View Full Version : Myford Lathes???

10-03-2005, 01:45 PM
I am looking for my first lathe and there is a guy around here, Ontario canada, that sells Myford lathes. Are they any good? I have read some posts here about hard to get tooling and wierd thread pitches or something. Should I keep looking for an old industrial lathe or would one of these be of good quality?

Norman Atkinson
10-03-2005, 02:10 PM
Among my bits and bobs which I call a workshop, I have a Myford ML7.

The only queer pitch is the spindle nose- but actually it is an SAE thread but has gone whitworth 55 1/2 degree for some reason.

After that, Myford is one of the best catered for lathes in the UK. I could name four books exclusively devoted to them- for starters. Model Engineer, one of the 3 mags contains enough to fill your working life time.

However- Myfords bring a hefty price even second hand. Don't ask me why- they are no better and no worse than any other 7" swing lathe.

The most important thing- if you go along this road- is to get one which has been well kept. This applies to any other lathe equally.

I hope that you will do some research before making a purchase- of whatever lathe you buy.


I hope hoffmeister is reading this.
I can get really serious- and wrote a restoration article on doing up one.

10-03-2005, 04:10 PM
I've never seen one in the wild but I like looking at pictures of them on the internet.

Norman can probably advise on the plethora of attachments that are made for them. I've always thought of them as a little more refined than a SB 9.

I'd like to see your article or some pictures of yours Norman.

Milacron of PM
10-03-2005, 04:38 PM
Myford made one of the nicest small cylindrical grinders ever made, but their lathes are nothing special...terrible in the "bang for buck" department in fact.

If you are inclinded toward a small UK lathe, look for good used 10AA or the Colchester equivalent...infinitely more machine than any Myford lathe and takes up no more shopspace, unless you consider the "bench" aspects of a Myford important.

10-03-2005, 04:48 PM
I have a home shop and own a Myford Super 7 lathe that I bought from the original purchaser on ebay about 2 years ago. The lathe was 18 years old but looked virtually brand new, since it was used very little as the owner had access to a machine shop where he was employed. It came with a Pratt Burnerd three jaw tru-adjust chuck, a 4 jaw chuck, 3 face plates, a complete set of collets, a swiveling milling attachment and vise, tail stock chuck, centers, die holders, etc., and a swiveling 4 position tool holder. This particular model is the 7 x 19, with the quick change gear box, although they also make one 31" between centers. The very newest model has a hole through the spindle of 1" I believe, the older models like mine are .590, pretty small.

As you know the lathe is manufactured in England and appears to me to be extemely well made and of high quality, as are all of the attachments. I disassembled much of the lathe simply to check it out, clean and lube, etc., and in doing so I managed to jam the clutch mechanism that lets you engage/disengage the spindle from the drive mechanism. I decided to go ahead and send it back to Myford in England to have it repaired, rather than take a chance on repairs here. The Myford people were very nice to deal with. Excellent service (but expensive).

The toolholder that came with mine uses 5/16th inch tooling for correct center height adjustment. I occasionally would like to use somewhat larger tooling, and have milled some tools to fit/work, the only other option would be to get a quick change adjustable tool post. Some tooling doesn't come that small. As the previous poster mentioned, the spindle thread for the chuck is an odd size, although I think one advertiser in the Home shop machinist advertises Bison brand chucks, collet holders, etc. to fit the Myford.

These lathes new, and the various attachments, are incredibly expensive in US dollars at the present time. For the cost of a new one fully loaded I think you could buy a high quality 14 x 40 well equipped. As someone once said, you can make something small on a big lathe, but you can't make something big on a small lathe. If I had to do it all over again, I think I would hold out for a high quality full sized lathe and spend a bit more. The Myford weighed in the neighborhood of 300 - 350 pounds, and I have it mounted on the top of a steel topped table weighing about the same.

