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Inherited ML7 in need of some love - where to start?

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Tom Grace02/03/2021 04:38:30
8 forum posts
5 photos

Afternoon all

I recently inherited my grandfathers lathe that has been sitting in storage for the last 25 years. It’s pretty gunked up and has accumulated some rust, sawdust, dust and grime.

In short - its a restoration project! Something to keep me busy for the next few years worth of weekends 😉

The manual I can find online for ml7’s is dated recently (1997) but obviously older. Based on the serial - K2276 - this machine was early; 1946-1948 era.

So my question is (apart from where to start!) - what would this have looked like when it came out of the box? Is the 1997 manual appropriate?
I’m guessing bearing are likely going to need replacing, and the bed looks like it has some surface rust that may require it to be refaced. I’ve also got some questions about cutting metric threads that I haven’t had a chance to chase - so if anyone has some good references to look up, I’d appreciate the links.

Thanks for your help

Tom

not done it yet02/03/2021 07:52:17
6325 forum posts
20 photos

Hi Tom,

Where to start? Cleaning it might be a good idea. Next would be to measure it up to see what, if anything, is worn to the point of needing correction.

The one thing you should not be doing is ‘guessing’.

derek hall 102/03/2021 07:56:58
168 forum posts

Welcome to the forum Tom.

There will be plenty of expertise on here to advise you, but please resist the temptation to take your lathe to peices to clean and paint it.......... you may do more damage and disturb critical settings that may take a while to realign.

I will leave it to others to help you, but pictures of the lathe would help us assess what is needed.

Regards to all

Derek

Hopper02/03/2021 08:07:30
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5505 forum posts
137 photos

ML7 Users Manual is available free all over the net for free. Not sure of its year of publication but ML7 was an ML7 with few changes -- in the finest British industrial tradition -- until its obsolecense and demise.

But you should also get The Amateur's Lathe by L H Sparey to give you more practical pointers on how to use the machine and sharpen toolbits etc.

+1 on don't pull it to bits to clean it. Not a beginners task. Tidy it up and learn to use it. Scotchbrite might clean the rust off the bed. Don't use grinders or abrasives on the bed. And clean the Scotchbrite off after.

Bearings can be adjusted by removing tiny shims from between the two halves if there is excessive spindle play.

Bed can be saved from a regrind by doing a Wide Guide conversion . See MEW issue 287 for details. But no need to rush into that straight away. Get some use out of it first.

Metric threads can be cut on a Myford using the standard change gears without needing special gears. Charts for that are in the book Screwcutting in the Lathe by Martin Cleeves.

These books are still in print and available and reconditioning Myfords has been in numerous previous threads on here if you do a search.

And plenty of help on here if you have specific questions.

Don Cox02/03/2021 09:04:45
55 forum posts

Tom

Mine's a 1949 one. I suggest you start by getting some Nuto H32 oil and squirt it into the headstock and countershaft bearings. The headstock bearings seem to live for ever so long as the are kept lubricated, so fingers crossed. Also oil the slideway surfaces and anything else that moves, or is tarnished, with it, a few drops in the motor bearings would be good too. Then start removing the grime to see what you've got. The 1997 manual will give quite a bit of info as will the Myford website. There's more knowledge relating to these lathes here than anywhere else I've seen.

Good Luck

Don Cox

Swarf, Mostly!02/03/2021 09:09:20
606 forum posts
62 photos

Hi there, Tom,

As an ML7 owner, I've been watching forum threads on ML7s for as long as there's been Broad-Band Internet. A clear conclusion from that surveillance has been that re-assembling lathes seems to be much more difficult than disassembling them! The sight of a heap of bits seems to destroy people's motivation and they give up! Don't go there.

My advice would be to clean carefully all those bits that are accessible without dismantling. Sawdust is especially objectionable but not usually difficult to remove.  A coating of oil and grease is messy to remove but may actually have been protective for those years in storage.

The ML7 lubrication system is of the 'total loss' type so flush through the headstock bearings a couple of lubricators full. Only then rotate the mandrel, initially by hand.  Start to develop your love/hate relationship with the Myford oil-gun (use oil, NOT grease!!!!).

