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S7 lubrication, oil gun & stiff clutch

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Thomas Gude31/12/2013 00:14:24
104 forum posts
26 photos

Okay where to start...

I am now the proud owner of a Super 7. I am going through the set up and making sure everything it lubricated correctly. The instruction booklet says I hould use nutto H44 on all the nipple points, the lathe came with some Nutto 32 so I tried using that in the grease gun (attached pic). I am a little unfamiliar with this... as I understand it you pump it until enough pressure it built up and then the oil is released. I tried this and it always came out the top all over my hands. When I openeed it up the cork was at the nozzle end, I assume this should be at the pump end? I also removed the spring (pictured) and it kinda works but still not quite how I expect. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Do the grease nipples open under pressure or should they have a mechanism to open them?

My main area of concern is the clutch - This makes a right racket under speed, it very stiff to use and doesn't work all that well, making the spindle still turn weakly. Should I dissasemble the clutch and give it a "service" or should enouigh attention with the lube correct this?

Thanks all


Robbo31/12/2013 09:36:47
1504 forum posts
142 photos


this will bump your post back to the top! while we think about the problem.

How old is the lathe? ie is the clutch contained in the countershaft pulley at the left hand end, or is it the "Mk 1" with the clutch inside the stepped pulley.?

That really looks like a grease gun, so won't work very well with oil. I have one somewhere (part of a BSA toolkit?) so will have a look.

There are already several threads about Myford clutches on the forum, just use the search facility using Myford, Myford clutch, Super 7 clutch, Super 7, to find them.


Brian Wood31/12/2013 10:26:31
2454 forum posts
37 photos

Hello Thomas,

If I may add a few pennyworth; if the clutch is the cone version in the large pulley combination driven by the motor, a drop or two of oill into the cone will make a remarkable difference. Mine used to squeal and snatch until I did that, it is now silent and takes up the drive as you would expect.

I have no experience of the expanding version built into the spindle stepped pulley, but anecdotally I believe they are tricky to set up and keep in condition.

I am reminded of the similar difficulties in setting cable brakes in early motor cars

Regards Brian

EdH31/12/2013 11:57:05
45 forum posts
27 photos

This may help with the oil pump.

The oiling nipples on a Myford pose a problem as they require a high pressure to open them hence the expensive oil gun or oil all over your hands. I found this out recently while putting am old ML7 together.

I do not have a high pressure oil gun and use a Relaing oil can with a 1” length of thick wall rubber tube with an 1/8” bore held on with some cable ties. I took the oil nipples off the machine then using a piece of 1/8” plate with a 2BA threaded hole, this was held in a vice, screwed the nipple in and tested to see if the Relaing had enough pressure to allow oil to pass, most of them failed this test. I suspect using an expensive high pressure oil gun as sold for this purpose by the lathe manufacturer they would all work but who’s going to pay £70+ for one those. This leads me to think that there may be many users out there faithfully oiling their lathe unaware that the oil does not get through the nipple to the place it is required.

To lower the oil pressure I modified the nipples.

Put a nipple in the test fixture mentioned above and run a fine file over the end of the threaded section, with two light strokes the spring could be felt to be released, keep the file held down on the last stroke so the spring doesn’t fly out. Take out the spring and ball then thread the hole in the nipple using a 6BA tap. You only need about 1/8” length of threaded section.

Next use a piece of 6BA threaded rod, an off cut from a 6BA screw used elsewhere, about 3/16” long and holding this in a threaded collet in the lathe drill a 1mm hole through it. The brass rod will only screw so far into the nipple and the remaining space will be taken up by the ball and a shortened spring, the spring was cut to be one coil longer than the space available, a bit of trial and error used here reducing the spring by one coil at a time. This was assembled and tested with the Relaing and every modified nipple now passed oil and was still sealed afterwards by the ball.

I tested a pack of new nipples recently purchased from Myford’s and found the same problem so I modified these as well so this procedure works on both the old and new style nipples.

