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WM180 Saddle adjustment

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Andy Carruthers18/10/2017 11:01:18
249 forum posts
23 photos

Having looked at the maintenance documentation it is not obvious to this newbie how to adjust the saddle

I can easily push the saddle from side to side without turning the hand wheel which IMHO cannot be right - can anyone offer a picture showing the adjusters please?

Brian Sweeting18/10/2017 16:23:53
359 forum posts
1 photos

If you look in the manual you should see an exploded diagram of the saddle.

Towards the front there is shown a strip of metal with three grub screws with locknuts, these are the adjustment screws.

You will need to remove the front apron to gain access.

Neil Wyatt18/10/2017 16:44:05
16277 forum posts
679 photos
74 articles
Posted by Andy Carruthers on 18/10/2017 11:01:18:

Having looked at the maintenance documentation it is not obvious to this newbie how to adjust the saddle

I can easily push the saddle from side to side without turning the hand wheel which IMHO cannot be right - can anyone offer a picture showing the adjusters please?

Do you mean you can move it along the bed by hand?

If you can do this without it rocking out of alignment, it's a sign the lathe is well set up.


Andy Carruthers19/10/2017 09:08:42
249 forum posts
23 photos

Yes Neil, I can move the saddle along the bed by hand

I have tried lifting the saddle and there is a tiny amount of movement which I understand to be acceptable, it is (or was) the ease of lateral movement which concerned me. In all other respects I am happy with my lathe, minimal backlash, now I have a decent MT2 keyless chuck for the tailstock, the centre alignment is perfect too

I think I have just been educated by yourself and Brian - many thanks

Mike66616/02/2018 07:51:17
11 forum posts
This is an old post but I was curious about its resolution? Was it just gib strip adjustment?
Hopper16/02/2018 08:06:09
3651 forum posts
72 photos

I think the point was there was no problem. The saddle is supposed to be able to be pushed along the bed by hand like that if the gibs are set right.

Jim Crawford 405/02/2019 23:28:28
4 forum posts

I am attempting to adjust a 'rock' that has developed on the saddle of my WM180. This movement is small but detectable by grasping the saddle and rocking it across the bed. It causes difficulty in getting a good finish and, when boring, the tool flexes away from the workpiece. As posted by Brian above the drawing in the manual shows gibs and their adjusting screws for the saddle. However it appears that the WM180 has neither gibs nor adjusters on the saddle. When I phoned Warco about this they said that the picture in the manual shows a generic saddle and confirmed that the WM 180 has no saddle gibs, and suggested I locked the saddle and used the compound slide to make the cuts. When I said I wanted to use the leadscrew for multiple (~50 passes) the response was disinterest and essentially ' it's a hobby lathe, what do you expect - tough'.

Very unimpressive.

I've found some web information on simplifying the saddle gib adjustment on small lathes and I'm modifying it to install gibs on the WM180.


Andy Carruthers06/02/2019 08:34:01
249 forum posts
23 photos

Have a look for Ades Workshop on YouTube - he has a new WM180 and is doing some impressive mods to his machine

In fairness to Warco, the WM 180 is an entry level machine and 3 years in I'm beginning to discover the limitations, hopefully this year I will upgrade to a Boxford / Colchester / Harrison - but I can dream

I'm sure you have discovered the saddle lock - I replaced mine with a hex head bolt with lever for ease of use rather than move the cross slide to access the recessed cap head bolt

Journeyman06/02/2019 09:07:38
601 forum posts
92 photos

If the built in saddle clamp on the WM180 is similar to my WM250 then it is a fairly mediocre design, or to put it another way it doesn't work! One of the first mods I did on my lathe was to alter the saddle clamp and add a small lever to operate it.


Details *** HERE *** nothing too complicated, it could probably be amended to suit the WM180.


Andy Carruthers06/02/2019 09:15:24
249 forum posts
23 photos

Same mod on WM180 except tighter clearance - nicely done too

Martin Hamilton 106/02/2019 11:10:22
107 forum posts

Funnily enough i started a thread yesterday on the forum on this very subject on lathes with no saddle adjustments to take out movement. The problem with the carriage lock method whether it be the standard or modded carriage lock dosn't help with eliminating movement when turning longitudinally. Even when parting off using the carriage lock you can still get up & down movement on the rear of the saddle as the carriage clamp only clamps the front of the saddle just at one end of the front & nothing towards the rear of the saddle.

