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Member postings for Brian Wood

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

Thread: Parallel turning on a Myford ml4
07/01/2013 10:16:30

Hello Kevin,

D1992 will be the serial number. Mine was D2382, bought new by my father in 1945

From what you say, your model sounds like the non adjusting tailstock, the later Myford mod. had a tongue built in across the tailstock base [as in the ML7 which replaced it] so that it was possible to offset PARALLEL to the lathe bed when turning tapers.

Before then, with just the dovetail jib location, there was no control on the alignment at all and it was possible to set up to turn parallel and then find you were drilling at a skew from the tailstock. If you have a longish straight bar you can trust, put that in the tailstock chuck and measure displacement down its length with your DTI. If it isn't too far out I would call it a day and heave a sigh of relief!

Incidentally, the feedscrews for both X slide and top slide are 12 TPI; I know the dials are marked in 100 divs, but one full turn moves the tooling by 96thou.

I modified my headstock spindle with a close fitting collar to bring the register diameter up to 1.25 inches so that ML7 chucks and accessories would fit. As supplied, the nose was 1.125 inch register diameter with a 1.125 inch x 12 Whit thread and it became difficult to find things made to that size.


Edited By Brian Wood on 07/01/2013 10:38:23

06/01/2013 11:39:17

Hello Kevin,

I inherited my late father's ML4 in 1963, it was aleady about 20years old then and I ran it for a further 20 years before selling it on to buy a friend's ML7.

I suspect you have the model with the plain non-adjusting tailstock, a real pain to set up both in terms of alignment across the bed and true aim along the bed. With the single foot mounting for the whole machine, leaving the tailstock end of the bed as a cantilever, the advise above from David Littlewood about bed twist and correction doesn't apply.

A relatively quick way of setting things true to at least a reasonable approximation, and assuming you can trust your 3 jaw chuck, is to do as follows:

Slacken the tailstock foot adjusting screws and mounting bolts along with the bed clamp on the rear of the tailsock. Wind out the barrel to about 3/4 reach, clamp it with the barrel clamp and then grip the front end in the chuck. Now that at least is aligned with the headstock centre-line and with it the tailstock body.

Now you can reset the tailstock front shear dovetail and carefully tighten the bolts on the tailstock holding the dovetail piece to the tailstock, checking with your DTI that you are not moving the tailstock body as well; this may take a while.

When you are happy with that and the bolts are tight, test again as you tighten the bed clamp for the tailstock, it should not deflect more than a few thou if you have got the previous operations right.

If you have some 1MT tooling with a plain parallel section, grip that in the chuck instead of the barrel, the 1MT barrel bore is the definitive centre for the tailstock.

You might still be able to get a handbook from Tony Griffiths, visit he has a wealth of handbooks for all sorts of machinery, it will be very useful for you.

I hope that helps


Thread: Acceptable Quality
02/01/2013 17:51:37

Hello Mick,

I bought ER25 collets from CTC and initially thought the runout was unsatisfactory [note initially]

To check them properly I borrowed two pukka chucks [ one Myford nose fitting, the other 2MT] with collets from a friend who had every satisfaction with them; these were Vertex supply. To my great surprise the CTC collets outperformed them for both runout and repeatability of location on test bars, all of them performed with variable results in my own homemade collet chuck.

I found it hard to believe that these cheap collets were as good as they are, in spite of their claims to meet DIN standards. I am now convinced and would recommend them.

It was my chuck that was rubbish, something I didn't want to believe!!


Thread: Bandsaw Choice
29/12/2012 11:25:06

Just to add some experience which might be useful. I bought an Axminster MB115 bandsaw [4.5'' capacity] about 12 years ago and it is without doubt one of the really useful machines in the workshop.

I've found that 10TPI blades give the best overall results, but whatever you do be careful when sawing welded material, or anything that might contain hard spots. It will take the edge off teeth on one side of the blade before you have time to switch off. Further sawing then gets slow and a curved cut results.

Mine will operate upright, but it is not a mode of use I like, the table that came with it for vertical use is pretty flimsy and I think poorly made. I ran angle iron bracing round the lower ends of the legs on the frame, the tray below the bed of the machine is too lightweight to prevent the legs splaying outwards. With suitable bending and welding you can then fit castors to the leg extremities and wheel it about.

So, a worthwhile investment, but be prepared to modify the work vice and improve the clamoing of it for angled work. Jaw lift can be a problem too as large work is bigger than the vice jaws so use extra clamping appropriately. An early mod. was to replace the bolt for the blade cover with a knurled version to speed up the access if a blade comes off or needs changing. Blade tension should be such that the blade twangs nicely when plucked. Too loose and it WILL run off.

