Hello every one

Help Support HMEM:

Old Guy

Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
Manchester England
Hi I'm John and live in Manchester England I am retired now and have been longing to own a small lathe to do small projects I have in mind,I have been looking on ebay at a Crenex 8.7 x 23.6 I have picked this mainly for the DBC 1100 W motor and quite large bore through spindle and it's compact size to go on a bench top and it's pretty much at the top of my budget but I might be able to stretch that if any one here can offer a better option.I know these chinese lathes can have quality issues and would be most gratefull for any information the members here can offer.Thanks John
 

Old Guy

Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
Manchester England
Hello Brian nice to meet you,I have noticed that one or two are already using chinese mini lathes so they will probably know a lot about them.
 

BaronJ

Grumpy Old Git.
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
802
Location
York, North Yorkshire
Hi I'm John and live in Manchester England I am retired now and have been longing to own a small lathe to do small projects I have in mind,I have been looking on eBay at a Crenex 8.7 x 23.6 I have picked this mainly for the DBC 1100 W motor and quite large bore through spindle and it's compact size to go on a bench top and it's pretty much at the top of my budget but I might be able to stretch that if any one here can offer a better option.I know these Chinese lathes can have quality issues and would be most grateful for any information the members here can offer.Thanks John
Hi John,

There seems to be a lot of poor reports about that lathe, I would do some Googling before jumping in !
 

Old Guy

Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
Manchester England
Hello Grumpy

Yes I have been searching every which way and apart from one person that has given it a real hammering regarding it's functionality but I'm afraid he seemed to expect it to work like a charm straight out of the box when most people tend to say that with a bit of fettling these chinese lathes can be quite a good buy.Unfortunately the interweb doesn't seem to be overflowing with knowledgeable reviews about this particular lathe, and after this price sector there seems to be a huge jump to over two grand which is beyond my budget, I will be moving on cautiously and thanks for your advice.
 

BaronJ

Grumpy Old Git.
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
802
Location
York, North Yorkshire
Hi John, Guys,

I'm another John ! Its my wife that gave me the "Grumpy Old Git" label. :rolleyes:

I looked but couldn't find any favorable comments about this particular lathe. I own and run a Myford S7 and whilst the spindle bore is a little small it has never detracted from anything that I want to do. I do get the feeling that the spindle bore size is important to you.

As far a Chinese machines are concerned I have a Chinese clone of an Optimum BF20LB mill, and whilst it had all sorts of problems I've spent an awfully large amount of time sorting them out and making modifications and alterations to get it into a very satisfactory condition.

Someone said Buying a Chinese machine was like buying a kit of parts that needed putting together properly. So you pays your money and spins the wheel.
 

Old Guy

Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
Manchester England
Hi again John

I couldn't agree more with your comments about Chinese machines but I don't mind a bit of fettling to achieve something usable at a good price.I have been looking at a couple of English suppliers of similar machines and I would imagine they have been built to their specs by Chinese companies and so are a lot more expensive for similar machines which is only to be expected.the other problem is that when I find something I fancy it is out of stock.I have been looking on Ebay at Myford 7's and even bid on a few but they all went too high and then there's the size and weight of them and where they are located and the problem of transporting them not insurmountable but still a problem I could do without. I think the variable speed control is the thing I like most about these Chinese lathes my search continues
 

joerom

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
177
Reaction score
75
Hi John,
Although it is not the lathe you are looking at, I will share my experience with a Chinese cheap lathe. I have a 7x14 mini lathe which I bought for a specific purpose a while back. It was a piece of junk and almost not usable when I got it. I wanted to throw it away. It sat for a while and I decided to work on it and put a lot of hours into it, but now it is not a bad a lathe and I use it quite a lot for little things as I have a Jet 1236 for my real work. What I am saying here is that at least in my case I ended up with a decent Chinese machine. If you are handy enough and don't mind taking on some extra work, then go for it. You might even get lucky and get a good one. A quality lathe is very expensive nowadays...................
 

SmithDoor

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Global Moderator
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
988
Reaction score
137
Location
Clovis Ca
Welcome to group

The Chinese does great job on painting.
The good news the little work on Chinese tools saves money on tools.

