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We have contacted many of our previous customers and asked them if they would be prepared to write a testimonial for inclusion on the new website. A large number have responded positively and a selection of their comments are listed below.
All the letters printed below have been reproduced with the kind permission of the respective authors.
Email addresses are not included, but if you wish to contact one of the contributors, please let us know and we will forward your request.
Disclaimer: The views expressed below are those of the authors and not neccessarily those of Cowells. Cowells take no responsibility for the content of authors letters, which are reproduced in full below.
|From M. Simpson 17th August 2019|
| I have known the reputation of the Cowells ME90 for longer
than I care to remember and have in the past owned a Unimat SL, a Unimat
3 and a Peatol/Taig. I wanted to have a machine on which I can make wheels
for 2mm scale locomotives and when I retired set my sights on what I firmly
believe is the best small lathe on the market. I considered second hand
ME90s but after due consideration decided to go for new. I wasn’t particularly
bothered about cost, just made up my mind to save for it. I live in the
north east but was able to combine a trip to see relatives with a visit
to Cowells in Brightlingsea. I was always going to have one but the visit
confirmed my decision and I ordered on the spot. I took delivery in May
2017 and have been ‘playing’ with my new acquisition since. I’m thoroughly
satisfied with the ME90’s quality and the excellent service, assistance
and advice given by Cowells proprietor Colin. I attach a few pictures of
one of my first projects, fabrication of a collet adapter, drawbar and first
collet. The adapter is made from Cowells own slitting saw arbor. I machined
an internal 15 degree taper and made my first collet in brass which is adequate
for my needs. When doing something like this it helps greatly when the machine
is accurate to start with. I know you get what you pay for but to be perfectly
honest the ME90 stands in a league of its own. Highly recommended.
|From J. Harrison 31st July 2019|
| The Cowells ME90 is a small lathe that is a pleasure
to use. Like all machines, it takes time to accustom yourself to its capabilities,
but it is forgiving of human errors. Its size enables it to be used on the
kitchen table, yet it is smooth in operation and unlikely to upset other
members of the family, provided you sweep up the swarf after use. There
is a quality feel to the lathe and its accessories which are much easier
to store than conventional model engineering equipment. The handbook is
an essential read to familiarise yourself with the lathe, and a useful reference
work to remind the user of how to perform various tasks and maintenance.
Just as important is Cowells friendly back-up support, just a telephone
call away, answered by Colin who put your lathe together. The Cowells ME90
|From A. Armstrong New Zealand 4th August 2019|
| The machine Cowells supplied[ C W 90] is a fantastic
tool in my workshop. The clock I am making is supposed to have the pinions
fabricated from pinion wire. this material proved impossible to get, so
using cowells lathe with milling attachment I made lantern pinions and these
work well The lathe is so accurate and versatile . Overall this lathe is
like a third hand Kind regards Alex Armstrong New Zealand.
|From R.E of Shoreham -by-sea 03/08/2019|
| I have owned my Cowells 90ME lathe for nearly a year
now and have not been disappointed. My hobby is Model Engineering but I
am currently constructing two “Congreve” type clocks.I have owned a Myford
254S lathe fitted with DRO,s etc. for many years and also a Shereline of
similar size and capability to the Cowells.I remove the headstock from the
lathe bed and use this on the tool post of the Myford and this has proved
very useful. I have for many years promised myself a Cowells lathe when
funds permitted simply because of their quality and “presence” and more
practical for small work than the larger machine. If you need a small lathe
for business I would invest in the Cowells because of its capability’s and
available accessory’s and if treated with respect and used within the constraints
of a small machine it will last a lifetime and always have a resale value.
If like myself you are an amateur that appreciates quality and old fashioned
British engineering ,buy one they are a joy to own as it is a true miniature
of its larger cousins. If you are on a budget (Cowells aren’t cheap) you
will have to make do with one of many capable but inferior build quality
imported machines and just dream ! You get what you pay for the Cowells
“does what it says on the tin” but comes with a high initial price tag that
is worth it in the long run for quality and longevity. I always think that
any model or project is only as good as the weakest link and I always want
that to be me the operator rather than crude tooling ! I have no connection
with Cowells and would simply not have written this if I didn’t believe
in the product.I am an appreciative owner that is pleased Cowells are still
available for the serious modeller and professional.
