Lathe change

wrote:


Hello Norm, unlike you to "stand back" unless you have been somewhere exotic of course. While I take your point to a degree, the OP (Bill) has never indicated (in what limited information he has given us) that there is anything wrong with his "very old ML7" other than it has no gearbox, no PCF, no coolant and doesn't take big enough cuts (yes I know that might have eluded to problems but they weren't specified. The one other piece of information he gave us was that the replacement needed to be a similar size. I can't see how anyone given that limited information could have suggested anything other than the lathes mentioned. Although I asked about budget and critical requirements in my first response, Bill provided no further information. Your suggestion of rebuilding the ML7 while sound from a financial point of view (if that is important to him - he hasn't said) would not have provided, PCF, gearbox, coolant or the ability to take substantially larger cuts. While many of the suggestions I felt were for much larger machines that fell outside of one of his criteria he didn't come back in to the discussion to clarify his need, and I had asked him about available space as well. In fact, I though that the discussion although diverted to the issues of rebuilding an older but very high quality machine would be useful to indicate the type of work he might encounter if he took that course. I am also disappointed that Bill's subsequent question with regard to Boxfords is also, only in my opinion of course, too open to ensure that he gets reasonable advice. "What are they like" and "which model is best" creates more questions than answers, (big ugly things with turny bits everywhere??) and I for one can't answer that with any kind of reasonable advice. I know I am limited but I need to know, whats it going to be used for, what materials will be used, what budget is available, is space an issue does it have to go onto a bench, is coolant or a gearbox vital, does he know enough about lathes to identify a reasonable machine etc etc etc.
In short Norm, I think you are being a bit hard on us and the advice that Bill has been given to date. Unless of course what Bill really wants is for someone to offer him their own "perfect machine" that is absolutely idea for him. If that is the case he might just get what he deserves. If Bill reads this, apologies but such an open question gives us very little to go on and means that many machines that might be ideal for you are not mentioned at all. The question most often posed and impossible to answer is "I want a lathe, which is the best".
Regards
Grumpy of Wales
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On 7 Sep, 09:28, jontom snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Keith, Of course we are both making assumptions because we both are 'wetting our fingers to find where North is'
I was thinking of the late Kenneth C Hart who as Martin Cleeve wrote how he was made redundant and turned his hobby ML7 into a machine which would provide him with a tidy income- until his death. It's all there in 'Screwcutting in the Lathe' He seemed to manage--- and mentioned the Hardinge. Poor bugger couldn't afford a four jaw chuck but he still managed to work only part time! One thing is certain, he didn't swop an accurate machine for a cast off basket case no matter what it's antecedents were.
Thinks???? Should we leave it at that. Nah! let's have a bit of a wind up. Years( who knows when) but I went for a Hardinge at an auction. Bugger was bankrupt- you know 2 years of good days and the bank manager was writing the 'obituary' on Stubbs Gazette. Anyway, it was sold for 6500 plus auctioneers charges etc. I was 'out' long before that. I still have the 6500 or thereabouts. I bought, you might think foolishly, a Castle in Spain. Its present value is rather more than the Hardinge. Quixotically, there are no Hardinge owners along 'our' street!
Ah, well- can't win 'em all
Cheers
Norm
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In article
jontom snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com writes

Actually Keith, retro-fitting a Myford gearbox is quite feasible - I did mine over 20 years ago when my skill level was (even) lower than now. Of course, the price of the gearbox has risen and the OP might find it makes more economic sense to trade in the ML7 for a decent S7B with pxf. The price difference will probably be even more than the cost of the gearbox, but he will have a better machine and pxf.
As an aside, pxf is the only thing I really miss on my older S7B. I do wish that someone would do a decent conversion kit. I have pondered this for many hours, and am convinced that a pivoted motor with worm on the apron front, driving a worm wheel fitted between the cross slide and handle, would in principle be quite feasible and not particularly obtrusive. Personal circumstances make it difficult for me to do a lot of trial-and-error development work at present though.
David
--
David Littlewood

