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Member postings for Roger Vane

Here is a list of all the postings Roger Vane has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Vice Upgrade
10/11/2020 08:44:22

Although I started off with a Vertex K4, I also treated myself to a Warco DH-1 vice which I now use for most jobs. I find it to be very accurate, and with a 175mm jaw opening it covers most of my needs. The optional V-jaws and high-jaws make it even more versatile, Not cheap, but well worth considering if your machine is large enough to accept it.

Thread: Material For 626 Way Cover
05/10/2020 16:31:29

Hi William

I destroyed the original rubber cover within the first 30 minutes or so of using the machine. it has been replaced by a piece of leathercloth which I find to be very effective and have only replaced once in the last 10 years (due to be replaced again in the near future). I have only covered the top of the knee and left the vertical column uncovered as i find that i use this space for a magnetic clock stand on occasions. Replacement of the original thick rubber sheet has given me an increase ib Y-axis travel.

On the subject of the X-axis DRO scale, I have mounted this on the front of the table, using the original slot intended for the table stops. I have made a new stop-bar and stops which fit outside the scale. You will find some pictures and a brief description included in a post by 'Steve Talbot 1' under the subject heading 'Using DROs' posted 30/05/2011. I also wrote this up for MEW, and it was published in issue 196.

Hope that this helps


Thread: Turning a riser for VMC Z Axis
04/08/2020 19:39:31

Hi Vic

I have fitted a 4" riser to my VMC, and on raising the table the leadscrew will disengage before touching the retracted spindle nose. If you have managed to disengage the leadscrew on one occasion then you won't want to do it again, as it's a real pain to re-engage.

In reality, I don't have any real problems with disengagement as there is normally a chuck or some other tooling in the spindle. The 4" riser solves far more problems than it creates, and transforms the use of the machine.

Thread: cateracts.
12/07/2020 12:39:31

I had one done last year - brilliant job.

No real discomfort and a really quick job - the surgeon did 9 of us in the morning session. Had mine done at 9.30 on the Monday morning and back home by midday. Sight 'blotchy' the following day when I removed the bandage (as expected) and by Saturday lunchtime I could clearly read number plates at the legal distance with that eye alone.

So, go for it. You will be amazed at how it changes your life - the gift of sight is wonderful.

Thread: Centre finding
24/04/2020 14:38:13

Hi Cliff

I had a similar problem a few years ago, and traced it to run-out of the (big name) drill chuck that was holding the edge finder. On testing the runout on the chuck I found it to be around 0.004" TIR, which was playing havoc with accurate centring, even with an up-market edge finder.

Certainly it's worth clocking the chuck to check TIR - you may be shocked.

Thread: Imperial Electronic Edge Finder
07/03/2020 18:21:55


I had an imperial edge finder with a fixed probe and which used a 12-volt battery and filament bulb. As happens with these things, a heavy over-run led to concerns about accuracy. I then searched the market for an edge finder with a ball-end which could be displaced and then return to position in the case of an over-run. They were certainly available at the time, but with body diameters of either 20mm or 32mm they were far too large for my use.

So, I started to develop my own with a ball ended probe, initially using a 12-volt battery and a filament bulb. Although it worked, I soon became frustrated with the poor response and short battery life.

The next stage was to move to using an LED with a flat cell battery, and I’ve found it very responsive in use with good repeatability.

The design has a 1/2” diameter body and a 1/4” diameter ball, although the ball diameter can be changed within reason if you can find a ball of the correct diameter.

I have written it up as an article, complete with detailed drawings and Neil has it in the queue for publication in MEW, so if you can afford to wait for a while then making your own could be an option.


The edge finder works by completing an electrical circuit when the probe touches the workpiece. That circuit goes from the probe, through the workpiece and machine back to the probe, and as long as everything in the circuit is electrically conductive then the edge finder lights up.

Thread: Imperial supplies of mild steel
02/01/2020 22:57:56

Maidstone Engineering list 3/32" flats - 3/4" and 1" wide. (Phone no: 01580 890066)

Thread: Yet another 'which mill shall I buy'
12/11/2019 14:36:16


Maybe I have a 'belt allergy', and I guess that it's down to personal preference in the end. I would agree that it only takes less than a minute to change belt ratios, but I found from using the mill / drill that I could do that many times in a day which adds up to a considerable amount of lost productive time. Even though it is for hobby use, the lost productive time is important, particularly if time available to be spent in the workshop is limited.

