October 2007.

© John R. Bentley 2007.

The Craftex 7x8 mini lathe
just a little bit different...

This page is about the Craftex B1979C Mini Metric 7"x8" metal lathe.  The lathe is made by Huangshan Sanyou Industries Co. Ltd., Anhui Province, China.  Huangshan's model number is CJ9516(B).  Essentially this lathe is almost identical to the Seig family of lathes.  However there are some differences.

This machine is not made by Seig and although it follows much of the now classic design, it uses a different tailstock which makes use of the large slot in the lathe bed.  In addition, threading gears and drive belt sprockets are steel, while the synchronous drive belt is polyurethane instead of rubber.  The speed control respects the minimum speed requirements common in most small DC motors by limiting the spindle speed to 200 RPM. The bed is shorter than typical 7x10 mini lathes and the motor is rated at 250 watts with an output of 1/3 hp.

Almost identical versions of this lathe are sold in New Zealand, Canada and presumably China.  They are easily identified by the rounded shoulders on the top of the headstock, rather than the beveled version on the standard Asian mini lathes.  In Canada this lathe is sold by Busy Bee Tools under the Craftex name.  The distinctive old Biege/Blue color scheme is gone and current (2007) Busy Bee versions are shipped in green with a yellow splash guard and carriage saddle.  They also come with the top slide protractor (standard on US imports for years) and prettier dials on the ballcranks.  The plastic parts on this lathe, such as the large handwheels, are made from excellent quality material, but this is no surprise considering Huangshan is also an engineering plastics company.

Click here to see:

bed rigidity: Mini Lathe vs Taig

modifications and attachments

handwheel ball bearings

this lathe at work

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