Dave

Hi I'm John and live in Manchester England I am retired now and have been longing to own a small lathe to do small projects I have in mind,I have been looking on ebay at a Crenex 8.7 x 23.6 I have picked this mainly for the DBC 1100 W motor and quite large bore through spindle and it's compact size to go on a bench top and it's pretty much at the top of my budget but I might be able to stretch that if any one here can offer a better option.I know these chinese lathes can have quality issues and would be most gratefull for any information the members here can offer.Thanks John
 

BaronJ

Grumpy Old Git.
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
802
Location
York, North Yorkshire
Hi again John

I couldn't agree more with your comments about Chinese machines but I don't mind a bit of fettling to achieve something usable at a good price.I have been looking at a couple of English suppliers of similar machines and I would imagine they have been built to their specs by Chinese companies and so are a lot more expensive for similar machines which is only to be expected.the other problem is that when I find something I fancy it is out of stock.I have been looking on Ebay at Myford 7's and even bid on a few but they all went too high and then there's the size and weight of them and where they are located and the problem of transporting them not insurmountable but still a problem I could do without. I think the variable speed control is the thing I like most about these Chinese lathes my search continues
Hi John, Guys,

The Myford lathes are not too big or heavy at all ! Certainly a two man lift. I've moved mine several times with just removing the motor and tail stock to get rid of a little weight. They will easily fit into the back of an estate car. I suspect that the lathe you mention would be around the same.

The steel cabinet for mine got moved on a sack barrow !

The S7 does tend to hold its value very well ! I was offered a "Harrison" not much bigger than the Myford for a fifth of the price of an S7 but refused it simply because it was considerably heavier, all cast iron construction. Anyway a friend of mine bought it and is very happy with it, it is now in daily use and earning him money.
 

Apprentice707

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2013
Messages
95
Reaction score
54
Location
Suffolk United Kingdom. Hudson Florida
Hello John and welcome,

The choice of which lathe to go for is generally limited by your budget. I have both a Myford Super 7 and a Chinese made 7 x 12 both have their place in my workshop. I have owned the Myford for 30 years having bought it secondhand in need of restoration. I have had the bed reground and fitted new bushes and headstock bearings all done with cost in mind. Myford lathe parts were never cheap but they seem to be even more expensive now Myford in Beeston has ceased trading and the name has been taken over by someone else. The small-bore mandrel can be a problem but you learn to live with it.
The Chinese lathe was also bought secondhand about 15 years ago, I changed the bearings for Timkin ones and trued up the slideways, great value for money, but I do like the Myford best. I also have a treadle-driven Round bed Drummond which will give you a workout as you use it.
Have you looked at a secondhand 5" Boxford they seem to go quite cheaply?
Good luck and enjoy our hobby.

Regards

B
 

MRA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
246
Reaction score
65
hi Mate
I'm in Manchester too.
I have no experience on the Chinese machines. But I can say that a really big chuck on a small lathe (8" chuck on a 9" Boxford, in my case) really changes what you can hold, and gets around the problem of a small hole down the spindle. And if you wait for the right motor to turn up on ebay, vari-speed can be done with a VFD for less than 200 quid all in. On a good day, less than 100 quid (my latest - 10 quid for an unknown 3-phase motor which turned out to be OK, and 65 quid for Yaskawa 3/4hp vfd - there are some on there still. The learning curve is a bit steep with some VFDs but if I can get there anyone can). I wouldn't rule out Atlas 10F etc for a cheap lathe, though of course you could still find a pig in a poke. Our museum has a crap one for sale which might be a starting point!
cheers
Mark
 

