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Warco VMC partial disassembly

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Dave T11/12/2016 14:15:45
50 forum posts
1 photos

Hi All,

I recently purchased the above and it has been sitting in my back garden for a couple of weeks because its too heavy to move into my workshop

I've realised that the only way to move it is to partially disassemble - I intend to remove the head, X axis and knee - unfortunately I'm struggling to find any info. regarding removing the axis and knee. The supplied manual is not much use and Warco can't help either.

Does anyone know where I can find some info. on how to strip and replace these parts, and possibly a decent manual?


Vic11/12/2016 14:58:20
2685 forum posts
1 photos

The best manuals are on Grizzlys site but they don't call it the VMC, you have to work out what the equivalent model number it is. It's most likely this one:


Roger Vane11/12/2016 15:39:53
100 forum posts
18 photos

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.

pgk pgk11/12/2016 15:49:25
2024 forum posts
290 photos

It comes down to access and terrain. I have a stoned pathway to shed and used old shuttering ply sheets over that for part access for the delivery pallet jack. As it goes I used my tractor for the rest but a lot can be done with rollers/poles and a decent crowbar. I still had to use an engine crane to get the thing on it's stand.

Just remember if going up/down hill to have some safety system against a runaway

Roger Vane11/12/2016 16:31:33
100 forum posts
18 photos

"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.

John Rudd11/12/2016 16:45:38
1410 forum posts
6 photos

If you do make a riser block, I strongly suggest you measure the spigot and the mating hole on your mill.

I have the Chester variant and found my dimensions different to those on the drawing available on the yahoo group.

I cant say for the tee slots, I found I didnt need to replicate that.

I moved my mill into place, from its crate, using an engine hoist as suggested. I split the head from the main table/body assembly. After placing the stand in situ, I lifted the main body onto the stand and added the head assembly afterwards.

John Hinkley11/12/2016 16:48:18
1013 forum posts
344 photos

I used an engine crane to manoeuvre my VMC mill into position and get it onto its stand. Rather than hire a crane, I bought one from eBay. Worked out at just over £100 delivered and of course it's still available to use again. Hiring wasn't going to be that much cheaper! If only we knew where you are, there's probably someone nearby who has a crane you could borrow.

I'd avoid dismantling it, if you can possibly avoid it.


not done it yet11/12/2016 17:03:01
5378 forum posts
20 photos

Just saying 'it's too heavy' is admitting defeat? Is your access so difficult? Half a tonne is nothing for a pallet truck. Agreed, the centre of mass is a bit tricky if at all rough and removing the head would reduce it considerably.

Short lengths of pipe and a couple of pairs of hands is the usual for those with no wheeled assistance.

Is it on a pallet? That might be the first thing to consider as it can then be strapped to it, affording a larger base for stability.

john fletcher 111/12/2016 17:45:09
653 forum posts

What ever you do have at least one other person helping. I've moved things on rollers on my own, but when a second person is there to help move the roller thing go much easier. Also the second person can help when things go wrong. john

Mike Poole11/12/2016 18:01:36
2845 forum posts
67 photos

I broke mine down into manageable lumps to bring into my workshop. Disconnect the motor and cover switch wiring, undo the three bolts holding the head assembly onto the column and lift off with aid of an assistant plan where you are going to put it down first. Wind the knee to full height and undo the nut so it stays on the screw, I think it may damage the end thread to wind it out of the nut. Remove the switch assembly and Then remove the tapered gib strip and with the aid of assistant lift table and knee clear of dovetail guide. Remove bolts holding column to base and lift off column. Position base in new home and reassemble with the aid of assistant. This works for two fit and strong adult men. This is a solution that requires some strength but I don't think an engine hoist would be very easy to use in my workshop.


Tony Pratt 111/12/2016 18:01:48
1343 forum posts
5 photos

You don't actually need rollers, I slid my Myford VME along a couple of 6 foot long 1/8" thick mild steel bars. It moved with very little effort.


Dave T11/12/2016 19:03:44
50 forum posts
1 photos

If can can source a pallet truck, I should be able to get it to the workshop as its not far. It'll have to be unbolted from the pallets as its a normal uPVC front door (which opens out) and the pallets won't go through it and for some reason Warco decided to bolt it onto 2 pallets (high) - I'm pretty sure that the mill won't go through the door even with the head aligned with the X axis though!

I'm also not convinced that I can get an engine hoist in as it will have to lift over 6 feet unless I take the head off. I do have access to an engine hoist but it is colossal and transportation is a problem atm.

Thanks for all the tips guys - btw I live just outside Derby (John Hinkley asked)


mark smith 2011/12/2016 19:04:37
680 forum posts
337 photos

I moved my Alexander mill on the hottest day of the year where i live, wasnt much fun. I also had it in the garden for a couple of week under tarpaulin when first delivered which was an ordeal in itself getting into the back garden down several steps and a narrow path with various obstacles in the way such as a side gate with 0.5cm room to manouvre it through .

It arrived with a guy i know who delivers racing bikes every week or two up here to be reviewed and test drived in the lake district.

We had to remove this huge fancy Ducati first before we could even get at my mill in the back of his small Luton van with tail lift.

All the bolts were seized so i could only remove the vertical head and swiveling table to reduce the weight a bit down to about 600-700 kg .Took us 2 hours just to get it out of the van onto the pavement ,with straining tail lift which slope forward and a winch attached to prevent it tippling.

Finally managed to get a pallet truck under it , down a step using two ramps he uses for the bikes and half way down the path with a slight slope .

The pallet truck started speeding up and it ran into the gate post breaking off the sticking out bit on the x axis hand wheel .Also trapped a lump of skin on my upper arm which was agony until we managed to back up the pallet truck a bit.

Eventually got it over an open drain, over another step and round the back garden . I said the delivery bloke could leave it there.smiley

It sat there for 2 weeks whilst i decided how to move it into the workshop which has a low single door entrance and a 1 foot drop down to the workshop floor. I decided to concrete the floor to raise it up to just above outside garden level.

Then i bought a Gorilla bar , cut up an old bed frame made of angle and used the angle point up as rails . I was surprised how fast i got it into my workshop with just myself ,a gorilla bar and some candle wax on the angle iron rails.

I wouldn`t have had room for an engine hoist etc..

Looking at the weight of a VMC mill ,the original poster mentions ,at 500 kg it should be relatively easily managable with some parts removed and perhaps an helper.

Dave T17/12/2016 15:48:23
50 forum posts
1 photos

Hi again,

Shifted the Mill yesterday afternoon - took 4 hours and 3 large fellows. Took the head and knee off and moved it all with a scaffold tube and sling - getting the head back on was a pain, but we managed it.

Also measure the register for the Z axis extension (84mm)

Happy Days!

Thanks for all of the advice and have a great Christmas and New Yearwink

Brian Oldford17/12/2016 18:06:03
685 forum posts
18 photos

Reading all these recollections how difficult some installs have been makes me think about the poor devil who will, one day, have to remove said machine. Single-handed I had a little bit of a job moving a Dore-Westbury mill into my car and that was pretty level.

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