This modification does weaken the nipple body slightly but as the nipples are not a structural fixing wherever they are used on the lathe as long as the 2BA hole for them is clean they can be screwed in with finger pressure only.

To finish off I shortened the brass inserts so they just poked out of the nipple body and then using a centre punch flared the end to make sure the insert would not unscrew in use, just a light tap with a hammer seemed to work. After modifying the nipples I found that a cheap pump oil can would also now work.

John Haine31/12/2013 12:21:23
4189 forum posts
242 photos

Look for this thread:

which was about Myford lubrication. The Myford oil gun is a perennial issue. If you want to know more do a search on Google for "Lautard oil gun".

JohnF31/12/2013 13:51:57
1099 forum posts
183 photos

Thomas, most has already been said and yes the gun you have is intended for grease, most were made by Tecalemite and came with cycles or motor cycles, I have several of these and most were for grease but I do have a couple for oil for cycles.

Personally I would bite the bullet and buy one of the late model guns from Myford -- not perfect but better than most, but another trick is to place a piece of thin cotton cloth over the nipple and force the oil through this, the cotton acts as a seal between the nipple and the oil gun -- an old trick but it works well.

The clutch well a photo or two would help identify which type it is quickly

Happy New Year John F

Robbo31/12/2013 19:00:04
1504 forum posts
142 photos

The problem with the genuine Myford oil gun, apart from a price of £75, is it has a plain steel nozzle which needs great pressure to maintain contact with the nipple. Great pressure means that the oil comes out before a seal is made!

A good one can be had from ebay for less money, and has a soft insert to seal the nipple. I have found these to work well, but won't reach the pulley nipple in the headstock

Other Myford nipples are badly placed, eg behind the apron handwheel, under the topslide, and at the rear of the saddle. Right angle nipples are better here.

Have a look at



Edited By Robbo on 31/12/2013 19:00:55

Thomas Gude31/12/2013 19:33:35
104 forum posts
26 photos

Yes, I don't really fancy forking out £75 for an oil gun but EdH's method does sound rather laborious sorry. I think I will try the one in the link thanks. The brass plunger head on my one is also slightly cracked so probably isnt up to it anyway.

Attached a photo of my clutch:


DMR31/12/2013 21:00:05
119 forum posts
14 photos


You have a Mk1 (expanding type) clutch there. You also have grease nipples on the ends of the shaft instead of oil cups which means your early machine (pre 1956) was fitted with needle roller bearings. There was a mod available through proper Myford for some years after 1956 to fit bronze bushes instead of the rollers and it seems yours never got done. They do rattle but should still function OK. Try injecting a lightish grease and see if the rattle stops/ diminishes. Next, does the pulley waggle about at all indicating the roller bearing inside the pulley assembly is knackered (less usual). Do you have the early assembly manual? I would send you a personal message if I could figure out where the button/icon has gone on the screen, and send you the relevant pages.

Can somebody tell me where the PM button has gone?

A tight action suggests your cone clutch should have no slip, so something is not right. Do not just try to disassemble it as the countershaft has to be withdrawn through the right end. I will have to fish that history out if no one has the ready answer.

The Lautard oil gun is the one to go for. the Myford one works but often leaks from new.


Edited By DMR on 31/12/2013 21:01:30

Harry Wilkes31/12/2013 22:01:21
1178 forum posts
64 photos

I have a oil gun smiler to the one in 'Robbo's ' link it works well but the one infuriating thing is that it leaks (well mine does) so I have to keep empting and filling it.

EdH31/12/2013 22:51:16
45 forum posts
27 photos

The important thing to bare in mind is that regardless what method or oil gun you use you need to know that the oil gets through the nipple. Just pumping away and getting covered in oil yourself does not mean the bearing has received any oil.

Robbo31/12/2013 22:55:29
1504 forum posts
142 photos


The PM button only appears when you are logged in - this has caught me out before! I don't think you can send an attachment with a PM anyway, you'll have to get an email address via PM for privacy. I have the Mk1 clutch details if you can't do them.