|From GRAHAM ALDEN, PERRANPORTH, CORNWALL. 27th July 2019|
| I HAVE TRIED JUST ABOUT EVERY SMALL LATHE FROM MANY COUNRIES
BOTH OLD AND NEW AND HAVE FOUNT THE COWELLS ME90 THAT I KNOW OWN TO BE THE
MOST ACCURATE, WITH VERY SMOOTH OPERATION AND A GREAT PLEASURE TO USE. THE
LATHES AND EXCELLENT RANGE OFACCESSORIES ARE EXPENSIVE PARTICULARLY COMPARED
TO FAR EASTERN MACHINES (Unimat SL accessories are now almost as expensive)
BUT YOU REALLY DO GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. TREATED WITH RESPECT AND THEY ARE
VERY STURDY THOUGH I WOULD NOT ADVISE RESORTING TO HITTING THEM WITH A HAMMER
IF SOMETHING GETS JAMMED UP - something I sometimes had to resort to with
other brands. EVEN THE SMALLEST PARTS ARE AVAILABLE AS SPARES AND THE SERVICE
FROM COWELLS IS EXCELLENT AND FAST. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - if you think
you cannot afford one buy second hand as they really do last or save up
for a bit longer. GRAHAM ALDEN, PERRANPORTH, CORNWALL.
|From Martin 27th July 2019|
| The Cowells lathes are fantastic little machines. Many
a beautiful model or clock has been made on these, and the 90ME (Model Engineering)
edition is perfectly capable of being used for clock making rather than
being restricted to its namesake, “model engineering”. They are sufficiently
light to be moved around as required, yet enough weight with the cast base
to give a sense of stability. Colin has been very helpful in understanding
the range and has not disappointed.
|Bob’s Models U.S.A. 24th July 2019|
| I purchased a Cowells 90ME with a number of attachments
in early 2018. I had a number of email communications with Colin who clarified
everything for me as to options etc. We had several phone conversations
before I finalized my order. Since this was being shipped to the US I made
sure I purchased all the optional equipment so as to save on future shipping
costs. It was a pleasure to deal with him. The order was delivered within
his estimate and was very well packaged. All custom papers were handled
well. I have used it for several model projects and it has exceeded my expectations.
I waited many years to purchase this and should have done so much earlier,
fine product and support. Bob.
|From K.M.J. of Somerset. 17/07/2017|
I have owned my 90ME, from new, for just over three years. I did a lot
of research on small lathes, including those that are available from the
Far East, Germany and the USA. However, I decided that the Cowells Lathe
should provide an excellent solution for my micro model engineering and
simple horological interests. My main research criteria were accuracy,
reliability, versatility, repeatability and customer support. Following
oiling round, the lathe was used straight after delivery. Over time, I
have had to make some fine adjustments to the headstock bearings, slides
gibs and backlash take up, mainly as a result of the machine bedding in
to very good effect - the operational feel is now Stradavarian! Properly
set up, with very sharp tooling correctly set, I have enjoyed achieving
tolerances to +/- 0.005mm from a variety of materials with relative ease.
The 90ME is certainly not a "budget" machine but I am very happy with
it and I am delighted to report that all my research criteria boxes have
been fully ticked.
|From R.K. of Switzerland 07/12/2016|
|I have had dismantled the lathe completely (first time
since I’ve bought it about 25 years ago!), gave every part a thorough cleaning,
checked vor wear & damage, and made good some small defects. But, after
a close inspection of every part after a good 25 years of use, I have to
say it really pays to buy quality!! Faintly visible wear patterns and the
very small amount of actual measurable wear in a few spots are a clear indication
that quality, choice of material and design are simply spot on for the purpose.
It is also an indisputable proof of quality that after 25 years and one
change of ownership all the new parts went in without a hitch and matched
up perfectly, very well done indeed. All in all the machine is now as good,
if not even better, then new, I see no reason why my beloved ME90 lathe
should not last another 25 years, and then they shall have to pry it from
my cold, dead hands! You, dear Colin, had a very good nose when you made
the decision to take over COWELLS those many, many years ago and all those
improvements you introduced over time and your stubbornly sticking to a
decidedly old fashioned policy of improving products and quality instead
of the „modern way“ of cutting costs and having stuff made in China certainly
had a significant part in the survival of the brand when names like MYFORD
simply disappeared. .
|From M. S. of York. 05/11/2014|
|I would like to thank you for the Lathe and Milling machine
which arrived safely, as advised, on Tuesday 14th October. The packaging
was a 'Tour de force'. Although I had reserached as much as possible and
I should mention the helpful series in M.E.W. some two years ago dealing
with the refurbishment of the Cowells Lathe; I had not seen one to observe
let alone use, to see if it met my requirements. I have to say there was
an element of doubt that I might have gambled too much and would be disappointed
by my expectations. However, both machines are superb more than meeting
my expectations. Design is good and manufacture and finish of high order.
