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Did i make the right choice buying an old banger Myford lathe.

After watching a few youtube video's of various lathes this is what i think

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Mick B114/02/2020 20:12:34
1667 forum posts
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Posted by Grindstone Cowboy on 14/02/2020 19:58:53:

Well, my friend, sadly now deceased, was apprenticed at Broadbent lathes and always told me Boxfords were better than Myfords (although he had an ML10 set up for milling).

I had the practically identical Speed 10 with a Myford double-swivel vertical slide for milling. It just about worked, but required very modest cuts because the crossslide on the 10 is so narrow and gives little support. I think the biggest job I did in that setup was the baseplate and cylinder mounts for the PM Research parallel twin horizontal mill engine.

I transferred that vertical slide to the Warco WM250V I now have, and the larger and IMO more robust machine has very much improved the scope of work I can do. The Warco is Chinese, runs just as smoothly and cuts just as accurately as the Myford ever did. Statements that such machines are tat just don't reflect the facts as regards the current crop of products.

Buffer14/02/2020 20:43:52
165 forum posts
46 photos

The stupid plain bronze bearing as you put it is actually really good as you will always be able to adjust its fit with the two nuts on the other end.

Steviegtr14/02/2020 21:15:08
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1387 forum posts
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 14/02/2020 14:05:49:

Spending £3000 on an authentic Old Banger would be a disaster, whoever made it. Presumably this 7B is actually in good nick? Otherwise, beware of flinging good money after bad! Unless of course restoring old machines is your main interest? It's allowed, as is choosing to buy anything else, old, new, second-hand, or scrap.

Dave

Well it doesn't seem like it was a disaster.!!!. The machine was £2100 & a long drive to pick it up. I did spend many months looking for a lathe. I looked at maybe 15 or so in person. This one was in excellent condition, The money spent since was for the motor & inverter. Some tooling for the QC toolpost, & disposables like belts etc. I did not have to restore this one, but wouldn't mind doing one. I guess once the good weather comes it will take the back burner for a while as my main retired pass time is riding my Motorcycle & car. Driving around in my van all winter is not the ideal.

Steve.

Edited By Steviegtr on 14/02/2020 21:16:48

Derek Lane14/02/2020 21:33:41
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Posted by Buffer on 14/02/2020 20:43:52:

The stupid plain bronze bearing as you put it is actually really good as you will always be able to adjust its fit with the two nuts on the other end.

Quite agree I have the same arrangement on my woodturning lathe and have only ever needed to adjust them three times in the last five years as I keep it correctly oiled. And it gets a lot of use.

SillyOldDuffer14/02/2020 21:34:14
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Posted by Grindstone Cowboy on 14/02/2020 18:27:39:

... in many areas, there's often a choice between the robust, reliable and usually better made workhorse, and the sleek, "name brand" one with a bit of popular following. To illustrate - WW2 British fighter planes: Hurricane or Spitfire?

...

 

I put it to the jury that comparisons based on name brands are unworthy of an Engineering Forum. Engineering should be about fitness for purpose and value for money, not labels!

Although the Hurricane was an excellent aircraft in 1938 it was quickly outclassed by later aircraft. In the long run the Spitfire was 'better' because it made a good platform for further development, whereas the Hurricane didn't. There's a huge performance gap between a Spitfire Mk I and a Spitfire Mk XII, but no-one asks which of those is more reliable or robust! By 1945 many propeller fighters out-performed Spitfires, but their moment of glory was even shorter - the future belonged to Jets.

I feel comparing Hurricanes and Spitfires is a red herring because they were never in competition. What mattered was how well they performed against the opposition and how long they remained effective. Both aircraft did a good job and one lasted longer in service than the other. Time flies and by 1955 no-one wanted either of them!

Same with any engineering artefact; sooner or later they are done. And it's no good making wonderful stuff unless it continues to sell at a profit.

To me it's curious some items are celebrated whilst more important technologies are ignored. Most Brits know about the Merlin engine, but few know about the advanced petrol needed to get top performance from it. We care about steam locomotives, iconic aircraft and lathe makers, but not about textile machinery, soap, street lights, catalysts, antibiotics, or refrigerators!

Dave

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 14/02/2020 21:37:14

Steviegtr14/02/2020 23:22:35
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1387 forum posts
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I just had a quick read up on the Merlin engine. Quite a piece of engineering for it's time. There used to be one dumped at thed side of the road in Coniston. The road up to the copper mines. Guess it's in some museum now. It was not there last year when i went for a ride up there.

Steve.

not done it yet14/02/2020 23:40:52
4905 forum posts
20 photos

Comparing Spitfires and Hurricanes is unfair.

The Hurricanes accounted for more enemy ‘kills’ than the Spitfires, but would not have performed so well if they were not being protected from the enemy fighters while they went up against the bombers. Spitfires were not the main bomber attackers - they were dealing with the fighter escorts. Hurricanes could take more damage than a Spitfire, but would have needed too, if the Spitfires were not engaging the fighters at higher altitudes.

