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View Full Version : Colchester Bantam 2000 - Thoughts?



Chaz
23-12-2015, 02:33 PM
I am looking at this:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lathe-Colchester-Bantam-2000-Lathe-/231773982948

Seems well priced and lots of watchers. So assuming one of you bunch don't buy it from under me ....

Thoughts? They seem well regarded and perhaps a bit more modern / size than a Myford ML7.

I just spoke to the guy, it sounds like one of the top leadscrews is wrong and need replacing. It works but likely that the pitch was different when replaced.

Thoughts?

I dont want to start a China versus old British debate but would I be better off spending 1500 on a Warco VM250 with VSD? I have a Denford Triac mill already and would love a lathe to be able to do some of the parts Id like to do.

Thanks

kingcreaky
23-12-2015, 04:24 PM
I had that on my watch list. Il leave you to it Chaz.

Chaz
23-12-2015, 04:27 PM
I had that on my watch list. Il leave you to it Chaz.
At the moment, Im looking at a new Warco instead. Buying 2nd hand, especially without knowing and inspecting, worries me.

It might be a good buy or not. When I spoke to the guy I asked if the lathe had any damage / play. He mentioned 'some play' but not sure.

I think the Colchester lathe parts are expensive, so this might not be the bargain it seems ...

uli12us
23-12-2015, 07:13 PM
The colchester is much bigger and powerful as the warco. 13*30" vs 10*22" and the weight ist at least 6*, the warco has a small 1,2kW Motor, the colchester at least 4kW.
Maybe, I can't see it on the pictures, it has a removable bedbridge without this you can
turn much larger parts who have a bigger diametre than 13" but must be short in length.

Chaz
23-12-2015, 07:37 PM
The colchester is much bigger and powerful as the warco. 13*30" vs 10*22" and the weight ist at least 6*, the warco has a small 1,2kW Motor, the colchester at least 4kW.
Maybe, I can't see it on the pictures, it has a removable bedbridge without this you can
turn much larger parts who have a bigger diametre than 13" but must be short in length.

Understood. I think your stats are a bit wrong.

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NzM3WDc0Nw==/z/ABsAAOSwYHxWOkJ4/$_12.JPG

That's the nameplate, difficult to read but it looks like 4HP motor. It is larger, no doubt but more difficult to run too. Im more worried if there is a problem with it, than its ability.

uli12us
23-12-2015, 08:26 PM
Ok 4hp ist a bit (some 20%) littleer than 4kW. but all the other things are right.
I couldn't find better technical data, the weight is only estimated. If a small weiler commodor weighs around 700kg, then the colchester is at least as heavy.
In difference to warco the colchester has only an unregulated 3~ motor with a big gearbox, that reduce the speed while increase the torque. If you want to drill a hole with maybe 30mm, you will see the difference.
The Warco has a DC-Motor, which you must maintain regulary, the control unit can be (not must) fault-prone, while the 3~ motor is nearly indestructible.

And if you want a DRO, you can assemble it to the colchester as well.

Chaz
23-12-2015, 08:28 PM
Ok 4hp ist a bit (some 20%) littleer than 4kW. but all the other things are right.
I couldn't find better technical data, the weight is only estimated. If a small weiler commodor weighs around 700kg, then the colchester is at least as heavy.
In difference to warco the colchester has only an unregulated 3~ motor with a big gearbox, that reduce the speed while increase the torque. If you want to drill a hole with maybe 30mm, you will see the difference.
The Warco has a DC-Motor, which you must maintain regulary, the control unit can be (not must) fault-prone, while the 3~ motor is nearly indestructible.

And if you want a DRO, you can assemble it to the colchester as well.

The newer Warcos are now VFD 3 phase motors, no longer DC motors.

http://www.warco.co.uk/metal-lathes-metalworking-lathe-machine/303007-wm-250v-lathe.html

Chaz
23-12-2015, 08:30 PM
Details on the Colchester (and any other lathe) here http://www.lathes.co.uk/bantam/

Not sure if this is for the 2000 model specific, but some details below.

The approximate weight of the standard lathe was 756 lbs (343 kg.)

Neale
24-12-2015, 10:59 AM
I know it's a difficult choice - I went through the same decision process a year or so back and went with the second-hand British option over the Warco same-price alternative. In your case, though, you are comparing two very different machines. The Warco is roughly equivalent to my Myford Super-7 which is a great machine, very useful, pretty versatile, etc. But next to a Bantam it's a bit of a lightweight. Less capacity, and that increased mass translates into greater cutting capacity (much faster metal removal, etc). As long as it's not too worn...

