Chester Lathes

Has anyone got any opinions, good or bad on Chester Lathes. Im thinking of getting myself a new lathe for my soon to be arriving
workshop (finally) and wondered where to get a decent ish but cheap ish lathe from
Any help appreciated
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wrote:

Do an archive search on Google Groups http://groups.google.com/group/uk.rec.models.engineering Just type Chester in.
Charles
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Ed wrote:

I purchased a 12x36 geared head lathe from Chester 5 or 6 years ago. It was a good price and was delivered on time. There were some problems with it that they dealt with very promptly and efficiently - they even sent a very good engineer to fix something at my house (a 250 mile round trip for him). The lathe is in frequent use and works fine. A few years ago I had to turn 2 ft of 35mm stainless steel down to 25.4mm (don't ask why) - it was accurate to a thou over the entire length. I've subsequently bought several things from them and attend their Open Day each year. I'm nothing to do with them; just a satisfied customer.
--
Regards, Gary Wooding
(To reply by email, change feet to foot in my address)
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i bought a chester conquest and it was a pile of scrap,new motor an
control board at 18 months that cost over 200,the clamps under th saddle cracked twice so i made my own, the threads stripped in th saddle where the vertical slide bolts on,the bed was marked where used a BRASS screw down carriage lock etc.i got rid of it and bought good myford ml10 with plenty of tooling for 550 that is far superior
-- bolma ----------------------------------------------------------------------- bolmas's Profile: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u )26 View this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t 218
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I had a Axminster 9180 with the Myford spindle nose. Axminster no longer carry the model or spares. I was needing a new motor pulley as I had been running the lathe on a 3 phase converter. I asked Chester to supply a new pulley knowing full well that theirs would fit. I got a snotty E-mail to say that they only supplied spares for their own lathes.
I E-mailed Warco and got the pulley by return. Later, I needed a couple of little C clamps for the gears. They had a few in stock and posted them free gratis and for nowt. I wrote back thanking them and said that I had made a reasonable contribution to a recognised charity.
In the immortal words of the late O.Henry, I would give Chester an evasive answer.
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wrote:

I was foolish enough to buy a Chester Champion mill several years ago. It took three sets of main bearings, a new motor and other parts before I had a usable machine. It is crudely made and will never produce work of a similar quality to that obtainable from a decent secondhand machine from a good manufacturer.
White Van Man arrived with no lifting/moving gear at all and seriously intended dumping my mill in the road, an idea he was soon disabused of. That's Chester for you. I would never again buy from Chester, even if they were the last machine tool (a term used advisedly in their case) company left.
John
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Ed wrote:

Yes. Don't buy one. I had 2, first one replaced with multitude of faults, replacement just as bad, returned for a full refund. Absolutely awful lathe (DB10-G). Customer service was very good about this, no problems with them whatsoever, but the product was only fit for what the septics describe as a boat anchor.
Peter
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Peter Neill wrote:

I had one for about two months before they finally took it away. It fell apart so easily I wouldn't even trust it as an anchor.
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wrote:

If you can get, it may pay you to go to the Model Engineering show at Harrogate on the 5th, 6th and 7th of May.
I was talking to Andrew at Chester's a couple of months ago and they had addressed a lot of earlier issues they had with quality control etc. Problem is a lot of views are now older ones before problems were addressed.
-- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
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I assume, from the other replies, that these lathes are sourced from China (PRC). Does anyone know whether the PRC has sorted out quality control on matters such as the strength of high tensile steel? If not, is it ever worth taking the risk?
(I retired some years ago so no longer have access to the "horror stories" file which we kept on the safety of products. Unfortunately, PRC sourced high tensile bolts featured high on this list.)
--
M Stewart






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On Sun, 23 Apr 2006 16:10:50 +0100, "Malcolm Stewart"

I can't think of a reason that a hobby lathe needs HT bolts or components. Myfords for one only employ mild steel fasteners on their machines and they have enjoyed a good reputation over the years.
The quality from China has been improving rapidly over the years, lately by leaps and bounds as they are able to buy the latest technology from the west.
Our local tool grinding people can't even get to see that latest 6 axis tool grinders as all this years production is going to China.
So not only can't we not compete on price we can't compete on production levels and quality as we don't even know what they are using ............
When was the last time a British company bought a slideway grinder ? Does any British company even own a CNC slideway grinder of whatever age.
But more to the point is ANY British machine tool company prepared to invest in new machinery ?
All replies with a 1d stamp on to the Department of Trade and Industry where they will be passed on to I K Brunnel, F Whittle, or J Watt. for evaluation.
-- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
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On Sun, 23 Apr 2006 15:24:30 GMT, John Stevenson

Douglas Cutis Machine Tools near me have one <g> http://www.douglascurtis.co.uk / Mind you, they build them as well so does that count?
Peter
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Over the Easter came a piece of unsolicited E-Mail advertising a Chinese Lathe. No prizes for guessing from whom it was sent. Sorry!
The Easter Funny
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Thanks for all the advice chaps :)
On 23 Apr 2006 11:30:57 -0700, "ravensworth2674"

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snipped
I used the example of HT steel as it's not obvious from appearance just what standard it is as compared to what it claims to be, and I imagine that this applies to many of the basic materials from which lathes, mills, cutting tool etc. are made.
--
M Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK
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On Mon, 24 Apr 2006 11:52:13 +0100, "Malcolm Stewart"

Point taken but the quality is advancing that rapidly form shipment to shipment that most views on what was bought are no longer relevant.
I must admit I have had some dubious items in the early days but I have always looked at these as a kit of parts. There was no way you were going to buy an item at 1/10 or even 1/20 of the price of an established item and expect the same. Anyone expecting a Myford for 4.99 is delusional.
As an example a coupe of months ago I bought three JT6 to MT2 arbors from Arc Euro. I wasn't really bothered about quality as I wanted to turn the MT2 down to 3/8" BSF for a special application. When they came they looked good and even ran true <g>, nicely ground and case hardened. I was able to get under the case and turn the thread on.
Following month I had to do the same job again but 3/8" Whit this time. Ordered three more up and these were obviously from a new shipment as the grinding was far superior, a mirror finish in this case. When I came to turn these they were hardened all the way thru.
That in the space of a few weeks. Now someone could have ordered one a few month previous and got a soft bent arbor. What's relevant is the quality now.
-- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
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John,
I am sure you are right about the quality improving, some of the changes are visible. Though I suspect you may still be able to buy poor equipment for peanuts from some sources (maybe the chinese subcontract to India for these items!).
The downside is the second hand value. I wouldn't be very keen to buy a 5 or 10 year old chinese lathe - so if you buy one new you may have to write-down most of the cost if you want to move on to a different machine later.
I spoke to one company rep buying industrial strength equipment from Chester, and basically he could buy the big items at about one third of the price (could have been less) of equivalent european/US. The quality and reliability were perfectly adequate and improving, and at that price he could buy new ones if something went wrong outside warranty so it didn't matter if there were problems later with refurbishment and repair.
Sadly this throw away attitude is hardly appropriate in a world strapped for resources, but its the same for mobile phones, computers, and many more items. At least the scrap business should be booming.
Steve
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changes are

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buy a 5 or

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more
Yes, and who has the scrap business sewn up - oh yes, the Chinese !!!
AWEM
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Here's a thought on these imported machines. Although you here a few grumbles, people like Chester, Warco, Arc, etc. are shifting quite large volumes of these machines -and have been for many years. If you look at machines for sale on Ebay (I was just browsing, honest!) they don't seem to crop up for sale very often. I see more Drummond lathes (which haven't been made in most peoples lifetime) than I do Chester lahes. This must mean that there are hundreds (thousands?) of happy customers with one of these machines tucked away in their workshop.
It's often said that the second hand value will be low, but if you don't sell it that doesn't matter. And anyway, the purchase price was low as well.
British car makers laughed at Japanese cars in the 70's -we don't need to go down that thread again. The same is happening in China, but even faster. Simple fact is that there are now very good machines coming in from China, probably as good as anything you could get from Europe (though it pains me to say it).
Regards Kevin

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few
you
they
lathes
was
need
from
arriving
cheap
Alternative senario is that having used the imported machine it's so grotty / broken / worn out it's been thrown away rather than sold !
AWEM
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