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Terry Chamberlain07/11/2014 10:25:26
1 forum posts

Hi, Iam new to the forum and very green. would like to buy my first lathe, I have no experiance, knowledge limited. should I start with a small lathe ? new , secondhand? any thoughts greatly appreciated, Terry.

Nobby07/11/2014 13:26:22
587 forum posts
113 photos

Welcome Terry
Depends what you want to make . I would go for a good clean second hand Myford super 7 . as you can get loads of extras for this type of machine .

fizzy07/11/2014 14:57:45
1843 forum posts
120 photos

Hi Terry

Speaking from experience of buying both old UK myford and new chinese mini lathe I would certainly go for the Myford. A super7 is still out of my price range but a good ml7 will cost half as much and will produce almost everything you will need. Just get a good one, if the headstock bearings are duff its expensive to correct.

clogs07/11/2014 15:25:13
626 forum posts
12 photos

Hi Terry and welcome,

like Nobby say's, what do u want to do on it......

I had a sweet super 7 Myford with loads of gear.....but out grew it......would have another if / when I get some more room.....but don't tell er indoors......hahaha....

only room for one lathe......ended up with a nice Colchester student square head.....and I might add for a lot less money......if u go the bigger route u'll have to allow for a voltage converter in ur costings as most of the bigger ones will be 3 phase......and at about 8-10 cwt (or more) u'll need a good floor and ease of moving the thing about....

if u go the Myford route, try and get one with a cabinet ...u'll never have enough room for storage....

take ur time and get one from the person who used it...... get as much tooling as can get with it, lathes are cheap but ohhhhh the tooling does cost dear....if u get lucky u'll find somebody giving up......perhaps they'll even show u how to use it.....

look out for a college course.....night school......well worth it.....

find someone near you and look at what there doing.....take ur time u only want to do this once.....the logistics of moving this stuff about is more stressful than a divorce...hahaha.....well the big'uns......

remember u can always do small stuff on a big'un but not visa versa....

keep away from the not so cheap Chinese'll never last.....

good luck Frank

Neil Wyatt07/11/2014 16:15:08
19037 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

Welcome Terry,

Looks like you've been mugged by the Myford Supporters Group

Past form suggests some alternative views will be along soon...

It would seriously help if you gave an idea of what you would like to do and what sort of budget you have.


Howi07/11/2014 16:45:27
359 forum posts
19 photos

Well and truly mugged I would say Neil, once again a beginner is given totally useless advice. He is unlikely to have the experience to know the difference between a good second hand lathe and a total piece of crap. Note: if he had this knowledge he would be unlikely to be asking for advice.

As a relative beginner myself, my advice (for what it is worth!!!!!) Is to go for a brand new lathe, minimum size 7 x 14, more practical size as bigger is usually better would be 9x20 but this will be much bigger and a lot heavier to manipulate into your workshop space, a compromise would be an 8 x 14, harder to find but are available from Amadeal amongst others.

Any of these will give you a good start and give you experience in using the lathe and learning if it is big enough to handle the work you intend to do on it. If you buy toobsmall , you can always sell it on without losing much money and buy something bigger/better. With some experience under your belt you can then take on board the advice from the glitterati re Myford and larger English made lathes.

Ignore any advice that Chinese lathes are not to be considered, there are plenty of us on here who are very happy with our Chinese lathes, as they have improved enormously over the past few years.

Good luck in you quest for a lathe, let us know what you decide on.



Bob Brown 107/11/2014 16:51:49
1021 forum posts
127 photos

I think you need to think of what you intend to use it for, if it's making small parts then a small machine will do but one point to make is you can make small parts on a big machine but you are restricted on small machines. Sods law says what ever machine you buy there will come a point where the part you want to machine will not fit. Do not treat that as buy the biggest you can but it is a consideration. Then there is the restrictions of available space and access as the bigger machines can be heavy.

Personally never been a lover of flat bed lathes which includes Myford but others will/have other opinions.

Rule: horses for courses applies.


CotswoldsPhil07/11/2014 16:58:07
196 forum posts
112 photos

Welcome Terry,

Frank makes some good points about finding a secondhand lathe in general or a Myford if that is what you decide to do after hearing all the differing opinions. Just be careful you don't get seduced by shiny new paint - there are a number of refurbished? Myford machines out there, I'm sure many will be OK but buyer beware. You just have to look at at what sells on 3bay and 6umTree.




Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 07/11/2014 17:00:48

Bazyle07/11/2014 17:00:43
6324 forum posts
222 photos

Do you have somewhere to put it? Do you have a bench and vice and at least basic hand tools? IF you don't hae the other basics it can easily be a big expensive red herring.

Vic07/11/2014 17:42:16
3074 forum posts
8 photos

^^^^^^ What Howard said. Best advice on this thread so far.

I would like to add that if it wasn't for the influx of affordable Chinese machine tools many forums like this wouldn't exist.

Neil Wyatt07/11/2014 20:00:01
19037 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

For those who want an ML7 a good to look is the ME/MEW classifieds. The items for sale are usually at fair prices because the sellers want them to go to a fellow model engineer, you rarely get the silly prices associated with the name on Ebay etc.

The last issue had an ML7 with chucks, changewheels and steadies for £450 (less than the price of a mini-lathe) and another with many accessories (adjustable indexes!) for £995. There were two Super 7s for 'offers'.

