Ebay item 300002193818

John Blakeley wrote:


John thanks, pity as I was dreaming up all sorts of ideas for their use. All involved great lumps of steel of course!! Glad to hear that schools are still able to use such tools as lathes etc but fully understand from my recent employment history where I was involved with the selection of apprentices (or lack of apprentices more like), that they might well have a vastly reduced need to introduce these skills to a large number of pupils. If industry isn't taking the trainees on, you can hardly blame the schools for reducing the capacity of their facilities. In the area I was involved the drive was for less "apprenticeships" and more narrowly trained employees who were trained and certified (in house) capable of doing very specific tasks. Cheaper to train, less incentive for people to move to different employers and lower wages. Cynical and morally questionable in my opinion, but if the bean counters are pulling the strings the "bottom line" always wins. Who said the world had to be fair.
Best regards
Keith
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--
Dave Croft
Warrington
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On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 12:19:37 GMT, John Blakeley

Its worse than that - they actually cannot (or will not) sell CNC to anything other than educational establishments - the excuse they give is that the software license only covers edu use. So, for example, you can get older Boxford CNC kit upgraded to current spec, but ONLY if you are a school or college.
Regards, Tony
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wrote:

Which seems odd since the marginal cost of production of software is negligible. You would have thought that there was some easy money in it for them if they thought about it.
Charles
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Oh, I'm sure they've thought about it. A few years ago, when I imported and sold desktop CNC equipment, I was talking to thier MD at a trade show. They make all thier money on support, software and training packages -not selling machines. They just need to sell someone a machine to sell them all the other stuff later. Which is another reason they are not very interested in hobby users -you're not likely to go back year after year for other stuff.
Regards Kevin
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I looked into upgrading one of their ex-school TCL125 lathes, something I was familiar with as I used to work in education, and got the full SP from one of their people. Decent PC CAD software is not cheap, so they did a deal with a supplier to include an educational version with their lathes at a fraction of the cost, the supplier expecting extra sales of the full version to industry if colleges taught on it, not an unusual tactic with software. They are not in the business of retailing software hence they do not have a license to sell any software outside of educational circles, so would have to sell a lathe with no software and no support. Of course it might just be that their CNC machines are made right down to a price and wouldn't stand up to industrial use... For anyone considering buying an old TCL125 they also told me that they can not even supply copies of the original (crap) BBC micro software so you're on your own I'm afraid.
Greg
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wrote:

In one word, Support.
They can get paid for a call out to a school or college, probably not a bad price if they are on a par with Fanuc, Heidenhain etc at anything from 60 to 140 per hour inc. traveling.
Now some retired old git buys a copy of this, moans like f#~k about the price and because of this is on the phone every farts end over the slightest thing instead of reading the manual.
Can you blame them. Someone has to pay for support somewhere.
-- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
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> The lesser ones were usually very crude like the Winfield, Adapt etc, the better ones, Boxford, Raglan, Harrison and Colchester were better and so far more money.
What makes the Boxfords etc better than the Myfords? Made to bette tolerances? More capable? It's all very confusing to a newcomer!
Brenda
-- anotheri ----------------------------------------------------------------------- anotherid's Profile: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u 36 View this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?tS857
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wrote:

Bigger all round.
Boxfords were more of a small production lathe than Myfords IMO., but their early pricing made them look relatively expensive.
Best value for money are the Raglans, Littlejohn or 5". Peter -- Peter A Forbes Prepair Ltd, Luton, UK snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk http://www.prepair.co.uk
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anotherid wrote:

