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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 Mr. R. Gibbs, Vertical Milling Machine, 23rd October 2023
Many thanks for your excellent service and once again my congrats on producing such a superb machine. I find your approach to manufacture of real quality items so refreshing after the many years I spent in Australia where the vast percentage of the manufactured goods supply market is driven by c__p from China that passes as acceptable by customers whose decisions are formed by getting as much "stuff" as they can for as little money and effort as possible. Do please excuse my vitriolic rantings, but I do feel very strongly that the British, or more specifically the English must stand against this decline in the pride of excellence. Well done you for all your efforts in this.
From Dr. David Hatherill 21st January 2022
Hi, I thought I'd drop you a note to share a testimonial, but actually it's a bit more than that as the story is quite interesting. My father was interested in purchasing a jigsaw / fretsaw in the mid 1970s and saw the newly launched, but yet to go into production, Perris jigsaw on their stand at the Model Engineer Exhibition. It was available as the unit you sell today, or without motor for a customer to fit their own. My father placed an order and paid for the non motorised one, as I think he planned to drive it off the lathe. Anyway some weeks later it was delivered, but when he opened the box the motorised version was inside along with a letter from the company saying that during the exhibition Mr Perris had passed away and that the future of the company was uncertain, so would he please accept the motorised one with their complements, although he had only paid for the non motorised one. My father, being my father, sent a cheque to cover the extra cost of course as it was the right thing to do. Whether the saw sent was the one off the show stand I don't know. It does not seem to have a serial number that I have ever found. Cowells of course then bought the design and it entered production. Meanwhile the saw my father purchased has outlived him, has been used extensively by him and was used only this afternoon by me. So in nearly fifty years it's never missed a beat, has never required any repairs or attention of any kind other than an oil round. It's always been used with short lengths of metal cutting bandsaw blade which has worked well, and my father also fitted a fence (a useful addition) to enable the production of strip wood to any size. All in all it has been an excellent purchase all those years ago, and a most excellent example of why buying good quality tools is always the cheapest solution in the long run. I hope that's all of interest.
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 is good.
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 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 the question.
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 engineering jobs.
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 A, Herts
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 service.
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 investment.
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, and money.
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 of use.
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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