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WM16 or SX2

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Paul Mallen17/09/2020 13:24:26
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44 forum posts
16 photos

I sort of have my heart set on an SX2 if nothing decent second hand comes up, and now Warco have a 2nd hand WM16 at £750 (£810 with delivery & still a bit pricey for my liking but it is almost in my price range).

I realise the Warco is the next model up from the Sieg but I’m honestly not that bothered about size, going on what I’ve researched, a micro mill will cope with the stuff I will be doing and I think an SX2 would be able to cope admirably, if not being a bit overkill. So with that in mind is the 500w brushless motor & the R8 spindle worth it over the Warco or is it a case of 6 of one & half a dozen of the other?

Give me choices & it all goes bottom up.........

Edited By Paul Mallen on 17/09/2020 13:50:43

mechman4817/09/2020 16:34:28
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2792 forum posts
431 photos

I have a Warco 16 MT2, had it for 8yrs + now, bought it at the harrowgate exhib' back in 2012.It has performed admirably in all I have given it to do. I don't throw heavy DOC at it & listen to what the cutter is telling me as far as feed rate is concerned.Admitadly I have changed the spindel a couple of years back but that was purely down to my being over enthusiastic with the torquing of the draw bar, not the machines fault. Since then, as previously, no probs with what I ask it to do. After sales service from Warco has been good compared to some other stories I've heard.

As for the SX2, not having had one I can't really comment on it, but having seen some write ups it also seems a capable machine, again, depending what you give it to do, horses for courses it seems.

George.

old mart17/09/2020 17:14:04
2222 forum posts
164 photos

I always recommend R8 above any Morse taper, if you are in the fortunate position to be able to choose. There again, the machine with speeds changed by belts or gears, rather than just motor rpm has the better torque.

Mick B117/09/2020 17:19:01
1776 forum posts
91 photos

I spent some years in 70s working on a Bridgeport, and I think the R8 spindle would be a deciding factor for me. Seems to me it's better than Morse taper in a milling quill, and easier to use, for several reasons - chiefly lower tool protrusion and ease of extraction.

Bazyle17/09/2020 17:20:13
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5571 forum posts
207 photos

Don't have, nor ever used either. Since the SX2 is a smaler machine the R8 spindle is a bit of overkill. R8 has got over-egged because it is standard on the ten times bigger Bridgeport and adds boasting power. I would jump on the WM16 since it has already suffered the initial new item devaluation. The larger table always helps, even if you are just milling scale models of peanuts and teh lower minimum spindle speed is better for slitting saws that often get run too fast.

Mick B117/09/2020 18:58:06
1776 forum posts
91 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 17/09/2020 17:20:13:

...

R8 has got over-egged because it is standard on the ten times bigger Bridgeport and adds boasting power. I would jump on the WM16 since it has already suffered the initial new item devaluation. The larger table always helps, even if you are just milling scale models of peanuts and teh lower minimum spindle speed is better for slitting saws that often get run too fast.

Don't think that first sentence holds any water at all. Morse tapers are OK in a tailstock with an ejector or in a production drill running for hours without tool changes, but in a milling spindle they're just extra potential grief, either slipping when you're machining or sticking fast when you want to change tools. You can also use short, stubby end mills directly in R8 collets, and I don't readily recall seeing any such for Morse tapers. It doesn't matter how big or small your machine, I think it'll potentially be more capable in R8 than Morse.

However, larger table and slower minimum speeds are serious advantages. You'll have to decide relative importance from the nature of the work you expect to do.

Paul Mallen17/09/2020 19:16:31
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44 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks for the replies folks, much appreciated & some good points raised by all, after reading them I'm still edging towards the SX2 for a few reasons - valid or not i'm not sure, hence why i'm asking you guys but here goes;

R8 - yes i can see how it may be a bit overkill but i have morse tapers on my ML4 & Tyme Avon, and i hate having to keep a 'ramming stick' closeby, and i've had chucks fly across the workshop when i've hit it too hard to get it out....

Not having to change a belt for the speed - does my head in at the best of times on my lathes & bandsaw and the thought of having to do it again on a mill just makes me groan..(not particularly lazy, just disorganised enough to misplace things & i do have 7 dimensions in my workshop where i put something down only to loose it & rediscover it months later in a different location..)

Fixed position head - I've read enough on here to realise its not going to be tilted at all, and i have to say i'm impressed that Arc actually listened to customers feedback & just made it fixed & beefed it up.

This is my reasoning anyway, wether it makes any sense at all i will let you decide & correct me if i'm wrong on any points.

Bazyle - Just to pick up on a couple of things you mentioned - The devaluation is what worries me, if i'm buying second hand when the RRP is under & around the grand mark, it really has to be around half price to even grab my interest, otherwise i would much rather save the few hundred quid to get a new one with a warranty, it's only because its from Warco with a 6 month warranty that i'm even considering it, and this is a second hand model and it does look used....

And I honestly can't see me using the bigger table, its only a few cm difference & the biggest thing i will have on there is about 120mm x 50mm, and according to the review in this very magazine on the SX2 it goes right down to zero RPM.

