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Recent conversions of Warco WM18 to CNC?

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Ross Lloyd 130/06/2019 15:50:05
153 forum posts
1 photos

Hi

Further to my CNC quest this board has been so helpful with so far, I have seen some old posts here as well as the Model Engineer article about converting the WM18 to CNC.

The 4-axis + high speed motor job Roger has done looks amazing, but there are no plans or drawings as such. Not a criticism by any means and as he points out, setups vary and he figured it out on the fly.

However being slightly time-poor, I was wondering if anyone knows of a source of plans / CAD models etc for converting the current WM18 model, or very close equivalent, assuming changes have been made over the years?

One older post here mentions needing to machine something for clearance, I am hopeful that is not still the case as I also have a concern that extensive modification will void warranty. I know some drilling will be needed for limit switches and such but I would like to avoid major surgery!

Thanks for reading

Nick Hughes30/06/2019 19:11:57
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217 forum posts
131 photos

There is a company in America that produce a Kit of the mechanical parts for a similar milling machine (The GRIZZLY G0704), that might be worth a look as they have instuctions on the fittting of the kit, on this page:- **LINK**

Also a lot of information on converting the G0704 around and so probably best serching for this machine, as well as the Warco WM 18.

Edited By Nick Hughes on 30/06/2019 19:33:53

Andrew Evans30/06/2019 19:38:41
313 forum posts
8 photos

I would have thought that any warranty would be void if you converted to CNC. Surely a warranty only has any value with the electrics and motor and presumably you would be replacing those anyway.

Ross Lloyd 130/06/2019 21:08:40
153 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Nick Hughes on 30/06/2019 19:11:57:

There is a company in America that produce a Kit of the mechanical parts for a similar milling machine (The GRIZZLY G0704), that might be worth a look as they have instuctions on the fittting of the kit, on this page:- **LINK**

Also a lot of information on converting the G0704 around and so probably best serching for this machine, as well as the Warco WM 18.

Edited By Nick Hughes on 30/06/2019 19:33:53

Hi Nick, thanks for the reply. I have looked into that machine and numerous videos of the conversion, and whilst it is similar, it appears to be the equivalent of the WM16, one model smaller than mine. Though the general idea will be the same, obviously the kit parts would not match. Thank you for the suggestion though.

Ross Lloyd 130/06/2019 21:10:43
153 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Andrew Evans on 30/06/2019 19:38:41:

I would have thought that any warranty would be void if you converted to CNC. Surely a warranty only has any value with the electrics and motor and presumably you would be replacing those anyway.

Thanks Andrew,

When I spoke with Warco, they said it would void the warranty only if I made extensive material changes to the machine. That is why I am asking about the potential need to mill off metal for clearance (I am not sure on which part) which was apparently needed in the old versions of the WM18.

Cheers

ChrisB30/06/2019 22:31:20
476 forum posts
180 photos

You can read through this : **LINK**

From what I can understand there's a clearance issue to fit the table new lead screw.

Andrew Evans30/06/2019 22:48:58
313 forum posts
8 photos

There is an Amadeal milling machine just advertised on the homeworkshop site for £400.

Ross Lloyd 101/07/2019 08:09:09
153 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by ChrisB on 30/06/2019 22:31:20:

You can read through this : **LINK**

From what I can understand there's a clearance issue to fit the table new lead screw.

Thank you, quite a trove of info there

Ross Lloyd 101/07/2019 08:09:21
153 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Andrew Evans on 30/06/2019 22:48:58:

There is an Amadeal milling machine just advertised on the homeworkshop site for £400.

Thanks Andrew

John Haine01/07/2019 09:16:08
3021 forum posts
160 photos

It's worth noting that it is possible to get smaller ballscrews if you look around. I believe that the Myford lathe conversion kit from "cncyourmyford.com" for example uses an 8mm dia screw on the cross slide because the standard bore in the Xslide casting won't accommodate anything bigger. They are harder to find and more expensive but may save a lot of grief modifying castings. You will also need to make sure the screw is under tension to avoid it bowing.

