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Myford ML7 questions

Cutting tools type and size, Tailstock taper

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petro1head14/03/2012 13:40:21
730 forum posts
143 photos

Just bought a ML7 and very nice it is

I need to but some cutting tools. What do I go for ie Carbide and which size. I believe they come in 6, 8 and 10mm

I also need a tailstock drill, what size is the taper? Is it M2?

Phil Ashman14/03/2012 13:57:14
33 forum posts

The tailstock is 2MT, as is the headstock. I think what sort of tools is very much a personal preference, I always use HSS. There's been loads of arguments for and against in this forum! But if funds will run to it, I'd get a quick change toolholder, it saves loads of time packing up tools to the right height.

Hope you enjoy your ML7. I wouldn't part with mine for any money!


Iain14/03/2012 14:14:53
6 forum posts

Also have ML7 wouldn't part with it for the world. I have tried carbide tools Good for cutting through casting 'skin' annd flash but prefer HSS tools for good finish.

Do yourself a faour a QC toolpost is the best ever

DMB14/03/2012 14:47:38
959 forum posts

Agree with the others - most important/useful accessory is QC toolpost for exact centre height every time and quick interchangeable tool types. I got a cheaper type rather than the Myford-Dickson which I thought at the time was too expensive. I am very happy with my purchase many years ago but I sometimes wonder whether its yet again get what you pay for and the M-D version might have been a bit more rigid.

Probably 2nd item if not already got one, is a tailstock drill chuck. Then go on to collect 3 and 4 jaw chucks and a fixed steady for long bars to be machined. Oh! and a leadscrew handle.

Good luck and hope you enjoy many happy hours with lathe.

petro1head14/03/2012 14:56:22
730 forum posts
143 photos

What QR toolpost and where from

Leadscrew Handle?

Phil Ashman14/03/2012 16:24:02
33 forum posts

Like John, I have one of the cheaper ones, and it's perfectly adequate. All the usual suspects sell them, RDG, Chronos etc. But be aware, you'll need a lot more toolholders than is supplied with it!

I'd forgotten the leadscrew handle, absolutely indispensable. It's a handwheel that goes on the end of the leadscrew and allows you to advance the saddle by a known amount, they're marked in thou's, assuming an imperial lathe. I don't know how they mark the metric ones.

petro1head14/03/2012 17:36:31
730 forum posts
143 photos

Also where is a good place for cutting tools, what size should I get and which ones are a good start

David Littlewood14/03/2012 18:21:38
533 forum posts

If you go for the Dickson toolpost/toolholders* sized for the 7 series (I believe it is called S00) then 8 mm tools are the correct size to use. Always use the thickest tool you can to reduce flexing; this will be limited by the toolholder and the lathe's centre height, or in the case of a boring tool by the size of the hole.

*...and I would recommend them; I have about 25 holders collected over many years, and have always found them completely reliable.


David Clark 114/03/2012 18:43:24
3357 forum posts
112 photos
10 articles

Hi There

I use 10mm shank tools with no problems.

regards David

petro1head14/03/2012 20:39:43
730 forum posts
143 photos

Should the tool tip be at the ctr of the work (round bar) or off ctr

David Littlewood15/03/2012 12:19:06
533 forum posts


You are quite right, 10 mm it is. I must have been having a senior moment; should have gone downstairs to check. Apologies to the OP.

As for the tool tip, dead on centre height (centre of bar) is best in most circumstances. For very fine cuts, avoid going above centre height or the tool will rub. Very slightly low is OK, but leaves an annoying little pip in the centre when facing. Making a centre height gauge tailored exactly for your own lathe should be one of your first tasks when acquiring a new lathe.


petro1head15/03/2012 13:58:17
730 forum posts
143 photos
Posted by David Littlewood on 15/03/2012 12:19:06:


Making a centre height gauge tailored exactly for your own lathe should be one of your first tasks when acquiring a new lathe.


Cheers for the help.

I spend most of my youth in a workshop but it looks like I have forgotten everything

Ctr height guage, any pointers please?

