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Warco WM250 Lathe and Warco WM18 Milling machine (Advice please)

Advice on large purchase please

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STK200801/04/2018 21:12:34
116 forum posts
16 photos

Hi all I am a long time member but have not posted much.

I am realy interested in the Warco wm250 and the Warco wm18.

I would like to purchase both of these machines at the same time including the stands for both and some tooling.

My main question is are they any good I dont expect them to perform like a £8000 mill or lathe but at the same time dont want them to be delivered and me have to either send them back due to terrible quality or have issue after issue.

I read that I will get a report for both machines upon deliver I assume this is to show the runout,backlash etc etc does any one have an old report from both machines if not what sort of tolerances should one expect to see?.

I have a few more questions but if its ok shall just start with these for now.

Thanks so much in advance

JasonB02/04/2018 07:24:45
23022 forum posts
2763 photos
1 articles

Well as I have one in my albums it willsave others having to scan theire. This is for my WM280VF but very similar to the other warco offerings. Click image to enlarge.


I have had that for almost 10yrs now and can't complain about the work that comes off of it. As long as you go into it not expecting it to have the fit and finish of a much more expensive machine then in most cases you should be happy with it. A quick look at this album of my finished models will give an idea what can be done on the far eastern machines.

Edited By JasonB on 02/04/2018 07:25:04

Boiler Bri02/04/2018 08:17:12
842 forum posts
199 photos

Hi. I have the wm18 milling machine. Its ideal for the home workshop. There has breen a review in the last two years in ME.

It is only lacking the poeer feed.


djswain102/04/2018 08:45:54
4 forum posts
I'm only a beginner but am happy with my WM250 that I bought 2nd hand and i have had good service from Warco when ordering tooling, DRO etc. There are other suppliers offering very similar products as well.
Mick B102/04/2018 08:53:56
2219 forum posts
125 photos

I've had a WM250V for 3 years. It's a fine machine and works well to close limits and good finishes. It has drawbacks like any other, but they're no more serious.

As with any tool, it's the capability of the user to exploit its good points that counts for most.

STK200802/04/2018 09:29:40
116 forum posts
16 photos

Thank you all for replying .
Eventually I will convert them both to cnc that's the plan.
I want to use them to make cnc machines which I have already made one years ago but since lost access to machines.

With these I can then start making them again .

I shall put some pics up when I next get a chance to go in workshop.




them tolerances are realy good for this kind of machine.As with every thing in life I assume you hear more about things going wrong than whats right and I assume they have sold a fair few of these machines so in reality there aint that many problems?.

Also looking at every ones pics of what you lot have made (amazeing work every one BTW) the scale you all work at and still manage to get the fit you need they cant be all that bad but as said its also down to the persons skill to get it right.


Well I think you lot have made my mind up I shall be ordering these two machines up ASAP .


To next issue then LOL my machine shop is small I measured up and the machines will JUST about fit.

Only thing now is the milling machine with the head all the way up it says it measures about 1050mm and on the stand it measures a total of 1800mm or so. the roof in my garage is only 2000mm high.


When lifting the milling machine does the head HAVE to be at the very top to lift it or can I lower it as close to the bed as possible then slap a sling around it just behind the chuck?

this will allow me a lot more clearance for the crane and the roof of my garage.


Thanks again every one.



Edited By STK2008 on 02/04/2018 09:45:31

SillyOldDuffer02/04/2018 11:32:21
8862 forum posts
1995 photos
Posted by STK2008 on 02/04/2018 09:29:40:




Well I think you lot have made my mind up I shall be ordering these two machines up ASAP .


To next issue then LOL my machine shop is small I measured up and the machines will JUST about fit.

Only thing now is the milling machine with the head all the way up it says it measures about 1050mm and on the stand it measures a total of 1800mm or so. the roof in my garage is only 2000mm high.


When lifting the milling machine does the head HAVE to be at the very top to lift it or can I lower it as close to the bed as possible then slap a sling around it just behind the chuck?

this will allow me a lot more clearance for the crane and the roof of my garage..


Manoeuvring a heavy lathe and mill in a tight space with a crane can be tricky. Don't rush it, rough out a plan of campaign and have a dress rehearsal. Depending on the layout of your workshop it may pay to put the mill in before the lathe or vice versa. I drew a scale diagram of my garage on some squared graph paper and used cut scale rectangles representing workbench, mill and lathe to check fit and operating convenience in various combinations. Doors and windows have a strong influence on layout: how I wish I'd bought a house with a double garage!

Despite careful planning l came unstuck positioning my lathe with it's back to the wall because there wasn't quite enough width in my garage to turn the crane. Actually that did me a favour, because I realised that plonking the lathe down sideways gave me much better access to the headstock for changing belts and gears and passing long work through the spindle. I can also get to the back of the lathe easily which has been handy on the few occasions I've wanted to look at the electrics. My original assumption that saving floor space by putting the lathe hard against the wall lathe was misplaced!

Milling machines are less fussy but don't forget to allow enough space on either side of the mill for its table to fully traverse right / left.

The milling head should be as low as possible when you lift it, not at the top. One issue moving machine tools is that they are liable to be top-heavy and unbalanced. Stopping them tilting and slipping in the harness is probably more trouble than simply lifting the machine with a crane. Much easier if there are two of you - the assistant doesn't have to be anyone special. Position the straps carefully to get good balance and lift the tool just off the floor to check it's secure.

If you have any trouble come back and ask again. Many chaps on the forum much more experienced with moving heavy kit than me. They can advise on other ways and means should the crane approach become problematic. (For instance, due to limited head-space.)

