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Which Myford model have I bought?

Looking to identify which model Myford Iíve bought. Seller was unsure.

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Robert Fleming 406/08/2020 20:30:18
1 forum posts


Bought a Myford Lathe with the serial number C1049. The narrow mounts type, guessing an ML2 but maybe someone can help identify it from the serial number. Cheers in advance.


John Haine07/08/2020 09:19:15
3268 forum posts
175 photos

A photo would be much quicker...

Hopper07/08/2020 09:44:13
4768 forum posts
104 photos has the only known comprehensive list of Myford numbers vs years etc. Also myriad pics that will identify your model.

Howard Lewis07/08/2020 11:24:40
3536 forum posts
2 photos

Lathes UK website is a mine of information.


ML1 and 2

3.125" Centre height. ML1 is 15" Centres, ML2 is 24" centres.

ML3 and 4 3.5" centre height, ML3 is 15" centres, ML4 is 24" centres.

Not all have tumbler reverse (this was an optional extra)

Mandrel thread was originally 7/8 x 9 tpi (Standard 7/8 BSW), this changed to 7/8 x 12 tpi, and the very last ones , I believe, had 1.25 x 12 tpi, but lacked the 1.250 register which became the standard when the ML7 was introduced in 1947.

Secondhand machines may not adhere rigidly to spec, possibly having been modified since being built. So you could have a bed with an early serial number, but a much later, or even different, Mandrel fitted.

Ex factory, Mandrel and Tailstock were 1 MT.It is possible that some owners may have modified to 2 MT

Threads will be BSW and BSF. Gib strips may be BA.

The Leadscrew should be 8 tpi, but Cross and Top Slde leadscrew were 12 tpi, the dial having 80 divisions, so that each increment is slightly more than a thou.

Changewheels are 20 DP, 14.5 degrees pressure angle, but are driven / compounded by 3/32" pins in holes drilled partway through . Gears from the later 7 Series will fit, but will need the 3.32 hole to be drilled. (this will probably mean drilling through one of the existing changewheels to act as a drill jig. If you do this ensure that the hole is well away from the keyway.

The Tailstock cross travel adjustment is not of the best design, but was improved. It is "liveable" with care.



Robert Atkinson 207/08/2020 11:47:32
753 forum posts
17 photos

@ Howard Lewis

Your description is incorrect

ML1 & ML2 are 3 1/8" center height (8.5" swing) and 15" between centers

ML3 & ML4 are 3 1/2" center height (10" swing) and 24" between centers

Either 3 1/8 " x 15" OR 3 1/2" x 24" not a mixture

The difference between ML1 (or ML3) and ML2 (or ML4) is that the ML2 (ML4) were "superior" models with bronze headstock bearings, ball headstock thrust races, long cross slide and quick relese tailstock.

Some later models may have a mixture of features or options. but this is the basic differences. This is taken from Myford literature, I think the website has it wrong or written confusingly in places


Robert G8RPI. ML2 owner.

Edited By Robert Atkinson 2 on 07/08/2020 11:48:04

Howard Lewis07/08/2020 13:59:33
3536 forum posts
2 photos


Nice to have clarification from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

My greatest experience is only of trying to help someone who thought that he had a ML2 but I found the hard way that it was a ML4. It was awkward, since the centre height gauge had been made for 3 1/8 and having travelled 140 miles found that it was 3 1/2!.

We never got to the point of examining the Headstock bearings, so your contribution will be an extra aid in determining which model.

All extra knowledge.


Robert Atkinson 207/08/2020 14:32:56
753 forum posts
17 photos


I was very confused myself when first trying to determine the differences. Unusually, the website did not help very much. I fianlly went back to contempary Myford documents that I found online -

Robert G8RPI.

Georgineer08/08/2020 12:14:04
388 forum posts
17 photos

Robert F 4:

To quote a post I made in an earlier thread, quotiing a post I had made in an even 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."

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."

Since your lathe has a serial number, I would guess it's one of the later ones, and the most likely model is the ML4 simply because they were made in larger numbers.

All my information has come from Myford documents or from Soem time ago I wrote to Tony at suggesting that it would be helpful if he put this information as a table in his website, but it hasn't happened.

Incidentally, Robert, if you do searches on this forum for "ML1" through to "ML4" you will discover that there is a wealth of valuable information and experience concerning that family of lathes.

George B.

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