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Correct Height - Myford Lathe ?

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  • Correct Height - Myford Lathe ?

    I made the pilgrimage to Myford's factory in Nottingham, England, last week. They were having their yearly Open House. Discounts given during the Open House can more or less cover the cost of airfare... I've decided to buy a Myford Super7+ Connoisseur. One question concerns whether to buy the Myford stand. It is expensive and bulky to ship to the USA/Canada and I'm wondering whether to substitute a Sears bench which is 910mm (36") height, including a substantial 32mm (1-1/4") wood top. Is this the correct height for a bench lathe ? Incidentally, there will be a review article on the Myford Connoisseur in November's Model Engineer's Workshop magazine.

  • #2
    Don't worry about it, NAIT. Lathe heights are set largely according to personal preference. If you happen to be a tall guy, it can be a bit higher. A general rule of thumb is that the topslide is supposed to be at elbow height, but feel free to deviate from this by half a foot in any direction. It matters not.

    Really, focus should be on the quality, form and function of the two stands. If you're going to do it, you might as well go all the way IMO, but I understand your thought. Somtimes those factory stands are just a waste of space, weight & money.

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    • #3
      I have a Myford Super 7B and love it. I actually ended up purchasing it directly from the Myford factory and having it and all the accessories I could afford shipped directly to my address in N.C. I ended up putting it on a maple top Kennedy workbench, which is about 31" high - which placed the topslide right at elbow height for me (I'm 5' 10"). Thrud suggested some time back using Lee Valley's cast iron table legs mounted to a 1 1/2" maple top as a good lathe bench - someday I hope to do this (I think the Myford, with it's slightly different shape/appearance, would look beautiful on such a stand). Rather than buying a Myford factory bench for your Myford I would recommend you buy each and every Myford accessory you can manage - you won't regret it. I even got the dividing attachment and have used it countless times.

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      • #4
        I think I'd pass on the stand and, as suggested, use the money for other things.

        As for height, it depends on how tall you are. I've got my lathe's carriage handwheel at elbow height, and that seems about right. If it's too low, your back will soon inform you, and if it's too high you'll also soon figure it out.
        ----------
        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

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        • #5
          A new Myford, nice, we will expect pictures of course.

          Bernard

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          • #6
            NAIT,
            Did you also manage to visit the Model Engineering Exhibition at Donington Park next to the airport whilst you were over.

            I have read the review in MEW on the lathe.
            One of our guys, Chris Edwards, bought one of these and had problems with it screwcutting. It seems Myfords had sent it out with the wrong gear train on.
            When he contacted Myfords they were less than helpful and didn't return his calls, or offer any advise.
            It was left to the UK internet community to help him out by first finding out what the problem was and then one guy went down and supplied him a correct gear.
            Incidently Myfords charged him for the replacement gear!!

            David Fenner the editor on MEW called in the workshop on Thursday morning on his way into Myfords as I am halfway between Donington and Myfords.
            I printed all the relevant emails off and asked him to give them to Chris Moore at Myfords. Hopefully this may stop the same thing happening.

            John S.
            .

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



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            • #7
              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">A new Myford, nice, we will expect pictures of course. Bernard</font>
              I'm merely in the queue to receive a Connoisseur from the next batch - due in February.

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              • #8
                <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by John Stevenson:
                NAIT, Did you also manage to visit the Model Engineering Exhibition at Donington Park next to the airport whilst you were over ? I have read the review in MEW on the lathe. One of our guys, Chris Edwards, bought one of these and had problems with it screwcutting. It seems Myfords had sent it out with the wrong gear train on.
                When he contacted Myfords they were less than helpful and didn't return his calls, or offer any advise...John S.
                </font>
                I was travelling to Canada from New Zealand to take a new job. Decided to go the "wrong way round" via Australia, Singapore, and England partly because Myford's Open House was scheduled the same week as my travels. I didn't have time to visit the Exposition.

                As you know, many people have commented that Myford is not what it used to be - particularly there has been a severe decrease in customer service. Certainly the Myford workforce is *greatly* diminished. I saw barely a half dozen machinists and fitters in the factory, with perhaps another ten support, sales, and management staff. The machinists and fitters appeared to be very good and very experienced. However, the factory staff count may be getting to an irreducable minimum. If for instance, they cut another experienced man, they may lose the "institutional knowledge" that allows Myford to build a quality product. Whether the factory workforce is already below necessary minimums is a topic of active speculation. Some people say Myford is in a downward spiral that can't be reversed. Among the office and support staff, there doesn't seem to be enough manpower to get routine things done -updating the website, brochures, and price lists, for example. E-mail takes days to answer - if it gets answered at all.

                I don't know what exactly the problem is. Myford seems to charge a high enough price that there should be enough cash to support a bigger workforce. But maybe not - I don't know. It would be a shame if we're in the last days of Myford Super7 production. The new Super7 Connoisseur is clearly a much more able machine than its predecessors, and ought to be the new standard for hobbyists and industrial experimenters - if build quality can be maintained. But maybe the Connoisseur came five years too late. Somebody with a couple of million in spare cash ought to buy the company and capitalize it sufficiently. Perhaps production needs to be moved to a low cost country with an industrial machining tradition - the Czech Republic, for example.

                What's your opinion on the cause of Myford woes ?

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                • #9
                  I've sensed for the last 2 - 3 years that Myford is coming undone; Guy Lautard (the writer of the Machinist Bedside Readers) used to "broker" sales of Myford lathes/accessories in Canada and the U.S. He's no longer doing this and I suspect it's because Myford cannot meet his customers' requirements. I believe Myford may be going the same direction that so many of the older U.S. manufacturers went; it costs a lot of money to produce a quality lathe and a lot of people, wanting a smaller lathe, will opt to pay the $800 - $1,200 for a Chinese or Taiwanese machine rather than the $6,000 or more for a Myford. When I decided I wanted a Myford it took me about 6 years to put away the money for it - I had decided to work towards accumulating at least $10,000 so I could buy the Myford Super 7B and almost every accessory they make for it. Eventually the day arrived when I had the money and was very blessed in that the time coincided with a slightly stronger U.S. dollar against the British pound. Guy Lautard brokered the deal for me and the cost of the lathe (with the 31" bed), all its accessories, shipping, insurance and handling came out to $9,725 - the lathe was delivered to my doorstep in a huge, well-built wooden crate with a brass Myford plaque on its side. Pretty neat. You can well bet that each time I use this machine I give it a good wipe-down and lubricating before turning it on; several clean-ups during use and when I'm finishing for the day, I'll clean it again and re-lube it then I cover it for the night. Lord willing, someday I might be able to pass it on to either my son, one of my daughters or to a niece or nephew. I fear that by that time it will have become a collector's item and the Myford factory will be no more.

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                  • #10
                    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Dr. Rob:
                    Don't worry about it, NAIT. Lathe heights are set largely according to personal preference...</font>
                    I see Ian Bradley's Nexus book "Myford Series 7 Manual" recommends 38" (97cm).

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                    • #11
                      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Guero:
                      I have a Myford Super 7B and love it. I actually ended up purchasing it directly from the Myford factory and having it and all the accessories I could afford shipped directly to my address in N.C...I would recommend you buy each and every Myford accessory you can manage - you won't regret it. I even got the dividing attachment and have used it countless times.</font>
                      At this year's Myford Factory show, I saw a recent addition to Myford accessories: the "Piddington" Extended Tool Holder, for the Myford-Dickson toolholding system, useful for getting around interference between slide and tailstock. Myford P/N 78175M

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