However, there are other benefits to using a variable speed drive apart from changing speeds (which is instantaneous). The standard VMC only has 9 speeds, whereas the variable speed drive has as many as you want at the turn of a knob. Also, with the Newton Tesla remote control box there is also a 'jog' function, which I find invaluable for tapping holes under power. The Warco variable speed VMC was not available until recently.

I was so impressed with the inverter drive that I have also fitted my Myford with a package, as has a friend. Neither of us would wish to return to belt changing on a regular basis.

As for the raising block, I found that I really needed that extra headroom for the type of work that I undertake, and the tooling that I use. Had I been able to buy one 'off the shelf' then certainly I would have done so, but requests to Warco to supply proved unsuccessful.

12/11/2019 10:31:15

In praise of the Warco VMC …..

Although I'd love a Bridgeport, it would be far too large for my workshop and has features which I would probably never use. As my best alternative, around 10 years ago I purchased a VMC from Warco.

After using a mill / drill for many years, the VMC is pure luxury, although I have personalised it somewhat. Firstly, I ordered a non-stock machine as I wanted imperial lead screws, an R8 spindle (far better than MT), and a 3 phase motor - delivery was around 6 months, which was ideal as I was moving the workshop at the time. I also ordered the wide drip tray which I considered essential.

In order to use the machine the first job was to fit an inverter from Newton Tesla, complete with their remote control box. This was a huge improvement over the standard belt changing system that I'd been using with the mill / drill.

I also fitted 3-axis digital readouts, with the X-axis scale fitted to the front of the table so as not to restrict Y-axis movement. Other additions have included two small LED lights (home designed and made), a full coolant system and revised X / Y axis stops.

Overall, I have found the VMC to be a good, solid and accurate machine which has done everything asked of it, although it did have one limitation which irritated me. I found that the distance between the spindle nose and table was insufficient for my needs - the solution was a 4" raising block which I made from Meehanite. This is just about possible on my Super 7 using a 6" 4-jaw chuck with a screwed body rather than the backplate style.

Just one more addition to make, and that's to add a digital scale to the quill down feed, complete with a revised quill stop.

Would I recommend the VMC for consideration? Certainly.

PS If anyone is interested in the fitment of the X-axis DRO (with new table stops) to the front of the table, the LED lights or the raising block then I have covered these with articles in either ME or MEW.

Thread: Painting and Finishing
06/09/2019 20:18:39

Could we please include a detailed article about lining as well? Bad lining can ruin a good paint job.



Thread: Stiff Quill Travel on Myford VMC Milling-machine
25/03/2019 08:48:16

I took a different approach to blowlamp when removing the quill from my Warco VMC, which I believe is basically the same as the Myford version.

Following removal of the depth stop threaded rod and nuts I removed the guide block - this is held onto the quill with a single M5 capscrew. To release the quill itself, wind it downwards using the downfeed lever until the quill disengages from the drive pinion, taking care to provide support as it is released. One word of warning here - control the return of the lever rather than just release it as the return spring is quite strong and it will hurt if the lever hits you. Reassembly is the same procedure in reverse - wind the handle down and re-engage the pinion.

It is worth supporting the quill on the machine table (onto a piece of wood to protect the table surface). In that way you will have control of the quill by moving the knee up or down.

Thread: Myford Dickson toolholder and 10mm tooling
18/02/2019 17:08:23

RDG did have some special 'Dickson' style holders that fit the '7' tool post designed to overcome your problem - they are deeper and have a cut-out at the bottom and can hang over the front of the top slide (so that they can take larger tools)..

I bought mine from their eBay shop, but can't see them at the moment. Might be worth a phone call.

Good luck.

Thread: Things must be getting tight for the scammers.
12/01/2018 20:49:07

With telephone scams I usually try to keep them talking for a while and then ask them what the scam is - at this point they normally hang up, although sometimes they do cast doubt on my parentage first.

Talked to a scammer once and he admitted that he wanted my bank details so that he could steal my money.

Thread: 6" MS Bar for Z axis extension
15/09/2017 10:02:22

Hi Dave

I made my 4" raising block for the VMC in cast iron purchased from M-Machine. A bit more expensive, but machines nicely.

Mine was made in 2 parts as Gary has suggested, and was written up for MEW, starting in issue 215. I understand that the position of the hold-down studs can vary, presumably depending on age and sourcing by Warco, so it might be worth checking your machine before you make the raising block.

