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Install & commission of a Chester Cub 630 (Warco GH750)

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Bazyle23/05/2021 21:54:52
6042 forum posts
220 photos

I think you will find the lifting holes are 1 in as it is made for the American market. I would first of all get some allthread to go through those holes to attach an anti-tip framework or at least an outrigger so that when it falls over it doesn't land on the cross slide handle.
Perhaps get it off the pallet onto two 2x6 lengthways bolted on with the foot holes will give a better runnning surface for scaffold poles and scaff planks on the ground will sort that surface out. Worth getting new planks as the timber can be used for benches etc after. If you make the pieces under the lathe mentioned above over long you can bolt anti-tip bars to them.
A farmer with a telehandler might loan it in exchange for a repair job - farmers always need something repaired.

Howard Lewis24/05/2021 16:08:23
5344 forum posts
13 photos

Ideally when Palletline deliver, ask if the lathe can be lifted clear of the pallet to insert a 15 mm or thicker board under it, before strapping to the pallet.

When you come to move the lathe, strapped to the pallet, over the grassed area, lay down boards for the rollers to run on. You will need at least three rollers. 50 mm scaffold pole will make movement quite easy over boards or level concrete. (Once had a Colchester try to run away from me on scaffold poles on a level floor when I pushed too hard! )

Two sturdy boards, 15 mm thick, minimum, will allow you to move the machine easily, as long as the uphill gradient is not too steep. Once off the first board, it can overtake the second, and so on, until the machine reaches hardstanding.

Apply the push or pull as low down as possible. The higher the forces, the greater risk of toppling over!.

Better to be longer doing the job than spending time trying to get it upright again to inspect the damage to machine or human!

Once in the workshop, and close to the intended position, I would suggest pushing the lathe, on the board, off the pallet , endways. A prybar should aid skidding sideways to put the machine into position.

Once that is done, you can start setting the machine level so that the bed is free of twist.


Calum Galleitch11/06/2021 14:37:09
101 forum posts
27 photos

While I wait for delivery and electrics to be sorted out, I'm looking at what else I need to do before I can press the on button.

One thing that I am havering about a little is that there is a D1-5 4 jaw chuck on eBay for £170 with delivery at the moment, and looking at the prices of D1-5 accessories I am half thinking I should just snap it up, even though the 4 jaw is less immediately necessary to get things up and running.

Onto the shopping list. I'm ignoring small items that are easily got via eBay - centre drills and the like.

  • Centres: a live, dead, and half centre (MT3)
  • A set of 12mm HSS turning tools
  • Measuring: micrometer, dial indicator, dial test indicator, magnetic stand
  • Oiler (recommendations welcome!)

Oils. The GH750 manual I have, written in slightly broken English, states "machine oil" and "machine oil no. 20". From what I gather, I want ISO32 oil for gearboxes, and ISO 68 for ways and everything else.

  • I see both these being sold under various use names (eg ISO68 as slideway, hydraulic, vacuum pump, air compressor, etc). Does this matter or is it all the same stuff?
  • What quantity of oil will the gearboxes need (headstock, feed, and apron)?
  • How much way oil/ISO68 do people get through? Warco sells it in 500ml bottles which feels a bit stingy.

Also on oil - what's the right way to dispose of it? Will recycling centres that take motor oil take it? I'm guessing the oil in it has never been changed so I expect one of the first things to do will be a complete oil change (tips welcome!)

Calum Galleitch11/06/2021 15:00:44
101 forum posts
27 photos

Then the other topic, which I haven't yet planned in detail, is levelling the machine. Unfortunately, the concrete floor is anything but flat. A rough measurement suggests the floor is 2" lower on the left than on the right. This is big enough that I'm thinking maybe the best thing to do is install a concrete pad for it to sit on so the two cabinet feet are both sitting on a flat surface.

When it comes to levelling itself, what do I need in terms of measuring level? A Starret 4" level is £90; but the quoted accuracy is 4-5 minutes of arc, not much better than a digital box that can resolve 0.1 degree. Or there are the Chinese made ones that claim 0.02mm over 200mm, which is less than a hundredth of a degree - hmm!

Clive Foster11/06/2021 17:57:21
2838 forum posts
103 photos

Concerning oils the ISO number is the viscosity of the base stock, low numbers means it flows easily and is thin, high numbers flows less easily and is thick.

