15 years ago
C2 mini lathe was the same as more expensive alternatives. We also
touched on Axminster having low prices but no stock.
Well, the lathe (£300) has arrived, along with an X2 mini mill (£324).
Here's some brief notes which I hope may help someone considering a
I expected both machines to be covered in packing grease and - from
warnings on a forum - "little more than a loosely assembled kit of
parts". As it happens there is only a thin coating of oil and the slides
all work smoothly. I adjusted the gibs and obtained little improvement.
Apart from the colour I can see no significant difference between my
mill and a used Sealey which I spotted in a local shop for more than I
First set up jobs to do for the lathe:
- check gears for burrs and sufficient grease;
- bolt to bench (avoiding warping the bed in doing so);
- check runout (C2 headstocks are reported to be normally good);
- align tailstock (C2 tailstocks are a bit crude!);
- add thin washers to cross-slide and compound to remove a little slack.
True backlash seems low but I haven't measured it yet.
And for the mill:
- check gears as above (belt drive conversion on order);
- bolt to bench;
- tram column;
- check runout.
The belt drive conversion reduces noise and prevents broken gears; a
known problem with the X2. Spare gears are available from Arc Euro Trade
The 'manuals' are very brief and contain some interesting 'Chinese
English'. However, excellent guides are available to download for both
machines at the Little Machine Shop . There
is also a vast amount of information at , and
several Yahoo groups.
For the mill in particular there are several schools of thought on the
best collets and vice. I've gone for ER32 MT3 collets from Arc Euro
Trade and a screwless vice (see item 2356 at Little Machine Shop for a
picture of a similar item). As far as I could find that particular vice
isn't available in UK. You can get a similar one from Chronos for
example, but it lacks the side slots for mounting.
The vice hasn't arrived yet so I can't comment, but the collets are here
and seem decent quality to me. Each covers a 1mm nominal diameter range.
I intend to use them for drills as well as milling cutters. Using MT3
collets would free up some Z axis travel and maybe reduce chatter, but
until I need to use them I would rather avoid wear on the spindle (the
ER collets of course go in a holder which stays in the spindle).
I can't check runout or properly align the tailstock until I receive a
mag stand (a basic Noga unit) which is on order for my dial test
indicator (used Mercer from eBay), but will post results later if