|From Mr A.W. 20/04/2006|
|I am a regulator clock maker and these are made using a
Cowells 90ME lathe and a 90CW lathe. I have tried other small lathes but
these simply do not survive heavy use and do not even come close to quality
of Cowells lathes.
|From Mr T. P. of Somersham. 21/04/2006|
|As soon as I saw the Cowells CW lathe I was impressed
with the high build standard and finish. Mine has been in constant use in
my clock repair workshop for more than four years now and shows no signs
of wear or loss of accuracy. The accessories, such as the Jacot Tool, are
equally well designed and robust. The only unfortunate aspect of my purchase
(from Cowells point of view) is that it is obvious that it will be many
years before the lathe needs to be replaced.
|From KJS of Manchester. 21/04/2006|
|The sheer quality of the design & manufacture of the lathe
and its accesories speaks for itself but what is really impressive is the
response to enquiries - always prompt, personal, clear and succinct, whatever
|From D.D of Surrey. 22/04/2006|
|I am very pleased by the high quality of my Cowells ME90
lathe. All the components are well finished and fit together beautifully
making the lathe a real pleasure to use straight from the box. A real contrast
to most of the other small lathes I examined before buying the ME90. Cowells
service has always been friendly, helpful and efficient. So when I was looking
for a mini milling machine I choose the Cowells mill and was pleased to
find that it displays the same high level of craftsmanship and care in its
production as the lathe.
|From S.C-G. 22/04/2006|
|It is now at least five years since buying my 90cw and
it is still as fine as when it was installed. More robust than my more (much
more!) exspensive Swiss bench lathe thanks due to the machined cast aluminium
base and dovetail bed. I have used my Cowells lathe more than any other
because of the ease of set up and its accuracy when cutting wheels. The
motor is more powerful and copes with all I ask of it. Lovely gutsy machine
and I would not hesitate to recommend this lathe to any clockmaker. The
help I received from Cowells at the time of purchase was welcome too.
|From K.R. of Biggar. 23/04/2006|
|As a clockmaker, I require reliable, sturdy, precision
machines with clear, concise and accurate dials plus good speed control.
For wheel and pinion cutting I chose a Cowells 90CW with the appropriate
attachment. For heavier precision work I opted for the 90ME. I have had
my CW for about 10 years now and have been delighted with the performance
of both lathes and the excellent after sales service provided by Cowells
who are friendly and give a very personal service.
|From J.B. of Sussex 23/04/2006|
|For the past 25 years I have been and still am the proud
owner of a Cowells 90 CW Lathe. In use most days, since I restore and repair
clocks of all ages.The range of accessories are second to none, items like
the Tip Over Toolrest, the Jacot Drum and Cone Plate Unit and the Roller
Filing Rest along with a selection of Collets are in constant use.
|From Mr J. B. 24/04/2006|
|I have been the proud owner of the Cowells 90 ME Lathe
and the Vertical Miller together with various accessories for over 7 years
now and never looked back since. The epitome of Cowells is the quality and
precision that have been built into their products and this has been proven
time and again after having now built 9 steam engines ranging from the tiny
Jenny Wren vertical miniature (stands on a 10p coin) to the Reeves Perseus
horizontal 3/4 bore, Lady Stephanie beam engine and Stuart engines etc.
with never a problem. The machines are still in perfect condition after
much use and will continue to build many more. The 5 year guarantee speaks
volumes and I would also commend the after sales staff who have always adopted
a most friendly and helpful attitude.
|From Mr J. W. of Worcester. 24/04/2006|
|I bought a Cowells lathe because of the excellent reputation
that the company had in providing high quality machines of the same engineering
standard as the best large lathes but in a convenient small size. My lathe
has proved an excellent buy and I could not fault the high quality of the
pre and after sales service I received. I have since bought a small milling
machine from Cowells which has more than fulfilled my expectation. I now
cut all my clock wheels and pinions using this machine as well as all my
milling jobs. Cowells have always gone out of their way to provide back
up and sensible advice on the use of their machines for clock repair and
|From Mr B. T of North Yorkshire. 24/04/2006|
|On my retirement some years ago I decided to “set up”
a precision workshop. Having assessed my needs I then researched the market,
COWELLS came out the No1 choice. I received much help and advice from COWELLS
and subsequently I purchased a 90ME lathe plus accessories. I have since
added a COWELLS Milling machine (accessories are interchangeable). I have
no regrets and these machines are giving me many happy hours and have enabled
me to achieve a high standard of quality work. Worth mentioning is that
a number of my friends (all have larger machines) will call round to do
or get done some accurate/ precision work on my COWELLS machines.
|From Jim L. 24/04/2006|
|I have owned a Cowells 90ME lathe since Dec. 1996 and
during the intervening years have bought most of the accessories available
for this lathe. I chose this lathe after researching suitable lathes for
the work that I needed a lathe for. I was impressed from the start with
the 90ME’s solid rigidity and the professional impression at first sight.