Variations between recommended applications for oils of the same nominal viscosity are due to the additive package with is tuned to work best at that job. For example slideway oils have additives to help them stick to surfaces so, for example, the oil doesn't just run off vertical slides and others to stop it oxidising when sitting around in thin layers for long periods. Motor oils and similar tend to turn into a varnish like coating over the eyars. Especially older type. Slideway oils made specifically for machine tool use are tolerant of cutting oils, suds et al and the water used to dilute it.

Hydraulic oils generally have anti-foam additives so it doesn't become aerated inside pumps, anti wear additives so sliding cylindeers don't wear out too fast and be formulated so the seals can easily scrape excess oil off.

Vacuum oils are tuned to minimise any out gassing of components under low pressure. Compressor oils, made for reciprocating compressors, can stand the relatively high loadings on big and little end bearings. Also made to minimise leakage past piston rings. Oils for rotary compressors such as screw and hydrovane types tend to be a bit exotic with prices to match.

Consensus seems to be that for any home workshop compatible lathe an ISO 32 hydraulic oil with anti wear additives is good for bearings, gear boxes and oil nipples on the machine et al. ISO 68 dual rated slideway / bearing oil for the bed, drop gear train and possibly apron. Castro technical department suggested that I use Hyspin AWS32 and Magna DB 68 many years ago. Not seen any reason to deviate despite several machine changes. The Magna makes a great general purpose oil can oil for "honey doo" and similar general lubrication jobs as it stays in place for long periods. Magna strings impressively when applied to open gears and quickly spreads over the teeth but doesn't drip unless you overdo things. Equivalents can be got from most oil makers.

Proper slideway only oils are heavy duty beasts and rather too sticky for our machines.


Clive Foster11/06/2021 18:34:41
2838 forum posts
103 photos

Levelling is a vastly over discussed subject.

For folk like us its most relevant to the lighter range of machines, Myford, Boxford, Southbend and smaller, where careless bolting onto a strong but un flat bench can distort the bed.

Similar considerations apply to larger machines with the old fashioned pedestal at the headstock end, legs at the tailstock end and unsupported bed between. Maybe with a chip tray bolted in place. If the floor is insufficiently flat you end up with it sat on three points with one leg, almost invariably at the tailstock end, hanging in the air. Packing the hanging leg to equalise the loads side to side on the feet is sufficient to take out the stress on the bed. The machine mass won't bend a bed that big. Users choice how level you want it.

Lathes solidly bolted to sturdy cabinets, whether sheet and angle frame like yours, or fully cast boxes like my Smart & Brown 1024, are essentially unbendable and untwistable by any forces folks like us can apply. So assuming the maker hasn't had a Friday afternoon moment and twisted things by making the mounting points out of parallel the machine will be quite happy so long as the mounting points are shimmed to equalise loads as mentioned above. Being close to level is nice on a lathe but frankly carpenters level or wixley type digital is good enough.

Taking the time to get a mill table really level is worth it as being properly level makes many set ups easier.

I've always found it quite sufficient to use a thin metal sheet, preferably shim, between two lubricated plates in conjunction with a screw jack to judge loads on the mounting points. Basically settle the machine down on the plate stack and judge how much of a turn on the jackscrew it takes to lift one or the other corner enough so the ship plate is stiff to move. I reckon around 1/10 turn between fully loaded and slides when testing alternately is close enough. Change the stack for proper solid shim once you have the adjustments sorted.

Did both my P&W model B, pedestal-leg type, and S&B 1024, cast box underneath, that way. Both within a few seconds of level when checked afterwards with my favourite WW 2 gunners clinometer.

clinometer 1.jpg

30 seconds of arc per division. Small so you can turn it end for end to test. Calibrated tilt adjustment so you can work your way down.

Super precision levels are a pain to use because the bubble is slow to settle and mostly parks itself at one end so little help until really close. Carpenters and wixley style digitals are, objectively insufficiently accurate if you really want level.

But with a lathe so long as the bed is unstressed out of level, within reason, matters little.


Edited By Clive Foster on 11/06/2021 18:37:27

Howard Lewis12/06/2021 14:50:22
5344 forum posts
13 photos

Unless you are planning to use flood coolant, having the lathe EXACTLY level is not important.

If using flood coolant the lathe should be levelled, obviously, so that coolant runs towards the return to tank.

More important is that the bed is free from twist. If twisted, the lathe is liable to cut a taper.

You can use a sensitive level to show how much twist is present. This will show you directly in which direct to adjust the tailstock end of the bed.

Or you can use the method advocated by Myford, and by Ian Bradley in his book, "The Amateur's Workshop"

Pages 27 and 28 apply.