In my case, what swayed me was that the second-hand machine came with a heap of tooling, chucks, collets, etc, and the Warco with the bare minimum. You are going to have to buy cutting tools in either case but chucks can cost a fair bit, and from what I read the Bantam had a D1-3 spindle nose mount and these days that's not a common size. OTOH, I think the Warco has its own unique chuck mount which can be a bit fiddly to use when changing chucks.

Can you realistically think through the kind of jobs you might do on the machine and see if that guides you? Remember that you can do little jobs on a big machine but the opposite is more difficult...

And while the Bantam might be the right size machine for you, this particular Bantam might not be! There are plenty of them around (very common machine in training workshops and the like).

Chaz
24-12-2015, 11:08 AM
I know it's a difficult choice - I went through the same decision process a year or so back and went with the second-hand British option over the Warco same-price alternative. In your case, though, you are comparing two very different machines. The Warco is roughly equivalent to my Myford Super-7 which is a great machine, very useful, pretty versatile, etc. But next to a Bantam it's a bit of a lightweight. Less capacity, and that increased mass translates into greater cutting capacity (much faster metal removal, etc). As long as it's not too worn...

In my case, what swayed me was that the second-hand machine came with a heap of tooling, chucks, collets, etc, and the Warco with the bare minimum. You are going to have to buy cutting tools in either case but chucks can cost a fair bit, and from what I read the Bantam had a D1-3 spindle nose mount and these days that's not a common size. OTOH, I think the Warco has its own unique chuck mount which can be a bit fiddly to use when changing chucks.

Can you realistically think through the kind of jobs you might do on the machine and see if that guides you? Remember that you can do little jobs on a big machine but the opposite is more difficult...

Many thanks for your response.

In terms of job sizes, I dont think Ill ever do anything 'large'. Most of the stuff I will do is Aluminium and Id rather have something that is easier to work with and potentially 'cncable' in future unless I manage to get something that is CNC from the start.

For example, I would want to do some gears, OD around 58mm, brass. Alu wheels for RC car, OD of around 80-90mm. I dont think ill ever need the size or speed of a big machine but I'm 100% open to taking views on this.

The myfords are nice but a common set of complaints is that they are a bit small and too expensive for what they are. I missed a lovely machine that sold for 900 with loads of tools (probably worth as much).

In both cases, the Warco and Bantam come with little, so Id need to get. The Warco comes with 2 chucks, a few steadies etc but nothing else. The Bantam will be with nothing as such.

To me, the Bantam might be a bargain if its not too difficult to sort it out. They seem to sell for more money generally but im crap scared of buying something that cannot be fixed or is simple uneconomical to fix.

If someone knowlegable could view and advise, that would push me to the larger machine. One thing that concerned me is that this guy seems to buy and sell / trade factory type machines. Perhaps buying at Auction or estates being would up. He had asked some engineering guys about the lathe and this 'incorrect leadscrew'. I got the impression that if it was worth buying, perhaps one of them might have considered it. If they havent, why not?

uli12us
24-12-2015, 03:11 PM
The incorrect leadscrew is in my opinion not the leadscrew, but one of the Spindles in X or Z. Eventually the machine was sold as imperial and a damaged spindle was changed with a metric or vice versa, but without changing the dials as well.
If you are not sure with the machine, take a dial indicator (with large foot instead of ballpoint) and holder and a long guide shaft and test, if the machine is ok. check the gear for speed and feed, the guides the backlash and the levers for engaging the feed and leadscrew.

Normally I say, if you get a machine that is big enough
for your job and new with guarantee, take this. But the colchester is the same price and a much more rigid and powerful machine like the little chinese.

If I want believe tony's website, then the machine from Ebay is a bantam 1600, but they can run 2000 turns, maybe thats the reason for the other name. The other 2000 in reality a harrison looks completely different.

Chaz
24-12-2015, 03:16 PM
The incorrect leadscrew is in my opinion not the leadscrew, but one of the Spindles in X or Z. Eventually the machine was sold as imperial and a damaged spindle was changed with a metric or vice versa, but without changing the dials as well.
If you are not sure with the machine, take a dial indicator (with large foot instead of ballpoint) and holder and a long guide shaft and test, if the machine is ok. check the gear for speed and feed, the guides the backlash and the levers for engaging the feed and leadscrew.

Normally I say, if you get a machine that is big enough
for your job and new with guarantee, take this. But the colchester is the same price and a much more rigid and powerful machine like the little chinese.

If I want believe tony's website, then the machine from Ebay is a bantam 1600, but they can run 2000 turns, maybe thats the reason for the other name. The other 2000 in reality a harrison looks completely different.