Chazzer

Master of The Universe
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
1
Reaction score
1
Hi I'm John and live in Manchester England I am retired now and have been longing to own a small lathe to do small projects I have in mind,I have been looking on ebay at a Crenex 8.7 x 23.6 I have picked this mainly for the DBC 1100 W motor and quite large bore through spindle and it's compact size to go on a bench top and it's pretty much at the top of my budget but I might be able to stretch that if any one here can offer a better option.I know these chinese lathes can have quality issues and would be most gratefull for any information the members here can offer.Thanks John
'Ello thar.
I bought a Chinese lathe from Chester (a Crusader), and I have been very happy with it. Chester claimed that they had their representative on site in China to monitor quality and they said that Warco did too. I chose to believe him, but whether it remains true I don't know. I think that I would be wary about buying from eBay and would opt for Chester/Warco/ArcEurotrade. To my mind the Myford is way over-priced for what it is, even on the used market (and you have to be knowledgable there to avoid worn models).
I do believe that too many times a model engineer, particularly a new one, will look at an unsatisfactory result and conclude that they haven't spent enough on getting a top machine - when all the time it is their fault. I know this is true because I speak from experience!
Buy what you can afford from a reputable supplier and enjoy yourself. Use sharp tooling and ensure that it it's height is set spot-on, and I do mean spot-on. When starting out, avoid tipped tooling, especially on small lathes. Tipped tooling was invented for production on high quality powerful lathes and you might be disappointed with the results on a small lathe. Sharp high speed steel tooling is the way to go, at first anyway.
cheers
Charles
 

Old Guy

Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
Manchester England
Thanks everyone for your replies I have found it very informative so far though I didn't understand some of the abbreviations if anybody else has advice I'm all ears I will reply individually to everyone shortly but have to nip out to Machine Mart to get some compressed air gear for another project I'm into at the moment see ya soon

Thanks John
 

delalio

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
57
Reaction score
41
Location
IE
Hello John, all,

I thought I'd just add my 2c, since there are a lot of comments.

Background: I bought my first lathe a few years ago. I'm in my mid 30s and hadn't used one since school. Most lathes, as you mention, are made over in the east. I've heard stories of Warco and similar arriving with issues, and a UK price tag.

I asked myself the following few questions when reviewing lathe options.

What is your budget?
I scooped a S7 in very good condition for £950. I spent a couple of months looking for the right machine, in a commutable location.
Bear in mind that the lathe cost is just the tip. I've spent probably ~8k in total on all my engnieering stuff in the last few years. Several vanity purchased, like Moore and Wright tool chests, which are insanely expensive, but I wanted one. As a minimum you probably want:
Lathe,
Micrometers / Calipers (imp way cheaper than metric if that's your preference) <£30 each 2nd hand, boxed and in great condition,
Lathe tooling - Either carbide and tips, or HSS and a grinder. Not sure of your preference here. £100 should cover you well.
Lamp - £15 from Ikea / similar
Hand tools - Hacksaws, small vice, files etc. £50+.
The biggest expenses however were things like 3 & 4 jaw chucks £50-£500, vertical milling attachments £120ish,
Change gears, not too costly individually, but a set is ~£80ish. (I bought new, from Myford/RDG.)
If you want to do screwcutting (some love it, others avoid like the plague) maybe a lathe with a screwcutting gearbox would be better. They are noticeably more.
Then there's the glossy extras like Digital Read Outs, (DROs, etc). I haven't bothered yet.
To summarise: when I was deciding on my lathe, I picked a very good one for £950. The other option was a fully kitted out setup for ~£3k. could have probably got it for £2.5k-£2.7k if I haggled. In hindsight, the £3k option would have been cheaper, and been a better setup, but I didnt have all the funds, and didnt want to go all in, incase I didn't like it as much as I thought I would.
In summary, the lathe cost is just the start and probably ~1/2 the total cost to get into the hobby, unless you get a full kit from someone as a bundle.

Are you looking for a lathe or a lathe restoration project?
I didn't know enough about lathes to take on a restoration project. I just wanted to spin some metal and start making some models. There is loads of information about for most types of lathes, if you are looking for a project. If you are looking for a project, factor in the replacement parts / extras / materials for the project too. Also, it could take you >6 months depending on how much of a perfectionist you are and time avail. I'm still working, so time was my biggest restraint.

Space and Functionality?
You say you need a small lathe, and I totally get that. Just make sure you factor in the types of things you want to make. something like a Stuart 10V can be made on a tiny lathe. the flywheel or the Standard (A piece) are probably the biggest diameters you need to hold, and they could be done with a ~2" radius / gap from centre to bed height.
You do however mention the spindle Bore.
Personally, I find centre height clearance (swing) is more limiting than bore. Unless you're working on something very specific where you need the bore diameter, a hacksaw can solve 99% of bore issues. A lot of bar I have wont fit through the bore on my lathe, but I'm rarely (never) working on anything that long & thick with an end feature. I just lop off a 2"-3" length, and use that.

