Manufactured during the 1950s and 1960s, this was Wadkin's smallest and least expensive wood-turning lathe until the advent, some years later, of the BL150 and "Tradesman" models.
Intended for use in schools and built along traditional Wadkin lines, with quality of construction taking priority of cost-cutting features, the BXL had a 5-inch (125 mm) centre height and a capacity between centres of 30 inches (763 mm). Of all-cast-iron construction, the lathe had a large headstock-end plinth inside which was a motor safely enclosed against prying fingers (either 075 h.p. single phase or 1 h.p. 3-phase) driving to the headstock spindle by a single V-belt. To change speeds a hand lever was used to lift the motor plate and, once unlocked, the headstock cover hinged open to reveal a 4-step drive pulley - spindle speeds running from 425 through 800, 1400 to a maximum of 2300 r.p.m.
Running in sealed-for-life ball bearings, the high-tensile steel spindle was bored on
its nose with a No. 1 Morse taper socket. Maximum turning capacity over the bed (in a small permanent gap) was 26 inches, with 10 inches over the bedways. A bowl-turning attachment able to turn diameters up to 18 inches was fitted as part of the standard equipment and carried (economically but adequately) on two stout steel bars projecting from the outside face of the headstock-end plinth.
Possibly the only compromise on the lathe was the No. 1 Morse taper tailstock, a very simple affair that did away with the need for a complex spindle thrust arrangement by positioning the handwheel part way down the casting in a slot.
Weighing around 147 kg (324 lbs) the BXL was equipped for immediate use upon delivery and fitted with a motor and control gear, hand rests for inside and outside turning, a 6.5-inch faceplate, a 12" faceplate for bowl turning on the outboard end, one plain and one wood-drive No. 1 Morse centres and a set of spanners..