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Faircut Lathe Advice

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Tommy Smith07/04/2021 16:18:57
13 forum posts
13 photos

I have seen an advert fairly locally for a Faircut Lathe, I have looked at for information, they seem well built but they did not seem to get a great 'review' from ME magazine years ago. I believe I am looking at the 'Senior', potentially an earlier one.

It would be my first lathe, I have never had the space before and will (hopefully) be in the new house soon enough, with more than enough space in the double garage. Looking to start off building some of the workshop tools kits, sensitive drill etc. from Hemmingway etc. rather than locos and the like, before potentially moving on to some bigger work once I know what I am doing (could be some time!).

I have a Single Phase supply to the garage which the machine is, he has answered a question confirming it has screwcutting facility, there is a picture of a tub of change gears.

Would spares like 4 jaw chucks, steadies etc be a problem if there are non included?

What would the useablity of a machine like this be? would I buy buying more setting up and tuning than turning?

I have heard the advise, 'buy the biggest lathe you can', Space i'snt an issue for anything like a 36" lathe and below in the new place, but I wouldn't want to go more than £1000 at the moment, as I would like a mid weight milling machine as well, this is listed at £550. I could potentially get a Colchester student for my budget or maybe a Myford but if this is well looked after??

Thanks for any time with this,


faircut lathe 1.jpg

faircut lathe 2.jpg

Howard Lewis07/04/2021 18:23:14
5562 forum posts
13 photos

Tommy, you have a long PM


Pete Rimmer07/04/2021 18:39:49
1096 forum posts
69 photos

£550 is about 3 times the most I would consider paying for that lathe and even then I would have to be desperate.

Ian Skeldon 207/04/2021 19:00:04
540 forum posts
54 photos

Seems a bit pricey for what it is, if you do get it make sure it has all the change gears and other bits you are ever likely to need as they would be a pita to get hold of.

Tommy Smith07/04/2021 19:14:41
13 forum posts
13 photos

It does seem a bit pricey, I have spoken to the guy selling it and it does have a lot of extras with it, chucks and the like, he's had it since 1968 with fairly light use in his shed.

Andy Carlson07/04/2021 22:04:52
402 forum posts
130 photos

I have one of these. It is not a sophisticated machine but I like it a lot.

Vintage wise, I think mine is just pre-WW2. The one in the pic appears to be later because it has vee belts but the Faircut 'Senior' is still a pre-war design. As you have no doubt read elsehere, 'condition is everything'. Check for backlash in the cross slide and leadscrew feeds. Expect some though - this lathe will be no spring chicken. The leadscrew is 8TPI and the cross slide 12TPI, so compare to that.

Compared with other lathes the big omission is a half nut. That doesn't stop you doing anything but can slow things down and does cause more wear over time on the leadscrew and nut. On the plus side the bed is longer than, say, a standard Drummond 'M' type of similar vintage and that is a good thing to have - even if the job isn't long it's nice to have some 'elbow room' to move the tailstock out of the way.

At best it only has a dial on the cross feed handwheel... which may or may not be resettable. Prewar lathes have fewer dials.

It is worth checking the exact height between the toolpost 'shelf' and centre height - this determines the size of the cutting tool that can be used. The compound design changed over time and the toolpost looks non original so measuring is the only way to tell - mine has 12mm. I don't think you'd want less than 3/8 inch.

To fit a new chuck you will need a backplate to mount it to the spindle, which means reclaiming one from another chuck or making one. The important bit is the spindle nose thread which is 7/8 BSF on mine and likely the same on the one in the pic. You are unlikely to find a backplate to buy like this so it's reclaim one or make one.

The asking price seems high. I bought mine 18 months ago in a superficially rusted state but with a hatful of accessories for south of 300 quid. I've seen plenty go for less but usually without a lot of tooling which does make a difference.

If you search for 'Faircut' on here you will find two threads about Faircut 'Senior's, one of them mine. There is also Brian Morehen's thread but he has a Junior which has quite a few differennces.

That's all I can think of for now. Happy to answer any other questions.

Brian Morehen08/04/2021 12:27:14
177 forum posts
11 photos

I have a Junior model that i bought from the widow of a retired bank manager who used to build petrol model racing cars and engines this came with a considerable amount of extras including model engine books and tools together with 4 jaw chuck and faceplate which has 6" chuck that fits. This I bought in 1976.When I set it up I had a friend who was a retired engineer who checked it over for me who had heard about the owner which let us to belief that he was the original owner. Over the years i have often looked for parts etc without success . I did fit a 4" 3 Jaw chuck and had a faceplate made for same by a friend as a favor for a favor. My only regret is I never had time to make anything because I was self employed and afraid work came first. They were well made and seem to still be around how many still exist in working order the figure is unknown....I did find someone locally to me who had rebuilt one but was unable to contact. The price does seem a little on the high side it really depends what you want to do and whether you want to rebuilt and make your own bits.

Good luck Bee.M

Tommy Smith11/04/2021 17:44:08
13 forum posts
13 photos

Thanks for the replies, I have decided against it, I have the potential of a tutor, a local guy who knows his stuff and it would be more of a wise move to get something like what he uses, something from the 70s/ 80s. This I hope will aid teaching/ learning, spares situation as I am looking to take it fairly seriously moving forward.

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