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Stephen Patching14/09/2021 20:10:54
4 forum posts

New to the forum so thought I would say hello

I am an apprentice trained toolmaker by trade, but I also design and build what I can only describe as 'stuff' ... lol, by this I mean allsorts.

I worked at the science museum for 14 years designing and building interactive exhibits and after moving about a lot have ended up working at a company that makes high end packaging and shop displays, which can be very technical.

I have decided now I'm getting older to build a 1" minnie, the book for which I brought in the early 80's, to this end i have built a small workshop in my garden and I am in the process of kitting it out.

So far I have a bandsaw, a cnc small cnc ( converted myself) and I am looking for a small manual mill and thinking of buying a chester dv10 lathe.

I will let you know how I get on



Stephen Patching15/09/2021 00:06:38
4 forum posts

On another note what do people think of chester tools?

Good customer service?

Quality of the machines they sell?

Any comments much appreciated


Howard Lewis15/09/2021 07:06:17
5562 forum posts
13 photos

Welcome to the Forum!

Chester Tools

I bought a Conquest Super, secondhand, but little used, to keep as a second lathe.

I don't use it much, but was not impressed by the service, or the pricing, from Chester, when inquiring about converting back from DRO to plain dials.

The machine has only had one problem, but it could have been quite serious. The locknut on the Mandrel Bearing preload came loose.

Ketan at Arc Euro was very helpful with advice on resetting b the bearing preload.

(The Conquest is made by Sieg, which are the machines that Arc Euro sell ) They carry a range of spares for the machines, should you ever need any, and some spares for earlier machines. I have bought a few extra changewheels for my SC3..

The conversion kit was out of stock, but they advised when when it arrived. And the price was half that quoted by Chester!

I have had far better relations with everyone at Arc Euro, over all my purchases.

And i am not a big spender, Never bought a machine from them, only bits and pieces. Usually things like the odd drill or stub arbors, sleeves etc.usually under £50, with only one purchase over £100.

As you may gather, they tend to be my supplier of choice, even if my orders are of low value. Goods usually arrive within a couple of days of being placed.

On the two occasions when I have visited (To exchange items where I have ordered incorrectly, I have been made welcome. )

I have made a few small accessories for the SC3, the most complicated being a Graduated Handwheel for the Leadscrew, based on the the Alistair Sinclair design.. Another was an extension for the mandrel, so that any swarf falls outside the gear cover..



David George 115/09/2021 07:13:31
1677 forum posts
497 photos

Hi Steven welcome to the forum. I am also a retired toolmaker and have a small Chester mill 16VS bought from them. I would recommend going to have a look and try them as the one I bought had a z Axis handwheel at the back and found it restrictive and since modified it with bevel gears to the side of the head. Also I have fitted a DRO which I wouldn't be without. The couple of things I have had problems with were the clamp handles for the axis locks which were a bit cheap and I replaced myself and the guard switch which was replaced next day in the post after a call to them.


Stephen Patching15/09/2021 08:02:10
4 forum posts

Thanks for the replies and welcomes to the forum,

I had heard chester tools customer service could leave a little to be desired, from them I am only interested in the lathe as its size will suit me and I really wanted a powered cross feed hence looking at the DB10VS. If I had more space I would get an old Harrison but apparently I am not the only one who uses my garden and flowers and somewhere nice to sit are just as important as workshop space so my new workshop design was drastically reduced to accommodate her wishes.

On the Arc front I did look at them for a lathe but they have little stock atm and seem to have discontinued the C6 which would have been the lathe size I would want, I am also looking at armadeal for both lathe and mill as the small mill I brought secondhand and converted is one of theirs and it seems sturdy if a little rough round the edges, but that does seem to be the case with Chinese tools.

I am not in a rush here I do have access to machines at work, but it feels like doing overtime when I stay late to make stuff for myself there and I want to able to potter about in the workshop at weekends.

Time for work now, so be safe everyone and keep the company reviews coming and any suggestions are welcome


Squarepeg15/09/2021 08:37:39
26 forum posts

Hi Stephen,

I bought a Chester DB8VS earlier this year, but I didn't get it from Chester as it was 2nd hand but un-used. I'm really happy with the machine and it's capabilities for what I want it for. However, I have found that Chester customer service is not the best. I've contacted them a few times and at first I got a quick response, but that soon stopped and the last 3 times I've sent an enquiry they haven't bothered to even reply. I'd understand if I was just asking questions but they were parts enquiries that I was looking to purchase. So now I've given up trying and buy what I need elsewhere. I think if I was to upgrade, it would make me look elsewhere but as I said I do like the machine.

I've also found for many of the tools that I buy I use RDG Tools, they have been very helpful and quick to respond and it's free delivery. I recently ordered a 1T arbour press on a Friday and it was with me by 9am Saturday morning!

Stephen Patching15/09/2021 20:07:14
4 forum posts

Been trying to talk to chester tools via email, but they haven't got back to me, which is a surprise as I was asking for a price for a new machine and a load of extras - anyway long story short I ended up ringing them and just wasn't impressed, grumpy guy the other end of the phone unhelpful and not at all apologetic about having not responded to my emails, so I rang armadeal and brought one of their lathe packages, turned out they were a bit cheaper and very helpful, now the lathe is sorted time to find a little manual mill/drill

Onwards and upwards, will do a little review on the lathe when I get it, hopefully the end of next week or early the week after.


Howard Lewis16/09/2021 06:11:02
5562 forum posts
13 photos

If it is the 250-550 it looks to be a pretty good package.

Shall be interested to know how you get on.



Edited By Howard Lewis on 16/09/2021 06:11:37

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