For some reason I couldn't figure out was blade throw-off when I brushed cutting oil on the blade teeth, it didn't happen cutting dry.


Thread: Harry Websters book sale
28/12/2012 14:45:40

I also bought a number of his old books which were delivered before Christmas, first class service and a really nice man to deal with.

As you say Siddley, a gentleman from the old school

Brian Wood

Thread: 3 jaw chucks
17/12/2012 11:50:37

Hello Ronald,

There is another, rather tedious way of correcting bell mouthed jaws, I used it many years ago to put my father's small scroll chuck right when it came to me with the Myford ML4 lathe after he died. You need a LOT of patience!!

Use a black magic marker to coat the jaw gripping surfaces first. Then, with a true and round bar in a tailstock chuck you trust, close the 3 jaw chuck down until only one jaw is touching the 'test' bar. Idle the lathe at slow revs, move the testbar in and out to rub the marker away on the jaw that touches.

Take the jaws out and with a fine oilstone, polish that jaw over the bright area, holding it carefully to grind only that bit. Rebuild the chuck and test again with remarked jaws, repeating the process until you are satisfied that all 3 jaws grip evenly both front and back. This also means checking for runout as the polishing proceeds. Look especially for any misalignment along the lathe axis where the chuck tries to grip on the back or front of a jaw. That will show up as increasing displacement of a DTI along the length of a true test bar. Axial displacement alone is parallel to the lathe axis.

As I said, you do need lots of patience; in my case I was rather fond of the lathe and this little chuck, it is now amongst the best in my collection, so it does work.


17/12/2012 09:54:50

Hello Ronald,

Yes it is, much depends on what IS inaccurate. If it is the rear plate mounting to the chuck, that is a relatively easy salvage which involves turning away the old location, bonding on a ring to replace it and turning the new register to suit the chuck.

The second fault concerns the chuck jaws that may have gone 'bell-mouthed' with being forced to grip just on the tips [a form of regular abuse].

You will need a toolpost grinder or similar to correct this fault. First turn a ring with a reasonable aperture, open the chuck jaws outwards to grip it on the outer steps and then very carefully grind new gripping faces onto the INSIDE facing jaw surfaces. Move the grinder in and out with the chuck rotating slowly to cover the whole surface until the shine is even throughout on all three jaws.

Test the results on a true bar for runout and repeat if you have to. If the body guides to the jaws themselves are badly worn and sloppy it is best to scrap the chuck and fit a new one.

Take care to remove ALL grinding dust after, cloth protection on bedways is good before you start.

You may well find in the end it is only fit for roughing work, in which case keep it for such.

Good luck Brian

Thread: Chain driven cams ?
15/12/2012 15:03:40

Hello Siddley,

Don't forget you can run the chain over an idler sprocket and there needs to be a tensioner somewhere, all of which may influence the overall size by opening out the chain loop. Your aversion to gears will lead you onto making or buying sprockets instead, so the swing could become a roundabout!!


Thread: Taper attachment capabilities ?
14/12/2012 14:14:00

Hello Siddley, Keith and Alan

I thought I had some pics, but they are rather poor, so I will do another more complete set and put an album together,

In the meantime KWIL has shown a nice version of the same sort of thing. Mine is of course full length as I've said.

I chose hydraulic ram material from the experience gained in making hydraulic forming tools at an agricutural engineers works, the seamless honed tubing having beautifully finished bores comes in all diameters and is another joy to work with. I was especially keen to eliminate corrosion damage and just observing modern excavating machinery with polished rams working in all weathers convinced me in my choice

So patience please, all will be revealed soon!


13/12/2012 18:22:55


I made a full length taper turning attachment for my Myford S7 variant using a 20 inch length of 18mm hydraulic ram as a guide. It is hard chrome plated, straight as a die and resistant to bending as well as being on size to within a gnat's whatsit. The bar is carried on two cantilever supports built out from the two ends of the bed; the tailstock end has both fine and coarse adjustments to set the angles. The headstock end is just in steps of 50mm, so by juggling about you can cater for tapers that close up or open out with tool travel towards the headstock. Setting in my case uses the DRO to define the angle over a set length.

The slider is a hefty section of aluminium bar bored out to be with a close fit on the guide bar and is closed at the two ends with felt wipers to keep the grot out. The vertical link up to the cross-slide is a sturdy 40mm diameter chunk of bar to resist any side motion flexing.

In use you disconnect the cross-slide feed screw and let all the motion come from the guide bar. Angles of +/- 10 degrees are about all you can expect before it gets cranky and moves in jerks.Tool feed is put on by the topslide. My installation is permanent, it is far too fiddly to be putting it on and taking it off and I've cut good Morse tapers with it.