Also tools, what size would I need. I assume I will need whitworth spanners but which ones

Ady115/03/2012 15:37:22
3503 forum posts
513 photos

Buy spareys book

The amateurs lathe

To help get you going

petro1head15/03/2012 16:20:34
730 forum posts
143 photos

Placed an order with Amazon


NJH15/03/2012 17:11:35
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Tool Height




Edited By NJH on 15/03/2012 17:13:52

Edited By NJH on 15/03/2012 17:14:25

petro1head15/03/2012 17:17:07
730 forum posts
143 photos


The toolpost, is the tool height adjustable?

David Littlewood15/03/2012 18:09:15
533 forum posts

The above design seems fine, but better still to have an additional finger reversed to allow setting of upside down tools (can be useful for boring tools).

The toolholders' height is indeed adjustable. Slacken the cap screw at the very top, loosen the clamp, adjust the knurled positioning bush until near-correct, retighten clamp, retighten capscrew, check against your height gauge. This will almost certainly show it is not quite right, and the position does tend to move a little on tightening, so repeat as necessary until it's spot on, and then check by taking a facing cut, which should just not quite leave a pip. Sounds laborious but (a) once you have done it a few times it becomes second nature and (b) once you have done it you can leave the tool there indefinitely. That's if you have enough holders to have one for each tool you use and a couple of spares for one-off tools. After a few years you probably will. It's a whole order of magnitude faster and better than fiddling around with spacers in conventional toolposts, and as for 4-way tool holders, yuk_spit.

Note if you want to do a Google search for centre height gauges, the word is gauge not guage (actually I think some Americans spell it gage (and center), but that's their problem).


Edited By David Littlewood on 15/03/2012 18:11:28

NJH15/03/2012 18:13:31
2314 forum posts
139 photos


The interface between the tool holder and the tool post is essentially a dovetail, or maybe more correctly a series of dovetails, which allow the holder to move up and down on the toolpost.The holder is locked in place by tightening a ( removeable) box spanner on the hexagon head next to the toolpost clamp (on the right) which pulls the two items closely together. With this freed and the top socket screw on the toolholder loosened, the height of the tool holder can be set by moving the knurled knob in the appropriate direction. Once done the hexagon is tightened and the setscrew on the tool holder also tightened thus locking the position of the knurled nut. When the time comes to change tools simply undo the hex nut , remove that tool and holder and replace with the next tool. Do up the hex nut and continue.

It takes a little while to set up all your tools and holders but once done it increases productivity no end! Oh by the way you can never have enough holders - at the last count I think I had 16 - in one of these I keep a clock guage - very useful when setting work in the Grip-Tru or 4-jaw.



petro1head15/03/2012 23:23:46
730 forum posts
143 photos

Norman, where did you get the tool post from?

Terryd16/03/2012 07:33:27
1926 forum posts
179 photos

Hi petro1head,

As Phil said above you can buy a QCTP from any of the online suppliers such as RDG, Chronos, Warco (ad in the RH column on this page), Axminster Power Tools etc. etc. There are several good tool suppliers if you Google them.

These suppliers also sell sets of pre ground HSS tools which gets you started without having to grind your own initially. you will need a small grinder (Machine Mart) and a diamond slipstone to touch the tools up and keep keep them sharp. There is a lot of information on the internet about lathe tool shapes and keeping them in good order, just do a bit of research there.

Here are a couple of pictures, one of a 'Dickson' type toolpost but there are other types to consider. It may be worth visiting one of the suppliers on an 'open day' such as Chester (Google) or Warco, or visit a local Model Engineering club (see internet or Directory for a local one) where you can get hands on and advice. Also the one pictured has the capacity for two tool holders at the same time so you can swing a second tool into place easily, some only have capacity for one at a time which means changing the holder more often and is less convenient in my opinion but others may disagree.

The second picture is of a centre height gauge from a George H Thomas design - his book is also very good and is usually available from local libraries (if not they will get it for you). It is called "The Model Engineers Manual" and makes a good read.

Learning to use a lathe and exploit all it's possibilities is a long but rewarding journey.  It is the machine that made the industrial revolution and the world as we know it - enjoy the trip and welcome to our world wink 2

By the way a real name rather than a 'handle' would be nice.

Quick Change ToolPost (QCTP)

'George Thomas' Height Gauge


Best Regards


Edited By Terryd on 16/03/2012 07:44:43

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