My impression is that Myfords are to the UK what South Bends are to the US. I don't know if or to what extent that is true with regard to capabilities - I have only ever seen home-sized Myfords, but the South Bends include both home-size and much larger. However, I'm thinking in particular about name recognition. South Bends and Bridgeports can command a greater price than other equivalent machines simply due to name recognition. I'm thinking the same may be true of a Myford, particularly for anyone with UK context or connections.
From personal experience Boxfords and Colchester lathes tended to be found in apprentice training establishments
Myfords tended to be in schools although some had Boxfords
This was in the days of indentured apprenticeships and many companies had the foresight to keep a good stock of available skilled personnel
I would think that they are both held in high esteem although the Myford cannot be described as a tooroom machine its main advantage was its versatility when cheap milling machines did not exist
It gave the reasonably well healed model engineer a competent machine.The rest of us had to manage with old Drummonds and such like
Iv worn several Myfords out over the years and currently own a ML7R a cheap version of the Super Seven.Iv only stayed with Myford because I already have the tooling and Im to lazy and tight to remake or buy what I need
Just my two bobs worth
I'm on my second Myford. I first had an ML 7 then I had a chance to buy a Super 7. I sold the ML 7 for $1,800 and paid $2,000 for the Super 7. Though both were used, both were in exceptional condition. Most Myford lathes are used to make small parts and therefore usually not in bad shape. Condition is everything with any used equipment. Also the cost of a lathe is divided in half, 50% for the machine and 50% for the tooling.
The only Boxford that I’m familiar with is almost an exact copy of the Southbend 9A. The only significant difference, for better or worse, is the Boxford use of roller bearings in the headstock.
With the belts set for lowest speed and in back gear spindle rpm is about 50.
I don't have a Boxford or a Myford, but I have used both so I think I can offer a reasonably balanced opinion.
The Myford is versatile and if you get the accessories, it can do a lot of things. The Tee slot cross slide is a particularly good feature. So good that a previous owner made an equivalent for one of my lathes (Denford Viceroy = Rolls Royce Boxford). The Myford is a small lathe good for small spaces and making small things.
The Boxford is bigger and more powerful. There are similar accessories. You want to buy the accessories with the lathe because accessories sold separately are often very expensive.
Both lathes suffer the disadvantages of a single lead shaft / feed screw.
lathes.co.uk is a good reference site for lathes and other machine tools.
If you have a choice then choose:
1. The one in the best condition
2. The one with the most accessories,
3. The one that matches the size of work you want to make.
Actually there are at least 5 tee slotted boring tables on the various Myford models and they have one common fault in that they are weak.
For those who have a copy of Martin Cleeve's Screwcutting in the Lathe where he uses a much modified Myford ML7 will note that his is not any of them. He tore a tee slot out of his in what must have been a monumental 'Dig in'. He, as I said had a ML7 whereas I was given a top slide for a Super7 which had been torn out the boring table. My experience is less than either but I once bought a Super7 B( i.e with a gearbox) where I discovered the the boring table had warped by someone who had used long tee bolts incorrectly.
Cleeve, incidentally published a fabricated modification and published it in an early issue of Engineering in Miniature. He also published his patent applied for swing tool holder in that publication later.
My present old sight glass Super7B had severe damage as the previous owner had somehow filled the gear box with mahogany dust!
There you have it. For those with old copies of mOdel Engineer might find a write up of how I overhauled a basket case ML7 for a friend. It was Blancharded, if you know what this is
I think Norm is describing misuse. Anything is capable of being broken, and some people are capable of breaking anything.
I bought a Myford Super-7 new, to replace my second-hand ML7, 46 years ago, and it is still almost as good as new. Very early on, I had a job shift on the faceplate and jam against the bed gap, stripping some teeth off the back-gear and bullwheel. Since then, I have replaced drive belts, and I think I probably replaced the top- and cross-slide feedscew nuts. I may have replaced the leadscrew half nuts. I don't think so, but cannot remember for sure.
