Axminster Perform CCL Lathe

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Established Member
20 Mar 2003
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Alton, Hampshire
Ordered the CCL on Sunday via the Web, was delivered on Thursday. As previously posted, the next day service (Tuesday was when I expected it), has been discontinued.

Lathe is supplied in a carton on a small pallet; Axminster do not appear to make any inspection or checking - the Lathe is as supplied from Shandong factory in China. ( this is normal for almost all importers of simular machines)

Assembly instructions reasonably clear. Really need two people to lift it onto assembled stand.

Checked all bolts tightened etc and run up.

Ran very smooth at mid to high speed but was noisy and seemed to vibrate at low speed. After rechecking handbook to make sure I had followed instructions, took drive belt cover off and discovered problem.
One of the variable speed motor pulley flanges was cracked and distorted at the outer edge.
Phone call to Axminster, they are sending replacement pulley set and belt (which was chewed up by the damaged pulley.)
Not a great start but providing this fixes the problem, the lathe seems very good value. Very sturdy, cast iron bed, headstock and tailstock assembly.Steel stand.
Important to ensure swingable headstock is clamped accurately in line with bed by checking centre to centre with tail stock. Do not rely on the headstock detent to position correctly - it will not.

Will add to report when replacement parts arrive.
Axminster supplied replacement pulley set and belt within 2 days - very pleased. Also good to know they support their machines with decent spares coverage.

Fitting pulleys required a little fettling but no major problem. Lathe now runs smoothly over entire speed range.

In spite of the problem with the drive pulley, IMO the CCL is excellent value for money.

I am only a beginner at turning ( about 3 years hobby use) so I cannot authoritatively compare it to the mid market lathes (~ £1000 range) since I have only tried those at exhibitions and on my training course. The main difference I perceived was the finish detail of the lathe components such as the tool rest holder, not in the performance or achieved results of the actual turning.

However, compared to the £120 5 speed China import lathe that I previously owned, the CCL at £170 including delivery, is excellent value and I would certainly recommend it as a good value entry level machine.

Of course you get what you pay for - I expect bearing wear could be a problem if a lot of "out of balance" turning is undertaken. The drive belt will also need replacing more often than an electronic speed control, but at £4.23 for a new belt this is not really a problem.


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