Hold a bar in the chuck and gently press the end up and down and side to side, maybe monitoring the movement with a dial gauge (if you have one). Leave the headstock bearings alone until and unless you have clear evidence that they have problems.

Measure the ways to assess wear.  I was taught that it takes an inch of steel to make a foot of rust - work that arithmetic in reverse and see that any rust your ML7 has is almost certainly not as serious as it looks (but it is abrasive). Think very carefully and take lots of advice before taking anything abrasive to the bed. Gentle and restrained scraping is good. (Phosphoric anti-rust treatments, e.g. Jenolite, cause buildup so don't be tempted to use them.)

To summarise, my advice is to gently coax, without disassembly, your ML7 to the state where you can actually turn something. Build up some experience with using the machine, gently at first. Hopefully you will find that any dismantling eventually required is far less than you thought and having developed a feel for the machine will give you the motivation, not only to start it but to finish it.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 02/03/2021 09:13:50

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Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 02/03/2021 09:24:44

Jon Lawes02/03/2021 10:56:39
avatar
652 forum posts

Lots of interesting info on lathes.co.uk which I'm guessing you have probably found already.

Dave Wootton02/03/2021 12:00:47
200 forum posts
51 photos

Tom

Can only agree wholeheartedly with the good advice above, just clean it oil it and use it,any shortcomings will soon be apparent. These are tough little things capable of good work even with some wear.

I know someone, who about twenty years ago, got a very nice early super 7 , with the oil sight glass, very useable but a little scruffy, despite advice to the contrary he stripped it for a full rebuild and repaint to as new. I believe it's still in bits at the back of his garage to this day.....

good luck with it , enjoy using it.

Dave

 

Edited By Dave Wootton on 02/03/2021 12:02:06

Hopper02/03/2021 12:07:28
avatar
5505 forum posts
137 photos
Posted by Dave Wootton on 02/03/2021 12:00:47:

I know someone, who about twenty years ago, got a very nice early super 7 , with the oil sight glass, very useable but a little scruffy, despite advice to the contrary he stripped it for a full rebuild and repaint to as new. I believe it's still in bits at the back of his garage to this day.....

I bought several BSA Rocket 3's for $200 a pop off guys like that in the past. And several Norton 750 Atlases, and an Ariel factory scrambler, and so on...

 

Edited By Hopper on 02/03/2021 12:08:05

old mart02/03/2021 15:28:01
3345 forum posts
208 photos

I would just gently rub the rusty parts with some wire wool and oil. That will remove most of the rust without harming the machined surfaces. You may be forced to do some dismantling, if parts cannot be reached, but it is an old machine and if you intend to use it, the parts made are more important than just how pretty the lathe that produced is.

Tom Grace03/03/2021 06:20:15
8 forum posts
5 photos

Thanks very much everyone for the advice. My inclination was to strip it as a project - lots of sage wisdom here has convinced me to take the subtle approach!

e67e9821-b2c5-49a9-863a-c6f99e0337fb.jpeg

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PatJ03/03/2021 06:54:38
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132 forum posts
104 photos

I bought a Myford a few years ago, but have not had time to use it.

I have been snowed under with work projects literally for years.

I keep in a humidity-controlled environment to prevent condensation on the bare parts.

With some TLC, yours can look like this again.

myford-01.jpg

myford-02.jpg

myford-03.jpg

myford-04.jpg

myford-05.jpg

myford-07.jpg

PatJ03/03/2021 06:59:31
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132 forum posts
104 photos

Mine came with quite a few accessories, but more importantly it came with full documentation.

The scans of the documentation are large.

I will try to upload a reduced sample here.

If you PM me, I can probably set up a file transfer for the documents that I have.

I think you would find them very useful.

PatJ03/03/2021 07:05:42
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132 forum posts
104 photos

I would say be very methodical and clean one piece at a time.

I use a fine sanding sponge or buffing wheel to clean up surfaces sometimes, and that works well in a drill or tool and die grinder (tool and die grinder is limited to a 2" diameter sanding sponge).

The parts need to be oiled immediately after they are cleaned to prevent rust.

Here are some reduced samples of the material I have.

I have a lot of original brochures that explains every part on the Myford 7, and explains the various accessories that can be used with it too.

