I have been looking for a replacement tool post for the Colchester Master 2500. The one which came with the lathe was broken, and it had only 2 tool holders. Hmmm… Surely I would have noticed that during my fairly detailed inspection. Other small bits were missing from the pile of accessories on the pallet too. I should have taken photos. The photos on Ebay were distant and blurred. (I wonder why….). Buyer beware.
So I have been checking Ebay Australia. Only Asian copies, and not cheap.
Ebay UK. A few genuine Colchester tool posts on offer, but very expensive.
Ebay USA. Again, a few on offer, and one in particular looked interesting. A Dickson style tool post, with 6 tool holders. Said to be suitable for a US version of the Colchester, but a larger lathe than mine. So a quick question to the seller about postage costs (where does Ebay come up with their estimates? The Ebay estimate was double what I finally paid) and the seller agreed to put the items in two “Flat rate boxes”. I paid his buy it now price. I took a gamble on the apparent lathe size discrepancy, figuring that I could resell the items on Ebay Australia if they were totally unsuitable.
4 days later, the parcels arrived. I have bought quite a few items from the US, and invariably the service has been fantastic and fast. I do feel a bit guilty about the energy and pollution involved with buying tools from far off countries, but there is no viable local alternative.
The tool post was exactly the correct size. The exterior had been cleaned up, but the workings required some freeing up. The tool holders were the same size as the two I had already, so now there are 8 tool holders…. a goodly number. The brand label had worn off, but it appears to be exactly the same as the original Colchester.
The final cost? $US250, plus $US125 for postage. All up about $AU500. Pity about the exchange rate.