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What lathe

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Joshua Kempster22/01/2021 14:18:29
37 forum posts

Hi quick question, I bought a myford ml7 to make up some air rifle silencers an dispute it being a well built quality machine I soon found myself on speed dial to myford ordering parts for a restoration project as I like things right, I soon got sick of waiting for parts to turn up to find I needed something else so I sold it on an decided to buy a Chester db8vs as it looked to suit my needs. Well first one I got went pop an took the motor an board out an the second one I received had a botched lead screw an a faulty motor that would start smoking while I was screw cutting. So my question is what would I be best putting my money into for a good machine? Boxford Colchester?

Howard Lewis22/01/2021 16:17:17
4744 forum posts
10 photos

You have been unlucky.

Secondhand machines can be a lottery unless you know what you are about and are very careful. But even then you can get caught! No one, even if they know what the previous four owners did, is likely to put you off a sale by explaining why it won't turn parallel, or has missing or chipped gears.

Bearing in mind the size of machine, if I were in the market for a new machine, of a similar size to a ML7, a Sieg SC4-510 might well be my choice.

It has a 1 KW motor and being brushless provides high torque.

It is new, and seems to have many of the features preferable in a machine (Power Cross Feed being one! ).

I like the Leadscrew being covered to exclude swarf.

The changewheel set includes a 127T gear so that Imperial threads can be cut with greater accuracy.

Have never dealt with Axminster, so cannot comment on their offerings or after sales support.

Have only dealt with Arc Euro as small value customer, but have never had reason to fault them

The starter sets, offered by Arc, except No 2 (which would be my choice anyway ) are currently out of stock.

The only extras that I would seek would be a four jaw independent chuck, and possibly an ER Collet .

Other than measuring equipment, and a bench grinder, that would seem to be a fairly complete set up.

A friend has a SC4 and has not told me of any problems.

But, these are my preference, The choices have to be yours.




Edited By Howard Lewis on 22/01/2021 16:23:56

Joshua Kempster22/01/2021 16:43:31
37 forum posts

To be honest I’m after a solid machine with a gearbox for screw cutting probably on 3phase any recommendations?

Steviegtr22/01/2021 16:47:41
2037 forum posts
283 photos

Sounds like you have been unlucky. I have a Super 7B & have had very little trouble with it. However i have seen some that have had a hard life with little in the way of maintenance. Good luck finding one to suit your needs.


not done it yet22/01/2021 17:46:46
5870 forum posts
20 photos

If you have been making heavy cuts at low speed, I am not surprised at the motor problems.

Boxfords can be a good buy, but some, of course are worn out completely, some need some TLC and the occasional offering is very good. I went the Raglan route. Very happy with my first, but even happier after I found a good 5”. I was in no hurry to upgrade, so had plenty of time to check out the offerings and knew what I was looking for.

SillyOldDuffer22/01/2021 17:50:58
7144 forum posts
1573 photos

Joshua has been very unlucky - 3 lathes failed to make the cut, which is unusual. The Myford may have been worn out, but two Chinese lathes both suffering board and motor problems may indicate something else is going on.

How hard are the lathes being driven? A lot of deep thread-cutting in a difficult material like work-hardening stainless steel might push a hobby lathe over the edge. They aren't industrial machines!

I guess a new Industrial machine is out of question unless big money is available, but I would have thought any of the recent ex-educational / ex-industrial Boxfords, Colchesters, Harrisons would do provided they are in good condition. Or an older model. Machines of this class not being in good condition is a problem, because restoration costs can be eye-watering! Whilst 'good' lathes are available at remarkably low prices considering what they cost new, spares are likely to be full price and some are 'if you have to ask the price you can't afford it' expensive.

Normally I would recommend looking at a second-hand machine before buying it, but absolutely not during Covid restrictions. That leaves buying sight unseen, which could end in tears, or from a Dealer. Dealers are more expensive than direct buying but they do offer a layer of consumer protection in the event the machine is sick.

Don't forget VAT and shipping costs will be extra; that dealer bought machines rarely include accessories, and the electrics will be 3-phase. Budget: up to £5000-ish.


