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.
- No 4-jaw chuck or faceplate. The spindle flange is 132mm (100mm boss,
115mm bolt pitch circle) which is a rare size. The spindle flange only has
three holes so fitting a 4-jaw chuck directly will involve drilling three
extra holes in the flange. But I couldn't find such a chuck so I bought a
160mm 4-jaw and a backplate. Any faceplate will probably need T-slots as the
large diameter of the spindle flange restricts through-hole mounting.
- No power cross-feed. The CQ9325A has this but I don't know anybody who
sells this model in Australia. It is available in The Netherlands and comes with a motor guard and better auto-feed. It is
more expensive than the offering in Australia but comes with extras and looks
like it might be a Haian machine.
- The bed isn't hardened so keep it clean and don't drop things on it.
- The lathe really needs polishing and deburring of working surfaces. The
rough finish (especially on hidden surfaces) is the price we pay for buying
- The belt drive works well and is quiet and easy to change speeds.
- The induction motor is powerful and quiet. Reverse mode is useful
although I don't use it much. This is very handy when I make long threads as
I don't disengage the half nuts.
- The gears and gearbox provide a good range of fine feeds and all the
thread pitches I need. This includes all imperial threads (BSW, BSF, UNC,
UNF) as well as metric pitches. The range here is better than many small
- The magnetic switch ensures the lathe won't start automatically after a
power outage. I learnt to leave this switch on when using the lathe and
use the direction switch to start/stop the motor. This is the way it is meant
to work but I was confused because I am used to pressing stop/go buttons to
control motors. Recently I changed my thinking and now leave the direction
switch set to Forward and use the start/stop buttons to control the motor.
I'm not sure whether I'm reactionary or just sensible.
- The tumbler lever is well placed and works well especially now I have
added a neutral position.
- The spindle has roller bearings which work well. Adjusting the preload
should be easy but depends on the bearing/spindle fit.
- The bed is well made and the double inverted Vee design (dual prismatic
is the term I believe) keeps the carriage and tailstock aligned.
- The carriage is substantial and the handwheel has a resettable dial and
is 20mm per revolution.
- The cross slide is substantial and the thrust bearings (ball races)
behind the feed dial ensure smooth operation.
- Not a feature but the top slide is the runt of the litter here. It
flexes under heavy load (e.g. parting) and is probably a standard component
from lighter duty lathes. Also, the feedscrew is metric (1.25mm pitch)
whereas the cross slide and tailstock are imperial (10 TPI).
- The tailstock is solid and the cam lock is better than the locking bolt
that many small lathes have. There is a metric depth gauge on the barrel and
the dial on the wheel is imperial (0.001" divisions).
- The 125mm 3-jaw chuck is easy to mount/detach with three bolts and is
strong and accurate.
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
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.
- 3MT tailstock chuck - how can anyone live without this ?
- 3MT live centre - much better than a dead centre for many tasks.
- 4-jaw chuck - very versatile, you just have to get used to the extra
effort required when setting up a job. Unless you need the extra capacity
don't get a chuck larger than 150mm or it will foul the cross slide.
- I (try to) never leave a key in a chuck. I even do this with the
tailstock chuck just to maintain the blanket rule. The lathe has a chuck
guard and cut-out switch but I suspect most people will remove the guard as I
have done. For convenience I've put a key holder on the lathe front panel.
- I always use good goggles or safety glasses and leave them on top of the
headstock so I remember to put them on. Cheap goggles aren't worth the
bother (I know, I have some).
- For the lathe's benefit I protect the bed with a wooden plank whenever
fitting/removing a job or chuck. This has saved my lathe once (a job slipped
when removing it) so I am now keep the plank handy and use it.
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.