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Member postings for Lathejack

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

Thread: Myford induction hardened beds
24/04/2022 22:16:09

I remember when Myford used to advertise the option of a hardened bed for the Super 7 it stated that a hardened bed was not available for the long bed Super 7, I was always a little puzzled by this.

So on one of my visits to the Myford works at Beeston I asked Mr Moore why hardening was not an option for the long bed. He replied that it was simply because at the time he had sixty long bed raw castings in stock that were cast from a grade of iron that could not be hardened. This wasn't many years before he decided to sell up, so I wonder what happened to all those bed castings.

Anyway, I still miss the old Myford factory and the odd chat with Malcolm Townsend.

Thread: Can red oxide primer be painted on to Rust?
17/11/2021 20:30:15

I used to buy a brand of paint called Comma Stop Rust which was a red oxide paint that did contain an addative that would treat and neutralise rust, the rust would turn black under the coat of red oxide. I have searched for it more recently but just cannot find it, so it may have disappeared off the market.

Thread: Myford VM-C - Good machine
18/08/2021 23:55:40
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 18/08/2021 22:36:20:

The one thing it isn't, is as it was apparently advertised new, a "turret" mill. The head can be tilted in one plane, but is of fixed radius.

They are a turret mill, the turret is there on the top of the column and rotates, but they just don't have a ram to allow the head to slide in and out to give the extra adjustment you mention. A bit of a missed opportunity by the manufacturer I think, they could have designed something similar to the Elliot 00 omnimill.

The larger VMF did have a ram, but with the motor mounted on top of the mill head.

I'm curious about the very stiff quill on your VMC, is it a Myford VMC you have? The several Myford VMC mills I have looked at all had a very close fitting quill that had just a slight amount of drag in the head casting, as it should be, but they would return steadily by spring pressure or by light pressure on the hand wheel and certainly weren't stiff. Was it like this when you bought it?

As well as possibly being gunged up as you suggest, is the quill lock releasing fully or maybe sticking or binding? Or possibly some damage or bend to the splined portion on the upper part of the spindle? If the hand wheel shaft is free then free movement of the close fitting quill is easily hindered by gunge, corrosion or a slightly damaged head casting. It is certainly worth the effort to strip the head down to investigate and make the machine a bit more pleasurable to use.

I agree about the fitting of a three phase motor and inverter, I've done the same to my mill and lathe and it transforms them.

Edited By Lathejack on 19/08/2021 00:01:39

Edited By Lathejack on 19/08/2021 00:04:26

18/08/2021 22:20:05

Yes a Myford VMC certainly is a good machine to have, and is definitely worth £1500 if in good condition, even without the Mitutoyo DRO.

I have a Taiwanese made Warco VMC manufactured in the mid 1990's, and although the Taiwanese made Myford VMC looks very similar it is not quite the same machine. The Myford has better proportioned castings, such as a deeper knee casting and a very wide saddle, also what resembles a hand scraped finish on the vertical guidways on the column and on the top of the knee, and has attention to machining and fit that gives it a quality feel that was to some extent lost on the other versions of the VMC such as my Warco. The earlier VMC sold by Warco up until the late 1980's was the same machine as the Myford VMC, but by the 1990's the Warco VMC was changed to the type I have, which is still a good machine, but just not quite as good as the version sold by Myford.

The lack of a fine quill feed on the Myford VMC is a shame, but it's not essential and it is still a very capable machine and it would not put me off. I do use the fine quill feed on my Warco VMC for some milling operations and certainly for boring, that's what it is for and it works perfectly well, as long as the quill is a good close fit in the bore of the head casting.

The larger VME and VMF milling machines that Myford once sold alongside their VMC were always fitted with a fine feed to the quill, so it's odd that the factory in Taiwan chose not to fit it to their VMC.

Anyway Neil, the Myford VMC you were offered is certainly worth buying, so probably best to get it snapped up.

Edited By Lathejack on 18/08/2021 22:22:56

Thread: Colchester Student 1800
27/07/2021 18:18:33


I've just measured the Colchester Student 1800 I have at work and it is 725mm wide, from the top front edge of the cabinate/swarf tray to level with the top edge of the rear splash guard. These are the widest points across the main body of the machine.


Edited By Lathejack on 27/07/2021 18:21:11

Thread: Chuck fitting
16/07/2021 23:36:08

If you would rather avoid drilling more holes in the spindle flange then I would do as Duncan suggests and machine up some spacers to match and fill the counterbores, although drilling three more holes won't cause a problem. 

I would then make them a light press fit, or glue them as suggested to keep them in place, and then use studs and nuts. If there is enough room behind the spindle flange it would be worthwhile machining a plain unthreaded portion on the ends of the studs, equal to about the length of the nut if possible and a snug fit , this lines up the nut with the stud threads and makes refitting them quicker and easier.

Edited By Lathejack on 16/07/2021 23:37:43

Edited By Lathejack on 16/07/2021 23:41:14

Edited By Lathejack on 16/07/2021 23:42:56

Thread: Install & commission of a Chester Cub 630 (Warco GH750)
25/06/2021 14:11:01

Well your newly acquired lathe looks like a really good buy. From your photos it appears to have had very little use, does it look like it's ever done any work at all?

