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Hello - coming out of the shadows!

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Joe Snowden28/09/2020 11:40:22
2 forum posts

Hi All,

I've often used this forum for it's wealth of information but hadn't signed until today.

Until the weekend I had been using a CL500 as space had been a constraint, it has served me well as I bought it second hand and has been perfectly usable.

I'm fortunate enough to have a bit more space now so have got something a bit more robust, I picked up at the weekend a Warco BH600 in very good condition with a few nice extras but will be looking to add a DRO in the near future as well as adding a Warco VMC (or similar) to the stable.

I initially bought the CL500 for making spaces and bits and bobs for an ongoing motorcycle build (XS650 flat tracker) but quickly found out the reason to buy lathes and mills is to spend most of your time making tools/jigs/fixtures to use on said machines 😂

Can anybody recommend a 2 axis DRO for the BH600? Do people have much luck with buying directly from China/BangGood?

Many Thanks,


Thor28/09/2020 14:39:58
1276 forum posts
39 photos

Hi Joe,

Welcome to the forum and congratulations with your "new" lathe. What kind of DRO do you want, there are several price classes, see here or here.


Jon Lawes28/09/2020 15:14:11
403 forum posts

Welcome! I don't comment much as I don't have much experience but I do hoover up the experience dropped round here!

Brian H28/09/2020 16:21:21
1798 forum posts
108 photos

Hello Joe and welcome.

I can certainly recommend M-DRO. I have a 2 axis unit on a mill but the lathe one is exactly the same as regards the actual readout unit.

Fitting it to their very readable instructions was very easy and there were enough brackets, nut and bolts to finish the job.


John Paton 128/09/2020 16:33:19
282 forum posts
17 photos

+1 for Mdro and also Easson. Both have been very good for me. I actually prefer the magnetic readers to the optical ones though as they are rather more tidy - being more compact, they are also slightly less critical as regards installation tolerances. You can keep down costs by using optical where there is plenty of room.

Harry Wilkes28/09/2020 16:51:51
981 forum posts
63 photos

Welcome to the forum Joe


Howard Lewis28/09/2020 17:58:17
3615 forum posts
2 photos


Your "new" lathe is very versatile bit of kit.

I modified my look-a-like machine by making and fitting a 80T gear to the input of the Norton box, to halve the feed rate. Mine is Metric with dual dials. Yours could be Imperial or Metric, Warco offered both versions..

On mine, the setscrews clamping the Top Slide were pretty soft and were soon replaced.

17 years on, the original belts are still in good condition.

If the secondary belt does need replacing, Roger Warren advised against stripping the Headstock, but to cut off the old belt and replace with link belting, to avoid disturbing the pre-load on the bearings and the oil seals..

The chucks, especially the 8", 4 Jaw are heavy, so a wooden chuck board is an early accessory to make.

FWIW, avoid clashing the saddle with anything, when under power feed. The shaft and the integral pinion engaging the rack is adequate for normal use, but not of high grade material. It bends easily, as I know to my cost!

At one time, I thought that the belts were slipping. The problem was too shallow a dimple in the shaft that carries the belt tensioner. Soon cured, but not a lot of room to refit the bolt between the lever and the link.

The bolt clamping the Fixed Steady needs to be the made captive, to avoid frustration..

But, overall, not a bad machine


Henry Brown28/09/2020 18:10:17
296 forum posts
83 photos

Welcome Joe,

I was going to get a DRO for my Warco GH1322 but having used it doe a few months the cross slide is very accurate so I haven't bothered. I did haggle with M-DRO ang was offered a very good price though.

Hope you enjoy your new machines...

Joe Snowden28/09/2020 21:16:05
2 forum posts

Thanks for the input guys, much appreciated - can't wait to get it set up. My other consideration is the stand and leveling it. I was thinking of fitting anti-vibration feet to the standard stand as the concrete in my garage isn't the best (not particularly level or smooth). I was thinking of welding a 6mm plate underneath each of the two cabinets with four feet to each but I could be over thinking it?

What have others done with similar style stands?

Colin Heseltine28/09/2020 21:23:40
460 forum posts
130 photos

Welcome Joe.

If you are into simple electronics then may I suggest you take look at Yuriystoys website. You will find some software called Touch-DRO which will run on an android device. He also markets controller boards (or you can build your own based on the circuits on his website. The quadrature version controller can work on Glass or magnetic scales such as those from Machine-DRO or there is a controller which can work on the cheaper capacitance type of scales. I have used the quadrature version on several of my machines.


Thor29/09/2020 06:08:56
1276 forum posts
39 photos

Hi Joe,

I use anti-vibration feet to get my lathe stand level, I have not boltet the stand to the floor and it has worked well for several years. I used 4 feet at the headstock end and two at the tailstock end.


Bazyle29/09/2020 12:30:51
5479 forum posts
206 photos

There have been several threads on this forum about the BH600 style lathe, including a strip down of the saddle. Possibly a good idea to replace the shear pin in the feed screw with a brass one I think was mentioned on one of these threads. There were also some articles in ME about 2005, well years ago, about making a clutch and other mods to an earlier version, then there is also a trick with the belts to make it slip more. Use the search facility on the front page not the one at the top of this page.

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