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Finally sort of know which lathe to buy, but?

Looking to buy a myford7 (maybe) advice please ?

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coggy19/07/2019 17:06:11
13 forum posts

Some of you responded to my post about purchasing my first lathe, **LINK** and thank-you very much for the response, it all certainly helped.

Unfortunately life, as it often does got in the way of me ploughing on and making a purchase but things are back on track now. I'm sort of glad I didn't make my purchase earlier as I was leaning heavily towards a new eastern foreign type lathe, even though it was against my nature to spend any large amount of money on modern eastern foreign type tools.

So now I've finally made my mind up, (probably) to look for a Myford 7 or if lucky a super 7, My reasoning is for this would take to long to explain here, so I won't. But I find I need to seek further wisdom from the lathe gurus so here I am again with a few questions I'd like help with, please.

I looking to go for a reconditioned or known good condition used dealer machine. The thing is getting the lathe will use most of my budget so some accessories will have to wait and I'm wondering what is the parts and accessories availability like for these machines, are new bits still being produced for them or is it all second hand ?

Also which accessories would you consider must haves for someone starting out and will be learning from a lot of practice, I'm referring to accessories that are related to and only fit this type of lathe, like steadies etc?.

I don't know if I'll be lucky enough to get a gearbox and as I want to eventually cut threads I'm going to need a set of gears, but how many is a set ?

Or am I right in thinking if the lathe has a gearbox gears won't be needed and maybe it is better to look for a gearbox. What other advantages would having a gearbox have ?

And finally, (cries of relief), for those of you that have one of these lathes, How much space do you find is a comfortable amount to have around the lathe, It will go back to a wall with working stand off but how much space is needed either end ?

Thanks for any help you can give me on these points.

Nick Hulme19/07/2019 17:35:26
743 forum posts
37 photos

A lot of new and re-manufactured small parts are available for repair & maintenance.

Must haves - 3 jaw chuck, 4 jaw chuck, face plate, and some basic turning tools suitable for the work you actually intend to start out with .For the tailstock a revolving centre and a chuck, beyond that buy it as you need it

A gearbox is great for the advertised set of pitches, beyond that you have to mess with change gears anyway, I cut such an oddball variety of metric and imperial threads I'm glad I didn't spend an extra £500 or so on a gearbox

You need about a foot clear at the tailstock end for when you need to take the tailstock off, at the headstock end you need enough space to open the door on the gear cluster and/or to accommodate the length of material you need to have through the headstock, around 8" as a minimum.

Edited By Nick Hulme on 19/07/2019 17:35:53

magpie19/07/2019 17:40:27
456 forum posts
80 photos

Hi Coggy. I am none to clued up on Myfords, the only thing I know about them is that the original company went bankrupt and the name, and some of the stock was bought by RDG. Any new spares will no doubt come from China as does most of the items sold by RDG. There is talk of them producing new lathes, but where these will be built is anyone's guess. I have owned a Chester DB10 V for many years now and had no trouble with it whatsoever.

Re must have accessories. Apart from the obvious cutting tools, I would recommend a quick change tool post, and a live centre for the tailstock. You will need change gears if you intend thread cutting, but a decent lathe should come with a set. A gearbox will bang up the price quite a lot. Steadies will only be needed if you intend working very long, or very small dia work.

I am sure you will get plenty more advice for other members, as the Myford is a very popular lathe amongst the forum members. Good luck with you quest.

Regards Dek.

SillyOldDuffer19/07/2019 17:52:56
5758 forum posts
1222 photos

If you've decided to go Myford keep an eye on the Myford Website where refurbished lathes pop up periodically. Metric and imperial Super 7s in stock are in stock at the moment for £2495+VAT.

Last time I looked they only had ML7s; I guess they refurbish in batches.


Old Elan19/07/2019 17:56:43
92 forum posts
34 photos

2495 + VAT and it doesn't even have a tool post!

They're 'avin a larf!

Oops, read the blurb a bit closer, it does get a Dixon.

Still over the top in my view.

Edited By Old Elan on 19/07/2019 18:05:17

Nicholas Wheeler 119/07/2019 17:59:39
314 forum posts
19 photos

Don't get too hung up on all the accessories, as the work you do will define what is necessary. It's probably better to ensure you have essentials(and they'll vary a bit) then buy others if you need them. For instance, I bought my first lathe 17 years ago but I've never used a faceplate or travelling steady, even though I bought them for the mini-lathe and the replacement came with them. Nor have I turned between centres, so the drive dog I bought a long time ago just sits in the box.

3 and 4 jaw chucks, tailstock drill chuck, cutting tools and a revolving centre is a good list to start with. I wouldn't want to do without a QCTP and enough holders for long.

