One of the first - if not the very first - mill-drill to be imported from Taiwan, the Warco version has sold in considerable numbers. Originally two models were available the smallest being branded as the "Minor" and the largest as the "Major", the latter being re-branded as the "Model 30" in later years. As far as can be discovered, the first Warco-badged version was the Minor WM-15, this being fitted with a 1-h.p. single-phase motor and a No.3 Morse taper spindle and a claimed drilling capacity in steel of 20 mm. Later versions were improved with a more robust build, larger gears in the fine down-feed mechanism and improved table feed screws.
After some years the Major was dropped and only the minor was available - hence this is by far the more common of the two to find on the used market.
Very much heavier than the Minor, the Major" had a longer table, a much thicker base casting, a greater throat, a head with an extra four inches or so of elevation and, in some cases, proper machined steel handles in place of the die-cast or plastic on the Minor. For the serious amateur, the Major was a much more useful machine and could tackle jobs such as facing smaller cylinder heads and exhaust manifolds and was able to remove metal at a much faster rate. It was, however, rather over-kill for a home workshop and sales must have been disappointing.
While most of the Naerok and Draper versions had a bevel-gear driven elevation of the head that maintained alignment throughout the lift, on the Warco, Alpine, Nu-Tools and Pinnacle versions, the head was lifted by a crank handle whose gear ran directly against a rack free to rotate between its top and bottom holders - the result being that once unclamped and moved up or down, the head was free to swing around the column and so lose its alignment. Although this might seem to be a fault, in reality, it hardly matters, the long quill travel is, more often than not, sufficient to complete jobs without the need to elevate or lower the head.
In addition to the elevating head, the quill, which held a No. 3 Morse taper spindle, could be moved by either a handwheel fine-feed control (working through worm-and-wheel gearing with each division on the micrometer dial being 0.025 mm or imperial equivalent) or by a 3-spoke, quick-action capstan handle. The three spokes of the capstan wheel are rather long and the writer finds that it's not unusual to have to unscrew one to let a longer job pass beneath the assembly.
Power came from a rear-mounted motor, these being of 0.75, 1 or 1.25 h.p. running at 1400 r.p.m., with drive by an "A" section V-belt to an intermediate, self-aligning, 3 or 4-step jockey pulley. From there another "A" section V-belt turned the matching front pulley - the arrangement giving a very useful range of either nine, eleven or twelve speeds - the former usually spanning 260 to 2100 and the latter (on later models) improved to cover 90 to 2150 r.p.m. or 100 to 2500 r.p.m.
Although inexpensive, of relatively crude construction and with a less-than-perfect cosmetic finish, this type of vertical miller and co-ordinate drilling machine is a most useful addition to any workshop, especially if you are playing with the repair of motorcycles and cars. Able to mill to tolerable accuracy with either large or small cutters, it becomes especially handy when used as a coordinate drill, the spindle speeds being both high and low enough to cope with drill bits of small and large diameter - drilling a 1/4" diameter hole into free-cutting steel needing around 2,300 r.p.m. while a hole 1.5" in diameter needs around 357 r.p.m. With a vice bolted securely to the table, the slides can be manoeuvred easily - to bring the workpiece exactly into place - and then locked.
The writer has a similar generic Taiwanese miller in his home workshop and would not, under any circumstances, be without it..