Colchester Bantam MK1 1600

I have been looking for a Colchester for a long long time. I finally saw this one on eBay for a very low price in comparison to the Colchester student 1800 i had previously been looking for. Ok the color is a little odd, but really in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really and issue for me. I did a lot of research on about this series of lathes as previously my area of knowledge was limited to the student range of Colchester lathes. If you aren’t aware of Colchester and live in the UK you are missing out. They have changed a bit now but their older machines which were part of the group 600 were the best IMO. They are both a mix of functionality and style and robustness. I have to admit I was really looking for the student 1800 version of Colchester however with a good one starting out at £2,000 , they are kind of out of my price range. Another weird anomaly of Colchester lathes is that they appear mostly in the north of England and very rarely pop up around Oxford area. But when this Bantam MK1 showed up I knew it must be mine :).


Here is a collection of photos of the final stages of delivering the lathe to the workshop. You don’t want to know how difficult it was to load this lathe onto the truck. We used a “truck for rent” for half a day and a pallet truck (pictured below) to both load and unload the lathe. In order to drop the lathe into its final resting place, an engine hoist was used. As can be seen in the photos a mix of a ratchet strap and ratchet cable was used to restrain the lathe from sliding out the back of the truck when unloading. This is a relatively small lathe at only 350KG however with the max tail lift load of 500kg if you didn’t place the lathe right near the pivot point the lift couldn’t handle the weight of the lathe.