Martin Hamilton 106/02/2019 11:21:45
107 forum posts

By the way Steve Jordan done a video on Youtube on his Chinese Mini lathe to eliminate saddle movement further ( bearing in mind the Mini lathes do have adjusting screws both front & rear of the saddle). He added a shear plate under the saddle that runs in between the bed gap & under the bed ways. He says this made a big difference on the lathe.

Jim Crawford 406/02/2019 14:15:25
4 forum posts

Thanks for the link to Ades Workshop, there is a lot of good information there.

I think I'm somewhat hacked off by Warco's attitude on the phone combined with the misleading information on the website that there are gibs to slideways which I assumed included the bed, as shown on the incorrect diagram in the manual. My mood not being improved by needing the lathe operational as it is seriously holding up a much larger project.

There are many gib articles regarding 7x12 mini lathes on the web but these are mainly improvements to existing fits. Installing gibs as a modification is made tricky on the WM180 as the apron is very close to the bed so space is at a premium. I have a scheme to add adjustable gibs to this machine but, to get this job moving, I shall skim the sliding blocks and shim them to fit. The blocks show wear marks that indicate that they were only touching the bedway in a couple of small points so skimming them flat may make an improvement.


Jim Crawford 411/02/2019 21:51:28
4 forum posts

Job done, at least for now!

I skimmed the sliding blocks flat and adjusted the fit with kitchen foil shims (0.2mm) to get the lightest sliding flit with no discernible rock or lift on the main carriage. The motion is now much better and I could finish the work in the chuck.

The problem did appear to be that the sliding blocks were poorly finished (or not finished) so that they only touched the bed in a couple of points which have subsequently worn rapidly. Contact is now along the full length of the block and shouldn't show wear for quite a while. I don't like running steel against steel, wearing both, so I think I will remake the blocks in brass when I get the time. I'll either make them adjustable or merely peel off a 0.2mm foil shim when wear develops.

Meanwhile I have a satisfactory solution and a working lathe.


Martin Hamilton 111/02/2019 23:14:36
107 forum posts

Great news that it worked out Jim, did you skim the blocks on the lathe or mill them flat. Regards Martin.

Jim Crawford 412/02/2019 13:30:18
4 forum posts

I have a WM 14 mill which I used to skim the blocks, I'm not sure how I could skim them on the lathe as the carriage would be completely free without the blocks in place.

As a relevant aside; I chose to buy the WM 180 lathe and WM 14 mill as a pair rather than a larger lathe with the mill attachment, the purchase being cash and space limited. The plus side of this decision has been demonstrated by the ability to have both machines set up simultaneously, to work on separate jobs without continuously breaking down and setting up and it allows one machine to be used to service the other as in this case. The downside, which only became apparent with experience, is that accessories such as drill chucks don't get smaller with the machine and the the space available for the workpiece can become quite limited on small machines.

If I were to make the same decision again I'd go for one size larger machines. The ones I have are satisfactory for the jobs I have in progress but I can already forsee a future where I might sell them on and buy larger units.


Martin Hamilton 112/02/2019 13:53:15
107 forum posts

I have thought about the WM180 lathe with x 300 mm between centres, but am also thinking about do i go a bit larger & get a WM 240 with 400 mm between centres + a much heavier more capable machine. Not really down to price though as the WM180 with DRO is £1150 & the WM240 is £1460 with no DRO, as i dont really need DRO other than it would be handy at times if it came fitted on a lathe i was buying. Decisions to make ? on which to go for.

Dennis D12/02/2019 14:07:28
57 forum posts
2 photos

If you have the space go for the bigger machine. It has been said on here many times you can make small parts on a big machine but not big parts on a smaller one. There are plenty of article on the internet for poor mans DRO using digital tyre depth gauges

Andy Carruthers12/02/2019 15:46:15
249 forum posts
23 photos

@Martin - I would not go for the WM180 with DRO as the offering is quite basic. Instead I would acquire a 2nd hand larger capacity lathe as Dennis suggests, then retrofit a more complete DRO

Having owned a WM180 for a few years, there are features I wish were available ie left-hand thread cutting, quick change gearbox and I am considering upgrading to a Boxford / Harrison / Colchester which offer more features as well as improved capacity

Martin Hamilton 112/02/2019 16:39:03
107 forum posts

Andy i dont do any thread cutting these days, not even turning anything to large or heavy in the lathe. More just pretty simple straight forward turning/drilling/boring, i dont even have much call for parting off with what i do as its just as easy for me to hacksaw things off & clean up. Having owned in the past a couple of Myfords ML 10 & ML 7 + an Emcomat V10P, the WM180 would probably do all i need to do if am honest but because the WM240 is only 310 quid dearer it may be a better buy.

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