But don't forget that though revolutionary in its time, the ML7 is a sixty-year-old design and many examples are showing their age.


P.S. There was also a Beswick G5 for £100 with chucks, bigger than an ML7 and of similar vintage.




Edited By Neil Wyatt on 07/11/2014 20:04:46

IanT07/11/2014 22:59:57
1993 forum posts
212 photos

You don't say want you want/need it for Terry but generally the larger the better.

I have an old and somewhat battered Super 7 but I wouldn't recommend a beginner goes for one. You can get a "bargain" but how would you know it was a good 'en? Mine was a wreck that Charles Moore decided wasn't worth his while restoring - so I've spent the past 10 years (?) or so doing the odd thing to it. It's still not as "good as new" - and most likely never will be - although I've grown fond of it and can do work good enough for my needs on it.

However, generally, I would suggest that most people acquire a lathe to actually make something on it and not to spend time fixing it up. I am probably quite odd in that respect - because I enjoy taking these things to bits and trying to get them back together again. But it's not for most people.

Decide what size of lathe you need and save your pennies for a new one - at least until you know enough to look for something "better" - and by then you may know enough to understand what "better" means to you personally (it's different for different people).




Edited By IanT on 07/11/2014 23:01:36

thaiguzzi08/11/2014 05:09:12
704 forum posts
131 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 07/11/2014 16:15:08:

Welcome Terry,

Looks like you've been mugged by the Myford Supporters Group

Past form suggests some alternative views will be along soon...

It would seriously help if you gave an idea of what you would like to do and what sort of budget you have.





I.M. OUTAHERE08/11/2014 08:29:25
1468 forum posts
3 photos

Hi Terry,

Before making any decision on brand ,size , new or used there are a few things i usually sit down and have a good think about and usually make up a list of pro's and con's that i feel keep me on the straight and narrow.

How much do i wish to spend

How much space do i have to fit it in - no use buying a big heavy lathe that is 6 feet between centres if your using a space under a stair well for a workshop !

Do i want to be able to cut metric or imperial threads or both

What do i want to make with it - ie small IC engines or large traction engines this is what i use to set the parameters for Centre height and between centres dimension.

Do i really want to fiddle around fixing an old lathe and do i have the skills or knowledge to recognise or fix the problems that a used machine may have -replacing spindle bearings or regrinding the bed can be expensive on some machines.

Not knowing where you are from makes recommending suppliers difficult but if you are in the UK i would recommend you give ARC EUROTRADE a call and i'm sure Ketan will guide you along the right path if you are interested in buying new chinese made equipement.


Gordon W08/11/2014 10:00:58
2011 forum posts

As everyone says- you have to decide what you want to make- this gives an idea of the size needed. I bought a new eastern lathe with all the big bits included, chucks ,backplate, fixed and moving steadies etc., all these bits will be essential .PS I bought new after spending a year and many hundreds of miles looking for a 2nd hand one.

Ian S C08/11/2014 11:37:51
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Terry, go for a new good quality Chinese lathe, you might find it's cheaper than a Myford anyway, If you want an English lathe a Boxford would be a good start (its basicaly American, South Bend anyway).

Ian S C

mechman4808/11/2014 12:29:29
2947 forum posts
468 photos

Terry, decide what you want to do with it re models, small stuff etc, plus cost of extras is to be considered too.. There are a lot of Myford aficionados out there, I was one in the early days but could never afford a 'decent one' .. have ended up with a Chinese new lathe.. WM 250V-F ( power cross feed ) & a WM 16 mill from Harrogate exhibition in 2012 both for the price of a S7B on sale at the same show ( no extras though ).

There were initial probs with the lathe which were soon resolved by e-mail & tel. call to Warco & so far they both have performed very well for the small amounts I have done so far so don't dismiss Chinese lathes altogether. I would also suggest, as others have, a Boxford ( AUD? ) which looks like a good second hand choice, maybe a Harrison 250... Colchester 1600 if you have the room, but to my mind these are larger & for the more experienced modeller.Once you decide & get your 'new toy' you'll soon 'get into it' & start looking at what you can make... just enjoy


Russell Eberhardt08/11/2014 14:58:48
2738 forum posts
86 photos

1. What do you want to use it for? Watchmaking, small models, large models, making parts for vintage machinery? As has been said, you can't make big parts on a small lathe, but equally big lathes don't usually have high enough speeds for really small work and will be a bit insensitive.

2. Tell us where you are located - there may be a forum member just down the road who can help.

3. Don't rush.


Bob Perkins08/11/2014 21:12:46
249 forum posts
60 photos

Welcome Terry.

I was I a similar position to you @ 3 years ago. I bought a new Chinese lathe and don't regret it. I considered a used lathe but wasn't confident that I would know what was a good or bad one, or if I had the skills to put things right if I had a problem. One more comment, join a club. You will find that you will get all the help advice they you need.


Martin Bright08/11/2014 21:34:02
2 forum posts

I recently had the chance to buy a Denford Viceroy for £150.

Mine is the basic model but a very good for the money.

Seen a few of these on ebay for low money.

I find these lathes are often over looked, hence can be got for a bargain.

Just note these are about 400kgs.

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