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Member postings for Swarf, Mostly!

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

Thread: Mild steel & cast iron
19/04/2014 09:51:35

Hi there, Lee,

Many of the old lathes used a mild steel mandrel running directly in cast iron. Given proper lubrication, they ran for decades (some are still running). The cast iron contains graphite which has lubricating qualities but oil is still necessary.

If your clamping relies on flexing the cast iron one side of the 'bearing', then the fit needs to be very close - if you try to flex the cast iron too much, it'll crack. That's the failure mode of many of the older lathe head-stocks.

I suggest that one ingredient for your scheme to be successful is that you take precautions to exclude dirt and grit from getting into the clearance (small though it may be) between your cast iron and mild steel parts.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Myford ML7 Gearbox
07/04/2014 16:51:23
Posted by Robbo on 07/04/2014 14:35:53:



Also have a leadscrew which came from a gearbox equipped ML7, so is already shortened, and still has the slot.

Sold the gearbox and the buyer didn't need the leadscrew as he was fitting it to a Super 7.


Phil (in Lancs UK)

Hi there, Robbo,

Did your buyer also leave you with the Gear Cover? SteamGeek will need one.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

07/04/2014 14:12:59

Hi there, SteamGeek and Brian,

Just to be clear, both the lead-screws in the photo are full length, un-shortened, as supplied with non-gearbox ML7 lathes. Their tail-stock ends are level with each other.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

07/04/2014 10:48:29

Hi there, again, SteamGeek,

To illustrate the point I made about lead-screw key-slots, here is a photo I found:

lead-screw ends #01.jpg

The upper lead-screw is the early type and the lower one is the later type. You can see from that picture how shortening an early lead-screw loses the key slot.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

07/04/2014 10:30:10

Hi there, SteamGeek,

I have measured the off-cut from my shortened ML7 lead-screw - it is 5/8" diameter.

If your ML7 dates from 1948, does it have the mounting holes for the gear-box in the front shear of the bed?

Brian, in response to your post:

Here is a picture of the Beeston Myford drilling jig for the gear-box mounting holes:

myford qcgb drilling jig #01.jpg

I measured the hole-to-hole centre spacings (by putting suitable drill-shanks in the holes and averaging the external and internal caliper readings to eliminate the drill diameters).  My results are as follows (from left to right):

1.188", 2.560" and 2.624" . (They look fairly close to fractional spacings.)

I am a bit puzzled by Brian's post. The Myford fitting instructions call for the push-screws to be temporarily removed from the lathe bed and their tapped holes to be used to secure the drilling jig. The head-stock casting is held to the bed by the four securing bolts that go in from the top, beneath the mandrel and back-gear cluster. My understanding is that the function of the push-screws is to position the head-stock casting against the rear shear of the bed until those 'in from the top' bolts are inserted and tightened. Once that is done, surely the push-screws have done their job? The gear-box fitting instructions do call for the push-screws to be re-inserted once the gear-box mounting holes have been drilled and tapped - but they do not call for any re-alignment checks on the head-stock & mandrel.

The push-screws may, however, need to be shortened if they protrude from the bed and prevent the gear-box from fully contacting the front shear of the bed.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!


Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 07/04/2014 10:32:07

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 07/04/2014 10:34:39

06/04/2014 22:58:40

Hi there, again, SteamGeek,

I forgot to mention that the gear covers for the ML7 and the Super 7 are not the same. The gear back-plate, however, IS the same.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

06/04/2014 22:02:38

Hi there, SteamGeek,

As Robbo says, it's the same gear-box for both ML7 and Super 7.

I'll check for certain tomorrow but I'm fairly sure that the end section of the lead-screw that passes right through the gear-box to pick up the gear-box output on its left-hand side is 5/8" diameter for both ML7 and Super 7 lathes. So you won't need to sleeve for an ML7 fit.

The threaded part of the lead-screw is 5/8" diameter on the ML7 and 3/4" diameter on the Super 7 machines.

What you do need to do is check whether when you remove the gear quadrant and left-hand lead-screw bearing from your ML7, your lead-screw is revealed to have TWO positions for the Woodruff key, early versions only had one. The 'outer' key-slot will be removed when you shorten the lead-screw and the drive gear that picks up the gear-box output uses the 'inner' key-slot. You say that your ML7 dates from 1948 - I'd expect that a lead-screw that old will only have the one key-slot. So you will either need to machine a new key-slot or procure a more recent lead-screw.

The packing strip is not used on the ML7 fit - I think it is required on the Super 7 fit because the effect of the 3/4" diameter lead-screw is to displace the lead-screw axis further from the machine bed than it is on the ML7.

