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Aspiring Myford User

Two old lathes already acquired, now they need restoring and using properly.

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Mark Beard 118/04/2019 23:18:26
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Hi All, I don't know when I joined the page, but it seems I did and now I'm ready to begin. I've recently been watching most or all of the YouTube back catalogues of Keith Appleton and Mr Crispin, and am inspired to improve my model engineering abilities.

I'm an experienced electronics engineer with ancient introduction to turning at school and college, but I am no machinist by a long chalk! Sometimes I need to make spacers, couplings for motors, pipe nipples for pressure sensor take-offs and the like. But I am also interested in model engineering, so have looked to acquire a lathe. But I am not able (nor probably willing) to spend a lot of money on something I don't yet know I can make good use of.

A number of years ago, I came across what was listed as a small Myford lathe (with accessories) on our favourite online auction site, won it at a remarkably good price, and drove to pick it up. It needed rewiring, and rigidly mounting, and I got it running. I gingerly tried facing, turning down, drilling and boring operations, and got myself up and running as a beginner. I have no idea about suitable speeds, or tool sharpening, and finish is highly variable. Any good finish is more luck than judgement!

After researching the lathe online, this one turns out to be an early ML1. Its finish is rough, but the more I look at it and use it, the better it appears to be, certainly compared to its bigger sibling, below. It needs a good clean and repaint, and a good set of covers making for it. There is no serial number on the ways, but a number stamped onto a milled boss on the front of the base casting has a value less than 1000, so I am thinking that this is a particularly early piece. Anyone got any idea of whether this is indeed the manufacturing serial number (the boss is shown in this photo http://www.lathes.co.uk/myford-ml2-ml4/img15.gif), and whether there exists any list of dates and serial number ranges for the ML1-4?

A couple of years after acquiring the ML1, I literally came across a Myford Super 7 on the side of the road, with a For Sale sign. I backed up and checked it out, and while it was a bit rough it was a Super 7. I enquired, negotiated a great price, drove to the cashpoint, paid cash for it and with a struggle, loaded it into the car, with bemused wife and kids wondering what on Earth I was doing.

This one is not a runner, it needs a full electrical rebuild, the bed is worn and needs a regrind, the paintwork has multiple layers from none through various colours (I think the original was grey), and it needs an awful lot of TLC. I have looked in all the likely places but cannot find a serial number. My best guess is that it has been reground, and whoever did that ground the serial number off the back shear and didn't re-stamp it. Anyone got any ideas on how to find out the vintage of this lathe by other means?

Certainly interested in tips and advice on learning more about the origins and age of either lathe, on restoring them to good working order and preserving them for the future, and learning to use them more safely and effectively. I know this is a huge subject, but good places to start, from what I seem to be aware of at present, would be much appreciated.

David George 119/04/2019 07:18:58
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752 forum posts
261 photos

Hi Mark welcome to the forum. There is loads of information on here as well as many people who have done what you are doing just ask. If you put pictures it may help and the way to do that is on the web page here at the top of the page in the black band click forums then look down to website FAQ tab lots of info in the forums. It also helps if you give a locality to where you live as local people can let you know local supliers etc.

David

Mark Beard 119/04/2019 11:10:52
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Excellent advice David, many thanks. When I get things clear enough I'll take some photos and post them. I guess for that I should add a new post under General or WIP and Completed.

I'm trying to discern the original colour of the ML1. The early ones are described as being painted black, and this one certainly has a black motor. But the paintwork of the lathe itself is navy blue. Looks rather nice like that actually. I need to look more closely, and if there's an area that definitely needs painting, I'll rub it down and see if I can discern the layers separately and find the original top coat.

[Edit: I live just outside Bournemouth, Dorset.  There seem to be many, many model engineering resources and communities oop north, where 'tis grim, but I haven't seen much on the south coast.  Any local societies worth taking a look at?  Any good suppliers, and possibly people who can re-grind beds well who can be recommended?]

Edited By Mark Beard 1 on 19/04/2019 11:16:11

NJH19/04/2019 11:37:07
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2314 forum posts
139 photos

Mark

Just look up Model Engineering Clubs Dorset in your browser then go and look at them and see if you like the atmosphere.

Good luck

Norman

steamdave19/04/2019 11:55:01
406 forum posts
34 photos

You could always subscribe to the Yahoo Group for Myford lathes.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/myfordlathes/info

Dave
The Emerald Isle

Mark Beard 119/04/2019 11:59:20
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10 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks Norman, I found a couple focusing on miniature gauge live steam, and one on OO-N gauge. I'll take a look at Bournemouth & District Society of Model Engineers first, as they're closest to me. Mark

Mark Beard 119/04/2019 12:00:14
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10 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks Dave, I haven't used Yahoo groups before, but I'll take a look...

Jon Lawes19/04/2019 13:10:37
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294 forum posts

It's a bit north for you (I'm North Dorset) but I travel to Westbury to the WWSME, a fantastically helpful society who have assisted me no end, despite all my daft question. You would be made most welcome if you ever want to visit.

Philip Rowe19/04/2019 16:23:01
167 forum posts
14 photos

Mark, I had a ML2 which my father bought new around 1936/7 and it's serial number was L277, the colour was a dark ish bluey green, best way I can describe it. The ML2 differed from the ML1 in a few ways but the most significant was the seperate bolted on headstock.

Also, my Super 7 which is a 1973 model has its serial number stamped under the front way just to the right of the gap, I know that later models have the serial number stamped at the rear but I don't know when this changed. Hope this is of some help.

Phil

Mark Beard 119/04/2019 23:07:44
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10 forum posts
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Thanks Jon, I travel to Wincanton about once a week, and Westbury’s not much further than that. So I’ll keep it in mind. Cheers, Mark.

Mark Beard 119/04/2019 23:14:14
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10 forum posts
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Hi Phil, from what I’ve read (from Tony Griffiths), earlier models seem to have had cast-in-one beds and headstocks, and later ones removable headstocks. So this puts mine at before 1937. That’s nice, it’s about the same vintage as my late father. Can you remember where the serial number was located? Dark blue-Free is a good description. Mind. Reds a good clean to be sure. Glad to know it’s not just mine that isn’t black or later puce.

I’ll take another look for the Super 7 serial number. Yes indeed, that’s all helpful. Cheers, Mark.

Martin King 220/04/2019 09:32:07
565 forum posts
187 photos

Mark, you have a PM, Martin

Philip Rowe20/04/2019 12:01:02
167 forum posts
14 photos
Posted by Mark Beard 1 on 19/04/2019 23:14:14:

Hi Phil, from what I’ve read (from Tony Griffiths), earlier models seem to have had cast-in-one beds and headstocks, and later ones removable headstocks. So this puts mine at before 1937. That’s nice, it’s about the same vintage as my late father. Can you remember where the serial number was located? Dark blue-Free is a good description. Mind. Reds a good clean to be sure. Glad to know it’s not just mine that isn’t black or later puce.

I’ll take another look for the Super 7 serial number. Yes indeed, that’s all helpful. Cheers, Mark.

Mark, the serial number on the ML2 was stamped on a raised boss on the front of the bed approximately half way down below the headstock. Incidentally the Oilers were picked out in red paint, these weren't the type that we see nowadays just counter sunk holes in the castings.

Phil

Mark Beard 120/04/2019 13:27:24
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10 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Philip Rowe on 20/04/2019 12:01:02:

Mark, the serial number on the ML2 was stamped on a raised boss on the front of the bed approximately half way down below the headstock.

Aha, that’s exactly where the number is that I’ve taken to be the serial number. It has a Z stamped on it, and underneath that either 311 or 811. Need to clean it up and look closely to be sure which.

mime has no red paint around the oilers. Could you post s photo by any chance? I’ll try to figure out how to post photos and put up the serial number boss.

Mark Beard 120/04/2019 13:44:04
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10 forum posts
1 photos

Here’s the serial number boss. I don’t understand why it’s come out the wrong way up though. It shows the colour of the paintwork too...Serial Number Boss

Philip Rowe20/04/2019 16:14:13
167 forum posts
14 photos

Mark, sorry I can't post any photos as I sold the lathe probably 25 years ago and I never did take any close up shots, so everything I'm saying is purely from memory. Fortunately long term is good but don't ask me what I did yesterday! Your photo is exactly as I remember mine with the exception of the two brass round screws, that looks like a later addition/modification. What are they securing?

Phil

Michael Gilligan20/04/2019 16:35:02
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12908 forum posts
555 photos

img_2979.jpg

Mark Beard 120/04/2019 19:20:56
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10 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks Michael, I haven’t fired up my laptop yet to sort that out 😆

Hi Phil, not to worry, thanks for your input, it’s been a great help. I don’t know about those screws. The lathe does have a bent tin guard over the pillows and change gears, perhaps these were for a previous version. When I strip it down, if they’re not doing anything useful, I’ll likely remove them and fill the holes.

Cheers,

Mark

Howard Lewis20/04/2019 21:36:11
1863 forum posts
2 photos

Reading Lathes Uk, the very early ML1 and 2 had cast in headstock. Later ones had bolt on Headstock. the mandrel thread changed from 7/8 x 9 tpi (standard 7/8 BSW) to 7/8 x 12 tpi. ML1 and 2 were 3 1/8 centre height, ML3 and 4 were 3 1/2, like the 7 Series. The Apron is weird, turn the handle and the Saddle moves the opposite way that you would expect!

How do I know? Have just about finished helping a pal get his ML3 back into a usable state.

If you want to use the Leadcsrew for auto feed, to get a reasonable finish, you are likely to need a couple more 20T gears.

20T on the Mandrel, compound 60/20 on the first stud, compound 65/20 on the second stud, with 60T on the Leadscrew should give you a feed rate of just over 0.004"/rev.

Unlike the 7 Series, the Ml 1, 2, 3 and 4 have Right Hand 8 tpi Leadscsrews, so the double reduction produces a feed TOWARDS the Headstock.

The Cross Slide and Top Slide have 12 tpi Leadscrews, so the 80 division dials do not give 0.001"/ division!

Threads all seem to be BSW or BSF, (Didn't find any BA , although did not need to adjust the gibs, so didn't look closely. Too busy on other jobs )

H T H

Howard

Mark Beard 120/04/2019 23:14:26
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10 forum posts
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Thanks Howard, I’ll look out for some 20T gears. I believe they’re the same as used on the ML7 series.

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