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Colchester Student 1800 Lathe
A Handbook & Parts Manual is available for the Student 1800
COLCHESTER HOME  Bantams Original   Bantams 800, 1600 & 2000 Modern   Chipmaster   
Student 1800   Mascot 1600   Student/Master Mk. 1 & Mk. 2   Student 3100   Master Original 1930s/40s  Master 2500   Triumph Mk. 1 & Mk. 2   Triumph 2000   Mascot - 1950s  Mastiff 1400   
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   Colchester 1909/14   Colchester 1919   Colchester 1920s



Constructed in the style of the already established and very successful 7.5-inch centre height Triumph 2000 and 8.5-inch Mascot 1600 models, the 6.5-inch (165 mm) centre height Student 1800 (together with its close cousin the Master 2500), continued Colchester's traditional use of two names that had been synonymous with lathes of an almost perfect design and capacity for both training and professional workshop use since the early 1950s. As with older Student and Master Models the two lathes shared the vast majority of their components and had only small but nevertheless significant differences in their specifications - all of which, in the case of the newer machines, centred on the headstock and drive system. The model number of each lathe referred to its top speed that, in the case of the "Student 1800", was reached with a 2.2 kW (3 h.p.) motor and a direct drive by twin V belts into an all-geared, splash-lubricated headstock.
Induction hardened and ground-finished as standard, the 9.5-inch (230 mm) wide bed was of the usual Colchester V-and-flat type with separate pairs of ways for the carriage and tailstock. It was available in two lengths that gave either 25 or 40 inches (635 mm and 1000 mm) between centres and both could be had both with and without a detachable gap piece that allowed material up to 19-inches (480 mm) in diameter and 4.5 inch (115 mm) thick to be swung on the (optional-extra) 12 or 18-inch diameter faceplates.
Able to be adjusted laterally on the bed (although before altering the settings the owner was strongly cautioned to consult the owner's manual) the headstock was lubricated by splash with the same oil fed, unfiltered, to the "Gamet Super Precision", pre-loaded and self-adjusting taper roller bearings. The 1.625" (40 mm) bore, 4-in D1 Cam Lock nose spindle was especially rigid and had been designed in conjunction with the British Machine Tool Industry Research Association. When new these lathes were supplied as standard with high-quality chucks made by Burnerd in the UK. Because of the high speeds available it is essential to avoid cheap,  unbranded imports, the stresses encountered on top speed when holding large job are considerable. Instead, you are welcome to email for details of quality replacements that we can recommend.
Not all the gears in the headstock were hardened, only those under the greatest strain, but all were ground finished on Reishauer machines. 16 speeds were available that spanned 30 to 1800 r.p.m. with selection by a pair of concentrically mounted paddle levers that worked through an ingenious and compact mechanism, with (for a machine tool) an almost foolproof system of colour coding to indicate the settings. Once the motor had been switched on by the headstock-mounted push-button starter the spindle control was by a single lever pivoted from the right-hand apron wall and working through a 'third shaft' parallel and below the feed shaft and leadscrew and connected by links to a cross shaft that passed through the bed just in front of the headstock . Moving the lever up and down simply switched the motor to forward, reverse and off. With the lathe capable of rotating heavy jobs at high speed a powerful and easily-operated spindle brake was essential and Colchester took the opportunity to reposition its control (formerly combined with a stop/start lever of limited leverage on the headstock front face) to a full-length foot-operated brake bar, interconnected with the motor switchgear, and hinged between the stand's plinths. The lathe was also fitted with a headstock-mounted emergency stop button that operated through the obligatory "no-volt" release (to prevent the motor restarting after a power cut) and a motor-run warning light to alert the hard-of-hearing, or those working in a noisy environment, that things were "active" and the controls not to be played with casually..

