Axminster M950 Hints and Tips

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Established Member
11 Feb 2004
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Trying to stay in one piece in South Wales
Okay, here I go again....

Thought I'd start a new topic for this one in response to a request from Morrisminordriver. If anybody else has any hints, tips etc. please add them. Doesn't have to be restricted to the M950.

The faceplate problem can't really be sorted out as it is a design fault that has the motor jutting out into the path of the wood and preventing any bowl blanks larger than about 8" dimaeter from turning. The faceplate that Axminster supplied me has an extension piece welded onto it to take it clear of the motor. I don't know if you'll find it in the catalogue, it doesn't seem to be of the same quality of other faceplates and is covered in that horrible black paint. The only other alternative is to pack the faceplate with a disc of wood.

Be careful of the threads and suchlike as the metal is very soft and easily damaged.

In use, the bar to tighten the toolrest holder vibrates annoyingly, secure it with a big elastic band.

Add weight, lots of it. If you intend to use the rather flimsy base that is supplied, fit a shelf for extra rigidity and put lots of heavy stuff onto it to stop it dancing the fandango when you try to rough out an unbalanced piece. I intend to build a nice heavy wooden bench with lots of sand that I'll replace the base with (eventually). Personally I don't like the idea of bolting it to the floor as all that energy has to go somewhere and I'd rather it 'bounced' than buckled.

If you have young children, they are going to want to watch Daddy so make sure you have enough face protection for them. The Axminster visors are great for this. When I first started mine up, my three trooped into the workshop and lined up chairs and sat and watched!

Also good if you have young'uns is the Ian Wilkie lightpull friction drive. They love making lightpulls and the drive removes the disasterous consequences of major dig-ins. (Good Christmas pressies from the little darlin's to Grannies etc.)

If you swivel the headstock, when you put it back, there is quite a bit of 'play' after it locates back in position. Make sure that you have it centred for spindle work before locking it down.

PTFE tape. Put some of this overlapping the end of the thread on the spindle and the non-threaded 'shoulder'. This will help to stop faceplates and chucks getting jammed. Alternatively make a small plastic washer.

If like me you have a small inquisitive child that likes to push buttons. You can prevent this by use of a small cheapy padlock through the plastic bar on the switch. Good for a bit of piece of mind.

Don't use the knockout bar as a replacement locking lever, it'll bend. (DAMHIKT).

When knocking out your nice shiny new drive centre. Make sure you catch it other wise it'll be fired across the workshop to hit the hardest thing in the place and knock a chunk out of a prong. (ADAMHIKTE).

The toolrests are covered in a horrible black paint that comes off on you and your tools. :evil: It also hampers the smooth movement of tools along the rest. Remove it with some wet n' dry, makes helluva difference.

The nuts that hold the eccentric bars on the headstock and tailstock tend to loosen and need to be tightened quite often. Unlock it and then just tighten a turn or two and it will be easier to lock down. (Awkward to get to though).

Can't think of anything else right now, will add more later if I think of anything. Unless of course any other M950 owners can think of anything?

Edited again because I can't spell or decide what I really want to say. :?


Established Member
10 Sep 2003
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dont forget to use a rag to hold the nice shiny new drive centre with the sharp pointy bit when you knock it out . :?


Established Member
17 Dec 2002
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Seaton, Torpoint, Cornwall
Mudman - thanks for taking the time to post those points. Im a bit disappointed to hear about the "design fault" which affects bowl turning :( having just invested in (albeit) a 2nd hand M950.
I'll take heed of your suggestions, thanks again.
Regards, MMD