on 7 August 2014
Simply engineered but very robust, good value with the combined drill and mill kits (I paid £309). I would advise anyone purchasing to be prepared to spend some time in stripping and cleaning both the tail stock and cross slide table of the preservative oil it comes packaged in. I also lightly greased the threads and contact faces of the slides.
In addition to that take the time to adjust the grub screws of the slide shims to eliminate free play in the table. Having done that I get clean and accurate cuts with the lathe.
There are two design flaws IMO which I found annoying at first but easily improved; first the longitudinal slide relies on the friction of one small grub screw to hold it in place, which can be insufficient after free play is eliminated and you may find winding mechanism moving instead of the table. The problem is with the retaining collar, it has a roughly made flat which the grub screw sits on; a carefully placed lateral cut or groove for the grub screw to sit in rectify's this by providing a shoulder to absorb longitudinal force. The other minor flaw is the lack of marker for the angle gauge on the table to provide an accurate zero, without which it is easy to end up with tapered cuts when not wanted, again easily overcome with the use of a engineer square and a marker (which I initially did, then replaced with a centre punch dimple)
It was also irritating to find the tail stock drill chuck was a separate addon and not included, had draper been kind enough to provide an adaptor one of the two included drill chucks could be used. Instead you either have the choice of making an adaptor or purchase the addon for around £60.
I however have given 5 stars because I simply don't believe the negatives are sufficient enough to lower the rating when you consider you can drill, mill and lathe with control and precision for the one price; one may disagree with that but I would then offer the challenge of matching the the same abilities provided (drill mill and lathe) by other machines and see what it adds up to.
It is a jack of all trades and master of none, I agree, but with some preparation I have found it to be a very competent jack of those trades.