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My little lathe story: Once upon a time...

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  • My little lathe story: Once upon a time...


    I am a new member, but have read and enjoyed this excellent forum for some time.

    First a little about myself: I am 39 years old, and live in Norway. I’m educated as a car mechanic and have been interested in all things mechanical since little (loved to dismantle things to see how they worked, but they certainly didn’t work when put back together).
    I have wanted a lathe for years, but never got myself to buying one, mainly because of a tight budget. But last year I found out that an old lathe was put away in the attic at my workplace. I inspected it at it looked perfect for me, I the asked the boss if I could buy it, he said I could have it, for free!
    So that’s how I managed to acquire a Myford ML7 in excellent condition. It was formerly used in the auto workshop, but it doesn’t seem to have much wear or taken too much abuse. The serial number indicates that it’s from 1977, a fairly young ML7 (they were built from 1946-79. Here is a picture of my lathe after I cleaned it up:

    I have a new workbench that I will move it to shortly, a friend of mine made me a nice drip tray out of stainless steel that it will sit in. I will bolt it up and level it, of course.
    The Pratt Burnerd 3-jaw chuck was seriously stuck to the spindle, I don’t think it was ever removed since new, so no wonder! I could have locked the spindle with the back gear, but was afraid to break a tooth off one of the gears. So this is how I managed to “persuade” it to come off:

    There is some nicks to the rear of the bead, the cross slide lead screw was slightly bent, seemingly from a knock to the hand wheel (fixed), and one of the drip oilers was cracked because the belt guard was mounted too close to it. I have bought a replacement oiler and a nice used 6” 4-jaw chuck with integral threads from the UK. There was only one set of change gears (4 or 5) with the lathe, so I have to get some more to complete the set.
    I am planning to cross the channel, to the foggy island (UK), in October. I would like to visit the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition - Warwick - 12th - 16th October 2007 and stack up on my tooling there. It’s not so easy to get small scale metalworking stuff here, and it’s expensive. Are there often used items (tools) for sale at such shows, or just new stuff?

    See you!
    Last edited by Thomas Staubo; 01-13-2014, 06:01 PM. Reason: Added missing pictures

    Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back
    - Piet Hein

  • #2
    Welcome aboard. It looks like you know what you are doing. good idea on how to remove a stuck chuck.Don`t know any thing about a Myford lathe but understand they are the cats meow in Europe for the model engineer. The lathe looks to be super nice . Again welcome aboard and have fun with us.
    Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self


    • #3
      Ahh, the old chain wrench and strap wrench trick? Howdy from a suburb in Chicago, Illinois USA. Very nice looking machine you have scored.
      "The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the greatest liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth." H. L. Mencken

      "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident."

      "When fear rules, reason and logic are ruled out."


      • #4
        Welcome to the forum!

        What luck - not only did you find a nice machine in great condition, but the price sure would be hard to improve upon!
        Location: North Central Texas


        • #5
          Welcome to the forum.

          The Warwick show is an interesting one, not the best, that's Harrogate in May and the best show for models is the Bristol show next month [ August ].

          There will be stands at Warwick selling new and secondhand tools.
          Myfords don't stand Warwick as it used to be staged nearer at Castle Donington and they used to have an open week to match the dates.

          Some stands at Warwick like RDG will have a lot of Myford parts but these are made in India and of spurious quality. Others like Home and Workshop machinery and L A Services will carry genuine S/H Myford parts.
          Getting gears will be no problem.

          S/H tooling is available but with the price of import tooling falling all the while you need to make the choice.

          Things like small milling cutters and lathe tool tips are carried by Jenny at JB Cutting tools and no one can beat her prices and she knows what she's talking about.

          I'll be at the show Friday, thru to Monday so if you see anything in the meanwhile on Ebay and want to buy it do so, pay for it and have it shipped to me and I'll bring it to the show to save expensive postage.


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


          • #6
            Don't you folks over there in the uk have various kits,not oem, for making tooling for the Myford? This guy looks like capable to make his tooling if he had drawings and/or a kit.


            • #7
              Biggest supplier of kits in the UK is Hemmingway kits run by a guy called Kurt Burwell.

              There are many books for sale on making parts for the Myford.
              Perhaps the best selection is at Camden books.


              Camden won't be at the Warwick show as they are in direct competition with TEE who run the Warwick show.
              TEE are booksellers in their own right and also publish Engineering in Miniature, a clone of Model Engineer.


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


              • #8
                Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone.

                I'm not sure that i'm ready to begin on any kits yet, I will have to build up my workshop a bit first. I dream of buying a small mill, a chinese one probably, to suit my budget. I have seen this one (OPTI BF 20 L Vario) that they sell not too far from me:
                I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's made in china. Is it a drawback that it only has a MT2 spindle (not MT3 or R8)?

                It's a great offer, proposing to let me have ePay stuff sent to you, John. I will think about that.
                I browse ePay a lot, but the postage cost is usually preventing the purchase of anything but small stuff. The 4-jaw chuck was expensive to get!

                I see that several shops sell ER25 collet chuck/adaptor to suit the Myford spindle thread, are they any good? Chronos has one by the name "Shobha" for £34.
                I have a drawing for making the adaptor, but until I get some change gears I can't cut any threads.

                How is the London show in January? Any good?
                I enjoy visiting London. Maybe not so much in January.

                PS. Am I right that the majority of people here are from the US? I know there are some aussies and brits.

                Last edited by Thomas Staubo; 07-15-2007, 04:35 PM.

                Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back
                - Piet Hein


                • #9
                  Tom Welcome to the board looks like a great lathe followed you home. My first lathe was chinese grizzly 7 x10 all I could afford at the time.
                  Congratulations on your great find.
                  Ad maiorem dei gloriam - Ad vitam paramus


                  • #10
                    That BF20 is made in China but it's a nice machine for the money,
                    They do a BF25 that's on MT3 but it doesn't look as if your importer carries this.

                    Steer clear of the Shoba ER chucks for the Myford, They are Indian and because they are in one piece if there are any run out errors you can't correct them.
                    Best to either turn one up on your own spindle when you have the gears or but a backplate fitting ER chuck and backplate so you can dial them in to get exact.
                    Arc Euro sell this type and they also sell separate nuts if you want to do your own.

                    To cut metric threads on the Myford you either want their recommended two 21 tooth gears or one 127 gear to get accurate pitches.

                    The Alexandra Palace show in January is OK, good venue but a good walk up a steep hill.
                    I'm at that one as well so the shipping offer also applies.


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


                    • #11
                      eeler1, Norway is not part of the UK. Tom, welcome to the board. The thought just struck me, here's a guy from Norway, probably never going to come to the USA or move to a english speaking country, yet his command of the laungage is excellent. But we have mexicans entering the country everyday by the thousands that can't speak or write a word in english, andthey have known for years that they were headed this way. Go figure.
                      "four to tow, two to go"


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the compliments, Speedsport! Just shout out if I make any spelling or grammatical errors, I'm always eager to learn.

                        We start learning english in 4. grade here (or is it 3. grade now?), and I think it's important to know the basic english.


                        Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back
                        - Piet Hein


                        • #13
                          I shared a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon with a Swedish couple not long ago. English is part of the regular school curriculum there too. Nice folks. He was a big Speedway fan which is wildly popular in Europe, and when I mentioned Tony Ricardsson his eyes lit up and he inadvertently reverted to Swedish. "Jah!"

                          And that's a beautiful Myford you got there Thomas. You should see the piece of crap I started with.



                          • #14
                            Welcome to the forum you will like it here.
                            I spent a few days in Norway in the late 60's and i can confirm how many there can speak english. I liked it there the people were friendly and wanted
                            to practice thier english.. very nice place i thought, but i suspect the winters are long, i was there in july
                            scariest thing to hear " I am from the government and i am here to help"