Anthony Romans08/03/2020 12:45:54
2 forum posts

Any further progress on converting a WM18? Contemplating purchase of one with an eye to CNC conversion one day.

Brian Rutherford27/03/2020 20:00:42
90 forum posts
3 photos

I started converting my WM32 mill a few weeks ago. Bought the motors and drivers from longs on ebay. No duty to pay as they ship from Germany. Ball screws came from Alibaba. The cost was really cheap for the parts but the air freight and duty and couriers admin charges put the price up..

Not started on the mechanical side yet as have been getting the electrics sorted first. Using a chinese ethernet motion controller which works fine with Mach3.

Will be starting on the mill soon providing I can get material. Ballscrews are the same size as the original acme leadscrews (20mm) so I am contenplating a few problems getting the ball nuts in..

Set myself a budget at the start of £500 to do the 3 axis. Will add a 4 later

Gary Wooding28/03/2020 12:14:04
670 forum posts
169 photos

I helped a friend convert a WM 16. We had to machine the table a little to accommodate the X-axis ball nut, but that was the only machining required.

Bandersnatch28/03/2020 15:34:09
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1600 forum posts
58 photos

OK, I'll ask the question ... how do people "machine the table". Second mill? Take it to a friend?

Jack M02/04/2020 22:43:52
21 forum posts

I'd be very interested in this conversion too as i have a warco wm18 mill and brought mach3 steepers drivers etc only bit left to get and find is ball screws but I'm still debating if to do the conversion or leave the mill manual and sell all my bits and software as I've never used cnc or mach3 to do programs before how hard really is it to use for a first time user? Can I do simple jobs still without having to domhours of programming im not a clue on mach3 easy to use etc etc

Thanks

Ronald Morrison02/04/2020 23:05:57
24 forum posts
Posted by Bandersnatch on 28/03/2020 15:34:09:

OK, I'll ask the question ... how do people "machine the table". Second mill? Take it to a friend?

i've seen people mention using a mounted stone with their Dremel tool to enlarge the pocket on the table to hold the ball nut.

Martin Connelly02/04/2020 23:58:02
avatar
1257 forum posts
152 photos

Jack M, Mach3 has manual data input (MDI), no programming required, so you can get started with a converted mill before you progress to programs and CAD/CAM. You just need to know a few gcode commands to make the mill do what you do manually such as move the x axis 20mm to the left (or right) or the y axis away or towards you. Read through this to get an idea of using MDI. A mini wireless usb keyboard is useful as well for jogging the machine around.

Using MDI

Martin C

Bandersnatch03/04/2020 01:47:01
avatar
1600 forum posts
58 photos
Posted by Ronald Morrison on 02/04/2020 23:05:57:
Posted by Bandersnatch on 28/03/2020 15:34:09:

OK, I'll ask the question ... how do people "machine the table". Second mill? Take it to a friend?

i've seen people mention using a mounted stone with their Dremel tool to enlarge the pocket on the table to hold the ball nut.



The heavymetalcnc instructions that Nick Hughes referred to above suggest that too .... but then point out that you need to machine (really machine) the saddle.

Gary Wooding03/04/2020 07:26:38
670 forum posts
169 photos
Posted by Bandersnatch on 28/03/2020 15:34:09:

OK, I'll ask the question ... how do people "machine the table". Second mill? Take it to a friend?

We took it to a friend's mill.

Jack M03/04/2020 14:03:35
21 forum posts
Posted by Martin Connelly on 02/04/2020 23:58:02:

Jack M, Mach3 has manual data input (MDI), no programming required, so you can get started with a converted mill before you progress to programs and CAD/CAM. You just need to know a few gcode commands to make the mill do what you do manually such as move the x axis 20mm to the left (or right) or the y axis away or towards you. Read through this to get an idea of using MDI. A mini wireless usb keyboard is useful as well for jogging the machine around.

Using MDI

Martin C

Hi Martin thanks for that when i get time ill sit down and read through that in detail but makes life looks easy from my quick read

Thanks

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