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Chris Evans 609/01/2017 10:02:35
1142 forum posts

John, girder forks here for me as well but once you have a lathe and mill you get 100 friends. I have regularly modified/shortened telescopic forks for people hence the bore size concern. True though 35mm is probably maximum.

Ajohnw09/01/2017 10:36:02
3631 forum posts
160 photos

If you do go for the ML10 I would be inclined to look for one that has taper roller bearings. The problem with the earlier ones is that past some point it's very difficult to do anything with the plain running in cast iron ones. There are pictures of the 2 types on lathe co uk. The difference is easy to spot. It's a big plus against all of Myford's other lathes. They can be changes easily - if needed and aren't that bad to adjust.

Hopper made a good point though - check carefully. I would go look and take tools with me to tighten up the slides if they are rather loose so I could get a true idea of wear. Particularly the saddle. I've looked at several of the later models over the years and generally they have all been in pretty good condition - even well adjusted usually. In fact I would say often hardly used. Getting things like fixed steadies for them can be rather difficult to find. Something to bear in mind if you need one you might have to make it. The change wheel gear set contains a fair few gears too. They can be found but a better option is a lathe with them.

The roller bearing model is essentially a speed 10 without the higher speeds. A mod or an inverter and 3 phase motor could fix that aspect.

Not sure it's right to knock Opti based on Brian's lathe that Hopper sorted out. Following that it's seems to have done some pretty decent work. He wants bigger now though and was probably advised to go bigger when he bought the baby lathe. 'hit probably happens on all makes at times.There do seem to be some happy owners and they can be seen being used on youtube. They cost more for less though but the gain is the claim that they use hardened bearings and in one case an aged bed. I assume that is still in the catalogue. All lathe manufacturers used to leave beds etc lying around to stress relieve them. Not sure if Opti leave 'em long enough but at least they know about the problem. Worth it over say Warco? I don't know and the fact that a German outfit is involved doesn't mean much really.



john evans 1309/01/2017 12:29:05
24 forum posts

Well lots of opinions as I expected.Machine loyalty is the same whether lathe or vehicle.

It is true I do not want to fettle my machine. I have adjusted the gibs but they do not have the effect I need. The tool post holder dips then pulls the top slide when cutting certain metals. Frankly I doubt I could repair for the sum suggested. Having visited Chester machinery before xmas I thought parts etc had shot up in price.

There is an old southbend 13" on ebay at the moment. I really fancy that but it is heavy and also 130ml away so I cannot view. If good that would do more or less all I need. I do not mind cleaning and part restoring an old machine but do not feel justified spending on my machine. I have had an okd ml2 in the past and a tyzac zyto,both needed work.

Re the ml10,yes it is the 13"version but as good as you are likely to find. I thought it slightly bigger than my conquest but obviously not? It certainly looks substantial and importantly,rigid;plus it has the later bearings.

I am not against chinese machines but believe you get what you pay for. I have been lucky but many are not.I do not trust warranties. The variable speed switch was faulty soon after delivery..only the switch casing slipping on the spline. The warranty fix was to give me a new switch to solder in to place! I have looked at the new machines but they do nothing to excite me. Most hobby machines look like extended versions of my own machine or look crudely finished..some actually have less features but greater bed length which would be useful at times.

I do not want a warco or a clarke ..sorry owners! No reason other than choice. Sadly,residing in n wales there are few machines available locally hence travel is an issue. I also have limited space. My timber shed is 12x14,timber floor on bearers. 4 motorcycles and lots of tools/machinery etc. If I have a heavy machine I need to reinforce the floor to spread the load as I do not want to cut it away and concrete the base under a machine.

Carl Wilson 409/01/2017 15:34:14
633 forum posts
48 photos
You might as well use this period to reinforce the floor and get a 2nd hand Harrison or Colchester. My M250 is about 380kg.

At the end of the day a Myford is just another hobby lathe. I'm not denying that they were good when they came out. Things have moved on since the 1940s though.
Bikepete09/01/2017 16:20:01
184 forum posts
3 photos

If you're happy to 'go bigger' then go for it! As a former Myford owner I'm now a big fan of 'heavy iron' - which kinda means a floor standing 'proper' industrial lathe (& mill in due course!) - a bit more effort to move and install but a pleasure every time you use them thereafter.

A Boxford is about the smallest I'd look at - on its stand it weighs rather less than the models Carl suggested - 250 kg or so? Same as two hefty blokes (or three skinny ones) standing next to each other. Most sheds shouldn't need too much reinforcing to hold that. Some hefty timbers under it might be good anyway to raise the working height, especially if you're tall. Also Boxfords can be easily dismantled into smaller chunks for transport/moving if need be. Appear to be several on sale in North Wales just now on Ebay.... (e.g. in Bangor, Carwen, Caernarfon, Whitchurch)...

But maybe best not get too set on any one brand - just be patient until something you fancy (and which is in a condition you're happy with i.e. not worn out/knackered) comes up within striking distance... so you have a chance to inspect if at all possible.

If you're up for taking on an older model there's a decent sized lathe with plenty of vintage charm on sale in Church Stretton just now, too...

Edited By Bikepete on 09/01/2017 16:22:59

Edited By Bikepete on 09/01/2017 16:32:09

Ajohnw09/01/2017 16:31:33
3631 forum posts
160 photos

You can keep an eye out on and the for sale section of The last one can be an expensive option but not always.

When I am looking for a lathe I don't have any loyalty really. What turns me on is condition, the kit I need coming with it, swing etc and in my case bench mounting. As it turned out I went from a myford ml7 that turned into a super 7 but still had things needed doing - bed regrind, to a Boxford ME10, the bench mount version of their lathe with all I could want really with it and in unusually good condition as far as wear is concerned. It could have been anything really providing the headstock bearings could be changed. I didn't want to have to sort out either super or ml 7 bearings again. They are ok when done and do last but it's hassle I can do without.

I bought the boxford blind but did ask the seller how much taper it turned over 6". He reckoned 0.002" on unsupported 1" bar as he had nothing bigger. Turned out that the bearings were a bit loose. Good that he replied though. Many think if the chuck goes round all is ok.

I much prefer to go and look carefully. Distance doesn't both me much more the time to get there. Depends really but an hour to an hour and half is fine by me. Longer if highly desirable. I might ask the wife if she fancies a look around and a meal where ever it is too at times.

When I had a floor standing lathe it was a Raglan. The square headed one. That sort of thing needs a machine tool mover really or hire a small car transporter with a winch or what ever.I looked at all sorts including a number of makes of gearhead that some would say yes yes too. I couldn't find one in decent condition. All of them were really well used. Also some boxfords in a similar state. Maybe because they generally really do get used in B'ham. From the swarf hidden away in it the Raglan had probably only been used by pipe fitters in some factory some where. Ex workshop lathes can be good. Toolrooms tend to keep them until they are no use at all to them. Companies do go bust though.

It can be worth asking about on local industrial estates for medium sized and up stuff. If they sell to dealers they don't get much so some one might sell one before it's had it.

I suspect the biggest problem with your current lathe is probably weight and design. Maybe wear as well. Chinese lathes do seem to have improved.



SillyOldDuffer09/01/2017 16:36:20
2612 forum posts
539 photos

Quite often in my experience, people who ask for advice really only want to have their decision confirmed. Nothing wrong with that. I think John clearly signalled a preference in his original post when he said "My search inevitably takes me to older myfords". There's nothing wrong with that either.

My advice to John would be go for it if you fancy an ML10. Trust your judgement. After 17 years experience with a Conquest you should be able to assess the ML10s shortcomings before paying for it. You are at an enormous advantage compared with a rank beginner when it comes to the perils of buying a second hand lathe.

I nearly bought a ML10 rather than a mini-lathe when I first started out. The Myford was about 10% more expensive for similar capacity. I decided go mini-lathe partly because I thought the ML10 was rather basic, but mostly because it was very obviously 'used'. Who knows, I may have missed a bargain. I never regretted buying the mini-lathe, but still...

For some strange human reason people have a strong tendency to deny the faults of their nation, personality, home town, offspring, football team, politics, system of measurement, and machine tools! If you do get the ML10, please tell us honestly how it compares in practice with your Conquest. A dispassionate report would make a super read.


john evans 1309/01/2017 16:42:22
24 forum posts

Thanks Pete. I am not hung up over brands but I am on price. Many of the makes you mention are above my budget as I am an occasional tinkerer and cannot see it becoming a huge hobby. I only use my machines to fabricate minor motorcycle parts,stainless and brass nuts,bolts,studs and some new axles and spindles.

Harrisons,colchesters etc tend to sell for 800 plus. The boxford in Caernarfon is 800 too.He will negotiate but notby much hence it is still there. I have looked at other boxfords but they were also expensive plus I had hoped for a bench lathe.I have had to amend my options to suit space,cost,weight,availability.

I have not seen the machines in Bangor,whitchurch etc.are they on ebay? I tend to view ebay,preloved,gumtree and shpock..

I take the point re weight but reallyfeel the floor is overloaded even now so I have go carefully resolve this without creating too much work and expense.

Michael Gilligan09/01/2017 16:42:50
10806 forum posts
471 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 09/01/2017 16:36:20:

If you do get the ML10, please tell us honestly how it compares in practice with your Conquest. A dispassionate report would make a super read.



... and maybe write an article for MEW & earn a few quid to offset the purchase.


Bikepete09/01/2017 16:50:36
184 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by john evans 13 on 09/01/2017 16:42:22:

I have not seen the machines in Bangor,whitchurch etc.are they on ebay?

Yes, I just entered a postcode in Capel Curig (chosen randomly via Google maps as suitably representative of North Wales!) then did a search for "lathe" in the "business, office and industrial" category, selecting 'used' only and sorting the results by 'nearest first'. Then just looked through the first few pages for promising candidates.

EDIT: If you can't find them let me know and I'll message you with the links.

Edited By Bikepete on 09/01/2017 16:58:16

Howard Lewis09/01/2017 17:00:55
1114 forum posts

Someone, I think, mentioned 35mm.

If you want to pass something that size through the Headstock mandrel, you need a MT5 bore.

That will come with a larger lathe, apart from the US and UK makes, you are likely to find such things in a secondhand Warco BH600/Chester Craftsman/ Engineers ToolRoom BL12-24, (or their modern equivalents which may well be geared head rather than belt driven).

Those just mentioned, are effectively the same machine in different colours,  will swing 12" over the bed, (18" in the removable gap), Induction hardened beds with prismatic ways, and have a Norton gearbox with power feeds for Sliding and Facing.

They do weigh about 300Kg, so your floor could pose a problem. Could you use angle iron to spread the load?

For what I do, my BL12-24 (with VFD) has proved to be quite satisfactory, but if you don't fancy later Chinese machines, you have to look at even older machines, probably ex Industry (heavy wear possibly) or ex school/college (light use but abused). These are likely to put into Restoration man mode before you start the work for which you bought the lathe.

Remember that you can do small work on a big lathe, but not the other way round!



Edited By Howard Lewis on 09/01/2017 17:02:52

Edited By Howard Lewis on 09/01/2017 17:12:52

Carl Wilson 409/01/2017 18:40:38
633 forum posts
48 photos
Sometimes people ask for advice to get it. Fully agree with the big lathe small work sentiment.

If you buy a machine from a dealer they will deliver it palletised to your house. As long as you choose wisely it'll probably just need a good clean and adjust.

So you can beef up your shed floor and get ready to make some serious amounts of bedding for the stainless steel hamster.

Alternatively you could install a steam engine and some lineshafting and get really authentic with the Myford.
Alan Waddington 209/01/2017 18:49:09
262 forum posts
58 photos
Posted by Carl Wilson 4 on 09/01/2017 15:34:14:
You might as well use this period to reinforce the floor and get a 2nd hand Harrison or Colchester. My M250 is about 380kg.
That surprised me, i always thought the M250 was the Harrison equivalent to the Colchester Student, however my short bed Student 1800 weighs in at live and learn !

Edited By Alan Waddington 2 on 09/01/2017 18:49:22

Carl Wilson 409/01/2017 19:09:25
633 forum posts
48 photos

Yes. I believe a Colchester Student is more in line with a Harrison M300. From what I can tell, a Harrison M250 is more like a Colchester Bantam. In fact, after the 600 group rationalisation, I think there was a Colchester Bantam that was essentially a Harrison M250 with a different badge and a few cosmetic alterations. I think this is shown on lathes

Carl Wilson 409/01/2017 19:23:56
633 forum posts
48 photos

Compare and contrast girls and boys:-

colchester bantam 2000mk3.jpg

harrison m250.jpg

john evans 1309/01/2017 19:25:36
24 forum posts

I actually sought advice for the reason stated..i was considering an ml 10. As it happens this is no longer available as I dithered. I have bid on the 13" southbend but have been outbid and will not raise my price.

The advice is appreciated as I have made no decision. I will not however be buying from a dealer and if I buy large I will strip the machine and trailer it home the clean up,rebuild and reset everything.

Re the ebay search I cannit find much.I have no idea what the 14in in church stretton is but it looks a well used heavy machine with no extras.

As I screwcut I need a machine capable of doing so hence the cheaper boxfords are out. I think circa 500lb is the max I can cope with but I would rather keep to half that if possible.

I did enquire about a boxford on the classifieds on this forum but no was placed a month ago.

If anyone knows of a decent machine for sale which meets my criteria please let me know.

Carl Wilson 409/01/2017 19:27:27
633 forum posts
48 photos

Psst...It is I...Zee 'Arrison M250.....

Carl Wilson 409/01/2017 19:31:13
633 forum posts
48 photos

Fair Enough John. I have a friend who is in a similar situation to you. He actually wasgiven a Rollo Elf over Christmas. It has a Sturmey Archer bike hub as a change speed unit. Actually rather ingenious. Although a nice thing it is of no use to him as he wants to do classic car work...I think he is looking for a Harrison L5 or maybe a 140.

I'm sorry if my gentle ribbing of the Myford crew offended you in any way, it wasn't my intention. Being ex military I do like a bit of friendly banter. I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea though.

Carl Wilson 409/01/2017 19:37:50
633 forum posts
48 photos

Spot the difference:-



Bikepete09/01/2017 19:44:25
184 forum posts
3 photos

Posted by john evans 13 on 09/01/2017 19:25:36:

I have no idea what the 14in in church stretton is but it looks a well used heavy machine with no extras.

No idea either what the 14" machine is - but four jaw, fixed steady and taper turning attachment are all visible in the pics. Could be worse...

If we're looking at a sub £400 budget that limits the options somewhat. But still a good chance something suitable will come up - may take persistence in watching the used listings for days/weeks/months - or local word of mouth might bag you one. Good luck.

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