Myford ML4 Spindle bearings

Help Support HMEM:

Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Newcastle Emlyn
I have recently purchased an ML4 and have noticed quite a bit of movement within the spindle bearing, 0.07mm when I moved the spindle upwards. So, I would like to make a new set of plain bearings. What I am looking for is a little advice, hints and tips as to tolerances etc.

Cheers

Mat
 

bazmak

BAZMAK
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
2,187
Reaction score
1,221
How about some photos as I am not familiar with the ML4.Is the brg housing slit as the ML7 with split whitemetal brgs
They can be adjusted by removing shims and then scraping
 

goldstar31

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
2,608
Reaction score
670
Location
Twixt Tyne and Tees
Recently there was a quite large discussion regarding JCSteam' ML4.

Basically, if you have access to a library or model club, you should be looking at the old Model Engineers with the many articles of one Martin Cleeve who had one before his much modified ML7.
He, if I recall correctly, renewed the phosphor bronze bearings ANNUALLY.
As Frazer rightly cautions there is the worry of snapping the bearing housings- if you fail to renew bearings and merely try to 'take up play'

Norm
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Newcastle Emlyn
Thanks guys. I think the best route would to be to replace the bearings as the history of the lathe is unknown and I don't want to break the headstock. So, I'm off to order and make a bloody great hole in a perfectly good piece of expensive phosphor bronze.
Cheers

Mat
 

petertha

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Messages
1,489
Reaction score
281
Another potential option for roughing the bore is to use an annular cutter. They are very useful. 1) you will be left with a slug of valuable core material 2) saves you a lot of progressive drills to rough out the material prior to boring. Here I'm using it on some mild steel bushing blocks. Not sure what ID you are dealing with but typically the cutters come in 1" & 2" lengths. Caveat: one thing I discovered with bronze depending on the alloy is it can be very grabby material with drills, especially larger diameter = more cutting edge contact. Eventually I learned dubbed drills like for brass & copper improved things significantly. I didn't use the annular cutters on bronze in this project, but do routinely use them on aluminum without incident FWIW.
 

Attachments

DJP

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
468
Reaction score
114
Has anyone tried automotive bearings for this application? With Pasti-gauge strips you can ensure sufficient clearance for oil. The bearings come in two halves and many sizes. The only issue might be providing enough oil to keep the bearing surfaces well coated. Just a thought for the discussion.
 

goldstar31

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
2,608
Reaction score
670
Location
Twixt Tyne and Tees
I tend to agree with Charles and would go on to ask about the condition of the spindle as well.

There IS a huge amount of information on the Lathes. co.uk site about the early Myfords of which the most up to date machine was '1941' when production ceased in favour of the much better ' M' types when Drummond Bros lathe production was amalgamated.
In the succeeding years there must have dozens of alterations made to keep the old things going. So we don't know what the present bearings are.

For my part in this, I actually overhauled a ML which was worn - making Northumbrian small pipes and 'half longs' but also delving in to what the late Martin Cleeve wrote in Model Engineer about his '4' prior to him getting half a Myford ML7. I did say 'half' because his got two motors, a full one hp job and a 1/3rd operating on a fast and loose pulley system. I did suggest his Oilite bearings as he went on to use them extensively in supporting the relatively soft Glacier lead indium bearings in his ML7. He also published an article about a plain lathe and overhauled and and modified a series of other makes of lathe for friends. This is why I suggested getting the old Model Engineer mags.

There Matt has it- as far as my memory goes except to relate that the cheap successor was the ML10 and despite the later changes to it, the plain bearings- on mine- have stood up far better than the earlier ML1 to 4's.

So that's my version of the story. Others MAY differ and relate theirs.

Norm
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Newcastle Emlyn
I have removed the spindle and bearings. They were made by one of its previous owners using brass; a pretty crude affair to be honest but at least the shaft is ok thank goodness. The bearings were just bored out with no grooving or scrapping for the oil; just a hole at the top to let the oil in.
So, my next step is to order the bar stock and make some new bearings as I have never done this before and I think this will be a good exercise.

Cheers
Mat
 

Hopper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
648
Reaction score
213
Be careful with phosphor bronze. It is usually very hard and can wear an unhardened steel spindle. Lathe spindles of the ML4 era were typically not hardened. So you might be better to use a leaded bronze that is more suitable for use on unhardened shafting. Look for SAE 660 Bronze or C93200, aka LG2 in Australia. Or the sintered bushings commonly available. They seem to work ok on unhardened shafts. Or cast iron as was used on many lathes of that era.

You can usually buy bronze (and cast iron) bar with a hole already up the middle. Saves time and money when making bushings etc. You can also purchase ready made bronze bushings from bearing suppliers, which if a suitable size can be used as is, or turned/bored to final fit. Not too expensive compared with buying bronze bar either.

There is a Yahoo Groups group for Myfordlathes that contains quite a bit of discussion and info on the older models such as ML4. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/myfordlathes
Definitely worth joining.
 
Last edited:

Charles Lamont

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
653
Reaction score
176
Location
UK, West Midlands
It is also important that it is a cast bronze - you do not want drawn bronze as the drawing process makes the grain structure unsuitable.
 

goldstar31

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
2,608
Reaction score
670
Location
Twixt Tyne and Tees
You should look at this material. It may be better than bronze for spindle bearings

http://www.cipcomposites.com/
Dennis
Actually my Myford Super7B has a Turcite sheet under the very worn saddle. It was done as part of a reconditioning by professionals when the bed was slideways ground. There is a liquid called Moglice which will replace all this business of trying to machine accurate bearings using a none to accurate lathe. Some years ago, I tried to buy/obtain some from a local bearing supplier but settled for something similar made by Loctite which contained ceramic powder. At that time, I built up the wear which inevitably comes about 6 inches from the chuck on the number one lathe shear.

In the far and distant past, I was trying to remove 'proper' epoxy resin coating on heavily used laboratory tops and it took a Bunsen flame and a big angle grinder to make an impression.

So I have some practical experience in modern alternatives to metal bearings. Again, I used to get lignum vitae from propellor stern tubes from a firm who was scrapping old trawlers.

Interesting stuff but rarely mentioned in model circles.

Norman
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Newcastle Emlyn
Be careful with phosphor bronze. It is usually very hard and can wear an unhardened steel spindle. Lathe spindles of the ML4 era were typically not hardened. So you might be better to use a leaded bronze that is more suitable for use on unhardened shafting. Look for SAE 660 Bronze or C93200, aka LG2 in Australia. Or the sintered bushings commonly available. They seem to work ok on unhardened shafts. Or cast iron as was used on many lathes of that era.

You can usually buy bronze (and cast iron) bar with a hole already up the middle. Saves time and money when making bushings etc. You can also purchase ready made bronze bushings from bearing suppliers, which if a suitable size can be used as is, or turned/bored to final fit. Not too expensive compared with buying bronze bar either.

There is a Yahoo Groups group for Myfordlathes that contains quite a bit of discussion and info on the older models such as ML4. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/myfordlathes
Definitely worth joining.
Funny you should mention SAE 660, as that is what I ordered in the end. Its what I use in my airsoft rifle gear boxes too.
 
2

Latest posts

Top