If you look on the web-site of the new proprietors of Myford, you will find the Illustrated Parts Lists (aka 'exploded diagrams' ) for the ML7, including the Quick Change Gear-Box.  Go into 'ML7 spares', select the assembly of the lathe you're interested in, scroll right to the bottom of the page and click on 'larger diagram'.  I haven't looked but I expect the parts lists for the Super 7 are there too.

The Beeston Myford fitting instructions for the gear-box require the lead-screw guard to be shortened to 3⅛". If the lead-screw you eventually fit is of the two-piece type with a collar at the left hand end of the threaded portion, I reckon 3⅛" is still too long by somewhere between ⅛" and ¼". At 3⅛" the end of the lead-screw guard fouls the collar before the carriage reaches the left-hand end of the lathe bed. When you refit the lead-screw guard after shortening, you may need to adjust the half-nut gib-strip - the adjustment studs double as the fixings for the guard! If you're careful, you might be able to remove the 2BA nuts to release the guard without moving the studs. The Beeston Myford fitting instructions don't warn you about that one!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!


Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 06/04/2014 22:02:58

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 06/04/2014 22:03:43

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 06/04/2014 22:06:12

Thread: Imperial fractions on drawings.
03/04/2014 09:07:51

Hi there, all,

When I was in the Trainee Model-Shop as part of the first Factory Attachment of my sandwich course, we were taught that, unless otherwise stated, the tolerance for fractional dimensions was ±1/64" and for decimal dimensions was ±0.005".

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Die Head Advice
30/03/2014 16:32:43

Posted by Harry Wilkes on 29/03/2014 22:20:05:


Andrew it is probably a 1/4" diehead it does contain a set of 1/4 x 28 dies

Thanks again


Hi there, Harry,

I was going to come back on the size aspect but Nick has largely beaten me to it.

The thing is, as I understand it, that a 5/16" die-head isn't limited to cutting 5/16" threads - with the right chaser set it will cut any thread reasonably within its nominal capacity. But the chaser set has to be compatible with the particular model of die-head.

I suspect that the one I have may also be a 5/16 'CH', I'll have to dig it out and have a hard look at it! Without a positive identification of the model, it would be foolish of me to buy any chaser sets!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

29/03/2014 16:20:41

Hi there, Harry,

Your device looks like a Coventry Die-Head. I believe they were originated by the Alfred Herbert company.

You'll find lots of useful information via Google, for example here's one I just found:

**LINK** but there are lots more.

There's also an eBay seller who occasionally lists copies of a Coventry Die-Head manual though the copy I bought suffers from low contrast diagrams and the scan not encompassing the whole width of the page!

The Coventry Die-Head comes in lots of different sizes but I haven't yet succeeded in identifying the size of the one I have.

You'll also see lots of listings for sets of chasers for the Coventry Die-Head on eBay.

In your second photo, it looks as though the screw is damaged - is that a camera angle problem?

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: What did you do today? (2014)
18/03/2014 21:23:59

Posted by Oompa Lumpa on 18/03/2014 20:26:38:


Under my bench there is a box containing half a dozen hammers of various type, none of which I use. They just don't feel "right".

My opinion only and it may not work for you.


Not just hammers, it's the same with screwdrivers and spanners and .....

Years ago, I had a matrimonial crisis because my then spouse had, in my absence, given a bean-counter neighbour access to my tool-box!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

18/03/2014 09:05:56

Hi there, all,

A couple of years ago, I attended a meeting where a speaker gave us a lecture on 'The Forensic Use of the Microscope'.

One of the many interesting parts of the lecture concerned helping Trading Standards in the identification of forged honey, i.e. honey blended with some from sources other than those claimed in the label. This was (is?) achieved by identifying the species of pollen grains, using the microscope.

Could that be why the commercial honey manufacturers now filter out the pollen grains?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Parsley sauce .
13/03/2014 08:54:52

Hi there, Michael,

Who was the most helpful person you encountered during your working career?

Was it through a long-term association or through a single, short-term project?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: A Mystery Project
11/03/2014 21:05:19

Hi there, all,

While looking in my workshop for something else, I came across three part-machined castings. Here is a photo:

imagedore gizmo 1001.jpg

and here is the under-side view:

imagedore gizmo 2002.jpg

The thing is, I can't for the life of me remember what these are for! The name 'Dore' is no mystery but these are nothing to do with the Dore-Westbury mill. They must be for some item of workshop equipment but what? And why three?

