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Myford ml7 about to buy

Advice needed!:)

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von dutch12/01/2021 09:05:49
53 forum posts

Hi all,I've found an early ml7 for sale,I am about to purchase it is a good price however it doesn't come with any tooling or change gears,it is a bit tired but I would relish the opportunity to refurbish it and use it in my workshop.I have initially checked it over and apart from obvious small nicks on the headstock end of bed and a little play in the apron handwheel,what tests,checks can I do before I get carried away!,any advice greatly appreciated.

Oldiron12/01/2021 10:40:16
976 forum posts
40 photos

Hi Simon welcome to the forum. There are many many post on this subject. >>> Buying a lathe.


Hopper12/01/2021 10:41:28
6412 forum posts
334 photos

The main bugbear is wear on the bed. Measure the thickness of the bedways about six inches from the left hand end compared with the unworn part next to the tail stock. If more than about 3 or 4 thou it will need an expensive regrind. Same applies to the width of the bed ways. Although, if it's early model, you may be able to salvage it with a wide guide conversion, on which there have been previous threads.

Headstock bearing wear is common and can be felt or measured by yanking the chuck up and down or side to side by a bar held in chuck jaws. More than a thou or so of movement requires the removal of some shims from the bearing halves. Or if excessive, some rescraping might be needed.

Be aware the cost of tooling and changegears can equal the purchase cost of the lathe if you are not careful. If you are getting it genuinely cheap, all good. But often it works out better to buy one with the gears and tooling as a job lot. If you go down that road, be aware too that often very nice Boxfords and Raglans are cheaper than Myfords and are better machines.

Edited By Hopper on 12/01/2021 10:44:02

von dutch12/01/2021 10:56:56
53 forum posts

Thanks for your reply I will check the bed for wear,I agree I could be lucky and get a boxford or raglan (although prices seemed to have gone silly at the moment)this is cheap and I think I can get my money back if I decide not to continue with it.prices of lathes in general seem to have gone crazy I just saw a really tired much worse condition than this one go on eBay for over £700.I would of preferred a boxford or raglan but nothing for sale near me at sensible money.Having said that what a lovely looking lathe and appears to be very well put together could this be why there so popular I hope it's as capable as it's looks.

Nigel McBurney 112/01/2021 11:13:23
1000 forum posts
3 photos

I bought my Myford from new and it has lasted well over 40 years,but some Myfords are horribly used and well worn,plus they have such a small hole through the spindle. Hoppers advice is good ,accessories are expensive,always buy a well equipped lathe,ie chucks ,gears ,faceplate,then if you still find you have bought a dog,at least the accessorie have value and easily be sold on. I would go for a Boxford,they will take years of use,a Viceroy is near identical to a Boxford and usually cheaper plus 3/4 inch spindle bore and a 3MT tailstock A lot were only used in education establishments, you might ask why did I go for Myford years ago, well in the 1960s/70s Boxfords were far more expensive and English industry was in full swing and there were vey few good second hand lathes available, even on a new Myford I was quoted a years delivery by a local agent,after searching I did find one in stock at a London agent. A 5 inch centre height Boxford is even better as it has the same centre height all along the bed where as the Myford has only 10 inch swing over the gap.

von dutch12/01/2021 11:28:55
53 forum posts

Interesting information,maybe I should add a little more about it,it come with factory clutch,quick change toolpost,3 jaw chuck and key some screwcutting gears (I'm not sure how many come as standard?),lots of small hss tools drill chuck and a reasonable stand that I think I could make a good cabinet out of ,I'm a bit reluctant to say what for but it's way cheaper than rubbish I've seen in the bay,

von dutch12/01/2021 11:45:43
53 forum posts

I think from the serial number it's 1950,I'm trying to figure out how to post pics,what would you say it's worth

Dave Halford12/01/2021 12:25:36
2054 forum posts
23 photos

£500 to £600, but then I'm cheap.

You may find the chuck holds to 3 thou on big pieces and 15thou on small bar so budget for a new one.

Be careful some people think £25 for a myford motor pulley is OK, it's not.

Bazyle12/01/2021 13:00:38
6324 forum posts
222 photos

Just try and get both sets of jaws for the chuck and don't be prissy about it being concentric to tenths. Rather than being short of lots of bits as you initially said it is ready to go. Few lathes come with everything and although Myford parts are being price hiked recently they are plentiful and you can get by without everything on day one. Location affects availability and hence price.

von dutch12/01/2021 13:02:22
53 forum posts

It's mine for less than 500,

Tony Pratt 112/01/2021 13:28:11
1966 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by Simon Kimsey on 12/01/2021 13:02:22:

It's mine for less than 500,

We need pictures.smiley


von dutch12/01/2021 13:47:39
53 forum posts

I think it does come with both sets of jaws for chuck,how do I attach pics I'm struggling to suss it

DiogenesII12/01/2021 13:53:53
563 forum posts
221 photos

Try this;

How to.. ..Pictures

SillyOldDuffer12/01/2021 13:58:12
8698 forum posts
1967 photos
Posted by Simon Kimsey on 12/01/2021 09:05:49:


,what tests,checks can I do before I get carried away!,any advice greatly appreciated.

Ideally see it cutting metal. It's the quickest and easiest way of detecting trouble.

To cut metal the motor and electrics have to be working. Facing and turning exercise the controls and reveal backlash and slop due to gibs, bed wear, worn bearings and a knackered half-nut or lead-screw. The noise the lathe makes may reveal missing teeth and other transmission problems. Eyeballing the spinning parts should spot excessive wobble due to a bent shaft. If the seller can't or won't demonstrate it, look closely, especially if his body language is alarming. He might be a mug who bought a lemon and is keen to pass it on to another mug!

Notorious problems with old Myford 7s:

  • Bed wear (they can be reground three times, then...)
  • Ancient electrics. Broken or unsafe. (Not difficult to replace, but costs mount up.)
  • Dicky Dewhurst Switch. (Elderly design and may have been misused to stop-start the lathe. Replace, £.)
  • Screw-on chuck jammed. (Not the end of the world. Ask advice!)
  • Bull gear missing teeth due to owners trying to get their jammed chuck off.
  • Bearings worn due to long service or because lubricated with grease instead of oil because the machine has what look like grease nipples.
  • Bits missing.
  • Bad history. Some Myfords were worked hard - even thrashed - and they are up to 70 years old. Poor storage, perhaps left in a damp cellar for several years until the widow dies and the house is cleared. Unwise renovations; some people mistake ill-judged confidence for skill! As the brand attracts premium prices beware of 'bitsas' and Sows Ears.

Hard to judge what a good price is without seeing the machine and what it comes with. Condition is everything. Also relevant is how interested and equipped the buyer is should it need work. Renovation is a worthwhile hobby in it's own right, but not if the lathe has been bought on a tight budget, the owner wants to use it pronto, and then finds he needs to spend another £1000 and a few months to get the machine into working order.


von dutch12/01/2021 14:17:01
53 forum posts

Very informative reply,thanks it's for sale through a mutual friend who knows little of it ,I've ran the motor it sounded smooth and quiet without any rattles the bullgear is missing a tooth,the belt looks like it needs replacing,it's currently not bolted to the bench I don't think he's even used it bought on a whim, should I do any light turning tests on it say piece of ally whilst it's not bolted down or is that a waste of time?,also anybody have an up to date realistic price on a regrind ?,myford themselves quoted £500 plus blimeys it's only a small bed!

OldMetaller12/01/2021 14:55:04
202 forum posts
25 photos

I got my ML7 about ten years ago, it had no change wheels. I always meant to source them, but found I could cut all the (small) threads I needed with a tailstock die-holder and taps in the chuck. I use the lead screw hand wheel instead of the (non-existent) self-act, and find it quite therapeutic and 'hands-on' for what I am doing.

Of course, I'm not a 'proper' engineer, just somebody who loves being in my workshop.


Martin of Wick12/01/2021 14:58:25
249 forum posts
5 photos

Personally, I wouldn't touch a lathe with no provenance, unless you particularly want an expensive, irritating and time consuming project

From your description so far you have already added up a couple of hundred to the base price, added to which is probability of needing to replace all bearings and motorising shafts etc, the cost to achieve a even a mediocre machine is getting up towards a grand - Go to Myfords site and E bay and start adding up the costs of all running part replacements - if you can find them and you may want to think again.

It is more likely than not that the bed will need a regrind and if you regrind the bed you will need to do the saddle etc.

It will likely cost at over £300 excluding time and travelling IF you can find someone to do it.

I had a 7 done by Slideway services 5 or 6 years ago and it was £250 then- since that time the owner has sold up I am not sure if the new owner is amenable to small jobs.

Sent you a PM for basic static Myford checks



Edited By Martin of Wick on 12/01/2021 15:05:31

Dave Halford12/01/2021 15:01:38
2054 forum posts
23 photos


You may have found the best type of old lathe.

A bit grubby.

All one colour, probably chipped and not been repainted for years.

Grooves in the bed where the tailstock runs can be fixed by a shim in the tail stock set over joint.

The wide guide conversion will dodge the any bed wear from the carriage.

Light turning probably wont tell you anything meaningful without the gibs, spindle bearings and carriage being adjusted. All it does is reflect current condition and not what is possible.

As to electrics, buy it a new mains lead, I've not had to reverse my lathe yet and you probably wont either.

bricky12/01/2021 15:18:39
575 forum posts
68 photos

My old S7 1957 vintage had a regrind at Myfords in 09 and was 317GBP so given inflation in 11 years I'm not surprised at that price.Well worth the expense and it made a new lathe out of it.


von dutch12/01/2021 15:45:54
53 forum posts

Thanks for all your replys very helpful,I'm still trying to suss pic upload !)),Dave halford that's spooky have you seen the lathe that's a pretty accurate description!

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