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Warco 180 mini lathe


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Ken Lacy17/02/2021 20:02:54
3 forum posts

Hi my name is Ken from West Yorkshire

purchased a second hand old Warco 180 from a friend diving of cancer.

the purchase helped his wife in funeral cost etc.

worked well for about 6 months then after tuning two out of four ends on square bar this occurred. Press th start button spindle starts up at about 100 rpm then after 5 seconds the rpm drops to about 40 rpm The variable speed button has ceased to work completely.
got in touch with Warco surrey whosuggested it could be the brushes in the motor. So fitted new ones no joy

i am not an electrician so circuits and boards baffle me

Has anyone else experienced this problem

i am willing to send the basic machine anywhere in the uk to have it repaired

please help

Steve Neighbour17/02/2021 21:06:03
102 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Ken,

Welcome to the forum thumbs up

I'm assuming the motor is the standard dc version, first thoughts would be the invertor/motor control circuit board. Even though you bought 2nd hand, I would go back to Warco with the issues and see if they can help further, hopefully they should have a good spare parts stock.

Frances IoM17/02/2021 21:55:27
1072 forum posts
27 photos
the usual suggested 1st test is to disconnect the motor and replace with a 60-100W incandescent lamp - if the speed control alters the brilliance then you know the fault lies in the motor if not then somewhere in the control board tho that can be expensive to replace tho it may be as simple as a worn pot that controls the speed. I have a WM180 as well and was told always turn the pot to lowest speed before switching back on
Ron Laden18/02/2021 09:30:30
2178 forum posts
433 photos

Hi Ken

I had the same fault on the mini lathe I had (not Warco)

It turned out to be a dirty speed control pot, I didn't have any circuit cleaner at the time so gave it a squirt of WD40 which did the trick. After working the pot back and forth a few times it came back to life and had full speed control. The pot has a slot at the base of the 3 connection tags, that's where to spray in the cleaner to get it inside.


Bo'sun18/02/2021 11:56:58
396 forum posts

Good morning Ken,

Had a similar issue with my WM250. Warco supplied a replacement speed control potentiometer under warranty and it fixed the problem. Contact cleaner might work if you could get it onto the track.

Ken Lacy18/02/2021 13:59:23
3 forum posts

Thanks for all replies and advice

Looks as though it’s the circuit board which I know nothing about and haven’t the foggiest on how to replace.

any offers to repair. Will pay all repair costs, time and carriage. Other than that I may scrap the item and try to purchase one manufactured in the uk

Frances IoM18/02/2021 14:24:26
1072 forum posts
27 photos
did you try the lamp test? - a squirt of switch cleaner on the pot might well suffice (buy a spray can of servistol or similar from RS or Farnell)

Warco is generally very helpful and once this lockdown is over (if ever) it might well be worth a visit if phone/emails aren't successful
John Rudd18/02/2021 14:24:51
1432 forum posts
9 photos


You have a private message, refer to the top of the page a flashing envelope,

Hollowpoint18/02/2021 15:43:42
414 forum posts
51 photos

The fact that it still actually runs tells me the circuit board isn't dead. As suggested check the potentiometer, it is well known that they are a bit crap. Even if you have to replace it, it shouldn't cost more than about a tenner.

Edited By Hollowpoint on 18/02/2021 15:45:19

Ken Lacy06/03/2021 09:21:09
3 forum posts

Hi to all

my problem with the mini lathe has been solved by a brilliant guy named John Rudd

He kindly took my lathe spent time and effort in contacting various people and obtaining the right parts to come out with a fantastic result

Met John when I collected the unit and he’s a really nice guy full of experience and a good engineer. Would recommend and trust this guy if you are having problems with your equipment.

Thanks once again John happy to speak to you in the future on any occasion.

Take care and keep safe

Best regards Ken

Howard Lewis06/03/2021 18:49:41
4683 forum posts
10 photos


The Operator Manual for my Sieg C3 (Brushed DC motor ) mini lathe specifically warns that the speed must be set to Zero before starting the lathe. I always bring the speed to Zero before starting or stopping the lathe.

" CAUTION Always turn the speed control to the minimum speed position before starting lathe Starting the lathe with the speed control set to a higher speed can damage the sped control circuit board"

Ketan at Arc Euro suggested feeding the power through a surge protector. so bought a short extension lead with one built in.

Your lathe was not made by Sieg but the basic designs are probably very similar, no doubt the same precautions should be taken


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