One little problem I have experienced when testing the Z-range is that it is possible to disengage the Z-axis leadscrew. Had great fun re-engaging it and will not repeat the exercise.

Thread: Warco mill and DRO
28/04/2017 16:13:02

Hi Alan

Yes - I've fitted a DRO (from Allendale) to the Y-axis of my VMC and retained a stop system at the same time. Unlike John, I chose to make a new stop bar and stops rather than use the existing one, probably because it matched the one that I fitted to the X-axis.

I've loaded a few photos into an album **LINK** which will hopefully give you some ideas. In loading the album, I noticed that I had already posted some DRO photos which you might also find helpful.

If you decide to adopt a similar approach then I have some drawings in TurboCAD format that I can send you, although if you can't read these then I can probably convert to a PDF for you - please PM me if you need these.

While you are fitting the DRO I would recommend fitting the X-axis scale to the front of the table rather than to the rear so that you can retain full Y-axis travel - I wrote an article for MEW196 showing how I did this and included stops. If you decide to do this you will need to buy a scale smaller than the standard one so as to allow the stops to be included - the article explains.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck and have fun.

Thread: Warco VMC
28/01/2017 15:23:50

When I ordered my VMC from Warco I wanted imperial / R8 / 3 phase which is not a standard. Roger Warren ordered a special for me with a 240V 3 phase motor, saving me the cost of a new motor. Then I bought an inverter and control panel from Newton Tesla which was very easy to wire up (they provide a wiring diagram).

The belts are set to 1180 rpm - I can count on one hand the number of times I've changed the belt ratio in the 7 or so years that I've owned the machine. It allows me a totally variable speed, and not the belt or gear ratios specified by the manufacturer. I find that at this belt setting I can drive a 7/8" drill (at low speed into a piloted hole) or a 2.5" shell mill as long as the feed rates and depth of cut are sensible, whilst with the maximum frequency set to just under 60Hz (1400 rpm) I can drive a small slot drill. A further benefit is that I can tap under power using the jog / reverse functions. Torque levels maintained well down the rev range. Magic!

Thread: Warco VMC partial disassembly
11/12/2016 16:31:33

"I then used the engine crane to remove the main machine from the base"

Sorry Dave - pgk pjk has reminded me that the base was delivered as a separate item, so I did not have to lift the machine from the base. It was a long time ago, and memory fades.

11/12/2016 15:39:53

Hi Dave

If your machine is on a hard surface can you use an engine crane as used by garages to remove car engines? - they can be hired for a reasonable fee.

I had to remove the turret on my VMC due to height limitations in the workshop - it's heavy and awkward, so best avoided if possible. I then used the engine crane to remove the main machine from the base (which I manhandled into position in the workshop), and then the turret-less VMC was moved in using the engine crane and bolted down to the base. That was followed by manhandling the turret in and fitting to the body of the machine (you'll need a couple of helpers here).

To lift the VMC I bought a webbing sling from Machine Mart - I used a 2m long sling which was a bit too long and 1m long would probably have been better, There are lifting holes on the machine, but these are not suitable for moving the machine. I wrapped the sling around the knee between the table and the column. Tip: if you plan to make and fit a raising block best to measure the tee-slot and centre bore before refitting the turret.

Good luck.

Thread: Regulator cartridge valve
21/07/2016 09:02:44

John Hilton - I've sent you a pm about the cartridge valve

Roger Vane

Thread: Warco VMC adjustment.
09/05/2016 14:40:37

Hi Windy

My guess is that if you want to just check end-float in the spindle you could do this by locking the quill and then finding some way of 'moving' the spindle so that you can check the actual end-float. You will need to remove the quill itself (complete with spindle) if you want to either repack or adjust the bearings.

When I fitted a raising block to my machine I removed the quill / spindle to reduce the weight of the turret assembly. The quill itself is easy to remove, and in an article that I wrote regarding the raising block I said....

" The first major item to be removed was the quill, complete with spindle. To do this simply remove the depth stop threaded rod and nuts. Within the depth stop is a capscrew that attaches the stop to the quill - remove this and the stop. To release the quill itself, wind it downwards using the downfeed lever until the quill disengages from the drive pinion, taking care to provide support as it is released. One word of warning here - control the return of the lever rather than just release it as the return spring is quite strong and will hurt if the lever hits you". Please note the warning - it is a strong spring and it does hurt if the lever hits you.

Hope this helps - good luck.

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