Bought my first lathe - tell me how bad I did
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  1. #1
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    Default Bought my first lathe - tell me how bad I did

    I had been looking for about 8 months or so, and I ran across the type of lathe I was looking for, and it was cheap. The lathe is a 1964 Clausing Colchester 13x36" Master Mk1, to the best of my knowledge. The reason the lathe was so cheap is the previous owner wired it into single phase and destroyed the motor. Luckily. I was able to acquire an original replacement. This lathe will be a challenge for me since it has some issues. Luckily, I've already been able to fix several of them, with the primary concern now being some oil leaks, which doesn't scare me too much. The gears appear to be in good shape. The ways have typical wear, but nothing too outrageous. Cross slide and compound have about 15 thou backlash, but I plan to install a DRO so I'm not too worried. As for the electrics, I'll be doing a VFD and plan to use the contactor bank for inputs so the original levers still function. I also think I can remove the mechanic brake linkage and install a microswitch to my braking resistor. Overall the electrical side looks pretty easy and straightforward, and I look forward to doing it as I enjoy wiring.

    Pictures:
    img_20191127_141835.jpg
    img_20191129_150916.jpg
    img_20191129_150928.jpg
    img_20191129_150925.jpg


    She's an old war horse from a machine shop. The old man that owned the lathe carved his name all over it, Buddy Stone. I'll be seeing that forever. It had some sort of a homemade aluminum collet holder (I guess?) on it when I picked it up. I did get a three jaw Chuck (maybe Burnerd?) a follow rest, and a steady rest. Also have to go back and pick up what I think is a 5C draw bar closer. But I didn't see the draw bar itself, so no idea.

    One thing I did notice is apparently I have a machinist special cross slide dial mount. As it's made out of aluminum. I'm guessing someone broke off the original cast iron mount. The cross slide has some forward and backward movement which is causing binding on the dial. I tore down the cross slide and found a late model cross slide split nut wedge style which I don't think is original to this lathe. I was able to get it a little better, but it still has a lot of resistance when moving the carriage towards myself. From what I understand older emco lathes used this same dial so I may be able to find a replacement.

    Overall with some spare parts and additional tooling I ended up getting this lathe for $500. In North Texas I feel that's pretty inexpensive as it's a machinery desert.
    Last edited by Pyrex; 11-30-2019 at 09:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    Pics did not work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    Pics did not work.
    Didn't work for me, either. Why not just upload them directly to the site using the "Manage Attachments" icon
    when you're posting a reply. It's dead simple and it also means that the pictures are "always" there in the future...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post
    Didn't work for me, either. Why not just upload them directly to the site using the "Manage Attachments" icon
    when you're posting a reply. It's dead simple and it also means that the pictures are "always" there in the future...
    Yep, that's what I did, weird, it's working for me. Must be some internal link I guess. I'll fix them.

    some of the work today was just cleaning it up so I didn't get dirtier looking at it, removed all the oil which had leaked into the tray, and removed tons and tons of gunked up oil and grease from all over. The good part about a machine that leaks like a sieve is there is no rust!

    img_20191127_230347.jpg
    One of the interesting things with this machine was the odd custom aluminum collet chuck (I guess that's what that is?) and I'm guessing this is the interface for it on the other side of the headstock, was held in with grub screws.
    img_20191129_200909.jpg
    The cross slide was binding and I could only get an inch of movement out of it when I first looked at the machine. It was about this moment that I just decided to low ball the guy into oblivion. I was able to get the cross slide working again with negligible backlash after tearing it down and adjusting the wedge.
    img_20191127_230246.jpg
    One of the nastiest chucks I had seen. Real crusty with who knows what inside of it. I could barely get the dogs out of it.
    img_20191130_150016.jpg
    Looked like someone dropped it in degreaser before storing it in a field. There wasn't a speck of oil or grease in it. After a whole lot of coaxing, penetrating oil, and heat on the hex head screws I was able to break it open.
    img_20191130_182202.jpg
    I cleaned everything, lubed it and reassembled. I was able to get the chuck to half a tenth, which I was pretty surprised with. I still don't know who manufacturer this chuck, but it appeared to have a matched backplate to an L0, so I'm assuming it may be the original Burnerd. Every piece had what I assumed with a model number of "213."

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    img_20191130_204520.jpg
    Although the cross slide was working again I wasn't happy with how it was binding when I was adjusted it in, so I tore it down to look it over. There was a lot of bubba going on inside there, bushings and spacers to take up the slop from the worn cross slide nut. I thought about making some bronze bushings but I figured I'd just polish the aluminum mount, adjust it so it has less backlash, and throw it together with the first project being machining a new one out of cast iron.

    img_20191130_204436.jpg
    img_20191130_204425.jpg
    In some of the stuff I received with the lathe was this janky aluminum fixture plate. Buddy sure did seem to like to fabricate in aluminum. I don't think I'll ever be using this thing myself, but I'm thrilled to have another backplate.

    img_20191130_204445.jpg
    Oh, also received the replacement motor from another board member. Thanks Jeff.

    img_20191130_204510.jpg
    Here is some of the tooling I received, not sure all of this is to the lathe. The rests are, but some of the jacobs chucks look to be a different taper.