I did make, and still have, a set of three fly-cutters designed by Mr. Throp of Dore Engineering and these must date from about the same era.

If any member can lighten my darkness, I shall be most grateful.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: electronics
27/02/2014 13:24:51
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 27/02/2014 11:44:06:


The best thing you can do with a 555 is put it in the bin. wink 2


Hi there, Andrew,

Please explain? What do you have against the ubiquitous 555?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Stripped thread repair advice please
19/02/2014 16:23:05

Hi there, Jon,

I've found that those Woodruf keys can be easily removed using a pair of side-cutters. The problem can be that once they start to come out, they can fly so I'd suggest that you sweep the workshop floor first!

As to repairing the stripped thread, using a Helicoil is going to be a bit expensive for just one hole unless you happen to already have a Helicoil kit for that size (or access to borrow one).

It's possibly worth mentioning here that the illustrated parts lists (aka 'exploded diagrams' ) for the ML7 are all available on the new Myford's web-site. (I wrote 'all' but I couldn't find one for the ML7 counter-shaft clutch.)

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Anecdotes_05 ' In the dark '
17/02/2014 13:31:09
Posted by MICHAEL WILLIAMS on 17/02/2014 11:36:29:
Hi Ian ,


Coal isn't the worst offender though - some of the Cornish Tin/Lead/Arsenic/etc mines had very high levels of radioactivity as did some Granite quarries .


Regards ,

Michael Williams .

One of the minerals found in the Cornish mines was/is pitchblende, aka uranium ore. It was mined and supplied to glass manufacturers. Despite its black colour (hence the name) it colours the glass a dense yellow.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Has the world gone mad
23/01/2014 10:33:41
Posted by Ian S C on 23/01/2014 10:15:09:

We should be able to soon do the house lighting circuit with low voltage, maybe 6V DC or less if all the lights go LED, that might make for safety. Ian S C

Hi there, Ian,

That sounds OK if you say it quickly. However, when you work out the required cross-sctional-area of copper required to distribute a low voltage supply any distance without excessive voltage drop, it gets less practicable. Copper is expensive and the second-best, aluminium, is tricky to work and to joint.

[I did once tease a Hi-Fi dealer (he was trying to sell me gold-plated loudspeaker cables) that I linked my loudspeakers to my amplifier via the flow and return pipes of the microbore central heating system.]

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Indentfication of Induction Motor
21/01/2014 16:38:00

Hi there, Richard,

I think you'll be very lucky if anyone recognises your motor on looks alone - still, I may be underestimating the Group wisdom and experience.

How much do you know of your motor's history? Did it come to you as a declared 'worker' or is its provenance a complete mystery?

I'm guessing but the hole for the red plug in the terminal box is prpbably tapped with a conduit thread. If it's 3/4" by 16 tpi that suggests the motor is fairly old - not necessarily a show-stopper, the motor on my ML7 lathe was second-hand in 1970 and was OK when I last switched it on. The alternative is the more modern 20 mm metric conduit thread. There might not be very many threads in the thickness of the terminal box tapping so using a thread gauge might be a bit tricky. Probably better to visit your local electrical wholesaler (e.g. TLC or Wades) and buy a 20 mm male conduit fitting as a gauge. If you do eventually decide that the motor is usable, I recommend that you buy a length of flexible plastic conduit plus end-fittings to convey your wiring from the motor terminals to the associated starter & switch-gear. TLC sell an installer's kit but they also sell the conduit by the metre and the fittings by 'each'.

The D-shaped hole in the terminal box lid could be for the cable to a capacitor - is there any sign that a capacitor was ever fitted? If the motor is capacitor start or capacitor start & run, the capacitor is usually fitted within a shroud on the outside of the motor casing. Look for any vacant screw-holes that might have held a capacitor shroud. Of course, your motor might be 'induction start' or 'induction start & run' in which case it won't need a capacitor.

I see that someone has substituted a screw for the woodruff key in the motor shaft, I assume you'll clean that up?

I recommend that you buy one or both of the Workshop Series of books on electric motors in the workshop. They will potentially help you a lot, particularly when it comes to deciding which wires go to which motor terminals. There have also been threads on this forum addressing that subject, you might like to take a photo of the motor terminal panel in preparation for that puzzle.

I'll close with a caution - if you aren't electrically-savvy, ask a friend.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Thread: Woman's Logic
11/01/2014 18:57:53

Hi there, Graham,

Once polished, try saxophone lacquer, from your local branch of Boosey & Squawks or any other good music shop!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!


Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 11/01/2014 18:58:23

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