Myford lathes vs. modern "equivalents"

I know most in this newsgroup wax lyrical about these lathes.
However, for absolute precision engineering (down to, say, .025mm
tolerances) are they really better than any modern lathe?
Not trolling by any means, but I'm currently looking for milling machine
(from what I have discerned to date, there are milling attachments
available for Myford lathes) to work to precision tolerances and am
rather baffled by what's on offer and what is likely to be effective.
OD
Reply to
Odie Ferrous
Loading thread data ...
OD
Not really sure what you are asking as your terminology is a bit confusing, "absolute precision engineering" is not a term I would use for working to 0.025mm. Most decent lathes in reasonable condition, modern, Myford or otherwise will beat that with ease if the operator knows what he is doing. If you add a milling attachment the issue is more to do with stiffness of the machine and how the slides can be positioned and locked. A lathe with milling attachment, Myford or one of the modern 3 in 1 types can be made to work accurately with the right techniques, care and light cuts. A stand alone milling machine will normally perform much better than a lathe with attachment. Having said that many fine models have been built on such machines and of course they take up less room if that is an issue. In general they are more restricted in their capability and much slower to use than two independent machines.
Perhaps if you give us a little more information on what you want to do with the machine and which ones you have looked at we can discuss their particular merits more fully. I believe that you will find this forum includes a wide range of opinions and capabilities and while Myford are no doubt an excellent machine there are plenty here who are using other types with equal success and enjoyment with many working to much closer limits than you describe. I don't feel however that trying to compare a Myford with milling attachment or a three in one, to a stand alone milling machine would be fair; they are two entirely different solutions to a machining problem. The available room, available funds and time available to complete the task would have far more of an impact on deciding the correct solution to the need rather than the name on the machine. So don't be coy ask what you really want to know.
Regards
Keith
Reply to
jontom_1uk
In the grand scheme of things, Myfords are not special. They were one of the first small lathes that was a quality, well built product aimed at the Model Engineer, and priced affordably. In the past, they were priced affordably, anyway. Landed price for a new Myford here in Canada is near $20K, representing over 1/3 of my years earnings. I can do far better for that kind of money.
There is the added bonus for the new engineers that almost all the literature showing "how to" invariably shows pictures set up on a Myford, a great confidence booster for the uncertain.
For the price (or less) of a new Myford you could get a nicely equipped used Hardinge HLV-H, or if you were doing well, a Schaublin of similar size to a Myford, but far better built.
I have not had the pleasure of using a new Myford, just several old ones. I have used an old Scaublin, and I doubt the new Myford can compare.
Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
I get the impression that Myfords are rather less common in the US and Canada than they are here in England. Not surprising really, as they're built here. In England you ought to be able to pick up a Myford in nice condition for the same money that a Chinese 3 in 1 machine will cost you new. My dad bought a very nice Myford Super 7 a few years ago for =A3500. I would take the Myford over an import any day.
My only dislike when it comes to the Myford is its size. It's fairly rigid but it just doesn't have the power of a larger lathe. If I was shopping for a lathe I would certainly go bigger than a Myford. If you plan to make anything other than models you might want to consider a bigger lathe. There are some good deals on bigger machines out there.
Best wishes,
Chris
Reply to
Christopher Tidy
I have, on occasion, stalled the 3/4 hp motor on mine. It's a pretty good machine. Just not on par with the other machines in it's price range these days.
The first Myford I got near was bought new in the late 70's by a friend. At that time he paid $1500 or very near for a Tri Leva ML7 with a pretty decent kit of tooling with. Not quite a months wages at the time for him.
I would very much like to be earning enough in a month to be buying a new Myford.
They are not as common as the American machines over this side of the water, But are available. Sea freight used to be cheap, and a guy could buy a new Myford without having to deal drugs to make the payments. They are sought after for the reasons I stated, and because they are easy to move into a basement.
The OP was interested in how the Myford compared to it's modern equivalents. In truth it compares OK. Not great, but OK. I like mine, but ifI was looking for the accuracy, I would shop for a higher grade machine, in a similar price range.
Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
Dad's Myford Super 7 only has a 1/4 hp motor, and the motor looks original. What model is yours? I've found that the belt drive slips before the motor stalls. I wonder if there is some oil on the belt.
When I worked in the States for a short time I used a Sharp lathe. I've never seen one in England. I can't remember the model number, but it was larger than a Myford and mounted on a floor-standing cabinet. Had a 3 hp motor I think. Plenty of power for deeper cuts. And a gearbox which was nice and simple to use. Nice machine. Wish I had one!
I haven't seen all the cheap imported machines by a long way, but those that I have seen in England show rather poor build quality compared to the Myford.