I have a WM280 and a WM18 and they do everything I've asked of them. Fit for my purposes and value for money. Be prepared to do some expectation management though! They are not tool-room accuracy, nor are they made for production work. Remember that a professional machine will cost you between 6 to 20 times as much.

There will be cosmetic issues and don't be too surprised if some aspects of assembly need minor TLC. Beware lots of elderly internet advice that Chinese machines all have to be completely stripped down, fettled, and rebuilt before they're any use. Unlikely! True that the occasional dud slips through the net; if you find anything unacceptable talk to Warco.

Good luck - I hope you have as much fun with your purchases as I am!



Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 02/04/2018 11:33:21

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 02/04/2018 11:34:16

STK200802/04/2018 13:31:27
116 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks for replying.

I might actually pop out there in a moment and grab some pics of my workshop and can grab some pics of me CNC while I am at it if any one is interested?.

Got to admit the work on here is amazeing such small components which reqiures even more skill and precision than working with larger scale parts.

So as for Warco they seem to be a good company and in there FAQ they say they check EVERY machine before sending them out but I have also read that some people machines they got from them there was no way they could have checked it.

Any way shall be back soon with some pics etc .

Thanks again all great bunch of lads here by the looks of it so I look forward to chatting more .

STK200802/04/2018 14:07:04
116 forum posts
16 photos

OK photos in galaery .

The two first benches will be removed and the mill will go in first then the lathe its gonna be tight but should work out ok

SillyOldDuffer02/04/2018 16:26:14
8862 forum posts
1995 photos

I'm in a single garage too. Yours is much tidier than mine and you can open the big door! Luxury. I haven't smuggled a giant router inside mine though. Now there's a thought...

STK200802/04/2018 17:46:41
116 forum posts
16 photos
Yeah bit tight in here tbh.
Actually thinking of moving the cnc machine to far end and have it going across the wall this will free up the whole garage front area near door which shod make moving and installing mill and lathe easer.
But at the same time the cnc machine is heavy as hell to.
Gas_mantle.02/04/2018 19:01:36
359 forum posts
269 photos

Hi, I can't speak directly about the Warco machines but I have what are essentially the same 2 machines from Chester tools and am very happy with both. Admittedly my engine builds are fairly simple compared to some but both machines are easily accurate enough for what I do.

I wouldn't worry too much about using a crane, I was able to move and lift mine with 3 adults without any problem.

STK200802/04/2018 19:47:38
116 forum posts
16 photos

Yeah I wont attempt to lift these machines not with x2 slipped discs and other issues LOL.

Any way I assume Warco are open tomorrow so will give them a ring have a few questions but all in all seems to be good.


Looking forward to getting my self a lathe and mill been after one for many many years


I have a few jobs already lined up for my self and a friend so will be put to good use right away (once there setup and calibrated etc).

Edited By STK2008 on 02/04/2018 19:48:36

mechman4802/04/2018 22:38:04
2947 forum posts
468 photos

Hi STK2008

​I have had the WM250V-F ( power x feed ) & the WM16 mill since 2012, bought at the Harrogate ME exhibition. Both have served me well in what I do & both have worked 'straight out of the box' just some initial cleaning up to do.
​ I have a single garage conversion too, lined & insulated walls & roof space so it stays pretty constant at around 6 - 8 deg.C. I just boost the temp' up with two small oil radiators which bring it up to a nice 16 degrees in the cold weather & keeps any damp at bay.

​I also lifted my lathe & mill with a 1 ton engine hoist that I bought just for the job & with the help of SWMBO we managed quite well in the set up. they both still run well 'touch wood' although I don't give either any stick on DOC & feed rates. One thing to watch out for on the lathe, check that the contact switch in the headstock end at the bottom left of the gear guard makes ok as often the tab on the casing cover gets bent & doesn't press the switch in, then you wonder why it won't start when you press the green button.

Happy purchasing


STK200802/04/2018 23:41:36
116 forum posts
16 photos
Awesome thanks for replying.
I've not insulated the garage would like to thought.
I have placed a vapour barrier down on the floor and some loose boarding which did help.

I'm borrowing money to purchase part of this setup does any one know if my Bro orders it on his card do they only deliver to the card holders adress?.
mechman4803/04/2018 11:44:46
2947 forum posts
468 photos

AFAIK, as long as you state the delivery address it should be delivered to there/ your place


Jim Nic03/04/2018 11:49:29
388 forum posts
220 photos


Why not ask them?


STK200803/04/2018 16:55:24
116 forum posts
16 photos
OK every one items have been ordered just got to wait for delivery time .

Looking forward to getting my hands on these.
Thanks for all your input I'm sure I will need your assistance again and hopefully I will be able to help you out at some point.
STK200805/04/2018 13:12:56
116 forum posts
16 photos
Zzzzzz lol the days are dragging real slow.

Only been 2 days since I ordered and they said about 5 to 7 before I even get a phone call from the delivery people to arrange a time and date.

Gives me time to sort out the garage and find the best place to hire an engine crane I suppose .
STK200806/04/2018 14:57:35
116 forum posts
16 photos

Well just emailed them to ask some thing but was then told it wont be delivered now for two weeks as there waiting for the stands to come in...I Was told it was all in and I asked for an idea of delivery time was told 5-7 days but its now changed to two weeks.

Did I make a mistake going to Warco I did research there company and it was all positive so was I just unlucky or should I cancil order and get it from toolco,arc euro etc etc?.

Please advise

Thank you

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