This lathe is not a toy it is capable of very hard work and the machining
of work pieces of considerable size. The many accessories are very robust
and professing of some unique designs. This means that these have been well
thought out and not merely miniaturized versions copied from designs from
larger lathes. Therefore, all in all, The Cowells 90ME lathe is a professional
lathe with an excellent and comprehensive range of accessories.
|From Mr A. J. of Bexhill. 24/04/2006|
|I just though I would write to you to say how useful I
have found the small lathe I bought from you a few years ago. I have machined
large and small items. For example a 1.5mm diameter screw threads and various
left and right threads. The largest item was a 55mm adapter for the lens
of a video camera so I could use one of my SRL filters. This involved very
fine threads, internal and external. The manual you provided I found very
useful. For a small and portable tool it is very rigid. Fly-cutting gears
was not a problem. I have added a few extra fittings to the lathe beyond
the accessories you supply to enable the use of watchmakers collets etc.
|From N. L. A. of Leicester. 25/04/2006|
|Over a period of fifty years model making I have owned
six lathes, two of which have been Messrs. Cowells products, my present
machine being a model ME90, bought from them some five years ago. This machine
has performed consistently well although often being required to undertake
work outside its nominal capacity. The ME90 has been used for long periods
on an almost daily basis and has maintained a high standard of accuracy
in performance. I find the main advantages of this machine to be the quality
of cast iron, steel and alloy used in its construction resulting in a robust
assembly; it is both compact and of reasonably light weight and portability,
finally, there is a comprehensive range of fittings and attachments available,
without which any machine tool cannot undertake a wide range of operations
properly. I have not been required to call on the manufacturer for any repair
to the machine over five years but have taken advantage of their willing
response to my enquiries by having them produce special attachments for
the machine to my own design. Additional requests for extra accessories
have been met with a prompt response and the parts provided have been to
the same high standard as is the basic machine. I have no contact with Messrs.
Cowells other than as a most satisfied customer and would urge potential
buyers to give their range of small machines serious consideration.
|From F. L. G. of Johannesburg. 25/04/2006|
|When searching for a good quality mini lathe I had the
option to buy a Swiss machine that cost as much as my car - or to buy a
well made English machine from Cowells at an affordable price. The support
from Colin was excellent and I am still satisfied with my purchase after
years of use.
|From R. L. W. of Surrey. 25/04/2006|
|I took delivery of my Cowells 90ME lathe in October 2001
and since then I have used it most satisfactorily for producing small turned
items which needed to be of precise dimensions. In this respect the machine
has performed superbly well. I have since purchased further accessories,
a four jaw chuck,a set of collets and chuck and adjustable toolpost. The
collets have proved to be exceptionally accurate in centering items held
and I have constructed a small fitted box to protect them from dust and
damage etc when not in use.
|From J. D. P. of West Lafayette. 26/04/2006|
|Several months ago, I purchased a Cowells vertical milling
machine for use in my company's prototype shop. I would equate the quality
of this machine to that of a fine measurement instrument; it is solid, smooth,
precise, and very well made. We are able to hold remarkable tolerances with
this little machine and it has become a favorite of our engineering staff.
Thanks for providing such a great product.
|From M. I. of Tokyo. 28/04/2006 (The author apologises for his poor English, but its a lot better than my Japanese!)|
|I have purchased the 90ME lathe few years ago after I
researched many machines during few years. It is very useful to make small
precision items for my Analog Audio working-making Pick-Up,etc. It and it's
accessories are made seriously, so that they are reliable, accurate,.......
and their prices are reasonable. The more I use it, the more I like it.
|From D. A. of Hatfield. 28/04/2006|
|To whom it may concern: I have always found my Cowells
90CW lathe to be an affordable but high quality product. I have an engineering
background but not as a machinist working at the bench. My main interest
is in the repair and refurbishment of mechanical clocks although I have
occasionally strayed outside this immediate area. I received excellent attention
both before and after my initial purchase. Since then I have also purchased
a number of accessories for use with it. I have drawn comfort from the fact
that the original manufacturer has supplied all of these directly, so I
can be sure of full compatibility as well as quality. I have not been disappointed.
