Record CL3 Upgrade

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23 Apr 2014
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Northern Ireland
I currently have an old Record Coronet CL3 which serves my purposes very well as I mainly turn small to medium items, but I would like to have variable speed.

Im in a bit of a dilemma as to whether to get a new lathe (perhaps new Coronet) or upgrade the CL3 with a Haydock convertor or the Record Power offering. Anyone else on here been in a similar situation with a CL3?
I also have a Record CL3, I think its a great lathe but I have also considered changing the motor to a variable speed one. I did at one point email haydock converters but the quote they gave left me thinking that I could easily buy a brand new lathe for the price of one of their motors. Plus the old CL3 is MT1 on an old thread. A new lathe will be MT2 on M33 x 3.5 so I'd say if you have the cash sell your CL3 and get a Coronet Herald and don't look back. They are almost £1000 though, and that puts it firmly against some other options from Axminster, Simon Hope and old graduates refitted with variable speed.
Thanks Spence, I too have emailed Haydock and at £469 for the upgrade I am wondering if it’s worth it. Problem is I have chucks, 1mt drive centres etc and don’t really want to start over with all that stuff although I suppose adapters could be used? My current thinking is do the variable speed upgrade myself as I suspect it will be a lot cheaper but need advice from someone who knows what they are doing! My CL3 is quite old (it’s actually a Coronet) and I’m rather attached to it so if I were to buy new I think I would have to keep it!! So you can see the dilema.
I presume that the cost of your cl3 is long since written off, so £450 for effectively a new Vs lathe isn't too bad. I looked at the cost of doing my jet mini to make it variable speed but that just wasn't worth it.
If the CL3 does everything you need then it is a worthwhile upgrade. I did the same thing with my first lathe, a CL1, and it absolutely transformed it. The small extra amount of horsepower made more of a difference than I thought, and like everybody says, once you've had variable speed there's no going back.

Haydock are an excellent company to deal with, very fast replies and very helpful with custom building the control box I wanted. The small extra for reverse drive is worth it too - good for sanding.

Just be aware that there's not much resale value in a twin bar, 1MT, 3/4"x16tpi lathe nowadays even with varispeed, as I found out when I upgraded to a bigger lathe.
I still have my CL1 and I upgraded that to a 3ø variable speed 1 1/2hp motor and as said it has transformed. I hace had it now for over 20 years and wouldn't dream of changing it. I can't remember the name of the 3ø inverter but it;s a goodie and worth every penny. The company had to get me an imperial sized motor to match the imperial size pulley wheel and then send the lot across the cut to France where we lived.

I agree that the reverse is great for sanding, but don't forget to lock and chuck you are using onto the live head threads. I drilled and threaded a hole in the chuck mount for a locking grub screw to stop it coming off when I start it in reverse.. It's also great for removing the chuck once loosened too.

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