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New Lathe replacement for Myford

Any suggestions for similar size but not smaller

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brian jones 1105/08/2021 21:17:05
347 forum posts
62 photos

If this topic has been raised before recently pls accept apologies and suggest link

Lets say I have a budget of £10k and want a new metric lathe suitable for the hobbyist ie not so heavy it needs special lifting gear - lets say dissembles into a 2 man job. It should be compatible with the Myford hobby market

Say <1hp vfd, to 2000 rpm, screw cutting horizontal/cross feed, QC tool post, 3 jaw 4 jaw, faceplate plus facility to accept collett system?

excluding DRO but with option to add as a factory extra

Have I missed anything?

pls feel free to identify inferior products. Myford is not perfect but its faults are honest (except for the nose thread of course)

Bear in mind that I have only recently become acquainted with Covid tools and what little I know wouldnt fill the back of a postage stamp

I am not intending any production work btw

I was thinking of this to encourage my grandson who sadly would never get the industrial training I did

Thor 🇳🇴06/08/2021 05:01:12
1608 forum posts
45 photos

Hi Brian,

I have a 290 type lathe that is nearly 10 years old, so far I have had no problems. It is similar to this one, but no DRO, they have both smaller and larger lathes (all though they may be out of stock). A 280/290 lathe can be moved by a couple of strong men. Another option is to try and find a second hand European made lathe in good condition, will probably be heavier so not so easily moved.


Edited By Thor on 06/08/2021 05:41:56

JasonB06/08/2021 07:14:42
22604 forum posts
2643 photos
1 articles

Like Thor I have a similar lathe just a little smaller being the 280model, does all the hobby work I have asked of it and half your budget. If it was available at the time of purchase then I would have gone for the 290 as the larger bore spindle is useful and I would have tracked one down with D1-3 chuck mount.

If you had a bigger budget of £15k then maybe a Newmetric Myford would suit. Though actually likely to be nearer £17K by the time you have added a stand, 4-jaw, faceplate, steadies etc to the basic machine as unlike the 280/290 Myford don't include these in the basic price. Though it uses the metric Myford spindle nose so old Myford backplates & chucks won't fit.

Edited By JasonB on 06/08/2021 07:15:05

not done it yet06/08/2021 07:28:30
6748 forum posts
20 photos

Another option is to try and find a second hand European made lathe in good condition, will probably be heavier so not so easily moved.

Raglan 5” ticks all the boxes (with a VFD). Examples in good condition do come up but metric variants are rare (I have the parts to convert mine, once I repair/replace the cross slide feed screw nut). Not so much less than £9000 change from the budget. A QCGB version would be very advantageous or even a must.

Ady106/08/2021 07:46:17
5069 forum posts
734 photos

With a 10k budget I'd probbly look at CNC instead of manual

Buy a 1k clunker for manual stuff for him to get the feel for it etc

Look at 9k for the CNC route

Myford will give you a refurbished metric for 4k btw

While manual machining is nice the future for youngsters is computers/CNC/printed parts/CAD

With 10k you can also kit out a workshop with a good manual lathe + mill + bits

....decisions decisions...

On ebay today if you put in "metal lathe" and "UK only" there is only one machine in the entire country costing more than 10k

Edited By Ady1 on 06/08/2021 08:00:45

Nicholas Wheeler 106/08/2021 09:36:10
913 forum posts
87 photos

£10k is more than enough to fully equip the whole workshop for that size of machine! As the other posters have said, a 280/290 lathe and similar bench top mill with tools, powerfeeds and DROs would leave enough to buy some other kit suitable for your interests starting with a bandsaw, MIG or small TIG are essential to me, sheetmetal machinery would be next on the list.

I'd be buying all this new as it's to do work, not be the work refurbishing old/knackered/worn out/abused machinery.

SillyOldDuffer06/08/2021 09:55:10
8513 forum posts
1914 photos

Good question Brian!

The professional approach is to pay much more attention to the requirement, ignoring budget at first. What's it for? Whether or not a lathe will enthusing a grandson will depend on what the grandson (or more likely Brian) expects of it. A youngster's likely to find the type of work I enjoy dead boring; I'm happy to spend hours exploring HSS and Carbide, threading, the properties of different metals, and have experimental interests well served by a lathe and milling machine. I do laboratory gadgets, others make fine models, bling motorbikes, make tools, clocks, musical instruments, or restore old vehicles. A grandson might be better served by a 3D-printer, fast workstation computer, Arduino's, oscilloscope and a small library! Grandad might be happy making a wobbler, grandson might prefer a quadcopter.

Professionally set requirements are categorised as Mandatory and Desirable. The Mandatory list contains absolute essentials only and is ruthlessly pruned because Mandatory requirements eliminate purchase options, which must never be done carelessly. For example, Brian says 'not so heavy it needs special lifting gear', which is both vague and - worse - eliminates a long list of extremely capable ex-industrial machines. With a budget of £10,000 it might be appropriate to hire or buy an engine crane(or whatever), or have the machine installed commercially. (People speak highly of Landylift.) Desirables are weighted, i.e 'how desirable', which allows machines to be compared. 'It should be compatible with the Myford hobby market', is desirable (should rather than must), but how important and why? Over emphasised, this requirement eliminates pretty much everything other than Myford lathes! Could be a good reason for that, or maybe a beginner read some older literature and misunderstands today's market?