Martin of Wick19/07/2019 18:06:22
195 forum posts
4 photos

As a Myford owner, my advice is don't bother with Myfords - they have had their day and are only of interest to vintage machinery buffs. You used to be able to get an entire workshop for the cost of some clapped out piece of junk, but now the pound is approaching Argentinian peso status, that may not be the case any more.

However if you must go down that route - don't buy a cheap one from any source - it will be dog. Ask me how I know.

If you buy a dear one, it may or may not be a dog, but it will certainly need some sort of attention.

Only purchase if it comes with correct 3 and 4 jaw chucks, full set of change gears (or reduced set for models with gearbox), manual, faceplate, catchplate, centres and drill chuck This will be the minimum set of accessories to which you will need to add the cutting tools of your choice, either HSS or carbide insert tools.

I suggest you improve your skills by making things like steadies and toolposts etc.

You can get a range of common accessories and most consumable spare parts from new Myford - at a price. You can also purchase reconditioned machines from them, so they claim. You could also ask them how much longer they expect to remain in business selling spares to a shrinking market and 'new' machines at 10 grand a pop.

Most threading is done from the tailstock, a gearbox equipped lathe is not really necessary unless you foresee that most of your work is going to involve thread cutting. A machine with gearbox does not require a full set of change gears but may have a reduced set.

If your non gearbox purchase includes the full set of change wheels, you will be able to cut most imperial and metric threads (caveat, you may need 2x21 changewheels or a 63 to cut metric threads to a higher precision).

see if not already visited for further info.

How comfortable is comfortable? I have my S7 in a space 48 by 36 inches but the motor end is accessible by being next to the doorway and to get the tailstock off, I need to slide it over the bench slightly. How close you can get to wall may depend on the motor size, but in my case it is the primary drive cover. I stand this about 3 inches off the wall so I can access the belt for speed changes.

Howard Lewis19/07/2019 18:11:15
3264 forum posts
2 photos

No longer the owner of a ML7, ( Superceded by a larger Far Eastern machine - which has been satisfactory for the 16 years that I have owned it from new )

With regard to space around the machine, my advice would be at least a foot at each end to allow for material passed through the Head or Tailstock.

The more changewheels that you have the better, even if you do have a gearbox (That will increase your purchase price! ) Do try to find a 127T, in case you ever want to cut Metric threads on an Imperial machine, or vice versa.

It will be large, and probably expensive, but if you want the facility, you need to pay for it.

Enter stage left all the 63T exponents! And all the other exotic gear combination supporters.

Do get books which guide you on how to set up a gear train.

"Myford Series 7 Manual" by Ian Bradley; "The Amateur's lathe" by L H Sparey., and the more recent "Gearing of lathes for Screwcutting" by Brian Wood, all contain tables of geartrains to cut various threads.

"Screwcutting in the Lathe" by Martin Cleeve , (No.3 in the Workshop Practice series ) deals with the theory of setting up a train for a particular thread pitch in detail, and the calculations.

Almost all of these will touch on the form of the screwcutting tool, and how to go about the job.

Changewheels can also be used to provide a feed rate / revolution of the mandrel. Both for turning, and if if your machine has power cross feed, for facing.

But do ensurev that any changewheel that you buy is correct for a Myford. The gears are 20 DP but the pressure angle is 14.5 degrees. Other machines may use 20 DP gears, but with the more usual 20 degrees pressure angle, and are not really suitable.for a Myford.

Hope that this is some help rather than confusing.

Howard Look below hers, more follows!

"The Amateur's Workshop", by Ian Bradley; and "Model Engineer's Handbook" by Tubal Cain are useful books to have, but do not contain tables of change wheel set ups..

Edited By Howard Lewis on 19/07/2019 18:13:13

Edited By Howard Lewis on 19/07/2019 18:14:26

SillyOldDuffer19/07/2019 19:21:25
5758 forum posts
1222 photos

Another dealer is this chap who has more variety and somewhat lower prices. No experience of him myself.


not done it yet19/07/2019 19:37:17
4631 forum posts
16 photos

Not thought about a myford 254?

Do remember that myford bought out Raglan in the late 1960’s, so late Raglans were actually ‘myfords’ - only far better than the myford range.

Myford terminated Raglan production around 1971/2 but later introduced the myford 254 - as a ‘more modern’ lathe.

Very similar to the Raglan 5” but with some improvements(?) - like oil bath gears - but not so far advanced, if at all. It had lubed gears instead of the infinitely variable speed change available on all Raglans. A myford 254 is expensive, so I believe, probably twice, or more, the cost of a good fully equipped Raglan 5”.

As I indicated on the other thread, I would not be changing my 5”, as it has done all I need at a sensible cost. But I was very careful in selecting the machine I bought. I waited patiently for one in suitable mechanical condition to turn up at the right price, before buying, as I was already using a previous model.

old mart19/07/2019 19:59:44
1750 forum posts
138 photos

Myfords are ok if you don't mind paying extra for the name. Boxfords are a less expensive, heavier duty lathe.

