Executive summary


The lathe works well now and is good value for the price. It is well designed and has a good set of features. The build quality is less than wonderful. It is solid but rough. I believe it compares favourably to similar sized lathes available in Australia.




The lathe did have some problems initially (e.g. banding) so repairs were needed. It now cuts well and accurately. It is smooth and quiet and I am pleased with its operation and performance.

Parting off is a difficult test (particularly with a blunt tool) so I have tried various bits and approaches here. The motor has plenty of grunt and I run with the belts fairly loose so they can slip if anything jams. In a high load situation the tool can dip slightly due to the top slide flexing. The top slide needs a wider slideway because the dovetails flex and open a bit. The chuck jaws flex and open slightly under heavy load and this can cause a jam when the job is not supported by a dead centre in the tailstock. Still, everything including the job is bending here so what else can we expect ?

A recent task was to reduce part of a 55mm hydraulic ram (short offcut) to 52mm and cut an 8TPI thread in this section. This was tough steel and the lathe jammed sometimes during the thread cutting so I tightened the belts slightly for this step. The belts are a good safety clutch which saved me from wrecking the job because the lathe would still jam whenever I hit the end of the reduced section. The motor reverse was very handy for this effort as I never disengaged the auto feed until the threading was finished. I'm glad I didn't have a smaller lathe or one with a toothed drive belt. A slower spindle RPM (the CQ9325 min is 125 RPM) would be useful when cutting threads. I was going to turn the spindle by hand but the torque required was a bit excessive.

I was using a friend's Myford ML7 before this lathe. The Myford is old but in good condition. The CQ9325 has more power and swing and is as accurate as the Myford. So, I am very pleased with the results and the only problem now is the inept operator.

The tailstock is strong enough for supporting work or for drilling. It must always be clamped because there are no guides to stop it lifting apart from the lock bar. The travel is a bit short at 40mm. My tailstock is accurate in both position and direction.

Suggested accessories

Safety hints

The lathe now

This is the lathe in its current working condition. Visible changes include the chuck key holder, the tumbler lever in the neutral position, and the modified switch panel. The bench height is low because I sit on a stool when working here. This height means the bench is more stable which is important because it is on castors and not bolted down so I can move the lathe around the garage as required.

That's all folks.