Best wishes,
Chris
Reply to
Christopher Tidy
I have a Super 7. The motor definately is not original.
Myford still very much carries a torch for build quality. The Chinese and othe Asian makers tend to build very much to a price point, something that I am certain Myford also looked at in the earlier days, and they tend not to put much effort into finish as a result. Strangely, though, they seem to be ground as accuratly as any. Something to do with companies investing in as good a quality machine as they can afford and upgrading as volume of sales allows, where Myford seems very much stuck in a far past world. Except for their wages I am sure, and their current prices.
I think it is good that they have managed to maintain at least the part of their reputation that has kept them viable, but in the grand scheme the lathe is an OK one. I am one that wishes that they took the opportunity of a retool, to put a decent sized spindle bore on it, as well as at least 5C collet capability. So close. So far away. :-)
The same!
Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
While I wouldn't disagree with many of Trevor's points and certainly don't want to repeat the "is Myford any good", "too expensive" type debate, I do think the OPs question was rather too vague and possibly purposely so?
To compare any items you need at least one criteria to work with, is it price, capability, quality (whatever that is), accuracy, reliability, support, flexibility, etc etc. The OP mentions "Absolute precision engineering" but then specifies it as a not at all demanding .025mm. The only other criteria to compare with is "modern", again a relative term does he realy mean "cheap new"? He then goes on to say he is looking for a milling machine; well the Myford is basically a lathe so which are better Apples or Pears? I'm sure he is honest in saying "Not trolling by any means" but I have to say that by accident or design his post is an excellent "trolling" question.
I would guess that the real question is something like, are Myfords really "better than any modern lathe" and if one is fitted with a milling attachment will it work to a tolerance of .025mm. In my opinion very simple to answer; No they are not better in all aspects than ANY modern lathe and yes it would be capable of working to a tolerance (?) of .025mm. Again to be pedantic, is that a total tolerance of .025mm with limits at +.0125mm and -.0125mm from nominal, or is it a tolerance of +/- .025mm each side of nominal, quite different as any who have tried to work to them will know only too well. A last part to his question could be is this "effective", well yes it is effective; is it the most effective, definitely NOT.
With these types of discussions then the comparisons given are often unfair, if we take price then we should compare new with new to be equitable. Can you get a new lathe for less than a Myford, of course you can. Will it be more accurate than the Myford, possibly. Will it fit in my shed, possibly. Will it have larger capacity than a Myford, possibly. Will it be as well built, possibly. Will it hold its value as well as the Myford, almost certainly not. Will it be as flexible and have the range of accessories available, certainly NOT. Will an almost infinite range of advice and guidance on how to use it be available in books magazines or on line, almost certainly not. If we consider a range of these criteria my guess would be that you would need to look towards Eastern Europe although for some specific individual criteria some of the Chinese imports would compare favorably. The Myfords advantage is that when all the criteria are considered on a like for like basis it is the "equal of all and better than most" within its class.
I'll not labour the point any more but the question has to be reasonably framed if any sort of reasonable advice is to be provided. I guess I'm old fashioned and have never been impressed by the "Lathe discuss" type exam question.
To look at some of Trevor's suggestions, and based on price alone, I agree that a Hardinge HLV-H is a superb lathe if you can find one in good condition with a reasonable range of accessories, but to be honest they are rare and if more than a few of us look at the same time the prices will soon go up. The Schaublin is a superb lathe, even rarer and in my mind comes into the "instrument" category when one considers its feel in use. However, have a look at the prices of accessories to make it half as useful as a typical Myford and have you dealt with the manufacturer? I guess you haven't lately as they won't speak to you directly if you are in the UK and are not at all interested if you are buying "only" one basic machine. Yes, you have guessed correctly this is the result of bitter personal experience in a former life. Having said that if you have a Shaublin 125C in absolute mint condition with all available accessories and a full set of collets and are silly enough to want to get rid of it, I could offer a Myford, Boxford, Warco lots of tins of beer an old kit car etc etc, in exchange. Please contact me immediately I'm your man. :-)))
"Horses for courses" is the real answer, or was it 42 point something?
Best regards
Keith
Reply to
jontom_1uk
Picking up on various points from other posters.
Are they worth current money costs?
No, They are a well made and well finished lathe but way over priced for what you get. I bought a brand new TOS 6 years ago 14" x 40 with all the extra's except taper turning, delivered to the shop door for the same price as a Myford 254 was at the time with no extra's and no delivery.
Are they better made than other current lathes?