Mick B119/07/2019 20:31:58
1575 forum posts
84 photos

I'm an ex-Myford owner too. I've had a Warco WM250V for 4 years now, with the Myford double-swivel vertical slide I saved from its predecessor. This outfit has so far proved capable of doing everything I've wanted, and is pleasant and quiet to use. Those things that've gone wrong were always my own fault, and fixable by me.

Whether you need a vertical slide depends pretty much on how much milling and co-ordinate drilling you're gonna need to do. My vertical slide is in use at a guess 30 or 40% of the time.

Phil P19/07/2019 20:58:27
627 forum posts
166 photos

I have heard about a Myford lathe that has recently been removed from a deceased model engineers workshop in West Yorkshire.

Not sure if it is still available for sale, but I could make some enquiries if you want.


JC5419/07/2019 21:16:27
135 forum posts
12 photos

I have just "upgraded" from a Drummond/Myford "M" to a ML7 and wish that I hadn't bothered. The myford is very fragile and flexible compared to the "M". I have gone back to using my 1908 5" split bed Drummond.

Nick Hulme19/07/2019 21:49:08
743 forum posts
37 photos

If you want significantly more rigidity look for a long bed Super 7b, the bed casting is deeper and heavier and there is nothing fragile about it.

But as a Myford owner I suggest you look for something of a later design with hardened prismatic ways, a gear head and a separate feed drive from the lead screw.

magpie19/07/2019 23:01:15
456 forum posts
80 photos

Are you suitably confused now Coggy ? wink

Neil Wyatt20/07/2019 11:44:54
17878 forum posts
705 photos
77 articles

I've noticed that an ML7 + loads of accessories tends to go for less cash than a basic S7. Although the S7 has greater capabilities, I'm not sure they justify such a large price difference alone.

If I wanted an Myford and was on a budget, I'd give serious consideration to the ML7 route.


KWIL20/07/2019 12:40:22
3232 forum posts
63 photos

You should note that inspite of the anti Myford comments made by some (even if they are often ill founded), look at the superb work produced on Myfords over the years, as exhibited at the various Model Engineering Exhibitions and also as written up in The Model Engineer Magazine.

Operator skill is the most significant factor involved but it also helps to know your equipment.

Ian S C20/07/2019 12:55:40
7468 forum posts
230 photos

I have no wish for a Myford, and I find the Box Ford A that I have use of lacking comparing those machines with my own 1326 BH Taiwanese lathe. My specs for a lathe whatever size, either belt or gear head with back gear/or infinitly variable like a Chipmaster or Raglan. Two shaft feed, ie., separate leadscrew and feed shaft.

Does the little Box Ford always chew out the bronze gear on the thread dial, it's obvious why with a keyway cut along the leadscrew.

If you buy an eastern lathe in NZ it usually comes with 3 and 4 jaw chucks, 2 centres and if needed a sleeve for the headstock to bring it down from 5MT to 3 MT. A fixed, and traveling steady. But if you are lucky as a mate of mine was, you open the box when you get the lathe home and you get 3 and 4 jaw chuck, 2 off each, steadies 2 off each, tool posts 2 off (some other poor blighter might have none). As the chucks are 8", I got a 6" 4 jaw about twenty years ago.

Interesting to read the machinery adds in Model Engineer, the Myford prices are away above reasonable(same here), I could have bought two of my larger lathe and still have had change when I compared it with a new Myford.

Ian S C

Howard Lewis20/07/2019 19:22:06
3264 forum posts
2 photos

If you are prepared to consider a Far Eastern machine, as long as it has not been abused, second hand possibles (Belt driven Headstock) include:

Warco BH600 (BH900 was the long bed version) came in Imperial or Metric configuration, Chester Craftsman, similar machine, Metric and different paint job; or scarcer, Engineers Tool Room BL12 -24, again a similar machine, Metric but with dual dials. They have Norton gearboxes as standard, with Power Cross Feed as well as longitudinal, driven off a power shaft. The Leadscrew is purely for screwcutting, Thread Indicator Dial is standard. The Cross Slide is Tee slotted - a useful feature.

Beds are induction hardened, prismatic, and the original equipment includes all that Ian SC mentions. My BL12-24 came with a Faceplate, as well. It replaced a ML7.

Swing over the bed is 12" ( 300 mm ) or with the Gap removed, 18" (450 mm ) The standard motor is likely to be 1.5 or 2 hp, so quite powerful hobby machines.

With Back Gear, they have 12 speeds, and the 120/127 Idler gear allows Imperial or Metric threads to be cut.

In my experience, quite good, rigid, machines. (300 kg ) No claim to be Toolroom lathes, but capable of better work than my skill can produce.

They were superceded by Geared Head versions, and later by versions with electronic variable speeds.

Check the specs., in case some "improvement" has been incorporated at the expense of a more useful feature, or reliability, over an earlier model..


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