Power / Motor:
Personally for me, the bigger motors were a little worrying. Thats a lot of torque if something goes wrong. Additionally, you can step down the gearing on a geared lathe to improve torque. Generally you need more torque for larger diameters, so less relevant with a smaller lathe.

Transportation / portability:
I wouldn't recommend it, but I moved a S7 with cabinet in a fiesta. Through the wales countryside, and then on a ferry over to Ireland. (Long story, very stressful, and a bit of a cramped journey, but it worked fine!) All together they are weighty enough, but everything is removable, so you can break them down into very manageable parts. (Motor, cabinet, top-slide, tailstock etc, are all removable very easily on a lot of lathes, without much / any recalibration after reassembly.) Also, you probably wont move it much once you have it. So a little extra effort on the purchase / delivery, MAY be worth it depending on your desires. If you're getting it delivered, you will only be doing the move from the pavement to the workshop anyway. I did the fully manual, maximum effort option of travel, collection etc.

Warranty / Guarantee etc:
A 2nd hand lathe warranty ends the moment you load it into your vehicle / gets shipped. Some people want the convenience of a contact number if they have problems, need spare parts, etc. Factor this in when you're looking. Quite ironically, some lathes with warranties have more setup issues than a good 2nd hand one. Conversely, some second hand ones are a basket case. If you're going 2nd hand, definitely view it, no matter how good it looks. Shake it, turn it on, listen for rattles, move the slides etc. (There's a full checklist of things to do to evaluate a lathe, but that's too long for this post. If you are going that route, I'll share with you the tips I was given, when I was looking!)


Lastly, get something that is right for you. Lots of people have opinions, and some love their brand of machine. I know I do.
Also, as others have eluded to, most lathes will be able to out-perform their operator. Even a pretty crap lathe can turn out accurate parts when used correctly, but decent equipment can make the job a bit easier.

Get something that fits your space, lifestyle, level of competence, free time, urgency to use it, and the types of project you want to undertake.

My personal direction would be, if you're going for a project, get a decent 2nd hand one, and make it your own. They are generally more customisable and will have plenty of life in them. Mine is >65-70 years old, and will probably out-last me and I'm (only) in my 30s!

Best of luck, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to give me a shout! I'm not the most experienced, but I can tell you my thought processes when I bought mine.


Kindest Regards,

Del
 

Steamchick

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
1,149
Reaction score
391
Location
3 Ettrick grove, Sunderland , Tyne & Wear, SR 48
Hi John,
What a lot of reaction you have to a little question.
Personally, I have owned 4 lathes for modelling prior to buying a Chesters DB8VS about 10 years ago (maybe 15?).
Simply, it is good value for money. But a quarter of the cost of a Myford. I can't say it is better or worse than a Myford, as I owned an MRI from the 1960s. It had a 1.5hp. Motor from an industrial sewing machine so so much torque I could easily twist the lathe bed. I have had 3 other 3 inch lathes before buying the Chinese 8, as I wanted bigger and stiffer for the modelling I was doing. The Chinese lathe has a 750W Variable speed drive. I can hold the chuck to stall the motor at 50rpm. But with 2 belt speeds it goes to 2500 rpm. Way too fast for my cutting speeds. Working within the limits of your machine, and budget, you should have years of good fun using whatever you buy, wherever it was made. But expecting more than you paid for will always dissappoint. Frankly, my new lathe is so much better -more accurate - than the old second hand lathes (from 1920s to 1960s) that I previously owned, that I have no regrets.
I would always say buy the biggest and stiffest bed you can afford, then add frills later. A tiny accurate lathe won't make big bits. A worn lathe won't make accurate bits without lots of skill and expertise.
So decide on what you want to machine and select a tool, from China or anywhere else, that best suits the job.
Geared lathes are fundamentally better than variable speed, but variable speed is quick and easy to fhange. You just have to live with the fine cutting from low torque at low speed (larger diameters!). But above 15mm diameter I can over- work my lathe and distort the cut, because I didn't pay 5 to 10 times more for a stiffer bed. Yet I am happy with what I have for most things, and simply take my time on the rest.
It is a hobby, not factory, so speed of working isn't on my priority list.
Hope this helps,
K2
 