The machine has given faultless service since new. The only replacement
necessary being a drive belt which became a little stretched over time as
one might expect. This was readily obtainable from Cowells. If there were
to be a problem I feel confident that Cowells would have the necessary advice
or part to have things working again quickly. At some point in the future,
when funds permit, I would like to add a clock wheel and pinion cutting
attachment. I am confident that I would be very satisfied with it. David
|From J. A. S. of Lancashire. 28/04/2006|
|I decided to start making clocks and began to look around
for a suitable small lathe to supplement the Myford. After inspecting the
quality of the workmanship embodied in the lathe, a Cowells machine became
a "Must Have". I have not been disappointed by my purchase and find that
with a good sharp tool in the toolholder, turning clock pivots etc is a
joy. The accuracy to which one can work is quite remarkable. The three jaw
chuck supplied is as accurate as a collet. The machine's portability means
that, on cold winter days, I can continue work in the warmth of the kitchen.
I look forward to many years of pleasurable clock making.
|From Dr. J. B. of France. 30/04/2006 (The author has offered to rewrite this testimonial in his native French)|
| I bought my first 95 Cowells lathe on 15th. November
1978. It is now in my brother's hands. The second 95 came on February 1981.
Three friends bought their own after a look on mine. The five small lathes
are still in perfect condition and owners feel pleasure and satisfaction
using of, notably for precision. I got the vertical mill on July 1979 and
can tell the same about. Amongst the many other maker's comparable lathes,
I chose Cowells for many reasons. Neat design with charming look of old
machines and obviously very well made, silent and smooth at work. Variable
speed motor. Full range of accessories, easy to fit and adjust (i.e. square
and ground faces), and compatible with mill. General design allows easy
to make personal accessories. I had no difficulties to adapt home made adjustable
collars (see Model Egineer 21st January 1983) The superb alloy basement
permits mounting an auxiliary bed for copying and other facilities. May
I tell that the Cowells mill, using the same10mm cutter is more rigid than
a larger drill-mill of a very good european maker? Because robust construction
and true mill design with raising-lowering table. And customer's service
is exactly what an amateur wants, rapid and efficient. I have larger amateur's
machine tools, my "Cowells department" is invaluable for small work-pieces
and gives much and much fun.
|From R. W. of London. 02/05/2006|
|I bought a new 90ME lathe in 2001 as a retirement present
to myself so that I could take up model engineering. As a beginner I wanted
a quality lathe that I could rely on being "right". I wanted to know that
if I hit trouble it was my fault not the machine's. I never regretted the
decision. Despite its small size it has faithfully and accurately turned
a lot of steel, cast iron and brass into swarf. The first major undertaking
was to build the gauge 1 "Project" locomotive which was a great success.
Since then I have completed a number of smaller projects and am part way
through another gauge 1 loco. In my view may seem expensive but you get
what you pay for. The cheap imported lathes on offer seem crude and cumbersome
by comparison. Since buying the lathe I have also acquired a milling machine.
Like the lathe it may be small but it is amazingly rigid and accurate. Over
time I have bought a number of accessories from Cowells and have been very
pleased not only with the quality of the items but the friendly and helpful
|From Dr I. M. of Sussex. 02/05/2006|
|I decided to buy a Cowells 90 C.W. Lathe after surveying
the market because it was in the tradition of good British engineering a
technical person was prepared to talk to me about my requirements (and a
real person signed his name to the detailed test certificate of my machine)
it was well designed, ergonomic and compact, perfect for my home machining
needs with a comprehensive list of accessories. On receipt the machine more
than justified my expectations being of high quality and a pleasure to use.
The lathe is used principally for clock and watch restoration and its accuracy
and alignment ensures perfect repairs on fine French movements and pocket
watch parts. I make extensive use of the Jacot drum and cone plate together
with their precision drill chuck for repivotting. Cowells even took the
trouble to ask me for one of my 8mm collets so they could use it as a gauge
for the headstock/tailstock spindles. Although the lathe is usually used
for the above it coped admirably with the building of a model beam engine.
The Cowells 90 CW has given me no problems and it has been an excellent
|From Dr J. B. of France. 02/05/2006|
|J'ai acheté mon premier tour Cowells 95 le 15 Novembre
1978. Il appartient maintenant à mon frère. J'ai reçu le second en Février
1981. Trois de mes amis ont acheté le leur après avoir vu le mien. Les cinq
petits tours sont encore en parfait état et les propriétaires ont plaisir
et satisfaction à les utiliser, en particulier du fait de la précision.
J'ai reçu la fraiseuse verticale en Juillet 1979 et je peux en dire autant.
En comparant d'autres fabrications de même capacité, j'ai porté mon choix
sur Cowells pour plusieurs raisons. Formes pures et charme des anciennes
machines, exécution très soignée, silence et douceur de fonctionnement.