Anyway, as soon as you can, let's have a vid of it running with the various knobs and levers being twiddled with. Very interested to see how it goes.

Edited By Lathejack on 25/06/2021 14:28:05

Edited By Lathejack on 25/06/2021 14:30:11

Thread: Today on Talking Pictures TV
24/05/2021 13:56:39

I think it's the best channel of the lot, in fact I'm watching another episode of Look At Life being shown on there now.

I'm hoping they will show all those old Trade Test Colour Films produced by Shell and BP that were repeated regularly on BBC2 throughout the 1960's and early 70's. Such as The Home Made Car, Paint, Giuseppina, Prospect For Plastics and The Motor Car Engine plus many others.

Thread: Install & commission of a Chester Cub 630 (Warco GH750)
23/05/2021 20:47:05

Well it looks like a very nice lathe you've got there Callum, still in its original unmarked paint by the looks of it. The crosslide and apron hand wheels are not the type that were usually fitted I think, which were delicate looking black cast items, those two hand wheels on yours look to be the chrome plated cast type that were fitted to the old Chester Champion mill and also sold as spares by Chester in different diameters. It's interesting that Chester deny all knowledge of their Cub lathes, but not really surprising.

I do remember when Warco and Chester sold these machines new. Excel machine tools also sold them as the XL1230, and I remember once reading in their spec that the crosslide had a Stainless steel feedscrew running in an oil bath, don't know if that was ever true. The crosslide itself looks like a nice long slab of iron ground all over, but on one I examined I found that the dovetails on the underside of the crosslide did not continue all the way to the far end, with the top and sides being just a thinner walled shell acting like a cover. So any temptation to mill in a useful tee slot or two is best avoided.

Many a time I fiddled with these lathes at various engineering shows and at Warco's premises when I was trying to decide which new Chinese lathe to buy around 20 years ago. Some early versions had a small thread dial indicator rather crudely secured to the side of the apron with just a very thin strip of bent steel and a screw, later ones were improved which looks to be the type fitted to yours.

I can recall when Warco discontinued them and Roger Warren telling me that they wanted a lathe with a screwcutting gearbox with more selectable feedrates built in, i think the Cub box has just nine quickly selectable feedrates, which is fine most of the time especially for home workshop use, chaingewheels are used for more feedrates. The D1-5 spindle nose is a little unusual, most imported geared head lathes of this size use the more common D1-4 fitting, but the rubber wiper on the crosslide dovetails and the tang slot on the tailstock quill are a nice feature on the Chester Cub and Warco's version of it.


Edited By Lathejack on 23/05/2021 20:48:30

Edited By Lathejack on 23/05/2021 20:56:02

Edited By Lathejack on 23/05/2021 21:14:10

Thread: Revolving centre, how to dismantle?
14/03/2021 11:25:04

A threaded cap with a bolt through the middle is a great idea, wish I had thought of that. But this is one of the revolving centres I dismantled and unfortunately it does not have a thread inside the end, the end plug is just pushed in and held with a rubber O ring. The bearings inside the body were a radial needle roller and a ball thrust bearing.


13/03/2021 21:34:16

I have dismantled a couple of revolving centres several years ago and they were knocked apart using a soft drift on the shaft in the end that you show, although mine didn't have a bearing right in the end of the taper like yours.

Thread: chinese lathe
13/03/2021 20:38:25
Posted by Oily Rag on 13/03/2021 18:18:26:

How weird!

The South Bend 9" uses 3 prismatic ways with just one front inner flatway for the tailstock (the inner rear prismatic way being the other tailstock locator). Hence the saddle runs on the outer prismatic ways fore and aft. Its noticeable that this gives good resistance to 'skewing' of the saddle when reversing the saddle. I assume the Boxford being a clone of the SB is similar.

The Emco Maximat Super 11 uses a similar bed form to this Chinese lathe. But the front Prismatic is a substantial height and width whereas the rear inner prismatic is quite small and performs the tailstock location guide. I wonder if the Chinese / East Germans / Russians copied the Emco style bed?


The old Boxford Southbend clone lathes do indeed use a triple V bedway, with two V ways guiding the saddle, but the Smart and Brown Sable which is also based on the Southbend lathe abandoned the third V way and reverted back to a single V and a flat way to guide its saddle.

There were also some very nice Taiwanese made lathes of 5 1/2, 6 and 6 1/2 inch centre height produced in the 1970's and 80's that had beds with triple V ways. Some of these were badged as Lam and Lantaine, Warco used to offer it as the 300B or B300 I think in the 1980's and these lathes were higher quality Taiwanese made versions of the more recent Chinese made Warco BH600 and Chester Craftsman machines which have sadly lost the third V way.

 The current Southbend branded lathes made in the Far East and sold by Grizzly Machine Tools in the USA use a triple V bed, including the new SB Heavy 10 model which is actually a copy of the earlier Emco Super 11.