Joshua Kempster22/01/2021 17:51:03
37 forum posts

I was doing light cuts on Aluminium 1.5 pitch screw cuts for air rifle silencers no way a £1200 machine shouldn’t be able to handle that the myford dispute it’s problems was all over it an could perform this task effectively

Joshua Kempster22/01/2021 17:54:48
37 forum posts

An not to mention the lead screw had in unadjustable play it an would double thread the work. Great service from Chester but bad experience with them 2 particular machines

Pete.22/01/2021 18:23:33
509 forum posts
81 photos

This question gets asked every couple of days almost, the problem is, everyone here has different machines, they bought those machines because to them, that was the best machine, so when they give a reply they're telling you what is best in their opinion, a better way to ask this question might be, what lathe do you own, and why did you choose it, pick the person with lathe you're most interested in, and ask them questions to help you.

Joshua Kempster22/01/2021 18:25:23
37 forum posts

Fair point apology’s

Howard Lewis22/01/2021 18:32:49
4744 forum posts
10 photos

If you want a norton gearbox, on a new lathe, you are talking a bigger machine with an outlay to match. (£2,500 and upwards )

The Chester Craftsman has a norton gearbox, and the 120/127T Idler makes cutting Imperial threads on a Metric machine easier.

Otherwise you are probably looking at an Axminster C8, or one of the Warco GH machines.

Secondhand you are looking for secondhand Craftsman, or one of its clones such as the Warco BH600 or the rarer Engineers ToolRoom BL12-24. These are belt drive machines with 12 speeds (incl backgear ) and a norton box giving 40 different ratios.


jann west22/01/2021 18:36:19
74 forum posts

When everywhere you go smells like poo ... perhaps you should check underneath your shoes

Bazyle22/01/2021 18:37:08
5864 forum posts
217 photos
Posted by Joshua Kempster on 22/01/2021 17:54:48:

An not to mention the lead screw had in unadjustable play it an would double thread the work.

Did that happen when you were running the lathe in reverse to get back to the start of the thread.

Joshua Kempster22/01/2021 18:41:23
37 forum posts

No mate there was play in the actual lead screw itself I don’t reverse the machine I pull it bk to my original scratch cut with the tail stock used as a stop to ensure good position

Gavlar22/01/2021 18:49:58
66 forum posts
1 photos

That don't sound right, there's no need to use a stop.

If you are not using a TDI and not using the machines reverse to get back to the start you have no chance of decent threads.

Sound more likely user error than duff machinery.

Edited By Gavlar on 22/01/2021 18:51:40

Joshua Kempster22/01/2021 18:54:45
37 forum posts

Go on mate you know best load of know it all’s on here I take it shouldn’t have bothered lol the 2 db8vs where defective lol it’s a well documented problem on this forum that’s why I joined but never mind bunch off geeks

Oldiron22/01/2021 19:09:34
774 forum posts
23 photos
Posted by Joshua Kempster on 22/01/2021 18:54:45:

Go on mate you know best load of know it all’s on here I take it shouldn’t have bothered lol the 2 db8vs where defective lol it’s a well documented problem on this forum that’s why I joined but never mind bunch off geeks

Sounds like you were unlucky with the lathes if you were doing a perfectly good job. (which I doubt) A lot of people on here have many years of experience but you seem to know better. Lots of people have turned out excellent work on worn out old bangers of lathes. It just takes experience and getting to know the lathe. I dont think you have earned the right to call any forum member a know it all or a bunch of geeks until you get some experience and a better attitude. A very childish attitude methinks.

Why the heck would you need a silencer on an air rifle anyway ?.


Gavlar22/01/2021 19:14:57
66 forum posts
1 photos

Pre Charged Pneumatic (PCP) airguns are 'hurt your ears and do permanent damage' loud without a moderator. It's thevery reason I started learning to use a lathe.

Joshua Kempster22/01/2021 19:17:18
37 forum posts

Look I came on here to tap into people’s knowledge but instead got told that I obviously caused the problems I was having so sort your selfs out an stop being **** that’s it. Obviously I am pretty new to this but one thing I do know is them machines were not fit for purpose so get over your little complex the second Machine was still running when returned ****************

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 22/01/2021 20:24:19

Joshua Kempster22/01/2021 19:27:12
37 forum posts

An to the decent people on here I apologise for my language

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