The professional approach isn't good for newcomers feeling their way into a new hobby. My ideas starting out were pretty blurred and I now regret the time I wasted pratting around trying to decide what to buy. In the end I realised it was better to get on with it and bought a mini-lathe. What I learned from that machine was worth every penny! Expecting it to need a lot of fettling, I was pleased to find it worked out of the box. I also learned what lathes are capable of in a general sense. For me, the main problem was it's a bit too small. I upgraded to a WM280, which is pretty much all I have room for; it's a much easier machine to use than a mini-lathe because there's more room around the work, more power, a convenient gearbox, and power traverse. But about 70% of what I do can be done on a mini-lathe. If my interests had been serious clock making, I would have gone the other way towards Sherline, Taig or Cowells. What I miss most about the mini-lathe is how quiet it was compared to a big machine full of steel gears and whining fans!

If in a blur of confusion, my advice is stop fussing and get on with it. For many purposes there is no difference between a Mini-lathe, ML4, ML7, Super7, WM280, Connoisseur, Boxford or Dean Smith and Grace, so you might as well start with what's affordable. A WM280 is usefully bigger than a Super 7, and that might matter in your workshop, or not. I wouldn't dither about motor types or exact power either; VFD, DC, Brushless, Single-phase(yuk), will all do well enough. Mini-lathe to small Boxford, anything in the range 500W to 1500W will do. In the good old days lathes were so expensive it paid to get it right because they were a once in a lifetime purchase: not so today - it's always possible to change later. After learning the ropes on a mini-lathe, buying another lathe, including second-hand, is less dangerous because an ounce of practice is worth a pound of theory.

Missing from Brian's list is the space available. I'm limited to a single-garage, which contains a bench, mill, lathe, bandsaw, storage, and a good deal more. One of the reasons I went Far Eastern was being able to choose the biggest machines that will fit into it I have space for a WM18 and a WM280, but not for a WM290 and a Bridgeport. Starting out, a mini-lathe is an easy two person lift and it fits on an ordinary bench. Built in motor, reasonable turning diameter and inexpensive, it's almost the ideal starter machine. Change later if it doesn't do what you need.



Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 06/08/2021 09:55:38

Neil Wyatt06/08/2021 10:53:18
18994 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

Way, way under your budget but the SC4 seems to offer everything except a dedicated DRO without being huge.

Steviegtr06/08/2021 13:25:26
2423 forum posts
336 photos

Not sure which Myford you have , but the 254 looks a good machine.

not done it yet06/08/2021 14:05:37
6748 forum posts
20 photos

Yes, agreed - the 254 was, after all, just a more modern, improved Raglan without the famed Raglan variable speed drive arrangement.

brian jones 1106/08/2021 14:07:05
347 forum posts
62 photos

I have a 70 year old ML7 still going strong after i did some repairs/upgrades and battled the infamous nose job.

Buying new I wouldnt want a repeat of past models as progress is made. I think factory made DRO is essential today, as is VFD, metric/imp screw cutting with QCGB.

The Warco 290 seems to tick all the boxes and I have yet to hear a bad word. It also has a flange chuck fixing

Only problem is a waiting list on orders.

SOD you are right about the impatience of youth. in our day it took a 5 year apprenticeship to gain a thorough grounding in workshop practice

I suggested to my lad he train up to become a robot technician, there will always be a call for these techies but they will need workshop manual skills as a solid basis.

mechman4806/08/2021 14:18:20
2947 forum posts
468 photos

I have a WM250V-F with power X feed, a WM 16 mill with long table, 2012 vintage, both of which have performed more than satisfactorily for my needs. As said space is a deciding factor, & as per SOD I have a single garage conversion & that is quite full as it is, in fact I could do with another garage. If I was looking for another lathe I would take a good look at the WM290 with VFD & factory fitted DRO, along with WM18 & fitted DRO, Myford 254, Harrison M250, larger again, but still ample for model work.


lfoggy08/08/2021 21:45:21
181 forum posts
17 photos

From your post it sounds like you are loking for a new machine but if you are willing to consider a used lathe, as has been said above, a Myford 254 fits your requirements very well. They did produce a variable speed model which is rare, but it is easy to fit a variable speed system to the standard lathe, as I have done.

For your budget you should be able to source a good used 254, fit the variable speed and a DRO and get all the accessories you mention.

If you do go for a 254 I would recommend one with the D1-3 Camlock spindle as this makes changing chucks so much easier.

Trevor Drabble09/08/2021 00:13:08
280 forum posts
5 photos

GandMtools have a used and equipped variable speed Boxford for £2250 + VAT .

Trevor Drabble09/08/2021 00:25:16
280 forum posts
5 photos

Also , Lathes UK have a Myford 254S for £3500.

David Standing 110/08/2021 13:51:26
1297 forum posts
50 photos
Posted by Trevor Drabble on 09/08/2021 00:25:16:

Also , Lathes UK have a Myford 254S for £3500.

Crikey, I had better get mine advertised for sale then, it will be a lot less than that! laugh

brian jones 1111/08/2021 10:19:06
347 forum posts
62 photos

I guess if you are going to buy 2nd hand you need to define what type of work you intend to do, from agricultural to precision

As seen on this site members have reported the work involved in trying to refurbish worn out m/c that had a hard life. re grinding a bed £800 + pnp

Henry Brown11/08/2021 17:33:13
548 forum posts
117 photos

I sold my Super 7 and bought a Warco GH1322, It is a little bigger but as close to a proper machine as I could get. It has the usual Chinese faults, a bit rough around the edges in places, but works well and although I planned to fit a 2 axis DRO to the cross slide and top slide I've not found the need for one yet, the cross slide is particularly accurate.

Warco spares chap, Peter I think, is a pleasure to deal with and seems to know his stuff.

Sub Wooer17/08/2021 22:51:42
23 forum posts
4 photos

My second choice for portability would have been an ENCO Maximat 11". Stephan likes his:

Third choice for rigidity would be a Hardinge, or maybe a Southbend heavy 10. Not sure if these are as readily available in the UK.

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