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Please assist with my fist mill choice

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Mick D27/10/2012 17:06:26
18 forum posts

Hi

I've decided it's time to buy my first mill so I've been reading all I can find on this excellent forum and elsewhere, however I'm still not sure which model to go for. I think I've narrowed it down to a choice of three machines: Warco VMC, Warco VM 18 and Seig Super X3L. They all appear to be capable machines with differing features, weight, variable speed, capacity etc. and the only one I'm on the point of discounting is the WM 18 as it does not offer an R8 spindle option.

Which machine would members choose and for what reason?

Is there another machine I should be considering in this price range, (up to £1,700)?

Other considerations: I don't have 3ph on site, I'm not aware of any localish shows I could attend, I live in the North East of Scotland, and I would prefer to buy a new mill.

Regards Mick

mechman4829/10/2012 14:48:59
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2792 forum posts
431 photos

Hi Mick

I bought a Warco WM16 at this years Harrogate exhibition, along with a WM250-VF lathe I plumbed for the WM 16 on the basis of getting a reasonable discount as a package deal (inc stands) & it came with the longer table & free delivery.I would have got the WM18 but it would have stretched my budget & there were other items that I wanted to get so I settled for the next size down plus it fits better in the space I have for it. I haven't used it in anger yet as have been diverted to houshold decorating duties & completing my garage conversion.The down side is that this machine only came with MT2 spindle taper, the WM 18 has an MT3 & my other tools were MT3 to suit my previous combi mill/lathe but that was easily overcome.

I did look at the Seig SuperX3L but the rep (only 1) was nowhere to be seen for a long time & when he did turn up I got the impression that he wasn't bothered about selling the manual machines, only in flogging the CNC stuff, a few other customers were of the same opinion from overhearing a few comments, & the price was over budget too.

I can only reiterate what other members have said, set your budget & go for the biggest you can, that will fit into the space you have & will cover what you plan to do.

Happy hunting

George

 

Edited By mechman48 on 29/10/2012 14:51:41

Terryd29/10/2012 14:58:58
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1935 forum posts
179 photos

Hi,

your requirements and use of the machine should decide your choice. I have an equivalent of the WM18 from another supplier and have found it to be a very capable and dependable machine, it is solid and has coped with everything I have thrown at it. I have no problem using the 3MT tooling, as long as you don't hang on to the drawbar like a gorilla the tooling doesn't jam (at least mine doesn't) and is a good enough drive system. Also tooling such as my E32 collets and drill chuck can be used in my lathe as well as the milling machine.

Best regards

Terry

chris j29/10/2012 18:26:57
338 forum posts
17 photos
I had the same budget as you and opted for a Warco VMC.
I figured that it was a good solid machine that could be upgraded as the money flowed in from all the jobs I was going to do on it (that was a joke btw).
Ketan Swali29/10/2012 20:18:25
1314 forum posts
105 photos
Posted by mechman48 on 29/10/2012 14:48:59:

I did look at the Seig SuperX3L but the rep (only 1) was nowhere to be seen for a long time & when he did turn up I got the impression that he wasn't bothered about selling the manual machines, only in flogging the CNC stuff, a few other customers were of the same opinion from overhearing a few comments, & the price was over budget too.

Edited By mechman48 on 29/10/2012 14:51:41

George,

I guess that the rep you may be referring to is me. If this is the case, then your impression is a matter of what you choose to believe. Perhaps you asked me for a package deal, in which case I probably told you that the price was as it was at the time. Perhaps you asked me for comparison with the Warco, in which case I gave you my honest comments. Perhaps you asked me about build quality, in which case I gave you my honest opinion. What ever my comments were, they obviously made a negative impression. To say that I wasn't bothered is something I would disagree with. If I wasn't bothered, there could have been something you may have suggested that might have made me not bothered. Did you consider this possibility?.

There were at least four competitors at the said show. I was 'not bothered' to enter a price war. I was 'not bothered' to bitch about my competitors machines. I was 'not bothered' to get into a slagging match about the pros and cons of one factories ability to build a better machine than anothers. This failed to go down well with some new people (probably like your good self) looking to buy their first machine. However, we did pick up orders from people referred to us by customers who already have our machines, and we did pick up orders from customers who had purchased machines from us before.smiley

Ketan at ARC.

Edited By Ketan Swali on 29/10/2012 20:29:40

victor mcconville29/10/2012 20:53:30
19 forum posts

Hi Mick D,

Where in the North East do you stay, I have aChester UK 626 Vertical Mill which I think is the same as the Warco VMC.

I have an R8 spindle and table movements are the same.
I stay in Arbroath Angus, if you want you could visit and cut some metal to help you decide.

PM if you are interested.

Victor J

Niloch29/10/2012 23:43:08
371 forum posts

I note Mick that you don't have 3-phase and that your preference is for a new machine, however, I urge you to consider a tool-room quality used machine, the Centec 2B.

Lathes.co.uk will give you all the information you need where you will learn that the version with the quill vertical head is the most desirable. They appear regularly on ebay. It also has a horizontal capability, mine came without the arbor but craftsman par excellence, Mr Graham Meek made one for me at a very acceptable price to a standard, if the truth be known, that is probably better than Centec's.

May I respectfully remind you to enquire of any ebay vendor whether he will place and secure the machine on/to a pallet. Palletline transport service fees are very reasonable.

Finally, there is a Yahoo support group.

Mick D04/11/2012 17:28:51
18 forum posts

Hi

Thanks to all for the advice and the generous offer from Victor, (I'm 30 miles North of Aberdeen so it would be a bit of a trek but I'll bear it in mind if I'm down that way thanks Victor).

I think I'm going to have to try to get to a show and see the machines first hand - looks like London in January.

Regards Mick

magpie04/11/2012 17:58:13
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463 forum posts
80 photos

Cricky Mick, 30 miles north of Aberdeen !!! try and find one with a built in heater.wink

Douglas Johnston04/11/2012 20:04:43
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711 forum posts
34 photos

Now now magpie, we in Scotland are hardy types who never feel the cold.

Doug

magpie04/11/2012 21:17:46
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463 forum posts
80 photos

Only kidding Doug, I lived in Forres for a while in the mid 70's, and have mates in North Ballachulish, and Keith. I love north of the border, but my old bones would not stand living there in the winter these days.

Cheers Derek.

Clive Hartland04/11/2012 22:57:39
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2616 forum posts
40 photos

Mick, you can go all though the adverts and brochures and each one seems better than the other, I did this recently with a budget in mind of £1000 and even considered a Wabeco at £2900 which is a very nice machine but ended up with a SiegX3 from ArcEuro. It was delivered to the door and put in the garage for me. How you get it onto the bench is up to you as it weighs about 162Kg , it will need some considerable effort and cunning. I did it on planks of wood and two Sons. It comes complete with enough equipment to use straight away, cutters and vice and collets, all spanners and allen keys and a clamp set. Consider it as it is more than adequate for anything I will do.

Clive

NJH04/11/2012 23:20:00
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2314 forum posts
139 photos

Clive

"How you get it onto the bench is up to you as it weighs about 162Kg"

I've always found it best (and safest!) to borrow or hire an engine crane. Easy 1 man job then.

Norman

Douglas Johnston05/11/2012 09:07:00
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711 forum posts
34 photos

I think I spoke too soon Derek, I have just been out to my workshop and found the temperature was 1 degree C. Quickly closed the door and came back inside the house. Clearly not as hardy as I thought!

Doug

Mick D06/11/2012 17:40:53
18 forum posts

Hi Clive

Was your machine a special offer? The web site does not list any accessories - are these things 'negotiable' at shows?

Regards Mick

Clive Hartland06/11/2012 17:46:36
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2616 forum posts
40 photos

Yes Mick, I took advantage of the offer from ArcEuro, I suggest you get on to them and see what they can offer.

I do believe there were other offers so its worth checking.

Clive

Ketan Swali06/11/2012 20:37:35
1314 forum posts
105 photos

Hi Mick,

I read your opening post. One of the machines you are considering is a Warco VMC. It is a higher specification then Warco WM18 or the SIEG Super X3L, so it cannot be compared with these two machines. If you have the budget and the space and requirement for such a machine, as suggested by others earlier, then the VMC would be a better choice for you.

When comparing the Super X3L with the WM18, please note that you are comparing a brushless 1000w motor on a Super X3L with a brushed 1100w motor on the WM18. It is a dick slapping contest between SIEG in Shanghai and its competitors in Yangzhou city. For every brushless motor version of a machine which SIEG has, its competitors come out with a brushed motor version which is between 100w to 200w greater smiley. In my opinion, the torque on a brushless motor is better than that on a brushed motor version of the same or slightly greater wattage. But, what you choose to believe is up to you. It is not something that I will enter into a debate on.

Regarding your question about 'negotiable' prices at shows, this is usually up to the seller. George mentioned earlier that he managed to get a package deal from Warco at the Harrogate show. On the other hand, we did not have a package deal for similar sized machines at that show, but it did not mean that I was 'not bothered', as per my earlier reply.

The position on price and deals changes from time to time. The deal that Clive may be referring to for an X3, was probably in September this year. There was another deal in October for various machines. There are no special deals or packages at present for the Super X3s. It is uncertain if and when price/package deals will be released for any machines from ARC.

ARC is not attending the show at Alexandra Palace next year. We are also uncertain if we will be attending the Harrogate show. However, you may be able to find deals at the show depending on which seller wishes to do what ever deal they want. Apart from ARC, at the Harrogate show you will probably find at least four dealers who you can talk to and review their range for your requirement.

Ketan at ARC.