Brendan, I almost sense a hint of desperation in your post. Don't forget that "best" like beauty is relative to the beholder, best for you might not be best for me.
In simple terms the Boxford scores on the size and rigidity side being larger capacity and more heavily built that the Myford. Typically that makes it better for larger, heavier work than the Myford. If you had to earn a living with this type of machine (you'd be hard pressed but if you did) using it for purely turning the Boxford would be better. It also scores on the value for money side, there are lots that have come from the educational world with little use and because it does not have the following of the Myford and is larger and heavier it is less popular. It's the typical market forces lots of machines/few buyers cheaper price. The Boxford (the *UD) models anyway pack all of this into a very small footprint.
Looking at the Myford it is much more of a general use machine capable of a bit of boring/milling as standard and with the gap bed can swing reasonable diameters as long as they are short. It is lighter and smaller than the Boxford and more easily moved by someone on there own. It has a tremendous range of accessories available to make it do almost anything within it's size range. As John S said it was much cheaper than the Boxford when it first appeared and ideal for those who could only afford one machine. it was very much the right machine at the right time at the right price. Difficult for other machines to overcome that advantage particulary when there are thousands available. So if you plan just one machine in a small workshop and would find a huge amount of "how to" articles helpful, the Myford is difficult to beat.
So depending on what you want the machine to do you need to choose the best for you. The other issue with this hobby is that a major factor in how successful you are in using a lathe is the feel of the machine. Whilst they can be used robot fashion (as in CNC) most people develop a degree of "feel" and empathy for their machine, they can sense when the cut is progressing well or when the machine is not happy. The feel of these two machines is entirely different and you really need to play with both and see which you are happier with. No one can tell you which will feel better to you. Obviously, anyone can get used to anything if they have to but if you are looking for the best machine for you that you want to enjoy using, it is a factor that you should research.
Having said all this, there is no doubt that if you want a lathe purely for turning and cost is a major factor, and room is not, then a good Boxford AUD/BUD is difficult to beat. If you want a lathe that will do a bit of boring/milling with a massive knowledge base available and cost is not the major factor, the Myford is hard to beat. An additional complication is that the Boxford can be made more flexible by changing the cross slide to a flat topped boring table, however that is an additional cost to the standard machine.
I don't know where you are based but if you get in the South Wales area you can come and look in my little shed, I have both. If we are all honest with you Brendan, either machine (together with some of the imports) will make a fine lathe for personal use. They are all capable, reliable and will introduce you to hours and hours of fun and frustration. As has been said before - you pays yer money!
Best regards
Keith
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> Brendan, I almost sense a hint of desperation in your post.
Spot on! Still, off to Guilford on Saturday to look at things in th flesh ... then I can anguish some more :)
Brenda
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anotherid wrote:

It's all part of the "fun" really and I'm sure that you will see something that you fancy, even if you don't it's a benefit as you won't need to agonise over them any more. Good luck and enjoy yourself. Don't forget to talk to the other customers on the stands, most seem to enjoy explaining what and why they are buying or looking. I've rarely found anyone that is rude and I've gained a few more ideas from them. Make sure you have a good look at the main contenders first and browse later, browsing first with all that choice is bound to confuse the issue. Hope the weather holds up and there is not too much rain.
Best regards
Keith
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Bear in mind that any new machines you see at shows have been 'prepared' so don't necessarily tell you the state of the one that gets delivered to your door...people have sometimes been very disappointed to find how roughly finished they can be and how much work is needed to get them into a decent state. It's also very helpful if you can take someone with you who knows machines and can point things out to you that you won't have thought of.
Greg
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On Thu, 6 Jul 2006 00:48:57 +0100, "Greg"

Careful, not always so. Most of the machines you see on show are old stock, some date back to previous shipments. Dealers prepare one, fit it on a stand, bolt everything that can be stolen down and that's it. that machine then does the shows show in, show out.
Make sure you ask what has altered on the present shipments. Often mills have greater table travels than show models etc
Ask them how old the show machine is.
Another thing is someone commenting on an XYZ machine bought 3 years ago from ABC machine tools isn't always a valid opinion as most companies run a continually updating service as new shipments come in.
I have two heads off X3 mills on my bench at the moment, one early one and one from the last batch into the country. The fit and finish on the last one is light years ahead of the early model. -- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
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anotherid wrote:

Boxfords are larger capacity in every way, except for the lack of a gap in the bed which is actually a benefit as gaps mean flexibility.
They are more rigid which is probably the single most important difference between a good machine and a poor one, rigidity means less chatter, better finishes and faster removal of metal.
They have a proper V bed which is now fairly universally accepted as the best design for a manual lathe, and that bed was accurately made something that is in doubt with Myfords as others have said.
So long as you get one with a T slotted cross slide they are as versatile as any lathe, you will find T slotted csoss slides on Ebay regularly if you get one without.
So long as you go for an AUD they are full featured, power feed in both directions and quick change gear box for feeds/threads.
There are all the accessories you could ask for, boring tables, vertical slides, grinders, tool posts, collet chucks, wood turning sets, etc etc, either Boxford's own or third party ones. Of course these are over priced but not as over priced as anything for a Myford, and the money you'll save will buy a lot of accessories.
They are very compact due to the motor etc being in the cabinet underneath instead of stuck out the back.
On the down side they usually come in 3 phase because they weren't really targeted at the home user so need converting or the use of a phase converter or inverter, and they are heavy, but of course that's the sign of a good machine 8-).
Greg
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wrote:

I have been lurking around here for a while now it never ceases to amaze me the amount of helpful advice given freely in sometimes quite lengthy and informative replies to questions and for this I am very grateful. The breath of knowledge available here on different subjects is vast.
I have read with great interest this and other threads regarding whether to buy a new import or an older "quality" machine.
John, it seems that you are leaning towards the imports. My own experience is with the Chester Conquest mini lathe and mini mill. So far, they have been big enough for the stuff I am doing but that will almost certainly change. My gripes are - basic machine accuracy , soft screws, tendency for the gibs to rotate(to me, the gibs seem too wide for the size of the dovetail), difficulty in getting a smooth action on the dials without making the machine too loose (maybe my fault). There is a general feeling of poor quality about the machines. Don't get me wrong, I am happy to have bought them when I did and have learned a lot. The lathe I picked up three years ago when at the Exhibition in Harrogate. I chose the Conquest as Chester they had a few with them and I could take it home with me. I would not have forked out 500 to 1000 pounds or more for something better not knowing if I would make use of it or if it was just a passing fad. I now find I am hooked and want something better. I did consider the C6 from Arc Euro Trade but I see Ketan has stopped selling them. I wonder why. He has also stopped selling the X2 mini mill. In an earlier thread he mentioned part of the reason was Sieg's reluctance to fit improved FETs. The bigger machines from Warco, Chester etc may still exhibit some of the problems I see with the Conquest. They will be more solid but will still use the same crappy grub screws I expect. I wonder if all this expensive production machinery going in to China is used to produce the stuff we are interested or reserved for more up market equipment.
In general, those who have a myford generally like them and intend to keep them. Spares and accessories are still available at a price or you ban buy Cheap and Nasty if you like. I wonder if spares will be available for the chinese stuff in 10 or 20 years. There are loads of articles and books written about Myford which for me as a beginner is a big plus. If I bought a used Myford today I could expect to sell it in a year or two and not lose money on the deal. There is a perception that they are overpriced. A guy I know who deals in used machinery talks about the "loonies" paying over the odds just because it is a Myford. A Boxford may be better value for money and for someone with plenty experience is a obvious choice but for me it is not so clear.
As has been said before, there is no perfect lathe for everone. For me (at present) I want somthing about Myford/C6 size, quiet, solid, silky smooth operation, gearing and variable speed, a screwcutting gearbox would be a bonus, decent hole through the spindle(a minus Myfordon this one), reasonable priced and not too heavy that I can't move around my garage by myself. I like the idea that a Myford can be fairly easily converted with a three phase motor and VFD.
There may be plenty machines out there - somewhere that would neet my needs but where are they? Something will turn up I guess.
Archie
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(big snip)

    Myfords addressed the limited spindle bore problem about four years ago, with the introduction of a new spindle which allows 25mm (1in) stock to pass through. The larger spindle cannot be retro-fitted to earlier machines : { --
Chris Edwards (in deepest Dorset) "....there *must* be an easier way!"
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On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 18:52:00 +0100, Chris Edwards

