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To bolt or not to bolt

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Neil Smith 1225/01/2020 14:51:00
2 forum posts

20 years ago I acquired a Myford Super 7 serial No.SK100630 and I have only just had enough time to consider using it for hobby purposes. The lathe stands on it's own Myford stand which has 4 projecting lugs at the base. The holes in the lugs are obviously intended for bolting to the floor. My workshop floor is 6 inch concrete. I have drills, rawlbolts etc. and an accurate machine level. But is bolting down necessary?

Neil Smith.

Phil P25/01/2020 16:07:01
590 forum posts
164 photos

If as you say you have a solid concrete floor then I would say no you do not NEED to bolt it down.

My own S7 has some adjustable feet in the base lugs to allow me to level it up and ensure there is no rocking around.

Phil

Bill Chugg25/01/2020 16:13:24
960 forum posts
6 photos

None of my three son's Myfords are bolted down. They just sit on their own stand on a concrete foor.

For certain, some will say this is not correct.

I hope it will not be twenty years before we see what you have produced wink

Welcome to the forum.

Bill

Mike Poole25/01/2020 16:31:59
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2303 forum posts
52 photos

Anti vibration feet can also be fitted to the lugs but not really needed on a solid floor, adjustable feet can be useful to level the cabinet or if you intend to use coolant then the tray can be adjusted to ensure the return drain is at the low point to avoid a tray with a puddle of coolant. The raising blocks if you have them fitted are adjustable to level the lathe or ensure the lathe cuts true. It is worth also getting the lathe to a comfortable working height and many taller people find the standard height a bit low and fit blocks or heavy box tubing to the lugs to win a bit of extra height.

Mike

Steviegtr25/01/2020 16:48:15
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449 forum posts
121 photos

I have the opposite problem. My S7 is mounted on a reinforced workbench. 900mm & I find I need to make a duck board to stand a bit higher. Not sure of the height of the Myford cabinet.

Steve.

mgnbuk25/01/2020 16:55:20
591 forum posts
24 photos

While mine is bolted down and levelled such that the coolant tray slopes slightly towards the outlet in the tray, the main reason I did this was to stop it toppling over. They are very top heavy & the base is relatively narrow. Possibly not much of a risk when it is in position, but still a risk & you won't stop it if it starts to go.

Some years ago I bought a second S7 on a stand cheap , primarily to get the gearbox as my original machine didn't have one. It was cheap mainly beacuse it had fallen over backwards & smashed the motor bracket & swing head castings, though it was also rather rough and generally abused.

Nigel B

AJW25/01/2020 17:24:28
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278 forum posts
117 photos

On my ml7 I have tapped 3/8 plates underneath the feet, to these I have mounted solid nylon rollers. When the bolts are screws down it allows the lathes weight to be taken on the bolt end and levelled. When unscrew the rollers are then taking the lathe allowing it to be moved (carefully!)

My lathe is quite a lump as I have a motorised VMD fitted to the rear of the bed and a 10mm plate between bed and cabinet.

Only moved it a couple of times since I fitted bthem but it does allow the lathe to be moved from the wall for cleaning etc.

Alan

Ed Duffner25/01/2020 17:26:04
744 forum posts
61 photos

I have a Warco wm-180 lathe, I'm not sure how it's footprint compares to a Myford (I've never used or seen a Myford up close).

The lathe is free standing on the proper base and I will eventually bolt it down as I find it can start to rock when pulling over the chuck during manual threading. It's one of those roundtoit jobs that I need to do.

Ed.

Phil H125/01/2020 17:36:41
205 forum posts
33 photos

Neil,

My Super 7 is bolted down to the concrete floor using the lugs that you have described. Is it essential? I am not so sure but the lathe was making a noise a few weeks ago and I discovered that two of the floor bolts were loose. The noise disappeared once the bolts had been tightened.

I suspect the snag was more of a levelling/ vibration issue rather than real need to bolt it down.

Phil H

Howard Lewis25/01/2020 17:41:31
2699 forum posts
2 photos

As long as the cabinet does not rock, bolting down is probably not needed.

What is important, especially with a Myford, is to ensure that the bed is not twisted. The level from Headstock to Tailstock is less important, unless you are using flood coolant, but a twisted bed will result in taper turning.

The time spent in ensuring that the bed is not twisted is not wasted. Sometimes the last delicate adjustment can be made by changing the torque on the bolts that hold down the lathe bed.

