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Setting up a Warco BH600G

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Michael Smith 2616/03/2022 12:53:49
34 forum posts
6 photos


If any of you have been following my last thread - I've just purchased a Myford ML7 and a Warco BH600G. The Myford I'm fairly confident around setting up since it's easy enough to use and for two people to shift - so if I need to rejig that'll be pretty straightforward.

The Warco is about 3x the weight and I don't currently have an engine hoist - so once it's delivered I'll have access to a hoist for the initial setup and want to make sure I site it and configure it correctly.

Couple of questions:

1. Should I site it against a wall or give myself some space behind to be able to access the back of it? My workshop is basically a detached double garage with two long sloped ceiling rooms either side of the main space so I do have a bit of space to play with.

2. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the manual from? There's a previous thread in the forum from 2016 but unfortunately the links in it are dead.

3. Any hints or tips around initial setup? It comes with a cabinet that includes feet I can level it with - I assume I'm going to want to get the cabinet in position, level it and check with a spirit level then lift the lathe on top. Anything else I need to be aware of?

4. I've found some of the great resources on GWH Engineering's website around potential mods for the future when I'm feeling ready to tackle them - any other resources for this lathe that are worth looking at?



Edited By Michael Smith 26 on 16/03/2022 12:54:45

Edited By Michael Smith 26 on 16/03/2022 12:57:01

Ron Laden16/03/2022 14:09:38
2300 forum posts
452 photos

Try for a download of the manual, I think they have the BH600G cost is about a pound.


Edited By Ron Laden on 16/03/2022 14:11:21

Edited By Ron Laden on 16/03/2022 14:18:30

Tony Pratt 116/03/2022 14:11:47
1966 forum posts
12 photos

If you have room keep the lathe away from the wall.


AdrianR16/03/2022 14:26:25
583 forum posts
36 photos

Hi Mike,

I have a BH600G (SN 0013) and so I could have more bench space I put it in the middle of my workshop. The guy I bought it from had it against a wall. The only reason you need to go round the back is to adjust the belt tension, but that could be done from the end with a fiddle.


The Warco manual is useless if you really want it I could scan you a copy. What is better is the Grizzly manual, PM me your email and I can send you a copy of that.


My stand did not have adjustable feet, I bought some but after mounting the lathe on the stand it was so wobbly I was scared it would topple over. I ended up bolting it to the floor instead.

For levelling, I considered putting shims between the lathe and stand but found it easier to put the shims under the stand.


The first mod you should make is to get a 6L milk bottle and cut it down to make a drip tray for the gearbox, as it does not have a bottom!



Edited By AdrianR on 16/03/2022 14:27:23

Michael Smith 2616/03/2022 14:41:27
34 forum posts
6 photos

Thanks all - Adrian I've just sent you a PM with my details

Hopper16/03/2022 22:59:22
6404 forum posts
334 photos

Ha, you are fully down the lathe rabbit hole now. Two in one week!

Bolting it to the floor is a good idea for safety, but not everyone bothers. Be sure to check first for any gap under all the feet and put a shim in there before tightening down the bolts.

Setting it "level" does not necessarily need a level. You can achieve the same end result by turning a test piece about 1" diameter and 4 to 6" long with no tailstock centre in place. Measure the taper along the length after a fine cut and shim one or other lathe foot at the tailstock end accordingly. Your Myford Users Manual describes the process a few page in under "Setting Up" or some such. It is the same for all lathes. Plus there are a million threads on this site about it, all full of contradictory opinions so take your pick. laugh

It is actually a good idea to set the bench slightly  off level so any oil and coolant etc drains to one corner of the catch tray.

Will be interested to follow your adventures with the two lathes in comparison with each other, one Chinese, one the hallowed England's finest Myford. Will be a great experiment to test them both out from a beginner's point of view, as the topic is a perennial debate on every forum such as this. (Not that you have any chance of settling such debate for once and for all. Most people value their own opinion over facts any day. laugh  )

Have fun with your new toys.

Edited By Hopper on 16/03/2022 23:04:10

Edited By Hopper on 16/03/2022 23:07:15

not done it yet17/03/2022 07:27:54
6812 forum posts
20 photos

My view: If the stand is such that it is too flimsy to move the installation, secure it to a base-plate of some description such that the base-plate can be lifted to shift the whole caboodle by small increments whether by placing rollers underneath or the age old crowbar inching method.