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.David, Martin Cleeve did it. The write up was in ME in the 50's That was for his ML7.
In an variation on a theme( apologies to Paganini) it is worth having a look at the Pools Major which had a power cross feed coming out of the lead screw and across the rear and onto another feed screw on the back and ito the saddle.
I had one. Maybe lathes.co uk has enough on the subject.
Another variation is a variable speed motor direct onto the feed screew. My 7 had a thingy on the leadscrew which was a 2880rpm, but double geared down . Mine was BOC but I recall that Parvalux had similar stuff.It is now on a mill drill!
Romping away, Cleeve is worth digging into in a Club or Public Library for old ME's He also had a gear box.for his ML7 which came out of his earlier ML2/4.
I'm now appreciating the recollections and hope that they may stir an interest.
Vaguely, Cleeve was made redundant and used his converted ML7 to make special order screws. Gave him a better income than before!
Cheers David- hope that my ramblings help
Norm
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.Comments about late lamented Martin Cleeve are coming too fast for these arthritic fingers to catch up. Sorry!
Some time back, i did get a lot of help to put Cleeve into the net. Sadly, Magicalia came in and that was the end of my aspirations there. Magicalia's promises are like pie crust!
Unquestionably, Cleeve had simple and cheap solutions to many problems. Ramling on, there were fixed and running steadies. Milling arbours and here, Cleeve hadn't a mill. Again, he made a gear box out of bits and dividing gear etc etc.
In no way, does this denigrate other worthies but it gives another approach. Today, with economic gloom facing many of you, it may be worth ML7 owners doing a private exchange of his information.
Forgive me but my efforts failed and old age(78+) and infirmary( ?? ) have to be endured.
Norm
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Totally agree David, but as you say the economics don't make sense if you have to buy a gearbox at the current price. Even if you had a box spare then I suspect that selling it and the old ML7 might well raise enough to buy a fair S7 with PXF. There have been a couple of gearbox designs to build yourself but of course depend on you having a lathe capable of and equipped for the task.
I have found this discussion very interesting particularly with regard to PXF. I have two Myford S7Bs equipped with PXF the first by design and the second by chance of being in the right place at the right time. If I'm honest, I really enjoy having the facility but don't use it all the time. The premium one is expected to pay for such a machine is very high and with my first S7B PXF, the only way I could afford it (kids about to go to uni at the time) was to pick a machine that was in excellent condition except that it had a few chunks out of the bed near the headstock. This damage to the bed makes no difference at all to the accuracy of the lathe yet dropped the price by several hundred pounds. The strange thing is that although I now have a much newer one that is in superb condition it is the older one I use all the time. What I'm getting at is that quite often with Myfords people actually look to buy an "exhibition piece" rather than a good workable lathe. If you are prepared to accept some cosmetic imperfections then I have seen several S7B PXFs sell for quite a bit less than 1000. In fact, although I planned to get rid of it when the new one fell into my grasp I won't. When the bed shows signs of wear I will get Myford to regrind it complete with missing chunks and continue to be comfortable using and abusing it daily.

There used to be a conversion kit available at least for the ML7 I think and you see them from time to time on secondhand machines. With modern small DC motors and fancy electronic speed control I don't understand why someone hasn't at least tried the market. I guess if you had the money to invest in buying 1000 sets form the Chinese they might be cheap enough to be popular, although I still doubt they would make you a fortune. I also agree that a mechanical system should be workable but feel that a small DC motor/clutch and electronics would be easier to set up.
Interesting
Keith
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On or around Sat, 06 Sep 2008 01:16:35 +0100, Peter Fairbrother

Ebay item:
330268377847
Student 1800, BiN at 990. Looks good.
--
Austin Shackles. www.ddol-las.net my opinions are just that
Travel The Galaxy! Meet Fascinating Life Forms...
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Gentlemen A fascinating thread but please, I beg you, snip.
thanks
--
Roland Craven
Nr. Exeter, Devon, UK
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I got the answer to the question, and therefore did not look further in to the topic as it went to a lathe rebuild. If this is upset members of the group I am sorry. As I say I got the answer with a list of lathes and will look at them.

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Bill, I don't think anyone was upset (well I certainly wasnt) but perhaps a little frustrated at not being able to give well directed advice as your question didn't give a clear picture of what you need to do with the lathe; what is important to you, or of any constraints you may have. In the end, the Boxford (like many of the other suggestions and indeed the ML7) is a very fair "Jack of All Trades" machine that will do most jobs within its capacity reasonably well. If that is what you need then everyone will be happy. I think the discussion proves that the group strives to provide good, well balanced and un-biased advice; it is just easier to do that with a clear picture of your particular criteria. Im sure we will all be happy if you find a machine that is just right for you and one that you enjoy using. I dont think apologies are necessary Bill, after all, as in all things we each have very different opinions on the perfect machine and it is for you to decide which is right for you. The benefit of this group is a wide range of interests and experiences and the confidence to share them.
Best regards
Keith
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On Sun, 7 Sep 2008 15:06:41 -0700 (PDT), jontom snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Just a little niggle Keith... Can you tell google groups not to keep trying to post in html?
= 92 is not the same as ' to anything other than a browser.
Bah Humbug. It's coming around to that time of year again :-(
Mark Rand RTFM
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.As the original questioner possesses the inability to say 'Thank you', may I?
Nice to read about others giving a helping hand
Norm
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wrote:

