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Warco WM 16 VS woes

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Sam Longley 113/11/2019 16:53:32
751 forum posts
26 photos

Unfortunately I have a Warco WM 16 VS item No. 3217 year of manufacture 2015.

I appear to have stripped a gear on the low speed option, although I cannot see it very well. Probably the famous plastic one that I have heard about.

I have removed the motor cover & the front cover, but cannot work out how one gets to the gears to remove them & replace. Assuming they can be replaced. (Otherwise it will be the skip & a proper mill!!)

Can anyone who has solved this, give me some guidance on how one should approach the problem (not the skip solution, although I am sorely temptedangry 2)

Many thanks in advance

Stuart Smith 513/11/2019 17:32:27
93 forum posts
25 photos

I have a Warco WM 16 of similar vintage which I bought secondhand earlier this year. I found a comprehensive manual for what appears to be the same design on the Grizzly (USA) website model G0704. It has a couple of expanded drawings and parts list. If you do a google search for 'grizzlyg0704 gear' there are a few comments and YouTube videos showing how to replace the gears.

Link to grizzly manual:


mechman4813/11/2019 17:49:03
2663 forum posts
410 photos

DON'T Skip it ! they are not cheap to start with. I have a WM 16 of 2012 vintage; fortunately not in your situation ( not trying to sound smug honestly ) Look in the manual at the exploded 'head schematic' & you should be able to figure out how to remove the plastic gear (sacrificial, precisely why it's there ). I changed the spindle out of mine using the same schematic a couple of years ago due to a cracked MT taper, fairly easy to do. There are steel gears that can be substituted but can't recall where from at the mo'. If you don't have the manual I can mail a scan of said page to you if you PM me.

Some owners have replaced the gear system with a belt drive set up which will eliminate the problem altogether giving any 'jam ups' the opportunity for 'belt slip'. IIRC there is a USA site that has the material to do this …'Grizzly' & if I remember there was a write up to do this on their version... Grizzly 0704 I believe, have a look see. I have considered doing this mod with mine but as the old engineering cliché goes... 'if it aint broke don't fix it ' so...


mechman4813/11/2019 17:50:42
2663 forum posts
410 photos

p.s. Stuart posted as I was typing...


mechman4813/11/2019 19:35:02
2663 forum posts
410 photos

Sam for your att....

wm16 head assy.jpg


JasonB13/11/2019 19:35:24
18098 forum posts
1993 photos
1 articles

Brian over on MEM had the same problem with is similar machine a while ago, some pics from his post may help here

alan ord 213/11/2019 20:15:01
77 forum posts

Sam, I had the same problem with my Chester 20VS. Plastic gear stripped 3 - 4 years ago.Contacted Chester who supplied a replacement gear set free of charge. Decided to continue using the mill in high gear only until it eventually fails and would then replace the gears. Still waiting for the high gear to fail !! Never had any problems using the the mill without the low gear. There are a couple of videos on You Tube explaining how to change the gear.

Sam Longley 114/11/2019 07:47:31
751 forum posts
26 photos

Thanks for the help everyone. The information about the match to the Grizzly was useful as that took me to the videos. The higher gear does work still, but, presumably, that is putting greater load on the motor, which is showing signs of early departure from this world. Cannot tell why though, as it has done very little work.

I think that the gear failed because it seems that it was not engaging fully when in the locked position

Now I know how to strip the machine I will take a look inside. There is obviously something very wrong with this mill as I have not been able to do much milling with it. It vibrates so badly that just drilling holes is difficult, as it flexes like a lump of jelly.

Not one of my better purchases

Thanks again

Sam L

Vic14/11/2019 10:04:32
2500 forum posts
14 photos

It’s sounds like you should move it on Sam and get something else?

Sam Longley 114/11/2019 16:56:54
751 forum posts
26 photos

Today I ordered the new gear at the cost of an arm, a leg & a bowl of blood.

Because my mill is bolted to some steel to raise the standard cupboard 9 inches higher, I cannot easily move it to get round the back. Therefore, I have removed the head & put it on a bench.

Looking at the gear it seems to me that it should be possibly to make a new pair of wheels in brass & silver solder them together as a pair. Alternatively make a set in plastic from some tufnol whale or Oilon (I actually have that). Fairly cheap in plastic, so can make some mistakes first, without too much expense.

Has anyone tried that? What gear cutter do I need? I have a friend with several milling machines to make them on & he has all the other bits I would need. Never tried it before but seems to me to be worth a go.

not done it yet14/11/2019 19:49:14
4632 forum posts
16 photos
Posted by Sam Longley 1 on 14/11/2019 16:56:54:

Today I ordered the new gear ....

... Has anyone tried that? What gear cutter do I need? I have a friend with several milling machines to make them on & he has all the other bits I would need. Never tried it before but seems to me to be worth a go.

I think I would have ordered a set, not just the one gear...

Check the diameter, count the teeth and a quick calculation later you can order the appropriate cutter(s). HPC gears likely can supply the gears in any material you might care to specify. Probably need some form of lubrication delivery, if in metal.


Edited By not done it yet on 14/11/2019 19:50:52

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