The second decision to be made was to buy new or second hand.
There are a few well known makes of lathes out there like Myford, Drummond etc. Myford lathes
|Myford ML7 Lathe|
After looking through quite a lot of adverts for second hand lathes I decided that I didn't really have the experience needed to be able to look at a lathe and decide if it was OK or not and, even second hand, the cost was often more than the cost of a budget mini lathe.
Another thing to consider was the distance you may need to travel to pick up the lathe and don't forget, they are quite heavy.
Anyway, I decided to buy a new one and this would need to be an online purchase as there aren't any suppliers anywhere close to me.
Based on my web research it looks like the main contenders in the budget lathe market come from China made by a company called SIEG. There are 3 main spec's of lathe, C1, C2 and C3, the C3 being the best spec.
These lathes are sold in the UK by distributors and there also some customised versions badged as their own brand.
The cost varies between £350 - £600 for one of the mini lathes, here are some of the places I looked.
|The one I went for|
I eventually bought mine from Warco.co.uk, (link) mainly because it came with a slightly better spec. than some of the others and also the price included courier delivery.
Having had the lathe for a few months I did come across a few quality issues that needed addressing and this is where I found out what a good company Warco was to deal with.
Whenever I had an issue with anything Warco always had someone ring me back to discuss the issue and then sent out new parts straight away, this was quite a pleasant surprise because my experience in dealing with most companies, when things go wrong, is usually a nightmare.
I will be going over some of the issues and solutions in later posts.