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Warco VMC drawing

Dimensions of head

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Windy18/05/2011 23:59:20
890 forum posts
190 photos

Finally bit the bullet and bought a new Warco VMC at Harrogate.

Had spoken to some VMC owners and found out about its limitations.

Eventually I will put a raising block on the head.

Please has anybody got drawings of the head dimensions that I could borrow?

I realise that it is a relatively light machine and was told end mills above 0.5” could cause vibration of the head.

It has been suggested that the head could maybe be filled with possibly epoxy filler to dampen any vibration.

Any advice gratefully accepted.


Edited By Windy on 19/05/2011 00:01:12

mgj19/05/2011 06:06:15
1017 forum posts
14 photos
Have you tried Warco?
Roger Vane19/05/2011 09:12:35
101 forum posts
18 photos

Hi Windy

I’ve owned a Warco VMC for a couple of years now and am generally very pleased with it. Your post raises a couple of interesting points.


I haven’t experienced any problems with vibration in the head.

Think the key to overcoming the potential vibration problem may be down to selection of the ideal spindle speed – there are huge gaps between available speeds on the VMC and therefore the potential for vibration if the speed selected is not suitable for the job in hand.

The information plate in the belt cover lists spindle speeds (50Hz motor) as 190, 270, 480, 560, 1000, 1180, 1379, 1800 and 2100. Based on experience with my old Warco Minor mill, I felt that the spindle speed range offered by the VMC was not really suitable for my requirements – there are no available speeds in my critical range of 560 – 1000 and the bottom speed of 190 is far too high when using a 3” slitting saw.

I overcame the problem by ordering the machine with a 3 phase motor with the aim of fitting an inverter to provide variable speeds. As I wanted an R8 spindle and imperial graduations I had to order the machine as a ‘special’ with a delivery time of around 6 months – this approach saved me the cost of buying a new 3 phase motor to make the conversion. I purchased an inverter and remote control station from Newton Tesla – fitting was very straightforward using the wiring diagram supplied.

Was it worth the wait? – it certainly was. Do I suffer from vibration problems? – no, as any potential problems are controlled by simply reducing the spindle speed (at the turn of a knob).

Other advantages include:

  • No time wasted changing belt positions (a real pain). My machine is set to 1180 rpm and I’ve only changed this briefly a couple of times in the last two years. That was for machining cast iron using a 2.5” shell mill (full width) taking a 1/16” cut – the motor simply couldn’t provide enough torque at the very low speed selected and the cutter slowed down.
  • A much lower spindle speed – low enough to tap ‘under power’ using the ‘jog’ facility (with the 1180 belt setting).
  • Infinitely variable spindle speeds.
  • Very good torque characteristics.
  • An increased spindle speed at the top-end of the range as the inverter produces close to 60Hz maximum.

Based on my experience of the VMC, I can recommend that it is a very worthwhile conversion that you might like to consider if it’s not too late. I have found that it puts an ‘already good machine’ into a totally different class.

Raising Block

The only real issue that I have with this machine is lack of height between the spindle nose and the table. The Warco specification for this is 13.5” whilst mine is only 12.5” – a full inch under specification. This is very restrictive, especially when using their excellent DH-1 vice and a 13mm keyless chuck.

I have spoken to Roger Warren of Warco on a couple of occasions regarding this problem. He has told me that he is looking to offer a 4” spacer as a retrofit option to existing VMC owners on the Warco database. The last time that I spoke to him was at the 2010 ME Exhibition, at which stage he was having difficulties sourcing the spacers.

Other owners that I’ve spoken to would also like to increase the capacity of their machines, so this appears to be a real issue.

I can only suggest that owners of VMCs who feel that this is a problem contact Roger Warren direct and push this matter forwards. Let’s have some ‘people power’ to resolve this problem.

Hope that these comments help.

Gray6219/05/2011 10:36:24
1058 forum posts
16 photos
There is a picture of a VMC raising block here VMC Raising block in lathejacks 'Chinese Torture' album.
Windy19/05/2011 10:56:00
890 forum posts
190 photos
Thanks Roger for some very good advice.

There are a number of web sites showing the construction of raiser blocks but no dimensions.

I suppose there are possible variations as quality control on these relatively cheap imports is limited.

I have been in touch with Warco to see if they have any drawings and wait there reply.

Ideally an industrial machine would have been the way to go and if you know the dealer some good examples at a very reasonable prices are available.

Trouble is what to the dealer is a small machine would take up too much room in my workshop.

Edited By Windy on 19/05/2011 10:57:16

Windy19/05/2011 14:55:28
890 forum posts
190 photos
Warco replied and only have the manual.

Edited By Windy on 19/05/2011 14:55:54

Roger Vane24/05/2011 10:21:22
101 forum posts
18 photos

If Roger Warren is looking for a supplier then he should have a drawing available for quotation purposes. Might be worth contacting him directly.

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