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Newby CL500M

Just bought. Would like some advice please

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Danni Burns13/05/2021 12:15:14
59 forum posts
35 photos

Hi all

I have read some really interesting and helpful articles on here; but looks like a I could spend a full weekend just reading the posts which doesn't get my DIY done!

I've just bought lightly used machine and firstly I have a list of parts I may need.

- Milling raising block (anyone selling or can advise on what I need?)

- Fixed steady (given the narrow throat I expect it will be handy)

- Chuck guard (I know everyone takes them off, but I'd like to use one at least until I get fed up with it)

- Splash (rear) guard - (Has anyone made and would be willing to share their drawing?)

- Mods and fixes (could you please give me a heads up on what needs tightening/oiling/replaceing and anything I should do or watch for to set it up and avoid making expensive/dangerous mistakes)

- Tooling - it seems that these 10mm tools are naff. Anyone got advice on what is good (parting-off, 45deg, LH & RH knife).



David George 114/05/2021 08:23:40
1572 forum posts
482 photos

Hi Danni welcome to the forum. For tooling have a look at JB cutting tools

You can call and ask advice as well there. I have a universal swarf guard that I use on my lathe and mill as well.


It is a piece of policarbonate sheet mounted on a magnetic base so it can be moved to best position. I don't know where you are based but it helps to join a group who are like minded ie steam engine group. As to lubrication I would recommend a slideway oil to most use on the main bedways I use a 68 grade and have an oilcan with it in to hand.


Howard Lewis14/05/2021 08:41:45
4866 forum posts
12 photos

Welcome to the Forum!

On tooling, I would advocate the Tangential turning tool.

Many have made them, but as a newbie, it would be better to buy from Eccentric Engineering. There is an agent in UK.

It is an easy tool to sharpen, since only one face needs grinding, and a jig is supplied with the tool.

This means that a bench grinder is needed.

And since the toolbit is moveable, and needs to be set to centre height, one of the first projects ought to be to make a Centre Height Gauge, to make setting much easier than experimenting until you get it right..

The toolbit is 1/4" HSS and lasts for a long time, and is readily available when replacement is required.. (I bought one three or four years ago, use it a great deal and the 2" length of HSS is still not worn beyond use ).

Making such a gauge will be a useful learning process, and give you confidence in using the machine, for turning, drilling and probably using a Tap and a Die..

There is a picture of mine in one of my albums. Mine has two blades, the reason for which I will explain if you PM me. You will only need one blade on yours. (If you wish, I also have a picture of a very simple one. that I can send you ).

As time goes on, you will find just how useful a lathe and a milling machine can be.

You have years bof pleasure ahead of you!


john halfpenny14/05/2021 08:49:00
172 forum posts
25 photos

Danni, the raising block and steady can be bought from Machine Mart (and others). Being a combination machine, the mill lacks rigidity and needs care, but I used mine succesfully until I was able to buy a separate mill. I made my own chuck and splash guards. Card templates, sheet material and a few pop rivets will do a neat job. You can see the hinged chuck guard hanging down in the picture, and the lift-off splash shield which folds partially around the motor


Danni Burns14/05/2021 10:04:53
59 forum posts
35 photos

Hi all. I am not actually new to engineering. 5 years as a Turner/Toolmaker 30years ago. My questions really are specific to the Clarke CL500M and Small machine tools. Seem fiddly and my first impression is that (because they are small and cute) there's a lot of toy tools around which are not up to the job.

I've bought M5 Allen Head Cone grub-screws to replace the slot heads grub-screws in the levers. Bought a 20mm Terry clip to keep the Chuck-key safe.

George, thanks for that idea for a quick bespoke guard. I have a magnetic stand around somewhere so could make that simple enough for milling, if only to stop coolant

Howard. I like the idea of the Tangential turning tool. Never seen that type before. Great idea if it reduces vibration. Expensive though @ £60. I have PM'd you.

John Halfpenny - I am making my own (Blue Peter style). Its a bit of a pain around the motor. So will need a few pieces. I'll post when I have it done. I only have access to 1.5mm steel, which is a little heavy - but Hey Ho. I will keep a look out for used Milling head and Block. I'm not buying new.

Its been good just to see your machines on pics. I will mark the Slow, N, Fast.

I will look to do a half-nut conversion at some point (Howards post on here looks helpful). I'm not sure If he make all components on the CL500M though.

