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Benchtop mill motor and head / spindle getting very warm

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Ross Lloyd 128/09/2018 11:44:16
153 forum posts
1 photos


Yesterday I was messing about learning to use an edge finder, so was not actually doing any cutting, but the spindle was doing around 1500 rpm. I noticed after about 6 or 7 minutes that the chuck felt warm despite no cutting taking place, and when I felt the body of the mill it was very warm to the touch from the drill chuck all the way to the top of the plastic motor cover.

Does this sound par for the course? With no load I would expect a smaller current draw and so less heat. There is a ton of oil inside the head, so much so that occasionally a little drips out on the table. It is an open design and you can just squirt the oil onto the gears.

The mill is a WM18, and I have had it since May. I had some electrical problems with it which were resolved with a new controller board, but given past performance I want to ensure this level of heat is to be expected.

JasonB28/09/2018 12:31:26
17825 forum posts
1949 photos
1 articles

I had similar on my Warco Lathe, the bearings had dried and got too hot.

Not totally sure about your mill but I don't think the oil in the head comes in contact with the quill it is just for the gears.

geoff walker 128/09/2018 12:42:37
398 forum posts
154 photos

Hi Ross,

There is a forum on the chester machine tool site.

There is a post describing how a cooling fan is fitted to keep the motor cool.

Not your mill but might be worth a look


Ross Lloyd 128/09/2018 12:47:27
153 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks for the replies guys, on closer inspection it appears the mill just has an oil leak. I had assumed it was an open design due to the constant dripping, but when I filled it via the port and then looked up inside with a torch, I could see there is a thin ally panel that is screwed onto the sump and the oil is leaking around the side. I had a similar issue when the lathe was delivered, all the oil in the apron had leaked out of the drain plug. Looks like I will have to get up in there with some teflon tape as well.

Sigh warco, why do your machines have such a phobia of oil laugh

Edited By Ross Lloyd 1 on 28/09/2018 12:48:04

ChrisB28/09/2018 15:11:47
473 forum posts
180 photos

It seems to be a common issue - look here **LINK**

Mine does the same, it's not so hot you can't touch it, but it does get warm, even with light use.

Andrew Johnston28/09/2018 15:58:07
5399 forum posts
621 photos

On my industrial lathe and mill both spindles get warm to the touch even under no load. If the spindles have taper roller bearings under preload the oil undergoes shear and that takes energy which is ultimately converted to heat. If there is too much oil present energy, and heat, also goes into churning the oil around. Which is why too much oil is as bad as too little.

On my lathe spindle temperature is pretty much independent of load, most of heat from the cutting process goes into the swarf, and there's a big lump of a chuck to absorb the heat from the work. On the mill the spindle temperature goes up when working hard. That's because the tool can get very hot and there's not much mass of metal to absorb the heat. After working hard my mill spindle can be too hot to touch.


Ross Lloyd 129/09/2018 01:14:08
153 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks gents nice to know nothing is wildly out of the ordinary

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