Last edited:

Willyb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
8
Greetings John
Glad that you have joined this forum. There is alot of information available on this site. Sorry I'm not any help with your Lathe questions.
Cheers
Willy
 

goldstar31

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
3,401
Reaction score
1,272
Location
Twixt Tyne and Tees
,
As old age rushes on relentlessly , we become less and less cpsble of handling sruff from largr and generally cheaper second hsnd machinery. Again, larger machinery appears on the masrket- because it is worn or simply out of date.
Pricing a good second hand Chinese lathe against a first vlass Myford is perhaps TEN tmes. I paid £350 for a SigC4- similar to the Chester menttioned against £3.500 for what was a Myford without any tooling whatsorver. So Yes you can buy a Chester new and when it xomes to it being sold- whe you sre dead or in the nut house your attorney or executor will be hardly be bothered to raise anything on it. In other worfs 'negative equity. If tou get a £350 or whatever lathe, it may have a motor fault which could be expensive to trplace or even prohibitive to replace - and get something back. Muforfd will run quite happimly on a scrap ysrd wahing machine motor. I;ve had a Sieg motor fail to run on new pirhase and my earlier Myforfs had Mum's old bit before the scp man. I;ve got wahingmachine motor in the loft and if push comes to shove, O could motorize my Mford with a cheap Double ended grinder. Not an easy task on my Sieg!

Rwgading the accesories comparison, Yoou will almost certain;y have to buy new and at cost unless your lathe is secomdhand but has been well equipped bu the previous pwner. Myfords do have many 2nd hand and relayively cheaper 'goodies'.
I've recently 'lashed out' to buy an accessory which was made in the 1950's,

I know PRECISELY what I'm doing. Again, if one is so dis[osed the ynformation on how to use and make accessories is bast compared to the Chinese offerings.

Concluding, it worth buying a complete wokshop that belonged to a dead modeller of worse, one who is seriousy ill. Then it is time to arm one's self with the tradioallu 'Hotses Collar and just outbid the dealers.
'I greet you well'

91 year old Norman
 
Last edited:

awake

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,226
Reaction score
516
Location
North Carolina
Welcome, John. I have not encountered the Crenex line before, and a quick internet search suggested that it is of a somewhat different design than the Grizzly 7 x 14 that I have, so not sure how helpful my experience will be. I picked up my 7 x 14 cheap after it had been through a fire (not directly in the flames, but close enough that the plastic control box on the front was slightly melted). I had to do some work on it - the motor proved to be cracked, and I did not get any change gears with it. Nonetheless I have been continually amazed at how accurate it is ... within its significant limits. I suspect that if it were my only lathe, I might have a different feeling about it, frustrated with its rather limited capacity, but as a second-op lathe specifically for small parts, it has been more than worth what I paid for it.
 

Richard Hed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2018
Messages
1,115
Reaction score
250
Location
Seattle
Hi I'm John and live in Manchester England I am retired now and have been longing to own a small lathe to do small projects I have in mind,I have been looking on ebay at a Crenex 8.7 x 23.6 I have picked this mainly for the DBC 1100 W motor and quite large bore through spindle and it's compact size to go on a bench top and it's pretty much at the top of my budget but I might be able to stretch that if any one here can offer a better option.I know these chinese lathes can have quality issues and would be most gratefull for any information the members here can offer.Thanks John
Before you buy, make sure it does LH threads. Yes, 1100 watts is very good for a small lathe. I, however, encourage you to get something a little bigger than 8.7 X 23. If you can examine the lathe in person, besure to do so, check how loose the carriage, cross feed and compound are. Look to see if it has plastic gears in the change gear part. I thimpfk one of the most important things is to have a separate thread cutting drive from the feed drive. If you are not aware of what that is, it is the two (sometimes three) round bars in the front of the body under the carraige.
 

Latest posts

Top