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warco WM 12 or Amadeal XJ12-300

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Jose Rodrigues13/12/2020 10:09:25
7 forum posts

Hello Forum,

Quick intro: I am looking to buy my first mill. I will be using it mainly to make other custom tools that I need for other projects, mainly in aluminium and mild steel. I wonder now If I could even machine any tool steel... Ultimately, I will definitely try to convert it to a CNC.

So, I have been searching around and I have kinda narrowed down my search to the AMADEAL XJ12-300 or the Warco WM12, the latter looking better finished but 100 pounds dearer.

I would like to know if anyone in the forum has used/owns any of the two machines and have their opinions on:

a) the versatility to cut mild steel or even tool steel of these mills.

b) the backlash on any of the axis. Is there any?

Thanks, Jose

Mike Hurley13/12/2020 12:41:53
212 forum posts
70 photos

Both companies have been around a fair time and are reputable. My Warco WM14 is a little bigger than the WM12 you're looking at but has performed admirably over many years. (yes some backlash is now apparent but you adjust for it in practice.)

A lot of your questions really depend on the size / sort of jobs you are intending to use it for as obviously that will determine the sort of cutters you intend to use and then factors such as rigidity and backlash can be more of a factor, not so much with aluminium but more so with steels. I have dealt with Warco (to whom I have no connection) regarding spares and found them very helpful and prompt. I think there was also a recent posting regarding these two companies products - worth a quick look.

One word of advice though, once decided on the model you are choosing you will need cutters and methods of holding those. Search this forum carefully for advice as it will save you a lot of money buying unecessary types (as I did originally not knowing any better). Regards Mike

Jose Rodrigues13/12/2020 14:42:49
7 forum posts

Thanks Mike,

I am glad you mention the WM14, as I also have an eye on it. I would consider the wm14 if the rigidity of the body would be significantly higher than the wm12. Is that the case? Also, other than the larger table and the z-axis DRO, are there any big pros of the wm14 over the wm12?

What makes me consider the Amadeal model is the Belt-drive and the beefier brushless motor (more the belt-drive than the actual motor). I have never owned a mill so I am not supported by experience here. Having read articles and forum posts, it is my understanding that belt-driven systems run more smoothly (less vibration) and quiter, while the gear-drive is noisier and prone to gear failures. What is your take on this? Is the wm14 gear-driven?

The reason I mention the backlash is only relevant for a potential CNC conversion. Unless I find a way to compensate for a backlash, getting reasonable accuracy with the CNC system would be challenging.

Jose

old mart13/12/2020 15:35:33
3418 forum posts
210 photos

It is common for people converting to CNC from manual to replace the leadscrews and nuts with ballscrews to minimise backlash.

JasonB13/12/2020 15:46:10
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21652 forum posts
2495 photos
1 articles

The lack of a Z-axis leadscrew on the Amadeal would also make it harder to convert to CNC as the rack and pinion that it has would need to be worked around.

Edited By JasonB on 13/12/2020 15:49:27

Jose Rodrigues13/12/2020 15:47:46
7 forum posts

Yes, Old mart! Just came across a youtube video that describes exactly the process of replacing the leadscrews with ballscrews in a very similar machine. I think it is based on a kit by Hossmachine (not sure if this is a person or company :P).

Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lymAJGN75Mw&t=104s

Cheers,

Edited By Jose Rodrigues on 13/12/2020 15:57:10

Jose Rodrigues13/12/2020 15:55:41
7 forum posts
Posted by JasonB on 13/12/2020 15:46:10:

The lack of a Z-axis leadscrew on the Amadeal would also make it harder to convert to CNC as the rack and pinion that it has would need to be worked around.

Edited By JasonB on 13/12/2020 15:49:27

Wow! That's a good one! I haven't thought about that detail. Definitely a big con on the Amadeal. Cheers for that!

Tomek13/12/2020 19:28:36
44 forum posts
25 photos

Another vote for Warco! I'm a happy owner of WM-14, had it for 2 years now and it performing great. It is a small machine and I've noticed that head flex a bit when you put too much pressure on it, but I didn't expect rigidity of full size mills from it so very happy with it. There is a backlash on leadscrews and always will be, not only on warco but any other machine will have it unless you upgrade to ballscrews.

Jose Rodrigues13/12/2020 19:57:32
7 forum posts
Posted by Tomek on 13/12/2020 19:28:36:

Another vote for Warco! I'm a happy owner of WM-14, had it for 2 years now and it performing great. It is a small machine and I've noticed that head flex a bit when you put too much pressure on it, but I didn't expect rigidity of full size mills from it so very happy with it. There is a backlash on leadscrews and always will be, not only on warco but any other machine will have it unless you upgrade to ballscrews.

