Author Topic: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!  (Read 2464 times)

Offline simplyloco

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Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« on: October 17, 2022, 02:53:34 PM »
I'm still getting the monthly eyeball injections, there is some improvement. My EMCO V10P is great, but I need to get closer to the work, especially small bits that I'll find on my Stuart Triple, so I took the plunge and bought a second hand Cowells 90ME on you know where. The thread title sounds like a contradiction, but I can put it at eyelevel and use a head visor.

It's 15 years old, and looks well used,  but everything is adjustable, and it comes with lots of kit i.e.

Slitting saw, rear tool post, 2 front posts, 4 collets & Adaptor, 1 blank collet, die holder, fixed steady, angle plate, vertical slide and milling vice, face plate, 3 jaw chuck, 4 jaw chuck, test bar and catch plate plus other bits I don't recognise!
All at sensible money... :whoohoo:
John



« Last Edit: October 17, 2022, 03:29:33 PM by simplyloco »

Offline Grateful Ted

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2022, 05:00:38 PM »
Eyeball injections canít be much fun, but Iíve found as I get older I need to *modify* my lifestyle a wee bit.
I now need to stay off ladders, but I wonít bore you with that outcome.
That Cowells looks very capable & itíll be great fun.
Cheers, GT

Offline Jo

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2022, 05:39:42 PM »
Nice buy  8)

If your eyesight is not so good I would recommend a DRO  ;)

 :headscratch: Why did she come with a spare headstock? Did someone over tighten it?  :noidea:

Jo

P.S. I hope you are going to replace that mains plug for one with insulated pins  :zap:
Enjoyment is more important than achievement.

Offline simplyloco

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2022, 05:43:12 PM »
If your eyesight is not so good I would recommend a DRO  ;)

 :headscratch: Why did she come with a spare headstock? Did someone over tighten it?  :noidea:

Jo

P.S. I hope you are going to replace that mains plug for one with insulated pins  :zap:

Good advice. A whole new world is opening up!

Offline GWRdriver

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2022, 12:40:23 AM »
Hello John,
Sensible money is a good thing!   :ThumbsUp:  I once owned an ME90, acquired for sensible money because I thought it would be good for my Gauge-1 and other small work.  It was, but so was my main lathe.

The problem I had with the Cowells was power.  I don't know if it was under-powered, because at any given setting belt slippage prevented 100% of the power getting to the spindle.  I wrote it down to the plastic belts and felt that rubber or Brammer-type belts would have cured the problem.  Other than that it was a very nice little machine.  I elected to sell it off, without replacing the belts, and I later found a CW90 which better suited my needs for small work.

Harry
Cheers,
Harry

Offline simplyloco

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2022, 04:24:44 PM »
The lathe arrived today. The boxes were a bit heavier than I expected, and when I opened them the reason became clear. The seller had decided to clear his workshop and I was the lucky recipient!



Here's a better view. Hundreds of carbide tools, drills with ground 0MT shanks, 26 various 0MT hard/softcentres including a drill pad, cup and flange, 3 blank arbors, etc.etc.. Two live centres - male and female, precision chuck, unused fixed steady and other stuff too numerous to document!



It has the M1.5 spindle, and has obviousely done a lot of work, but I've overhauled the slides, trued up the tailstock (0.015" out), oiled up everything and it works fine e.g.



There is no perceptible runout on the SS 1/8"  bar... 



I'm quite chuffed with it, although the RPM seems a little pedestrian for such a small lathe! I checked the speed using my Roman built mechanical tacho, and it was spot on 880, so I'm open to suggestions to speed things up a little. I also don't 'get' how the back gear works as the book says to disengage the driven pulley!




« Last Edit: October 25, 2022, 04:30:43 PM by simplyloco »

Online Kim

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2022, 04:46:45 PM »
You should be chuffed!  That's a beautiful little lathe with a LOT of nice tooling to go with it!  I'd say you made quite a score there!  :ThumbsUp:
Congratulations!

Kim

Offline Jo

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2022, 05:26:10 PM »
Good haul  :o

Interesting they changed the baseplate casting over the years. You will need a magnifier to help you see your turning  ;)

Do you have its serial number?

Jo

Enjoyment is more important than achievement.

Offline crueby

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2022, 05:28:45 PM »
Great collection!  Have you decided what its first project will be?

Offline simplyloco

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2022, 06:17:51 PM »
Great collection!  Have you decided what its first project will be?