A good website with much historical info on the lathe, the various models, etc. is www.lathes.co.uk/myford/page14.html (http://www.lathes.co.uk/myford/page14.html)

My only reservations about the lathe are its size (may be fine for your work) and the cost relative to larger equal quality machines. Hope this helps.

John Stevenson
10-03-2005, 04:49 PM
Or try a CVA?


John S.

Norman Atkinson
10-03-2005, 06:12 PM
I think that there is precious little that I could add to chechbrno's excellent summary. I rather like the nom de plume!
Went over the minefield at Bratislava.

I have the Myford ML7 which is the cheaper version. The Super 7 with a gearbox is quite something. Mine, I suspect is worn- and I have been following the postings on carbide scrapers with more than idle curiousity.

I cheated- a bit- and bought a 918(0) with a Myford nose so that I would have the opportunity to exchange between the two without too much hassle. I had problems with too high speeds and have finally started to run a small petroil generator and a converter into three phase. Kept blowing the lights- and was losing Brownie points with her Holiness faster than gaining them.

I finally traced my little write up in Model Engineers Workshop. Copies will be sent. Sadly, the bloke who did my lathe top is not there. Ironically, he was in Lumsden's old factory- and we had shares in Lumsdens Machine Tools. Merde- Merde( cos- I don't dare write the word in English)

On the bright side, I was given- or swopped a few gears for a surface table on unknown providence- which is English for possibly knackered. From an equally odd place, I parted with an English ten pound note and got a lathe bed- of unknown origin.
I came out with a set of Clarkson T&C attachments including a radius attachment and a swing, diamond dresser and bits that would have sent hoffman into a fit of red
( rusty) rage and jealousy.

I looiks a bargin!!!

Might I be permitted to mention the two books of the late George Thomas- and mention that Hemingway sells kits for many Myford Accessories. Again, Martin Cleeve has done Screwcutting in the Lathe and Jack Radford Improvements.

In addition, and I would apologise to users of other lathes, I have a fairly comprehensive set of Model Engineers covering the other work of the late Martin Cleeve- or Kenneth C Hart.
It would be fitting to put it all under one cover, so to speak. I have tried to get people interested- and that is it.
I'm over 75 and it is all heading for the crematorium- with me!


Milacron of PM
10-03-2005, 06:25 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Don,
Or try a CVA?
http://www.lathes.co.uk/cva/index.html (http://www.lathes.co.uk/cva/index.html</font>[/quote])

I'd never even heard of a CVA, much less seen one, until you pointed them out to me some months ago. It does indeed look like a very nice lathe. But I assumed they would be much rarer in Canada than the Harrison 10AA and so much further away from a Myford, in terms of weight, that it might be a bit intimidating in that respect to a newbie. The 10AA is a fairly lightweight machine compared to the Monarch 10ee and CVA.

I don't know how it is in Canada, but the 10AA was a fairly popular techinical school lathe in the USA, so they are "obtainium" whereas the CVA might be in the "unobtanium" category.

10-04-2005, 07:41 AM
Flash, I have an early ML7 that is undergoing a complete rebuild. They make an excellent long term project, Alan will verify that, he has been ribbing me often http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif but not lately http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
BTW I got some chromed shiney things back from my chrome plater mate; he only took 9 weeks http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif but the price was right...thanks Rob.
Seriously though, look for a well maintained example with accessories.

10-04-2005, 09:16 AM
May I step in with a question? In US nomenclature, what is the size of the Myford? Is it equivalent to a 14" lathe in the US?

Thank you.


10-04-2005, 09:32 AM
No, the Myford is 7" swing, 3 1/2" center height.

If you read back issues of Model Engineer magazine, from about the 1930s until the Asian imports took over, Myford was THE model engineering lathe of choice. ME magazine has numerous articles about attachments and modifications for Myford lathes.

Allan Waterfall
10-04-2005, 01:25 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by speedy:
They make an excellent long term project, Alan will verify that, he has been ribbing me often http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif but not lately http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif.

