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Only for Myford lathes

Mods & tips for the Myford lathes.

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Steviegtr13/01/2020 16:34:42
281 forum posts
108 photos

Well I started this thread with good intentions. Suppose we all think what we have is best. So what is not good about the Myford lathe. 1st thing that's springs to mind for me is that the Chuck does not lock on & the Morse is only MT2.

bricky13/01/2020 16:48:25
394 forum posts
47 photos

The models from 2000 on did have a screw in the backplate of the chucks and faceplate which screwed into a groove in the register on the mandrel making it possible to turn towards the tailstock without worrying that the chuck would unwind.


John Haine13/01/2020 16:53:19
2788 forum posts
140 photos

Big bore lathe has MT4 - but beware that it won't take full length MT4 tapers! I bought one from RDG to make a test bar and it didn't fit - you'd think they would know!

And just now tried I think for the first time fitting the faceplate I bought new with the lathe. The bit of bent steel supposed to keep swarf out of the motor fouled the faceplate! Further investigation showed that when it was fitted they had to bend it to avoid it fouling on the cable gland on the motor - presumably a different motor pattern. If I bend it back to how it appears to have been made it clears the faceplate but won't fit over the motor.

Great British Engineering.

Steviegtr13/01/2020 16:56:10
281 forum posts
108 photos

Is the motor mount the same as the older ones. As mine has 2 saddles around the neck of the motor , that can be slackened & the motor can be rotated on its mounts.

SillyOldDuffer13/01/2020 16:58:23
5022 forum posts
1063 photos
Posted by Steviegtr on 13/01/2020 16:34:42:


Suppose we all think what we have is best. So what is not good about the Myford lathe. ...

Not me, all my tools are a compromise!

Worst thing about Myford are the overinflated prices, but stuff is worth whatever people are prepared to pay for it.

Bearing in mind Myford made competent lathes which I rather like, off the cuff:

Unhardened beds
Single-phase Motors (yuk)
Fixed Speed
Total Loss bearings
Grease nipples where oil is required encouraging lube blunders
Dewhurst Switches
Screw on Chucks
Poor reverse capability
Modest size (though this can be a good thing!)
Tiny spindle hole
Broken gears (mainly due to abusive attempts to release jammed chucks)
Power traverse by lead-screw
Bendy gap bed
Many improvements over time, so early models are less desirable than originals
Fan-boy owners!



Steviegtr13/01/2020 17:01:58
281 forum posts
108 photos

Well I wonder if the latest ones they sell are any better. Also without going Chinese what other small lathes of comparable size are there.

John Haine13/01/2020 17:05:18
2788 forum posts
140 photos
Posted by Steviegtr on 13/01/2020 16:56:10:

Is the motor mount the same as the older ones. As mine has 2 saddles around the neck of the motor , that can be slackened & the motor can be rotated on its mounts.

Aha! I will check, thanks for the tip!

Steviegtr13/01/2020 17:06:17
281 forum posts
108 photos

I'll just take a photo of mine & show it.

Steviegtr13/01/2020 17:10:04
281 forum posts
108 photos

Motor adjuster

JA13/01/2020 17:30:21
831 forum posts
48 photos

The one thing I done not like is that the top slide clashes with the tail stock when set at 0 degrees.

I bought my third Myford, the first new one, with an inheritance about five months before the firm was sold in 2011. Since I had the money the lathe has all the bells and whistles - hardened bed, gear box, inverter supply to the motor and a DRO. I think I have made good use of the lathe and it has not let me down at all. The one problem with having the factory fitted DRO is that you loose the use of the taper turning attachment.

While Dave's list is true for early and middle age machines, a lot of the criticisms had disappeared with the later lathes (particularly if you spent the money).


John Haine13/01/2020 17:32:36
2788 forum posts
140 photos

Well! Thanks for that suggestion Stevie. Not only can the motor move but it had moved! Investigating at least one of the clamps was loose, and obviously over the years with starts and stops the motor had rotated in its mounts until preessure on the cable gland stopped it. I was able to tighten the clamp on the back of the motor by several turns, the one at the front the screw head is inaccessible. I hope the nut doesn't shake loose! So moved the motor back to what was probably its original position, straightened cover fits well, doesn't foul the faceplate. So looks like at least one step in the QA process was missed - check the motor saddle screws are tight! This also explains why at some point the motor developed a horrible rattle, when the guard plate was just touching the motor.

Steviegtr13/01/2020 17:40:22
281 forum posts
108 photos

John that's great. Well I am good for something then.

The point that JA makes about the DRO fouling. I have just fitted one to my older model 1977 Super 7B. I fitted the magnet to the outside of the spindle. See if I have a pic. I will at some point remove the collar & couterbore the magnet so it fits flush.

Magnet for dro

SillyOldDuffer13/01/2020 17:50:12
5022 forum posts
1063 photos
Posted by Steviegtr on 13/01/2020 17:01:58:

Well I wonder if the latest ones they sell are any better. Also without going Chinese what other small lathes of comparable size are there.

Latest Myfords better, not really, the only 'new' Myfords are Connoisseurs. No-one knows where they come from, my guess is they are assembled in the UK from new-old stock. I doubt anyone is casting new beds etc. New Myford badged parts from RDG appear to be foreign made.

RDG/Myford also sell refurbished ML7 & Super 7's in batches. The prices aren't unreasonable fas a way of avoiding second-hand risks.

Manual lathes are distinctly unfashionable due to CNC: Boxfordrecently stopped manufacture of their machine in the UK, and the same is true of most other Western Countries. They sell £2M+ machine centres and purpose build factory equipment for mass-production, including robotics. However small Machines in the US like Sherline & Taig and the upmarket British Cowells are affordably aimed at clock-making type work. There are also seriously expensive professional micro-lathes made in the US and Switzerland.

The Chinese lathes discussed on this forum are made down to a price for the hobby market. We are a mean bunch so they are six to twenty times cheaper than similar lathes made for professional use. Doesn't surprise me expensive Myfords were better made than Chinese hobby machines ; what is surprising is just how good Chinese hobby lathes are for the money.

What I'd dearly like is for a rich person to buy an expensive Far Eastern lathe and evaluate it properly. Unfortunately the better class of machine, Far Eastern or Western, are more expensive than hobbyists want to spend. £10000 to £60000 for a lathe is well out of my price bracket! If interested in what's on offer have a look at the Buck and Hickman website - they quote prices - or Chester's Industrial sales outlet.




Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 13/01/2020 17:51:16

Steviegtr13/01/2020 18:20:34
281 forum posts
108 photos

Wow expensive.

My friend has had a Chinese lathe for a few years now. He loves it. I asked him about it as I was looking for a lathe & was considering one. He then went on to tell me things that he had done since owning it. Seems he spent a long time correcting wonky bolts & threads that were stripping. Gear problems , drive problems. I asked which one should I go for & his advise was don't. My problem is limited space. I am using my garage as a workshop as well as having a large car & 2 motorcycles in there so not much room. Maybe once I get the Myford up & running I will see all the short falls of it.


Steviegtr14/01/2020 23:30:20
281 forum posts
108 photos

Bed for latheMyford control panelThis morning my motor from Machine mart arrived so I have had a busy day. The motor is a Italian made 3 phase 240v 1.1kw. I have fitted a steel tray I had made & fitted the genuine Myford feet mounts. This is mounted on a 54mm thick hardwood ply base which consisted of gluing & screwing 3 sheets of 18mm ply together & staining. The foot mounts we had to remake the threaded rod parts as they are only 1" long on the underside. The bench being 54mm thick now meant remaking the 5/16" rods. All ready for the morning when the brother in law comes to help We will be using a mobile engine hoist to hover over the mounts to locate. They are extremely heavy & was worried about trying to lift it on manually Luckily the motor was not much bigger than the 3/4 hp one I took off. 1/2" fatter & about 2 1/2" longer. I managed to make it fit on the original cast alloy rack at the back without too much trouble. I was expecting to have to make a conversion plate , but not needed so saved time. Also picked up my Cross slide which I have had 4mm surface ground off the top so the wedge type 250-111 quick change tool post will accept up to 1/2" cutters. Some pictures of the project so far. The lathe is a 1977 Super 7 vintage so has some good features on it.

Cross slide

Steviegtr14/01/2020 23:31:55
281 forum posts
108 photos

Forgot to say the missing speed pot is my fault, I damaged it with too much heat from the soldering iron. Need to order a new one.

RAPHAEL VAL GOLEZ 115/01/2020 06:56:39
55 forum posts
2 photos

Getting along great Steve. I like what you did to your topside and reducing the height down by 4mm will allow you clearance to get the 12mm lathe tools to center height ok and can also rotate the tool holder on to the top slide if you want to do thread cutting and still use the same 12 mm lathe tools. What I did to mine was to change the whole top slide to the newer design. I have bought years ago a new topslide. Its an original Myford parts and was intended for the ML7 but was told it can be used onto the Super 7. I never did the conversion straight away as Im ok with the original top slide until I went and did it. Things will fit straight on including the dove tails but the difference is on the part where the top slide end plate attached. In the S7 the top slide feed screw had a larger diameter end that sets onto the S7 endplate. I have made an adaptor brass plate to secure this and all went according to plan. The adaptor have to be match to the top slide including the dove tail and the area recessed to accommodate the larger end of the feed screw. The advantage of this set up is you can reduce the top side the same as what you did on yours.

With regards to the table top, I understand that it is thick enough to carry the weight of your lathe and you have a thick metal tray to bolt it on and I understand its more than enough support. I was just wondering about its rigidity, would it flex? The reason I ask is when you fine tune your bed twist to get an accurate cuts later on you have to adjust your tailstock end feet to achieve this with the full metal cabinet that can somehow be supported and minimise the flexing as compared to the wood support, but then again there are hundreds of people and Myfords that are set up this way so I guess it would be just fine. Keep us posted of your progress.



Edited By RAPHAEL VAL GOLEZ 1 on 15/01/2020 06:58:38

Steviegtr15/01/2020 09:19:30
281 forum posts
108 photos

Yes Raphael I did think about the wooden top. I will have to see how true the bed is. The wood is hardwood ply so not easy giving. It may move over time. Cannot beat steel I guess.


Michael Gilligan15/01/2020 10:04:42
14624 forum posts
634 photos

Posted by Steviegtr on 15/01/2020 09:19:30:


Cannot beat steel I guess.



Well ... yes you can, if you’re really on a mission

Have a look at what Niels Abildgaard is doing :


Edited By Michael Gilligan on 15/01/2020 10:05:59

Steviegtr15/01/2020 12:49:30
281 forum posts
108 photos

Is that a Granite bed. Also is that one of the Chinese lathe's,, it looks nice. Sort of super modern.

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