One of the worst features of the Myford and one that often has me spitting teeth is the small through hole in the headstock spindle.For the size of machine its ridiculous
This should have been addressed long before they eventually did
They also removed a lot of mass from the beds on later lathes and they seem to be more flexible or at least my factory refurbished machine is and it often needs resetting but then again its not in a toolroom environment with temp and humidity control
If I was starting out would I buy a Myford ? probably not but hindsight is a wonderful thing and Im getting to long in the tooth to invest in a good toolroom machine in good condition
The Myford as already mentioned is a versatile compact machine not without its faults but then again it can do a good job when needed
I did look at the mid ranged Chinese machines when my ML7 was no longer viable but decided lifes to short to spend a lot of time correcting it
The Myford was a great choice when disposable income and available space were limited. A lot of amazing things have been made with Myfords but I chose not to buy one. I had the space and the $$ to buy something better. That is not to say that Myfords are a bad choice. They just don't meet my requirements.
My preference is for old good quality machine tools in good condition. Many prefer new Chinese machines. If you stay away from the super cheap ones at the bottom of the market, the quality is improving.
I love the Myford Lathe.
For the most part it does what I ask of it and is very accurate. I agree small through hole in the head-stock spindle is a pain.
It makes up for some of it short comings with the "T" slotted table. Nothing work better for cutting off on the back side and the little lathe can do impressive parting with ease.
The large feed and speed range is also nice. As it the fast feed and long range of the tail stock ram.
As a comparison I have one of the small, made in Taiwan, South Bend lathe SB001. The tail stock handle requires 20 turn per inch of feed. The Myford requires 3 turns per inch.
The Myford also has another inch of travel in the tail stock over the South Bend. No quick change gearbox on the South Bend either. South Bend does have a modern VFD drive which is nice.
The SB is a great accurate lathe but I much prefer the feel and function of the Myford.
When comparing the Myford to the old USA versions they are closer it feel, fit and finish. Must be something that Myford did correctly because the Myford's cost almost double what a used South Bend costs.
For the western USA, a South Bend will give you a better selection of tooling than the Myford. Lots currently available on eBay, most with QC gear boxes. Change gears get old after a while unless the Myford you are looking at has a gearbox. My last South Bend came with a horizontal mill, machinist tools and tooling, plus lots of materials; all for $800 in SoCal a couple of years ago. Deals are out there to be had!
If I can weigh in on this, I have owned a lathe of some description since I was 10 years old, (I am now 73). During that time I have owned American, German, Chinese and UK manufactured machines. I had an old 5 inch (10 inches for our American friends) Atlas which was well worn, but that withstanding I used it to build various small steam engines. To follow that I had 2 IXL lathes one of German origin and the other a British version, both were a bit noisy but still performed reasonably well. For the last 25 years, I have owned a Myford Super 7 which I paid £100 for and when I had had the bed reground it was like new and has served me well. I also have a round bed Drummond which is treadle driven, a Chinese mini lathe and a Super Adept. In addition to these, I have had a Coronet Minor and Myford ML8 wood lathes, the ML8 is now with my Daughter.
The Super Adept has travelled around the world with me and has satisfied my need to "cut metal" in some remote parts of the world.
All these machines have their strengths and weaknesses but for now, the Myford Super 7 serves my needs best although the Chinese lathe (now I have replaced the bearings) comes in a close second.
You pays your money and takes your chances, but probably the Myford would be my choice again.
There is a Myford lathe for sale close where I live it a 7"x 22" with tooling, but he is asking about $1300.00 for it
are Myfords worth that much.? I am in the Western USA..
I also live in SW Washington State USA. Frankly I would consider $1300.00 a bargain. They just don't come up for sale much.
I drove 2200 miles to pick up my Myford. Of course you didn't say if it was a Super 7 or a ML 7 or if it had a quick change gearbox.
I have yet to see A large bore Super 7 with power cross slide for sale in this area.
It would likely bring three times the $1300.00 price you mentioned.
If you were in the UK at the beginning of next month and at the London Model Engineering Exhibition you would be offered a Super7 lathe actually without ANY accessories whatsoever for a cool £3000. A gear box would add at least £400.
The lathe would be fully reconditioned as new but that is the plain unvarnished information from the successors of what was Myford Ltd in Nottingham . England. None of this this who hah, guessing games and old wive's tales. £3 grand minimum - take it or leave it- end of story- and not mine!