I have yet to see an oil gun that didn't leak - some more than others.


The Mk1 clutch is notoriously temperamental, but adjustment and lubrication should sort it out. They are over 50 years old after all.


Thomas Gude03/01/2014 10:32:29
104 forum posts
26 photos

Thanks, I will try re-oiling it properly when the new gun arrives. There isn't any wiggle in the pulley so that's good. Just to be clear the slipping is when clutch is engaged (ie the work is not turning) the headstock spindle still slowly and weakly rotates, easily stopped by hands but very annoying.

Attached the photo of the clutch assembly in the booklet that came with the lathe - but seeing as the serial number of the lathe is SK5874 and the booklet has an email address on the back something tells me they didn't come together cheeky. Is there much similarity between the two however?

If Dennis or anyone has the clutch adjustment and assembly diagrams applicable to this model it would be greatly received. Is the mod for the new clutch still available and is it worth it?

In action the lathe work splendidly, cutting well and to 1/2 a thou down a 6" bar at top speed, but it is noisy and noise never leads to anything good.


Ian S C03/01/2014 11:39:44
7468 forum posts
230 photos

You have got the pin in the bull gear on the back gear? (not a Myford man, so not exactly sure what goes here). Ian S C

Thomas Gude03/01/2014 12:09:10
104 forum posts
26 photos

Err, yes I think there is some sort of pin in the shank of the bull gear. Not sure your reason for asking though....

Robbo03/01/2014 14:12:45
1504 forum posts
142 photos


You are correct, that manual is for a later model than yours, and the clutch is completely different.

If you send me a message (message member at the bottom of the post) with your email address I can send you copies of the clutch manual applicable to your lathe. It is not possible to send attachments with a forum message.


Robbo05/01/2014 10:20:24
1504 forum posts
142 photos

A further point about the machine manual, you can check the date it was printed by looking at the outside of the back cover. In the bottom left hand corner there is a number, such as "M. 3000/1/62" on the one I am looking at, or "M 3M/12/65" on another - the last characters are the date.

Thomas Gude28/01/2014 12:27:23
104 forum posts
26 photos

Thanks for the advice guys. New grease/oil gun and instructions on how to adjust the mkI clutch are working well! One last thing - there is a grease nipple sat in the groove of the of the far left pulley of the countershaft pulley set. I reckon if I could access it and lubricate it this would really help with sticking and noise. Neither the new or the old guns don't even come close to getting to it and I don't think I can get a socket down there to remove the nipple.

Any advice?


DMR28/01/2014 14:40:07
119 forum posts
14 photos


The nipple is to oil (not grease) the bearing in the pulley and you need to get some down there. For a start if all else fails you can remove the nipple with a 2BA socket spanner if you have one and apply oil into the upturned hole. What I did many years ago was adapted a small simple grease gun by disassembling it and turning down the outside of the nose to fit both that nipple and the one in the end of the mandrel pulley. I kept said gun upright in a cup as it leaked, but it worked! It needs regular oiling but not much as it finds its way through the bearing into the clutch area and sprays out if it gets a chance.


john fletcher 128/01/2014 16:42:28
727 forum posts

Thomas, Esso Nutto 44 is hydraulic fluid so if you go along to an agrigcultural merchants, plant hire firm or ships chandlers you wil get an equivalent. I take along a plastic 1 litre container and get it filled for about £2.50 as do my local friends.I fortunately don't have an oiling problem. I use a cheap die cast oil pump as supplied in a 1960 car tool kit. I ground down the end very slightly to make a better fit onto the nipple and always use a bit of cotton rag across the nipple to form a better seal. The oil in the gun has to be below the cork plunger for it to work , its messy to fill,so i have a container below to catch any dribbles.The gun used to leak when not in use, so I threaded the end and made a cap to fit, the cap together with a bit of rag does the sealing trick. Its parked together with my oil can in a 1 gallon plastic engine oil container with the side cut off. I like the idea of the nipple test rig, you learn some thing every day.I hope you soon get your clutch fixed. Ted

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