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ChrisB workshop build

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ChrisB03/09/2017 14:19:27
476 forum posts
180 photos

I started this thread to try to keep most posts of problems and progress in one place rather than posting separate threads on the same subject but with different issues.

A bit of background history! : Last May (I think!) I purchased a lathe and a mill from Warco and exported them to Malta where I live. I got a WM280 and a WM18, both without their cabinet pedestal reasoning I would be able to do those myself and how I would have liked them to be.

The machines sat there on the floor in the mean time as I was busy at work, but come summer I had three months holidays, so work on the benches started slowly, slowly (it's hot here, very hot!) After some problems here and there I managed to fabricate and weld up the benches, assemble all the drawers and paint everything ( that is actually not true, still need a last coat of varnish)

Now for todays problem, this morning I assembled the bench tops the the benches and drilled the attachment holes for the lathe and mill. I have a lathe tray which will sit on the bench top, now I noticed that this will not sit flat to the top. There is like a 10mm gap, if I had to drop the lathe on it for sure it will distort. The only way I can see round this is to put spacers, but is it the right way to do it? I wanted the lathe to sit flat on the bench...I have seen some of you who have a similar lathe mounted the same way I plan to do.20170903_132041[1].jpg



David Standing 103/09/2017 14:37:36
1288 forum posts
48 photos


Obvious the tray twisted, or the bench?

Having a couple of Warco drip trays, they are flimsy and could easily be out of true. If the bench is flat, the action of sitting the lathe on the tray will take the twist out of the tray, and be the end of the issue.

XD 35103/09/2017 14:46:15
1418 forum posts
1 photos

What if you cut a piece of plywood that is close to the correct thickness that fits the underside ofthe tray ( fits into the recess under the tray ) and sanwich the lot together ? If it is close to 10 mm you should be able to get some ply to fit that .

Or if the tray is going to be held only with the lathe mounting bolts a piece of timber or ply sandwiched between the mounting points , tray and bench top would work but the tray could rattle .


ChrisB03/09/2017 14:49:12
476 forum posts
180 photos

The bench should be flat, I really hope so!! surprise As can be seen from the top photo, the top is plywood, it's pretty flat. The tray is a bit flimsy but once placed on the bench it is flat with no wobble, but that's not the issue...maybe it's not clear, the tray central surface is raised 10mm up more than the edges, so the edge of the tray will be flat on the bench top but the central part is not, as shown in the last two photos. All six holes in the tray are 10mm away from the surface of the bench.

Will try to take a better picture.

ChrisB03/09/2017 14:57:33
476 forum posts
180 photos

Hi Ian, yes that could be an option, didn't think of mind went straight to spacers, washers etc. which I was not too happy about. I'll try to find a piece of plywood and sand it down a bit to slightly less than the actual gap, so when I tighten every thing up the tray is tight all round the edge to the bench top...should not rattle that way...thanks

Journeyman03/09/2017 15:14:12
777 forum posts
133 photos

Chris, I have similar but much older lathe bolted to a wooden bench. I am sure it is just the drip tray that is slightly twisted, dropping the lathe on top will flatten it without any problems. See my website for my setup and installation. Mine did sit flat but yours may be designed more for the cabinet stand, a packer underneath will sort it. Put some silicone sealer around the holes so that no oil or coolant can seep underneath.


Edited By Journeyman on 03/09/2017 15:43:40

SillyOldDuffer03/09/2017 15:15:21
5621 forum posts
1157 photos

I just looked at my Warco Trays for a WM280 and a WM18 which are on Warco pedestals.

Neither tray is designed to sit flat on a bench. Both trays overhang the pedestals. All the weight is taken on the flat bottom with the edges in space. On a pedestal the difference in level between edge and bottom doesn't matter. The edges of the WM18 tray are about 5mm higher than it's bottom. The edge of the 280 tray is about 10mm lower, which matches Chris's description.

I think Ian has the right answer. A weight bearing plate under the lathe tray to level its edge with the bench, and a gap filler around the milling tray to stop things hiding underneath.

Nothing's ever easy is it!


Gray03/09/2017 15:24:03
1031 forum posts
13 photos

I had the same issue when I mounted my wm250v. I cut a piece of 12 mm mdf to fit under the tray and bolted through. I put a bead of silicone sealant around the bolt holes as I use coolant and around the perimeter of the mdf so the tray won't rattle. The lathe feet are also sealed with silicone.

ChrisB03/09/2017 16:47:08
476 forum posts
180 photos

Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 03/09/2017 15:15:21:

Nothing's ever easy is it!


Absolutely! When you're thinking to yourself "there I'm almost done"

I'll see if I got a piece of scrap mdf or plywood and sort it out in the morning. Thanks for the pointers. Will post some more photos when I'm almost done.

