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Help identifying mystery steady rests - possibly Myford 4" Precision?

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Rich Allen 105/05/2022 13:57:43
8 forum posts
10 photos

Hi everyone,

I hope you don't mind me dropping in to ask for help from you knowledgeable people!

I recently acquired an ML7, which came with fixed and traveling steady rests. When I came to use one of them I realised they are not for this lathe!

I am yet to find pictures online resembling what I have. Closest are Myford and Raglan.

The centre height (which I believe is the distance from bed-centre?) is 4".

The fixed steady seems to be for slideways spaced 1 1/16" apart.

The traveling steady has a dovetail of which the male counterpart would be perhaps 2 1/4" wide across the top.

The only markings are on the underside of the traveling steady: MF 275-6 cast-in, and 1303 stamped adjacent (pictured).

From my research these could perhaps be from a Myford 4" 'Precision' Lathe. The MF prefix to the part number is consistent with the information I can find on the 4" nomenclature. The serial number 1303 is consistent with the believed roughly 500 unit run of this model (Myford serial nos always starting at 1001 i believe?).

The clamping plate on the underside of the fixed steady looks like it might be similar to that of ML2-4 models, from what I can find on the matter.

As for the dovetail on the traveling steady, which is clearly a diversion from normal Myford design - Later models of the 4" were available with an 11" cross slide, which might explain the choice?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks,



Ady105/05/2022 17:06:19
5095 forum posts
736 photos may help

A lot of the old boys in here won't visit an unknown site that's in a first post

Putting your pictures in here will get a better response

Rich Allen 105/05/2022 23:24:42
8 forum posts
10 photos

Thanks Ady, I will edit the original post tomorrow. has been my primary resource thus far!

Hopper06/05/2022 01:22:06
6421 forum posts
335 photos

Doesnt look like the Raglan Little John moving steady I have kicking around. The Raglan has adjuster bolts around the outer side. But the fixed steady casting definitely has a Myford-esque look to it. If you can adapt it to clamp to your ways it will still work for all but the largest diameters. Does not matter if the job is off centre in the steady as the fingers will adjust to fit.

Rich Allen 106/05/2022 10:10:27
8 forum posts
10 photos

Thanks Hopper. If I don't manage to identify them then adapting them to fit the ML7 is definitely on the cards. I did offer up the fixed steady but the vertical offset is a bit too much to be able to properly hold the work as-is, so will probably mill it to the correct centre height for the lathe.

But if possible it would be good to identify. If they are indeed a rare Myford set it would be a shame to hack them up!

Rich Allen 106/05/2022 10:20:41
8 forum posts
10 photos

Couldn't edit the original post, so here are the images:


Howard Lewis07/05/2022 15:34:13
6120 forum posts
14 photos

The Myford ML1 and 2 have a centre height of 3.125", while the ML3 and 4 are 3.5" centre height, all with solid dovetail beds.

So, at 4" centre height and clamping in the middle on a flat bed, not for not for them.

Try searching through potentials on the Lathes UK website. You might see a LOT of lathes, in the process.


Rich Allen 109/05/2022 09:03:53
8 forum posts
10 photos

Hi Howard, I think you are incorrect about the beds of the ML3 and 4 being dovetail. Notwithstanding it is the comparatively rare Myford MF32/74 4" 'Precision' lathe which I'm talking about here, which has narrower-spaced slideways than other Myfords and a 4" centre height. All information gleaned from many hours already spent on

Michael Gilligan09/05/2022 09:20:14
20200 forum posts
1053 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 07/05/2022 15:34:13:

The Myford ML1 and 2 have a centre height of 3.125", while the ML3 and 4 are 3.5" centre height, all with solid dovetail beds.


With the alleged ‘wisdom of Solomon’ … please let me go-halves angel

Illustrations of ML1 to ML4 are available here:

**LINK** :

I see longitudinal slots in all the beds.


Rich Allen 109/05/2022 11:18:28
8 forum posts
10 photos

Interesting, I hadn't noticed the dovetail angle on those beds before, my mistake. (Although solid they are not!)

Michael Gilligan09/05/2022 13:12:44
20200 forum posts
1053 photos
Posted by Rich Allen 1 on 09/05/2022 11:18:28:


(Although solid they are not!)


Hence my reference to Solomon angel


Rich Allen 109/05/2022 21:50:24
8 forum posts
10 photos

There has been a development - I noticed a 4" Myford MF74 being sold on eBay, and the seller was kind enough to measure the distance between the slideways for me. The fixed steady is a perfect match!

Howard Lewis10/05/2022 14:27:01
6120 forum posts
14 photos

Homer nodded!

It was in pre lockdown days that I helped a newbie to recommission the ML4 that he had bought. The distance added too much enchantment to the view!

But a 4" centre height is too great for one.

It sounds as if the answer is the 4" Myford MF74.

Again, the Forum provides an answer!


Rich Allen 112/05/2022 19:02:21
8 forum posts
10 photos

All praise the Forum!

The steady rests are now on eBay should anyone be interested.

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