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  • Myford lathe

    I am searching for information on a Myford Super 7 Plus lathe.

    I am looking for comments from the forum:
    1. On the new “Big Boreâ€‌ spindle and how or what chucks and face plates are available.
    2. Short bed vs the Long bed.
    3. Other negatives (like Whitworth, not metric screws)?

    I am planning to retire 6 months to 2 years from now and I want to upgrade my machining capability. I have looked at the web pages of two USA suppliers and I will email them after I get comments from the forum. I may also email Myford. AKA

    I am looking for a small lathe and a small mill. I currently have an EMCO C5 and a separate C5/C8 mill with the X-Y table. I had planned on upgrading to a EMCO Super 11 and a EMCO FB2, but even though the Super 11 CD may still be found (new), I know from the EMCO web site, that the Super 11 CD is being dropped for the 14inch EMCOMAT 14D. “The EMCOMAT 14 is the smallest machine in the EMCOMAT series. It replaces the EMCO classic MAXIMAT Super 11CD.â€‌ The “oldâ€‌ Super 11 bench top lathe (Vintage ~1990) is a nice size and I have thought about used, but with the phase out of the Super 11 CD, how long will parts be available is a question. 25 years?

    Yes, I could get a China lathe for less money then either Myford or EMCO, but I want a machine with good fit and finish. I rarely am happy when I cheap out! I want machine tools small enough (light enough) to be able to get into the basement of the house (or an apartment) without needing a fork lift.

    So, why am I looking at a Myford?
    1. Fit and finish is excellent.
    2. I can mill on the lathe (as with others) – I might not need a mill.
    3. It will handle a ~10â€‌ flywheel.
    4. Small enough to fit into my shop and keep the C5 for the kids.
    5. They still support machines made 50+ years ago.


  • #2
    Steve, In the price range you're heading toward with the Myford line, there are numerous other good machines out there but since you do intend to move it easily, I won't mention any of them (clausing, standard modern, harrison)

    I've seen several Maximat Super 11s (green) that led very hard lives and still did not need any proprietary parts. The parts question can be broken in three: 1) how long is the warranty? 2) how long will Emco retain parts? 3) how long will Blue Ridge retain parts? The bearings are all standard and the only risky parts would be internal headstock gears. You might ask Blue Ridge (Tim is very knowledgable) about frequency of repair. There was a Super 11 forum on Yahoo groups but I think it is gone now. Only problem I recall from that group was in the power system in a very cold shop.

    The D1-4 spindle on the Super 11CD and large bore will be a pleasure to have. With 5C collets, the machine can handle large and small jobs with ease.

    For capacity range, quality and weight (light), I don't think anything else can touch the Super 11.

    Incidentally, Joe at Plazamachinery in Bethel, VT., has an FB2 stand alone mill in what appears to be very fine condition.



    • #3
      Supposedly the Emco 14D is available here

      I have dealt with the gentleman and he seems on the up and up. The Emco has been on the website for awhile with no pricing though. Give him a call or drop an e-mail. Most of his machines sell with shipping included so if you are with in a certain distance he will knock the shipping off if you pick it up.
      Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


      • #4
        Originally posted by sms
        I am searching for information on a Myford Super 7 Plus lathe.
        I am looking for a small lathe and a small mill.
        I agree with Nheng -- the Myford is a fine benchtop lathe, but the prices are obscene, even in the used market. For the price you'll pay for a Myford, you can get a much more capable toolroom lathe, if you have the floorspace. If you have to have a benchtop lathe, there are plenty of SouthBend, Atlas, Emco, lathes on Ebay, and shipping should be relatively inexpensive for a sub 500lb lathe.

        I can mill on the lathe (as with others) – I might not need a mill.
        Personally, I hate milling on a lathe. Even the best milling attachments have way too much flex in them, and you're exceptionally limited on work envelop/travel. You can cobble up custom fixtures to mount to the crossfeed, but I'd much rather do flat stuff on the mill, and round stuff on the lathe.

        For benchtop mills, you're really talking Asian (unless you luck into a Benchmaster or Emco). For smaller stuff, the Sieg X3 is a decent machine, and if you can afford the space/weight, you might consider the RF-45 clones (which can be mounted on a benchtop, but weigh around 800 lbs). Both these machines are in the $1000 - $1500 price range, which would leave you plenty of budget for a nice benchtop lathe, just not a Myford
        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


        • #5
          Originally posted by nheng
          Incidentally, Joe at Plazamachinery in Bethel, VT., has an FB2 stand alone mill in what appears to be very fine condition.
          The FB2 is a very nice benchtop mill, and that one looks like it's never been used! A little pricey, and Joe won't budge on price
          (at least, he won't with me ), but that's definitely a good option for a benchtop mill.
          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


          • #6
            For that money you could get a nice Hardinge lathe.


            • #7
              The Emco Super 11 is under 600 lbs. and I can understand Steve's concern for weight.

              I'm a big Emco fan with several smaller machines in my shop. Also had a Super 11 for a week It was clapped out from years of abrasive use and went back to the seller, my Jeep Cherokee nose tilted upward about 10 degrees but otherwise it was quite movable.

              Lazlo mentioned the Sieg X3 and from what I've seen of it, it will probably run rings around the Emco FB2 (except I don't recall the table capacities of either), save you money and put more mass behind cuts with standard R8 tooling and dovetail column that you can raise up and down without losing alignment.

              John S. from across the pond has posted a thread with his CNC retrofit work on this machine. Den


              • #8
                There was a complete review of Myford lathes, including the new one about 2 years ago. it was in either ME or MEW..
                They went to the factory and had all the parts on display in the magazine....which i do not have.
                Anyone out there with the issue to shed some light?


                • #9
                  Myford Lathe

                  I own two Myfords. the first is a ML7 and the other is a Super7B -the B signifying a gear box having been fitted.

                  Both are old but were relatively cheap at آ£400 and آ£675 respectively.
                  Neither is in pristine order but both work. The ML7 is being restored and the top of the bed has been blancharded at the cost of آ£35. I am sorry but you will have to do your own currency conversions but neither price is too horrific.

                  Further, I agree with the general consensus that milling in the lathe is only an option if space is at a premium. Milling in the lathe is an archaic concept as cheap mills are now available.

                  Where the Myford scores is - well, I wrote in the 1970's about it- is the variety of excellent tools which can be obtained for it. It is generally agreed that it is really the number of useful accessories which enhances any machine tool.

                  It may be argued that even home made attachments from kits are pricey and for the non- English( sorry) the cost of transport of kits is prohibitive- and getting worse. But this does seem to apply to other makes equally.

                  I am presently engaged in putting old articles on the net which were constructed for the ML7 and these appear in the Yahoo Groups.
                  I owe Thistle a write up and I think that Speedy might be equally interested so look out for a separate posting .

                  Old age, I have to say, slows me down



                  • #10
                    The big bore on the Myford is a cobble up.
                    They have used a special thread that's unique to them but it's still a screwed spindle with a weird thread.
                    Chucks and backplates are Myford only sourced unless you want to roll your own.
                    They do make a converter which takes it back to the old 1-1/8" x 12 standard but what's the point ? extra overhand and still screwed on.

                    They have implemented a safety devise so the chuck can't fly off.
                    This consists of a vee groove in the register that a dog pointed screw locates into but doesn't bottom out to push the chuck off register.
                    The idea is that if the chuck comes loose this tiny screw will stop it flying off.
                    It won't stop it wobbling about on the register.

                    In my opinion they have lost it, they sat on their laurels for too long and didn't listen to what the punters wanted. That big bore is too little, too late.

                    There was a long bed Myford on their stand at the Bristol show, hardened bed, VFD drive and the vertical milling attachment fitted where the taper turning should go.

                    آ£13,400 UKP, that's about $24,000

                    If you are more concerned about finish and looks, buy a Chinese lathe and a book on interior decorating, you will save a lot of money.



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


                    • #11
                      Steve, Myfords are nice small lathes but far too much money for what you get, and while the fit & finish are good I'm sure there are far better lathes around for a lot less money.

                      I have an (old) Myford ML7 and I like it a lot, and it's 'nice' to use, but I wouldn't dream of laying out for a new one.

                      However I do have some information on the Super7 Plus/Connoisseur downloaded from the Myford website before it crashed. Its a 6-page PDF reproduced from the MEW article in 2004. The article illustrates all the points John has made above, although these are written more in the context of features rather than failings.
                      The file size is only 900K and I can mail if off to you if you would like it.



                      • #12
                        holy crap 24k!!!! US even! don't even think about it. for that money there's a good condition monarch or hardinge out there for you AND a tiawanese b-port clone (they're all made there now anyway so whats the diff).


                        • #13
                          I agree, the new Myfords are way, way over priced. I have a mid-1980's vintage Super 7B. It is a very nice machine to operate and fantastic for clock making; it’s just the right size. I have many, many attachments and accessories, the cost of shipping from England was not too bad back when I was tooling up; the dollar was also much stronger. Although I now also have a Hardinge HLV-H, I still prefer doing some jobs on the Myford.

                          I can't understand why Myford would go through the expense to redesigning the headstock and not design a spindle that has something such as a D1-3 cam lock (which they did produce for the 254) and a bore large enough to take 5C collets.

                          As much as I hate to say it, after turning on the Hardinge for a period of time, the Myford almost feels like a toy. For the $25k you could buy a used HLV-H and have it rebuilt to factory specs. The two lathes are really in different universes.



                          • #14

                            Whilst I don't disagree with any of the comments about the price of Myfords and the rather odd nature of their "big bore" conversion it doesn't alter the fact that they are delightful small lathes. If I was faced with the prospect of having a lathe in an apartment or upstairs bedroom (as we all might) I still think that a good Myford would be a prime choice, if slightly expensive.

                            However remember that just because they've supported the 7 series lathes for 50 years don't suppose that they're always going to be around - that would seem unlikley in my opinion.

                            New Myfords are very pricey but the good recent secondhand ones cost about 2000-2500 UK pounds. At that price you may be better off jumping on a cheap flight to London and visting a couple of dealers here. If they'd organise boxing it up and shipping to Delaware you could take advantage of the cheaper machine tool prices that we seem to have in the UK

                            Have a look at

                            Both are reasonably close to London and the airports

                            As to the other questions long bed machines are rare but are built with a more substantial bed casting and the extra length is useful. You can even get extra swing with "Big Turn" attachment (or kit built version). If I was buying a "lifer" then I'd go for a hardened bed. They're more common on the high spec recent machines.

                            Last edited by Charles Ping; 09-08-2006, 09:55 AM.


                            • #15
                              Myford Quality

                              Although it might sound like blasphemy, the quality's not always all it's cracked up to be.

                              I bought a long cross slide, picked it up from Myford's Beeston factory. The gib strip's dimples had been drilled too deep, leaving bulges on the side that rubs on the dovetail. As I had it home (in Holland) when I discovered this, I stoned the bumps down - and 2 of them turned into nice little holes. I ended up making a new one.

                              As others say, Myford have lost the plot when it comes to price / capacity. As far as size goes, have a look at a 4.5" or 5" Boxford; not that much difference, but more capacity and a nice vee bed.

                              Interesting visiting the factory, btw; anyone under the age of 60 is referred to as 'boy'...

                              Good luck with your choice,

                              All of the gear, no idea...