Anyone got a Warco WMT300 or Clarke CL500M lathe/mill?

  1. Robbus Member

    Posts: 65
    Hunts
    I've got the Warco version, bought it second hand from fleabay a couple of years ago without any instructions. I've had to move it today, to make room for a milling machine I'm picking up this weekend, so thought I'd give it a clean up and lube. I can't see how (or even if I have to) lube the main spindle bearings, I can see a little oil inspection window so I'm guessing you do have to add oil. I rang Warco and they would only sell me the instruction for £15+p&p, wouldn't tell me over the phone, so they've lost any future business!

    Anyone out there able to help?

    BTW I wouldn't actually recommend anyone to buy this type of machine, the lathes fine but the milling head is bloody useless to be polite ;)

    Cheers,
    Rob
  2. malcolm

    malcolm Administrator Staff Member

    Posts: 8,167
    Bedford UK
    Seems a strange policy to charge for manuals. Costs next to nothing to stick them up on the internet and that really improves goodwill and resale values. Might be worth trying Machine Mart for the Clarke version of the manual.

    My '50s Kerry lathe has a knurled screw on the top of the main gearbox that you undo to pour oil in. There are a million nipples on the thing I'm supposed to squirt oil through every day too.
  3. Robbus Member

    Posts: 65
    Hunts
    Sounds like a familiar story doesn't it, buy decent British make not Chinese import - joy ;)

    Well my new miller is an old Marlow machine, don't know how old but I'm sure it'll be nice and solid! Then again I can't get hold of a manual for it either - joy!!

    Cheers,
    Rob
  4. malcolm

    malcolm Administrator Staff Member

    Posts: 8,167
    Bedford UK
    The Marlow milling machine looks like a lovely bit of kit. Looks like the sort of the thing you won't need a manual for - things tend to be obvious on big machines like that. Have you got three phase?

    Makes a lot of sense to go eBay on these things. My mighty lathe only cost £150, though it did need a little repair.
  5. Robbus Member

    Posts: 65
    Hunts
    Alas no 3-phase here so I'll be looking in to inverters, or swapping back to a single phase motor, depends whether the motor on it is suitable for the fancy electronic phase inverters to run with. I'm kicking myself at the moment as I was watching a rotary converter on Ebay but got bogged down with work and missed the end of auction today, it only went for £120odd as well :( - I really should've sniped it, grrr! Ah well, I'll sort something out and be up and milling soon I hope!

    Cheers,
    Rob
  6. Robbus Member

    Posts: 65
    Hunts
    Oh, a development on the 3 phase front, I might actually have the potential for a 3 phase supply to my workshop.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Every other house around here only has 2 lines, as you can see I've got 4 but the top 2 are cut at the insulator. Does this mean I'm nearly there for a 3 phase circuit? Who do I contact to connect up the 2 cut lines? N-Power, local electricity board (no idea who they are, I'm half way between Peterborough and Huntingdon if that helps), or just a local electrician? Any ideas on costs here if these two lines are suitable?

    Cheers,
    Rob
  7. seanleed Member

    Posts: 41
    Dumfries, UK
    It'll have to be the local electricity board to do your connection if you want 3 phase, but look into ALL the costs before going for it. Not just the cost of the supply, 'cos you'll also need a 3 phase db and god only knows what tarriff they'll have you on. Will probably work out a lot cheaper to get a 1 to 3 phase invertor unless you intend to get a lot of 3 phase stuff in the future. Check on the motor to see if it's dual voltage (will have a plate saying something like 220/440V). Most 3 phase motors can be run on 230V 3phase by changing the way the windings are connected, some even have instructions on where to put the links on the inside of the connection box cover. I like invertors, they're great for accurate speed control, you can have remote speed control, torque boost, soft start, ramp down, dc injection braking and all sorts of goodies in them!
  8. seanleed Member

    Posts: 41
    Dumfries, UK
    Just has a thought, there was a bloke on e-bay selling invertors that changed 230V single phase to 400V 3 phase, no idea what the cost was or if they're any good because I've never used anything like that, but if it's from one of the decent names (siemens, allen bradley, mitsubishi, telemecanique etc) it should be OK.
  9. Robbus Member

    Posts: 65
    Hunts
    Hi Sean,
    Yep costs will have to be taken into account for sure. I've sent an email to N-Power, will no doubt hear back within the century, I suspect that I'll end up going down the inverter route, I also like the idea of speed control and all the gubbins they can offer. Howver I do also like the idea of a proper 3 phase supply though as that opens up some interesting options for buying second hand equipment.

    I'll hazard a guess that the Ebay seller you mean is this guy:
    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/DRIVES-DIRECT
    I'll obviously know more tomorrow about what sort of motor is on the machine as to whether I'll need a 230V single phase to 400V 3 phase or if I can get away with the cheaper 230V single phase to 220V 3 phase.

    I'm also in contact with another Ebayer who's selling a Marlow 3A machine and has some single phase motors for it which I might be able to buy if the winner of his machine doesn't want them. Probably the easiest of all options there.

