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Colchester Chipmaster 5x20. Hoping to buy.

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Dan the Brass Man18/09/2021 15:23:29
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5 forum posts

Hello All,

I've been having a shift in workshop equipment having recently sold my Tom Senior mill for a brand new Warco and currently in the process of selling my Myford ML7 which is being removed this coming week.

I'm looking for a Colchester Chipmaster 5x20 to become my main workhorse lathe, along side my lovely Schaublin 102 plain turning & production capstan machine.

Keeping my eyes peeled for one with at least a few chucks/tool holders/tooling as a starting point & preferably somewhere near to Somerset UK as the only ones I've seen so far and hundreds of miles away so paying a machine mover would be extra costly!

On a side note, happy to hear any suggestions for machine movers or even if anyone happens to be selling their Chipmaster or has handy advice/tips for moving one!

All the best,

Dan.

DC31k18/09/2021 19:08:11
571 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Dan Robinson on 18/09/2021 15:23:29:

...handy advice/tips for moving one...

Three swivel castors bolted to a plate with a centre bolt (M12). One at the tailstock end. The others at the extreme end of the steel cabinet at the headstock end. Holes are already in the machine.

Luton Transit with a tail lift. Make sure the front of the van is not facing uphill when raising the tail lift.

When you have it, consider a 4 1/2 Morse to W20 adapter and maybe a D1-3 to M37.6 x 3 adapter.

36/63t gears in place of the standard 33/66t ones will get you 1.75mm pitch from an imperial machine.

Chris Gunn18/09/2021 20:09:22
392 forum posts
27 photos

Dan, you could consider a Bantam as well.

Chris Gunn

Baz18/09/2021 22:27:33
578 forum posts
2 photos

Quite agree Chris at least a Bantam doesn’t have the Kopp variator to worry about, great when they are working ok but a right pain when they go wrong.

John MC19/09/2021 08:31:09
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357 forum posts
44 photos

I have had a Chipmaster in my workshop for few years now. The lathe had seen very little use so was in excellent condition, including the variator. Early on in ownership I removed the variator while it was still quiet and therefore still in good condition, sold it and replaced with A VFD for speed control.

The one big criticism I have of the Chipmaster is its "footprint". For a small lathe it is ridiculously wide, far too big front to back. The swarf tray makes this worse. I modified the tray to stand nearer to vertical to reduce the amount the machine stood out from the wall.

Clearly Colchester had one eye on style when they designed it, the downside being that it is as wide as the much larger capacity Triumph!

Otherwise a fine machine.

John

Dan the Brass Man19/09/2021 09:29:40
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5 forum posts

Hi All,

I really do need the Chipmaster model as the others don't quite suit my needs including max RPM which is a deciding factor.

Agreed the footprint is large, and is about as large as I can fit in my workshop (partly due to narrow access) although I welcome the extra weight and rigitity.

With regards to Variator, I have a spare duel voltage motor here that could be setup with VFD if I come across one with a worn variator so I'm not worried about that particularly, just a little extra work.

As for moving, It's unlikely I'd be on the pick-up end so a competent mover is needed. So far haven't had a quote less than £850 but that's partly due to the only current options on the market being so far away.

I have a hydraulic profiler attachment for the machine which would be in frequent use so I'm looking forward to having a very capable and versatile machine if I can source one that isn't too costly including moving it.

-Dan

Baz19/09/2021 09:37:16
578 forum posts
2 photos

Trouble is John that Colchester designed their machines to go into factories, not model makers sheds! The other problem with a Chipmaster is that the swarf has to be cleared out from behind the tailstock so quite a bit of wasted space for access whereas the Bantams swarf can be removed more conventionally. I suppose I should declare an interest and state that I have a 1600 Bantam, an old green one dating back to the mid sixties, three phase running from a phase converter not used that much as the Myford does 99% of what I want.

Dan the Brass Man19/09/2021 14:09:42
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5 forum posts
Posted by Baz on 19/09/2021 09:37:16:

Trouble is John that Colchester designed their machines to go into factories, not model makers sheds! The other problem with a Chipmaster is that the swarf has to be cleared out from behind the tailstock so quite a bit of wasted space for access whereas the Bantams swarf can be removed more conventionally. I suppose I should declare an interest and state that I have a 1600 Bantam, an old green one dating back to the mid sixties, three phase running from a phase converter not used that much as the Myford does 99% of what I want.

Yes you're quite right. Should be in the tool room with plenty of space all around.

My workshop is business use but at home so It's always a struggle finding suitable machines that are big enough to get the job done yet small enough to fit. Thankfully most of my work is smaller stock under 2" diameter.

Durhambuilder19/09/2021 17:47:57
69 forum posts
5 photos

I bought my chipmaster about 5yrs ago and love it, variator is still smooth as silk through the entire speed range. One of the easier lathes to move as well albeit a bit weighty, there are a pair of holes in the bed designed to push a bar through and you lift from there, the wide base also makes it a lot less top heavy and more stable when moving. I moved mine about 60 miles with a 1 tonne plant trailer and an engine crane to lift off and on.