Blimey...I thought you'd finished it and sold it. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


10-04-2005, 06:15 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Allan Waterfall:
Blimey...I thought you'd finished it and sold it. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Can you see what too much thinking does for you Allan? You can come to a completely wrong assumption http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif A valid one but incorrect all the same http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
I bought a drive plate the other day for NZ$25. He has some gears but I`m waiting for the price to come down, he`s Dutch you know http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif...ha ha, I`m a bit tight myself so maybe there is a bit of Holland here also http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif Ken

10-05-2005, 02:13 PM
Here in western Canada, Myfords are pretty common, especially the ml-7's. They were heavily sold in the 60's and 70's here. I have probably seen 20 or so in the last 10 years, even well equipped ones sell for under $1000 can. Super 7's sell for at least double that here.

CVA lathes are more common than you think Don, at least here. I know of 3 in my area. They are at least as common as Chipmasters and Harrisons, and much more common here than 10ee's and Hardinges. A lot of the CVA'S I have seen here also have Kearny and Trekker badges on them, I guess maybe they carried the CVA line for a while?

Norman Atkinson
10-05-2005, 05:04 PM
In some retrospect, I wonder if there is the added advantage of a world of spares still available for both the Seven and The Super Seven. They are no longer made but if one is prepared to pay- as many of you indicate- the spares are there- new and second hand.

I was ashamed to find something which would fit on my machine and do the spiral vertical column of a Quorn Tool and cutter grinder. Ye, Angels in the Heavenly Host- did I make that?All ye cherubs, how did I do it- or did you?
Perhaps, the idea of a Myford becomes more and more relevant. The phone rang a few minutes ago. I had the offer of a Super Seven with a gearbox. Not till I'm a bit more sober.

Life is like that


10-05-2005, 11:27 PM
Watch it,speedy!I heard that! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif.And here I was thinking scotsmen had the "tight" reputation.
Dutchmen just like "value for money" http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif.Goedendag.


Norman Atkinson
10-07-2005, 12:59 PM
Presently, a thin film of prussian blue is pervading the workshop from the Myford bed.
It is scraping time! I thought of the E-mail about my ancient exploits sent to Hoffman.( Head above water, yet?)
I phoned up a Yellow Page entry- just down the road. It's about 36inches by 5 and 4-ish deep, I cried. Cost yer $50 dollars in bush tucker, was the response. Wow!
I now await a gap in production schedule or the parting of the Red Sea. The grinding of the top of the Myford bed is almost on.

Meanwhile, the front shear is only about a thous and half concave. The bits that hang on are to be ascertained.

Speedy wants a write up- I haven't forgotten.


10-08-2005, 06:50 AM
I have some Polish and German.... does that explain it http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
Hope things are good for you and yours Hans.

No problems Norm http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif, it is appreciated. Whenever you find the time is OK by me.


[This message has been edited by speedy (edited 10-08-2005).]

10-08-2005, 09:12 AM
Where exactly in ON are you? I'm in Sudbury.

There are lots of good deals on used machinery in the GTA. I can point you to several dealers.
Have you looked in the Tri-ad paper?

One point about Myford lathes not really considered here is their small size. Consider the kind of things you would like to make, and then look for a lathe at least 50% bigger. You'l probably out grow a Myford pretty quickly.

Check out www.marksmach.com (http://www.marksmach.com) He has a colchester student lathe for a reasonable deal. I've bought some machines from him and he is good to deal with.


Milacron of PM
10-08-2005, 11:50 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Check out www.marksmach.com (http://www.marksmach.com) He has a colchester student lathe for a reasonable deal. I've bought some machines from him and he is good to deal with. </font>

Price is $1,800 on the list, but then $2,800 when you click on the details..neither of which sounds reasonable to me for such a mundane lathe.