 

rmyford-misc-04.jpg

 

rmyford-misc-06.jpg

 

 

rmyford-misc-07.jpg

Edited By PatJ on 03/03/2021 07:07:51

PatJ03/03/2021 07:14:21
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132 forum posts
104 photos

A few more reduced size brochures which I found helpful for identifying parts, pieces and accessories.

rmyford-ml7-01.jpg

rmyford-ml7-02.jpg

rmyford-ml7-03.jpg

rmyford-ml7-04.jpg

PatJ03/03/2021 07:17:59
avatar
132 forum posts
104 photos

Don't get aggressive with cleaning the ways; they are precision items.

.

Tom Grace03/03/2021 08:01:27
8 forum posts
5 photos

Thanks Pat. Beautiful looking machine! I’ve sent you a PM separately - would be great to see the original documents. Understanding what is genuine vs what the old boy collected is interesting in itself!

Hopper03/03/2021 09:00:14
avatar
5505 forum posts
137 photos
Posted by Tom Grace on 03/03/2021 06:20:15:

Thanks very much everyone for the advice. My inclination was to strip it as a project - lots of sage wisdom here has convinced me to take the subtle approach!

e67e9821-b2c5-49a9-863a-c6f99e0337fb.jpeg

c968ad49-4213-4382-bb8c-c55b4f14e1a7.jpeg

31e3a2d4-6d0e-451a-a65a-856607d7f45c.jpeg

 

2a62b07f-0dc4-4831-9cdb-9512b5eadcfb.jpeg

b1f6d7d5-c698-48ba-9a94-ece1bd15b716.jpeg

Wow! Looks like you have scored the motherlode of Myford accessories there. And the rust on the base machine appears very light. I would clean the paint down with degreaser etc and maybe wire brush the painted area and repaint with brush paint without disassembly. Looks like the bed ways and leadscrew and motor drive unit are all in pretty uncorroded condition. That is great,

The boxes of bits appear to contain a fantastic collection of accessories. The old boy seems to have collected about the full kit over the years. I see a long cross slide - highly desireable - with rear toolpost plus regular cross slide and veritical slide, plus lever action tailstock. All very desireable. And the boxes appear to hold a treasure trove of change gears and tooling. Very good. And I see a Myrford milling vice, various collets, a ball turning tool, V blocks, reverse chuck jaws, hand turning rest and just about everything imaginable short of the Myford dividing head. A good haul!

PS every time I look at it I see more. It has a clutch and a graduated leadscrew handwheel. Awesome.

Shame the cross slides etc appear to be more rusted than the main body of the lathe so best clean them up, post some pics and seek advice on best way to proceed there. Again careful cleaning and repainting with a brush will work wonders. A wire brush in the electric drill is good for painted areas and rust that is NOT on essential precision slide ways etc.Do one piece at a time so parts do not get mixed up etc.

Keep us posted on how you go. And seek advice frequently. What you have there is well worth taking care of.

Edited By Hopper on 03/03/2021 09:04:13

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Edited By Hopper on 03/03/2021 09:12:55

Ady103/03/2021 09:19:57
avatar
4728 forum posts
714 photos

And don't chuck anything out, anything

Even teeny grubscrews and pins can suddenly find a home in 12 months

Swarf, Mostly!03/03/2021 10:01:14
606 forum posts
62 photos

Hi there, again, Tom,

I agree with Hopper that you have scored a wealth of desirable accessories for your ML7. I suggest that you trust your late grandfather's judgement regarding the non-Myford items - he almost certainly acquired/collected them because he figured they'd be useful. Time will tell.

The official Myford user's instruction book (that's not its proper title ) includes illustrated parts lists. These include what are often termed 'exploded diagrams'. Those lists and diagrams are available in down-loadable form on the Myford web-site. (Also, I believe, for the Super 7 as well as for the ML7.) Here's an example: **LINK** . (Note to moderators: I hope I am not out of order with this link in view of the latest forum rules. )

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 03/03/2021 10:03:07

P.S.: The electrical socket in one of your photos doesn't look like a UK item - what is your geographical location?

S.M!
 

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 03/03/2021 10:06:39

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