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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: 3MT or R8
17/10/2012 18:08:31

Hi Chris

Totally agree with the comments about R8 - much easier and kinder.

If you are buying new there is something else that you might like to consider. When I ordered my VMC the plan was to fit an inverter to give variable speed. I discussed this with Warco and they made a special order for R8 / Imperial / 3 phase. (I think that 3 phase metric is a standard offering). It took around 6 months to arrive which suited me as I was moving the workshop at the time.

I ordered an inverter and control station from Newton Tesla which was easy to fit - even for someone who doesn't understand the 'black art' of electrics. The benefit of ordering the 3 phase machine was that I didn't have to spend a load of cash replacing the single phase motor, which went a long way towards paying for the DRO.

The benefit of the inverter drive is that you can vary the speed with the twist of a dial - no belt changing which is a great time saver. It also allows for jog and forward / reverse which is great for tapping under power. The result is that I've probably changed the belts for that 'special job' less than 10 times in the last 3 years.

You'll find that the DRO and inverter drive will put the standard VMC into a different class.


Thread: Why is this site's functionality so DREADFUL!!!!!
12/10/2012 22:06:31

Hi John

Just tested on Internet Explorer 9 (running on Windows 7) without any problems.


Thread: 8 BA Grub Screws
18/08/2012 11:25:04

I've got the Allen keys, but I'm struggling to find a source of 8BA socket grub screws (length unimportant).

Does anyone know of a source for these tiny screws?


Thread: Welding Gas
14/08/2012 15:57:08

I had rented an Air Products oxygen cylinder for years, but when the advice of the next year's rental came in at £120 I decided that things had to change.

Admittedly this was a large cylinder, but I hadn't exchanged it for 9 years or so and it was still two-thirds full, so I could afford to downsize and hopefully save some cash. In addition to the annual rental, Air Products impose a handling charge when exchanging the cylinder - expensive when collecting and even more expensive for delivery. Another annoyance was that their agents are now few and far between.

So, I needed to look for something smaller (and hopefully cheaper to rent). I'd started thinking about the future - maybe I'd go back to BOC and see what they could offer - at least they had a more suitable network of agents than Air Products.

Then I found a reference to a company by the name of 'Adams Gas' on this forum which made interesting reading. Adams are based in Margate, Kent and operate through distributors - there are a number of these in Kent and some further afield. The interesting thing about Adams is that you don't pay an annual rental charge, neither are there any handling charges. All you pay is an one-off up-front payment which is fully refundable at any point in time should you no longer wish to keep the cylinder - this charge is currently £55.

Looking at the Adams website - - I found that I could get an oxygen cylinder for £36 (inc VAT) plus the up-front payment of £55. Admittedly the cylinder is much smaller than the one I had and it is filled to a lower pressure (137 bar as opposed to around 200 bar) but it appeared to be a good solution to my problem. The real test will be when building a boiler and seeing how many refills will be required, but this only happens occasionally and I'm already in profit.

Adams list various gases under the heading of 'Hobby Gas' which includes MIG welding mixes as well as the oxygen - they don't offer acetylene. Their cylinders use the same regulator fittings as BOC, Air Products and Air Liquide, so no problems there.

Depending on where you live the Adams Gas may also be worth considering.

Good luck.

Thread: Which New Mill Vice?
01/08/2012 11:48:11

I've had one of these vices for about 18 months now, and I must say that I'm very pleased with it. The capacity is amazing and the vice is accurate and very versatile, especially with the optional vee-jaws and high-jaws.

The only problems that I've found are that due to the height of the vice (in it's full swivelling mode) the headroom available for tooling is reduced and also it is somewhat less rigid than a standard swivel base vice such as the Vertex K4 when taking heavy cuts.

With reference to the jaws not closing parallel, this is due to the clearance holes when bolting the loose jaw to the base - the trick here is to gently close the vice onto the workpiece and only then fully tighten the capscrews holding the loose (no tenon) jaw before tightening the vice fully. If you do this, my experience is that you will find that the grip is awesome.

