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Warco GH1230 and Toolposts

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Phil Davies19/11/2019 09:04:30
3 forum posts

Hello all, long time lurker, but only just created an account. My background is machining, and I am primarily a CNC Machinist (Turning and Milling) naturally, spent the first year training on manual machines, and have used them on an doff over the years.

This said, I am looking for a Lathe to complement the Mill I purchased last year (Super Major Milling Machine with 3 axis DRO) which, I will admit, has been gathering dust in my unit (I did have my own business, but just joined another business and now only run the place for them) since purchase as I never had the time. Since I am now getting itchy feet with metalworking and want to work with metals again, I am installing all this in my home garage.

I have a couple of questions, I settled on the GH1230 due to the size, and capabilities. Any drawbacks? I will struggle to get the bugger installed and lifted but that's an entirely different problem :D.

Also, What quick change toolpost would you recommend for this? I was looking at the Warco Piston type for these machines, but if there are better out there I would be interested. Not looking at throwing money away of course!

Howard Lewis20/11/2019 18:22:25
3267 forum posts
2 photos

If you change from the standard Four Way Toolpost, you will need to find storage space for the various tool holders for the QCT. It is also possible that the Top slide, or the Toolpost may need to be modified or sleeved to combine the two.

Probably someone will already have done this on a 1230, and can comment on the details.

If the Cross Slide is Tee slotted, consider a rear Toolpost. It makes parting off a lot less fraught, and it is possible to mount chamfering tools on a multi way one. I am now brave enough to part off under power feed, and: tempting fate, without problems, so far!


Clive Foster20/11/2019 19:43:35
2204 forum posts
73 photos


Looks to be a stout and reasonably speedy machine.

These days anyone starting out needs to consider whether they are primarily going to use old style HSS or new style inserts before deciding on a toolpost set-up. I'd be unsurprised to discover that, if you have the basic experience needed not to keep breaking inserts whist learning, lifetime costs of HSS in a decent QC toolpost system with a sensible number of holders come out comparable to or even greater than insert carriers in simple block type toolposts. If you have to factor in a good grinder and other kit solely for sharpening HSS, inserts are almost certainly going to be cheaper for hobby / home shop use.

As insert carriers don't need height adjustment simple two slot blocks can easily and cheaply be made from stock metal sections. You just need to devise some way of rapidly and repeatably changing out the blocks without loosing the alignment. If you need to use HSS on odd occasions shimming the tool to height is easy if the block is off the machine.

Good QC toolpost systems tend to get spendy as proper exploitation requires your general purpose tools to be permanently mounted in the carriers with a couple or three spare for special to job tooling. I have 16 or so to share between two lathes with toolpost shimmed so the holder height settings are the same. More normal folk debate between 6 and 10 as being acceptable.

Historically piston type QC systems have been considered less sturdy than wedge or, considering the more professional end, Dickson, Tripan, Multifix et al types. How much is inherent to the geometry and how much due to a combination of relaxed standards allowing a simpler toolpost to sold relatively inexpensively I know not.

The GH1230 looks to be of similar capabiilty and strength to my Smart & Brown 1024 which is quite capable of driving a Dickson hard. If funds permitted I'd be looking at Dickson or a Multifix clone from the like's of Create tooling. If not I'd be making a very close inspection of the particular wedge types on offer. Being limited by QC tooling system stiffness is monumentally frustrating. Especially as even an inexpensive system isn't, objectively, that cheap in real £sd terms.

If I were starting over I'd go inserts with interchangeable, built up from stock sections, two way block posts custom made for the carriers concerned.

Impressed that you get a full DRO set up as standard with the GH1230. But the way its set up would not suit the way I work. Tools from pram to orbit in under 10 minutes I reckon!

Over 40 years at this metal mangling game has convinced me that you can't afford everything so you need to carefully consider where best to direct your money and where corners can safely be cut. I've more money than I care to admit tied up in "seemed a good idea at the time" white elephants.


Phil Davies21/11/2019 11:16:59
3 forum posts

Heh, I do like metal magling.... My particular expertise is CNC, either GCode or Mazatrol (Used to program and run large Integrex Mill/turn machines as well as 5ft vertical borers - with the latter a 1/2" cut in duplex was not uncommon....). I think its a case of getting the lathe, then looking for a suitable toolpost, I do like the multifix holders, reminds me of my apprentice days in the training school.

Thanks for the link to create tooling, I think that this would be the route I go down, I have no qualms in modifying the cross slide to suit, or to make adapters to suit.

I used to have a small Warco 180 years ago, and still have a lot of tooling from that, since I am a hoarder. Mostly carbide inserts regardless. I also have a decent grinder (just needs decent white wheels, or CBN wheels for carbide) and am quite adept at grinding my own tooling. I was taught properly, can hand grind drills, including split point, rake etc etc. Its been a while, I must admit :D . Last place had a toolroom so you get lazy lol.

[quote]I've more money than I care to admit tied up in "seemed a good idea at the time" white elephants.[/quote]

Did I mention I bought the mill just over a year ago, and it has never cut a single piece of metal?

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