Yep, the one is a Harrison M250. The one in the listing is a Bantam 2000 (and not the M250) as you have stated.

uli12us
24-12-2015, 03:24 PM
In tonys site, the bantam2000 is identically to the harrison M250. But the sign an the Ebay machine is M2000, why they have named different machines with the same name, who knows?

But I have seen another Bantam right now, it seems in much better condition and have Chucks with it, but not collets.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/COLCHESTER-BANTAM-LATHE-MACHINE/221972419919?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D33981%26meid%3D6b4a6c51a66e43c88ad4eab4ccb2 9b26%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D231 773982948

Chaz
25-12-2015, 12:36 AM
In tonys site, the bantam2000 is identically to the harrison M250. But the sign an the Ebay machine is M2000, why they have named different machines with the same name, who knows?

But I have seen another Bantam right now, it seems in much better condition and have Chucks with it, but not collets.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/COLCHESTER-BANTAM-LATHE-MACHINE/221972419919?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D33981%26meid%3D6b4a6c51a66e43c88ad4eab4ccb2 9b26%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D231 773982948

Thanks, saw that. It looked 'old' but having taken another look, it looks fairly clean and worth a look. They are offering shipping too, else i cant easily collect (hence why the other one was appealing too).

needleworks
25-12-2015, 09:45 AM
I have a bantam 2000, and while very similar to the harrison 250/300, there are subtle differences. For example, I favour the colchester because the cross slide is operated by my left hand, saddle is operated by my right (I came from a boxford), on the harrison you would operate the cross slide with your right hand, and the saddle with your left (same as a myford) for me it`s a bit like having to re - learn how to use a lathe when I use my friends harrison, I always end up crashing into the workpiece because of the way the handles are set. I have also had a myford, and by comparison, I would much prefer the colchester as it`s about 3 times larger.

Chaz
25-12-2015, 01:41 PM
I have a bantam 2000, and while very similar to the harrison 250/300, there are subtle differences. For example, I favour the colchester because the cross slide is operated by my left hand, saddle is operated by my right (I came from a boxford), on the harrison you would operate the cross slide with your right hand, and the saddle with your left (same as a myford) for me it`s a bit like having to re - learn how to use a lathe when I use my friends harrison, I always end up crashing into the workpiece because of the way the handles are set. I have also had a myford, and by comparison, I would much prefer the colchester as it`s about 3 times larger.

Thanks, so based on all of the above, which would you recommend?

needleworks
25-12-2015, 09:03 PM
Thanks, so based on all of the above, which would you recommend?
I would certainly choose the colchester over the myford, simply because of it`s increased capabilities. One thing that I maybe should mention is that my colchester is 3 ph, and has a dual speed motor. This meant that I had to go for one of the bigger phase convertors, (transwave), as opposed to one of the small VFD`s (well, thats what my electrician advised).
This added a fair bit on to the total cost of the setup, whereas my friend uses a harrison which simply runs off a small VFD, and ultimately gives him full speed control.

Unfortunately, I can`t comment on the warco, as I have never used one ! or even seen one in the flesh. I also think that a good used harrison will always hold it`s money, so that may be something to consider if you plan on changing in the future. Sorry I can`t be of more help.

Neale
25-12-2015, 10:06 PM
Looking carefully at the lathes.co.uk article, I think the Bantam that we are discussing is a Mk2 2000, which is definitely not the same as the Harrison 250 clone later Bantam 2000 (Mk3 Bantam). Position of saddle handwheel and leadscrew lever notwithstanding (and I understand the issue having a Smart and Brown and a Myford in the workshop with opposite handed controls) my personal choice, if the Bantam is in reasonable condition, would be to go for the Bantam. Again, based purely on personal experience and my own needs, I find that the bigger, heavier, machine just seems so much nicer to use, and the extra capacity is there if needed. Mind you, that is comparing the S&B to the Myford; the S&B has a similar capacity to the Bantam but weighs around 3 times as much, so not quite the same animal. I used to use a Bantam many years ago in the student workshop at University and I remember it as a good machine to use. However, I would still wonder about hanging on a little longer just to see if a better-equipped machine turns up (or even have a look at some of the dealers' websites to see what is on offer there - G&M, Home and Workshop Machinery, etc). The eBay machine seems a bit short on the tooling and chucks and there is that question mark over the replacement topslide feedscrew (if that's what it is).

uli12us
26-12-2015, 01:13 PM
The difference in the scales isn't really important. If you have a 1/10" or 2,5mm spindle, then the difference is only 0,04mm per revolution.
If you make a raw work with the machine, then a mm more or less makes nothing. After that you take away 2-5/10 so you need only 1/5 of the spindle, so the maximum error is in the range of 0,008mm.
The backlash of a spindle is more important.

