By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

ML7 tight saddle

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
AJW16/04/2021 22:36:29
359 forum posts
135 photos

My early 50's Myford although getting a fair amount of use is generally cosseted. I use a bedway protective rubber sheet fitted to the left side of the saddle to keep the lathe ways clear of debris and always clean up and oil after every use.

Today while in use I noticed the saddle was tighter than normal to move so my simple 'clean up' ended up with a saddle removal expecting to find the culprit trapped somewhere. But no, nothing untoward at all?

After a good clean up I re assembled and oiled up resulting in the usual super smooth movement, strange but we'll worth doing.

I know people knock the old Myfords but while I agree they have their limitations, set up properly looked after they can do a good job!


Hopper17/04/2021 05:24:52
5505 forum posts
137 photos

Yes, looked after they will give years of good service. 80+ years out of my old M-Type so far. It pays to take the saddle off and give it a good clean once a year or so I reckon. All kinds of tiny bits of grit can get in there and build up.

The rubber apron on the leading edge of the saddle is probably the No.1 best mod you can make on a Myford, or any other lathe for that matter. But as you have found, still not 100 per cent elimination of grit.

Nigel Graham 217/04/2021 09:57:35
1772 forum posts
22 photos

My guess is that the carriage was not binding on swarf - which if that tight would probably scratch the bed.

I reads to me as if the gib screws had slackened very slightly, perhaps in passing over wear transitions, allowing the gib to move lengthways just enough for the screw-end and dimple chamfer to act as opposing wedges.

One symptom that might be noticed is that when using the rack hand-wheel, the carriage binds, then on reversing it moves freely but only momentarily before binding again.

Re-fitting the saddle and adjusting the gib would have cured the problem.

[This is an effect I have found on the main slide of my manual Drummond shaper, which is of course subject to strong, alternating forces. The slide would go slightly loose then suddenly too tight to move. I replaced some of the existing screws with longer ones, square-headed in keeping, but fitted with lock-nuts]


Re the rubber sheet - I think I will adopt that for my lathe, and on the cross-slide as well as saddle front. I have already given the milling-machine a satisfactory replacement shield made from left-overs of butyl garden-pond liner.

Edited By Nigel Graham 2 on 17/04/2021 10:00:25

ega17/04/2021 11:07:27
2323 forum posts
190 photos

Building on what has been said above, would it pay the OP to dowel the saddle gib?

Nigel Graham 217/04/2021 16:16:44
1772 forum posts
22 photos

It may, but obviously using a separate hole, not modifying one of the grub-screw holes.

I've wondered if something similar would work on my shaper, but using a shouldered screw through one of the exiting holes, working into a close-fitting counterbore.

This is so it still pushes on the gib-strip but prevents that back-and-forth movement. Thinking about it though, this is on a gib I'd not fitted with lock-nutted screws, which may be the better choice.

AJW17/04/2021 19:20:58
359 forum posts
135 photos

Thanks for your thoughts. As I didn't find any obvious reason for the tightness I guess it could be a gib screw riding up in it's countersunk hole.

Just seems strange that in all these years it hasn't occured before? Anyway all back together and running great!


ega18/04/2021 10:16:13
2323 forum posts
190 photos

If you are removing the saddle then it's not much more work to remove and service the apron too. You could then take the opportunity to install a dowel to the gib. Here is mine:


Also visible in the photo is J A Radford's swarf-excluding ring on the half nut handle.

Nigel Graham 218/04/2021 11:37:32
1772 forum posts
22 photos

Thank you for that tip Ega - I'd not realised the handle can let swarf in.

Could be why that on my ML7 is sometimes very stiff and uncertain in action. (I know how it feels...)

However I have also found its stud tends to work loose in the casting, and that won't exactly help it work smoothly either.

ega18/04/2021 14:06:16
2323 forum posts
190 photos

JAR noticed that each time he removed the original cam there was "quite a lot of steel swarf jammed in the grooves". I think it would be fair to say that he worked his Seven fairly hard.

His comment was contained in a constructional article for an elaborate auto trip accessory for the saddle. To my mind some kind of trip is perhaps the one desirable feature that the Seven lacks.

Nigel Graham 218/04/2021 14:16:19
1772 forum posts
22 photos

A carriage trip would be desirable, but I don't think they were all that common even on larger lathes.

My Harrison L5 has no trip, though it has a spring-clutch on the feed-shaft that disengages once it's noticed the extra grunt necessary to continue the cut into the chuck.

On the other hand its feed-release trigger is very simple and much more responsive than its Myford equivalent.

My thought (for the ML7) would for a bar with an block set along it, that simply engages a pin protruding down from the boss on the half-nut handle.

ega18/04/2021 14:48:34
2323 forum posts
190 photos

Nigel Graham 2:

My comment has veered off-topic and I will reply to your interesting post via PM.

Edited By ega on 18/04/2021 14:49:07

AJW18/04/2021 20:41:12
359 forum posts
135 photos

Thanks for yours thoughts, as this was the first time I have experienced this in all the time I've owned it (35 years!) I don't think it can be a major problem, although at the next saddle service it could be considered.


Nigel Graham 219/04/2021 09:44:02
1772 forum posts
22 photos


I have read your PM, and saved the drawing. Thank you very much.

I cannot reply there though. The PM function is failing to register both my reading your message, and to accept my reply.


ega19/04/2021 11:30:25
2323 forum posts
190 photos


Thanks for telling me. Roll on the new site software!

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
walker midge
rapid Direct
JD Metals
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest