Clausing Colchester opinions please
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  1. #1
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    I was told about a 15” Clausing Colchester that may be for sell. I haven’t seen it but was told it was in good shape, built in the mid 70’s. I spent some time on one years ago and if I remember correctly it was a pretty decent machine. Can anyone give me their opinion of these lathes. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    one of the better general purpose lathes out there... should be a 1600 rpm d1-6 with metric threading capability.

  3. #3
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    I have a 15X48 its the best one in my shop of the 3.

  4. #4
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    I've got a 13" and aside from being a little noisy I don't have a single complaint.

    Nick

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    I have a 13inch student and have no complaints.

  6. #6
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    Clausing Colchester is a fine machine.

    the olny thing I dont like is listening to the motor run when its not turning, its just more shop noise.

  7. #7
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    If it's a gap bed, the apron controls are reversed from the standard. Make sure that all of the change gears are with it. Other than that, I can't think of anything that I didn't like about a Colchester. If you'd like, send the lathe to me and I'll check it out for a couple of years and let you know if it's any good.
    JR

  8. #8
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    send the lathe to me and I'll check it out for a couple of years and let you know if it's any good
    sounds fine, comes with mother in law.

  9. #9
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    Tattomike


    my motor doesnt run when the lathe isnt turning!

    Different machines or setups probably.

  10. #10
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    tattoomike68 is correct.
    my 15 X 48 runs the motor all the time it just turns the spindle when the clutch is engaged.
    all around a clausing colchester is a good value...jim

  11. #11
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    Had 2 15" CC's and they are great. Sold one in Janurary to make room for my new Romi CNC machine. For my money they (the Colchester 15" lathe is one of the best value's for turning that you can get! Has the best spindle speed change system ever! easy to use and you can see the shortest wayt to turn the handle for your next speed. The Apron is very well designed. Levers and direction plungers allows changing of feed direction and choice between cross and long feed without the need to stop. Good micrometer dials, easy to read. Has metric and inch threading plus Dimetral and modular pitches all in the change box....no studd gear changing required!
    They have unusually large spindle bores. The 15" has 2.375" i believe...nice for large stock.
    They tend to have a bit of gear noise from the headstock, but they seem to keep running and make good parts in large to the Timken Gammet precission tapered spindle bearings.
    If the machine is not trashed i don't think you can go wrong.
    Cheers Ross

  12. #12
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    I have a 13x36 Clausing Colchester MK II. It is a great lathe all around. 40-1800 rpm with a 2 hp 2 speed 3 phase motor. Has plenty of power and rigidity to run cabide tooling, etc. I use a CXA toolpost. For me, it is my pride and joy



    In addition to the usual aspects of inspecting a good lathe (ways, bearings, etc.) you want to make sure that the machine is in good working order. The main thing is to make sure that it is "all there" and that there are no missing or broken parts. Replacement Colchester parts are very expensive, if they are even available. This would include levers, headstock gears, and leadscrews.


    have fun,
    -erik

  13. #13
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    Re what Erik says, run the selectors (I am assuming the 8000 series square heads) thru all possible speed ranges as there are different gears in mesh.

    New and Used Parts are available but expensive from the UK and also from Clausing USA but they mark them up another, well 50% it seems.

    The headstock is really well designed for service *if* you have a great big set of right angle snap ring pliers.

    IIRC plan on 3300 lbs.

    -Matt

  14. #14
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    Mine has served me well. The only problem I've had involved the telescoping taper attachment. I installed a modification of my own making to solve that and we have lived in harmony ever since.

    FWIW
    Picture of Dave's Lathe

  15. #15
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    eric,


    That is exactly what I have, except your is cleaner with a better paint job.

    What year is it?

  16. #16
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    Rob,


    Clausing tells me that my S/N puts it at a 1970 model. I am only the second owner.

    It really is in great condition. The machine spent most of its life in the R&D Dept of Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas machining stuff to support heart stents. Most of the swarf I dug out of it was plastic!! It was maintained by a meticuluous German machinist.

    Question: What oil are you using in your headstock?

    Thanks,
    -erik

  17. #17
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    EriK

    Mine is a 1969 and I am the second owner also. Mine came out of a HS somewhere in Illinois. very dirty, some minor abuse, but certianly not in a production setting.

    I am running Mobile Vactra 2 in my headstock.

  18. #18
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    Rob:
    Check the owners manual i think Vactra#2 is way too heavey for the spindle on that Colchester. At high speeds it will creat excess heat. I believe an AW46 hydralic oil or a GST in a similar weight is what is reccomended. Now for the apron your Vactra is the correct oil.
    Cheers Ross

  19. #19
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    If it's any help I was told to run DTE Light in the headstock on my Mori Seiki. Vactra 2 goes in the carriage for way oiling.

    cheers,
    Michael

  20. #20
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    The Clausing Service Center (219-533-0371) recommended Mobil DTE24 for the headstock and gearbox. For the apron they recommended Vactra #2. The above are for the 8XXX series, 15" lathes.

    FWIW


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