It will help produce the smaller items on the Reeves Bolton Triple that I will be purchasing next week. One of these...

https://modelengineeringwebsite.com/Triple_expansion_engine.html?fbclid=IwAR2U8sLlgXscUhp3e7EreVtfpWLz48IdkBLwaTvXaamAnGAbshIuTWUxImU

The Stuart Triple castings are being returned.

Offline simplyloco

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2022, 06:20:34 PM »
Good haul  :o
Interesting they changed the baseplate casting over the years. You will need a magnifier to help you see your turning  ;)
Do you have its serial number?
Jo

I haven't (daren't!) look!
I only paid £985 for all this so I don't really care how old it is! :old:

Offline Twizseven

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2022, 12:00:20 PM »
That looks a fantastic buy with all those extra bits.

Jo mentioned you should fit a DRO.  I fitted one to my Cowells lathe (and Cowells Mill).  Used magnetic scales and the Touch-DRO software.  There is a post on this site about it but the photos vanished.  The photos can be seen in my album over on the Model Engineer website.

Have fun.
Colin

Offline simplyloco

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2022, 12:13:03 PM »
That looks a fantastic buy with all those extra bits.

Jo mentioned you should fit a DRO.  I fitted one to my Cowells lathe (and Cowells Mill).  Used magnetic scales and the Touch-DRO software.  There is a post on this site about it but the photos vanished.  The photos can be seen in my album over on the Model Engineer website.

Have fun.
Colin


Thanks Colin, I'll take a look. Before I installed the DRO on the EMCO I used slip guages on the bed stops, which may do for now. Right now I'm more interested in increasing the spindle speed. I spoke with your namesake at Cowells this morning who said I could fit the twin pulley but I'd have to carve lumps out of the motor housing!
We shall see...
John
« Last Edit: October 26, 2022, 12:19:03 PM by simplyloco »

Offline simplyloco

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2022, 06:44:55 PM »
A short video for you! I made a larger drive pulley so I was still able to use the existing drive belt.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeuyPbMQXUk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeuyPbMQXUk</a>
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 07:01:39 PM by simplyloco »

Offline crueby

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2022, 06:58:50 PM »
Looks like the video is marked private, so it won't play. Needs to be set to shared or public on the host, youtube?

Offline simplyloco

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2022, 07:03:19 PM »
Looks like the video is marked private, so it won't play. Needs to be set to shared or public on the host, youtube?

OOPs! Now public...

Offline crueby

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2022, 07:26:46 PM »
Great!!

Offline Roger B

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2022, 07:43:13 PM »
That's a fine set up  :ThumbsUp:  :ThumbsUp:  :wine1:

My sight is still ok however I find my little Proxxon FD150 good for very small parts as I can get close in to see them and also feel the cut. My 'big' lathe is just a Hobbymat.
Best regards

Roger

Offline springcrocus

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2023, 10:38:02 PM »
Hello John,

I hope this machine has met your expectations. At fifteen years old, it puts near the end of the period that I was the main subcontractor for making most of the Cowells components for the lathes and the mills. If it's rubbish, it's probably my fault.   :'(

After I shut my own factory in 2001, I spent the next eight years (doing two or three days a month) using Colin's Bridgeport mill to machine all the lathe beds, headstocks, tailstocks etc at his own workshop. He then did the grinding and lapping to get it all working smoothly. Soon after I moved to the Isle of Wight, Colin closed his factory unit at Little Bentley and moved to Brightlingsea.

They are cracking little machines, albeit a bit expensive, that are genuinely hand-finished. It took nearly as long to set them up as it did to make the parts.

Regards, Steve

N.B. I must be doing something wrong with the smileys! Never mind, I'll get there one day.
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Offline BillTodd

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2023, 02:56:03 PM »
Springcrocus,

Little Bentley ! Did you have a small horizontal/vertical milling machine with the name Major cast in the doors?

My Haighton Major came of Bentley but not sure from who, could it have been Cowells? 8⁠-⁠)

(For those not familiar with Colchester, Little Bentley and , its cousin, Great Bentley are neither big nor inundated with engineering firms)


Edit. Rereading, I see you started in 2001 , I believe my friend, from whom I bought the machine, had this before then . Is Colin still around ?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2023, 03:43:34 PM by BillTodd »

Offline springcrocus

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Re: Eyesight not so good so I need a Cowells lathe!
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2023, 04:17:14 PM »
Nowt to do with me, sorry.

Regards, Steve
Member of IWMES, Isle of Wight
www.stevesbritannia.co.uk

 

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