Good luck with your vice, and I hope that you will find it as useful as I do.



Thread: ME issue 4270
18/09/2011 15:28:30

Just checked my system. I'm getting the same error message using Internet Explorer 8 - strange thing is that I'm already using Abobe Flash Player version10.2
Thread: Myford - Dickson tool holders
09/08/2011 15:42:37
I've bought two batches of 5 holders from Chronos... around a tenner each buying them that way.
On the plus side the price is very competitive, they are hard and I have found no problems with the studs, but on the minus side they are dimensionally inconsistent - no excuses with modern production equipment.
I found that the tee for the clamp varied somewhat in depth meaning that the clamp lever pulled-up in different positions for holders in the batch - no big deal, but some were very tight on the clamp in the unlocked position - possibly my toolpost (Bison) is also inaccurate to drawing.
The most frustrating variation is the 'height' at the bottom of the tool-slot which is quite variable, leaving some 10mm shank tools above centre height when the holder is at it's lowest possible position. Managed to overcome the problem by 'mixing and matching'' toolholders to tools. Also, at the lowest position I've found that the adjustment thimble is almost off the stud - had to make a few specials.
Guess that you pay your money and take your choice - good luck!.
Thread: 'Super' Stent
07/06/2011 15:27:02
Hi John
Think that Charles Woodward probably designed the vertical leadscrew in order to avoid grinding grit getting into the leadscrew and nut, as the leadscrew and nut are effectively enclosed.
06/06/2011 16:06:35
Hi Tony
I'm building a Stent from scratch incorporating these mods plus some of my own and I've had a fair bit of head-scratching over this one.
Finally decided that the vertical leadscrew is fixed to the slide so that it can't rotate - it's the nut that rotates complete with the handwheel and nut housing.
As the handwheel / nut assembly is constrained around the column endplate it can't move in the vertical axis so the slide moves instead. In practice the leadscrew moves up / down within the nut housing.
Hope this helps.
Thread: Using DRO's
31/05/2011 10:33:20

Hi Steve

As requested, here are a few photos of my DRO installation.


The scale is attached into the existing stop ‘slot’ and then the new stop system is attached outboard of this, also into the existing slot. I made new dovetail nuts as those fitted to the machine were not very good and I also needed 2 more to attach the stop bar – the dovetail angle is 20 degrees inclusive and from memory are tapped M5.

The stop bracket is basically ‘U’ shaped made from 3 pieces of alloy bar – one of the ‘uprights’ is screwed onto the machine saddle and the reader head is then screwed onto that – this gave the correct alignment of scale and reader head (after a little fine adjustment with the jacking screws). The stop itself is then attached to the horizontal member.

There was just sufficient space to attach the scale, reader head and stop bracket when using the slim scale – the standard scales would just be too large for this to be viable on the VMC.

I cut a T-slot in the new stop bar and made T-nuts as I found that the original dovetail nuts had ‘self-locking’ properties which would be irritating to use.

The installation was completed with the addition of a sheet metal cover to protect the scales.


The only problem that I’ve found with this installation is that the Z-axis feed handle hits the stop bar when the table is fully towards me and well to the left. This has not proved to be a serious problem.

As you can see from the photos it is still possible to fit table locking screws – I replaced the standard screws with adjustable handles. As for the electrical stops, I see no reason why these could not be retained if fitted with T-nuts and used on the new stop bar.


I employed a similar stop system to the X-axis. The scale was attached to the knee of the machine and the reader head was fitted to a bracket attached to the saddle. The stop bar was then fitted ‘outboard’ of this arrangement (on the knee), with the stop itself then fitted to the saddle of the machine.

Marks on table

No problems so far, but I suspect that you’re correct and it wouldn’t take much to damage the surface.

This issue of fitting a stop system to the X-axis of a VMC size machine has been raised a couple of times in MEW – if there is sufficient interest then I could probably produce an article with some detail drawings. Any thoughts David?


30/05/2011 16:57:27
Hi Steve,
I've fitted DRO's to my Warco VMC, together with new stop bars and stops to both X and Y axes.
My X-axis scale is fitted to the front of the table avoiding any loss of Y-axis travel (as would be the case if the scale was to be fitted to the rear of the table). I used a slim scale for the X-axis and standard scales for Y and Z axes.
I certainly use the stops on occasions, particularly when milling a pocket or slot with closed ends - just in case I drop into 'sleep mode' and over-run.
Thread: Warco VMC drawing
24/05/2011 10:21:22

If Roger Warren is looking for a supplier then he should have a drawing available for quotation purposes. Might be worth contacting him directly.
19/05/2011 09:12:35

Hi Windy

I’ve owned a Warco VMC for a couple of years now and am generally very pleased with it. Your post raises a couple of interesting points.


I haven’t experienced any problems with vibration in the head.

Think the key to overcoming the potential vibration problem may be down to selection of the ideal spindle speed – there are huge gaps between available speeds on the VMC and therefore the potential for vibration if the speed selected is not suitable for the job in hand.

The information plate in the belt cover lists spindle speeds (50Hz motor) as 190, 270, 480, 560, 1000, 1180, 1379, 1800 and 2100. Based on experience with my old Warco Minor mill, I felt that the spindle speed range offered by the VMC was not really suitable for my requirements – there are no available speeds in my critical range of 560 – 1000 and the bottom speed of 190 is far too high when using a 3” slitting saw.

I overcame the problem by ordering the machine with a 3 phase motor with the aim of fitting an inverter to provide variable speeds. As I wanted an R8 spindle and imperial graduations I had to order the machine as a ‘special’ with a delivery time of around 6 months – this approach saved me the cost of buying a new 3 phase motor to make the conversion. I purchased an inverter and remote control station from Newton Tesla – fitting was very straightforward using the wiring diagram supplied.

Was it worth the wait? – it certainly was. Do I suffer from vibration problems? – no, as any potential problems are controlled by simply reducing the spindle speed (at the turn of a knob).

Other advantages include:

  • No time wasted changing belt positions (a real pain). My machine is set to 1180 rpm and I’ve only changed this briefly a couple of times in the last two years. That was for machining cast iron using a 2.5” shell mill (full width) taking a 1/16” cut – the motor simply couldn’t provide enough torque at the very low speed selected and the cutter slowed down.
  • A much lower spindle speed – low enough to tap ‘under power’ using the ‘jog’ facility (with the 1180 belt setting).
  • Infinitely variable spindle speeds.
  • Very good torque characteristics.
  • An increased spindle speed at the top-end of the range as the inverter produces close to 60Hz maximum.

Based on my experience of the VMC, I can recommend that it is a very worthwhile conversion that you might like to consider if it’s not too late. I have found that it puts an ‘already good machine’ into a totally different class.

Raising Block

The only real issue that I have with this machine is lack of height between the spindle nose and the table. The Warco specification for this is 13.5” whilst mine is only 12.5” – a full inch under specification. This is very restrictive, especially when using their excellent DH-1 vice and a 13mm keyless chuck.

I have spoken to Roger Warren of Warco on a couple of occasions regarding this problem. He has told me that he is looking to offer a 4” spacer as a retrofit option to existing VMC owners on the Warco database. The last time that I spoke to him was at the 2010 ME Exhibition, at which stage he was having difficulties sourcing the spacers.

Other owners that I’ve spoken to would also like to increase the capacity of their machines, so this appears to be a real issue.

I can only suggest that owners of VMCs who feel that this is a problem contact Roger Warren direct and push this matter forwards. Let’s have some ‘people power’ to resolve this problem.

Hope that these comments help.

Thread: Slideway guard on warco vmc milling machine
18/02/2011 15:24:07

Hi Mike
Had exactly the same problem - managed to destroy my rubber cover within a few days from new.
I made a simple cover from leathercloth and a piece of angle iron which covers the Y-slide (but not the vertical). I felt that the real problem was stopping swarf from getting into the gearing which elevates the knee and this has provided the ideal solution so far (18 months).
The angle iron simply clips into the 'slot' formed between the knee casting and the 'recess' in the centre of the Z-axis slideway. Hope that the photos explain all.
The leathercloth is thinner and more flexible than the rubber and allows the slide to go back against the stops, maximising travel. An added bonus is that the Z-axis slide is uncovered and provides an ideal mounting surface for a magnetic clock stand.

