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Warco VMC or GH Universal

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Andy Shepherdson28/05/2021 11:44:27
30 forum posts
1 photos

I currently have a Warco WM14, it does most of what i need but at times im close to its limitations.

I am thinking of a Warco VMC or GH universal, whats the for and against for both.

I am sure i have read the GH is noisy due to the gear drive.

Thanks in advance, Andy

not done it yet28/05/2021 12:33:02
6078 forum posts
20 photos

Have you checked out the relevant threads by doing a forum search? Some interesting reading, I suspect.

Andy Shepherdson28/05/2021 13:08:59
30 forum posts
1 photos

I did have a look but couldnt find much in the way of the pros and cons of both.

Andy

Bill Davies 228/05/2021 13:28:31
236 forum posts
11 photos

After looking at loads of mills, several years ago, I came down to the same choices. I went with the GH Universal.

Looking at current specs, the length of travel on the three axes is better on the GH than the VMC. I wanted a geared head so that I would benefit from greater torque at lower speeds. I have not had experience of variable speed drives, except for a 'minilathe.' Both have the same motor power.

One benefit of the VMC would be that the cutting tool is at a fixed height, with the work moved up on the raisable knee, so better visibilty. A second one is that you have accurate control in the Z axis as well as X and Y. The fine feed of the vertical axis on the GH is through a worm and wheel, and I would expect that the VMC would be a bit better.

I'm happy with my choice, but do think sometimes that I might have preferred the VMC. However, it was the travel of the of the slides that nailed it for me.

Bill

John Hinkley28/05/2021 17:29:14
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1144 forum posts
384 photos

I have a biased view, I suppose, as the owner of a VMC machine. I can see where Bill is coming from when he says about the axis travel on the GH universal being superior, but I have to wonder how often you would need to use all that airspace. Only you can answer that one For myself, I have found the VMC can do all I ask of it - and more. Over my 6 year's ownership, I've added a DRO on the three axes, a digital readout on the quill feed and power feed to the X-axis (brilliant addition, by the way) and fitted an uprated 3-phase motor and associated VFD . The latter I wouldn't be without both, for ease of use and the improved finish it affords. I specifically didn't want a geared head machine when I ordered mine, mainly due to the perceived noise concerns. I'd previously had a two-speed bench mill which munched its way through gears like there was no tomorrow. But that's a personal choice, again. The VMC appears to have a much beefier column that the GH as far as I can tell from the pictures, so that would sway my choice in itself.

I see that both are out of stock at the moment, so you've got time to make up your mind. A visit to the showroom might help with your decision as well. You've no profile so I can't tell whether you are close enough to warrant a visit or not.

As has been said so many times before when these "choices" threads come up, it's horses for courses- what do you want to do with it - will it fit your workshop - will I need something bigger as soon as I get it? At the end of the day, it's your money and your choice. If it was me, I'd choose the VMC again. Its only drawback that I've found so far is the sometimes limited Y-axis travel - but even then, some adventurous work holding can usually provide a solution.

Whatever you eventually buy, have fun with it an enjoy it for a very long time.

John

Vic28/05/2021 19:05:29
2847 forum posts
7 photos

Another VMC owner here. I was used to using a traditional knee mill on the three other machines I’d operated before so although I considered other types I plumped for the VMC. I’m glad I did because I’m well pleased with mine.

not done it yet28/05/2021 19:08:13
6078 forum posts
20 photos

The thread(s) by gazz might be of interest if going the GH way. It may already be 3 phase....

Andy Shepherdson30/05/2021 10:06:38
30 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by John Hinkley on 28/05/2021 17:29:14:

I have a biased view, I suppose, as the owner of a VMC machine. I can see where Bill is coming from when he says about the axis travel on the GH universal being superior, but I have to wonder how often you would need to use all that airspace. Only you can answer that one For myself, I have found the VMC can do all I ask of it - and more. Over my 6 year's ownership, I've added a DRO on the three axes, a digital readout on the quill feed and power feed to the X-axis (brilliant addition, by the way) and fitted an uprated 3-phase motor and associated VFD . The latter I wouldn't be without both, for ease of use and the improved finish it affords. I specifically didn't want a geared head machine when I ordered mine, mainly due to the perceived noise concerns. I'd previously had a two-speed bench mill which munched its way through gears like there was no tomorrow. But that's a personal choice, again. The VMC appears to have a much beefier column that the GH as far as I can tell from the pictures, so that would sway my choice in itself.

