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

Advice on large purchase please

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Gas_mantle.16/05/2018 13:59:39
329 forum posts
268 photos

In the 250 class of machine I bought a Chester DB10v about a year ago and find it's a great machine for the kind of hobby work I do.

It has powered cross feed, a quick change gearbox and a 'T' slotted cross slide that some machines in this size don't always have.

Before I bought it I deliberated for hours trying to decide which machine to go for, I guess a lot of these Chinesium lathes are essentially the same machine but they do have subtle differences in features (and price). It seemed to me there were plenty of user reviews of the mini lathe but little in the 250 class of machine so I have been considering writing a detailed review of mine after 1 year of use.

STK200816/05/2018 14:02:01
116 forum posts
16 photos

Yep also looked at the chester machines.
I would be interested in the review if u decide to do a write up .

Martin Hamilton 116/05/2018 14:29:17
25 forum posts

The Warco WM250v uses a Delta Inverter drive with AC induction motor, I understand most other lathes use DC brushed motors.

John Rudd16/05/2018 17:02:06
1158 forum posts
55 photos

The Chester 9 x 20 has a single phase induction motor fitted as standard.

My 9 x 20 has been upgraded to a 3 ph motor with a vfd( along with a qctp..)

(As an aside it will be up for sale in the near future.)

Ketan Swali17/05/2018 17:46:37
984 forum posts
87 photos

Hello All,

Although I don't know this specific machine, I understand that it has a tilting head and the angle can be set on some graduation.

As some on here are aware, Warco have a policy of dealing with matters off forum. Out of curiosity, I asked old Mr.Warren about the WM18 which was returned/taken back by him. He explained that the head was in a tilted position, and not in the zero position. His guys put it back to zero on the graduation, conducted test, and all was found to be in order. I have Mr.Warren's permission to post this, as I explained to him that it is important for people to understand if and what the problem was or could have been.

ARC had come across a similar issue some three weeks ago, where a newbie said that he had returned an SX3 to a competitor supplier, and found the same problem with a second SX3, which he was about to return to them because it had the same head spindle related problem.. He then wanted to know if what we sold was any better. We asked him how he had conducted his tests, only to discover some flaws. We told him how to conduct the test, and we have failed to hear from him again, with hope that he has discovered that there wasn't really a problem.

ARC had yet another person suggesting that his milling chuck fell apart during milling. When the gentleman sent us the picture, it was clear that the end mill was being held in a drill chuck and arbor.

We are finding that there are a growing number of people entering the hobby with very little knowledge, but with a lot of enthusiasm, which does need to be encouraged. A good example could be the backplate thread.

It is easy to consider that the seller or the buyer is wrong, depending on your point of view. But perhaps we should try and understand the limitations of the poster too?... especially new posters?... This is in no way discouraging a newbie from the hobby, but at the same time, perhaps we should think a bit more about if there is really a machine or a user related issue. This point could be debated till the cows come home, but that is far from what I am trying to say.

Ketan at ARC.

JasonB17/05/2018 18:30:56
13068 forum posts
1188 photos

Ketan, did Roger explain how the head tilt was affecting the nod  (quill nod specifically) of the machine as the OP had no proplem with sideways alignment it was front to back which was causing issues?


Edited By JasonB on 17/05/2018 18:45:47

STK200817/05/2018 18:32:08
116 forum posts
16 photos

You said that


"His guys put it back to zero on the graduation"


That aint an accurate way to tram the head at all the graduation is for a rough guide not for tramming it accuratly.

Either way I know for sure the machine was faulty.

Lets just hope he dont now try to resell it then seeing as he says its all ok.


As said it was the nod I had issues with not tilt.

Edited By STK2008 on 17/05/2018 18:35:00

Daniel17/05/2018 18:44:39
147 forum posts
23 photos


Your above post deserves applause.

It certainly clarifies information that was lacking.

I fully agree with your sentiment, that beginners to the hobby should be encouraged, often with a good dose of patience. Indeed I am one (beginner). The forum is a wonderfully friendly place and a treasure trove of information. No question is unanswered.

Altruism is a rare commodity these days, but here it is pleasantly abundant.

I'm only sorry that Mr Warren has to pay for this person's learning curve. That seems a bit harsh.



JasonB17/05/2018 18:48:26
13068 forum posts
1188 photos

Don't get carried away yet Danila, as STK got OK results from clocking the head in both directions which the swivel would affect one, but it was the quill that was excessively out and I can't see how the swivel would affect that. I think it has clouded the water not cleared things up.

Edited By JasonB on 17/05/2018 18:49:09

Trevor Crossman 117/05/2018 18:51:05
88 forum posts
9 photos

Ketan​ , your last two paragraphs raise a very pertinent point about the limited knowledge and it is difficult to see how this situation can be remedied now that schools have largely abandoned metal/wood work teaching and UK plc has much fewer small scale engineering enterprises. Those that there are do not seem to want the hastle of training school leavers and in this area seem to be staffed by a lot of grey hair! I doubt if there are many Adult Education classes around the country for the enthusiastic young working man who now has some disposable income to take up this hobby and so 'dives in at the deep end' so to speak. There is perhaps an attitude issue as well, for many years education has told all children that all learning has to be 'fun'​ and as in the recent case mentioned it was declared almost laughingly, that 'it's only a hobby'​ preumably meaning that it's some sort of play, fun, activity. Would it perhaps help if model engineering and similar magazines made their indexes of instructional articles much more obvious and more readily available to the newcomer who, having little if any knowledge or nearby assistance, can quickly learn some basics?


STK200817/05/2018 18:52:26
116 forum posts
16 photos

yes I zeroed it left to right TRAM

I then checked zero back to front NOD it was 0.006" out.

I then looked deeper to find the reason being was the head was either mounted wrong or as Warren him self suggested the bearings in the head was machined out wrong.


As for calling me a Noobie I have been using mills,lathes,boring machines,line boring machines,CNC machines ETC and making white metal bearings for cars all my life dont take this as a I know it all as I dont and never will no one could possibly learn EVERY thing in the trade.


But when I check some thing as seen from this thread I make damn sure I am right first before saying to much and I always as also seen in this thread double triple check every thing.

Edited By STK2008 on 17/05/2018 18:55:36

Edited By STK2008 on 17/05/2018 18:56:03

Edited By STK2008 on 17/05/2018 18:56:23

Daniel17/05/2018 19:08:58
147 forum posts
23 photos

Hi Jason,

Point taken.

"Seek and ye will fynde", is an expression that has been calling out to me from the beginning of this thread, though.

It was clear from the outset that the op was hell bent on examining his purchase(s), to an extent that he would be almost certain to find something amiss.

My workshop is equipped almost entirely of Chinese imported machines. I have no delusion. One has to reflect on the price one is paying, and accept that certain compromises must be made.

If he had followed earlier advice, and just simply got started on his first project, instead of searching for what must be wrong, he may well have found that his machine performed perfectly adequately.

Later on, as his abilities developed, he may have noticed it's shortcoming. But, at that stage, would simply have either shimmed or rectified the relevant mating parts.

We cannot, and never will, have a Rolls Royce for the price tag of a Trabant. Simple fact of life.

Coincidentally, as mentioned in an earlier post, I also bought a WM18 clone a few weeks ago.

I haven't checked it, other than a cursory check that all bolts and screws were indeed tight. So far, it has performed admirably in all that has been asked from it. But, I'm sure I could find something wrong, if I looked hard enough.

A bad workman blames his tools. A good workman makes his tools right.




Edited By Daniel on 17/05/2018 19:09:41

Daniel17/05/2018 19:16:01
147 forum posts
23 photos

.... And I'm not Daniella


At least ............Not yet

JasonB17/05/2018 19:20:13
13068 forum posts
1188 photos

Daniel, I too have an all far eastern workshop so don't expect Hardinge or Acacia build quality of tollerances . However the OP did make a test cut and the resulting saw tooth finish was when most of us said to get Warco involved and with readings 3x greater than the max allowed on the test cert in an axis that can't be adjusted what could he do.

STK200817/05/2018 19:26:12
116 forum posts
16 photos

I said at the start of this thread I did not expect mega low tolerances.

Yes I was hell bent on checking the machine and insureing it FIT FOR PURPOSE and it was not any one who does not check there machines when delivered are nuts.

I also did take advice and did a light face milling and it showed the fault up as expected I even posted pictures of the issue.

When I rang Warco with the issue I did ask did they not check it like there web site STATES

"Every milling machine we supply is fully checked and tested by a member of our qualified team, and is supplied with an individual accuracy test report."

They then told me there check is to plug it in and make sure it spins up.

Well thats not a FULL check nor does it reqiure a damn qualified team member to do such a check.

I was told for them to check every machine like that would reqiure specialist tools and time.

They sell the tools needed to do such a check as for the time reqiured it would be a lot cheaper in the long run for them if there was a faulty machines befor they send them out.

David Standing 117/05/2018 19:39:44
1049 forum posts
41 photos

Page 12, it's history now anyway, maybe time to lay this thread to bed wink

Ketan Swali17/05/2018 19:49:01
984 forum posts
87 photos


Mr.Warren only told me the results of the tests they had conducted upon return. Non of us know the full story. I don't know if his guys tightened something 'to remove' the nod front/back and if it was at the head - between head and column, or between column and base, at the time of zeroing the head - left/right. All I know is that it wasn't a big deal.

Non of us know if the head had moved during the moving/transport and installation process, and if as a result of that the observations which STK2008 made came into effect.


1. Relax my friend - I didn't call you a Noobie . I said: " This is in no way discouraging a newbie from the hobby, but at the same time, perhaps we should think a bit more about if there is really a machine or a user related issue.

2. Even if you have been using mills,lathes,boring machines,line boring machines,CNC machines ETC and making white metal bearings for cars all your life, it does not make you - or me - a machine tool fitter. I have made this point in another thread. I have been in the trade of selling hobby machines for 18 years, and I have turned away business from some/certain/specific 'time served engineers' based on what they say to me, pre-purchase, because I know that what I have to offer them will definitely fail to meet their requirements - in terms of their expectations, or, even though they say they are 'time served engineers' they do not really know what they are talking about, and I don't want their grief post sale. Some 'time served engineers' do not know what a shim is, what scraping is, even what a morse or R8 taper is. Some of them come out of 'blue chip companies'. I didn't know most of this stuff when I entered this business, and there are still many things I don't know.

They, you, me may be good at what we do, but as you say, no one can know everything, and I say this with respect to you and what you know.

I would strongly support what Daniel said.

Trevor: I agree with your comments. This is why we support the beginners series on the Mill and Lathe by Neil and Jason. It is in very simple language including what a headstock, tailstock, drill chuck, arbor, etc. mean. From scratch. Believe me, you will be surprised by some of the questions we get, and it is important to address them carefully, which I hope the articles will do, provided new people to the hobby follow them. Even I get to learn a thing or two.

Daniel: I strongly agree with what you said.

Ketan at ARC.


Edited By Ketan Swali on 17/05/2018 20:15:09

Ian Skeldon 217/05/2018 19:49:06
284 forum posts
27 photos

I don't agree with you David, Warco say that they have corrected the problem and that it was the operator at fault not the machine. However I can not see what the OP was doing wrong? He explained that with the head static there was no issue, however when using the quill in the Z axis, it was not running truely verticle (unless I have misunderstood?).

So how could the OP have simply dialled the movement of the quill withing the casting to correct it?

In essence I am saying that either I have completely not understood the actual nature of the problem, or Warco haven't?

STK200817/05/2018 19:56:30
116 forum posts
16 photos

Yes I tested the column to insure it was correct and it was.

I tested it by moving the whole Z axis up and down with the hand wheel I got a reading of about 0.002".

As soon as I touched the quill it went bat crazy 0.025".

I also took Warcos advice and checked the bolts that hold the head onto the column it made no difference what I did ( i had a verdict mounted to see what happend when I loosend and tightend the bolts I got no movemnt in the DTI meaning it was not that knocking it out of play if I had it to tight or to loose).

Bill Phinn17/05/2018 19:56:43
49 forum posts
1 photos

The one thing I don't quite understand, STK2008, in this whole unfortunate business is why you have completely turned your back on Warco machines and are contemplating buying machinery of very similar build-quality and provenance from another supplier.

My understanding was that Warco were quite ready to supply you with a replacement machine, and I would have thought there was very little likelihood that, if the first machine they supplied was faulty, the second one would be too, my thinking being that under the circumstances Warco would have been highly unlikely not to do a thorough check on the replacement before it was dispatched to ensure it came comfortably within tolerances.

It seems to me that Warco would have "seen you right", and you could have put things behind you and got on with the tasks you wanted the machinery for in the first place. Now you're out in the wilderness again, looking for machinery you apparently do need and worrying that whatever you opt for may in turn not come up to scratch, and that more upheaval and heartache may lie ahead for you.

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