Ketan Swali06/11/2012 20:46:21
1314 forum posts
105 photos
Posted by Clive Hartland on 04/11/2012 22:57:39:

Mick, you can go all though the adverts and brochures and each one seems better than the other, I did this recently with a budget in mind of £1000 and even considered a Wabeco at £2900 which is a very nice machine but ended up with a SiegX3 from ArcEuro. It was delivered to the door and put in the garage for me. How you get it onto the bench is up to you as it weighs about 162Kg , it will need some considerable effort and cunning. I did it on planks of wood and two Sons. It comes complete with enough equipment to use straight away, cutters and vice and collets, all spanners and allen keys and a clamp set. Consider it as it is more than adequate for anything I will do.

Clive

Hi Clive,

You were lucky that the delivery driver put the wooden case into your garage. ARC uses a pallet delivery franchise company to deliver large machines such as the X3. Terms of ARCs agreement with them is that they will have a pallet truck on board their vechicle. The vehicle would also have a tail lift. They will use the pallet truck to move the machine case onto the tail lift to bring it down to the floor level, then move the pallet to the nearest hard surface, put it down and then go. Some drivers are more co-operative then others.

Ketan at ARC.

JasonB06/11/2012 20:47:17
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Moderator
19125 forum posts
2104 photos
1 articles

It's not too hard to separate the column from the base on the X3 & SX3 which makes it a bit easier to lift onto the stand/bench. I did this as there was not sufficient head room in my shed to use an engine crane, even if there was the base units of the bench would have got in the way of the cranes forward facing legs.

J

mechman4812/11/2012 03:02:10
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2792 forum posts
431 photos

Ketan;

I applaud your loyalty to your Co & have no qualms with Arc Euro, in fact I have had a very good service from said co. re tools etc previously purchased, & will use them again as I find your prices very competative & delivery is v.good so no probs on that context. Re. my previous comment 'not bothered' I inferred that this was the case because at the exhibition there was a distinct lack of staff i.e only 'yourself' available, &, judging from visitor comments at the time, IIRC, 'where are the reps? I can only state my opinions as noted at that time, whilst I noted at the time the SX3 seemed a sturdy machine & I was of the intention of seriously looking to purchase one, the percentage of visitor comments & lack of 'availability' of your 'sales staff', & who it seems, by your own admission,'that you were the only one' were more inclined toward the CNC products on display & was very apparent.

In this present 'economic climate' everybody is looking toward making savings .. 'profit margins' as best they can, & as a 'MEW afficianado' I understand this aspect, but at the end of the day we are "amateurs" most of us cannot or do not look to 'production line technology' & can only afford 'manual machinery or second hand equipment, most of us look to constructing a 'Stuart 10' as a marvellous achievement, myself predominantly. My choice of other machinery was based on the aspect that there were 'more staff' who gave me more 'informative information' & could offer a better 'show deal that of Arc Euro..'at the time' other 'agents at the show provided at least 3 (IIRC)members of staff on hand at any point in time for customers queries..& they were inundated, myself included, in fact It was difficult to get close to a 'rep' to ask a question. Whlist I appreciate that Arc Euro purchase their machinery from the same companies albeit under a different colour dressing it would be appreciated , from my point of view, that more of your staff should have been on hand to offer advice & answers from prospective clients,if you do not have more staff available at these exhibitions (a major selling opportunity) again, that can only lead to the queston of 'are you bothered' May I quote..

"Regarding your question about 'negotiable' prices at shows, this is usually up to the seller. George mentioned earlier that he managed to get a package deal from Warco at the Harrogate show. On the other hand, we did not have a package deal for similar sized machines at that show, but it did not mean that I was 'not bothered', as per my earlier reply.

The position on price and deals changes from time to time. The deal that Clive may be referring to for an X3, was probably in September this year. There was another deal in October for various machines. There are no special deals or packages at present for the Super X3s. It is uncertain if and when price/package deals will be released for any machines from ARC.

ARC is not attending the show at Alexandra Palace next year. We are also uncertain if we will be attending the Harrogate show. However, you may be able to find deals at the show depending on which seller wishes to do what ever deal they want. Apart from ARC, at the Harrogate show you will probably find at least four dealers who you can talk to and review their range for your requirement".

'The above comment to me seems to 'infer' that.. ' if you don't like it you can lump it' !!!. ... Could I be wrong?

Whilst I have/had no intention of besmirching Ketan or Arc Euro per se, if they want to maintain their standing in this competetive market then they should look at establising a higher profile at these high profile lucrative exhibitions & establish a more relevant & progressive marketing approach to todays clients... 'we the 'amateurs'.. not hi tech sales targets.

The above comments were made without malice or forethought of any intent whatsover to the aforementioned co.or personel,purely on the basis of personal observations at the time.. & I look forward to future dealings with Arc Euro trading Co.

Mmmmh... maybe OTT?

With respect

George

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