If you think of any mods, nips and tuck I could do to make the thing work half decent Id appreciate the info.

john halfpenny14/05/2021 10:44:01
172 forum posts
25 photos

These machines are generally not well adjusted on delivery, so you will want to spend half a day checking alignments, but there is plenty of scope for adjustment. The main nuisances are lack of reach of the tailstock over the saddle, high minimum speed, and fixed leadscrew - but there are solutilons for all of these. It's quite easy to adapt for lh screw cutting. My album has more pictures. JH

Danni Burns14/05/2021 11:37:59
59 forum posts
35 photos

Sorry Its Stuart Cox's post that has the half nut conversion

John I will PM you.

mgnbuk14/05/2021 11:38:09
992 forum posts
69 photos

I have an unused fixed steady for one of those machines. I bought it with a view to modifying it to fit the Boxford CUD I had at the time - Boxford steadies were rare and expensive then & I failed to find one.

Anyway, the Boxford went when I bought a Super 7 and the CL500 steady still resides in a cupboard unmolested. Yours for half the Machine Mart price if we can find a cost effective way of getting it to you ? I live in Huddersfield & work between Harrogate & York from a collection POV if you are interested.

Nigel B.

Danni Burns14/05/2021 11:42:21
59 forum posts
35 photos

Hi Nigel.

I will PM you

Danni Burns14/05/2021 12:02:46
59 forum posts
35 photos

Hi again

I see John has a Quick change tool post

Does anyone have opinions on what QC tool-post is best (Value for money)? and Size needed? etc.

Even if I dont want to buy new I can then watch out for used.


Danni Burns14/05/2021 12:44:03
59 forum posts
35 photos

Quick start

I'll cut that large lip of and will add a sheet at the chuck (to top of adjacent back piece) to hold it all together.


Danni Burns14/05/2021 12:46:55
59 forum posts
35 photos

BTW - below is a pic of a NEW Stand from Sitebox

Which is still in my shed awaiting collection 1 week later. Lets hope the machine is better quality than this shite



john halfpenny14/05/2021 12:52:12
172 forum posts
25 photos

Danni, my qctp is a chinese model 100, available from ArcEuro and others. It works well, though the supplied clamping screws are crappy.

Danni Burns14/05/2021 13:05:31
59 forum posts
35 photos

Is this yours:

eBay item number:

Looks a bit pricey. Yes I am a cheap ######

martin perman14/05/2021 14:34:23
1982 forum posts
83 photos


I have a CL500M and find it a useful machine, replace all of the gib strip grub screws with allen key type and get them 5 to 10mm longer so that you can fit half nuts to lock them as they will over time become loose, I have bought all the parts to convert my lathe to VFD, I've not fitted it yet as I need to modify my motor pulley and need to do that on my brothers lathe which under current rules I cant use, the reason for the change is for the mentioned high slow speed. I have made a draw bar for the chuck tube to hold a ER32 chuck in the tube taper for use with small parts. I didnt have a chuck guard with my lathe so I bought a cheap small mag base and a piece of Macrolon to make a guard stood on the compound slide.

I get all of my tools fromJB, Jenny and her husband are very helpful, mine are a selection of 10 and 12mm shanks with replacable tips .

I have never used my mill as I have a mill/drill but do have the riser block and other tooling which have been useful.

Martin P

Danni Burns14/05/2021 15:13:04
59 forum posts
35 photos

Martin - Really helpful that. Thank you.

I'm looking at the tool site now. I have that half-nut conversion job in mind, so will probably tool-up for that.

Grub screws and M5 locknuts ordered!


I do want a Milling riser Block though, so if anyone has spare for sale.

martin perman14/05/2021 15:26:48
1982 forum posts
83 photos

John Halfpenny,

May I ask what make your DRO is please, is it on the traverse axis also.

Martin P

Danni Burns14/05/2021 18:34:47
59 forum posts
35 photos

I do not have any Milling equipment except a couple of small end-mills.

I'm expecting that holding a cutter in the drill chuck is not going to give me the best results except on very soft metals.

Does anyone know what I need to be looking/search for regarding generic collets sizes. I dont want to be tied to Clarke consumables and equip wherever I can avoid.


martin perman14/05/2021 18:57:58
1982 forum posts
83 photos

ER 32 milling Collet chuck from arceuro with a set of collets is cheaper than MMbut with MM you one more collet but you may need to make another draw bar, currently cant remember mill draw bar thread.

Martin P

john halfpenny14/05/2021 19:17:44
172 forum posts
25 photos

The chuck spindle is 4mt. I have a 3mt ER32 with M12 thread, and converter sleeve. The Machine Mart chuck/collets are a non standard form, so to be avoided. I bought a metric ER32 set with additional 1/8 and 1/4 collets.

My DRO was from Arc Euro, on X and Y axes, and cut down to suit. Works well, with a simple aluminium shield.


Edited By john halfpenny on 14/05/2021 19:22:51

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