Some time back, I saw a Magma Black Line Titan lathe being demonstrated at the annual woodworking show at Cressing Temple Barns in Essex. They allowed me to try a cut on a bowl the demonstrator was working on. It was impressive, to say the least.
The Titan is expensive, and for some time afterwards I was able to convince myself that I didn’t need one. I already had two excellent lathes – a Tyme Classic and a Graduate short bed. But on my larger pieces they are sometimes at the very limit of their capabilities. The capacity over the bed of the Classic is not enough for some of my work, and the big discs I turn for globe stands need more torque than the Graduate motor could deliver. I was able to turn long items, and wide ones, but not things that were both. So eventually I felt myself giving way.
Thinking that if I were to buy another lathe it should be the best I could get, I took a trip to the showroom of Classic Hand Tools Ltd where they had a couple of Titans set up for customers to test drive. I booked a time and met Andy Coates who talked me through a lot of details. I took along some tools and bits of wood and spent some time trying out the machine. Again I was impressed and decided to place my order.
The Magma Black Line Titan Lathe comes in two models, the 315 and the 400, those being the spindle heights over the bed, in millimetres. This would be the last lathe I ever buy, and not wanting to be limited by the lathe, I chose the 400. I paid my deposit a few weeks back. But I soon changed my mind. The 315 can turn up to 25 inches over the bed, and unlimited diameters with the headstock swiveled. Realistically, this is more than enough. I don’t really have the space and equipment to handle pieces bigger than that. CHT agreed to change the order. I paid extra for the 3HP (2.2KW) motor option and a 500mm bed extension, and for help setting up the lathe.
CHT delivered my Magma Black Line Titan lathe with a couple of helpers. It came broken down into parts, each of which was a challenge to get into my workshop. This, with assembly and set up, took several hours of hard work. The most difficult job was lifting the headstock assembly on the bed, but we managed by using an engine hoist.
Already, the Classic and Graduate are looking small in comparison with the Titan. My workshop is in chaos as we moved lots of stuff to make way. The priority is getting rid of the Classic, which is now badly in the way. I shall have to keep the Graduate for a while as I must adapt my ball cutting jig and make sure I have accessories to fit the Titan before the Graduate goes. I have lots of work to do before the workshop is properly organised.