Chaz
26-12-2015, 01:34 PM
Thanks. Still a bit confused. Are we saying the 2nd 'old' lathe is better than the first (original ebay advert) and it seems the Warco is generally not the first choice?

I bought a 4KW VFD to power a few different things. It *should* power most of these lathes but I dont have their exact specs to know for sure.

Chaz
26-12-2015, 01:39 PM
Also an option?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/colchester-lathe/321939245505?_trksid=p2141725.c100338.m3726&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D20150313114020%26meid%3D07bc793fcdcf4f83a68 cd881eb9ccd50%26pid%3D100338%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D30%2 6sd%3D231773982948

Not sure how Id collect it however...

Neale
26-12-2015, 06:04 PM
It's your money, Chaz, so it's very easy for us lot to give advice! However, that link in your last post looks to me a better option than the original one, mainly because it's better equipped. Transport could be an issue, of course, but that's going to be the case for most of these unless they come from a dealer with their own transport. I had my (2800lb) lathe fork-lifted on to a hired flat-bed Transit and arranged for a friend with tractor and front-loader to take it off for me.

Again, because it's all got a bit rambling and confused, my own preference would be for a decent second-hand machine rather than a new Warco. Purely my personal choice, and I'm happy that I went that way, even though my machine still needs a bit of work to get it working absolutely 100%.

A 4KW VFD should be enough to drive any of these machines, as long as you can rewire the motors as 240V rather than 415V (probably wired as 415V as standard). I'm assuming that your VFD is 240V 3-phase; chances are that none of these lathes are going to have bigger than a 3HP or so motor which translates to 2.2KW, well within capacity.

uli12us
26-12-2015, 06:38 PM
I have never seen a VFD in 240V with more than 2,2kW. All above needs 415V. But, If you have a motor with 4kW and the power you need is only half of the motor is capable, you can use a 2,2kW VFD for it.

needleworks
26-12-2015, 07:13 PM
Not sure how Id collect it however...
If you were looking for someone to collect it, I would highly recommend Steve Cox (landylift) He delivers machines such as these every day, and makes a fantastic job of siting your machinery when he arrives at your premises. He got my lathe right into the position that it was going to live, and even gave me some help to get it all set up level.

Chaz
26-12-2015, 10:20 PM
I have never seen a VFD in 240V with more than 2,2kW. All above needs 415V. But, If you have a motor with 4kW and the power you need is only half of the motor is capable, you can use a 2,2kW VFD for it.

I only have single phase 220V available @ 32 Amps.

This is roughly 6KW, so should be able to drive 4KW with this ....

Chaz
26-12-2015, 10:21 PM
If you were looking for someone to collect it, I would highly recommend Steve Cox (landylift) He delivers machines such as these every day, and makes a fantastic job of siting your machinery when he arrives at your premises. He got my lathe right into the position that it was going to live, and even gave me some help to get it all set up level.

Thanks. That's useful.

Chaz
26-12-2015, 10:30 PM
Thoughts on this?

Looks very clean, low current price ....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SMART-AND-BROWN-S-B-LATHE-MODEL-A-WITH-DRO-VERY-NICE-SUIT-MYFORD-HARRISON-ETC/121845871654?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D20140328180637%26meid%3De134dbbaa39941939fc 74d46835904a4%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D10%2 6mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D321939245505

Jonathan
27-12-2015, 01:57 PM
I have never seen a VFD in 240V with more than 2,2kW. All above needs 415V. But, If you have a motor with 4kW and the power you need is only half of the motor is capable, you can use a 2,2kW VFD for it.

Just in case you actually want one - e.g. this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3KW-4HP-13A-220-250V-VARIABLE-FREQUENCY-DRIVE-INVERTER-VFD-SPWM-PID-MOTOR-/321796960790?hash=item4aec97f216:g:15gAAOSwMmBVk81 l

Chaz
27-12-2015, 04:47 PM
Just in case you actually want one - e.g. this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3KW-4HP-13A-220-250V-VARIABLE-FREQUENCY-DRIVE-INVERTER-VFD-SPWM-PID-MOTOR-/321796960790?hash=item4aec97f216:g:15gAAOSwMmBVk81 l

I actually have the 5HP / 4KW version of that.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UPDATED-VARIABLE-FREQUENCY-DRIVE-INVERTER-VFD-220V-4KW-5HP-/252003464503?hash=item3aac93b537:g:2T4AAOSwyQtVuzQ b