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    Ive had a few of these.....looks like your crossfeed handwheel may have the metric /imperial converter.....this is internal gears that change the effect of the graduations......the graduated sleeve should push in and out,and if working ,you can feel the gearing meshing.There was also a similar setup for the compound dial.very costly extra in the day......these machines do develop a few faults ,...the main one is the fine pitch leadscrew isnt heavy duty,and normally the half nut (one only) is also worn to the extent its near impossible to cut a decent thread......many other issues too,main one would be zero lubrication of the feed shoe in the apron....unless you count rusty swarf.Squirt in some oil over the lever.Too much is not enough.........Never allow the head oil level to fall,or the rear spindle bearing will seize,wrecking the spindle.

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    See all the pics now, even in original post, Looks like you did good.

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    I used one of those in a hydraulics shop I worked in, they also had a larger version, they just really used those daily. I remember they had few problems, but they complained about replacement parts cost, well, over 20yrs ago anyway.

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    With the long taper spindle ,you must be careful no swarf gets jammed in the taper and damages the fit.........the original Burnerd chucks with integrated fitting were very prone to this ,the small end of the taper had holes into the chuck body where swarf settled.

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    Thanks for the heads up. I've tried to be diligent about this, always wipe it down before mating.

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    I have a 13" round head Colchester as well, and had the fun of taking the apron apart to rebuild it too. As far as the bronze bushings in the apron I got them from McMaster-Carr and some other parts from them as well. I checked the spindle taper and mine looked to be a Jarno taper which I was lucky enough to have one that's bushed down to a 2 MT. Seein as how you are in Texas, Frank Klienworth otherwise known as FDK 3 has Colchester parts , I know Frank and he's a good guy to deal with if you need any parts. He's cheaper than the main suppliers I would say, but he "likes" his parts where as the other outfit "love" their parts . Hope I was at least some kinda informative for you. Mike

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    Thanks Mike, that's great to hear. Is that his name on the board so I can get in contact with him?

    I will probably need to service to apron soon as my handwheel is so sloppy it's entering floppy classification. It almost feels like a bushing may have fallen out of it somewhere. I'd love to know if you managed to write down any of those bushings you cross referenced from mcmaster. Right now I think my time is best spent getting a VFD wired in so I can use the lathe, make sure I don't have any additional problems, and then use it to fix itself.

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    Ya his website is Fdk3co.com 713-688-2272. I think he posts at times on this site, but not sure what his site name is. Maybe just Frank ? I would have to look at what parts I replaced from McMaster Carr , I know the bushings but that's been about 4-5 years ago. I will see what I can find in all I replaced. Check the other board areas here on PM for him also, you have the lathe under the "USA heavy iron" board and its from England. I'll see what I can find, I also got lucky with mine , it has the taper attachment , but I never used it. Who know maybe someday. Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by romie24 View Post
    Ya his website is Fdk3co.com 713-688-2272. I think he posts at times on this site, but not sure what his site name is. Maybe just Frank ? I would have to look at what parts I replaced from McMaster Carr , I know the bushings but that's been about 4-5 years ago. I will see what I can find in all I replaced. Check the other board areas here on PM for him also, you have the lathe under the "USA heavy iron" board and its from England. I'll see what I can find, I also got lucky with mine , it has the taper attachment , but I never used it. Who know maybe someday. Mike
    Thanks for the info!. As for the thread placement, It was imported, sold, and serviced by a US manufacturer. I didn't see a UK sub forum so I decided this was probably the best fit.

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    You've got a point there. I have a manual somewhere too, but it would probably be quicker if you came here and looked for it before I could find it. That's just a stab at humor, probably more of a paper cut. I will try and see if I can find it though . Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by romie24 View Post
    You've got a point there. I have a manual somewhere too, but it would probably be quicker if you came here and looked for it before I could find it. That's just a stab at humor, probably more of a paper cut. I will try and see if I can find it though . Mike
    I think I have at least some of the manuals. It seems as if there were several. Don't trouble yourself! I appreciate your help.

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    I did find it. It covers serial numbers from 58650-63742, for the 6500 13" series.

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    You've got a Mark 1 1/2 Colchester Master with the improved saddle. A good solid lathe. You did well, clean it up and use it. And yes, being English it will leak oil.

    Spares are still available but spendy.

    Regards,
    L7

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    There are manuals for these all over the net.Student and Master are the same ,component wise.....Note ,however ,the Clausing version did have needle rollers in the drive pulley setup,whereas ,the standard UK machine has sintered bushes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky7 View Post
    You've got a Mark 1 1/2 Colchester Master with the improved saddle. A good solid lathe. You did well, clean it up and use it. And yes, being English it will leak oil.

    Spares are still available but spendy.

    Regards,
    L7
    Ah! So it is a Mk 1.5. Initially I thought it was, but then for some reason I convinced myself it wasnt. Seems pretty obvious re-reading lathes.co.uk now, though. Thanks!


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