    Cheers,
    Rob
  10. Dave Mac Member

    Posts: 6
    Kennoway, Fife
    still trying to figure out how to use forum - don't buy clarke manual - worse than useless, but I'll e mail you a copy if you wish on fastdave@blueyonder.co.uk
  11. Dave Mac Member

    Posts: 6
    Kennoway, Fife
    Agree - Lathe quite good, but manual bloody useless, clarke version has bolt or grommet hole below plastic window - fill till it runs out - catch me on fastdave@blueyonder.co.uk
  12. malc New Member

    Posts: 1
    west midlands
    WARCO lathe headstock oil filler

    Hi I have only just registered so I hope i'm posting this message correctly. In answer to the lathe headstock oil question the filler for the gearbox is at the back of the headstock if you are viewing the lathe from the front, ie it round the side from where you can see the oil level glass. The filler plug is approx the size of a 2p piece and has quite a long thread to it. Hope this helps.
  13. Wozzaaah

    Wozzaaah The wizard of woz Staff Member

    :laughing: Hehe, you posted the message correctly Malc but the original post was 15 months ago! Welcome to the forum though :hug:. Might treat myself to a small lathe one day, it's low down on my want-list but a good bit of kit to have nevertheless.
  14. snowcat

    snowcat back in black Staff Member


    I actualy pay less for my comercial supply than I do for my home supply, The electric supply will charge fortunes for conection, however many small builders seem to know a man on the board whos able to push a perfectly legal supply under the radar of the managers;)

    As for 3ph -1ph motors I dont see it, I know it is posable to convert, but surely you would need to connect a cap cirrcit to replace the Z1 and Z2 start windings, overwise there would be no way of shunting the motor, this would also meen a full set is used for starting, and thus only 1 run set, witch would be only 1/3 of its intended HP, and to add would make the motor full of dead spots and run like spanners...and I think it would have to be wired into star rather than delta???? the 220/440 just the winding value and the run value not duel voltage..........

    Your esentialy building a 3ph motor to run on single when you make rottary converters.......They rattle and vibrate and run slowww........

    This is something that comes around with regularty malcom??? How about a sticky on converters????
  15. snowcat

    snowcat back in black Staff Member

    Ohhh silly me Iv just posted a reply to an old post.......Oh well:rolleyes:
  16. Wozzaaah

    Wozzaaah The wizard of woz Staff Member

    :laughing::laughing::laughing:
  17. Robbus Member

    Posts: 65
    Hunts
    Thread resurection indeed ;) Shame I sold the lathe a couple of months back but thanks anyway, it may help some other unfortunate who bought a crappy Chinese lathe!

    On the 3 phase front, I went with an inverter, snagged a 2hp one for about £100 IIRC. Got it set up on the mill and it runs a treat - I did get the motor rewound to delta (erm, or star, whichever it should be to work correctly on 240V 3 phase the inverter kicks out). It's great having infinite speed control on the spindle. Only thing I've got left to do is get the table power feed motor rewound so that can run, it's not been essential so it's been on the to-do pile for a while!

    Cheers,
    Rob
  18. hareng Member

    Posts: 1,123
    Staffs
    Resurection :cool:
    Rob dont the table feed motor run off 110V, unless its a decent English jobby.

    The Chinese machines are ok if you dont abuse them ie dont put a cut on.
    For what they cost you could buy at least 15 for the price of one robust English or US made machine, you pay for what you get and ok for light use.
    Castings flex which can mean vibration and busted cutters. Beds, slideways and lead screws wear at phenonimal rates and extremely hard to find replacement parts.

    These are a waste of time bringing home but only had one as a third lathe for screws and late night stuff. http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/cl300m-metal-lathe/path/metal-lathes-milldrills Got one off Chester brand new for £200 with quick release tool post and latest US circuit board which will set you back £100 when they pack up.

    Must confess to purchasing a DRO from Warco some years ago, arrogant woman dont deserve any business. Finally got it 4 months later after paying, oh and it was delivered elsewhere, good job the chap was honest.
    I use Axminster or http://www.chesteruk.net/ especially on the open days in July and less than half the price of Machine Mart.

    Better off with an old English or US in good nick.
  19. Robbus Member

    Posts: 65
    Hunts
    Hi,
    The table feed will still run on 240V, it'll use a 240V single phase to 240V three phase inverter, so the motor needs to be fiddled with (rewound was the wrong word for me to use) so that it runs in delta rather than star - summat like that, can't say I've got my head quite around this whole 3-phase business. Anyway, just needs the same doing to it that I had done on the main drive motor and it'll be fine, plus the inverter will enable infinite speed variation.

    Back to the warco, I don't regret buying it as it got me back in to machining and reminded me of the basics, but yeah, they're pretty pants overall. At some future point I'd like a nice Colchester or Harrison to complement the proper milling machine. Need to move house first though and change career, minor inconveniences like that ya know ;)

    Cheers,
    Rob
  20. hareng Member

    Posts: 1,123
    Staffs
    Fully understand was told how to do it though have never attempted to rewire a 3 phase to work off single phase, they work but use electric.
    This turned me off a Colchester Student flat top years ago, ex college £400 bargain and couldnt afford a 3 phase convertor at the time.
    Transwave are the best great torque but not sure if they do the variable type often around £200 plus a plug.

    Changed the motors etc on most things.
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