View Full Version : Identify this Colchester Lathe

03-12-2010, 08:28 AM
Not alot of info in the ad, and hard getting through on phone
to these folks -- they're machine resellers -- I'm guessing they
just want you to show up with your wallet and not ask too
many questions.

Can get this for about twice the price of the Myford ML7 I
mentioned in the other post --


Thanks again.

03-12-2010, 08:41 AM
Its a Colchester Student or a Master. One of the later models of a roundhead, very little difference in the mechanics to the later square head model. I would rather have this than a Myford the Colchester may already be able to cut metric.

03-12-2010, 09:48 AM
Looks like the baby brother of mine.


Mine is a Round head 15x60, I too believe that is either a student or a master. Mine has been an excellent machine. Very well built and rigid. Here is a link to the Colechester "student" manual. Click for manual (http://www.rollmeover.com/bronco_fab/lathe/colchester_student.pdf)


Al Flipo
03-12-2010, 10:03 AM
Sometimes called "Colchester Dominion" these lathes were sent to Canada and the US. This is the one I own,,, clean eh!

John Stevenson
03-12-2010, 10:18 AM
English version of the Colchester, it has the hand wheel on the right hand side, which is also the correct side :D

It has the imperial screwcutting box as opposed to the dual box.
It can do metric but you have to swap input gears and there should be a metric chart inside the end cover.

Chuck fitting looks like a L0 series with the long taper and large nut, this may make it hard to source chucks at a reasonable price. Looks to have the fixed steady which are also pricey to obtain.

Induction hardened bed as standard, that's what the yellow sticker says.
In some ways these are a more durable design than the later square head machines, they had a glass apron.


03-12-2010, 10:19 AM
Al, nice looking lathe!
Thanks for the info all -- in doing some more digging around, at least
going by the picture, it might be an all-metric "Continental" (judging by
the controls -- I don't see a "tumbler" in the reseller's picture and it looks
alot like the "Joystick" type on the Continental.


03-12-2010, 10:25 AM
Picture from www.lathes.co.uk

Rare all-metric screwcutting gearbox with its distinctive joy-stick control lever.


A "Mark-one-and-a-half" Colchester Triumph/Clausing 15-inch (the Student, Master and Clausing 13-inch were laid out in an identical fashion)

03-12-2010, 10:57 AM
Just curious, what does a lathe like this weigh?
you guys should all just post your phone numbers so I can call you :) :)

John Stevenson
03-12-2010, 11:01 AM
About 1400 pounds.

If you want a phone number PM me, I don't mind.


03-12-2010, 11:35 AM
your lathe is probally a Colchester Triumph if its a 15" swing.

Al Flipo
03-12-2010, 11:48 AM
About 1400 pounds.
It's a little heavier then that, closer to 2000 lbs. (24-36" centers)

03-12-2010, 01:47 PM
So the more I read about this thing the more I'm falling in love with it.
Granted its going to take more space than the Myford -- and I'd have
to find a hired truck to get it around. I'm not trying to compare the two --
i'm just trying to balance the trade offs of how much lathe I really need.

John mentioned the chuck mount being problematic -- the L0. Are these
hard to find AND expensive? or just expensive? :)

Any suggestions / warning / caveats before I run out and spend my hard
earned money?

(I don't know why I just didn't keep the lathe I already had :( )
(I thought I could make due with smaller and here I am look'n at a
2000lb machine).

Al Flipo
03-12-2010, 02:04 PM
The LO chucks are no problem to find/buy, but before you buy this thing, make absolutely sure it is in good working condition, parts are very expensive and very hard to find, if you don't need it, pass on.

03-12-2010, 02:30 PM
English version of the Colchester, it has the hand wheel on the right hand side, which is also the correct side :D

Handwheel on left = Straight bed.
Handwheel on right = Gap bed machine.

Be a better machine if it had the Norton style quick change gearbox.
Plenty of people still selling LO chuck back plates at a price. Best bet is to look out for second hand chuck, probably a bit easier over here though.

Ian B
03-14-2010, 07:39 AM
Interesting point about the handle being on the left or the right. My preference is for it to be on the right - if you're hand feeding, you don't get hot chips dropped on your hand. I don't think it makes any difference if the gear & rack are "pulling" or "pushing" the saddle.

Hadn't thought about the bed having a gap or not influencing which side the wheel's on!

fwiw, if the room's avalable, I'd take the Colchester over an ML7 any day...


03-15-2010, 09:52 AM
Alright, fellas -- I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger.
going to go see it next weekend. was able to dicker on the price
a bit -- were asking $2200, should be able to get it for $1800 or so
(not counting a couple of hundred to ship it home).

I'm told that the lathe is fully operational and that it came from a
business foreclosure -- they said it was actually doing work when they
reclaimed it.

I don't know how I feel about that -- I mean, its good to know it was
working, but it feels like I'm kidnapping someone's baby.

So -- any last thoughts? words of encouragement? for what its worth,
the ML7 would have cost me about a grand.


Peter N
03-15-2010, 02:30 PM
I had an ML7 which I restored, and although it was lovely lathe to use and very quiet, I was constantly frustrated by the small spindle bore and the belt slip on 'larger' cuts.

Somewhere around 1.5 years ago I sold the the Myford and bought a short-bed Colchester Bantam (which only needed 8" more installed length the the ML7) and life in the workshop got measurably better, and work got done much faster, more easily, and with a big grin on my face. Whilst some Colchesters can be noisy if they have had a long working life they will soldier on for ever, so check it out properly, buy it, and enjoy it.