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Milling Machine Identification

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Paul Mallen14/09/2020 08:29:39
44 forum posts
16 photos

As the title suggests, I’m looking at buying this machine as a first mill but the guy is selling it for someone & cannot offer any information other than it’s working.

i think I have it down to a Chester Champion but was wondering if any of you good folks can shed light on it for me pleasec7cac91b-3fcb-428e-8ec9-c44baaf0683d.jpeg

Bazyle14/09/2020 08:51:32
5831 forum posts
216 photos

I think Warco were selling something similar around 30 years ago which they then replaced with a copy of the Emco FB2 which didn't have the motor off to one side.

Paul Mallen14/09/2020 09:09:20
44 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks Bazyle, I’m unsure if it’s single or 3 phase, there’s a pic of an ID plate on the motor but it’s all in Chinese apart from a couple of numbers - 370 & 380 so I’m unsure, don’t know if this has any relevance or not

Lathejack14/09/2020 09:24:38
302 forum posts
329 photos

It's a Chester Champion milling machine, one of Chester Machine Tools early products that they sold for years. It had a four speed belt driven tilting head powered by a single phase motor.The identical Warco version was called the ZX15.

The six speed geared head Warco XZ15 mill was Warco's replacement for their VHM mill which was the copy of the Emco FB2 machine, the geared head XZ15 was not as good as the Emco copy VHM and was only offered briefly.

It's easy to mix up the Warco belt drive ZX15 with their geared head XZ15 mill.

Edited By Lathejack on 14/09/2020 09:26:43

Edited By Lathejack on 14/09/2020 09:33:02

Paul Mallen14/09/2020 09:49:32
44 forum posts
16 photos

Lathejack that’s brilliant thank you, so I take it that it’s ok for a first mill? It’s either this or a new X2 or WM12 as there are no others coming up for sale lately - bit of an off the wall question but does anyone have any idea of a rough weight? I have a mate with a van who will help me fetch it but there are only 2 of us, I’m a big lad but he is quite vertically challenged & by his own admission ’cor lift much’, am I due a hernia or not?


Edited By Paul Mallen on 14/09/2020 09:51:11

Thor14/09/2020 10:11:10
1349 forum posts
40 photos

Hi Paul,

If the Chester Champion is as heavy as the Warco ZX15 it weighs around 135kg. I don't know this particular model but I assume it should be easy to dismantle the head. I did that when I moved my milling machine (of similar weight) into my workshop. I did have the help of a younger (and stronger) friend, but it was not difficult to move. To get the mill into a van you could slide it up a couple of 2x4 wooden beams. Take care so you don't need a visit to your GP afterwards.


PS. Found this on the web.

Edited By Thor on 14/09/2020 10:14:14

Paul Mallen14/09/2020 10:21:31
44 forum posts
16 photos

Hi Thor, thanks for that & i was expecting around the 200k mark so thats a bonus! And that link is brilliant, thanks for that!

My GP has already told me that if i go in there with a knackered back once more he's going to batter me while he has the chance to do so, so i have to be a bit careful lol, trouble is i'm a bit of an oaf with no patience who's favourite saying is "gerrout me god rode" when people are faffing around, and then i end up not being able to cough, fart, move or sit still for a week or so......

Looks like its going to be an interesting time.......

Craig Brown 214/09/2020 10:32:20
38 forum posts
9 photos

I would suggest that that machine could be 3 phase assuming it is being powered by the 3 phase red socket and plug on the wall behind. Also the 370 380 numbers you mention could be voltage ratings but they could equally be wattages. Hard to say for certain without further examination but dont assume its single phase

Hope that helps, Craig

Paul Mallen14/09/2020 10:46:02
44 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks Craig, yes that’s what made me think 3 phase, here’s the plate with the numbers but it makes no sense to me - hopefully I have some more information coming later today so hopefully will be able to shed some light on itdafece2a-19a7-4e20-ad64-e8d5e9cd3beb.jpeg

Howard Lewis14/09/2020 10:47:21
4662 forum posts
10 photos

FWIW, my advice on moving the machine would be, if possible lift it complete with a crane, with a sling around the Head.

If, to reduce weight, it has to be dismantled, it would be better to remove the Head from the Column, and leave the column attached to the Base. Otherwise, the shimming between Column and Base could be lost / misplaced and then you will have the problem of trying to re tram it, to return it to accurate condition.

If you are a newbie, this may be a problematic situation for you without more experienced and better equipped help.



