Model Boat Mayhem

Technical, Techniques, Hints, and Tips => Engineering Techniques and Materials. => Topic started by: 3838Derrick on December 31, 2016, 10:19:17 AM

Title: Lathe
Post by: 3838Derrick on December 31, 2016, 10:19:17 AM

Thinking of buying this. Opinions please  .It's a Clarke CL300M from Machine Mart.(
Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: Hellboy Paul on December 31, 2016, 11:03:12 AM

Which one are you after, the text says the CL300 but the photo is the CL250?

I had a CL 250 a while back.... It is OK (ish) but depends on what you plan to make on it. I have since bought one of these & it is a far better machine (

Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: john44 on December 31, 2016, 05:07:24 PM
Have a look at the Amadeal web site they have an extensive range for you to look at.

Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: frazer heslop on December 31, 2016, 05:08:52 PM
You may save some money by going to Arceurotrade, Warco or Chester
Iv been looking at the Sieg CO and the difference in pricing is surprising .
Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: Ron Rees on December 31, 2016, 09:21:30 PM
As already mentioned the photo is of the Clarke CL250M (477.60)  This lathe is OK but very basic and once you get a drill chuck in the tailstock plus its drill, There isn't a lot of space left. The machine doesn't have a top slide so to move nearer the chuck for turning you must use the quite coarse pitch leadscrew handle on the right hand end. For these reasons and the price the restrictions in its use are not worth the price they quote for it.

There are several 300mm lathes on the market, with topslide, and a lever locking tailstock as well as thread cutting and so on. The larger machines also take tool bits of 8mm instead of the quite flexible 6mm that the 250 takes. Already mentioned are the ones from Amadeal in Leytonstone London They do a much better 300mm lathe with everything on it for less than the Clarke one. Very similar, probably from the same far Eastern factor are the ones from Chester Hobby Store,, Denford and others. I bought a SIEG C2/300 lathe from Axminster tools which is slightly better finished but still similar. A larger 3 jaw chuck, an 8mm 4 way tool post, Topslide and Cross-slide. Reversable and variable speed with screwcutting and a lever lock on the tailstock. A very nice machine.

The other big advantage of the 300s is a No.2 MT on the tailstock and a 3 MT taper in the headstock allowing a greater range of accessories to be used.  My Lathe was just over 400 and a bargain I think.

Before you buy, check out the up and coming ME Exhibition at Alexander Palace and have a good look.

The slightly bigger machine will allow you to attempt more complicated and larger jobs if you wish and not restrict you to tiny little pieces of work.

Good luck...and happy New Year.

Ron Rees.
Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: minimariner on December 31, 2016, 10:46:26 PM
                       I bought a SH Chester Conquest lathe, highly recommended.
                        As Ron says check the ME Exhibition at Alexander Palace,
                       Chester were doing some good deals at the show last year.
Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: Danny on January 01, 2017, 01:16:58 PM
I've had the Warco version of the CL250 for about 10 years.  It needed a new speed control board after 5 years which cost 85 fitted by myself.
The lathe is reasonable for small diameter ally and brass, less good for mild steel, and almost useless for stainless. The 'wrist twirling' of the saddle screw becomes a real pain, in more ways than one!
Given the price of the Conquest (only 18 more than the CL250 and 100 less than the CL300) I would have no hesitation in choosing it over either of the Machine Mart ones.
Ron has highlighted the advantages perfectly, so unless you are really strapped for space there are no advantages with the CL250 at all.
Belle coaches do a trip to the Ally Pally show later this month but I'm not sure they would be keen on carting a 2 man lift box back - might be better to get the lathe delivered, then go to the show to get all those "essential" extras you're going to need.
If you want to come round for a chat, PM me.

Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: DELAUNAY on January 01, 2017, 02:44:16 PM
 :-)Hello ;
Like Ron Rees, for a modest price, I recommend the C of SEIG (decline under different names and sellers in europe).
But it would be necessary to rely on the tools and accessories to have in the end the price of the turn multiplied by two. For without the tools or some accessories (like doll chuck mobille) paad or can work possible.
Happy New Year 2017 to You
Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: Ron Rees on January 23, 2017, 04:23:03 PM
Well Guys, we've jumped 3 weeks and the Model Engineering Ex finished yesterday. There were some nice 300mm lathes there around the 400 plus mark which I thought were good value and if you ordered at the show the delivery was free in many cases.

