By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Nov 29

Older/cheaper lathes

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Pete McDermott 106/03/2019 20:16:43
3 forum posts

Hi 40 years ago I had a Myford Super Seven and foolishly sold.

Although I don't have a specific project I miss the lathe and would like another.

I can't afford as much as I spent years ago so have been looking at second hand lathes on ebay etc.

I don't mind restoring an older machine but would appreciate guidance as there are so many lathes out there and if I am to bid I need to know which models are worthy & which to avoid.

Paul Kemp06/03/2019 20:58:35
208 forum posts
9 photos

Pete,

A perfectly valid question but one that has been done to death many times in the past (which as an apparently new member you won't be aware of). It is though an unanswerable question because all the answers you will get will be swayed by personal opinions and experience! Also not unreasonable because that is what people base their advice on! First question you will get in return is what do you intend to do with it, ie how big are the bits you want to machine going to be. Then there will be a deluge of comments supporting old machinery and more supporting new machinery and even more comment on accuracy, cost and quality.

I should add based on today's developments I risk being banned from this happy group or having my post deleted by this reply!

The best thing you can do is to search all the historical threads on this subject and make up your own mind because end of the day it is only you that knows your own skill level, what you intend to make and what degree of accuracy you want to achieve and how fast you want to do it (10 thou cuts or 100 thou cuts!). Choice of machine really is a personal one based on many factors and if going for a used one particularly on a web auction site, seen or unseen can you spot if it's a dud that has been thrashed to death in production? My personal recommendation would be a used Holbrook or Harrison but just because it carries either of those names doesn't mean it's a good un! Could well be very knackered! You pay's your money and takes your choice as they say!

Welcome to the forum by the way, there is some very good advice and info to be gained from the collective.

Paul.

Ketan Swali06/03/2019 21:28:06
1072 forum posts
87 photos

Paul,

Bar the second paragraph, you probably made the most sensible response.

Pete,

Welcome to the forum.

Ketan

Dave Halford06/03/2019 22:28:06
321 forum posts
3 photos

There's an Atlas on the bay for 300 with new belt and change wheels and no bids based in Durham being sold for parts/not working for some odd reason unless the motor is for decoration or the switch is shorting. The bed doesn't look as bad a 650 myford with loads of bids, just the odd score rather than the step you can see worn on the myford

SillyOldDuffer06/03/2019 22:43:56
3857 forum posts
775 photos

Second-hand, I wouldn't worry too much about the type of lathe. When something is advertised look it up on lathes.co.uk for detailed discussion of various models and makers.

BUT! Condition matters much much more than the type of lathe when buying a pre-loved machine. Bear in mind that old machines may have been thrashed, abused, dropped, left in a damp cellar, and have bits missing. Spares may be difficult to find, expensive or unobtainable. No matter how good a lathe's reputation, I would never buy a second-hand machine sight unseen. Ideally you need to check it for wear, damage, and see it cutting metal, and know what to look for. Cosmetics can be very misleading - a new paint job may be bad news! It may take some time to find a good example of what you want at the price you are prepared to pay. Much easier if you are the kind of chap who enjoys doing up old machines, and have good contacts.

A particular downside of Myford Lathes is they attract premium prices, sometimes ridiculous. Other makes don't generate the same excitement, probably only because they are less well known.

Over the last 30 years large numbers of bigger better manual machine tools have been dumped on the market because industry and education have moved to CNC. Many of them are in good condition and much cheaper than when new. The downside is they may be too big for a home-workshop, require 3-phase (not difficult), and might be in poor condition. You can derisk this by buying from a dealer, but don't be surprised they need to make a profit.

A new western lathe will be out of your price bracket. Very few hobbyists cough up for them.

Last option is the extensive range of Far Eastern lathes available new. For many people this is the low risk option. You have consumer protection if you get a dud, delivery is organised for you, you can select machines based on size and need (eg imperial or metric), short delivery time (usually), and you get a lot for your money. The downside is these are hobby machines not finished to the highest standards. However, this is the route I went, and - for what I do - the machines I got are definitely 'value for money'. All of them worked out of the box, all benefited from minor fettling, and I've had a lot of fun from them.

Sadly, it's not possible to steer newcomers to the Whizzbang Model B Toolroom Lathe of 1955, assembled by caring master craftsmen, which does everything, lasts forever, only costs £50 delivered in perfect nick with a full set of accessories, and will sell for £5000 next year! Instead, you have to decide what you want and navigate the risks.

Dave

Hopper06/03/2019 23:50:29
avatar
3288 forum posts
58 photos
Posted by Pete McDermott 1 on 06/03/2019 20:16:43:

Hi 40 years ago I had a Myford Super Seven and foolishly sold.

