View Full Version : Help with Lathe purchase........

17th Jan 2008, 09:47 PM

Having seen my lathe on a recent trip to Australia my Dad has decided to buy one himself. He lives in the UK. He has seen a copy lathe in a store called B&Q which is similar to Bunnings. It's called a Macallister 1000 Copy Lathe and has the following; 550W motor, 1000mm between centres, 175mm swing and variable speed between 500 and 2500 rpm.

I searched on Google for some info. but B&Q don't have it listed on thier website which is useful. I found the post below on a UK turners forum and wondered if you guys had any views on what was said. Is it unusual for lathes to have different size tapers in the head and tail stock for example?

B&Q Lathe COD450CL (sold in the UK, used to be sold as the CLM450CL, only change seems to be that the motor is now uprated from 450 to 550W)

I bought the B&Q COD450CL copy lathe as a cheap intro to turning. 149 will let me try turning for three years without any worries about it breaking down (it has a three year warranty)

The manual is crap, it doesn’t even give the spindle thread size.

For information for anybody buying one of these lathes.
From measurement the headstock seems to be a Morse 1 taper (MT1) and the tailstock a Morse 2 taper(MT2).
The spindle is ” 16tpi, UNF.

I was able to buy a dozen UNF nuts for 2.40 at a local supplier (Swiftscrew, Dunmore Ind Estate, Belfast) which will let me make up faceplates cheaply.

I think B&Q are shooting themselves in the foot with their woodworking machinery, they used to stock a Rexxon 6” jointer along with spare knivesand drive belts, now they’ve changed to an own brand jointer and don’t stock any replacement parts. If they had stocked cheap faceplates, screw chucks etc for the lathe then I would have bought them instead of making up my own.

If any of the UK members of this forum have any experience with this lathe I would really appreciate some feedback.

I found an Axminster lathe M900 which looks exactly the same as my MC1100 except a different colour, badge and size. Only thing is it's twice as much at 299 or $750 which seems a bit expensive for a MC900 clone.

Any feedback or advice much appreciated.

<!-- / message -->

joe greiner
17th Jan 2008, 11:16 PM
G'day HH. My tuppence:

Along with the other dimensions for the Mcallister 1000, the 175mm swing suggests it's defined the old way, i.e. radius not diameter. Most of the better-quality low-end lathes seem to be clones of the Jet 1236; might even come from the same sandbox in China. My HF34706 (US$200 or so after discounts and coupons) is almost identical to the MC900, and it's served me well for about 1.5 years. Yes, it's unusual to have different tapers in the head and tail. The 3/4-16UNF is pretty much the smallest size used, and accessories would be less plentiful than for 1"-8 or thereabouts.

Joining a UK woodturning club might be your Dad's best investment at this stage. Our North Florida club has a few members still feeling their way. Some members might be upgrading their lathes and able to sell at a substantial savings. At least they could offer more precise suggestions; also good for hands-on mentoring. Ditto joining a UK forum such as AWGB.


18th Jan 2008, 08:49 AM
Thanks Joe. If the lathe is a reasonable entry level lathe that would be fine it's for hobby use to turn bowls & spindles. What I really want to know is whether it's likely to frustrate my Dad to the point where he puts it in the back of the shed to gather dust.:C


18th Jan 2008, 09:26 AM
Record Power DML & CL Series Lathes (http://www.recordpower.co.uk/index.php?section=prodlist&cat=147&sef=DML%20%26%20CL%20Series%20Lathes)

Check out Record. They are made in the UK and are good quality. The 24'' is the one I started on so I can confirm they are good. If he then decides to move up he will have something he can sell. Some of the Chinese clones are too shoddy to even think about.


18th Jan 2008, 09:44 AM
Thanks John,

Any idea why they don't have the max bowl diameter and spindle diameter under the specifications for the 24? They have them for the 36.

Although he's losing 400mm of bed going with the 24 I reckon it's a much better option from a quality and accessories point of view. And only 10 quid more than the Macallister.

Thanks for the tip much appreciated.


18th Jan 2008, 10:01 AM
I don't know much about wood lathes but when I lived in the UK, I bought my tools from machine mart rather than B&Q.. http://www.machinemart.co.uk is the website.

18th Jan 2008, 11:05 AM
Thanks cflake the Clarke CWL20RV lathe looks like a MC900 clone, same as mine but a bit shorter. The price looks pretty good too at 169 pounds.



18th Jan 2008, 05:18 PM
The 24'' will do a 9'' bowl in the basic setup. Record do a swivel head modification for outboard turning and would be available over there. They are a good quality machine and run smooth as. If there had been any dealers over here I would have upgraded to a larger record.


19th Jan 2008, 04:53 AM
Hi Machinemart are okay i have had lots of gear from them and always good servis, and the clarke lathe is okay as well as you say looks like the mc900, same as a lot of other companys just a stamp, my mate has had it for around 2yrs and no problems, you can also get face plates bowl rest from them as well, im in coventry, westmidlands UK and the stuff is always in there branches. The price is good for an entry level and he would get loads of use out of it, and most like no need to go on from there, quality work comes from the turner. cheers LB..