The lathe looked good as received but there are some shortcomings so the first priority was to check the details and learn all I could about this new toy. It is reasonably solid and definitely better than some lathes I have seen recently.

Although dismantling might not be a good idea it is definitely worth thoroughly cleaning and oiling the machine. During my dismantling I have found many moving parts with little or no oil. The gearbox had very little oil and the tailstock was dry and noticeably better once greased and oiled. The same applies to the 3-jaw chuck; it was okay before but much better now.

Also worth checking on this lathe (and presumably most others) is that all screws and bolts are tightened correctly. I found many parts where the fasteners were loose or maybe snug but not tight. Critics might call this a lack of reasonable quality control but marketing probably promotes this as an opportunity to learn about your machine. At least they provide Allen keys and spanners to check most fasteners.

This is the back of the headstock with the motor and most of the wiring removed. There are two cut-out switches (chuck guard and drive belt door). The chuck guard switch defaults to on so the guard can be removed without having to remove the switch or alter the wiring. The belt door switch is normally open so the wiring (in the connector box) must be altered if you want to remove this safety feature. Both these switches interrupt the neutral line rather than the active line which seems wrong to me. The switch box on the front of the headstock must be disconnected to remove the front cover and the only way to do this is to disconnect the motor and the main junction box. The motor is a simple induction motor so it should be quiet and reliable. The switch box lives in a protected enclosure in the headstock to avoid problems with oil and swarf.

Here is the drive belt area with the motor and intermediate pulley removed. The drive belts are plain V-belts but the arrangement would benefit from having a tensioning lever instead of the nut to position the intermediate pulley. The feed gear system is good and the reversing lever is a welcome feature which is missing on some lathes nowadays. The reversing lever doesn't have an indent for the neutral position which is strange as the manual mentions leaving the feed disconnected when not required.

The front of the headstock has the enclosure for the switch box and an open top to allow access to the roller bearings for the spindle. The 3-speed gearbox is below and there should be a filler hole there somewhere.

The lathe is now in a very dismantled state and sitting on the new bench. This is an extreme case of removing the accessories so the base machine is lighter and easier to move. The bench is on castors so I can move it around the garage. Definitely not recommended workshop practice but it seems okay so far.

Next : Modifications