1. #1
    The Chester 626 is a turret mill but it only weighs 320kg

    It's dinky, I discovered it existed this morning, I can have one delivered for 1600 plus tax. I am resisting but my resolve is weak

    I always wanted a knee mill for CNC so I can lock the spindle and no round column blues. I was put off by the sheer size of the blooming things, but this one isn't.

    Is there something I don't know?
    Is there a better alternative?
    Is it a problem to CNC?
    Are they poorly made or what?


  2. #2
    Had one

    Thought it was garbage.

    Loads of backlash, wobbly as hell.

    Also not as small as you would think.

    I sold it and bought a Bridgeport sized machine which is lovely.


    Double boost on YouTube has one and gets on fine with it.

  3. #3
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 1,167. Received thanks 212 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    I have a Warco VMC which is a very similar machine, and certainly at the time I bought it was about the same price. None of these Chinese machines are perfect (they wouldn't be at that price!) but the 626 just didn't seem as well finished. I added DRO (3-axis, using the knee as Z) plus power table feed in X. My main quibble is that the quill has a tiny amount of shake. It's easily good enough for drilling, and I lock it for milling anyway. I went R8 for the spindle which was the right choice for me. Most of my tooling was Morse 2 so I would have had to buy Morse 3 bits and pieces anyway and R8 is a much better system - undo the drawbar, tap the top of the drawbar, and the tool drops out. Morse tapers can need a bit of a wallop sometimes. However, you do need three hands to hold the drive pulley, support the chuck or whatever, plus use spanner on drawbar. It's not a big problem once you get the knack, but a spindle lock would be nice. Or powered drawbar...

    I could have done with a bit more clearance between spindle nose and table for some jobs, especially with long drills, but there's a limit to what I can fit in my workshop. Lack of headroom means that a second-hand Bridgeport would not have fitted, and for some reason my wife objected to cutting a clearance hole into the bedroom floor above the garage. The VMC has a downwards-pointing motor so just fits. If I had known then what I know now, I would have gone for a 3-phase version and added a separate VFD - belt-changing isn't that difficult but it's a nuisance. Warco now sell a version (at a higher price...) which has suitable motor and VFD fitted as standard.

    I believe that there are some VMC CNC mods described but I haven't looked closely enough at mine to know if there's enough space under the table for a ballnut without extra clearance needed. I would also want to CNC drive the knee rather than quill (see above) and that needs a bit of work to arrange as well as fairly chunky drive system.

    Would I buy another? Given that a secondhand commercial machine wouldn't fit anyway, the answer is "probably".

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