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Member postings for Martin of Wick

Here is a list of all the postings Martin of Wick has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Which Stuart models can be done on a 7x14 lathe with no mill?
24/07/2019 15:49:21

| it's not far off the price of a brand new one. Will certainly keep it under consideration though.

Yeah, but no but, yeah but.... look at what you are getting - slotted cross slide, the crappy plastic headstock gears replaced with metal, decent tool holder etc. .

Not an agent for the vendor, but if I didn't already have that type lathe, I would get it in a heartbeat. At least some of the worst issues of 7x14 have been addressed. Surprised it is still available.

| I much prefer slightly more scale looking engines....

try this site, **LINK**

The de Waal plans look a little confusing to start with, but are ok when you get used to them, plenty of scope available and you can scale up or down as required.

24/07/2019 14:40:51


the ubiquitous mini lathe is quite capable out of the box for a swing of only about 6 inches. I know they claim 7 inches but in actuality, the limitations of the cross slide mean that it is very difficult to position the tool sufficiently outboard for the full quoted diameter. Just warning you!

You can sort of work around it to some extent by mounting tools sideways, but it usually results in significant overhang. Other solutions are available to modify the cross slide to increase the full range of movement (and top slide to).

The other prob, is you may want to use the lathe for milling, and the cross slide of the bog basic 7x12 is not slotted and does not offer any mounting options. You will need to make an adapter plate for attaching a vertical slide or angle plate - I say this because your limited centre height may be further reduced by such an adapter. You could attach directly to drillings in the cross slide, but it is a rather flimsy component at best, best have a sacrificial plate to preserve the integrity of the supplied component.

However, where there is a will... on my old ML10 which could only swing 6 inches, I made a spindle raiser with a 2 inch lift which allowed diameters up to 10 inches to be (carefully) machined. The truncated myford nose spindle ran in AC bearings in a billet of aluminium, driven from the lathe spindle via a taper with M5 timing pulleys. I think I geared the driven spindle to about half lathe spindle speed. It may be a solution if you want to stretch the capacity in future.

Thread: Buying a Lathe, as always the age old questions...
22/07/2019 21:52:42


PM sent

22/07/2019 16:12:06

To answer your specifics:

My S7 dates from 1978 and that has the non embossed belt cover with simple ally plate showing speed combinations and tacky plastic logo on the headstock castings - standard for the later lathes.

Don't know what year they began this, obviously done as a cost cutting exercise and probably denotes the exact point at which Myford's glide path to oblivion began.

Compared to the basic ML7 The S7 cross feed has a much more robust bed with larger leadscrew and is in the wide-guide configuration (carriage bears on the front and the back shear). Also cone bearing in the headstock and countershaft clutch. Bigger and stiffer al round. There are some variants ML7Rs that are essentially S7 without cross feed and clutch and with the weaker ML7 saddle cross and top slide. Some ML7s have retro-fitted clutches. For info on all the variants check out lathes,

Nothing wrong with the Mk1 S7 apart from the fact it is getting on for 70 years old. In some respects the bearing lubricator is much better than the Mk2 felt wick type,although prone to leakage from the sight glass. Would not recommend that you purchase any lathe with a view to replacing large and expensive components such as headstocks.

The condition of the paintwork is not necessarily a good guide to the mechanical condition of the lathe. PM me if you want a check list for used Myford tests.

Trouble is for a fully detailed mechanical test you will need some basic test equipment and some of the tests are quite intrusive, some owners are reluctant to allow such a detailed survey.

However, there are some basic checks that will tell you whether you need to walk away. Look at Myford Ltd. site and get an idea of the cost of the common refurb items such as feeduts, feedscrews, leadscrews bushes and bearings etc so you can assess how much the remedial work will cost you. For a significant number of machines, the faults will be legion, some are cheap simple fixes and some eye wateringly expensive.



Edited By Martin of Wick on 22/07/2019 16:20:15

Edited By Martin of Wick on 22/07/2019 16:28:07

Edited By Martin of Wick on 22/07/2019 16:31:39

Edited By Martin of Wick on 22/07/2019 16:32:12

22/07/2019 14:26:12

This subject has been pretty much done to death.