Ps. Nice workshop John wink

Edited By ChrisB on 03/09/2017 16:49:36

ChrisB04/09/2017 14:56:51
476 forum posts
180 photos

Right, so I finally got the first two benches for the lathe and mill ready. Still have to finalize the other workbench, but for that I have some parts on order and still not sure what bench vice to mount on for now I'm leaving it and concentrate on the other two.


Lifting the lathe onto the bench is not an issue as I have already tried it out, and will install the lathe this Wednesday when I get the filler piece of mdf for under the swarf tray. My issue is lifting the milling machine. The WM18 is quite heavy, if I'm not wrong it's heavier than the WM280 lathe. I'm using a chainblock with 1000kg lift capacity so it should be fine. What I can't figure out is how I'm going to sling it, from where .... My initial plan was to sling it around the both sides of the table but I'm not sure if I'll damage it this way...any ideas?

Edited By ChrisB on 04/09/2017 14:57:21

Howard Lewis04/09/2017 15:25:17
3146 forum posts
2 photos

Now that you've sorted the need for a spacer beneath the chiptray for the lathe, how about this for a suggestion for siting the milling machine.

It looks as if your benches are on castors, and have adjustable feet, so:

1) Move the Mill head to the bottom of the column and clamp it there, firmly.

2) Rig a shearlegs and , with a sling around the head of the Mill, hoist it as high as possible with the chainblock.

3) Roll the bench under the Mill whilst it is in mid air

4) Lower the Mill onto the bench, and bolt it down.

5) Remove the sling, chainblock and shearlegs.

6) Roll the bench to where you want to site it, and screw down the adjustable feet.

Plug in and play!


JasonB04/09/2017 15:29:20
17840 forum posts
1951 photos
1 articles

As Howard says put the sling under the head towards the column making sure you don't trap any cables. Any tilt can be adjusted by moving the table in and out.

Alternative is to split it in two - base and table in one part then column and head in the other can then be lifted by two people.

Bazyle04/09/2017 18:25:24
5136 forum posts
199 photos

Like the drawers - looks neat enough to have in the living room.

Rather than the dinky little wibbly wobbly screw feet it would be easier to make a carefully sized wooden lever/fulcrum that allows you to stand on it to lift the end just enough to slip some 2x4 under the end to support it firmly.

ChrisB04/09/2017 19:49:19
476 forum posts
180 photos

Thanks Bazyle, in the living room, erm...wife says NO! smile p

The feet might look ''dinky little wibbly wobbly'' but believe it or not they are rated 500Kg each, so with 4 at each corner the bench should handle 2tons! surprise I opted for them as they looked robust and being of the pivoting type they would compensate for any unevenness of the floor (or rather the bench!) This is what I got: **LINK** In case these do not work out as intended of course your tip will be made to good use!

ChrisB04/09/2017 20:07:31
476 forum posts
180 photos

Hey Howard, thanks...I built the benches on casters for exactly that reason, the chain blocks is attached to a rafter so I can lift the machines and push the bench under. The problem with the mill was from where to sling it.


If I sling it something like this it should do?




PS: Sorry for the sleeping photos, don't know how to wake them up!!

Edited By ChrisB on 04/09/2017 20:12:27

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 07/09/2017 20:03:53

Andrew Johnston04/09/2017 20:07:43
5408 forum posts
627 photos

Good grief, even I haven't got a lathe in the living room. Kitchen yes, but not the living room; that's for measuring equipment and gauges.


ChrisB06/09/2017 18:35:21
476 forum posts
180 photos

This afternoon I had a go and lifted the machines on to their respective bench, no issues with the lathe, went right in its place, not so with the milling!! Due to the chain blocks being attached to a rafter there was not enough height to clear the bench. After some head scratching and half a dozen lifts later I used a couple of carabiners and a short sling and just managed to get it in place...phew!

So this week will finish setting up and aligning the machines and their benches, do a good clean up and and wash the workshop, then I can start thinking about make lots of swarf...after I get the tools that is! embarrassed




larry Phelan07/09/2017 18:33:56
544 forum posts
17 photos

Just a thought ,are you sure the benches are not in twist ? In my experience,welding does not help in a situation like that. I would be inclined to check with a spirit level,in all directions,before thinking about spacers. You might be surprised !

Bazyle07/09/2017 20:08:38
5136 forum posts
199 photos

Now that's what I call a living room laugh

I don't think I would have dared take a break to take photos though. Reminds me of lifting my mill with a Haltrack 12:1 pulley block. It meant about a 30lb pull but I wasn't gong to stand nearby so with the angle of pull I kept sliding across the floor until I braced myself against my rather heavy solid timber bench.

larry Phelan07/09/2017 20:18:26
544 forum posts
17 photos

Just thinking afterwards,since those swarftrays are little more than tinfoil,I dont think you need worry too much about it. They dont supply cast iron trays anymore.

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