Moteur avec variateur électronique. Tous les accessoires souhaitables sont
proposés, faciles à monter et régler (tous les côtés sont d'équerre et rectifiés)
et utilisables sur la fraiseuse. La conception générale autorise la fabrication
d'adaptations personnelles. Il m'a été facile de faire des verniers réglables
pour tous les chariots (voir Model Engineer du 21 Janvier 1983). La très
belle embase en fonte d'aluminium m'a permis de monter un banc auxiliaire
destiné à la copie et autres commodités. Puis-je dire que la fraiseuse,
avec la même fraise de 10mm. est plus rigide qu'une fraiseuse pour amateurs
d'une grande marque européenne? Ceci parce que la construction est robuste
et reproduit une fraiseuse typique avec table montée sur genou. Et le service
après-vente est rapide et efficace. J'ai d'autres plus grosses machines-outils
pour amateurs, mon coin Cowells est idéal pour les petites pièces et me
donne toujours plus de plaisir.
|From T. I. W. ( MBHI ). 04/05/2006|
|I purchased a Cowells lathe and accessories four years
ago and i have been delighted with the quality and accuracy and would highly
recommend Cowells to any one looking for a quality lathe.
|From D.B. of Somerset. 08/05/2006|
|I purchased my Cowells 90ME lathe and a number of accessories
in 2001, after reading John Wilding's book; ' Constructing and English regulator
clock '. I have been using the lathe for clockmaking since then. I am happy
with the lathe and have found it a very versatile and adaptable machine
for this type and size of work and also for the making of various small
tools, jigs and fixtures etc. Some of the components I have made have been
from Stainless Steel (types 301. 308. 316 etc.) and the machine has handled
these more difficult materials quite well providing the correct tools, feeds
and speeds and depths of cut are used. Some of the tougher work hardening
bronzes it has struggled with, which is hardly surprising, as even high
power industrial machines can give trouble with these. It is nice to have
a British made machine that is so well thought out. My background is in
aviation having served my 5 year apprenticeship in the 1960's and I have
used all forms of industrial machinery as a toolmaker.
|From R.C. of Baltimore. 10/05/2006|
|In the pursuit of "Mission Impossible" horological challenges,
I use quite a few lathes, including Sherline, Steiner, Boley, Schaublin,
Levin, Emco and Cowells 90 CW. The lathe that I use the most is the Cowells.
Here's why: (a) The size is right - it fits on my workbench, and is substantial
enough to not move around when in use. (b) I can use all of my 8mm collets
with this lathe. The accuracy of the lathe coupled with the accuracy of
the collets makes it possible to fabricate very small parts, e.g. wrist-watch
balance staffs. (c) The set-up of the 90 CW is perfect for cutting gears,
and is my first choice for clock gears. The lever feed is excellent. (d)
I am able to use commercial carbide tool bits. This allows me to harden
stems prior to cutting. There is no better way in my shop to cut new watch
stems. When a bit gets dull, I just replace the indexable insert - what
a convenience. For some of my other lathes, I must resharpen the bits using
a diamond wheel. (e) There are a wide range of accessories available. Watchmakers
and clockmakers really appreciate attachments such as the Jacot drum. This
type of attachment is simply not available for most small lathes. (f) In
contrast to my rheostat-controlled Boley, this lathe has plenty of power,
especially at low speed. (g) I find the folks at Cowells a delight to deal
with. Good people. Personal service. (h) For what one gets, the price is
excellent. If you're reading this, you're probably trying to decide which
small lathe to buy, and there are quite a few good small lathes at reasonable
prices out there. My advice to you is to try to actually get your hands
on a Cowells. From the moment that you feel the Cowells, you'll understand
why I value it so highly. I hope that this helps you to select your next
lathe. I received no compensation from Cowells for this testimonial. Ray
- Maryland, USA
|From S.R. of USA. 12/05/2006|
|My wife and I own a small clock repair business. I am
also a novice clockmaker. I have several small machines to aid me in the
fabrication of small parts (Clement WW lathe, EMCO Unimat 3 lathe, EMCO
Compact 5 lathe, EMCO Unimill and my most recent addition, the Cowells ME
lathe ). I originally purchased the Cowells lathe because I found that I
needed a more robust and precise small lathe to meet my clockmaking requirements.
