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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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John Billard 120/07/2019 21:59:37
68 forum posts

Coggy, this is what happens when you seek advice from a forum!

As a Myford user for over 40 years if you have made up your mind to have a Myford then go for it and don't take too much notice of the negative comments so far.

I replaced my old Super 7 a couple of years ago with a refurbished model from "new" Myford in Halifax. I am delighted with it and the quality, which the new owners have strived for, is equal to the past. There are some limitations in terms of mandrel bore with my machine but that depends on what you wish to do with it. As far as I know new accessories are UK made and nothing comes from China.

I would strongly recommend a gear box (that is a ML7B or Super 7B). It is not just a question of thread cutting but importantly also being able to quickly adjust the cutting feed rate which I do all the time.

Myford accessories are freely available. If it is a question of cost I believe that most remains available for an overhaul.

Buy the best you can afford and you won't be disappointed.

Kind regards

John B

coggy20/07/2019 22:24:55
12 forum posts
Posted by magpie on 19/07/2019 23:01:15:

Are you suitably confused now Coggy ? wink

Yes, the whole which lathe to buy is confusing and frustrating, just as well I'm a stubborn bugger (at least that's what they tell me) or I might have given up months ago, Thanks for all the advice so far all a great help to getting me there in the end.

magpie21/07/2019 10:04:46
411 forum posts
79 photos

This forum is a great place to get advice on just about any subject you can think of, however, you will get as many different answers as you get posts. When I first bought my machines, both made in China, I had never used a lathe or milling machine before so I was a complete novice. Much of the advice I was given was not really relevant to the things I wanted to do, so I just went my own way and learned which was the best way for my needs.

So far I have had no real problems and I have enjoyed the learning process. As with any hobby, the results will depend on your skill level, patience, and whatever you consider to be a good finish. Keep on asking the questions and be prepared to ignore a lot of the answers.

Martin of Wick21/07/2019 10:09:15
93 forum posts
4 photos

No need to be frustrated. For the work you aim to do, any of the machines mentioned will be perfectly adequate, the only difficulty, if not buying new or fully reconditioned, will be machine condition.

Although not my first choice, if you want, a good condition Myford will be a perfectly satisfactory machine and has the advantage of being commonly available on the secondhand market and spares support from the current marque owners.

With patience you should be able to find one in a reasonable condition to suit your budget. You are paying a bit for the name but the cost of eastern machines has increased by about 30% in the last few of years so the differential is not as marked as it was.

On the subject of accessories, someone did mention a vertical slide +1 for that- increases the utility of the lathe by enabling light milling activities.

Usual advice for s/h

avoid e bay (useful for general research and having a laugh at some of the dogs for sale!)

don't purchase without viewing and testing (see threads for common problem areas to look for on Myfords)

don't worry too much about the cosmetic condition (paintwork) -always check the fundamentals

be prepared to walk away no matter how far you have driven!

keep back some of your budget for remedials (ie replacement of a bush or feednut etc)

not done it yet21/07/2019 10:46:27
3576 forum posts
15 photos

I wholeheartedly agree with MoW.

I initially bought a new chinese lathe about 25 years ago and, although not a metal machinist, was never entirely happy with my purchase (even though it performed the initial jobs, I had lined up for it, reasonably well enough). I was rather more proficient with woodworking machinery at the time.

‘Buy in haste, repent at leisure’ or ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ and all that. My relatively cheap ‘old iron’ is better than my machining abilities, even now. My current lathe cost less than that new one did all those years ago!

Barrie Lever21/07/2019 11:28:44
323 forum posts
2 photos

Simply you will not go wrong buying a decent Myford, ideally one of those refurbished one's from RDG.

There are better lathes than a Myford and there are lathes that offer better value for money than a Myford, but when you look at the huge number of model engineering projects that have been built using Myfords you will see that there is not much wrong with them.

I have owned a Myford in the past and would be happy to have one again.



SillyOldDuffer21/07/2019 11:57:13
4858 forum posts
1021 photos
Posted by coggy on 20/07/2019 22:24:55:
Posted by magpie on 19/07/2019 23:01:15:

Are you suitably confused now Coggy ? wink

Yes, the whole which lathe to buy is confusing and frustrating, just as well I'm a stubborn bugger (at least that's what they tell me) or I might have given up months ago, Thanks for all the advice so far all a great help to getting me there in the end.

Life was much simpler for Model Engineers buying a lathe 40 years ago. The Myford 7 offerings stood head and shoulders above the opposition, better made and more versatile than other hobby lathes and above all they were affordable. Plenty of bigger and better lathes were available but almost no-one could buy one new for a hobby. Second-hand, they were mostly bad news - in production they were thrashed, and only sold when beyond economic repair. And when you got it home it needed 3-phase power, which wasn't cheap or easy to provide. Buying a Myford made complete sense.

Today the world has moved on. A second-hand Myford could be 70 years old and be in poor condition. Younger models will have been abused, dropped or stored badly. Some will have had three bed-regrinds and be end-of-life. Others will have been carefully maintained by owners doing light work only. Every so often one will pop up as new in it's unopened box. Because Myford are highly thought of, prices are high. This attracts the dubious side of human behaviour; botched refurbs, lathes assembled from cannibalised parts, forgeries, and other dishonesty.

At the same time two other developments squeezed Myford out of business. First, Far Eastern lathes are available for less than half the price of a Myford, and they often come with a full set of accessories. Much more choice, they are available in various sizes. Because they are new, consumer protection applies, making buying much safer for innocents. Availability is generally good, so you can have one now, metric or imperial. Second, and perhaps more damaging to Myford as a business was industry switching to CNC. This led to large numbers of high-quality machines in good condition being dumped on the market by industry and education at very reasonable prices. First class machines provided they will fit into your workshop and 3-phase is no longer a major problem because of the VFD revolution.

Myford (the business) were caught between a rock and a hard place.

The thing I regret most about choosing a lathe was the time I spent dithering! In the end I bought new Chinese with the intention of upgrading to an ex-education machine, or perhaps a Myford, once I knew what to look for in a dud second-hand lathe. As it turned out, Chinese equipment has done all I wanted of it. I was offered a Super 7 recently and declined, partly because it was Imperial, and partly because its small compared with my Chinese machine. (Unless you're only doing fine work, big machine tools are generally better than small ones.)

But my reason for owning a lathe is I want to make things. Provided they work I'm not particularly concerned about the 'quality' of my tools, nor do I want to celebrate the golden age of British manufacturing. Others - and this is important - take pleasure from owning and using good tools. Where you live makes a difference, I'm in SW England and rarely see second-hand Myford's on sale. The Midland's appear to do much better.

All this makes buying a lathe a bit of a minefield compared with yesteryear. I decided buying second-hand was too risky for me at the time. It was easy to do, and - if the lathe was unacceptable - I could send it back. There would be hassle but I wouldn't lose a lot of money. In contrast, buying second-hand is much riskier. There is no magic in the Myford name that protects their lathes from wear and tear or worse. On the other hand many Myfords are carefully cosseted and are in excellent condition. But how do you know?

In the end only the buyer can decide what he wants, his budget, and his risk appetite! Apart from good luck or defrauding a widow, I don't know of a cheap way of buying a Myford in good condition. As coggy has (almost) come down in favour of Myford, I recommend going for it. It's time to cough up the cash and take the risk. If anyone wants a Myford, they are out there. Buying refurbished from Myford themselves would de-risk the transaction, the only down-side is the cost, and they do keep their resale value.






Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 21/07/2019 11:59:35

magpie21/07/2019 17:36:09
411 forum posts
79 photos

Very well explained Silly Old Duffer. I have had my Chinese build lathe & mill for quite a few years now, and they have done everything I hoped they would and trouble free. The lathe came with 3&4 jaw chucks, backplate, steadies, centres, toolpost, everything you need except the cutting tools. The only extras I have bought for the lathe are a quick change toolpost and lots of holders, none of which I would want to be without now.

If using insert tools, once you have set centre height in each holder that is then fixed, when you change the tip it is still spot on. A great time saver.

Robin Graham21/07/2019 22:53:28
612 forum posts
134 photos

Coggy, I don't know where you are but if you're looking at dealers Quillstar near Nottingham have a couple of decent looking Myfords up at the mo at less than insane prices. No affiliation &c &c, just bought some stuff from there and had a good deal. It seem he has a stash of original Myford parts too.

I'm not a Myfordista myself I should say - just noticed the offerings when looking for other stuff.


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