Most Emco lathes, such as the Compact 8 and the Super 11, used a bed with a tiny tailstock V way, but with a buttress type V way at the front to guide the saddle. The buttress V way is tilted over so the wide outer flank has a shallow angle, but the rather narrow inner flank is at a much steeper angle than a standard V in an attempt to better absorb side thrust from cutting forces. The Far Eastern made copies of the Emco Compact 8, known as the 918 and 920, still use the very small Emco style V way for the tailstock, but reverted back to a standard V guide with equal angled flanks at the front of the bed to guide the saddle.





Edited By Lathejack on 13/03/2021 20:57:18

Edited By Lathejack on 13/03/2021 21:07:06

Edited By Lathejack on 13/03/2021 21:10:30

13/03/2021 19:23:41

The Chinese lathe bed and saddle in the photo looks like it could be one of the 180 or 210 lathes, so 7 or 8 inch swing with 13,14 or 16 inches between centres.

It is certainly sat correctly. The underside of the saddle has a V way cast into it on the left side of the image which has plenty of clearance around the tailstock V guidway formed on the bed to ensure it does not touch it, as well as clearance over the flat tailstock guidway on the right, and so only contacts the V guide on the far right and the flat guidway on the far left of the image. This is typical of lathes with these type of bedways.

Edited By Lathejack on 13/03/2021 19:25:05

Edited By Lathejack on 13/03/2021 19:28:41

Edited By Lathejack on 13/03/2021 19:30:43

Thread: emco mill
28/02/2021 09:37:43

I am fairly sure the Emco Mentor mills were not copied by the Taiwanese, it was the later slightly larger and far more common 6 speed Emco FB2 mill that was copied in Taiwan and sold under many brand names, and very good copies they were too.

In fact some of the very last Emco badged FB2 mills were also made in Taiwan or China, these had a red and black paint job and were listed as the FB2 E.

So I think the Emco Mentor mill you are looking at is almost certainly made in Austria.

Thread: Anyone have a Clarke CL250MH (Sieg M1)
17/01/2021 11:31:45

Doh! I've just noticed the original post by Hollowpoint was almost 2 years ago, I'm sure it was all sorted out long ago.

11/01/2021 18:06:37

I am back at work tomorrow, so I could have a look and see what we have got if you wish, unless you prefer to go for the genuine part. As well as solid bar we do have some thick walled tube, but I'm not sure what diameter it is.

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2021 18:08:05

Thread: Lathe Milling Machine Help Needed
11/01/2021 17:48:21

Yes I would say Chester may be the best chance of spares for those two machines in the UK, although the lathe was discontinued a long time ago. They offered that Champion milling machine for many years, although it was once offered by Warco for a time, Warco called it the ZX15. I am not sure when Chester discontinued that milling machine.

In the UK I can only recall Chester offering the old Champion lathe, at the time it was priced at around £600 if I remember correctly.

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2021 17:52:24

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2021 17:55:46

11/01/2021 15:01:23

I do remember Chester Machine Tools selling that lathe and mill combination, probably at least 25 years ago. They also offered the lathe and mill separately.

The milling head and column is from the old 4 speed belt drive Chester Champion mill, as Nigel B suggests.

The lathe is the same as the old Chester Champion lathe, with its belt drive and deep bed casting formed with a single V and single flat guidway both shared by the saddle and tailstock. I think the centre height was around 4 or maybe 4 1/2 inches, not certain coz it was a long time ago.

I think the lathe was discontinued by Chester long before the Champion milling machine complete with milling table was. These much earlier Champion machines are not related to any of the current Champion named machines offered by Chester.

Edited By Lathejack on 11/01/2021 15:05:34

Thread: Chuck backplate error
10/01/2021 01:13:44
Posted by old mart on 09/01/2021 17:34:47:

Lathejack, you have had good results with close fitting radial registers, but you do not mention any experiance of using loose radial registers. So you are an expert on the subject?

Unfortunately there are times when I feel that you are coming across as rather unpleasant. Surely the rest of us should be able to comment on our experiences and opinions, just as you do, without receiving remarks such as in your last sentence?

Edited By Lathejack on 10/01/2021 01:16:50

Edited By Lathejack on 10/01/2021 01:33:52

09/01/2021 04:11:21

It is the two registers on a threaded spindle nose that are really intended for location, thats why they are there. The radial register for centralizing and the face or shoulder for squaring things up, the thread is just for securing the chuck, backplate or whatever on, but a close fitting thread will help centralize if the radial register has too much clearance.

There are plenty of lathes with spindles that have an integral mounting flange with just the face and radial register for location, but using separate bolts instead of a threaded spindle for securing.

Chris V said that the front face of his chuck runs true, which it will once the backplate is butted up to the spindle shoulder, but because of the sloppy fitting radial register and thread it is unlikely to centralise repeatedly.

 I have had my Smart and Brown Modal A for over 20 years now, and all new backplates machined to fit it have a little clearance on the thread but a close fit on the register to repeatedly locate them accurately. All machining of the backplate shoulder face, internal register and thread are done at the same undisturbed setting.

Edited By Lathejack on 09/01/2021 04:18:30

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