End of any potential problem by a little forethought.

Hopper17/03/2022 09:11:23
6404 forum posts
334 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 17/03/2022 07:27:54:

My view: If the stand is such that it is too flimsy to move the installation, secure it to a base-plate of some description such that the base-plate can be lifted to shift the whole caboodle by small increments whether by placing rollers underneath or the age old crowbar inching method.

End of any potential problem by a little forethought.

Yes indeed. Something like this would be ideal. Then you could roll it about on pieces of pipe and or skid it on lengths of pipe with a long crowbar to propel it bit by bit.

warco bh600g.jpg

If you use an engine crane, don't be tempted to lift the lathe by the chuck. Will quite possibly damage the chuck mounting and the headstock bearings. Ideally use a pair of nylon strap slings under the bed, or check the manual etc to see if there are any lifting eye bolt threaded holes in the bed . Be wary of it being top heavy like this though and have a couple of mates to steady it while you move the engine hoist. Maybe take the chuck, cross slide and tailstock off to shed some upper weight.

The one in the pic sold for 2025 Quid in UK. So sounds like you got into yours for the right price if it is in anywhere near as nice looking condition.

Edited By Hopper on 17/03/2022 09:15:04

Edited By Hopper on 17/03/2022 09:17:00

Bazyle17/03/2022 18:53:22
6324 forum posts
222 photos

The centre of gravity of a lot of lathes is about where the chuck is. If slinging round the bed (full turn INSIDE the leadscrew by the way) remove the chuck and thread a bit of rope through the spindle and use it to pull the the strop up to the head so it can't accidentally slide down the bed. With any luck then the lathe will be tailstock down and a light rope to the crane hook will set it horizontal.

SillyOldDuffer17/03/2022 21:15:45
8695 forum posts
1967 photos

Another thing to be careful of is lathes are very top heavy: they readily topple over! Main thing is make certain no-one will be pinned underneath if it falls over.

Being relatively light a Myford is far less likely to get out of control, but the heavier BH600 needs care. As Bazyle says make sure the ropes can't slip. Keep the lift as low as possible and correct any tendency to roll as the lathe comes up off the floor. Two man job, one to work the crane, the other to control the lathe. Three is handy. Clear the floor and make sure there's enough space to turn the crane if a turn is needed. (I got this wrong - the side struts take up a lot of room.) Discuss the move before attempting it.

Best ask for advice is steps, soft ground, or anything awkward is in the way.

If the floor isn't level, consider putting down a layer of levelling compound for the lathe to stand on.

Moving big machines is another job where doing a few makes it easy!

Once the machine is position they're fairly safe, but consider bolting it down if it's likely to get biffed and there's nothing like a wall to restrain it!

Howard Lewis18/03/2022 08:14:25
6113 forum posts
14 photos

You have a good, versatile machine there!

The manual for my ETR BL12-24 (A BH600 lookalike ) shows it being lifted by a tall lifting eye clamped to the bed between chuck and Tailstock, presumably positioning Saddle and Tailstock to balance it reasonably level.

It was actually lifted by putting a 25 mm bar through the cast hole under the Headstock, so that a sling could be looped around the bar, at front a back of the Headstock, and under the Tailstock end of the bed.

BUT be careful not to crush the leadscrew, feed shaft or control shaft!

It is heavy beast, 300Kg with a pretty rigid bed!

I would advice shimming or adjusting immediately below the Tailstock.

My BY 12-24 actually sits on 6 x 1`/2 UNF setscrews and nuts, so that the fine thread is used for a fine adjustment.



OuBallie18/03/2022 08:19:21
1166 forum posts
662 photos


Go to and download ‘MODEL G9249 12" X 37" BELT DRIVE GAP BED LATHE OWNER'S Manual’, the very best available!

My modifications:

A few more done since, but no photos added yet due to health issues unfortunately!

My Albums headed BH600G & Warco BH600G for more on the lathe.

Clutch and VFD without a doubt two at the very top of the mods done.

Warco BH600G

Warco BH600G Lathe

Warco BH600G Lathe

Geoff - Frustration doesn’t adequately describe how I feel!

