Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

My old Sealey SM42 vs my new CL4 - Review

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Stiggy

Established Member
Joined
30 Oct 2015
Messages
257
Reaction score
0
Location
Lewes
I recently upgraded from a Sealey SM42 to a Record CL4 on Good Friday after Rob rather graciously gave me an offer I could not refuse.

Grab yourself a cup of tea and let's get started!

The Sealey SM42

Is a great little machine that cost me £50 including all accessories and a set of cheap Clarke chisels that I have seen online for about £20!

Without it I would not have this burning passion to make shavings!

- 3/4hp, 5 speeds, 37" between centres mounted on my bench. The tool rest banjo and the tailstock run on a two part hollow tube with a location rectangular bar runner, fixed underneath by machine screws. The tailstock has a very thin spindle, controlled by a small plastic wheel.

The problems I found with this machine are mainly with the build and the time it took me to adjust anything.
- The tool rest banjo had 2 screws to move it left/right, a screw to move the rest up/down and I had to use a 12mm spanner to undo a bolt to move the rest in/out. This was a real pain as getting the tool rest to the exact position I wanted sometimes took a while.
- The tailstock spindle was very thin. Drilling holes or leaving the tailstock away from the work for access was sometimes a rather wobbley affair. The little plastic wheel was not great either, the way it was threaded meant there was a certain looseness about it and there was plenty of play with it. The bolt holding it tight was small and the turning area was small, meaning you'd have to move it twice to tighten or loosen it.
- The runner bar underneath the hollow, split tube was slightly loose due to a duff machine screw, this gave me all sorts of problems with centering and stability, not to mention moving the banjo or tailstock from one tube to another.
- The motor was mounted on a hinge with a dampening bolt which meant a lot of vibration went into the bench.
- Switching it on was done by the switch by the plug, as the on/off switches at the front were bypassed.

Like I say, even with all these points considered, I would buy one again if I were starting as it gave me the confidence to do things outside my comfort zone and gave me a start in wood turning. The fact it was far from perfect (I believe) actually taught me to be more patience on my finishing due to the inherent wobble, which I have already found has helped on the new machine.


The CL4

Cost me £XXX (sorry can't say), came with a stand, bowl tool rest adaptor for large bowls, 4 point prong drive centre and live centre. This also came with a guarantee which runs out in November 2017! Rob very generously gave me a boatload of blanks and useful timber including some purple heart and Laburnum!

- This is a very heavy machine. It came with a solid heavy stand which can be bolted to the floor if needed.
- The Headstock is moveable and it swivels to enable MASSIVE turning up to 30"!
- Everything runs on twin SOLID bars - just the bars weight more together than the entire Sealey motor, tube, toolrests and tailstock COMBINED!
- The tool rest banjo is controlled in/out/left/right by a single cam lever - OMG the difference this makes is incredible - it makes my turning so much faster and simpler.
- Variable speed - I have the belt set on the middle setting which gives me speeds between 27rpm and 2100rpm. Just like the cam banjo, this has made my life SO much easier - my hand still goes automatically to the switch by the plug to turn on and off, so I am making a plug shield to stop me doing so! I honestly can't believe how good it feels to be able to turn the speed down when there is a slight wobble or it doesn't sound right - it's AMAZING!
- Did I mention this machine is very heavy!? Good job I'm quite fit!
- The tailstock spindle is made from substantial, thick steel which stops the vibration even when drilling or working far from the headstock. There is a thick cast wheel to move the spindle with accuracy and the locking mechanism is very positive, giving me confidence it will be steady in use. It is great being able to push the tailstock up to my work and just know that it will be centre.
- It is quiet - very quiet compared to the Sealey. I think it may have something to do with the fact the CL4 is freestanding.

- I have noticed that in certain circumstances there is a high pitched sound which I haven't found the source of - it's not continuous and not intermittent so I'm guessing it could be either wood spinning or loose on the live centre, or, it could be the bearings in the live centre need lubricating.
- The motor casing is also prone to a little vibration, although I will fix this by checking all the casing fixings are tight - no big deal and easy to sort - something probably came loose when I was moving it.

I have already made another natural wand and am working on a lovely ash pot with lid and purple heart finial which I am dedicating to Rob... he's not getting it, but it's dedicated to him anyway lol!

All in all this is a fantastic machine and I can see why people have them for so many years. I can't see myself wanting another lathe.

I can only describe the difference between the lathes like this...

Using the Sealey was like turning wood with my glasses covered in sawdust while riding on a tractor - everything was slightly shaky, ghosted and a bit fuzzy...

...turning on the CL4 is like turning with clean glasses and my work is in focus - I can see where there are inconsistencies clear as day and it seems to be a whole lot cleaner and feels shedloads more solid, secure and safe.

- Sorry if this was a little long, I'm writing this between dancing little jigs of joy and giggling in glee like a kid and to be honest I could probably have written double the amount due to just how damn good this beast is!

Dave

:D
 

Jacob

Established Member
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
16,119
Reaction score
3
Location
Derbyshire
I recently downgraded from a Hegner hdb 200 xl to a Record C3. The C3 is utterly superior to the Hegner.
Useful tip - if the levers set in the wrong position slack off and reseat the captive nut by a turn or three. No need to pack with washers or anything. Took me some time to spot the obvious!
 

stewart

Established Member
Joined
16 Jan 2005
Messages
969
Reaction score
2
Location
Sussex
Nice one, Dave. Sounds like you're loving your new lathe. Happy turning!

Sent from my SM-T230 using Tapatalk
 

SVB

Established Member
Joined
2 Jul 2005
Messages
1,854
Reaction score
27
Location
Nailsworth, Glos
Thanks for taking the time to do this comprehensive write up.

I started turning with a Clarke lathe which is very similar to the Sealey you describe. As you say, enough to 'have a go' without silly outlay but the upgrade is both welcome and noticeable!

Happy turning,

Simon
 

AWG

Established Member
Joined
12 Jan 2016
Messages
47
Reaction score
0
Location
Essex
Great write up Stiggy! Sounds like we had a coincidently identical start to the bank holiday weekend :wink:

Look forward to seeing what you produce on it!
 

Random Orbital Bob

Established Member
Joined
10 Feb 2013
Messages
6,208
Reaction score
2
Location
Hampshire/Berks Border
Nice one Stiggy. I'll repeat what I said as you drove out of my place with the CL4 in the back of the van....I'm really glad it's gone to good new home. She's in good hands.

OK, OK, what do I have to do to get the Ash pot with PH finial!!!
 

stewart

Established Member
Joined
16 Jan 2005
Messages
969
Reaction score
2
Location
Sussex
Hope to see you tonight...I've got a couple of bits of yew for you if you're there... 8) :lol: 8)
 
Top