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Ivan Winters23/04/2020 19:29:28
10 forum posts
1 photos

Recently purchased a ML4 and some accessories from a seller near Rishworth, West Yorks (it was advertised on the 'Pre Loved' site). Serial number is DA130 or LA130 (part of the number has paint on it).

Tried contacting 'Tony' from '' both to get the year of production and to ask him if he could sell us a ML4 manual. No reply so far. Is he having any problems ?

Does anyone have a manual we can purchase ?

Ivan from Bradford

Robert Atkinson 223/04/2020 19:50:08
882 forum posts
17 photos

Hi Ivan,

The "manual" is available online as a PDF,

An earlier copy of "The Amateurs Lathe" by L Sparey is also a good reference for this class of lathe.

I have a ML2 but it has been over a year since I've done anything to it due to other pressures.

Robert G8RPI.

Howard Lewis23/04/2020 22:36:35
4125 forum posts
3 photos

Jon Cameron is compiling a register of early Myford MLs (1,2,3 and 4 ) I think.

It might be worth sending him a PM, in case he can date your machine.

Lathes UK give s a lot of info on them.

A lot of the threads will be BSW or BSF, (not sure if the gib strip adjusters are BA )

They have a few quirks, but are quite useable, fairly basic machines.

If you have difficulty finding change wheels, those from later 7 Series will fit, but will need to be drilled for the driving pins that connect to the driving collars and to compound the gears.. (7 Series used keys for this)

To get the finest feed you may need an extra couple of 20T, and a 60T wheel, and another stud. (Although, once the lathe is up and running, you can make one, as long as you have a 1/4 BSF die available. )

Depending on the age, the Headstock could be cast integral with the bed, (very early versions ). On later ones the headstock was secured to the bed with 1/4 BSF studs and nuts.

The thread on the Mandrel changed. Originally it was 3/4 BSW, 9 tpi, but then changed to 3/4 x 12 tpi and the very latest machines had the 1.125 x 12 tpi thread used on the 7 Series, I believe.

The 1 and 2 were 3.125"centre height, while the 3 and 4 were 3.5" Mandrel and Tailstock are 1 MT



Georgineer24/04/2020 10:02:06
451 forum posts
25 photos

If you do searches on this forum for "ML4" and down to "ML1" you will find a wealth of information distilled over the years, and it will likely answer many of your queries.

George B.

Ivan Winters26/04/2020 15:11:35
10 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks for all the very helpful replies

Ivan from Bradford

Ivan Winters07/05/2020 16:55:41
10 forum posts
1 photos

I have been looking at various resources including the Myford Manual we downloaded to get an answer to a simple question.

Having set up your various gear change wheels on a Myford ML4 how do we lock the 'Banjo Arm' up into mesh with the main drive shaft gear. We have had the motor running (a very smooth and quiet BTH), When we tried to swing the banjo arm up into mesh with the drive gear it immediately forced the banjo arm downwards. We tried this with the motor both running and stationery .

The manual and '' are both silent on this subject !

As a second question when we held the banjo arm in place manually the change wheels all rotated correctly but the last change wheel (on the feed screw) rotates on the feed screw and isn't locked to the screw. Next to it on the feed screw is a knurled nut which is locked to the feed screw. Protruding from the end face of the nut is a metal stud. Is this a latching pin to lock the two together ? The pin doesn't appear movable and we cannot see a hole it is fitting into. Has it rusted solid ?

Many thanks for all replies

Bazyle07/05/2020 17:13:14
5694 forum posts
208 photos

Does your banjo have a second short slot near the pivot point above the leadscrew as visible on the 'lathes site' illustration?
Do your changewheels have a keyway? does the end of the leadscrew? I don' t have a Myford so don't know. The Drummond wheels lock together with a pin so you might have a few mixed parts.

DiogenesII07/05/2020 18:17:12
169 forum posts
72 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 07/05/2020 17:13:14:

Does your banjo have a second short slot near the pivot point above the leadscrew as visible on the 'lathes site' illustration?...