I hate having choices.....

Stuart Smith 517/09/2020 19:44:56
139 forum posts
25 photos

Paul

I have a WM16 that I bought secondhand. I have no experience of other mills but I am happy with mine.

It is the same as the one advertised. The 2 speed ranges are selected by a high/low knob engaging the appropriate gears, so no belt to change ranges.

The MT2 spindle has an ejector mechanism, so no need to hit the end to release the chuck.

The head can be raised and lowered by a knob at the top right hand side of the column, unlike the SX2.

Stuart

Nigel (egi)17/09/2020 21:15:05
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72 forum posts
8 photos

Have an SX2.7 and I love it, it's MT3 and must admit the ER25 collet chuck is a permanent fit, gets removed once a year. Belt drive and variable speed is a must. Not sure I like the fine feed, but it's a lot better than that on the mini mill (eg Amadeal XJ12). I actually think table width is nearly as important as length.

Table length is great if you want to permanently bolt a vice at one end as there is enough free table for a rotary table or to just bolt something down.

Just my thoughts and hope they help

Paul Mallen18/09/2020 09:05:50
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44 forum posts
16 photos

Ahh thanks for that Stuart you’ve cleared up those couple of points for me, and it’s good to hear from an SX2 owner as well Nigel - question for both of you if you don’t mind; what kind of work do you put through them and do either of you machine stainless?

My reason for asking is that I’ve recently started making things from stainless instead of & as well as brass, I only want to skim the surface to get rid of pits in the metal, and to cut a 4mm slot in the end of a 10mm round stainless bar, and I’m just wondering how well both machines cope with this kind of work.

Nigel - what don’t you like about the fine feed & how is the head raised & lowered as I can’t find any info on the website about it, it may well be on there & staring me in the face but I’ve looked at it that many times I think I’ve developed selective vision...

Edited By Paul Mallen on 18/09/2020 09:06:10

Nigel (egi)18/09/2020 17:40:17
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72 forum posts
8 photos

Hi Paul, the SX2.7 has a hand wheel to raise and lower the head that is up on the top right hand side of the column. It also has a fine feed with a digital readout. Plus you can lock the column and the fine feed My review notes here for the SX2.7

So far I've not had any significant issues with it, but I only machine materials for model making, steels, brass, aluminium, cast iron. I have done some stainless and not had any issues, but quite frankly a lot of this is down the cutting tools, locking out the unused axes and taking the right cut/feed.

The previous machine I had was the Amadeal XJ12-300 and I ended up spending time on improvements, just got it right before buying the Sieg SX2.7

At first I was worried it wasn't a significant upgrade, but I've been proven very wrong. The SX2.7 is a lot stiffer, the table is wider (again stiffer) and the motor and drive is superb. Plus the X and Y axis are actually metric

Best regards, Nigel

Zan18/09/2020 18:32:44
197 forum posts
16 photos

My siegSx2 plus has been converted to cnc I got this machine because of the R8 a longtime ago before I got my Bridgeport, I had a very nice Rishton, but it was #2morse and to eject the tool it needed serious hammering. Even after I made an ejector from tube and M 12 thread with a 250 mm handle. Even with this it was difficult to remove, it went with a real bang. Don’t expect big cuts, but I have found the machine to provide a very good finish on both vertical and facing cuts . It’s real problem is the small size of the dovetails, it needs frequent gib adjustments, but this is easy to achieve. A nice machine
I have been considering getting a bigger cnc machine, but webco are morse taper, and don’t have ball screws unless you pay a lot lot extra , syril at R8 do not have a good write up on many many forums, a tormach with R8 an excellent machine, but is expensive to get here And it’s a smaller work envelope than the sieg, which I have decided to stick with The small cuts

changing the tool in this machine needs only a small tap on the spindle. 

Edited By Zan on 18/09/2020 18:34:50

Paul Mallen18/09/2020 22:19:26
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44 forum posts
16 photos

Thanks for all that information Nigel, i think thats swayed it in the SX2's favour for what i need, if i come across a Warco for a good price second hand then i may be persuaded but i'm aiming for a new Sieg i think.

Thanks for that Zan, I don't plan on making any big cuts, it will be quite light work that i will be doing on it and i'm hoping that if anything it will be a bit overkill for what i want, it'll make a change from me breaking something...

Stuart Smith 518/09/2020 23:18:39
139 forum posts
25 photos

Paul

I don’t know if you have spotted it, but Nigel has a SX2.7 not the SX2 you are looking at. The mechanism on the SX2.7 to raise and lower the head and quill is similar to the WM16, but on the SX2 it only has one handle which raises and lowers the whole head. There is also a fine feed for the quill on all three models.

Stuart

Stuart Smith 518/09/2020 23:24:13
139 forum posts
25 photos

Paul

I have machined mild steel, aluminium and brass but not yet stainless steel. I don’t think you will have any problems doing what you want to do with any of the mills you are looking at. Though I am only a beginner and have only used it to make a small stationary engine and various tools for the workshop so far.

