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Can you help identify this Myford Lathe

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Stan Holmes07/10/2019 12:27:03
2 forum posts
6 photos

I purchased this Myford Lathe at the weekend. The serial number starts with HL. It is 3 1/2" x 18". The Lathe looks like a ML4 short bed of 18". The lead screw is 5/8" ACME 8TPI, Thread dial, Dividing head and forward / reverse gear change.

Not sure how to add pics of lathe



RichardN07/10/2019 13:30:47
116 forum posts
9 photos

Afternoon Stan,

Can't help - but I see you have uploaded photos of (I assume the lathe you want identifying) to your album..

Stan's Lathe Album

Hope this helps someone else identify?

Edited By RichardN on 07/10/2019 13:31:30 - link to image didn't work...

Edited By RichardN on 07/10/2019 13:31:59

Brian Wood07/10/2019 14:07:27
2190 forum posts
37 photos

Hello Stan,

It is rather hard to be sure with sideways and upside down pictures to work on, but it is either an ML1 or ML2 or it could be the later ML4 The ML 3 was a capstan lathe I believe, it isn't that model..

Does it have tumbler reverse? If so that makes it more likely to be an ML4 Other clues can be had from the spindle nose and chuck mounting thread.

ML 4 is almost certainly 1.125 inch x 12 tpi and with a #2 Morse taper centre. The earlier 1's and 2's were more probably 5/8 inch and 9 tpi combined with a centre taper hole of 1 Morse taper but yours may have been upgraded so that form of identity isn't really reliable.

I hope that helps


Georgineer07/10/2019 18:25:26
358 forum posts
16 photos

Stan, Here's a post I made in an earlier thread:

"Some simple measurements and observations can identify which of the different models ML1 to ML4 one is faced with:

ML1 & 2: 3 1/8" centre height, 15" between centres, 3 1/2" cross slide travel.

ML3 & 4: 3 1/2" centre height, 24" between centres, 4 1/2" cross slide travel.

ML1 & 3 ('Standard' models): Spindle bearings direct in headstock.

ML2 & 4 ('Superior' models): Bronze spindle bearings, shrouded ball thrust race.

My understanding from is that the cast-in headstock was abandoned in 1937, so from then until the ML1 and ML3 went out of production in 1941, all models had the removable headstock."

Brian, I think it was the ML5 that was a capstan lathe. The ML4 used three different spindle nose threads, Earlier ones 7/8" x 9tpi or 7/8" x 12 tpi. Later ones used 1 1/8" x 12 tpi, the same as the ML7 but with a smaller register diameter. I don't know what threads were used on the ML 1,2 &3 but they would almost certainly have been the same.


Howard Lewis07/10/2019 18:54:11
3288 forum posts
2 photos

George has summed it up pretty well.

The peculiarities of the M types were :

1) The Saddle handle moved the Saddle in the opposite direction to that expected, ie Anti Clockwise moved the saddle AWAY from the Headstock

2) The Cross Slide and Top Slide Leadscrews were 8 tpi and the dials carried graduations (80 from memory ) which were not exact thous.

3) Changewheels were driven by Driving Collars, secured to the Mandrel or Leadscrew by 1/4" BSF grubscrews, The collars, and compound gears were connected by 3/32" pins in holes drilled half way into the gears.

4) For cutting Right Hand Threads, or for a feed towards the Headstock, two sets of intermediate gears are required.


Georgineer13/10/2019 12:39:38
358 forum posts
16 photos

Stan, what did you conclude in the end? It's always nice to know the outcome of these puzzles.

If you have other queries and puzzles, try a forum search for "ML1", then "ML2" and so on, and you will find a large amount of distilled wisdom and knowledge about this family of lathes.


Brian Wood13/10/2019 14:02:58
2190 forum posts
37 photos


Thank you for the correction and the much more helpful identity list you posted. I think the earlier ML1 and 2 models had 7/8 inch x 9tpi nose threads.



Howard Lewis13/10/2019 20:30:52
3288 forum posts
2 photos

As a matter of interest, early ML4 s used the 7/8 x 9 tpi (7/8 BSW thread ) nose, before changing to 7/8 x 12 tpi Whit form.

I believe that the very last ones may have used what is the now standard Myford Mandrel of 1 1/8 x 12 tpi Whit form.


Georgineer14/10/2019 22:20:57
358 forum posts
16 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 13/10/2019 20:30:52:

I believe that the very last ones may have used what is the now standard Myford Mandrel of 1 1/8 x 12 tpi Whit form.

They used the same thread, but the register was 1 1/8" diameter (same as the thread), not the 1 1/4" used on the ML7. So ML7 chucks and other accessories fit, but are not located by the register. I had one like this. I have never heard of the 1 1/4" register being an original fitment on the ML4.


Hopper15/10/2019 07:50:44
4548 forum posts
94 photos

Doh. Double post. Even I don't love the sound of my voice that much.

Edited By Hopper on 15/10/2019 07:56:29

Hopper15/10/2019 07:51:42
4548 forum posts
94 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 07/10/2019 18:54:11:

George has summed it up pretty well.

The peculiarities of the M types were :

To save confusion, albeit at risk of my sounding like an overly pedantic twit,  please note that ML1 - 7 are not "M Types"

The M-Type was a completely different lathe, made initially by Drummond and taken over by Myford during the war because it was considered a superior machine (for war purposes) to the ML1-4 models made by Myford.

After the war with the advent of the cheaper ML7 Myford, followed by the Super 7 etc, these became known as 7 Series lathes by some. But never as M series or M types. The M-type died an honorable death circa 1948 or shortly after when the lower-cost ML7 flooded the market.

If you search for "M Type" the whole intriguing saga is chronicled in detail.

Back to the OP's lathe and it looks like a good 'un from the pics. Has some serious upgrades such as the overhead v-belt countershaft, a clutch and what looks like some kind of indexing disc by the heashdstock pulleys. And is that a 127 tooth gear on the leadscrew for metric thread cutting? Either that or a very fine feed rate. Nice.

Edited By Hopper on 15/10/2019 08:09:20

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