Unfortunately, Myfords have generated a cult following and like all cults, the followers are blind to their own folly. As a long time Myford user, the general American view of them as shoddy and lightweight is closest to reality (possibly excepting the ML10 which is in a quirky class of its own). They didn't begin life this way back in the day, but because used machines are now so old and have been through so many users, each inflicting their own peculiar abuse, the majority of these machines are now in need of significant and expensive overhaul and are often a disappointment to enthusiastic new owners high on the Myford hype.

Because of where you live a used Myford is a high risk proposition unless you are prepared to afford a fully reconditioned machine direct from Myford. Otherwise, purchasing spares from the UK will be an expensive proposition. What will you do if the bed needs re-grinding? Remember that what is usually on the market at the prices you quote is getting on for 50 years old. Would you want a 50 year old car as your only mode of transport?

The question you need to answer is do you want to spend all of your time coaxing a piece of engineering history back into a usable condition, or would you rather just get on with some model engineering.

It is simply a question of how you see risk and reward - the probability of getting a quality used Myford is much less these days than the probability of getting a new, fully usable eastern machine with dealer backup that you can just plug in and go.

But if you feel a need to join the cult, don't let my prejudices deter you!

Thread: Fitting moving steadies
21/07/2019 20:38:20

If you are getting started with the mini lathe, there is also quite a helpful machine specific guide / manual available here:


21/07/2019 20:22:41

if you have downloaded the Clarke manual, on page 26 there is a photo that shows the position of the moving steady on the saddle to the left of the cross slide (when viewed as if using the lathe)

If you look at the left side of the saddle, you will se the two threaded holes (they may be filled with swarf! Attachment is by two M6 bolts (they are M6 on my minilathe - may be different thread sizes on other clones)

Thread: What lathes have you had?
21/07/2019 11:10:36

Currently in use S7B, Sieg C3 clone, Sieg C1, EW(intermittently) Verdicts below..

ML7 OK but high maintenance

M S7B better than ML7 but still a bit of a Diva and oil puker, generally a joy to use

ML10 robust and accurate but rather quirky no tumbler reverse, coarse feeds , odd centre height

C1 good for small stuff but really needs a more powerful motor - full nut a pain

C3 clone - has many issues, but quite good - now my goto lathe for basic work, can be abused without complaint!

EW Stringer 2 1/2 current restoration project - fragile and slow - full nut again not much between this and C1

Thread: Finally sort of know which lathe to buy, but?
21/07/2019 10:09:15

No need to be frustrated. For the work you aim to do, any of the machines mentioned will be perfectly adequate, the only difficulty, if not buying new or fully reconditioned, will be machine condition.

Although not my first choice, if you want, a good condition Myford will be a perfectly satisfactory machine and has the advantage of being commonly available on the secondhand market and spares support from the current marque owners.

With patience you should be able to find one in a reasonable condition to suit your budget. You are paying a bit for the name but the cost of eastern machines has increased by about 30% in the last few of years so the differential is not as marked as it was.

On the subject of accessories, someone did mention a vertical slide +1 for that- increases the utility of the lathe by enabling light milling activities.

Usual advice for s/h

avoid e bay (useful for general research and having a laugh at some of the dogs for sale!)

don't purchase without viewing and testing (see threads for common problem areas to look for on Myfords)

don't worry too much about the cosmetic condition (paintwork) -always check the fundamentals

be prepared to walk away no matter how far you have driven!

keep back some of your budget for remedials (ie replacement of a bush or feednut etc)

19/07/2019 18:06:22

As a Myford owner, my advice is don't bother with Myfords - they have had their day and are only of interest to vintage machinery buffs. You used to be able to get an entire workshop for the cost of some clapped out piece of junk, but now the pound is approaching Argentinian peso status, that may not be the case any more.

However if you must go down that route - don't buy a cheap one from any source - it will be dog. Ask me how I know.

If you buy a dear one, it may or may not be a dog, but it will certainly need some sort of attention.

