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Trying to decide between a craftex CT039 or B2227L

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  • Trying to decide between a craftex CT039 or B2227L

    Hello, I'm new to any of this. A friend asked if I could make some tapered pegs with my wood lathe and we got to talking about how metal ones would be better. I mentioned that I used a metal lathe in high school and did a quick search And a couple good sites popped up. I thought everything made is really cool and I've wanted a metal lathe since.

    I have the opportunity to purchase a lathe. The seller has either a CT039 or a B2227L and can’t decide which one to go with. I’m leaning toward the b2227l because of the bigger bore (not much difference) and the all metal gears vs the ct039 which has one plastic gear. The ct039 has less use on it though, comes with more tooling (which I might be able to take if I buy the b2227l and it all fits), and a stand. The ct039 is also a lot lighter so it will make it a lot easier to transport into my basement if I decide to do any work during the winter.

    Has anyone used either lathe? Which one would you recommend.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I have the B2227L. I can't speak of the CT039 but I took a quick look at the manual.

    I like my B2227L. The lathe is fairly rigid. The sardine metal stands that any of these lathes come with aren't worth it at all and require significant rework to get them rigid enough to use. There are a few things that are annoying - mostly dealing with the tailstock and bed layout. Depending on what you are doing you will find that the tailstock's short stroke and the large carriage is frustrating in some situations. Extended reach supporting centers do get around the problem. I purchased my B2227L when it was sub $1000 - it is much more now. Busy Bee has jacked the prices a fair bit. Sub $1000 is it an exceptionally good lathe. For over the $2000 they are charging now I might look at other options - think bigger here.

    Depending on what you are doing you will appreciate the added weight of the lathe over the CT039. I think the CT039 has a quasi threading gearbox. The change gear setup on the B2227L is confusing as it has a 7 tpi leadscrew, but the leadscrew is hefty, reasonably made, and once you get it figured out you can cut a large number of threads. The large spindle bore is nice. I've used a number of 9" Southbends, and I actually prefer the B2227L with the tapered roller bearing spindle.

    The only other thing you have to be aware of is the 18" limit between centers. The bed is quite small on the B2227L.

    I've since added another lathe to my shop so I don't use the B2227 as much. I do keep it around because I can cut metric threads with it - my Standard Modern doesn't have metric threading.
    www.thecogwheel.net

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    • #3
      I purchased a B227L several years ago. I don't use it a lot but it is a workhorse and when you need it... Heavy build see (Frank Hoose site below). Lacks tumbler gears (for left-handed threading) but plans are out there. Busy Bee has replaced it in their lineup; if you need accessories, best do it now. There was a Yahoo group (since disappeared?).
      I have never used the CT039.The generic 9x lathe's Yahoo site still exists (afaik). One possible plus with the plastic gear is the safety factor: in case of a "hiccup" it is likely this gear would self-sacrifice and save the other gears in the train from damage. As a bonus, it might lower the gear noise.

      Frank Hoose' site: http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_lathe...x20.htm#BVB25L
      Precision Matthews (USA) has the 1027; Samuel Machinery has a similar one with a longer bed; Warco (Great Britain) has a BV20. These lathes appear similar but not necessarily, identical.

      I have put my shop in hibernation - unheated garage is too cold.

      I moved it with the assistance of one person & a shop crane - granted, a straight run from the driveway into the garage. If necessary, the motor & tailstock could be removed for lighter weight.

      Busy Bee should have manuals on their website; the one for the B227L is very basic. Afaik, that's about it; when I looked the similar lathes had similar manuals. There are of course, a vast choice of "using a lathe" books but none that are machine-specific.

      Post again if you have more questions.

      Pure chance: I was at the local Busy Bee today and enquired about the status of the B227L. I gather that it is no longer sold; however, the accessories that it used (faceplate, steady & follower rests, chucks) are also used by its replacement - obsolesence is not an immediate problem.
      Last edited by Dunc; 12-15-2017, 07:35 PM. Reason: add & correct info

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      • #4
        Originally posted by enginuity View Post
        I have the B2227L. I can't speak of the CT039 but I took a quick look at the manual.

