Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, Noel, Charley, CHJ

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By gus3049
Hi all,

This is my first post to this forum. I am new to turning although I have been a woodworker and guitar maker for many years. As I live in France without access to tuition, am learning the trade as I turn! The change of direction has been caused by problems after spinal surgery.

I managed to find a second hand Clarke CWL20RV lathe which the previous owner had stored in his barn in readiness for retirement but never got round to using. It certainly looked unused when I got it. However in the three months I've had it, it has eaten two drive belts. The second time I tried to change it, I managed to crack the drive pulley as there is insufficient room between it and the top casing.

Machine Mart have so far supplied three new pulleys! None of them fit the lathe although the model number is the same. All the bushes are a completely different size and the keyways are in a different place so I have had to have TWO or they won't mesh. They claim that they are unaware of any changes of specification. They have charged a fair bit too!

Does anyone have experience of this lathe or had similar problems? I realise its not exactly top of the range but for the cost, I would expect something that goes round for reasonable length of time. I note that the same model in other suppliers ranges is rated as 'light trade' I have manage a couple of 300mm salad bowls and lots of smaller stuff so, although its not very powerful, provided I don't try and remove too much wood at a time, it seems to cope OK.

Be interested to hear of your experiences.

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As this machine is basically the same as the older perform branded and the current Axminster AWVSL900 model i would suggest talking to them would get you better results.

The rapid destruction of the belts sounds to me to be related to insufficient lubrication of the motor shaft/pulley interface and possibly the headstock pulley and mechanism.

Have a read of this thread, it might be of help.

if you can measure the pulley bore diameter then it may help Axminster in advising if they have suitable replacements.

In the first instance try contacting Richard Beer [] with your problem.
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By gus3049
Thanks Chas,

I know Axminster well and have had good experiences of their service. I will try them if Machine Mart fail to get their act together (they are quote 'looking into it' unquote)

If all else fails I'll just cut another keyway in the new front pulley. Don't see why I should have to but thats the way the world works sometimes. I have to be a bit self reliant out here. Most of my tools come from the UK and the French don't like fixing them as they seem incapable of doing electrical safety checks on a three pin plug! I have waited six months for Bosch to replace my router under guarantee in the UK. Postage was horrendous!

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By gus3049
A bit more on this topic!

I have finally lost patience with Machine Mart as they seem unwilling to meet me half way. I have spent about half of what a new version of this lathe would cost from Axminster and enough is enough.

There are two things to keep in mind if you have or are looking to buy this machine. If you have to change the drive belt, be very sure that there is enough gap between the pulley and the casing to slip the belt over. If there isn't (there may be another 'adjustment' in the production run somewhere) DON"T force the belt over - remove the circlip on the front of the shaft and slide off the pulley. You can then get the belt on and put it all back together.

Second, be aware that there might be said 'adjustments' and check the boss dimensions before getting replacements -see pics- which show the boss dimensions and the position of the keyways. The changes mean the circlips are a different size too.

Actually there are three things to keep in mind. Do what Charles suggests and deal with Axminster. Preferably buy their version in the first place. In the end, because if the frustration, I have filed a new keyway so that the new front and old back pulleys line up and mesh properly.

Another reason to deal with Axminster is that you will get a response and help. Clarkes have er... overlooked my queries.