Only purchase if it comes with correct 3 and 4 jaw chucks, full set of change gears (or reduced set for models with gearbox), manual, faceplate, catchplate, centres and drill chuck This will be the minimum set of accessories to which you will need to add the cutting tools of your choice, either HSS or carbide insert tools.

I suggest you improve your skills by making things like steadies and toolposts etc.

You can get a range of common accessories and most consumable spare parts from new Myford - at a price. You can also purchase reconditioned machines from them, so they claim. You could also ask them how much longer they expect to remain in business selling spares to a shrinking market and 'new' machines at 10 grand a pop.

Most threading is done from the tailstock, a gearbox equipped lathe is not really necessary unless you foresee that most of your work is going to involve thread cutting. A machine with gearbox does not require a full set of change gears but may have a reduced set.

If your non gearbox purchase includes the full set of change wheels, you will be able to cut most imperial and metric threads (caveat, you may need 2x21 changewheels or a 63 to cut metric threads to a higher precision).

see if not already visited for further info.

How comfortable is comfortable? I have my S7 in a space 48 by 36 inches but the motor end is accessible by being next to the doorway and to get the tailstock off, I need to slide it over the bench slightly. How close you can get to wall may depend on the motor size, but in my case it is the primary drive cover. I stand this about 3 inches off the wall so I can access the belt for speed changes.

Thread: A few newbie questions, sorry
16/07/2019 19:32:27

Should I be worried and if so what should I be checking?


When running the lathe for a period, check for temperature over the bushes, particularly the unit not using oil. Any warmer than blood heat needs investigating.

Check the bush that is losing oil and determine where the oil is going. If you see oil escaping from the oilite bush and dribbling down the countershaft leg, the oilite bush will need to be replaced before damage is done to the countershaft spindle. The bushes are cheap (shop around the online bearing resellers of buy at a premium from Myford), the spindle is a v expensive component.

Check the bearing that is apparently using no oil as detailed in above posts. A bush in good condition will not be using use much oil - perhaps a slight top up after an hour or two of running. If this is not the case then check the oilway has no waxed or solidified oil. If oilway clear, it is possible that oil has solidified in the pores of the sintered bush. In which case I would replace the bush for the reasons given in the above paragraph.

The bushes are replaceable without taking the whole countershaft off the machine, but you will need to make some pullers using threaded rods and tube and some dies (piece of ally turned to od of .75in with wider section aprox 15/16 to extract and insert the bushes. It is important to completely fit the replacement bush with an accurately turned .75 in pin when pulling the new bush in, if you don't, you may distort the bush and not be able to get the countershaft spindle back in again.

I have a similar problem - one bush is actually OK but since I have to take the spindle out, it is expedient to replace both.

Thread: Cutting a Mod 1 worm
05/07/2019 15:26:04

Is this likely to cause any major concerns, or is it tolerable?

Does that not depend on the intended application of your worm? You have just shy of a one thou. in pitch error. Probably OK if you are not expecting to use it in an application where the errors will accumulate (such as a rotary table or instrument rack etc).

For example, if you are planning to use the worm to drive a rotary table with 90:1 ratio, one turn of such a table with your worm would have 90.0 x 0.0009 = .084 thou in. positioning error, you can decide if that is significant or not.

If you are using your worm to drive a hacksaw or the suchlike then the error is not material.

Thread: Mini Lathe - turning 6" long, 1.5" dia AL
30/06/2019 22:13:46


well, may be useful to invest in a 3MT centre in case you want to turn BC in future but also for checking your tailstock centre alignment for general work. When my minilathe came out of the box, the tailstock was way out of horizontal alignment and my first piece of parallel turning was a gentle taper!

Centre drills are not to expensive, best to get a few in a selection of sizes for future use.

Check the size of the fixed steady to be sure it will admit your 1.5 inches diameter - I opted not to purchase the factory device as it seemed too small to be useful, but it might just take your project.

As I suggested, you can avoid using a steady (because in this case it is only used as a convenient way to locate the centres for drilling).