Colchester Student 1800

Continued:
Splined-centred, 1.5 MOD  20PA "metric" changewheels took the drive from spindle to an oil-bath dual Metric/English screwcutting gearbox. The box was totally enclosed, fitted with hardened and ground gears throughout and operated by three conventional levers plus one that moved through an unusual, 8-position vertical gate. A wide range of pitches and feeds was possible without dismounting or changing any of the changewheels; the range comprised: 39 Metric from 0.2 mm to 14.0 mm; 18 Module from 0.3 to 3.5m; 45 English from 2 to 72 t.p.i. and 21 Diametral from 8 to 44 D.P.  The range of sliding feeds varied from 0.001" to 0.040" (0.03 mm to 1.0 mm) and surfacing feeds (at half the sliding rate) from 0.0005" to 0.020" (0.015 mm to 0.5 mm) - all per revolution of the spindle. Both the leadscrew and the powershaft were protected by special shear pins, the specification of which was outlined in the manual with strict instructions not to vary the material used.
Doubled-walled, the apron had all its shafts supported on bearings at both ends and the base closed off to form an oil bath. Although not fitted as standard, or even on the Options List, some Student 1800s have been found fitted with the apron-mounted, hand-plunger-operated pump that fed lubricant to the bed, cross slide and cross slide feed screw. The power feeds were selected by a push/pull button and positively engaged by a lever that allowed the feed to be instantly stopped regardless of how heavy the cut was. A thread-dial indicator was fitted as standard to the right-hand apron wall. The carriage traverse handwheel could be pulled out to disengage it when power feeds were being used - though it is unclear if this was a standard fitting during all the years of production.
Machined all over, the compound slide rest assembly was fitted with taper gib strips that allowed a very precise fit to be obtained while giving far superior support in comparison with the cheaper "loose-strip" type. The cross slide was especially wide and fitted with a cross-feed screw that could be adjusted to reduce backlash. The 8.25-inch travel cross slide was especially wide and fitted with a cross-feed screw that could be adjusted to reduce backlash; although the slide was devoid of T slots and tapped holes - and so appeared, at a glance, to be incapable of mounting any accessories - the edges of the slide were machines to accept "slide-on" T-slotted and plain blocks that could hold a variety of items including hydraulic profiling units, and parting-off and other special tools. While the top slide could be rotated through 360 degrees the standard toolpost was, unfortunately, a barely-adequate and very simple slotted block able to hold just one tool.
The set-over tailstock had a No. 3 Morse taper barrel engraved with metric and inch graduations and, happily, a large-diameter zeroing micrometer dial on the handwheel.
Constructed around two cast-iron plinths, the stand was supposed to be fitted with a slide-out chip tray; however, not all are so fitted, perhaps a move to cut costs late in production. Even more, and most surprisingly, the stand offered no storage at all, in either the plinths or under the centre section, even though this would not have been difficult to engineer and would have made life a lot easier for the operator..
The 25-inch Capacity Student 1800 weighed approximately 790 kg and the long-bed 40-inch version around 840 kg..



The Compound slide rest was machined all over and fitted with taper gib strips that allowed a very precise fit to be obtained whilst giving far superior support in comparison with the cheaper "loose-strip" type.

The headstock casting could be adjusted laterally on the bed (although before altering the settings the owner was strongly cautioned to consult the owner's manual) and was lubricated by splash with the same oil was fed, unfiltered, to the "Gamet Super Precision", pre-loaded and self-adjusting taper roller bearings.

Headstock part section


A Handbook & Parts Manual is available for the Student 1800

Colchester Student 1800 Lathe
COLCHESTER HOME  Bantams Original   Bantams 800, 1600 & 2000 Modern   Chipmaster   
Student 1800   Mascot 1600   Student/Master Mk. 1 & Mk. 2   Student 3100   Master Original 1930s/40s  Master 2500   Triumph Mk. 1 & Mk. 2   Triumph 2000   Mascot - 1950s  Mastiff 1400   
           Magnum   Serial Numbers   Outline of Colchester Range as Text Only   Factory  Testing
Catalogue Covers   Early Drive System
   Colchester 1909/14   
Colchester 1919   Colchester 1920s

email:tony@lathes.co.uk
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