The other small lathes, although fine lathes, did not hold up well under
the heavy lathe work I was performing and I found that I could not keep
to the close tolerances that I was looking for. The Cowells lathe met all
my expectations and more. For a small lathe it is exceptionally rigid and
precise. An additional benefit for me was the Cowells 14 X 1 headstock spindle
which allowed me to use all my EMCO accessories on my Cowells lathe. This
saved me a lot in not having to pay for redundant accessories that I already
owned for my other machines although, I have purchased several Cowells accessories
to make the it the most functional lathe in my shop. One of the first accessories
I purchased was the Jacot tool. This finely made accessory makes repivotting
clock arbors incredibly easy, fast and accurate (the drill bits don't wander
off center anymore). Other accessories I have purchased include live/dead
centers, half centers and a steady rest. The Cowells lathe has become the
mainstay for all my fabrication work. My other lathes are now specifically
set up and used for the less arduous and more routine tasks such as the
polishing and straightening of pivots. I have found that the service Cowells
provides is exceptional. When my lathe arrived with a broken switch (damaged
in shipment), I had a replacement free of charge and in short order. The
Cowells folks are very knowledgeable and easy to talk with. I highly recommend
the Cowells lathe. I only wish I had known about it before I purchased my
other lathes. Buying it first would have saved me a lot of time, effort,
|From Dr V.C of Australia. 15/05/2006|
| The Cowells CW is not a toy, but a well engineered lathe.
The bed is a rigid, split, inverted dovetail, reminiscent of an early Hardinge
lathe. It can turn small diameters with great accuracy. Its lever action
tailstock affords fine feel for drilling. A bed or cross slide mounted turret
would add to its versatility. A Cowells lathe will not be out of place in
a toolroom engaged in precision small parts manufacture.
|From B.L.F.of Nottinghamshire. 17/05/2006|
|Just over a year ago I bought a 90CW lathe with Wheel
and Pinion cutter attachment. This lathe has given me good service, the
quick movement of the saddle assembly is a boon. The only modification I
have incorporated is a small 8BA bolt on the underside of the cross slide
housing lead screw. This stops the slide moving when milling wheels etc.etc.
I can recommend this machine to any prospective purchaser.
|From J. B. of the Netherlands. 18/05/2006|
|About 30 years ago I bough my first lathe, a similar sized
one as your CW-lathe, which has brought me many years of pleasure. Now since
some time I can say to be a happy owner of a 'true' CW-lathe! To call it
an upgrade would be an understatement. The quality, the sturdiness, the
precision, they are just excellent and a true pleasure to work with. Not
just the basic machine but all the accessories as well, the range of which
is excellent. Keep up the good work! This type of quality and service(!)
are becoming more and more of a rarity these days. Thanks!
|From C.W.P.(c.g.i.EngTech). 21/05/2006|
| To whom it may concern, i am lucky to own two cowells
machines both the ME and the CW, the ME is now some twenty plus years old
and the CW just a few months.these machines form a vital part of my workshop
in which i build clocks, steam engines, fittings and tooling.the build quality
of these machines are second to none and the rigidity of the machines is
amazing the general feel of the machine is what you might expect of a machine
twice its size.operation of the machine is very easy due to the nice clear
dials excellent quality of finish to slides and moving surfaces and the
general layout of the machine and further tooling.the number of additional
items make these machines very versatile, i believe they have covered every
aspect that the modeller or profesional engineer may need. when i bought
the cw i looked around at various machine tools of this size from chinese
to swiss and i still believe these machines to be the best value for money,
how many other companies offer the guarantee that cowells do? the help and
advice offered during purchase is exceptional and when the machine arrives
well the packing is perfect postage was my biggest fear i need not have
worried the box is another well thought out item! my older machine has been
a joy to use and it makes me happy that i know i am only a phone call away
should i need any advice about either machine. i would be more than happy
to recomend a cowells lathe to any future buyer and would be certain that
you will be happy with your investment,yes they also keep good value.
|From Ferdie of Newbury. 22/05/2006|
|When contemplating buying a second lathe, a number of
factors came to mind; not least, I am not getting any younger or stronger.
Again, my primary interest in the realm of model engineering is in the construction
of small live steam railway locomotives and associated rolling stock in
one thirty-second scale. Having looked at what was available in the market
as a whole, I chose the Cowells 90ME and subsequent experience has convinced
me that I made a wise choice. The advantages for me are several. It lends
itself to use in the ' warm indoors' rather than a potentially cold, draughty
garage/workshop. It is easy to move from a storage area to a working area
and back again after use. Despite its small size it has a surprisingly large
capacity.Unlike many small lathes it is equipped with a topslide and generally
it is a smaller rather than a simpler version of the traditional model engineers
BGSC lathe. There is an excellent range of accessories specifically designed
to go with the lathe. All in all the lathe is well engineered, very accurate
and meets all of my requirements.