Instead, you can use a centre finder to scribe 3 or 4 lines at as even spacing as you can eyeball across the face of the bar. Then centre punch as close to the centre of the resulting triangle as you can judge. You can either use a bench drill to centre drill the recess, or you can set up in the lathe chuck and manually guide the work bar on to the tailstock chuck and drill the centre recess as best you can.

If you don't have a centre finder, it is a bit more tricky but it is not impossible to scribe the bar face by careful measurement with a rule, plate and scribing block, or even just odd leg calipers (piece of glass will do as a surface plate).

30/06/2019 20:54:20

lathe is a Sieg SC2, so as far as i can tell, turning between centres isn't possible as I cannot get a centre in the headstock.

Why exactly? you will need to remove the chuck to get the centre in I think, but not necessary to use centres unless super accuracy needed, in which case check your centres align in all planes before anything else.

In any case, if t'were me I would clock up the bar in the 4 jaw, then if you have a fixed steady clock up the bar at the tailstock end, then with fixed steady in place centre drill as required to fit your dead centre. Oil the centre drilling, wind in tailstock with centre and lathe away.

If you dont have a fixed steady, you can use a centre finder, punch and use bench drill or lathe.

You don't comment on your turned size - if much less than an inch, you may want to take lighter cuts as you approach size.

Thread: A Chinese puzzle!
29/06/2019 16:41:27

You had better luck than I did. In my case the bearings rattled around in the block recess with about .8mm clearance - completely useless.

Had I been fortunate enough to obtain one with a decently tight fit, I would have lubricated thoroughly, pressed the shaft to front bearings then to the block, then tapped the back bearing with tube down over some blocks with something large and heavy (or resorted to the trusty 12 tonne press if all else failed). Other methods would probably work just as well, such as place bearing in block then press shaft in.

If you are of a sensitive disposition, pre fitting, you could polish the spindle up a bit with fine silcarb paper on't lathe to a tight sliding fit , but go easy as easy to overdo.

Thread: Warco Mini Lathe
22/06/2019 10:33:30

I had a similar saddle rock problem with that type of lathe, seems to be quite a common problem. Check there isn't a burr or warp on the saddle base . In my case there seemed to be a slight bulge. Perform the tests and checks above to be confidant you have properly diagnosed the problem.

Check out this link to see a method I used to ensure a good fit of the saddle to bed - seems complicates but is actually very easy and quick- go carefully as it is easy to over do it! **LINK**

I find it hard to believe the vee in the saddle is really wider than the prism it sits on, but it is possible through bad manufacture. If this is truly the case and the misfit is gross, shimming may be an option.

Alternatively, you will find you can obtain a complete new saddle from one of the partners (in no particular order ARC Amadeal others etc.) on this site will not break the bank (typically <£30.0).

Thread: Model aircraft pilots angry over drone laws
07/06/2019 12:26:52

The irony is the CAA are proposing a registration and training scheme when one already exists through the BMFA. needless to say, for model fliers the CAA scheme will be hugely more expensive, a cost risk to taxpayers and deliver fewer benefits than the existing scheme.

Unfortunately the reason for this sorry state is two hidden agendas.

one is the complete failure of our wonderful administrative classes to recognize the risk that multirotor drone technology posed until too late, resulting in the usual ' OMG, the public needs to be protected...' we must redeem ourselves and look like we know what we are doing... - cue knee jerk solution. Because the remedy is designed by bureaucrats it is an overly costly paper and red tape solution that will have no impact on illicit operation.

Secondly, the commercial drone operators have bent the CAAs ear and want a 'clear skies' policy - they don't like the idea of having to share airspace with those flying model aircraft, even though there is very low level of increased risk as unmanned vehicles will only take over activity conducted by piloted aircraft (in the main).

So as a model aircraft flier (proper aircraft that need to be flown by hand and brain as opposed to multi-rotor computer controlled abominations) I am not optimistic. if the CAA get their way, the charges will escalate so that within a few years model flying registration will cost more than owning a PPL, and that will be the end of it for model flying unless you want to specialise in micro models under 250g.

And lo and behold, criminals will still get their drugs delivered to their cell window and terrorists target their drones packed with anything they like to cause maximum mayhem from the other side of the word without batting an eyelid.