...I can't afford as much as I spent years ago so have been looking at second hand lathes on ebay etc.

 

Unfortunately Super 7s seem to sell for crazy prices these days. They are a good lathe, but not that great. And even a basic ML7 seems to command a good price these days. It would be worth your while looking at Boxfords and Raglans, if you can find good examples not clapped out. I know the Aussie-made equivalent to the Boxford, the Hercus, is a more professional-level machine than the Myford. Much more stoutly built, with better materials (cast iron instead of Mazak), inverted V ways that are less prone to wear, roller headstock bearings, cross slide feed etc. And they seem to sell for lower prices than the legendary Myfords.

Just remember though that older machines have had 40 years of use more than your old Super 7 so buyer beware!

Edited By Hopper on 06/03/2019 23:55:18

Mike Poole07/03/2019 00:29:50
avatar
1753 forum posts
44 photos

If you fancy another Myford make sure you know what you are looking at, after 70 years of production they vary from the total dog to superb and price is not necessarily an indicator. Don’t rule out Asian machines as they can offer a very competent machine for relatively little money.

Mike

Barrie Lever07/03/2019 07:49:36
133 forum posts
33 photos
Posted by Pete McDermott 1 on 06/03/2019 20:16:43:

Hi 40 years ago I had a Myford Super Seven and foolishly sold.

Although I don't have a specific project I miss the lathe and would like another.

I can't afford as much as I spent years ago so have been looking at second hand lathes on ebay etc.

I don't mind restoring an older machine but would appreciate guidance as there are so many lathes out there and if I am to bid I need to know which models are worthy & which to avoid.

Pete

You have not mentioned budget or what your intended use are.

However given that you talk of second hand, then a Super 7 with a quick change gearbox is a nice piece of kit, you know what they should feel like from owning one some years ago, you will pay a premium for a really good one but they hold their value so it is not so bad.

If you can accomodate something larger and are prepared to sort a three phase invertor then some thing like a Harrison M300 is good, M300's in good condition are more difficult to find as they are an industrial machine but also used in schools, collages and training centres. A nice M300 is accurate and can remove a serious amount of metal by model engineering standards.

I don't own either of these lathes but have used both extensivly.

Good luck.

Barrie

Pete McDermott 107/03/2019 08:01:56
3 forum posts

Thanks to the several who've replied so promptly & helpfully.

To answer Paul's question about size I wouldn't need to machine anything bigger than would fit a Myfo

I'll check out the Atlas for size.

Thanks again everyone

Pete

Martin Connelly07/03/2019 08:42:31
avatar
817 forum posts
91 photos

Beware of a good paint job, clean and shiny looks good on a screen but can distract from mechanical state underneath.

Martin C

phil196207/03/2019 08:59:56
45 forum posts
4 photos

if your buying off ebay ask if you can look it over first if you win look for any play in the head make sure all the teeth are not broken off any were I brought a lovely little lathe then got it home and found a lot of play in the head I adjusted all I could that took a lot of the play out but found out it needed a new set of bushes that as now gone and looking for something better now I am going to look at an Atlas lathe soon he wants £150 for it. It looks to be in great condition the bed looks good and there's no play in the head it will need a lick of paint but looks like its all there ATB Phil.

Russell Eberhardt07/03/2019 10:40:36
avatar
2403 forum posts
83 photos
Posted by phil1962 on 07/03/2019 08:59:56:looking for something better now I am going to look at an Atlas lathe soon he wants £150 for it. It looks to be in great condition the bed looks good and there's no play in the head it will need a lick of paint but looks like its all there ATB Phil.

Atlas lathes are somewhat under valued in the UK. They are very popular in the US. I bought my Atlas 10F in the early 1970s for £500 and would be lucky to get that for it now. It is like a big brother to the Myford 7 series, similar design but with 5" centre height, power cross-feed, and wider bed.

Russell

not done it yet07/03/2019 11:23:10
2640 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 07/03/2019 10:40:36:.

Atlas lathes are somewhat under valued in the UK. They are very popular in the US. I bought my Atlas 10F in the early 1970s for £500 and would be lucky to get that for it now. It is like a big brother to the Myford 7 series, similar design but with 5" centre height, power cross-feed, and wider bed.

Russell

Then there is the Raglan. The expensive competitor to the myford in the 1950/60s. At 5" centre height, a copy of the US equivalents, but compared to the myford a far better engineered machine - separate feed shaft and lead screw, for a start.

Good ones can be found, often at much less cost than a myford. The 5" model was, IMO, a far better product than the earlier Little John (which is still remains a competent machine). A delight to use, what with better powered cross feed speeds, auto long travel trip, higher powered motor and of more robust construction generally.

Jon07/03/2019 12:18:39
949 forum posts
45 photos
Posted by Pete McDermott 1 on 07/03/2019 08:01:56: To answer Paul's question about size I wouldn't need to machine anything bigger than would fit a Myford Pete

Firstly this is the best thread on this subject ever seen especially Paul K.

To fit a Myford! If you know how to machine you could work with 23" long.
If bore through headstock thats only sub 14mm and you wont do a lot.

Personally i would rule out Myfords they have a bunch of die hards that cant accept anything is better for 1/4 the price. Its those that keep the prices up. I paid £400 in 92 for an ML7 with all extras.

The cheap asian imports bought and abused over many many years are selling more than they were brand new. This also has driven the prices of decent stuff up ie £750 for an M300 8 1/2 years ago, theyve been £2300+ for the last 6 years about £30k new and asian made.


You get the message prices has risen three set times in last 25+ years.
Dont expect to get a Myford at 1979 prices, they want that for a change wheel.

If its for the odd tat about check Boxfords out.

Russ B07/03/2019 12:52:29
529 forum posts
19 photos

The best built quality old english lathe in the country won't give you any better results if its worn out or incorrectly set up. The latter can be rectified almost cost free, the former is a bit trickier, assessing a old lathe and determining how much falls in to each of the above two categories is key.

One thing with the old Myford 7's (super and ML) is the flat bed is easy to measure, it should be off the top of my head, 1/2" out the factory. If you give the shears a dam good scrubbing with solvent and make sure they're sparkling, it's very easy to compare the thickeness at the tailstock to the thickness at the spindle end, giving you a very quick idea of the sort wear the bed has. The white metal spindle bearings on the ML7 are irreplaceable, requires a new spindle and bearings to rectify, so make sure there are no issues with that and you're good to go.

I have an ML7 that I had every intention of refurbishing (rebuild, repaint, and I think the belt guard might be missing) -no idea what condition the bed or spindle is in. I've got 4 lathes and an 8 month old daughter, they don't go together very well, if you're near doncaster let me know, i might let it go cheap.

Never had a boxford but always fancied one, they look really nice.

Phil Whitley07/03/2019 13:03:03
775 forum posts
102 photos

Don't get to obsessed by Ebay, they are the most expensive place to buy, check out your local for sale pages on facebook, gumtree (actually owned by ebay, but much cheaper), preloved etc etc and home workshop.org. good luck!

Phil

Dave Halford07/03/2019 14:50:00
321 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Phil Whitley on 07/03/2019 13:03:03:

Don't get to obsessed by Ebay, they are the most expensive place to buy, check out your local for sale pages on facebook, gumtree (actually owned by ebay, but much cheaper), preloved etc etc and home workshop.org. good luck!

Phil

Ebay can be the most expensive, but not necessarily some days stuff sells for next to nothing or a poorly worded advert kills it stone dead then you can get a bargain.

3404607/03/2019 14:58:09
289 forum posts
2 photos

I recently bought an 18 month old lathe in as new condition at a more than fair price from a forum member, unseen. I took his word and photos for it and more than pleased.

Much safer bet than ebay

Try a WANTED ad, also the sales section.

Bill

Pete McDermott 107/03/2019 18:00:28
3 forum posts

Thanks again for all the helpful advice.

I feel like I’ve learned a lot in the last 24 hours!

I had begun to wonder if Myfords had somehow attracted a premium price and this seems to be confirmed. It also appears that larger "Industrial" lathes are cheaper than smaller "Model Engineer" ones?

After thinking a bit more & as I haven’t a specific project in mind I’d prefer a lathe that requires attention rather than a “ready to use” model. Should keep the price down too.

Does anyone know the overall size & weight of say the 6” Atlas as transport will be a factor (I’m near Preston, Lancs) - I think 6" centre height will be the maximum I can manage.

Russ B I'm not too far from Doncaster if there's a bargain going.

Pete

not done it yet07/03/2019 18:58:23
2640 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by Pete McDermott 1 on 07/03/2019 08:01:56:

Thanks to the several who've replied so promptly & helpfully.

To answer Paul's question about size I wouldn't need to machine anything bigger than would fit a Myfo

I'll check out the Atlas for size.

Thanks again everyone

Pete

Well, it certainly won't make anything as big as a myford - not in diameter anyway.

Do they measure as bed length or distance between centres?

Are the ways hardened?

If tapers are 1MT, compared to 2MT for the myford one might find tooling dearer than the more common (and useful?) 2MT. All the details are on the lathesdotco site.

Seems basically less lathe than a myford by quite a bit.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
ChesterUK
Eccentric Engineering
Eccentric July 5 2018
Warco
Ausee.com.au
Allendale Electronics
TRANSWAVE Converters
Sarik
emcomachinetools
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest