It looks to me like the very big Brother of the BV20M.
I have one of these BV20's from Axminster several years ago and have
found it give very good performance, and was excellent value for
My only gripe has been the noise level from the geared head! If the
model you are looking at uses a similar system I would imagine it
requires ear-defenders all the time, assuming its is larger and with a
more powerful motor! The problem with the BV is its use of straight-
cut gears as opposed to skew - hence the row! I could see that the
spec mentions hardened gears, but nothing else. May be something to
Does the spindle nose have a thread? Umm ... well ... good combination
together with the brake.
Other thing worth considering: That model has quite a low max rpm. This
calls for an VFD.
Nick, having seen a chuck jumping off a threaded spindle and rolling through
the shop with nice sparks. No, not me!
The lathe had the Colchester type of pins, I forget the proper description
for that type of fitting. ( Camlock maybe?)
One of the pins broke off and the chuck then broke away. Being in a college,
the 2nd machine is now redundant due to the risk of it happening again.
When they first got the lathes, the backsplashes had a gap in which didn't
align with the lathe bed, so any coolant used flowed down the backsplash,
straight on to the floor.
Oh, the Chinese chucks! I returned three of them until I swapped with a
Roehm. Now I have 1 Roehm (3 jaw; 160mm; goooood!), 1 Chinese (3 jaw,
160mm) and one Chinese (4 jaw, independent + central, 200mm, *heavy*).
Nick, who's replacement lathe should arrive within a week. So I'll have 5
chucks and two faceplates and two lathes of the same model but no
A bit harsh Fungus and it is usually the "wrong" person that gets
punished anyway. Having spent many years looking after various
apprentice workshops I've seen quite a few problems with chucks, even
camlock types fitted to much more expensive lathes than this one. The
problems are typically down to poor adjustment/maintenance of the pins
or just plain stupidity by the operator who "forget to lock it sir".
At least knowing our educational establishments at the moment someone
will get a couple of perfectly good lathes for a song. I'm not saying
there might not have been a material problem with the lathe but it
could easily have been poor adjustment even from new. With well over
30 Colchesters or Harrisons running all day we made sure that our
workshop technicians were up to the job. Even from these recognized
"good" manufactures a lathe would not be put into service until all
operation and adjustments had been checked and re-set if necessary.
Unfortunately, these days the "technicians" if there are any have to
be a jack of all trades and the modern concept seems to be buy new and
don't touch it because we will then carry the responsibility if there
is a problem. An attitude that would have got us into trouble with
lathes costing 10 times what this one does. So in short, tagging the
whole lathe as "crap" due to this issue is a little unfair. Mind you,
having said that, if I bought one I would want to spend a little time
checking it out before I stood in front of the four jaw at 1400 rpm.
I have no experience of this type of lathe which does seem really good
value for money; with that level of equipment it is obviously aimed at
the educational/hobby market and currently that means it has to be
CHEAP if not VERY CHEAP. Interestingly, I was told recently by a major
importer that education is spending money again in fairly large
Personally, I chose a belt drive head as I found the gearhead versions
very noisy. Obviously it depends on the type of gears and the quality
of manufacture but it might be worth checking if you are going to run
it in the middle of the night, particularly if like me the neighbours
are closer to the shed than the wife. For this size and price of lathe
the 1400 rpm spindle is about average and will be OK as long as you
don't intend to use it for small work in non ferrous materials all the
time. The problem with the VFD that has been suggested is that the
head gearbox may not take too kindly to being rotated at well above
its design speed for long. If you intend to increase the spindle speed
this way a belt head design is much simpler to deal with.
I suppose that my advice would be, when buying this level of
specification at this, lets be honest, very cheap price; one would
need to have a very good look at the adjustment, fit and finish
before using it extensively and be prepared to put the odd problem
right. Today's education/hobby world would typically see these
machines used for quite short periods and then stood idle for most of
its life. I'm not in the business so don't really know but with the
pressure on price and with that sort of usage profile there must be
temptation to save money where poor quality is not so easy to spot.
The inclusion of the DRO also intrigues me and I would be interested
if anyone has one to know what type of scales and functionality it
Anyway, I suppose what I'm saying is have a really good look at it and
don't forget which sector of the market you are in. Don't be tempted
entirely by the apparent "good deal" and make sure it is what you
need; do leave those rose tinted specs at home when you check it over.
Who knows if you learn to care for it and lavish some TLC, you might
be rewarded with many years of fun and enjoyment. Of course, dodging
the flying chucks is sure to keep you fit as well :-)
In this case it's risk assessment not being followed though.
It's OK to define risk but the second part of the equation is what to
do about it.
The problem is in this world it's a case of who's going to stick their
neck on the line when it's easier to do part of the job and walk away.
L Stevenson [ Engineers ]
Isn't that the truth?
Risk - Chuck coming off. Potential Cause (1) - Pin breakage.
Preventative Measure - Competent Person to Inspect/Replace Pins at
Potential Cause (2) - Chuck not secured correctly by operator.
Preventative Measure - Train operator on correct operation, test
operator and certify competence, repeat training as appropriate, limit
usage of machine to trained and certified operator only etc, etc,
Potential Sub Cause (2-1) - Operator on Beer (Or Other Substances -
See Drug Abuse risk Assessment No ****) Previous Night - Preventative
Measure - ???????????
The catch all becomes the responsibility to do all that is
practicable. These days some of the suppliers would have you believe
that they can get away with providing a poorly translated "handbook"
that is little more than a series of dire warnings about ever turning
it on. Twenty five years ago, Colchester's etc would provide initial
training on site (well at least a safety briefing) or have you book in
for a training week, particularly if you were going to ever take one
apart. That is one reason why they cost a little (?) more. The modern
(paper) concept is to give the impression of "Safety" and provide a
chain of responsibility, the reality; well it's a good job there are
less people using machines these days.
The shock horror truth is, all of these machines will potentially kill
or maim if you don't take the trouble to learn how to use and maintain
them properly; no matter who made them, how long ago or what they now
cost. The responsibility for your safety always rests with you; at
least it does if you are sensible and plan a long life.
Bitter, bitter experience