Saturday, December 31, 2011

PD400 - First Look?

The lathe was delivered today to my home. The delivery guy and myself struggled to get it onto the workbench but we managed.

I spent sometime trying to figure out how to work this machine, taking pics along the way.  It was not an easy task for a newbie.  I immediate realized that all the handwheels can't be cranked.  It took me a while to get rid of the grease Proxxon used to prep their machines for shipment.

The space I set aside is more than adequate for the lathe. At this point, the lathe has not been bolt down to the splash guard.
This is the mounting bolt at the tailstock head.  It was covered by the tailstock.  It took me a while to move the carriage out of the way to move the tailstock to access to this area.  The other mounting point is just below the spindle.  That was easy enough so no pic was taken.
The yellow paint chipped easily on my unit. I dropped an allen key at bed level and the paint chipped.  Maybe that's how this got its name: Splash Guard and "Chip" Tray...

Look at that "cracked" line.  Rushing for a date while applying the paint?
Not a defect but rather unsightly.
The 2 capscrews that need to be loosen to swivel the top slide. The base of the top slide looks rather crude.  But I'm no expert...
The top slide removed for cleaning off the grease.
This is the base of the top slide after cleaning up.

The cut off tool holder came with an "injury" but no problem clamping the part off blade down.
Look at this piece that holds the gear to the leadscrew. Not a nice smooth piece as expected.  I'll learn the name of the components soon to better describe them.
The spindle and back plate look beefy.  It comes with an acrylic cover that will cut off the motor when lifted.  Kind of an E-Stop?

This piece is nice... The spindle is MT3 with 20.5mm bore.
The guard in place.  I left the guard out when trying to start the lathe.  It won't allow me to do so till the guard is in this position.  Saw a tiny magnet at the side of the acrylic hinge.
The whitish pieces is the magnet.  With the guard in this position, there is no way the motor can be started.
The lathe came with the bottom 3 gears in this position.  It should be in the position shown on the next pic for power feed to work.  So the "working out of the box" I read about is not true after all.
This is the right position for the power feed to work.  It took me a while to find out using the pics from the manual and referencing Dan Kautz's review on his site (
To get to the position shown in the earlier pic, the clamping bolt will have to be loosen and the whole assembly swing upwards to mesh with the spindle gear.
The control panel. A table with suggested speed for different material is printed next to the controls.

Let's have a look at the accessories that came with the lathe as standard package and of those I bought.

These are what I'll start with.  Knowing myself, the collection will increase in no time...  God help me...
The 100mm 3-jaw chuck as standard.  The Sherline 3 jaw looks tiny next to it.
Assortment of turning tools.  They're rather beefy.
Sherline left hand tool comparing with the Proxxon's.
Radius/Ball turning tool.  Always wanted to have one.  Dream comes through...

The chuck key came in 2 pieces. I've to hammer the handle in before it can be used.

I will not claim what I've written is a review of the machine as I know too little about the topic to review any machine.  Please take this as my first time experiencing a new lathe and sharing what I saw along the way.

I hope to mount up the chuck tomorrow and start to do some experiments with it.  I've only the morning to do so.  Therefore, it is wise for me to hit the bed now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very different quality regarding review here?

Did boy buy from germany?
Who is the seller?
Why you did not exchange the lathe?
What proxxon said about your problems?