I see that both are out of stock at the moment, so you've got time to make up your mind. A visit to the showroom might help with your decision as well. You've no profile so I can't tell whether you are close enough to warrant a visit or not.

As has been said so many times before when these "choices" threads come up, it's horses for courses- what do you want to do with it - will it fit your workshop - will I need something bigger as soon as I get it? At the end of the day, it's your money and your choice. If it was me, I'd choose the VMC again. Its only drawback that I've found so far is the sometimes limited Y-axis travel - but even then, some adventurous work holding can usually provide a solution.

Whatever you eventually buy, have fun with it an enjoy it for a very long time.

John

Thanks for the detailed reply. I like you think the VMC looks beefier, I note your comments on noise. A quick search confirms a few comments on th GH being noisy. It looks like a VMC it is, just leaves R8 it MT.

Thanks to all for the replies. Andy

John Hinkley30/05/2021 10:19:32
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1144 forum posts
384 photos

The choice of R8 or MT depends on whether you have other machines with MT tooling which you want to double-up their use on the mill. In my case, I chose R8 and opted to purchase new tooling, though that was restricted to ER25 and 32 collet chucks and a small range of R8 direct collets. My previous lathe had an MT3 up the spout , so for tooling such as the face mill and boring head, all I needed to do was buy a new R8 arbor. As this is your first mill, I believe, you won't have that added expense. For ease of extraction, I find the R8 better for me. Again, personal choice.

John

Mike Poole30/05/2021 12:14:34
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Moderator
3011 forum posts
71 photos

I went for the VMC, the pulley drive system was a factor for it’s simplicity, a broken gearbox is likely to be more difficult to repair should a problem ever occur. The knee was another factor as gravity is your friend in this configuration and takes care of any backlash in Z. A DRO and VFD are both in my in tray waiting for me to pull my finger out and fit them. A table feed is still being mulled over, the ready made Align type drive is on one side of the choice and a home brew drive on the other. I do regard power feed as very desirable for its contribution to a good finish to the cut and a rapid traverse can save a lot of handle winding.

Mike

John Hinkley30/05/2021 14:55:35
avatar
1144 forum posts
384 photos

Andy,

Sorry. Should have re-read your first post! I see that you have a WM14 mill with an MT2 spindle taper. That just reinforces my statement about replacing the tooling and arbors for any existing boring heads and the like. Chester only list MT3 versions and Warco seem to be running down that option. Might be worth a phone call to check when they expect the fresh delivery - and whether or not that will affect the price.

John

 

Edited By John Hinkley on 30/05/2021 14:56:38

Andy Shepherdson08/06/2021 21:14:53
30 forum posts
1 photos

Well if have bought a VMC with 3 axis DRO power traverse. I will pick it up on Sunday.
Thinking of a 5” vice, as I think a 6” maybe a bit big.

Andy

Andy Shepherdson13/06/2021 10:17:05
30 forum posts
1 photos

Collected the mill teamster day and it now installed in the workshop.

Its one heavy beast.ee7dbfd3-866d-4fe7-ba4f-b14f64247f2a.jpeg

old mart13/06/2021 18:07:43
3185 forum posts
201 photos

A 5" vise would be the best choice, 6" is more for Bridgeport size machines.

At the museum, we have a choice of an ARC 5", 125mm vise for the larger jobs, or 100mm Bison which get used most frequently. Both mills are of similar size to your new Warco.

If I was looking for a good value vise, I would give the ARC 130-040-03500 one top priority, it is 100mm jaws opening 122mm. Their next size up in this type is a very big jump.

Edited By old mart on 13/06/2021 18:15:19

Edited By old mart on 13/06/2021 18:23:12

Andy Shepherdson14/06/2021 21:27:36
30 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by old mart on 13/06/2021 18:07:43:

A 5" vise would be the best choice, 6" is more for Bridgeport size machines.

At the museum, we have a choice of an ARC 5", 125mm vise for the larger jobs, or 100mm Bison which get used most frequently. Both mills are of similar size to your new Warco.

If I was looking for a good value vise, I would give the ARC 130-040-03500 one top priority, it is 100mm jaws opening 122mm. Their next size up in this type is a very big jump.

Edited By old mart on 13/06/2021 18:15:19

Edited By old mart on 13/06/2021 18:23:12

i opted for a 5” vice in the end, comes with a swivel base that I doubt I’ll use but it’s there if needed.

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