Dan the Brass Man19/09/2021 17:51:05
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5 forum posts
Posted by Durhambuilder on 19/09/2021 17:47:57:

I bought my chipmaster about 5yrs ago and love it, variator is still smooth as silk through the entire speed range. One of the easier lathes to move as well albeit a bit weighty, there are a pair of holes in the bed designed to push a bar through and you lift from there, the wide base also makes it a lot less top heavy and more stable when moving. I moved mine about 60 miles with a 1 tonne plant trailer and an engine crane to lift off and on.

Good to hear. As nice as it would be to have a good condition variator I don't mind a VFD setup if needs be.

The main problem currently is the 200miles+ distance between me and any Chipmasters currently for sale (that I can find) so delivery costs are about a 3rd of the machine cost at the moment. crookembarrassed

john fletcher 119/09/2021 18:19:34
724 forum posts

An old friend of mine used to use "Pallet Ways" a firm in Middleborough area they would move a lathe or mill for around £80 three or five years ago. Must have been satisfied as he used them a lot. John

Earny4919/09/2021 21:04:30
6 forum posts

Had my Chipmaster about 4 years. I collected it myself using a hired mini digger trailer( suppose that was a 1 tone plant trailer). Used lever to get lathe on to steel pipe rollers then winched it n to trailer using a hand winch and straps. As I recall there were some bolt heads protruding below bottom level of lathe cabinet and these together with the three mounting pads did cause some trouble with snagging the rollers but with patience I worked around it. I had to as I had committed myself to that mode of removal and had no easy alternative. Once on trailer used pinch bar to remove rollers and strapped lathe to trailer. No problems returning home - 130 miles. If you do move it yourself make sure that you lock the lathe saddle to the bed and also make sure that tailstock is firmly clamped, or remove it. It didn’t happen to me butI did hear of someone losing a tailstock when using a similar removal method. Towing vehicle was a Land Rover.

Agree with all above regarding Chipmaster / Bantam as I have used both. Chipmaster scores for me as it has a clutch so no start stopping of single phase motor and of course higher top speed though I haven’t needed top speed very often. Down side to Chipmaster is very prone to oil leaks from both headstock and feed gearbox.

colin hamilton20/09/2021 09:49:33
43 forum posts
19 photos

I bought a chipmaster about 4 weeks ago and moved it a couple of hundred miles with a mate. It turned out no real issue. We unloaded it on scaffold tubes. We just pulled it on with a chain block (£30 on amazon) and offloaded it on a pallet truck. All in all no worries. I am running mine on a VFDdue to lack of 3 phase but still through the variator. I have read that ditching the variator impacts on the range of speeds and/or torque. If you need the full range of offered by the variator you may want to do some research on this. My variator is noisy. They are still supported by Allspeeds and were very helpful when I gave them a call. Bad news if they need refurbishing it would cost between £2/3k!!

I have the continental chipmaster and screw cutting without the dial indicator is a pain in the arse and not something I would consider if I was trying to make a living from the machine.

 

Why have you swapped your Tom Senior for a wake? I'm in the market for a mill and had almost settled on a Tom senior

Edited By colin hamilton on 20/09/2021 09:51:03

Dan the Brass Man20/09/2021 19:59:58
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5 forum posts
Posted by colin hamilton on 20/09/2021 09:49:33:

I bought a chipmaster about 4 weeks ago and moved it a couple of hundred miles with a mate. It turned out no real issue. We unloaded it on scaffold tubes. We just pulled it on with a chain block (£30 on amazon) and offloaded it on a pallet truck. All in all no worries. I am running mine on a VFDdue to lack of 3 phase but still through the variator. I have read that ditching the variator impacts on the range of speeds and/or torque. If you need the full range of offered by the variator you may want to do some research on this. My variator is noisy. They are still supported by Allspeeds and were very helpful when I gave them a call. Bad news if they need refurbishing it would cost between £2/3k!!

I have the continental chipmaster and screw cutting without the dial indicator is a pain in the arse and not something I would consider if I was trying to make a living from the machine.

Why have you swapped your Tom Senior for a wake? I'm in the market for a mill and had almost settled on a Tom senior

Edited By colin hamilton on 20/09/2021 09:51:03

Yes it certainly would effect the speed and torque range. I've read up on the common problems and will keep that in mind when buying one as I'd hope to find one with an OK variator.

As my hobby became business I decided to buy new as my TS was a little tired. Still a great mill and ideal for hobby work. I do like the Warco though, nearly the same working capacity as the TS but takes up a little less room in the workshop. Has it's flaws as you'd expect for a cheaper import machine but all the important bits seem well made/finished.

Either would be great for the home shop. My TS had the S-type vertical head, but the Warco can work harder.

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