Hopper18/03/2022 08:36:22
6404 forum posts
334 photos

OuBalie, that looks like almost the same lathe as the Australian-sold Hafco AL-330 or some such. My mate has one and is very pleased with it. He has that same clutch lever arrangement you have. They seem to be a very capable machine. Much bigger and more robust than the Myford which is always good. You can do small jobs on a big lathe, but you can't do big jobs on a small lathe. (Doesn't stop me trying though!)

Howard Lewis18/03/2022 09:00:12
6113 forum posts
14 photos

Hi Geoff!

Good to see you!

The BH600G, (It was obtainable in Imperial or Metric form at one time ) is another manifestation of a generic Taiwanese lathe, (The Chester Craftsman was another UK import )

They came in slightly different configurations and colour schemes.

My BL12 -24 came fitted with a VFD as part of the deal, so lacks the control shaft and lever.

I have often wondered about the Ray McMahon "clutch" but never got round to making one up.

Possibly not vital having the "Jog" facility on the control pendant Having managed without it since 2003, it will ,probably never be fitted!

20 years use must say something about how highly I rate the machine!


OuBallie18/03/2022 09:08:42
1166 forum posts
662 photos


It makes my first lathe an Emco Maximat V10P look a little puny, BUT I do miss it’s power feed clutch and saddle/carriage stop working together, and nothing much else to my surprise though apart from the big choice of accessories.

Workshop still too cold to for comfort as I’m NOT heating it for the first time, for obvious reasons🤬

Geoff - Morning coffee to wake me up.

Michael Smith 2618/03/2022 15:28:39
34 forum posts
6 photos

Thanks everyone - crazy week at work so just catching up!

Geoff thanks for the great pictures - I've definitely got the clutch on my todo list - looks within my wheelhouse (just about) to do that.

On the VFD - mine is a single phase - from what I've read I won't be able to fit a VFD without also switching to a 3ph motor, is that correct?

Thor 🇳🇴18/03/2022 15:58:40
1630 forum posts
46 photos
Posted by Michael Smith 26 on 18/03/2022 15:28:39:


On the VFD - mine is a single phase - from what I've read I won't be able to fit a VFD without also switching to a 3ph motor, is that correct?

You usually need a 3ph motor if you want to run it from a VFD (inverter), you may find inverters that can drive single phase motors, but probably at a higher price. I bought a 3ph motor for my lathe when I installed an inverter.


OuBallie19/03/2022 15:06:47
1166 forum posts
662 photos



Missed spending time in the Workshop the last two years🤬

Don't hesitate making that clutch as it transforms the lathe whether it’s single or three phase.

When I had my Emco I got really peed off having to switch off frequently for whatever reason, particularly when making numerous small parts or measuring, but now an absolute pleasure.

I love the ‘Jog’ feature especially when using taps & dies in the Tailstock as well as screwcutting.

Geoff - Feels good to be back on the Forum

OuBallie19/03/2022 17:59:32
1166 forum posts
662 photos


Lathe as it is now.

Warco BH600G
The original control switches and housing on top of the gearbox have been removed as well as the main control box from the side of the Headstock as neither needed now with the VFD and remote.
I replaced the original flush OFF button on the remote with that red mushroom one that latches in the off position and needing a twist to release, it being so much easier to activate.

Can’t believe I’ve finally finished adding the independent power feed to the Carriage, using a windscreen wiper motor.after trying various plain DC motors plus stepper ones, and having to learn how to control steppers.
Control of the wiper motor is via the white box on the RH side of the Apron, with direction and speed selection.
It works a treat, now being able to adjust carriage speed independent of spindle and vice versa.

Geofc - Still in shock having finished that project😳

Edited By OuBallie on 19/03/2022 18:00:46

Rik Shaw19/03/2022 18:35:10
1483 forum posts
398 photos

Mike - My BH600G was sledged into position in my timber workshop bolted down onto a length of thick kitchen worktop. I have never fixed it to the floor so it remains freestanding but it IS braced to the wall with two strips of steel from the main casting. Its not perfect by a long way but I manage OK. It just means that I have to be a bit careful when I use a faceplate with an offset workpiece.

Nice to see you around again Geoff - keep well!


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