|From Mrs Cherry Hill of Worcestershire. 05/06/2006|
|I have been the owner of a Cowells 90CW lathe for seven
years. It is a well engineered machine tool and I am able to rely upon it
to produce accurate work.
|From C. D. M. of Moscow, Russian Federation. 22/06/2006|
|The Cowells 90ME is still unparalleled in terms of versatility,
quality, accuracy and value for money. An overseas appointment compelled
me to purchase a small lathe and the 90ME is the centrepiece of my flying
workshop since many years
|From N.P.T. of USA. 07/07/2006|
|I have been using the CW90 for nearly ten years and would
like to express my great satisfaction with the quality of the lathe and
its accessories. The CW90 is a primary tool in my shop. The lathe is used
to manufacture one-off components for high-grade wrist and pocket watches.
I also use it to manufacture small tools. I have owned and used many 8mm
lathes by different manufactures. Cowells is my first choice. The lathe
is very accurate (using high quality collets) powerful (turning bar stock
for various tools) well thought out in execution as are the accessories.
The adjustable tailstock allows spot-on alignment. The horologist can drill
with this sensitive tailstock to 0.1mm diameter with confidence. The compound
cross slide is rigid and well made. I utilize this for cutting speciality
punches of specific diameter with ease. The cross slide also allows mounting
of a milling attachment for cutting wheels and pinions. The entire range
of accessories are well made, useful and interchangeable. Anytime I have
a question with regard to function or parts and accessories, I can phone
or e-mail and be received by the individuals who make the equipment and
get immediate resolve to the questions at hand. This is in itself worth
the price of admission. It is a pleasure to work with this lathe. Anyone
interested in purchasing a fine lathe working in the 8mm range would be
well served to consider the 90CW or 90ME.
|From C. D. S. jr of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA|
|For several years I have had the satisfaction of using
lathes and other tools made by COWELLS. These COWELLS machines are well
made and are capable of fine tolerances even when operated by a person such
as myself who possesses only moderate skills. I am completely satisfied
with my several COWELLS machines.
|From Costas Doulas, Greece. 21/06/2007|
|It has been both a pleasure and excitement ordering a
Cowells lathe and after a few months a Cowells mill for my small workshop
. As a newcomer to the model engineering hobby \i needed machines that \\\I
could rely heavily on them without doubts about their quality and no worries
concerning how to ...fix that .. how to modify that and things like that.
Colin has been extremely helpful with the info that I always seem to ask
about and very polite and patience concidering the fact that I live in Greece
and direct communicationis not so easy...I hope to see some day some kind
of forum of Cowells machines users , a place where we would be able to discuss
and exchanging ideas about the even more efficient way of using our machines.
|From B. P. Quispamsis N.B., Canada. 08/02/2007|
|I purchased the 90CW mainly on the fact that Cowells certified
the accuracy and the availability of attachments. I was starting to build
a Congreve clock at the time with an older machinist lathe and watchmakers
lathe that were well used. The Cowells 90CW lathe enabled me to do accurate
work that was impossible on my 9" Standard Modern or the watchmakers lathe.
I have since used the Standard Modern to rough out the larger pieces and
finish up on the Cowells. I purchased the 3/8" drill chuck for the tail
stock that was very useful. My Boley indexing bracket attaches to the cross
slide table very nicely for wheel cutting. This table is useful for repivotting
arbors by bolting an angle to the table surface. I currently have a 5" Reeves
locomotive under way that I have used in conjunction with the Cowells machine.
Cowells produce a precision lathe that I highly recommend after 4 1/2 years
|From John Coates, Verwood, Dorset. 12/10/2009|
|Dear Sir/Madam If you want a testimonial on the quality
of your machines then mine would be impressive. I purchased my ME90 lathe
in 1980 and it has been in constant use since that date producing parts
for 7mm scale railway locomotives. I have machined several hundred cast
iron wheels on it over the years for myself and friends. This was the main
reason for choosing the ME90 due to the lowest speed of the machine which
is ideal for cast iron. The machine shows no sign of wear from its use over
this period of time and the only maintenance has been a total strip down
for a thorough clean on two occasions. Some adjustment of the Gibb strips
has been required over the years as one would expect. I was so impressed
with the quality of build of this little lathe that I purchase the vertical
mill in the early 90's and again this has given superb service. My only
complaint would be the size of the table which I feel could be a little
bigger and the longitudinal travel be increased as it is a little short
for chassis milling. However the purchase of these machines was the best
investment I could make and will see my hobby days out. Kind regards.
|All Cowells machines are guaranteed for 5 years.|
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