Norman Atkinson
10-08-2005, 01:42 PM
Probably, we should all confess to some circumloction. After all, I have the two machines and a 10mm Pultra. They suit my
aspirations in making turnings. In no way, do I want to go onto large scale machines- even if they are no bigger than a Colchester Student. I can make far more brass than on a lathe- no matter how big or small.
I deliberately avoided a direct comparison earlier- and for the reasons most of you have contributed.

Attention should be brought to when the 7's were brought out just after the War.
At that time, small lathes for model making were mainly pre-war and crap! I don't want someone to tell me how to suck eggs or raise red herrings. The 7's had a rigidity which few possesed. They had V belts and integral drives. They had no2 Morse tapers instead of No 1's. Again, they had a range of speeds which would accomodate the needs for swinging lumps of metal far in excess of
what would be normal for such a small machine. The Chinese have still to address the question of similar slow speeds as offered then. As a bonus, few milling machines were cheap enough and small enough to go into a model makers end of the garage or garden shed. The cross slide was T slotted to take a vertical slide in lieu of a horizontal miller. The 'first' small miller was by Ned Westbury- the Trustee in the Tool Room man and Editor of Model Engineer. Again, it was small and far from robust (I made one). It was superceded by Arnold Throp who improved it and called it the Dore-Westbury. Returning to the Colchester Student, it has to be remembered that it still hasn't a slotted table to fit accessories on.
I didn't really want to give a discourse on the history of model engineering as there are plenty of others far more skilled than I.
To conclude( thank Heavens), home workshops have come a long way in 50 years but examples and questions do arise.
I hope that I have been fair in my views.


[This message has been edited by NORMAN ATKINSON (edited 10-08-2005).]

10-08-2005, 03:12 PM
$1800 is about going price for that size of lathe here in Ontario. I paid that much for my 1340 Standard Modern from this dealer about 18 months ago. I'm sure that there are many great deals around on small lathes south of the line, but taxes, duty, exchange and transportation make these deals not so great.

I've had a number of small lathes over the last 15 years, and if I had to start over I sure wouldn't start with anything smaller than a 10" South bend or Logan (or equal) I'd really be looking for a 10L southbend or maybe a Sheldon.

Myfords are nice lathes, but they are expensive to get accessories for here. There seems to be a plethoria of stuff available for the south bends and logans

Just check out the prices form this Toronto area dealer (who is listing some Myfords)
I have seen some of his stuff, and it's far from pristine. A guy could buy a lot of lathe for what he wants for a used ML7, if he looks around.


10-09-2005, 03:01 AM
14 x 36 camlock Student?? at www.marksmach.com (http://www.marksmach.com)
It looks like a bog standard 6" x 24" LO spindle gap bed Colchester Student with a fresh shabby paint job to me.
Where does this 14 x 36 description come from?


10-10-2005, 04:46 PM
$1800 for a 13- 40 standard modern is a steal for the Calgary area, I have never seen one cheaper than $3000, dealers are usually around 4000$ to start, and this is for fairly worn machines.

10-10-2005, 08:15 PM

I am in Barrie. I have seen that web site before and check it regularly. I have also looked at a place called Mainway Machine, they are the guys that sell the Myford. I think you are right in that I need something bigger like a least a 12X36 or similar. What are the other places in the city that you know of?

10-10-2005, 10:09 PM
Have a look on the mainway page at the delta lathe. He has had it for well over a year (maybe more), and would like to move it. It's a 14x 36(ish), and may need a replacement motor as it might be 3ph. It could be a great fixer upper if that might be your game. I'd bet a guy could haggle him down a bit on the price too!!
Also I would recomend that you call Mark Allen at marks machinery in Ottawa. His site is not always up to date, and he may know of something else that's available.

I would also recomend getting your hands on a tri-ad. Lots of the dealers advertise there.

And... I think that there is a 13x33 standard-modern for sale here in Sudbury. Those are a heck of a lathe in my opinion. I can find out for you if you are interested.

Send me a PM at shapeaholic at yahoo dot ca I may have some other useful info for you.