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Hello from Worcestershire

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Colin Bennett 105/01/2022 16:00:50
19 forum posts

Hello all,

Just joined the forum so here is a little about me.

I have been an aircraft engineer for the last 26 years and live in Worcestershire.

Currently I am in the market for a Lathe and I have been looking at the Warco GH1236, Chester Craftsman or Chester Crusader. In my searches I have found that this forum comes up with the most threads and knowledge about these machines. Hence why I joined.

As a hobby I built various excavator attachments for mini diggers and my lathe will be predominantly used to make the pins and bushes for these.

Brian H06/01/2022 16:48:17
2312 forum posts
112 photos

Hello Colin and welcome. I'm afraid that I cannot help with advice on the lathes you have mentioned, mine's a Boxford AUD which does nearly everything I need.

I'm interested in your past life as an aircraft engineer as mine was in aircraft and engine parts manufacture as a Quality Engineer and manager working on Airbus, Apache helicopter and restoration projects such as ME109, Lancaster and Canberra.


noel shelley06/01/2022 17:05:25
1288 forum posts
21 photos

Welcome to the party ! There are many on here who will offer help or advice. Best wishes Noel.

Howard Lewis06/01/2022 17:17:47
6024 forum posts
14 photos

Hello Colin, and Welcome tom the Forum.

I have a Chester Craftsman lookalike (An Engineers ToolRoom BL12 -24 )

It is effectively a Craftsman with a different paint scheme and dual dialled instead of Metric only graduations.

I have had it since September 2003, and am quite happy with it, having used it for almost all my work. It has turned 6 1/8" diameter cast iron in the 4 jaw chuck, at one extreme and thinned the heads of 10 BA bolts in the 3 jaw chuck at the other., as well as cutting several .5 mm pitch threads. The coarsest was a 4 mm pitch, but my lathe came with a 30T gear as well as the standard 40T and 32T gears.

I also made a 80T gear for the input to the Norton box, to halve the feed rate.

So it a quite a versatile machine.

MEW published an article on it some time ago.

At my request it came with a VFD fitted, so only has six speeds, (Three on the belts and pulleys, plus the Back Gear option )

It did have one silly feature. There is an oiler for the Apron controls, hidden under the Cross Slide handwheel where it was inaccessible. I removed that part of the mechanism, removed the oiler,blanked the hole, and fitted another 6 mm dia oiler on the side, where it is accessible..

I also made the bolt for the Fixed Steady captive. otherwise fitting it tends to need more hands than I can muster!

Otherwise, am quite happy with it.

This assumes that the BL12-24 came from the same factory, and to the same level of quality as the Craftsman.

If you want to use a Vertical Slide, fitting one from a Sieg SC6 only requires one simple adaptor.



Harry Wilkes06/01/2022 18:51:21
1326 forum posts
65 photos

Welcome to the forum Colin from neighbouring West Midlands


Howard Lewis06/01/2022 20:36:34
6024 forum posts
14 photos

Just realised that I made an almost duplicate post to your question about the Chester Craftsman!


Colin Bennett 107/01/2022 12:19:47
19 forum posts

Thank you everybody for the welcome to the forum.

No worries Howard, I appreciate the time that you have taken to reply.

Brian H, that sounds like an interesting career that you had. I am a B1 (engines + airframe) engineer and licensed on the Boeing B737-300/900, B757, B767 and Airbus A320. My engineering job is a part time split with my flying job as I am also a commercial pilot on the Airbus A320 and Airbus A330. I seem to have the perfect mix between flying and getting my hands dirty.

Henry Brown07/01/2022 13:59:22
548 forum posts
117 photos

Hello Colin, welcome to the forum...

I'm also based in Worcestershire, Near Pershore, I bought a Warco GH1332 just over a year age and I'm generally very pleased with it. Not sure where you are but if you'd like to come and have a look at it your welcome, I'm probably a bit closer than Surrey, just drop me a line...

Cheers, Henry.

Colin Bennett 107/01/2022 20:43:39
19 forum posts

Hi Henry, that is a very kind offer. Thank you very much.

I am just to the North of Redditch, only 17 miles from you. Unfortunately Warco’s latest price increase makes a Warco machine unviable. I can’t justify a nearly £5000 machine if a £3000 machine dus everything I need. Especially as I also need to buy all the tooling etc.

If that changes then I would like to come and have a look at the GH1332, I will let you know.

Henry Brown08/01/2022 12:46:16
548 forum posts
117 photos
Posted by Colin Bennett 1 on 07/01/2022 20:43:39:

If that changes then I would like to come and have a look at the GH1332, I will let you know.

No problem Colin. Blimey that is a huge increase, I paid £3300 for my 3 phase machine including delivery for in January 2020. I don't know what the Chester machines are cost wise.

I decided to go with the Warco having read the feedback on here, Chester V Warco. As it turns out there was a problem with the top slide leadscrew, the flanks were quite rough and wore the brass nut very quickly, it was replaced immediately, no questions asked, I also had the microswitches actuated by the star/stop levers fail, again new ones were with me the next day. This sounds bad but it seems the norm with this Chinese stuff, we have to do the fault finding!

Anyway, good luck what ever you go for, and if you want to pop down just shout.

Henry Brown08/01/2022 21:01:13
548 forum posts
117 photos

Colin, I just looked at your other post on the Chester stuff and noticed you are after a Plasma Cutter, I've got one for sale that I've never used. Bought second hand (it had been used once to cut a car in half) Its an Eastwood as the attached pictures. PM me if interested and I'll send some pix...

Bountyboy08/01/2022 21:22:15
48 forum posts
7 photos

Hello Colin,

welcome to the forum, you’ll see a wide range of engineering topics discussed here, enjoy.

I’m also from Worcestershire, Bromsgrove.


Colin Bennett 108/01/2022 21:28:59
19 forum posts

Hi Henry, that is a massive price increase! If the GH1322 is the same as your GH1332 but with a shorter bed then the price has increased by over £1200 in 2 years.

Of course a lot comes down to the massive increase in container shipping cost but I am quite jealous that I didn’t buy one a few years ago. I have a couple of small machines from Warco and any issues were sorted very quickly. I certainly can’t fault their customer service, their prices are just a bit high.

Would you be able to tell me the model no. of the plasma cutter?

Many thanks.

Colin Bennett 108/01/2022 21:31:09
19 forum posts

Thank you Paul.

You are next door then as we are in Alvechurch.

It is a very interesting forum and I can quite happily spend a few hours on here. It is also very much appreciated that everybody is so helpful.

Henry Brown09/01/2022 10:16:42
548 forum posts
117 photos
Posted by Colin Bennett 1 on 08/01/2022 21:28:59:

Would you be able to tell me the model no. of the plasma cutter?

Colin, I've dropped you a line via the messenger on here with some photos and contact details if you want to folloe this up.

Cheers, Henry.

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