Horses for courses and all that. They worked well in combination and, between them, got the job done.

Cameras? I think the lenses are likely more important than the bodies. My wife has a canon and I have a Nikon. Both are better than my Praktica, but that did the job, for me, when I developed and printed my pics.

Boxford and Raglan were always a class above the myfords of the day. Consequently they cost rather more so were not sold in the same numbers - because the majority of hobbyists back then could only easily(?) afford the myfords.

I would agree that Chinese mills and lathes are better quality these days (still some tat on the market, mind) but the English machines were, I believe, of better merchantable quality than many imported products at the cheaper end of the market. Price has always been a factor with hard up hobbyists!

Steviegtr15/02/2020 00:24:35
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1387 forum posts
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A little ditty to the above. When I left school at 15 I got a job as an apprentice sheet metal worker, which taught me a lot in a short time. After 8 months my dad got me a job as an apprentice Electrician at a company called J Curtis & sons on York Road in Leeds. It was mainly a shop fitting company with an electrical department. On many a day we had no work so we just wondered around the huge workshops talking to the bench hands. One day I went down into the cellar. Down there were all the technical drawings for the world war 2 planes. It turns out that Curtis's made a lot of woodwork parts for the Avro factory in Yeadon. AKA Leeds & Bradford airport. These drawings were full scale. Huge in length. Literaly thousands of them. Curtis's went bust many years ago & the factory is still there & is many different companies using it now. I just wonder , are those drawings still there.

Steve.

Edited By Steviegtr on 15/02/2020 00:26:41

Michael Gilligan15/02/2020 09:38:47
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16214 forum posts
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Posted by Steviegtr on 14/02/2020 21:15:08:
[…]
The machine was £2100 & a long drive to pick it up. I did spend many months looking for a lathe. I looked at maybe 15 or so in person. This one was in excellent condition […]

.

My simple response would be that you bought a carefully selected ‘previously loved’ classic ... Not an ‘old banger’

MichaelG.

Howard Lewis15/02/2020 12:49:57
3544 forum posts
2 photos

A lot of this depends upon perception, some of which is determined by clever marketing.

At one time Ford was looked down upon, because folk (competitors? ) chose to see it.as cheap and nasty.

Subsequent events roved that to be an illusion.

One make of car was marketed under the slogan "If only everything was as reliable mas a ....". The original version probably was, but development increased the power to the detriment of reliability and durability. Our son had one, the engine self destructed. The advice to change the valves every 30,000 miles ruled that out as reliable!

When preparing for retirement, I considered replacing my ML7 with a brand new Myford Super 7 Sigma, until I saw the total cost.

For a quarter of that I got a slightly larger far eastern machine, with the same accessories, with an importer fitted VFD. So far it has served me well ,for sixteen years (Which is nothing for a hobby machine )

My perception? Not quite in the same league, with not so much hand fitting and careful assembly.

But more than fit for my purpose.

I have a most basic Mill/Drill. Although I would like to have a machine with power feeds, the additional costs would not really be justified by the advantages / performance. So I carry on twirling handles. My choice.

Be content with your purchase, and don't spend too much time thinking "If only..."

Presumably you bought it for pleasure; so enjoy owning and using it.

Howard

Cornish Jack15/02/2020 14:12:20
1163 forum posts
163 photos

As I recall it, the saying was "comparisons are odious" and none more so than Spitfires and Hurricanes. Superficially for the same purpose, they were, operationally, 'chalk and cheese'. The Hurricane was, essentially anti-bomber, the Spitfire anti-fighter. Each served its own purpose well. The speed advantage of the Spitfire came with a complicated repair process for battle damage - the Hurricane needed a few patches of maddapolam and a coat of dope - almost 'apples and pears'.

It is constantly demonstrated, on this forum and elsewhere, (not by me!!) that quality of output is dictated by operator skill, rather than quality of machinery.

rgds

Bill

SillyOldDuffer15/02/2020 19:34:42
Moderator
6203 forum posts
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Posted by Michael Gilligan on 15/02/2020 09:38:47:
Posted by Steviegtr on 14/02/2020 21:15:08:
[…]
The machine was £2100 & a long drive to pick it up. I did spend many months looking for a lathe. I looked at maybe 15 or so in person. This one was in excellent condition […]

.

My simple response would be that you bought a carefully selected ‘previously loved’ classic ... Not an ‘old banger’

MichaelG.

Stevie has done us a favour by explaining that!

There's nothing wrong with Myford Lathes other than a strong suspicion they're overpriced for reputational reasons. Some sell for prices suggesting the buyer got carried away during the auction.

My gripe is beginners are often advised to buy a Myford, and although there was a time and place when that was good advice, it ain't so clear cut today. I'd go further and say today it's lazy advice that could cause an innocent newcomer to spend big money on a second-hand machine in poor condition. It's stupid to believe 'Myford' lathes are magically immune to wear and tear, abuse, third rate refurbishment, foolish owners, or being stored in a damp pigeon loft.

