Silverdrive Statesman 280 Lathe

 

 

 

WhatsNew

 
 
Ike (Isaac Curran) is now displaying work in The Coastal Design Gallery in Campbeltown Jane & Grant Logan have a well appointed gallery, Grant designs and makes stunning jewellery . www.coastal-deesign.co.uk I have now created a photo page on "photobucket" its a lot easier for me to upload pictures directly to the albums and that way folk can see what we are making.  You can visit my page click here: IKE CURRAN PICTURES
   

 

Craft Fair News

 
 

I am very sorry to announce that due to ongoing ill health Isaac cannot organise and run the botanic Gardens Craft fair, all dates are cancelled.  Isaac had a procedure on his spine early in February and has just been discharged from hospital with ongoing heart decease problems (29 February 2016).  Isaac and myself are truly sad that this has had to be cancelled.

   

 

SELLER INFORMATION

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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SILVERDRIVE STATESMAN 280 WOODLATHE

SILVERDRIVE ARE NO LONGER TRADING IN LATHES BUT ARE SELLING THE DRIVE SYSTEMS

Let me say from the beginning that I do not work for anyone, I report on an item in the best light I can but as honestly as I can.  My responsibility is to the reader and the future buyer.  I always send a draft report to the manufacturer or retail outlet of the item and request comments on any inaccuracies or mistakes.  Steven of Silverdrive contacted me by phone on the 7th May 2007 and told me that he thought I had been "unfair" in my report.  I asked him to send me an email detailing any inaccuracies or mistakes and I would address them,  Silverdrive have failed to do that.

IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS OR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS LATHE PLEASE MAKE CONTACT.

To navigate if its in blue and underlined (although it will change colour once you have been there) then you can click on it and go to that section, just use your back button to return HERE

 

SECTIONS YOU CAN NAVIGATE TO:

 

ORDERING & DELIVERY      DESIGN    HEADSTOCK    INDEX & SPINDLE LOCKING

SWIVEL POINT LOCKING LEVER & FOOT    BEARINGS & DRIVE COUPLING

THREAD PROTECTOR    MOTOR CONTROLS    STOPPING THE MACHINE  BANJO & TOOLREST    TAILSTOCK   OUTBOARD TURNING ASSEMBLY    PAINTWORK   THE BASE

 

Lathe Layout Please click on Item to see report on that section.

Price as at 24th April 2007 £2850 plus delivery.

Lathe Specifications from the website
Motor Power 1500 Watts (2 HP)
Speed Range 0 - 2800 RPM
Spindle Thread 38 x 3.5mm (1.1/2" x 6 TPI)
Headstock Spindle Taper 2 MT
Tailstock Taper 2 MT
Tailstock Hollow Boring 8mm (5/16")
Between Centres 900mm (35.1/2")
Swing Over the Bed 560mm (22")
Swing Outboard 865mm (34") x 450mm (18")
Length Overall 1650mm (65")
Height 1270mm (50")
Floor to Spindle 1145mm (45.")
Tool Post Diameter 25.4mm (
1") IN FACT ITS 30MM

What came with my lathe:

 

12" toolrest x 1

Outboard Turning assembly

Spindle Protector and bar

Index Bar for locking the drive spindle

Hex spanner for foot bolts

 

 

 

PLEASE BEAR IN MIND FROM THE START THAT I PURCHASED THIS LATHE TO PUT SOME SERIOUS LUMPS OF WOOD ON AND SOME WHICH WOULD NOT BE THAT BALANCED.

 

Ordering & Delivery

 

Silverdrive displayed a complete lack of integrity throughout the whole process of purchase onto after sales.

I saw the Silverdrive 240 Statesman at the Scottish Woodworking show in March 2006, Tony Wilson was demonstrating on it, it seemed the ideal solution in terms of design and quality.  Being not so able bodied the direct drive concept with a swivel head seemed heaven sent.  Tony recommended that I phone the company while he was in the factory on the Monday following the show.  I did that and spoke to Steven Silver, who told me they would get back to me but it was a bit hectic that particular day.  I waited a week and nothing, so I phoned again and spoke with Andrew who said they would phone me back, I emailed my interest in a Statesman 280, then I faxed them and then I gave up and purchased the DVSL lathe from Poolewood on the 6th April a similar design concept and an awful lot cheaper. 2006 (delivered 3 weeks later having been built to my spec)

 

In August of 2006 I was talking to Tony Wilson and mentioned the disappointment with Silverdrive, he said if I ordered through him as an agent he would make sure that it was sorted.  I mulled that over for a couple of weeks and as Wheelchair Woodturners needed another lathe I went ahead and paid a cheque to Tony:

15 September 2006  sent Tony the cheque for FULL PAYMENT

October  2006 I telephoned Silverdrive 3 times to try and check if they had received the cheque and if my lathe was on order, each time I spoke with, I believe Richard, an employee and he had no idea.

