After months of procrastination I finally bit the bullet and placed an order for a lathe. Expensive lathes like a Myford were out of the question so I had spent my time checking the Chinese products in Sydney shops and on the Internet.
There certainly is a large range available but details are scant in the advertising so I wrote a list of preferred features :
While searching the Internet I found a review written by Rob who bought a lathe in South Australia recently. This review is well written and describes the pros and cons of the machine. The level of detail and pictures convinced me to buy the lathe unseen. Rob's review lists some improvements he has made and I have copied some of his ideas.
This report started as a diary because delivery was a comedy of errors and it was so good to finally get the lathe in my garage. The pages now contain details of the lathe and the fixes and changes I have done. The lathe needs a bit of work to fix its shortcomings but this is reasonable given that it is a cheap product from an unknown Chinese manufacturer. It doesn't quite match the advertised product from Haian Machinery or that from Focus-Machine so there is probably at least one other company making the CQ9325 (perhaps ANG International or Weiss Machinery).
The CQ9325 covered most of my requirements above and seemed the best around considering my price limit (about $2k) and weight limit (200kg). As you will be able to see from the reports here I have dismantled it extensively and found most of its problems. Yes, it is a bit rough but it is a real lathe and much better than any of the others I had considered. I hope you enjoy my rather critical reports here and find the information useful.
All images can be clicked to see a larger version.
The lathe now has a chuck key holder on the front panel and a tool tray and light on top of the headstock. The tumbler lever now has a neutral position. The switch panel has been changed. The belt drive door is long gone. There is a tray on the saddle to catch chips and a parting tool holder bolted to the chuck side of the cross slide.
Support for this lathe was minimal when I bought it. Paramount Browns was the only seller in Australia and spare parts were not an option. Now it is also being sold by Titan Machinery at Wyong and possibly other retailers. There is a successor model (CQ9325A) but I don't know of any retailers in Australia. Bolton Hardware in California is selling the CQ9325A and has a downloadable manual. The 9325A has power cross-feed (nice) and useful extras like a faceplate and a 4-jaw chuck. The difficulty with searching for this lathe is that retailers have their own name rather than using the original name.
Now (2012-06-25) I've sold the lathe to make space in the garage. It hasn't had much use for a while now and hopefully I can do without it. The best thing about the sale is that the lathe has an appreciative owner and I'm sure it will be put to good use.
I have not a machinist nor do I have much experience in this area. If you disagree with things here you are probably right. This lathe is a real learning experience for me so I am more inclined to tinker with it than most people would be. Some of the modifications might seem like bush mechanics and again you are probably right.
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Last modified 2012-06-25