Basically, you adjust / shim at the Tailstock end, when the lathe is firmly bolted down..

If using the "bobbin" method, is used, cuts should be light, only 0.002" (0.050 mm).

The tool must be on the centre height of the lathe for any cutting. It will not cut properly, unless it is.

The basic material (Usually mild steel ) should be 1" (25 mm ) diameter, so that it is stiff and unlikely to deflect under cutting forces. Also, for this reason, the cuts should be light,

Measure the diameters at the Headstock and outer ends of the bobbin.

Only a little more than 6" (150 mm ) should protrude from the chuck.

If the bobbin is larger at the outer, unsupported end, place shims, or adjust upwards, under the FRONT foot at the Tailstock end.

If the outer end is smaller, insert shim, or adjust upwards, the REAR foot.

Having made the adjustment, take another light cut and remeasure the diameters of the ends of the bobbin.

Repeat the shim/adjust and light cut procedure until both ends are the same diameter. The bed is then without twist.



John P13/06/2021 12:07:32
338 forum posts
230 photos

Hi Calum,
There is some useful viewing on the video of this page of
a similar machine to yours.

I have a Warco GH1000 which is from the the same series of lathes.
I changed the oil in the headstock ,gearbox and apron soon after
i got it ,i used ep 80 gear oil from Halfords in the 20 years that i
have had the machine i runs as quiet now as when new both in
forwards and reverse.

I use neat cutting oil flood coolant (Excelcut 401) which is fortunate
as the coolant seems to find its way into the apron gearbox and fills
it to the top, bad if you wish to use suds coolant very probably it will
displace the oil in the box.
The occasional squirt of 68 grade slideway oil just from an oilcan
with bent spout is enough ,using neat cutting oil the slideways
are always covered in oil ,not the best oil for lubrication but there
is so much of it there the slideways are still as new.

Having two level pads for each end to stand on would be a good
start these machines have three bolting points at each end ,
in the centre at each end of the machine and each side on the
inner sides of the plinth ,providing they are level with each other
it will be a simple job to pack to get the machine cutting parallel.

I used the same method as described by Howard in the previous
posting ,it works.

The coolant tray on these machines are quite deep you may find
on the 630 machine it will have a slide out coolant tray which is
a useful thing.
When Warco delivered this machine it was on two small pallets
bolted down on the fixing points at each end of the machine
a long pallet truck picked up the machine , onto the tail lift then
around a much more tortuous route than you have over some
crazy paving pathway and straight into the workshop .
If you have a pallet truck available you may be able to do a similar
thing ,even a small one may do as your machine is 10 inches shorter
than my GH 1000.


Calum Galleitch24/06/2021 22:37:08
101 forum posts
27 photos

Well, after much twiddling of thumbs, last Thursday I got a call asking when I would like to take delivery: well, no point owning a lathe sitting several hundred miles away, so on Monday I got another call from a jovial delivery driver intimating he was fifteen minutes away and would I put the kettle on. Gladly.

He took one look at the narrow space between my workshop and the garden wall: "aye, nae bother", and proceeded to reverse a 12-tonne truck in as if it were a Mini into the Bay of Biscay.

He drank his tea, apologised for not having anything to lift the lathe off the pallet "or I'd get that in there nae bother", jumped in his truck and zoomed off, leaving this:


Gulp. I finished my tea and set to work. I hadn't planned on that big ol' sheet of ply being in the way of getting the cabinet jacked up, so plan B was hastily developed.


I laid down the rails for the machine to slide on (ominous foreshadowing alert), plaved blocks for the headstock end to repose on, and began jacking the machine up. I had made a lot of wedges from goodness knows what bit of 6x2 construction lumber, and this was the first thing I learnt: it's worth making wedges out of a decent hardwood, and making them a decent size. Wedges twice the size would have made life so much easier.


The machine rolled forward using a bit of random aluminium tubing. Now the tailstock end was a problem: how to support it so I could get the pallet out? After some guesstimation, I was fairly confident a bit of C16 timber would take the weight. It didn't look so scary like this:


But after carefully dragging the pallet out and seeing this:


Well, to my simple mind, lathes should be on the ground, not levitating up in the air. (By the way, Clive mention a removable suds tray. It can indeed be removed, but only from the back. It was only just before I finally parked it for good I realised it had been put back in the wrong way round, explaining why the drain hose is attempting to cool the motor rather than draining to the suds pump visible on the left).