November 10th After many more phone calls I finally received word that the lathe was ordered and paid for, but I still had no receipt, that I asked for and received a full 3 months after payment.

November 24th I attended the Harrogate show with the sole intention of sorting out when I would get my lathe, I was with the first group who entered the show.  I spoke with a Silverdrive rep who said he had no idea and that Steven and Simon (Father and Son) were not about and he didn’t know when they would arrive!.  It was past 11.30 am before I spoke to Simon, he assured me that all the lathes currently in the order book would be finished before Christmas break.

December 15th  I received a Christmas Card from Silverdrive, inside the card was a hand written message letting me know that the lathe would not be ready before Christmas and that the factory was closed until 8th January 2007.  I telephoned but no answer and no message box

 

December 18th 19th   While training with Tony Wilson I told him of the problems, his comment was not the most complimentary about the situation.

January 8th 2007  I telephoned Silverdrive and managed to get to speak to Simon, he assured me that the lathe would be finished and delivered by Friday 19th January 2007, as there was some press interest from Disability Rights in Scotland, I told Simon I would have the press here on 23rd to interview me about the lathe.

January 17th Telephoned Silverdrive and was informed that the lathe would not be ready and that Simon would phone me, no call arrived.

January 23rd  I telephoned Silverdrive and managed to speak to Steve Silver, he explained to me that the reason I had so much trouble in the first place was because they thought I was working for POOLEWOOD, so they ignored me.  He then went on to tell me that he now did not want to supply me with one of his lathes because Tony Wilson had told him that I would never be happy with it.  I won’t bore you with the rest of the conversation, however it did involve things like, how polite I had been considering how Silverdrive had acted and words like “breach of Contract and interest on the monies they had been holding.

Steven said he would talk with Simon and would phone me back the next day, yep you guessed it no phone call, I did manage to get through to Steve and he said that they had changed thier mind and they would now supply the lathe, he would personally see that it was finished and be out to me with an engineer on the 30th January 2007.

January 26th  I called to check if the lathe would be here on the 30th and was told no, Steve would deliver it on his own on the 31st and could I organise some help, which I did.

January 31st 2007  I had organised 2 guys to be here from 11am, I called Silverdrive at 11am but nobody knew where Steve was or even if he had left!!, I sent the guys home at 2pm. Steve called at 4pm to say the van had broken down.  Next day Steve phoned to say that the lathe was in bits in the van and now could not deliver till 8th Feb, so I arranged labour again.

February 7th  Delivery Cancelled Again

February 9th   Phone call from Steven to say that Tony Wilson would be delivering the lathe on his own, I insisted that he bring help with him as I could not arrange labour again.

February 12th 2007 Tony Wilson with a friend delivered and installed the machine FINELY !!!! Silverdrive forgot to include the instructions with the lathe though.

February 15th   After I had used the lathe for a few hours the drive shaft was moving around approx 1/2 mm in each direction, when I phoned Simon would not speak to me and passed messages through Richard, “Didn’t Tony tell you that you had to run the lathe for 2 hours then tighten the bearings!”, you have to ask the question, why isn’t that done at the factory?.

PS I am still having bearing problems, I have been told to tighten them up till they don’t move because they are “Torque Bearings”.

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DESIGN

The general feel of the lathe when you see it is one of good design and layout, and to a great degree as you use the lathe that is borne out, however there are some failures which make the lathe almost useless! for the purpose I purchased it for, large lumps of maybe unbalanced wood.

 

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HEADSTOCK

I have broken this area down into the headings you see on the picture, just click on the heading  in the picture and it will take you to that area.

 

 

      INDEXING & SPINDLE LOCK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDEX & SPINDLE LOCKING SYSTEM

I really like this feature as you see the locking bar is inserted at the top, there is one large bore hole for the removal of chucks etc and the small holes are held by rotating the locking bar and inserting it into the smaller ones, a simple but very neat idea, which does away with needing an indexing bar.

 

 

SWIVEL POINT, LOCKING LEVER & FOOT

 

I really need to deal with these together.  This part of the design strays from the norm and in my opinion FAILS MISERABLY at this point.  The concept is that the large foot area, being locked down by means of two large hex bolts, will provide a secure base for the swivel.  It was one of the main reasons I wanted the lathe.  Trouble is that when you have even a slightly heavy or off centre piece of wood on the lathe, it is almost impossible to get it to lock down securely.  The idea works fine if you only turn fairly well balanced lumps of wood, but that's not what I purchased it for.  This is a massive failing in this lathe and one which does not seem to have a suitable solution.  One other problem I have had is that the Locking lever came out of the socket, when I phoned, yes you guessed it, I spoke to Richard because neither Simon or Steve were available, I was told that the lever is held in by a grub screw which is located under the headstock foot! a real doozy of a place to get to,  with the vibration problems I wonder how many times I will have to do that?  PLEASE NOTE I asked for the lockdown lever to be on the front, it is normally placed behind, which I think would be difficult to use. 

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BEARINGS AND DRIVE COUPLING

 

A small hex bolt holds the cover on and a good robust looking coupling is revealed, there is a castellation nut which holds the bearing in and a lock washer.  As mentioned before when delivered the bearing needs to be run in for 2 hours before tightening the castellation nut and I say again, why can't this be done at the factory. Now normally I would have tightened the nut till the shaft begins to bind and then take it back say 10%, however when I did this the bearings just loosened again.  I received a message through Richard, from Simon that these were torque bearings (being a wooden top I have not the faintest what they are) and they should be tightened down till they bind then run the motor, or is this just a ploy for sloppy bearing?

 

 

 

THREAD PROTECTOR

 

I have to give this a little mention as the first time I used it I discovered that it was not reamed out to take a 2 morse taper, THE HOLE WAS TOO SMALL!!!! and I had to ream it out myself, hence the rough looking edges.

 

                                              

 

 

 

 

 

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MOTOR CONTROLS

This comprises of a metal box, approx 6inch by 3inch, there is a magnet on the back which is completely inadequate so as you can see I have resorted to some high tech elastic bands to hold the box on to the control box holder.(see below) The start (green) and stop (red) buttons are FAR too small at only 8mm across and way too close together for safety.  Please note you must not touch the other buttons as this will upset the programming (So why put the ruddy things on the outside! why not tuck them away inside the box?

SPEED CONTROL.  This can be pretty lethal! the distance between each number is only appox 1 cm, as you can see from the picture I have put the speeds that I attained up to 6, you only have to knock the control knob and things can get pretty hairy.  I have to say I prefer the control on the Poolewood DVSL, it has a better layout, far more robust, better magnet and one complete rotation of the knob gives only 250 revs increase, Silverdrive 3/4 of a complete rotation will go from 0 to 3000 revs!  There is no positive braking when switching off.

 

 

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STOPPING THE MACHINE

The emergency stop button located on the front right of the machine (as you face it)  This is a large positive button and it is used to switch the machine on and off on a daily basis.  I am a little concerned that there is NO APPARENT positive braking when you hit this switch.  The same applies to the motor control off switch, I was under the impression that it was a safety requirement these days.

 

 

 

 

 

BANJO & TOOLREST

The Banjo is very robustly built and the lockdown on it is very positive.  It is very easy to slide along the bed which is a nice change.  However, it is over large and if you want to take advantage of the full distance over the bed (which I do) then its a problem because the toolrest is then an inch away from the wood, see below, yes I know you can angle it in but that is no good for long cuts

The toolrest is well constructed and nice to use, what a shame that you only get the one as standard,  The small one I ordered with the lathe I have been billed £25 for (bill yet to be paid)

 

 

TAILSTOCK

 

This is a well constructed and robust tailstock, it has a firm hold on the bed when locked down and its very easy to slide up and down the bed, a real joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OUTBOARD TURNING ASSEMBLY

 

This is a well constructed assembly and I like the idea of being able to move the assembly over, what a shame that on the right side there was no lock down handle, I have inserted a bolt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAINTWORK AND FINISH

 

 

I have to say that the paintwork and finish on this lathe leaves a lot to be desired.  The paint finish is very fragile and will even come off if you scrape your fingernail across it, it is almost as if there is no decent primer coat on the metal.  

Note the bubbling type paintwork holes in the headstock, they were there on delivery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BASE

The base comes in 2 sections one under the headstock and one under the tailstock.  When I saw the lathe at the Harrogate show I asked for the front of the main base to be cut away so that I could get my chair in.  Its worth noting that as you can see in the picture that base extends well out from the bed.  It still causes me a few minor problems, so much so that I have moved the foot well along the bed, not a great problem for me as I do very little spindle turning.

Before construction I did advise Simon that I would be filling the bases with bagged wet sand, when they arrived the only holes were in the bottom of the legs, so they had to be filled and then rolled over the right way up.

However the base is well constructed and if you use the sand then it cuts out the drumming that a previous report identified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

This company were not easy to deal with, customer service is almost non existent.  Delivery time was delayed and extended to 5 MONTHS from payment.  There are, in my humble and unqualified opinion, design faults in the headstock area and  I believe the controls are dangerous, I have had problems with the bearings from day one.  The paint finish is pretty soft and scratches easily.

For the money that is being asked for this lathe and the bad service I received I cannot honestly recommend this lathe.

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