Werner Hansen on 08/04/2020 18:38:23

Paul Smith 3708/04/2020 19:50:59
66 forum posts

TBH, Im not too worried about the money, as if you buy it right and look after it ,it will hold its money. 3k on a lathe doesnt frighten me,what is more important is buying a 3k lathe that needs 1k spent on it, with repairs and extra tooling, buying the lathe to find it wont do this or wont do that, and something that needs 6 men to shift it would be a pita.

Tonight ive just tried to see if i can in anyway spin a 6 inch round piece of aluminum of my Myford and make a big pullley, the answer i feel is no.I dont wish to make another buying error.The ML10 is a great machine but its a tad small for me.

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