Getting it back down was precarious. I should have been a lot more careful about blocking it up, as you can see here:


As we worked down, that pile of blocks next to the footbrake ended up getting pushed over as the lathe tried to move sideways from the repeated lifting and setting down. About half way down, the pile gave way - fortunately it moved all of a centimetre before landing on my pry-bar blocks. It wasn't until I saw this photo in retrospect that I realised quite how careless I was being with the height I had raised the lathe. Incidentally, another thing I learnt doing this was that saving a tenner on a pry bar seems like a false economy when halfway through a move you reflect that if it breaks, it has 500kg of lathe on one end and a bag of flesh (mine) on the other. That said, the adjustable pry-bar was really helpful, and I'm glad I didn't just have a plain one. FInally, however, I had it down on the rails:


At this point, I had somewhat optimistically expected that the lathe might glide upon the rails as a swan upon the lake, perhaps with me providing a gentle hand to steer it. Nope. I put my shoulder down and pushed. Nope. I roped in my mother, more in hope than expectation given that she weighs about the same as a dormouse and could do with two new hips and a lung transplant. Our combined efforts moved it a good half inch before we called a halt. Plans C, D, E, and F were quickly drawn up and discarded before we returned to the wisdom of the ancients, specifically Archimedes. If one inserts a pry-bar between the base and the ground, and then lifts up, the lathe moves forwards 2-3cm each time. As a form of locomotion it leaves much to be desired, but a few hours later, it was inside the workshop, the door could be locked, and I retreated inside for a most necessary libation.


Calum Galleitch24/06/2021 22:37:40
101 forum posts
27 photos

The next morning's work was rather easier: I neglected to take pictures, but I had put together some dollies that I was confident could carry the weight safely, and while blocking it up, moving it, and dropping it down again was frankly a pest - it's been a while since I've had to work so hard! - the process was much less of a struggle. For now it's sitting on some bits of timber which have got it surprisingly close to level:



Pete.25/06/2021 00:25:08
648 forum posts
102 photos

That looks like a lot of hard work, I bet you're in no rush to repeat that! looks like it's in good condition, a good size too, as soon as you start using it, all that humpin and heavin will be forgotten.

What else are you planning on adding to the workshop?

ChrisH25/06/2021 11:01:53
1003 forum posts
30 photos

Calum - well done getting your lathe into your 'shed', even if you did scare the life out of me with pictures of your lathe up on blocks, esp the blocks in-line longitudinally, I was thinking if I did that with my luck that would soon be over on it's side maybe with me underneath! Are you going to post a pic of it secured and leveled up for us to adnire!


Calum Galleitch25/06/2021 13:34:28
101 forum posts
27 photos

Thanks Chris, yes, it was definitely one of those operations that I would not repeat in that way! I should have done exactly what I had at the headstock end, which was very solid with the blocks straddling the rails and would have been easier and quicker too. As for levelling it, I've got some feet on the way, though the concrete it stands on is more like a hill than a floor, so the bits of timber at the left will probably stay.

Pete, I'm happy to say in the immediate future, not much! The first priority will be to get the lathe tooled up - it came with practically no accessories; it has a 3 jaw chuck and key, but not the key for the D1-5 spindle. I'm not sure if it even has a full set of changewheels. No rests, no 4 jaw, no faceplate, no centres, no cutting tools. Even the handle from the tailstock wheel is MIA! Something I will need to produce for what I want to do is a taper attachment.

I've got two immediate problems:

1. The chuck has been on the spindle for probably fifteen years or more. I need to get a spindle key that fits properly (the chuck key is a bit small), but even so it feels like the cams are seized pretty solid. I've put a bit of welly into all six and none show any interest in moving. I don't want to put any more force on till I get a suitable key.

2. The electric lead into the machine has four cores, for three phase and earth. But...all three conductors are black, and I can't trace where the incoming conductors go in the electrics panel without undoing screws. Am I risking magic smoke if the machine ends up getting fed the wrong rotation? Or will it just go backwards? I have a very basic schematic of the electrics, which suggests nothing should go bang:

screenshot from 2021-06-25 13-28-07.jpg

Lathejack25/06/2021 14:11:01
309 forum posts
329 photos

Well your newly acquired lathe looks like a really good buy. From your photos it appears to have had very little use, does it look like it's ever done any work at all?

Anyway, as soon as you can, let's have a vid of it running with the various knobs and levers being twiddled with. Very interested to see how it goes.