Great. Good to know, Tomek. About the backlash, I think there's no way I could hope any reasonable backlash for a cnc. Ballscrews are the way to go for a cnc conversion.

Is your wm14 gear given? Did you ever have any issues with it?

Tomek13/12/2020 22:17:59
44 forum posts
25 photos

It is gear driven and never had a problems with it. I've fitted mine with dro few months back and only regret that I haven't done it earlier.

Emgee13/12/2020 23:22:32
2203 forum posts
272 photos

If you do a conversion to cnc using the standard feedscrews you can apply variable amounts of backlash compensation to each axis if using Mach as the control system.

Obviously best to change to ballscrews/nuts that have very little backlash when in good condition and/or adjusted correctly.

Emgee

Jose Rodrigues14/12/2020 17:24:05
7 forum posts

Thanks for everyone's input. I think I have narrowed down my choice to the wm12.

My only concern is how the rigidity of the vertical column on the wm12 compares to the one on the wm14. Does anyone owning the wm12 can provide some input on this? Some pics of the column itself would be fantastic. (Perhaps this is point where I should start a new thread...)

Thanks!

Jose

ChrisH14/12/2020 19:20:50
1005 forum posts
30 photos

Jose - I haven't got a WM12 or WM14, but the basic rule of thumb of advice given to anyone buying a mill seems to be to buy the biggest and heaviest one you can afford to buy and have the space to fit in your workshop. With milling you need a machine as sturdy and strong as you can get!

Chris

Mike Hurley16/12/2020 12:15:54
212 forum posts
70 photos

I agree totally with Chris, and as you will find, many members of the forum have said this before - buy the best you can afford. You can guarantee that if you buy the 12 at some stage you will wish you had the extra capabilities of the 14. If you do buy a 14 at some stage you will wish you had the extra capabilities of the 16 ad infinitum! Where does it stop? Look realistically at your overall budget - if that means going without a few weekly takeaways and you can push to the next model - it will be worth it in the long run.

BUT - don't forget that the machine is only part of the package - a decent range of tooling soon mounts up the cost!

all the best. Mike

Jose Rodrigues16/12/2020 19:45:29
7 forum posts

Yes, ChrisH and Mike. I totally agree with your views. I am "lucky" to have limited space for the mill in my shop so that's my hard constrain. Anything bigger than the WM14 is not an option (unless I could keep the table size of the WM14, if that's even possible).

I've contacted Warco sales dept to know more about the geometry differences between the 12 and the 14: the column section of the WM14 is 100x80mm and box section, while the column on the WM12 is 100x50mm and "scalloped at the back" (not sure what "scalloped" means in this context, perhaps C-section?). So, I think it is safe to assume that the WM14 is much stiffer than the WM12, with that beefier column.

All things considered, I would probably pick up a WM14, if it wasn't for the fact that it's out-of-stock until March 2021 :/ Thanks, Covid? As I am not in a hurry, I will wait and see...

Thanks again for your wise inputs. Much appreciated!

Jose

Stuart Smith 516/12/2020 20:16:49
245 forum posts
29 photos

Jose

I don’t know if you have spoken to Warco about the out-of-stock mill you are considering.

I am intending to buy a new Warco lathe and have been in email contact with Warco, waiting for the lathe to be back in stock. I was told they were expected to be back in stock in November. When I asked again mid-November for an update, they had just received the delivery but they had already all been sold.

When I spoke to them by phone, I realised that I should have ‘back ordered’ the lathe which I have now done. The next batch is expected mid to late January so hopefully I will be able to get one then.

If you want your mill in March, I would suggest ordering now! ( if you haven’t already).

Stuart

Hugh Stewart-Smith 130/12/2020 11:40:51
10 forum posts

Due to the severe problems at UK ports it might make sense to purchase now rather than wait.

I was notified, some time ago, of an increase in the shipping cost of a container from Shanghai to Felixstowe from US$1000 to US$6000 and just yesterday to US$9000. Furthermore, no shipping dates are being given.

Although with time the rates will come down, there may be a considerable delay in UK dealers replenishing their stock of machinery and there is an almost certainty of price increases.

Hugh

Amadeal Ltd

mechman4830/12/2020 13:36:50
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2935 forum posts
460 photos

Hi Jose; I can concur with Mike & Chris comments; I have the WM16, bought as a package along with a WM 250V-F from Harrogate exhibition back in 2012, both having served me admirably since. I would have gone for the WM18 but at the time the difference in price allowed me to 'tool up' to a certain degree.

You also have to factor in tooling, it can soon rack up the same cost as the mill by the time you buy a set of hold down clamps, machine vice, collet set ( certainly worth it ) slot & end mills, DRO's for X & Y axes ( certainly helps with ignoring backlash ), plus many other 'nice to have' items.

George.

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