Unlike yesteryear, there are more alternatives to Myford today. Not only new Far Eastern, but also second-hand industrial and educational machines dumped because the world has gone CNC. When new the cheapest of these well made heavy-duty machines were out of reach of all but super-rich hobbyists. Now many excellent machines are cheaper than Myford's.

However, my advice buying Myford or any other second-hand machine is: condition is everything. And that's exactly what Stevie took care to get right. He knew a Myford Super 7 was the right size for him and had the features he wanted. Then he was prepared to spend a considerable amount of time looking for a good one, and to pay for it. Ten out of ten! But I hope no-one thinks it's OK to buy a Super 7 sight unseen off a 1-star ebay seller! Best to see lathes running and cutting metal before handing over the money, otherwise a careful visual check for expensive faults, missing parts, and show-stoppers.

The advantage to a beginner buying new is simply the seller will refund or replace in the event the lathe is a dud. It's unlikely a Far Eastern lathe costing less than a quarter of the price of a Western lathe will be as well-made. But it's also unlikely to be unusable rubbish either. And if a lathe does what the owner needs of it, that's good enough. It's absolutely not necessary to own the best of all possible lathes!

So the answer to Stevie's question: 'Did I make the right choice buying an old banger Myford lathe?' is a categoric 'NO!' Not because Stevie bought Myford, but because he totally failed to buy an old banger! Had he asked 'Did I make the right choice buying an old Myford lathe?', I'd say YES, because Stevie paid what he felt was right for a decent machine. Hurrah!

Dave

Mick B115/02/2020 19:59:40
1667 forum posts
88 photos

It all depends on what you're in model engineering for. If you like refurbishing or enhancing equipment, it could easily be the right buy for you.

But not for me. I'm in model engineering to make things to amuse and hopefully, occasionally, amaze friends and family; and I usually grudge every hour spent on tooling and machinery, applying to it only when there's no practical alternative. What comes out yer shed is 100 times as important as whatcha got in there.

And comparisons of any machine to Spitfires and Hurricanes is crazy. Myfords never saved the country and its institutions against existential threat. And in any case, I believe the machine tools essential to the volume production of the Merlin engine were American-developed.

Grindstone Cowboy15/02/2020 21:11:50
325 forum posts
27 photos

I don't think anybody was comparing Myfords to Spitfires - I certainly wasn't. Apologies if that was the impression I gave.

Hopper15/02/2020 22:31:25
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Posted by Grindstone Cowboy on 15/02/2020 21:11:50:

I don't think anybody was comparing Myfords to Spitfires - I certainly wasn't. Apologies if that was the impression I gave.

And we all know the Drumond M-Type was the lathe that won the war.

Tony Pratt 115/02/2020 22:53:04
1190 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Mick B1 on 15/02/2020 19:59:40:

It all depends on what you're in model engineering for. If you like refurbishing or enhancing equipment, it could easily be the right buy for you.

But not for me. I'm in model engineering to make things to amuse and hopefully, occasionally, amaze friends and family; and I usually grudge every hour spent on tooling and machinery, applying to it only when there's no practical alternative. What comes out yer shed is 100 times as important as whatcha got in there.

And comparisons of any machine to Spitfires and Hurricanes is crazy. Myfords never saved the country and its institutions against existential threat. And in any case, I believe the machine tools essential to the volume production of the Merlin engine were American-developed.

 

Tony

 

Edited By JasonB on 16/02/2020 13:48:47

clogs16/02/2020 09:02:15
577 forum posts
12 photos

just to add :-

I was extremly lucky to buy both a Myford Super7 and a VMF mill, both still covered in wax......as new....

Paid around £8,000 for both......

reasons, why the hell not.......n, also when I pop me clogs my wife will get most of the money back....

wont get that with Asian machines.....

they are used as stand-by machines to help out my Clchester Student 6" and the Bridgeport.....

Lucky u say, I worked v hard to get em and enjoy every min useing them....

Tony Pratt 116/02/2020 09:54:38
1190 forum posts
5 photos

Clogs, good catch, you can never have too many tools!cheeky

Tony

Hopper16/02/2020 09:58:24
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4786 forum posts
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Posted by clogs on 16/02/2020 09:02:15:...

... Paid around £8,000 for both.. ..why the hell not......., also when I pop me clogs my wife will get most of the money back....

wont get that with Asian machines.....

Nah. The workshop clearance dealer will give the missus the usual 400 quid to haul the lot away so she does not have to deal with it anymore. And she'll be glad to see the arris end of it without having to pay someone to take it away.

Edited By Hopper on 16/02/2020 09:59:45

Steviegtr17/02/2020 01:03:21
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1387 forum posts
148 photos

Be careful of saying anything against the spitfire engine. Guy might be listening in.
Steve.

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