Stuart

Nigel (egi)19/09/2020 07:41:24
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72 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Stuart Smith 5 on 18/09/2020 23:18:39:

Paul

I don’t know if you have spotted it, but Nigel has a SX2.7 not the SX2 you are looking at. The mechanism on the SX2.7 to raise and lower the head and quill is similar to the WM16, but on the SX2 it only has one handle which raises and lowers the whole head. There is also a fine feed for the quill on all three models.

Stuart

Hi Paul, yes I should point out that my mill is an SX2.7 and it is different to the SX2. It's worth going direct to the Sieg website as you can see and compare all of the machines they make.

not done it yet19/09/2020 07:55:24
5143 forum posts
20 photos

My wife says “It’s your meannesses you regret, not your extravagancies”.

In that context, if you have set your heart on an SX2, you would likely regret going for a cheaper secondhand equivalent.

I was looking for a Superior surface grinder but have settled for an Eagle (at a much reduced cost). I know it is not so much inferior (size, weight, bed-to-wheel height, no adjustable stroke setting and maybe a few others) but I expect I will always slightly rue losing an epay auction for a good example of the Superior previously - even though it would have been rather more expensive.

Ron Laden19/09/2020 08:44:51
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2019 forum posts
405 photos

I have had a SX2P for coming up 2 years now and my experience with it gives it a big thumbs up. For a small mill I have found it to be excellent, its done all I have asked of it never let me down and been 100% reliable.

Over time there are a number of mods/additions you can add to it which improve it further but mine was good straight out of the box.

I can't speak for the other mills but my experience with SX2P has been all good.

Ron

Paul Mallen19/09/2020 10:05:38
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44 forum posts
16 photos

Stuart, Nigel - yes i did clock it after i posted that last comment, It still gives a good impression of the Sieg mills and i'm switching between your link Nigel and This from off the Arc website, so its all good.

Thanks for that Stuart and when it comes to engineering i am also a beginner, and to be perfectly honest if a micro mill came up for a couple of hundred quid close by i think i would grab it - its better than what i have at the moment...

Not done it yet - i know exactly what your wife means and i've never been one to shy away from splashing out on what i want, i usually get distracted & develop an itchy 'buy it now' finger, but i'm trying to be good & get my research done before committing.

Thanks Ron, you've basically echoed what i'm thinking with the upgrades and its good to have another +1 for the SX2.

I know i've posted this before but this is what i'm after with a mill - i'm a luthier (i make guitars - well, basses mainly as i am a bassist of over 35 years playing experience) and the mill (i hope) will be the difference between a professional finish & hand finish - mainly on the bridges i make, and heres one i made earlier;

189dc5ba-176b-4647-bc59-2d61da99cfa5.jpeg

I want to be able to mill the edges after cutting them with a hacksaw so they're straight, its all hand files at the mo which is taking a stupid amount of time & i'm never satisfied with the finish. Also i want to be able to skim a few thou off the surfaces so i can either leave the machined finish or whack it in the sand blaster then polish to a mirror or brushed finish. The round bits which are called the saddles need the holes drilled to a greater degree of accuracy that i cannot get with my Clarke bench drill & compound cross-slide vice, I drilled these by printing a plastic sleeve with my 3d printer that had the holes placed where i needed them to be, then inserted the stainless bar & drilled following the template, even this had mixed results and wasn't very consistent.

Plus the fact i want to make my own tuners so need the accuracy and ability to machine a block of aluminium to take the worm gear & drive - all small stuff really.

I do charge a bit of cash for a build - anything from £600 to £1600 so a professional finish is paramount, which is why i need the mill, don't get me wrong, if it allows me to obtain the finish i'm after then upgrading will be next on the list (hence why i'll grab a micro mill for the right money), and judging by what i've seen going on the auction sites i'll only need the proceeds of a couple of basses to upgrade to a real serious piece of kit, plus i have the luxury of being single so the only voice i need to heed is the one coming from my wallet.

Heres a couple of previous builds if anyone may be interested, it will give you some idea of what i'm trying to achieve - basically i don't want to buy any hardware such as bridges, tuners, pickups, i want it all made in house.

img_0067.jpg

img_1345.jpeg

img_1346.jpeg

Nigel (egi)19/09/2020 10:33:09
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72 forum posts
8 photos

Hi Paul,

Nice work. The milling machine I have would easily cope with end milling stainless and brass. I use a cutting fluid that I apply using a brush, for the amount of work I do I find that easier and use the Warco cutting oil as it doesn't rust the machine.

I have made a number of videos of different machining that I've done with the mill, sadly I think the only way to post them here is via youtube and I haven't created something yet. However, on my gallery I have my instagram posts and on there I have a slow motion of me end milling 1/4" mild steel with solid carbide end mill (Rennie Tools are really good bits or Dormer bits off ebay). I have a substantial vice permanently bolted to one end of the table and I spent time accurately dialing it in parallel to the table traverse.

Best regards, Nigel

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