Edited By Lathejack on 25/06/2021 14:28:05

Edited By Lathejack on 25/06/2021 14:30:11

Emgee25/06/2021 15:04:35
2161 forum posts
265 photos


If connecting a true 3 phase supply you are right to believe if phases not correct it will turn in reverse if fwd selected, no damage should occur.


Calum Galleitch25/06/2021 17:07:39
101 forum posts
27 photos

The only evidence of use I can find is some bits of swarf in the suds drain plate. Other than that, no, it looks disconcertingly original. I suspect the run time can be measured in minutes; there is some rust spotting and whatnot if you get close up but nothing looks used as such. Next job is to get the electrics all hooked up so we can make it go brrrrr. Thanks Emgee, yes, we're on what used to be a working farm so we've three phase on site, and it turned out a spur already ran within a few metres of the lathe.

I mentioned a while back there was a 10" D1-5 4 jaw chuck going on eBay for £150 - last night I noticed it had been knocked down to £120 so I grabbed it. It will be a big old thing but the price of new D1-5 chucks is, well, phew. It'll be a while before I add a 4 jaw self-centring chuck to the setup.

Pete.26/06/2021 02:02:38
648 forum posts
102 photos

Probably a wise decision, it gets expensive starting from scratch, I would recommend the diamond turning tools from eccentric engineering, it was around £170 for the left and right 16mm set with a couple of the 50% cobalt tool bits iirc, but they're virtually free from there on, and give you great finishes.

John P26/06/2021 10:40:54
338 forum posts
230 photos

Hi Calum,
You should have the changewheels listed here as a set in the second line
down ,there is unlikely to be a 26 tooth i think is is a printing error as there
no listing in the changewheel setup for a 26 gear .

There are some differences between the Warco machines and the Chester
supplied ones , i see the motor is mounted now in the lower plinth ,mine
sits on the back of the lathe bed , the Warco machines have some small
tool lockers in the front and rear plinths.

I guess the lathe itself will be very similar the changewheels have a six
spline hub as in the photo .the gear alongside is one of a set for a true
metric to imperial conversion and has a fabricated spline.

The key here is for the D1 5 socket ends the square is 11 mm and 13.5 mm
long the stem length is 130 mm ,unfortunately there are no markings to indicate
the closed positions of the cams as on some British machines and no detents
either to hold in the open position so you need to ensure the scribed lines
are in alignment before trying to remove the chuck.
They are clockwise to tighten i suppose you already know this ,it is just
possible that they may have been tightened up in the other direction they
will hold just not very well so just check as you will never get them off
if this is so.

Johnwarco gh1000 2.jpg

warco gh1000.jpg

Calum Galleitch29/06/2021 15:16:25
101 forum posts
27 photos

Well, the electrics are now hooked up, but the machine does not go brrrrr. I have gotten the multimeter out and checked there is indeed the vital electric juice running as far as the socket. I haven't tried the plug yet as I can't figure out how to dismantle it: it clearly requires a bit of force but I'm not sure where to apply it, and even I can't screw up wiring a plug that badly...

This light, helpfully labelled "HL" on the panel: am I right in thinking that should illuminate when the machine is turned on?

There is an isolator switch on the side of the machine, which I have remembered to turn on!

I have looked at the microswitches on the guards and all seem to be in their working positions: have I missed any? I know about the chuck guard, change wheel cover, and footbrake. Are there any other ones I should check?

Next step, I guess, is to open the electrics panel do a visual inspection, and start testing for the presence of electric juice within the box. I suppose there is a fair chance something has rattled loose in transit, though I hope not. I am hoping there is something daft I am overlooking, as opening the panel means moving the b***** thing again!

Speaking of moving heavy things, the 10" 4 jaw has arrived. A little foxed, it would be fair to say, but it seems in decent nick. No key, but a half inch Allan key will fit.

Howard Lewis29/06/2021 19:02:27
5344 forum posts
13 photos

Once you have the lathe up and running, you will be able to start checking that there is no twist in the bed.

If the bed is twisted, it will tend to cut tapers.

You can either compare the readings of the sensitive level, across the bed at both ends, or use the method advocated by Ian Bradley in "The Amateur's Workshop" ( See page 28 ) and "The Myford Series 7 Manual" ( See Page 42 )

A 10" chuck is no lightweight. You may need to think about some sort of hoist that will allow you to swing it on and off the machine. making and fitting a wooden chuck board will be a useful insurance against damaging the bed, should it slip from the eye bolt, or sling that you use to support whilst fitting and removing.

But first to start tracing how far the current goes through the circuitry. Multimeter to the fore.


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