My new lathe arrived on Monday, 13.12.2010, brought by a TNT courier. Incredibly fast service and delivery from Axminster Tool Centre in UK, as I ordered the lathe 03.12.2010 and they did not have it in their warehouse at the moment. This was my first purchase from Axminster and I was very happy with their customer service, so I can easily recommend them as a good source of tools for quite cheap.
The freight from UK to Finland cost me about 140 EUR, so not bad for a 130 kg shipment that measures over 1000 x 700 x 500 mm in size. I already blogged about this lathes specs previously, so I won't go in to details in this post. As I knew the package dimensions I checked my doors and elevator that the package fill fit through them all and with the weight in mind I bought a hand truck capable of lifting 200 kg for a price of 39.90 EUR (from Biltema).
I think it was about 27.4 seconds after I got the package inside and the doors closed when this happened. As usual, the safety inspector already did some jumping tests on the crate and tried to tip it over.
Using pliers I ripped the steel bands off of the crate and with a regular hammer I pried the top open. The lathe looked as expected and nothing obvious was missing or damaged. The usual aroma of fresh new machinery and a lingering smell of grease filled my nose as I pulled the plastic cover away. Most of the space in the crate is occupied by the chip shield that is located behind the lathe. It weighs quite much and makes moving the lathe more difficult, so I unscrewed the four socket head cap screws that were holding it.
All the accessories and tool were inside a small wooden box. This includes the change gears for threading and/or feed, the chuck key and a small wrench for tightening the screws in the tool post. The gears are all metal which is nice, compared to the plastic gears in the SIEG C2 lathe. And these gears include a 127 tooth gear that enables the lathe to thread imperial threads without approximation.
Removing the sides of the crate was a small task, as someone had went haywire with a stapler. But there's nothing a big hammer can't fix ;) Opening the crate revealed the lathe in all its might and it really looks like a slick machine. I even like the color, don't know why. In this photo I was looking for the bolts that secure the lathe to the crates bottom and also was looking for some good lifting points. While searching I also discovered myself looking at my cat :D She sneaked up to sniff and snoop around and was very curious...I think too curious, might have to keep on eye on her...
This is the lathe in the setup I used to lift it off from the pallet to the floor. I removed the tailstock and wound the carriage all the way to the headstock end of the bed. Then I grabbed under the headstock, left hand under the motor and right hand under the small ledge and lifted it with a straight back so that the tailstock end of the bed was resting on the pallet. My helping hand removed the pallet and I could then lower the headstock on the floor and lift the tailstock end down also.
Next I removed the plastic chuck guard and the small metal lid that covers the spindle opening in the gear trains cover. I parked my hand truck behind the headstock and lifted the lathe to stand on the hand truck. The gear train cover is metal and it will easily handle this load if not shock loaded.
While the lathe was like this, I could take measurements from the mounting holes easily and accurately. I discovered that the holes are spaced 110 mm apart and there is 590 mm from the tailstock holes to the middle holes and then another 90 mm to the headstock holes. And curious as I was, I HAD to unscrew the bottom plate of the apron off to see what is inside. This lathe has power feed for carriage and cross slide and these small gears provide that. The drive comes from a worm screw that is rotated by the lead screw. This turns the bronze gear which in turn turns the small, movable gear. This small gear can be moved to engage with the apron front-most gear for cross feed and the gear near the bed for carriage feed. If you engage the power feed, the threading half nut is locked from moving to prevent an accident.
The cross slide and compound both have a thread pitch of 1 mm and adjustable bronze nuts. The only bad thing is that the carriage dial is measuring the radius. Would be nice from SIEG to see diameter reading cross slide dial, makes working easier. Oh well, have to make a modifications for this :) The best thing of these is that they slide so smooth compared to the C2 and this is because there is a bearing in those handles.
And WOW! 1000 W brushless DC motor, delivering awesome torque even in low speed (100 RPM). This thing is just huge and looks very good. This is connected to the spindle driving mechanism via a toothed belt. And yes, that is my dirty hand (try polishing molds for 8 hours and it will get that way).
After I had drooled enough, I grabbed the hand truck and rolled the lathe to my "shop". Really it is just a 13 m² room that doubles as a storage as you can see. The bench I made for C2 lathe is just behind me and is to be tested with me and heavy weights that it will hold without squeaks under the C4 mass.
Now I need a few hours of time, a small container, brush, rags and kerosene or some other solvent to remove the packing grease. And maybe a beer or two along with this operation ;)