        I like my B2227L. The lathe is fairly rigid. The sardine metal stands that any of these lathes come with aren't worth it at all and require significant rework to get them rigid enough to use. There are a few things that are annoying - mostly dealing with the tailstock and bed layout. Depending on what you are doing you will find that the tailstock's short stroke and the large carriage is frustrating in some situations. Extended reach supporting centers do get around the problem. I purchased my B2227L when it was sub $1000 - it is much more now. Busy Bee has jacked the prices a fair bit. Sub $1000 is it an exceptionally good lathe. For over the $2000 they are charging now I might look at other options - think bigger here.

        Depending on what you are doing you will appreciate the added weight of the lathe over the CT039. I think the CT039 has a quasi threading gearbox. The change gear setup on the B2227L is confusing as it has a 7 tpi leadscrew, but the leadscrew is hefty, reasonably made, and once you get it figured out you can cut a large number of threads. The large spindle bore is nice. I've used a number of 9" Southbends, and I actually prefer the B2227L with the tapered roller bearing spindle.

        The only other thing you have to be aware of is the 18" limit between centers. The bed is quite small on the B2227L.

        I've since added another lathe to my shop so I don't use the B2227 as much. I do keep it around because I can cut metric threads with it - my Standard Modern doesn't have metric threading.
        , ANY LATHE IS BETTER THAN NO LATHE. That said, I gave my big Busy Bee lathe away, after using it for both hobby and commercial work for 20 years, and re equipped with a Myford and a Southbend. for hobby use. Buy one of the machines on offer, use it, learn from using it and if and when you reach the point in your ability that you can appreciate a better quality, or different size of machine, then make the jump .Welcome to a wonderful hobby and work world. Regards David Powell.

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        • #5
          The worth of through capacity of the head stock cannot be underestimated, ask me how I know! ;-)
          If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

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          • #6
            I had a B2227l for about 5 years, and I really liked it, had very few problems with it. I can endorse it as a great lathe.
            Brian Rupnow

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            • #7
              I have one and it does alright. I've had a few issues needing tuneup but it seems to not have any imminently fatal issues for now. I've done a few convenience modifications like converting locking nuts to levers, and adding a quick change tool post.

              I have a lot of busy bee tools for metal and wood and they do pretty good for me. A little bit of adjusting is needed.

              Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                I had one, too, for quite a few years. Did some upgrades and was in the final parts of
                building an independent power feed for it when it was lost. No quick change gear box is a downside, upside was it was a pretty stiff casting. As mentioned, a good deal for under $1K
                new back then.

                "...you will find that the tailstock's short stroke and the large carriage is frustrating in some situations..." is right on.

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                • #9
                  I know when you're asking about a new lathe you're not looking to be told to buy old iron......and we don't know where the OP is, but for the Ontario guys, have you seen how many Emco's/maximats have been coming up recently for reasonable dollars? Made in Austria to a high standard, they are one of the best quality bench lathes every made. You'd get one fully tooled for not much more money....... it seems a no brainer.
                  .

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                  • #10
                    I've got this PM 1027 version of the Busy Bee V2227. It goes to 27 inches between centers. It has its problems like any other machine in its price range. I also ran a Yahoo group on them but I made the mistake of changing it to a non-moderated group and the spammers hit it so I closed it out (things changed and I didn't have he time to manage the group). One problem is the short stroke on the tailstock. Deeper drilling becomes a real pain. another is the half nut is just the bottom half and on mine sometimes does not want to disengage. The 7tpi really shouldn't be a problem. Grunt wise 've taken some decent cuts with it. The bed has a deep section but is on the narrow side. PM no longer sells this lathe. There are 12" versions from Bolton I think. I choose as a blank slate for I want to make but life keeps getting in the way
                    Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

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                    • #11
                      The OP has not logged in since the original post. I suspect we are talking to ourselves again.

                      Dan
                      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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