Norm
I have got into the habit of posting via Google, I know I shouldn't but it is easy. That alone should have warned me off, what in life is worthwhile if it is easy? Anyway, I hadn't seen your Martin Cleeve response at all until I checked via a Newsreader to see what Mark was grumping about. I read the article you refer to when it first came out in ME and was inspired to see just what could be done with a fairly basic machine if one applied first class engineering principles and a lot of practical experience. My opinion hasn't changed and many times over the years when I've struggled to do something the picture of his finished machine (if it ever was finished) always comes into my mind and off I go again to complete the task. It is just that type of "making good" that inspires me about Marks rebuild.
I understand your point and of course "win" is a relative term anyway. I suppose it depends on the rationale for buying the thing in the first place, as a source of entertainment, as a source of learning, as a productive machine, as a palliative to some long held urge, as an investment?? For some of these levels the exercise makes perfect sense particularly at the level of investment involved, for others, as you point out, it doesn't. On the other hand, had someone taken your course of action with the then equivalent of the 6,500 two years ago they might well be looking at a different result today as well.
I still believe that the strength of this group is the diverse range of knowledge, wide experience, differing practical capability coupled with the vital confidence to share these with others, whatever their viewpoint might be. Long may it continue as in many ways I learn from it every day.
Regards
Keith
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Mark, sorry but have no idea what = 92 is so can't stop using it. I thought it might be my over prolific use of inverted comma's but they show up correctly when I checked my post through the BT Newsreader. On the other hand when I took the trouble to read the posts through the newsreader I see a totally different thread to that show on Google?? Some of my own posts via Google aren't there and others Google seems to have ignored altogether ?? Obviously, I don't know enough about this usenet thing to work it properly - bit like my lathe really.
Regards
Keith
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Bill, You seem to be leaning in the general direction of Boxfords so you might also like to consider the machine from which they were copied the 9" Southbend and also another SB clone the Smart & Brown (SAB or Sabel). There's also the Smart & Brown Model M with no one has mentioned, slightly larger than the Boxford and a good deal heavier.
In your position, I'd be tempted to see what crops up on fleabay etc and then check out the machine spec. and comments on Lathes.co.uk. There are plenty of other machines of that general spec. which may be nice if they crop up - Cromwell, Viceroy and Raglan are all of the period and may be better or worse than each other depending on your taste and the particular examples wear and complement of accessories.
Richard
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Bill, a few clues as to what is important to you might help the suggestions i.e. budget, room available, equipment you need with it any particular function it must do etc.
If room is limited and you just want a little more machine then I agree with Mark's Boxford AUD suggestion, much heavier build than the ML7, gearbox and power feeds to saddle and cross slide. My long bed version takes up about 53" x 23" on the stand with the standard version being about 8" shorter. The AUD (4.5") would also be a strong suggestion if budget is a factor as they are about the best value for money available for smaller but still very capable machines. Beware though there are some rough ones about as well as some that will not have had much use at all. If budget is less of an issue then the Myford S7 with PCF is a very nice machine and I have not felt particularly limited in the rate that mine will remove metal. If size is not a problem and if you are happy with an older machine then the other suggestions from Mark and Austin all come into play. I personally would be a little careful with a Chipmaster as although it is a fine lathe the variable drive system can be extremely noisy when worn so budget for a VFD to overcome that. I also would not argue with Stephen's Maximat V10 which is a nice lathe if you can find a good one. A difficult lathe to buy second hand though as either, if you are very lucky, people don't realize how good they can be and they are dirt cheap or they DO know and they want a fortune for them. I guess I would also have to say that if poorly equipped they can be expensive and while a lot of the smaller Emco range appears a bit lightweight the V10 is where they start to get serious but still much lighter built than the Colchester etc. Excellent build quality for the original ones though. If you like "bright and shiny" and can put up with Chinese then something like the Warco BH600 is still excellent value at the moment.
Regards
Keith
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