Look out for new registration requirements coming soon on owning knitting needles or garden spades, now deemed to be required to prevent potential slaughter in allotments up and down the land.

Thread: Tail stock adjustment
11/05/2019 20:56:47


The mini lathe comes out of the box pretty much OK for simple work. It is only after while that you start to notice that all is not as it should be, on longer spindles, deep drilling, and precision work etc, by that time it is probably out of guarantee.

As stated above, the tailstocks are quite crudely finished and offer poor adjustment, such that you can spend an entire day chasing your own tail trying to get some degree of repeatability in the setting.

Both my C1 and C3 clones were a right PITA to bring to an acceptable condition (even after sorting the C1 with shimming and the C3 by reaming and lapping due to the badly cut MT socket)

To try to reduce the general level of frustration when you recommence investigation, I suggest you allow plenty of time, take a good note pad for readings and sketches, take readings twice to check consistency by rotating testbar and repositioning the DTI and in general try to trap or minimise all other sources of measurement error to fully identify the issue . You will get there in the end, it just takes monumental patience. And when you do achieve reasonable performance, you will never ever want to disturb the tailstock again! Should you feel the urge to turn tapers, use a tailstock taper turning attachment if only to protect your sanity!


11/05/2019 16:28:28


I commiserate with you having suffered similar tailstock issues on this lathe and another smaller sino lathe.

I am no expert but from my understanding, this is not an uncommon problem. I had the same lathe and encountered similar issues with erratic tailstock readings. In my case, the problem was due to an incompletely reamed MT2 taper in the barrel, but even when this was sorted, I spent the best part of half a day setting it to be collinear with the bed and centred on the head.

Before even considering shimming the headstock, I would advise the first action is to check and confirm the headstock spindle is collinear with the bed in xy and zx plane. You will need preferably a 3 MT test bar or 3/2 MT sleeve. If it appears the spindle is aligned accurately, move on to tailstock (if the spindle is not aligned, depending on severity,you will have to decide whether you wish to attempt to rectify yourself of contact Amadeal and request a replacement).

Next ,check the fitting of the MT2 test bar in the tailstock and absolutely confirm that you can see no play in the taper as it enters the barrel (push backwards and forwards with some vigour to confirm this). In my case It took me a while to recognise that the MT2 was only being griped at the narrow end and there was 10 thou of play at the front of the barrel (partly because I didn't want to believe it!)

With headstock spindle alignment checked and the MT2 in the tailstock fully retracted, can you get the two centres to line up point to point perfectly? (the ruler on the points trick will be an adequate test of this). Do the points stay fully aligned when the tailstock barrel is extended? If not, perform whatever adjustments you can on the tailstock and repeat tests. It is more of a concern If the tailstock is significantly too high when the barrel is retracted, and at this point you may wish to contact the vendor.

You don't say whether you are testing with barrel in or out and whether you have clamped stock and barrel for test and tightened carriage gibs, so will assume you have. After the tests suggested, if there is still a significant rise on the test bar, then the issue could be with the barrel bore or tailstock mating surfaces.

In that case you may be able to shim one end of the tailstock body to sole plate so the barrel is not pointing at the sky while still getting the centres to align. This worked for me on a similar class of lathe, but took hours of to-ing and fro-ing to get to the point where drills could be used from the tailstock without obvious flexing and binding.

It may be that the solution would turn out to be skimming the tailstock - an awkward job so I would see what the vendor has to say if this is the case. You should not have to shim up the headstock for a misaligned tailstock, but it would be a solution in the last resort.


Thread: Bandsaw speed
01/05/2019 20:47:42

Depends on blade, teeth count, how robust and solid everything else is etc. My CY90 (budget class small horizontal band saw not that solidly build but performs well within its class) speeds are 20/30/50 m/min.

using 14tpi carbon steel blade at 20m/s it is quite comfortable with steels, but certainly not at 30m/s

Aluminium and brass fine at 30m/s, or lower, any higher it starts skipping and grabbing, so I have never use the high speed but expect it would be fine for plastics


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