Paul Mallen14/09/2020 11:04:52
44 forum posts
16 photos

Howard thank you for that, I don’t plan on taking it apart & if it’s around the 130 - 150k mark then we should be ok, I’m an 18.5 stone bodybuilder who carries gravel boards & concrete posts around by myself, it’s my mate that will struggle but it will be worth it just to see his legs buckle & hear him moaning, if anything I’ll try to video it so we can all have a laugh

Zan14/09/2020 12:49:00
225 forum posts
18 photos

I think this is 3 phase By the look of the size of the cable and the type of plug as has been mentioned earlier.
The motor plate probably shows it is Wired in a Y formation, at 370/80 volts or current I doubt that there will be connections to set it to 240 volts running from an inverter that’s an odd voltage, and not a lot of current 1/2 hip.

treat this machine with caution and get full information before parting with cash

Michael Cottle14/09/2020 12:55:40
12 forum posts

Hi Paul,

My Chinese language does not work very well but the rating plate indicates

3 Phase motor, star connected, 380v, 1.15A full load current, 1400 rpm.

If that helps.....


Paul Mallen14/09/2020 13:18:50
44 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks for that Zan, so it wouldn’t just be a case of buying an inverter & plugging it in then? I try not to mess with electrical stuff if I can help it so my knowledge is limited...

Hi Michael, thank you, I’m glad it make sense to someone & I’m glad your able to interpret it - I do have a single phase motor that’s 3/4HP that runs at 1425 rpm - think that might be any good if I can shoe horn it in?

But yes I’m waiting for the guy to get back to me with more details hopefully so I can make more of an informed decision

Paul Mallen14/09/2020 13:25:22
44 forum posts
16 photos

Thank you for all the replies & information folks, much appreciated - I’ve just had another look & he has raised the price from £500 to £1400 so it’s a big no from me.....

Paul Kemp14/09/2020 13:32:55
617 forum posts
18 photos

Seller is dreaming if he thinks that is worth £1400!


Paul Mallen14/09/2020 13:40:42
44 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks Paul, I’ve been reliably informed that it’s probably worth between £500 - £600 depending on extras that may come with it so if he can get £1400 then fair play to him but it won’t be from me...

Saying that, he probably will get it, I’ve seen Clarke CL500’s with mill drills going for over £1550 on eBay in the last few weeks, they’re only £1374 brand new! I don’t know what’s happening lately with lathes & Mills but it seems people have more money than sense these days...

mgnbuk14/09/2020 14:07:34
960 forum posts
66 photos

I looked to buy one of these when they were first introduced, as it was the only small milling machine that looked vaguely affordable at the time for me. IIRC they started out around the £700-800 mark & also IIRC that included the 3 speed table feed gearbox that is not present on the machine pictured.

Ultimately I didn't get one. I had reservations about the limited speed selection (4 speeds via belt change), the high lowest speed (400 rpm IIRC) & the lack of quill graduations. But the biggest "downer" when I had a close look at one was the method of raising the head on the column. The head mounting telescopes on the fixed column and is only clamped with a very basic split in the head casting closed up with a bolt. When the head is elevated, there is very little of the head casting engaged on the column & the clamp action on the one I inspected was poor - at the kind of head postions you would be using most of the time with a vice + tooling fitted, I couldn't see how it would have much rigidity. Add in the generally poor fit & finish of the example I inspected (fastners & clamps loose in threads, backlash in the feed screws & quill arrangement & the sloppy column fit) & I decided that however low the purchase price it was not the machine for me.

With inflation, if it all looked reasonable & included the vice & chuck shown then £500 might have been reasonable - but not much more IMO.

Keep looking - something better will show up eventually.

Nigel B.

Paul Mallen14/09/2020 14:56:17
44 forum posts
16 photos

Thank you Nigel your a star! That is precisely what i've been afraid of with buying an old mill like that one and another reason why i've held off buying a few that i've seen lately. I seem to be faced with paying £100 off the RRP for some second hand models i see on the internet (regardless of how many extras it comes with i would much rather pay the extra just for a new one with a warranty), or one like this one above - which could suffer from any of the problems you list...

It would appear to be a sellers market these days, no idea why but when you see micro mills selling second hand for what they are new then something must be going on...

Michael Gilligan14/09/2020 18:54:05
17641 forum posts
810 photos


I’ve just tried OCR and translation on your photo:

This is obviously not complete or accurate, but it’s a pretty good start !


のminiature three-phase asynchronous motor
Model A027124 Power 370 pages
Lead rate 0 insulation grade mesh speed 1400 rpm/s
Voltage 380V current
| Factory year and month
Wuhu City Micro Motor-Factory


Happy to have another try, if you can provide a better photo of the plate.


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