+1 - ..the quadrant is prevented from rotating by a nut that tightens (against a curved slot cast into the upper front of the banjo) onto a stud that is screwed into the end of the leadscrew bracket above the leadscrew shaft.

The hole for the drive pin in the larger gears is blind, so only present on one side - check the other side of the gear..

The gear should be held in mesh with the pin by a separate collar with a grubscrew..

Edited By DiogenesII on 07/05/2020 18:17:44

Edited By DiogenesII on 07/05/2020 18:19:45

Howard Lewis07/05/2020 18:42:42
4125 forum posts
3 photos

One of the ML4s on which I worked, used a 5/16 BSW setscrew, above the Leadscrew, to lock the Banjo in position.

That seemed to work quite well. There is the risk that a stud might foul a gear fitted to the Leadscrew, so a setscrew would be a good choice.

As I understood it, the hole in gears for the 3/32 drive pin was blind, oi that it could not work its way out when compounded with another gear, or with the driving collars.


Jon Cameron11/05/2020 11:42:33
342 forum posts
113 photos

Hello Ivan,

Please don't try to engage the banjo again whilst the motor is running, firstly this could cause harm to you. secondly it could damage your change gears or even jolt the spindle dependant on speed, and it wont like that much at all.

The change gears will all be joined in pairs by a small metal pin as Howard says above 3/32" dia, and around 1/2" long. this fits into holes drilled in all of your change gears. (unless they have had ML7 ones added later in life). To set up the gear train I always start at the leadscrew, on the leadscrew put your largest gear, (hole for pin facing outwards). The nut you describe sounds like a dodge to an earlier crash to the lathe where the collar that should be fitted has suffered damage, insert the pin into the change gear on the leadscrew, and assuming there is a grub screw tighten this onto the flat on the leadscrew. This should now have the gear engaged with the leadscrew. Add the bajo bolts and working in pairs set up a reduction on each banjo, 60/20, 65/25 teeth gears. again joined with the pin through their holes. to set the gear spacing correctly, I ran strips of printer paper through the gears before finally tightening down on their position, the paper sets a small gap in the gears, Too tight and the gears will sound awful and wear quickly.

Once the gears are set up and nicely spaced. With the power off, bring the banjo up to the gear on the spindle, there should be a 1/4" BSF hex bolt by the leadscrew that bolts into the banjo from the bracket. Tighten this bolt (replace if missing) to set the banjo into position, spin the lathes spindle bay hand a few turns to make sure there is nothing going to instantly jam up, then set the lathe away under power. The handle at the front leading side of the apron is to engage the halfnuts that clamp onto the leadscrew to drive the saddle.

This pic will show where the bolt goes through the banjo into the bracket, you are viewing the banjo from the headstock side, not the changegear side in this photo, also shows the small holes for the pins in the changegears, as you can see these are not drilled through.


As Howard says If you can provide your Serial number and possibly a picture of the lathe I will do my best to date it. The serial number can also be found stamped under the cross slide, which is possibly the easiest one to get at without disturbing any setting of the lathe, (just make sure you catch the gib thatll fall from the right hand side, and install it the same way when screwing the cross slide back on). The other easy one is under the tailstock casting. Going off what you have posted above I would say its pre 1938. But I cant be much more specific than that just yet, as i'm still compiling the data.

Edited By Jon Cameron on 11/05/2020 12:11:47

Howard Lewis11/05/2020 18:30:54
4125 forum posts
3 photos


That is interesting, The ML4 on which I worked on used a 5/16 BSW setscrew and tapping to lock the Banjo to the bed, so maybe that is another variation on the theme. Date of manufacture dependent, or a "field fix" ? Although the arc did not look as if it had been butchered to fit.

To set up my Driving Collar + 20 : 60 + 20:65 + 20 :60 + Driving Collar train, I had to round the ends of the stud (The studs were missing, so i had to make them ) nearest the Headstock, and fettle the inside of the Banjo at that end. But my set up included a 60T which was extra to the normal Changewheel set, so maybe that was the reason, for the need for filing!


Jon Cameron11/05/2020 19:04:51
342 forum posts
113 photos

Hi Howard,

I may be wrong on the bolt size, would have to check mine. I've just read your post above.


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