BAZMAK-Diary of a Myford ML7 lathe restoration

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Dec 12, 2012
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I have put the simplex on the back burner and having seen some myford lathe
restorations on Utube it sent my spider senses tingling.Simply for the excercise i sold
the chinese 7x14 lathe and capstan and bought on e bay for the same money
a Myford ML7.Should arrive in the next few days.I dont really have the room
to use it at this stage so it purely to strip down and restore to keep me busy
I have had a no of Myfords over the years from an ml10 to super 7 with gearbox and have great affection for them.Not here to discuss the pros and cons and yes they are now considered expensive for a non precision toolroom machine.But for the many thousands and still running after more than 70yrs
On Utube there is a 10 part restoration by Geoffrey Croker Well done and very proffessional right down to a bed regrind.I dont think i will go that far but lets see. Reminds me of my last myford i sold before retiring to OZ. I could sit and look at it for hours not wanting to get it dirty.Anyway for people with Myfords
your comments and input most welcome as we see where we are going MYford green UK.jpg


ml7 01.jpg
While i wait for the lathe to arrive i have to get started and make something
Decided to make a pair of riser blocks.I have seen the advertised for 1000 pounds (surely a mistake). Form the uk supplier the are priced at 100 pounds
still expensive maybe i can get some free.They are quite necessary to raise the lathe for easier cleaning etc although the original cast ones still keep the same
fixing centres of 117mm,its an advantage to increase the footprint and extend the fixing centres.I di not want to fabricate something tacky nor did i want to pay 100 pounds so i used materials to hand and put some effort into making them look the part as castings I Used 50x50 rhs with 50 x 50 x 8 angle end caps.Fully welded with rthe welds radiused off with a router,yes you heard a router bit. Cost me nothing Waiting for the lathe to arriveriser 01.jpg

riser 02.jpg

riser 03.jpg
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The price of the riser blocks is only because the supplier is out of stock but is keeping the listing 'going'

Funny enough, I found the top slide and the saddle etc from an old ML7.

I'm intrigued about how the Glacier lead indium headstock bearings might be replaced

Keep up the good work


Will follow this thread with interest :)
I look forward to seeing how you progress, and the riser blocks look great. Youll need another nut on those though so you can level up the bed. I went at it with just threaded rod and nuts, though a solid piece of metal drilled and tapped through will certainly be more useful :)
Will follow this thread with interest :)
I look forward to seeing how you progress, and the riser blocks look great. Youll need another nut on those though so you can level up the bed. I went at it with just threaded rod and nuts, though a solid piece of metal drilled and tapped through will certainly be more useful :)

It's a bit more than that- as Baz will already be aware off.

The correct name is metacentric height problems and the horrendous strain on mounting bolts.
If the lathe turns a taper then this indicates bed twist,only if the lathe is bolted down to a substancial base can the twist be removed by adjusting the riser mounts.There is no need if the lathe is simply bolted to a table.If it is bolted to a rigid structure then the original risers can be adjusted to take out the twist,alternatively the feet at the tailstock end can be shimmed.If needed then
i have the option of shimming or make special riser screws to mimic the Myford originals.Too far down the road to worry about at this stage,and as i said the twist cant be removed unless the lathe is bolted down to a rigid structure
I have no plans to run the lathe just yet so have no knowledge of the amount if any of bed twist.First will a strip down,clean etc and make or replace parts as necessary.Any advise along the way is most welcome.The fun is in the taking part
The fun is in taking apart.

Enjoy your project. I'm not going to disturb my Super 7 until something goes wrong which may be never.
i never stripped down a Myford while i had them up and running
Now i have the sieg lathe and mill,most things are possible
I want to get very intimate with the private parts of lathe and
hopefully see a phoenix rise out of the ashes
While waiting for the lathe i decided to make the leveling screws even though i dont need them at the moment.$ no 35mm dia x 6 thk tapped m8
Knurled capstan style leveling nut,M8 s/s studs and wiznuts. Hark to the sound of the doorbell and the lathe has arrived overnighht from Melbourne
I did not expect it till next week. Time to unpack and inspect. Fingers crossedriser 04.JPG

riser 05.jpg
A couple of hours this afternoon unpacking and mounted to my new riser blocks
bolted to my temporary wheeled trolley.Not as heavy as i remember and with the motor etc removed i managed the lift by myself,i can now wheel between the shed and garage. Stripped down to the bed,the headstock,tailstock and carriage etc i will treat separately as sub assemblies.First impression are good
no obviouse missuse,bearings and ways appear good so i am looking forward
to spending some time on it. The paint appears a little light for the original Myford so will get something mixed at the local hardware store to a suitable colour slightly darker grey.Hopefully to get it somewhere near original
Suppose i could grind and restamp the serial no and paint it green (joke)01 stripdown .jpg

02 stripdown.jpg

03 stripdown.jpg

04 stripdown.jpg

09 stripdown.jpg
Regarding paint colors, I settled for RAL 7011 which is a standard colour and not far from the vastly more difficult to get and expensive Myford one.

It's called Iron Grey

Earlier, I was commenting on the possible imbalance of the Myford S7B on its stand. Mine is on a 'Myford?' stand and if not bolted down, rocks about like a pea on a drum.

So I now look forward to your comments on your new venture


My son and I just got done refurbishing a 1957 ML7. An interesting project. I was going to say the pics of yours make it look like it will not need much restoration, but your later post on the 2 or 3 thou bed wear says that very clearly. Where were you measuring? I have an original Myford document on their reconditoning service and they recommend a maximum of five thou wear measured vertically on the front shear in the high wear position about six to twelve inches from the headstock end, and a maximum of three thou in the horizontal plane measuring from the front vertical surface of the front shear to the rear vertical surface the saddle runs on.

Ours had about 10 thou there, but luckily was a narrow guide model (pre-1971) so it was a simple matter to add a piece of gauge plate to the rear surface of the saddle and convert it to "wide guide" using the unworn machined surface on the rear shear. Worked a treat. When we took a test cut on a six inch long bar out of the chuck, no measureable taper right off the bat. (And that was with the lathe loosely bolted to the bench using a couple blocks of wood for risers! So much for precision bed twisting blah blah.)

The saddle seemed to have worn much more than the bed. We lucked out and got a good secondhand one with a reground cross slide to match from a guy who converted his not very worn lathe to the long cross slide off a Super 7. But if you have a mill you can remedy the wear on the saddle if excessive.

Headstock bearings are pretty much infinitely "scrape-able". The white metal is about a quarter inch thick so you can rescrape them for ever. If they get down too far, you just mill or even file a bit of metal off the joining faces where the shims go and carry one.

Another thing to look for is the H frame that carries the countershaft gets bend out of shape from lazy owners using only one adjuster screw to tighten the belt tension. Bent back into shape with a long bar through one bearing in the vice. The sintered bronze bushes for the countershaft and the carriage traverse mechanism and leadscrew etc are all commonly available at bearing suppliers.

It's proved to be a nice little machine in use and worth the effort to restore.

Have fun with yours. Looking forward to following your progress.
Following 'Hopper's' excellent resume, may I add mine?

If the bed is worn- which is likely due to age, it will be some 6" from the chuck end. Access to a Lumsden Blanchard machine will make quick work of the upper surface and will be surprisingly inexpensive.
It doesn't compare with a proper sideways grind but will save hours with a scraper.

Again, as Hopper says, there will be wear on the narrow guide on the saddle but provided that the Number 1 shear wear is built up with one of the Devcon or whatever plastics, the unused rear Number 4 shear can be used.
Martin Cleese wrote this up in the years gone bye and I wrote it up in Model Engineer as well in PostBag of my experiences then.
Again, there could be wear under the saddle and today, it can be built up again with Devcon or whatever but mine on the present Super7B is Turcited- and none the worse for its years.

I think that most who have gone down a similar road, will agree that it takes longer to write up than do.

Hopefully, I hope my comments will help

Had a couple of good days.Had some epoxy enal mixed to Guild grey at the local hardware store and i am happy with the colour.With 3 coats of primer
and an 18 hr dry time i am not totally happy with the finish and will try to
improve,but i have no spray equipment so its a brush job.One thing i did learn
was to apply a light coat of car polish before handling its easier to clean after
I am happy with the bed,there is a max of 4 thou wear in the dreaded spot
and everything else is within a couple of thou,so it hasnt been abused
Assembled and fitted the carriage,cross slide,compound slid tailstock and leadscrew. The slide feed screws and nuts were OK as was the leadscrew and halfnuts.So very pleased there.What will need replacing are the oilite bushes at both ends of the leadscrew about 5/6 thou slop.Removed about 4 thou on the saddle gib plates and i now have a silky smooth fit in the work area.Tight at the
tailstock end.Next will be the headstock.Loving itassy 01.jpg

assy 02.jpg

Way check 01.jpg

assy 03.jpg

Assy 04.jpg

assy 05.jpg

assy 06.jpg

assy 07.jpg
Looks good. The grey seems (on screen) to look like the original. Is "guild grey" an actual color they can mix up?
With four thou of wear on that front shear on this early narrow-guide model, it really would be worth your while to do the wide guide conversion at some point and use the unworn back of the back shear to guide the carriage. All you have to do is buy a strip of ground gauge plate 1/16" thick and 1/2" wide and put it in the .030" wide gap between the carriage and shear at the rear. Hold it in place with two 3/16" dowel pins and Loctite. It leaves a .030" gap on the front shear so no more guiding from the worn surface. You might have to mill 30 thou off the leadscrew mounts so it moves over with the carriage. It brings the lathe back to as-new guidance, rather than a four thou taper over that section (actually 8 thou on the diameter.) and is dead simple to do.
Thank you Hopper ,i will finish the basic rebuid for now and get the lathe running before i may start stage 2 of mods.Thought about using the the unworn rear way as you suggest possibly in tandem with the front ? While you are there
any advice for supplies of oilite bushes or should i go direct to myford supplier in UK
I got a set of colour pallets from the local hardware store and held them to the screen of the myford grey paint supplier
The one i chose was Guid Grey by Dulux and it seems fairly close.Its slightly darker than the old paint which is probably not original
and the myford paint seems darker and more blue but i am happy with it.So i have the std formula if i want more.May try a paint spayer at
a later stage and spend some time filling and sanding and improving the finish to the main areas
Thank you deverette for the mod on the leadscrew,by coincidence while thinking about the leadscrew bushes i was looking at fitting
a couple of thrust bearings.The leleadscrew shoulder and collar does take a lot of stress.I had in mind to replace the 2 collars with machined new ones to accept a pair of cheap thrust bearings from china.It would be an improvement but maybe spend the money and get the official parts
Any cheaper changes i may try to make i would only do if i did not stray from the original.Replacement bearing collars would suit then i could return to original if requd Also seen a myford mod for replacing the dials on the cross and compound slides with adjustable micrometer dials ?
As i said i have had a no of Myfords all well used but i have never stripped down and modded.I am enjoying it and learning all the time.Thinking of building another small shed just to set up the Myford and may even buy another.I paid $1500 for this one and had a chance to get a super 7b for $2500
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No need to try to make it dual guide. The later Myfords (post-71) used only the rear shear as a guide. I think Radford remachined and scraped and carried on getting the second surface to match but many others since, myford included, have just used the rear shear with perfect success.
The resettable dials is a good mod. G H Thomas in one of his books has the full drawings for them.
Yes they are a nice old lathe to work on. Quite simple buy quite cleverly designed.
I bought all the Oilite bushings for mine from the local bearing shop, BSC or BCS I think it's called. Or there's Consolidated Bearings. They were all standard sizes, some longer than needed so just cut them down in the lathe.
any advice for supplies of oilite bushes or should i go direct to myford supplier in UK

I've just been out to get some bearings for my Super7-------which RDG the owners of Myford don't stock. :hDe:

I have a somewhat worn in parts a Mark 1Super7B which has one of these earlier clutches which RDG simply doesn't want to know- nor does it want to supply me with the front headstock oiler for the Mark1.

The original bearings are needle roller ones and-the replacement ones are plain phosphor bronze ones of which I got. fromRDG and will not fit.

I have them- I took the whole unit to a local firm- Bill Quay on Tyneside and came home with THREE needle roller ones for a £5 each.
No he didn't have the Imperial red fibre washers but the metric ones from a plumbers will fit- if I carve them on the Sieg.

Nothing is perfect and my quest for a new cord for my smaller Honda mower is--- another day and I want a round belt for my Quorn. I think Chronos sells it but I probably will buy some thinner stuff for my Universal Pillar Tool.

Oddly, Barry, a few yards away, I used to take ML7 beds to get Blancharded.

So shop locally--First.

So it hasn't really snowed yet and I made a further mile or two and saw a TRilever ML7 with a gearbox. No, enough for the day is the fulness thereof.

Keep posting

I normally get my oilite bushes from CBC bearings at Morphetvale.

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