View Full Version : Craftex or craptex

12-04-2007, 10:07 PM
Anyone have the 10x24 craftex lathe? Major drawbacks?

It looks to have about the most rigid bed I've seen for its size.
It's a gear head- would that be reasonably smooth and quiet on this caliber of machine?

It sells for less than the 8x18 or the 9x20- I wonder why.

12-04-2007, 10:32 PM
I find Busy Bee's quality to be several cuts above the other purveyors of import tools. In fact, I recently ordered a 5/8" 82 degree countersink and received this enormous excellent quality at-home-in-a-professional-shop countersink that is made in Poland, not China. I was very pleased and it works perfectly. I also recently had an opportunity to compare a Princess Auto 4x6 band saw to my Craftex 4x6. Night and Day. The PA saw is crap of the first order. My Craftex saw just keeps on trucking and it really had a work out this summer.

12-04-2007, 10:51 PM
I agree with Evan. I have their swivel head 4X6 which is by far the most used machine in my shop(I'm getting a 9X14 Wells...the BB saw is just too slow for a commercial deal).
My Mill Drill is BB also. It has very few of the problems most of the others face. IE...the head DOES NOT slip on the column. Overall really top notch for what it is.
The only real crap I've bought from them is my 5" swivle base vise...crap in the truest form.
6" rotary table...very well made.

12-04-2007, 11:35 PM
Many years ago, I was uninformed enough to have bought Craftex 3in1 machine. :( :( :( Over all I'd say the quality was poor on the milling part (the quill had to much play and the bearing needed replacing right away, etc), but the lathe is very usable and I still use it to this day. They are also good about stocking spare parts and actually having it when you need it.

Generally speaking, buying things at BusyBee has been a hit and miss with machinery stuff. Sometimes you get some nice stuff made in Poland and Czech, but other times I got stuff that looked like they were made using handfile.

12-05-2007, 09:40 AM
I know of two people in our model club who have that particular lathel and are happy with it. The reason that the price is low is that you have to buy all the items that make a lathe "tick". Face plate, 4 jaw, steady rest etc.

The good news is that these items are very reasonably priced. I have a 920 and this one is an order of magnitude more rigid looking.



12-05-2007, 02:09 PM
I have the Busy Bee 10x18 lathe and am quite pleased with it. I seriously looked at the 9x20 but decided the 10x18 was at least twice the lathe (size and weight and therefore more rigid). The 9x20 was more expensive just as the previous poster mentioned because it came with all the accessories (face plate, 4 jaw chuck, steady rest etc) that the 10x18 did not.

If you took the base price for the 10x18 and added up the additional cost of all the extras that the 9x20 comes with you would find the 10x18 was indeed more expensive.

As to the gear head, in the lower speeds mine is a bit noisy but not overly so, at the high speeds it is very smooth. Changing gears for threading is straight forward but not well documented in the instructions. I really don't have any complaints at all.

All in all, I am very pleased with this lathe. It is after all an inexpensive Asian import and that is what I expected.

cheers, Graham in Ottawa Canada

level head
12-06-2007, 12:21 AM
hey gram i have the same lathe as you same as you said the gear head is a bit noisy but overall a nice small heavy lathe...haha last piece i had turned was for a neighbour and it was a 1 inch plate washer 3 inch diameter center and 7 inch outer diameter took me 4 hours but i got it done..

Spin Doctor
12-06-2007, 06:06 PM
Same basic lathe as mine (PM1027). The bed is just a shorter version. The tailstock is a little weak in the "meat" department but then just about all of the small bench lathes are with the possible exception of the Siegs with the casting that has the angled supports. What drew me to the lathe in the first place was the size and weight (I have to be able to get the lathe into the basement myself) and the larger spindle bore size of over 1". Plus the belt drive is a far superior set-up to any of the Emco 8x14 clones Matt at Quality Machine sells the same basic machine as you are looking at for around 1600USD including 3 & 4 jaw chuck, 9" face plate, change gears, stand (woopdeedoo) and a;ll of the other basic stuff.


Plus if you are not too far from him (Pittsburg area) you might be able to work out a deal for a lower price as the shipping isn't needed if you pick it up. Worked for me.

Some of the people at this Yahoo groupos can answer some of your questions also. The group is moderated, something I did to cut the spammers off at the pass


12-06-2007, 09:19 PM
Thanks for the responses. I'm going to take a second look at the lathe next time I'm in town.