Lathe

Forum for Armortek Owners to Meet, chat and share knowledge. You are advised to check 'official advice' before carrying out any modifications.
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Chris glover
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Lathe

Post by Chris glover » Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:01 pm

Hi
Thinking of buying a lathe in next couple of weeks.Been looking at the Warco 240b .It seems to be a simple belt driven affair with little to go wrong.Do many other members of the forum have Warco lathes.What are people's opinion as far as build quality and accuracy are concerned?.

Chris
Happy New Year to all :D

Kevin Hunter
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Re: Lathe

Post by Kevin Hunter » Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:47 pm

Good evening Chris
I have a Warco 180 on which I am trying to learn the basics. My experience is minimal, my ability to advise you technically is negligible. However, I gather Warco machines are quite well thought of in model engineering circles and one or two other members on here have them.
Like so much else it's about what you want to do with it and how much you can, or want to, spend :D
Happy new year
Kevin

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Stephen White
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Re: Lathe

Post by Stephen White » Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:53 pm

Chris, hi.

I've bought most of my machine tools from Warco and would recommend them. Roger Warren, who owns the company, is always approachable. The 240B would be a good choice.

Unless you go for a UK manufactured lathe such as a Myford, you're almost certainly going to have a Chinese manufactured product. Many suppliers simply sell them on and there lie potential problems if the re-seller hasn't done the necessary commissioning tests and sorted out any design faults.

The great difference with Warco's service is that their tools are set up before delivery and they come with a certificate of performance. I've also found that Warco's after sales service is second to none. If you can get the chance to call on them personally, I think you'd enjoy seeing the full range of kit in their showroom. I've also found their delivery service to be excellent. Happy customer (and no connection to the company).

If I didn't go to Warco, I'd go to Axminster Tools.

Happy New Year to All.

Stephen

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Adrian Harris
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Re: Lathe

Post by Adrian Harris » Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:57 am

This way madness lies... :shock:

The usual advice is to work out which lathe you think you need now, then buy (at least) the next size up.

For instance, the WM250 is only 54mm longer and £110 more expensive, but gives you an extra 150mm between centres - handy for turning those gun barrels you haven't even thought about yet... :D :D

I have a Sieg C3, which was prepared for me by Arc Euro Trade, but to be honest it's not stiff enough or large enough for quite a few of the things I want to do with it. As a novice turner, I've abused it horribly and it's still working, which must say something for it :)

One thing to note is that the Warco lathes weigh around 120kg, with a lot of the weight in the headstock end. Since the summer, I've been slowly moving things around in the workshop, and I can just about lift the C3 to reposition it, but there would be no way to move a 120kg lathe without significant human or mechanical help.

Adrian.
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Garry Coomber
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Re: Lathe

Post by Garry Coomber » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:13 am

You can't go far wrong with Warco, the service is everything you would want. As for machine, oh yes think of what you want an go bigger. I originally had a hobby lathe, which was ok and given I had to get it up stairs, the choice was limited. When I move to where I live now, I converted the garage to a workshop, so getting big kit in is not a problem. I bought an ex demo WM250, great bit of kit and so far it had done everything I have asked of it. But do look at the next or the couple up as they are often not that much more expensive. Provided you have the access to where you want the machine, the people who deliver will virtually put it exactly where you want it, so weight isn't always a problem.

I have never bought from any of the other companies like Axminster or Chester tools, but what I would say is compare the prices and what you get. The machines are virtually identical except colour, but Warco don't charge for deliver,
Garry

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Chris glover
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Re: Lathe

Post by Chris glover » Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:21 pm

Adrian Harris wrote:This way madness lies... :shock:

The usual advice is to work out which lathe you think you need now, then buy (at least) the next size up.

For instance, the WM250 is only 54mm longer and £110 more expensive, but gives you an extra 150mm between centres - handy for turning those gun barrels you haven't even thought about yet... :D :D

I have a Sieg C3, which was prepared for me by Arc Euro Trade, but to be honest it's not stiff enough or large enough for quite a few of the things I want to do with it. As a novice turner, I've abused it horribly and it's still working, which must say something for it :)

One thing to note is that the Warco lathes weigh around 120kg, with a lot of the weight in the headstock end. Since the summer, I've been slowly moving things around in the workshop, and I can just about lift the C3 to reposition it, but there would be no way to move a 120kg lathe without significant human or mechanical help.



Adrian.

A bigger lathe is no problem!.We have one with a four metre bed at work.....And a ten metre mill :D .Its the convenience of having machines at home that you can make all the little adjustments with as you go along.
A Warco it is I think! :D
Thanks for the replies chaps
Chris

Francis Samish
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Re: Lathe

Post by Francis Samish » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:44 pm

Just picked up on this thread and would like to give my pennorth. Would echo on thoughts of going 'as big as you can', but feel it only fair to raise the issue of weight. If you want to be able to move the machine around on your own, then a Unimat 3/Sieg C0 lathe or a Sieg C1 is about the limit. The 'mini lathes' that everyone sells are a 2 man (person?) lift, unless you want to break it down to its components to move it each time (and that also means single-handedly taking it out of the box...).

It is surprising what you can do with a smaller machine, especially as regards small details, bushings and shafts. The Sieg C1 actually comes with the same 3 jaw chuck as most 'normal' mini lathes in standard trim, and in my opinion has a far more rigid tool post than its bigger brother. Build quality of the smaller C1 is also better in my opinion.

If you want to turn 1/6 scale turret slew rings and barrels, then you really are going to be looking at something around the size of a 'real' lathe, with about 230mm swing - that's the size of what you can rotate above the lathe bed - and able to take anything up to 900 or so between centres. If you are wanting to deep drill barrels of this length from solid bar stock - that's about 15 - 17 feet - one is into gun drills and all sorts of clever boring tackle (which as a newbie I'm only qualified to mention in hushed tones, let alone even thinking about having a go..).

Chinese-made machine tools are no longer the bargain that they once were, and it may be that you want to look at older British stuff as well. Go to http://www.lathes.co.uk for more info on machine tools.

There are still a few ex-schools Boxford lathes that come up on ebay (spit) from time to time, though you will need to budget for another 200 squid to convert most of these to single phase as they are normally 3 phase electrics. Been there, done that, got one in the garage. The Myford ML7 and its ilk (Super 7, ML10) are in-betweenies because (a) they are overrated (again in my opinion) and (b) usually overpriced compared to what you get from a 'bigger' lathe. A good selection of spares is still available for the older - 1950-1980s -Boxfords, and basically the same design is still made by South Bend in the USA (but you really don't want to ask the price...) There is also some spares support for the Smart and Brown machines, if memory serves me right.

Last comment here would be come back to portability. If you put the machine on a set of lockable castors, you can easily move it around the garage or workshop. For when you drop that last M10 nut down the back.... Castors on my machine are mounted to angle irons, which are then offered up and bolted through the cabinet end plating.
boxford_complete.JPG

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Paul Morris
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Re: Lathe

Post by Paul Morris » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:06 pm

Hi Francis.

Wow that's a blast from the past in the old metalwork rooms at school they had three of them in a row :D
Cheers Paul. :wink:
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Greg Stephens
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Re: Lathe

Post by Greg Stephens » Sat May 23, 2015 6:18 pm

Similar to what I trained on in cold metals in college for my industrial arts degree.
I cannot remember the first thing about it.

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