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Myford Lathes???

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  • Myford Lathes???

    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?

  • #2
    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.


    • #3
      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.


      • #4
        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.


        • #5
          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

          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.


          • #6
            Or try a CVA?


            John S.

            Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


            • #7
              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!



              • #8
                <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Don,
                Or try a CVA?

                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.


                • #9
                  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 but not lately
                  BTW I got some chromed shiney things back from my chrome plater mate; he only took 9 weeks but the price was right...thanks Rob.
                  Seriously though, look for a well maintained example with accessories.


                  • #10
                    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.

                    So many projects. So little time.


                    • #11
                      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.
                      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


                      • #12
                        <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 but not lately .
                        Blimey...I thought you'd finished it and sold it.



                        • #13
                          <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Allan Waterfall:
                          Blimey...I thought you'd finished it and sold it.
                          Can you see what too much thinking does for you Allan? You can come to a completely wrong assumption A valid one but incorrect all the same
                          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 ...ha ha, I`m a bit tight myself so maybe there is a bit of Holland here also Ken



                          • #14
                            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?


                            • #15
                              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