With riser blocks, this adjustment is much simpler, but there are ways of levelling without riser blocks.

Howard.

Henry Brown25/01/2020 17:52:26
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105 forum posts
15 photos

The S7 I have just sold wasn't bolted down in the two locations I had it in but the floors were good and flat, I stood it on two pieces of hardwood and it was fine. I didn't, however, turn anything that involved an out of balance work piece, if so I guess it would have needed to be fixed.

Edited By Henry Brown on 25/01/2020 17:56:17

Clive Foster25/01/2020 17:57:43
1983 forum posts
73 photos

Realistically the bolt holes are there if you need them as a Myford on the factory stand is adequately stable for most purposes if used with care. That said if not bolting down I'd arrange some form of anti-tilt or retainer strap just in case. Or at least stash some weighty stuff in the bottom corners of the stand to reduce top heaviness.

Myfords are very much not my cup of tea but if advising on installation I'd sit it on a couple of thick wall rectanfualer tubes maybe 3 x 4 or similar running front to back projecting maybe 2" at the front and 3" or so at the back. Significantly more stable and lets you get a pallet truck under when moving. A simple spring loaded bar could easily be fitted between the froward projecting ones and connected to a suitable switch to make a nice emergency stop "stomp pedal".

Clive

not done it yet25/01/2020 18:01:19
3905 forum posts
15 photos

They didn’t put those lugs on the cabinet for no good reason. Your choice if you decline to utilise them.

That said, my lathe is mounted on a very stiff ‘pyramidal’ cabinet in 1/8” sheet steel (folded from a single sheet), with 1/2” x 2 1/2” cross pieces to bolt the lathe to, through the 1/8” folded drip/chip tray. That lot is bolted to a 6” high cast iron base 1/2” thick - even across the base. That is likely as heavy as the lathe. It will be bolted down one day, when I am confident I will not need to move it again.... I have no fears of anything getting distorted with that set up as it sits on a quite flat screed over 4 or 6” of lightly reinforced concrete.

jimmy b25/01/2020 18:38:18
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568 forum posts
37 photos

My big lathe (not a Myford) is just on jacking bolts, placed on concrete pads.

Jim

old mart25/01/2020 20:16:35
1075 forum posts
109 photos

Lathes have a high centre of gravity, so the makers put the bolt holes in them so you cannot claim it was their fault if it fell over.

steamdave25/01/2020 20:57:32
426 forum posts
33 photos

I found that my S7 was too low for me to work comfortably. I used 2 pieces of 3" x 2" x !8" hardwood laid front to back and screwed the stand to them.
Killed two birds with one stone: Raised the height sufficiently and the lathe (unbolted to the floor) is perfectly stable.

Dave
The Emerald Isle

SillyOldDuffer25/01/2020 21:37:30
5113 forum posts
1073 photos

Bolting down reduces vibration if that's a problem. Maybe hobby lathes aren't pushed hard enough to be worth it.

But lathes are terrible top heavy: mine is bolted to its stand, but the stand isn't bolted down to the floor. I reckon a half-decent shove would have it over. Wouldn't matter if the lathe was on a firm bench, or up against a wall. As it is I'm careful not to bump into it. 270kg of pure aggro!

Neil Smith 1226/01/2020 12:48:52
2 forum posts

Thank you for your responses. I never expected so many lathe users to offer such useful advice. I have decided for the moment to put some sheet metal packers under the lugs to level the cabinet and eliminate a slight wobble due to uneven concrete floor and I will then level up the lathe bed with what I think must be "riser blocks"fitted to the bed. I don't plan to do any heavy turning, so I will see how this works out. I certainly take on board the warning about it being top heavy which was apparent when manoeuvering the machine into position. I don't want to sound patronising, but it's nice to have a plain English conversation rather than the new electronic English.

Neil

old mart26/01/2020 14:18:26
1075 forum posts
109 photos

Steamdave has the best solution, check out his post.

Cornish Jack26/01/2020 15:17:19
984 forum posts
135 photos

First point was that the lugs are so close to the sides of the stand that drilling through to position the receiving holes was VERY awkward. Solved that, and the working height problem, courtesy of Lidls and their, caster fitted, 'furniture movers' .

Used four such joined in pairs across each end separated enough to add stability and easy to manoeuvre ,even with my knackered back! Highly recommended!

rgds

Bill

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