In my opinion it has the advantage of quick access and the ability to cut a really long taper that the proper Myford accessory can't do, being limited in length. That is a brief description, I have no drawings since it evolved as it grew, but it should be enough to impart the essential elements..

The vital guide material can be bought as a cut length from hydraulic engineers who offer a repair and overhaul service. I think mine was about £1 an inch at the time [~7years ago] Look them up in Yellow pages.


Edited By Brian Wood on 13/12/2012 18:25:53

Thread: Source of "Soft" Iron?
13/12/2012 14:48:34

Hello Dean,

I have a transformer lamination to which you are welcome. Overall dims. are 170mm long by 39mm wide, with two punched out slots leaving a 95mm undamaged section between them at 39mm wide. Thickness is 0.80mm. It is a little rusty here and there, but it is not heavy damage.

Transformer laminations are ideal for your needs requiring the rapid build up and collapse of magnetic fields where any residual magnetism would severely limit magnetic field strength and nullify the operation. If you PM me with your address I'll post it.

Kind regard


Thread: advice re scroll saw
10/12/2012 10:47:58

Hello again Ian,

Just a thought while I was cleaning my teeth! For the use mine has had since I bought it, virually nil really, I would be happy to sell it on if you are interested. i think I have some blades for it, a book of projects and I will still have the owners manual hidden away.

If you are interested send me a PM. I live just outside Thirsk North Yorkshire, it is not the sort of gear I would trust in the post.

Kind regards Brian

10/12/2012 09:47:32

Hello Ian

I bought one some years ago from a joiner who was selling up after diagnosis with emphasima [sp?] and in pretty bad shape. It is a Woodwise PM22 dating from 1992, maybe no longer trading,

It has a cast iron base, table and operating arms, it is heavy and sturdy. The whole thing stands on resilient feet and it handles as a solid quality machine. It looks very much like a Hegner and capable of delicate work as well.

To be honest I haven't used it a lot so I can't give you much operating experience but that is the sort of thing I would look out for.

Enjoy your pressie Brian

Thread: Cutting oil
09/12/2012 10:45:36


For information and for those living North of York, Smith and Allan in Darlington sell soluble cutting oil in 5 litre containers, or larger, over the counter; they may also have the neat version as they are oil blenders.

I have no connection with them other than satisfaction with their products


Thread: workshop heating
09/12/2012 10:22:31

Some years ago I used to work in a great barn of a workshop where the only heating was from 2 big red diesel fired space heaters [20Kw each perhaps]. The condensation was not good; we had to thaw the coolant tanks on the DSG lathe and big vertical mill BEFORE we were allowed to enjoy some of the direct blast to do any work!!

I wouldn't recommend them, but the comment by Clive Hartland about redistributing heat from upper levels is very relevant, sadly it was not something employed in that shed.

In my own shop, a well insulated building of single garage size inside an outer barn type structure, I use a 0.85Kw capacity storage heater run off Economy 7 night rate electricity, backed up by a small dehumidifier. Sauna it is not, but it does dispell any condensation and maintains ~12 Centigrade on most winter days. It is a lot better than the alternative of heating on demand by fan heater as well as being more cost effective.

I hope that is useful info


Thread: Old Issues
08/12/2012 13:52:34

Thank you Jason, nice to know that


08/12/2012 12:02:51


Maybe you can't access your messages for some reason. I have the full set of original Haining articles in ME and can help you.

Please send me a message instead.


06/12/2012 08:56:09


I've sent you a PM


Thread: Myford Gearbox and Metric/BA
02/12/2012 10:01:35

As usual the thread is drifting away from the original enquiry! It seems to be inevitable.

However, I do agree with John S and his disenchantment with the Myford metric banjo, shared by others as well as Derek Brown with his neat concept of a permanently installed additional metric gear train.

Graham Meek's inspired clutch, well discussed further back in these threads, now gives us the chance to draw together both these good modifications to reinforce each other and make a unified whole.

I for one am grateful to be able at last to realize a dream, long thwarted, of a full auto clutch that was so well described by Martin Cleeve for the old ML4. Making it work, selectively, for both threading languages as well will be a real bonus whilst still retaining fine feed finishing at the same time; ideal. That sort of refinement is usually in the realms of expensive toolroom machinery.


Edited By Brian Wood on 02/12/2012 10:08:04

01/12/2012 16:12:17

John S is quite right of course, I should have checked that before sounding off!

In my case the gearcase is further crowded by the DAG Brown metric banjo and I doubt I could even accomodate a 35 gear in that position.

My apologies to all, one of the troubles with doing calculations alone


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