Correction. Myfords half address the problem by adopting a spindle nose alien to even aliens.
Instead of killing two birds with one stone and adopting an industry standard nose like D1-3 or the smaller DIN A5 series and doing away with a threaded nose they used this spec dreamed up a sales department that hoped that it would spin off sales of adaptors, backplate's and chucks at inflated prices. Instead if they had worked the opposite way and used existing standards prospective new owners may have been swayed by the fact they could use readily available parts.
No sale of a new machine, no tie in to future sales.
The use of the new threaded spindle with it's non unscrew feature is also dubious. It has a screw that locates, note the word locate, not lock, into a groove on the register. This prevents the chuck/ backplate/ etc from spinning off under reversal.
What it doesn't do is stop it wobbling about in the register groove and generally wobbling and smacking into everything.
Before anyone thinks it I'm not anti Myford, I'm just anti that'll do, dogs dinner attitude that they now take and have done for a while.
I asked in the 70's why they didn't fit a larger spindle, I was told they would need to keep two headstock castings on stock ????
Incidentally in another post the Boxford forrey into CNC is mentioned but Myfords could have been there first. In the early part of the 70's a small company approached Myford to see if they would supply a carcase and this company supply the electronics and Myford supply the finished product to schools etc.
Myfords declined as they saw no future in this. The company then went ahead on limited funds and grants to buy ML10's and convert then in small premises they had rented.
The name of the firm was Connect, you may have seen them in colleges etc. They were limited by small staff, no name, and limited sales staff but in two years they had bought over 200 lathes off Myfords.
Alan Timmings of ME clock fame was one of the start up members of this. What could this have led to given the name of Myfords and their sales force ? -- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
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But I think you've just added another very good reason not to buy a new Myford, the company you have to buy it off!.
Greg
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Greg wrote:
> But I think you've just added another very good reason not to buy a new > Myford, the company you have to buy it off!. > > Greg > >
To buy a new Myford these days would take me the equivalent of a little over a third of my annual salary, pre tax. Not very well equipped, either. Nope!
I like my Myford S7, had an ML7 before it. Both, like as not, cost me about what they sold for when new many years ago. (less than $2k Canadian, say for the sake of round numbers, 800 or so pounds).
I do not see the value there in the new Myfords.
If I had the cash to throw at a new one, I would instead be shopping for the likes of Hardinge or Schaublin or Weiler in the used market, and end up with a better lathe (even if well used) for less.
I did say that I like my S7, right? I do. It's light enough to carry down a flight of stairs without killing myself. It does what I need to do, wich does not include spending 8 hour shifts making blue chips come off with it. The knowledge base is incredible! Everything that you can imagine and a few things you never even considered, has been done on Myford lathes, and many of the souls that did these things were kind enough to record what they were up to in magazines (Model Engineer) and in books. Far easier for the inexperienced to actually beleive in the possibility of a project coming to fruition, with pictures of the setup right in front of them.
My ML7 came with a selection of tooling and chucks as well as a stand. It was my first metal lathe. My S7 came with an assortment of goods and a stand as well. I sold on the ML7, on the stand that was under the S7, and included the tooling that either was specific to the lathe or a duplicate of what I had. The fellow that I sold it too was pleased, and now, several years later is about to sell it on. He, too, is planning on upgrading to an S7, and keeping some of the tooling he has acumulated.
There was a machine tool dealer in the United States that had upon his website a very well written article titled IIRC "In Praise of Klunckers!". The short of it was that if you hold off buying a lathe until a perfect one shows up, you may as well get used to not having a lathe, and that perfectly serviceable work can be done on far from perfect machinery. Assess your needs vs. wants. Better to have a lathe with limitations than to not have a lathe at all.
http://www.mermac.com / A good read!
I can recall a while back that Boxford was advertising heavilly to the Model engineering market, and I have seen a few of them here in Canada, privately owned and in school shops. The great thing about them was that they were a licenced copy of South Bend lathes (a name with similar cachet to that of Myford, in the North American market, ie draws too much money,for the most of it), and many parts would interchange, so support was not too much of a problem, up until South Bend went bankrupt.
I went with a friend to an auction sale where there was a Hercus lathe (South Bend licenced clone made in Australia). The lathe sold for very little, well under a third of what it would have sold for if it was a South Bend and advertised as well as it had been. Great little lathe for a home shop, well tooled, nice bench, and nowhere near the respect that it deserved because no-one recognised the name. Good for my friend, that.
I know things now that I would not have learned had I not blindly bought the first relatively decent small lathe that I was able to find (the ML7). It was well used, but serviceable rather than perfect. With the knowledge I now have, I do not need to fear to take on orphaned or otherwise odd machines that may cross my path. I can at least make a reasonable judgement of such, anyway.
You have to start somewhere.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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