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WM18 strip down

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RMA16/02/2022 08:32:47
318 forum posts
4 photos

I need to strip down a WM18 into reasonable chunks in order to move it easily and re-assemble in another location. Ideally, I'd like to remove the table; head; column and base if possible. I do have an engine lift, but floor space might prohibit its use. If anyone has experience of doing this and has found ways to do it with minimum help, I'd be grateful to hear from you.

The diagrams in the operating manual don't relate to machine apparently, as I'm told there is a gas strut in the column. I would have thought Warco would have corrected that by now, the machine has been on sale for years!

Thank you

Bo'sun16/02/2022 10:56:52
609 forum posts
2 photos

Hi RMA,

Have a look at "Ades Workshop" on youtube. He disassembles a WM16, which is likely to be similar, and shifts it, from his place of work (where it was delivered to), through the house, and down some stairs to his garden workshop shed.

Ian Parkin16/02/2022 12:37:59
avatar
1021 forum posts
239 photos

RMA. I bought one some years ago and stripped it down to carry it to my basement workshop.

as you say theres a powerful gas strut from the base to the head and thats the hardest thing to refit.

I didn’t use anything to strip it or refit it other than my muscle power.

Just be careful if theres any shims between column and base.

move the head down onto the table then remove the head…that perhaps weighs 35- 40 kg

other parts are easy to disassemble

Ian

Steve Neighbour16/02/2022 14:02:21
116 forum posts
1 photos

I have a WM 14 (I appreciate a bit lighter than a WM18) but the principle of break down will be the same

  • Remove the control box from the LHS (requires disconnection of some wiring)
  • Remove the Head Unit from the column
  • Remove the Vertical column from the base foot

The heaviest part will be the Head Unit !! But it's manageable with two people

Thor 🇳🇴16/02/2022 15:24:33
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1632 forum posts
46 photos

There was an article in MEW December 2008 about the WMD25LV which is slightly smaller than the WM18, with photos and explanation of the disassembly.

Thor

Roger Best16/02/2022 18:21:35
avatar
369 forum posts
56 photos

May I suggest a carrying frame for the head that allows two people to move it in ergonomic comfort. Plywood will do for most of it. smiley

The gas strut sounds like it needs spring compressor.

Ade does a great job.

RMA16/02/2022 19:35:22
318 forum posts
4 photos

Thanks to you all for your ideas. Unfortunately the owners manual isn't correct, the exploded view doesn't show the strut or the correct way the column fits the base. I had a word with the tech chap at Warco today, and he thinks it can be broken down to head; column and base (still attached); table, and stand.

Doing it that way, the gas strut stays put. The DRO slides will have to be removed for safety. We won't be doing it until next week, I'll report how it went.

Stuart Smith 516/02/2022 20:42:47
279 forum posts
43 photos

I have a WM16 which I bought secondhand and had to move it from a first floor workshop. It is obviously smaller and lighter than the WM18 but looks to be a similar design.

I removed the complete head from the column and removed the table from the base . This left 3 parts, the head, the table and the base/column. I found a video on YouTube showing how to remove the head. **LINK** . I just lowered the head onto a block of wood onto the table, wound it forward and lifted it off.

If you look on the US Grizzly tools website they have very good manuals . You should be able to find one for a mill similar to the WM18.

Stuart

RMA16/02/2022 22:33:40
318 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Stuart Smith 5 on 16/02/2022 20:42:47:

I have a WM16 which I bought secondhand and had to move it from a first floor workshop. It is obviously smaller and lighter than the WM18 but looks to be a similar design.

I removed the complete head from the column and removed the table from the base . This left 3 parts, the head, the table and the base/column. I found a video on YouTube showing how to remove the head. **LINK** . I just lowered the head onto a block of wood onto the table, wound it forward and lifted it off.

If you look on the US Grizzly tools website they have very good manuals . You should be able to find one for a mill similar to the WM18.

Stuart

Thanks for that. Interesting video, I intend to use some wood blocks to take the weight. I looked at the Grizzly site at the weekend and found their version of the WM. They let you download the manuals, but the same picture is on theirs, so no help. You would have thought that they, and Warco would have corrected it by now. These machines go back a long way.

Chris N19/02/2022 07:42:42
3 forum posts
1 photos

Posted by RMA on 16/02/2022 19:35:22:

I had a word with the tech chap at Warco today, and he thinks it can be broken down to head; column and base (still attached); table, and stand.

I need to disassemble a WM18 to move it too, and was hoping that I could break it into smaller pieces to do so. I found the Precision Matthews PM-30MV manual on their website - it looks like the same machine: PM-30MV-v3-2020-10.pdf Looks like the head, table and saddle should come apart easily enough, but it's not clear from the manual how the gas strut attaches - whether it's fixed to the base or the column. This video shows a bit more clearly how it's located: **LINK**

Chris N20/02/2022 21:10:28
3 forum posts
1 photos

I was able to break the mill down into smaller chunks. DRO, Z scale and way covers first, then the head came off fairly easily after removing the bolts and locking pin. Table, saddle and their leadscrews off next. Took two of us to lift the head - it's very dense - and to lift the base and column.

Mine does have the gas strut inside the column - it's fixed to the Z axis slide via a connecting block (I think) and then to the base of the machine - so I decided not to remove it or the column. There are also two threaded and, I assume, tapered pins through the foot of the column into the base between the fixing screws.pxl_20220220_155423945.jpg

RMA21/02/2022 08:18:17
318 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Chris N on 20/02/2022 21:10:28:

I was able to break the mill down into smaller chunks. DRO, Z scale and way covers first, then the head came off fairly easily after removing the bolts and locking pin. Table, saddle and their leadscrews off next. Took two of us to lift the head - it's very dense - and to lift the base and column.

Mine does have the gas strut inside the column - it's fixed to the Z axis slide via a connecting block (I think) and then to the base of the machine - so I decided not to remove it or the column. There are also two threaded and, I assume, tapered pins through the foot of the column into the base between the fixing screws.pxl_20220220_155423945.jpg

Thanks for that. It confirms what we propose to do today is possible, gales permitting.

RMA21/02/2022 22:57:30
318 forum posts
4 photos

Machine was stripped down successfully and transported. Now sitting on a pallet in the garage. I'm glad I left the column attached to the base, didn't fancy disturbing the gas strut.. Re-assembly should be interesting.

mechman4822/02/2022 18:37:17
avatar
2947 forum posts
468 photos

I have a WM16 & it does not have a gas strut, mind you it dates back to 2012 so assume the new versions have one. I noticed Warco advertising the new WM16B, a belt drive, & Ade has a new WM18B which sounsd very quiet. Does anyone know if Warco's do a convertion kit for the WM16 ?. I know Grizzly version ( G0704 ) do a kit but the cost & import duty would be expensive.

George.

Roger Best22/02/2022 20:42:26
avatar
369 forum posts
56 photos

Hi George,

Ade has a 16B, Blondihacks has the Precision Mathews version as illustrated in the Warco 16B instruction book. Those made me interested in one so I popped down to Warco to check it out, and placed an order for my 16B in 2020. When I was there they had an 18B on display, very attractive but a bit too big for the space I have.

My 16B is very quiet, there is an irritating tick from the speed sensor switch but its nothing compared to a gearbox. I suffer from tinnitus and I didn't want anything that would set that off, I was very pleased that it seems OK.

If you are interested in a belt conversion I would recommend you give it a go. It might encourage you to keep your mill for a bit longer and get more value from it.

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