Thread: DRO for Myford ML7
22/02/2010 16:55:04
Re: SINO SDS6-3V and number of decimal places ......
If you are working in imperial measure and have readings to 5 decimal places and wish to change to 4 decimal places then it's worth trying the following procedure.
Switch to metric measure, and then back to imperial (using the 'M/I' button) .  At this stage you will have the option to set the number of decimal places used for imperial measurement.  Select 'MORI4' in the display by use of the 'up / down' arrows and then hit 'ENT' - that will give you the desired number of decimal places.
Hope that it works for you.
Thread: Simpler the Better -what do you use?
19/02/2010 12:11:58
Hi Kwil,
When drawing a line with TurboCAD you can 'lock' it to either the vertical or horizontal direction using the 'ortho' snap mode, which limits the drawing of lines to 90 degree angles (0, 90, 180, 270).  Other software may well have similar functions.
However, I'm not really certain why you would want to do this on a regular basis as using ortho turns off the other snaps (such as vertex and intersection) which are more useful as aids to precise drawing.
Hope that this helps.
Thread: ME Centennial
27/11/2009 12:01:32

I've just checked mine and although the pdf has 25 pages this includes the initial 'copyright advice' page - page 25 of the actual document is missing. 
Thread: oil
22/10/2009 17:38:04

Yes - you rotate the key 3 to disengage it and lift the lever 4 as you were doing previously (to engage the backgear gear train).  The resulting drive will still be forwards though - to reverse spindle direction you must reverse the motor.
Good luck.
22/10/2009 17:11:07
Hi Allen,
Your backgear problem - have you disengaged the back gear key - item 3 in the diagram page 22?  If you haven't then everything will jam up as you describe.  Simply rotate to disengage and then the backgear should work ok.
Thread: Stent Tool Grinder
29/09/2009 12:21:50

Hi Fred,

Quorn or Stent? Let me start the ball rolling …..

I too had the same dilemma – I wanted a small T & C grinder, but was it to be the Quorn or the Stent? In the event, I chose the Quorn and completed construction over a period of several years. The Stent as designed is a fairly crude machine whilst the Quorn appears to be far more sophisticated. 

Was this the right decision? Although the Quorn will carry out many operations, particularly with special attachments, I have become increasingly frustrated with it. The main reason being that, apart from movement along the bed bars, other movements involve the generation of arcs rather than straight lines and therefore there are no graduated linear scales.  This makes it very tedious to use (for me anyway). The Stent on the other hand has normal linear movements and graduated scales.

I had decided to stick with the Quorn until I read an article by Charles Woodward in MEW 137 (April 2008), in which Charles appraised both machines and described how he had modified the original Stent design into what might be termed a ‘Super Stent’. This is well worth reading and may help you to make the final decision.

Charles has now written a further series of very helpful articles, currently being published in MEW. There has also been a series of articles on using the Clarkson in recent issues of MEW and as the Stent is based on the Clarkson, these too have been very helpful.  

My problems were resolved, and I decided to build the Super Stent, but with a few more modifications of my own – primarily to utilise the Quorn principle of interchangeable wheels and maybe some of the tooling (as I already have these). This now involves some more redesign, particularly the spindle which needs further ‘beefing-up’ due to the hole required for the drawbar. Detail design work is now well under way for the main assemblies, and I hope to start cutting metal shortly.

Overall, my own opinion is that properly ‘tooled-up’, the Super Stent is the better option, although I’m sure that the two machines will compliment each other, with some jobs being better done on the Stent and some on the Quorn. Hope that this helps - what do other people think?

Prices – a shock here I’m afraid. I bought my Stent casting set from Blackgates in July 2008 just after a price increase due to foundry costs – cost of castings and drawings was around £320. I believe that Quorn casting prices are very similar.


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