My Chrissy pressy to myself has been doing sterling work, the Axminster Sieg C2A at 405 delivered was stunning value. I needed to pick up some bits at the show however, so apart from talking to nearly every 2nd person I met again managed to get a set of 8mm CT tool bits for 20, some bits of brass and so on.
I have a big 4" lathe and Mill in the garden workshop but its too cold down there so I needed a small one in the model room and these small machines are very handy.
I got caught out though, finding that the tailstock No.2 MT hole for drilling and tapping on the Sieg, was only 60mm deep so wouldn't take any of my standard MT equipment, short of turning down a big one I had to buy another one (I now have 6 of them!!! all different, I never learn!)

Not a bad show this year, I went on the Sunday, managed to finally get me and my buggy at the top of the hill Disabled carpark for the first time since they started doing the Snooker on the same weekend! So I didn't think it was as busy as it used to be. Perhaps it will go into the Model Shows blog about reduced attendance after all. Shame, although it still is a piggin' place to get to.

Cheers all....Ron.
Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: Ron Rees on January 23, 2017, 04:27:41 PM value for lathe bits and pieces and some metals was Blackgates Engineering from West Yorkshire (01924 466000) A small company, friendly and helpful and prepared to go that extra mile for model makers, RDG and the other big layouts of 'Stuff' was pricey I thought, so maybe give the little model companies a go.

Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: 3838Derrick on January 30, 2017, 07:16:39 PM

Hi all,
After lots of research and advice from all you guys on here, I've bought myself a Warco Super Mini Lathe. Although I know very little (nothing) about lathes, it seems a good piece of machinery to me. Going to play with it for a while 'til I actually make something!
Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: Ron Rees on January 31, 2017, 02:25:11 PM
Well done Derrick.

Warco brand other manufacturers machines, often from the Far East, but they know what they are doing and are picky about the quality and expandability of their products. They have been around for a long time and are a trusted engineering supplier, so good choice.

There are some useful books on the market by people like R.H.Warring and E.T.Westbury which are aimed at the beginner and well worth a look, they are quite old now but still very relevant. You can often find them on e.bay and some of the used books sites.

There will be other bits and pieces you will need, the first being tool bits, ordinary TCT bits are fine and a set of all the different sizes will be about 20. Check the gap for the tool bits on your saddle, they are probably between 8 and 10mm square.
A tailstock drill chuck and its arbour is the next most useful thing, check the Morse Taper of the tailstock, the most common one being what they call No2MT. Get a type with a capacity of up to 13mm drill bits even though it can be a bit chunky, this is about the biggest hole you can drill on your lathe.

Handy, but not essential is a 'Live' centre for your tail stock which can be used to steady long, thin bits of metal turning sticking out of the chuck.

Apart from a couple of 'Centre drills' (a bit like a small countersink bit with a short bit like a drill sticking out the front) these are essential for getting holes in line and central when starting to drill.

These will get you started, you probably have measuring tools, a 6 inch steel rule,which fits nicely in the gap you have and definately a decent vernier are all you need to start.

Only buy the other stuff as and when you need them, things like a faceplate, steadies and a four jaw chuck are not used much till you get a project that requires them.

Its a great tool to have and even though you may be cutting KandS tube to length, at least you know it will be accurate and straight.

Have fun, keep it clean and lightly oiled and cover it with a cloth when sanding balsa nearby...

Lesson over..........all the best.

Ron. (You can always PM me if you need extra advice)

Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: Baldrick on January 31, 2017, 05:21:29 PM

And unless someone else has said it and it is not highlighted in the manual .....NEVER LEAVE THE CHUCK KEY IN THE CHUCK..... I know some have a spring loaded key to eject it but the spring often goes awol.
Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: frazer heslop on February 01, 2017, 08:34:19 AM
Congratulations now the fun starts
From a personal point of view buy some High Speed Steel blanks and grind youre own tools as the commercial carbide cutters I find dont give a high finish or at least thats my experience on our small machines.
Buy a couple of spotting drills for starting holes to be drilled ,reamed as they are less fragile than centre drills and keep the centre drills for centres.

Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: ballastanksian on February 01, 2017, 09:47:29 PM
Use HS Steel bits to start machining castings or non circular pieces as Carbide tips can be chipped and difficult to sharpen, whereas you can regrind Steel tools yourself afterwards.

Lathes are brilliant tools, but like with all machine tools, you will always find a job too large for it and then you will want a bigger one!
Title: Re: Lathe
Post by: Tony Marlow on February 26, 2017, 09:18:35 AM
Just taken delivery of a Warco 240 with a 1.1Kw motor. Its powerful enough to take decent cuts on stainless. Firsts trials are indicating great value for money. Good service from their EU rep too. Originally thought about the mini then the 180. Thing is with lathes or machines in general is that if you are going to use them frequently then go for the best you can afford.