No. They are a dated design that hasn't moved with the times hence the abomination of a spindle mounting they fit today, too little , too late. Trevor makes reference to :-
"Strangely, though, they seem to be ground as accurately as any. Something to do with companies investing in as good a quality machine as they can afford and upgrading as volume of sales allows"
Unfortunately this doesn't fit the Myford commitment statement. The bed grinder used on modern lathes is the same bed grinder used to make my ML7 in 1968, it's just 40 years older. many of the Chinese machines are ground on Swiss grinders that we have never even seen in this country.
Are they better finished that current lathes?
Yes. This is one area where you do get better, whether you get value is another thing that's hard to define.
Will they hold their price over current lathes? Yes and no.
Yes in that the Myford will usually get a better price based on the name and because of the finish it will probably look better 20 years down the road. The number of accessories available [ whether they can be purchased or not ] will also help.
No in respect that Myford prices are falling, not sure why, perhaps people want new over S/H ? but if you read the homeshop ads list a S7 can be bought for £750 to £1K often and sometimes for about £500. A few years ago when money was worth more they usually fetched around £1500.
Something is wrong though when you can buy a new lathe with screwcut gearbox for less than a new Myford box, quadrants and covers.
If your sole idea is to get a good price when you sell on then you are in the wrong game Get an ISA or invest in something else. It worked in the old days when a lathe bought reasonable for £200 fetched £700 twenty years on but a 8K Myford won't get the same returns today, you may even loose. The whole idea of buying a machine is to use it, not polish it and reckon up what it's worth. If we worked on this premise then that car you are running around in is worth 5 times what you paid for it on part chop ? No, they are bought to be used and any depreciation is the price you pay for your hobby.
-- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:-
formatting link
Reply to
John Stevenson
e want new over
to =A31K often and
y usually fetched
Just a final point here. There is some personal preference in whether you choose to buy new or used. If you choose to buy used, you need to inspect the machine much more carefully before buying, and may need to shop around to find spares and tooling, and will likely have to spend a little time working on your machine now and then. But you get a hell of a lot more machine for your money. Personally, if I had the money to buy a new Myford and needed a lathe of that size, I wouldn't. I'd shop around for a good used Myford and save the rest of the money to buy other machines. I still think that used Myfords are a good deal at the prices they sell for in England. But Trevor is right; they aren't such a good deal brand new.
Best wishes,
Chris
Reply to
Christopher Tidy
Now that the brothers Hardinge have made their last HLV family lathe and since the Feeler clones aren't all that common in Europe. Wouldn't it be nice if the lads at Beeston decided to produce an HLV-EM clone. If they could make them for less than £15 000 they could sell as many as they could make, even to the model engineering community.
Mark Rand RTFM
Reply to
Mark Rand
15K ??? No chance. They had a long bed Conny -sewer with Newton Tesla conversion and the Rodney type milling head bolted to the back at the Bristol show with a £13,400 price tag on it. Needless to say St John's ambulance were having a busy day.
I meant to get a photo of the price tag but didn't, even so many people at the show saw it.
. -- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:-
formatting link
Reply to
John Stevenson
That was my point :-)
In fact. A Hardinge copy with invertor drive rather that vari-speed or multiple pulleys, servo or steppers for threading, chopper controlled DC drive to the apron and ball or taper roller headstock should be buildable for about the same price as current Connoisseur price and be a far better lathe.
Mark Rand RTFM
Reply to
Mark Rand
Thanks for all the comments. No troll, be assured - I felt it would be seen as a potential troll, hence the purposely added statement.
For nearly all of you, .025mm is probably in a day's work, but to me, it's fine!
I am currently working on a prototype tool to assist with the removal of data platters from hard drives.
It needs to consist of a circular (10cm dia.), flat head (2cm thick), to which I need to attach three "fingers" in the form of (probably) titanium, of about 3-4mm in width, and 1.5mm thick. However, due to the design of hard drive housings being fairly random, the positioning of these fingers has to be adaptable to a number of places around the main head, in order to provide maximum compatibility.
I therefore need to be able to mill this head (which needs to be from solid brass) to fine (in my mind) tolerances with the idea that the titanium fingers will slot in from below, to be secured in place by either a screw or a retention clip.
I also need to attach this assembly to a frame so that it can be held *very* securely in place whilst the fingers are pressed against the edges of the platters and secured by friction, and then (as in a vertical mill) raised about 10cm, then slid across about 20cm to the receiving drive.
All this time, there must be no relational movement between the platters - even .01mm would be disastrous, leaving a non-recoverable drive.
So I need to be able to mill the head, the arms, frame, and tap various threads in the parts that be brazed.
I've done some milling. Once in my life, when I was 12. I had a fishing reel, a component of which broke. Using a drill press and a brass screw, I managed to fashion a suitable replacement. Obviously I have a steep learning curve, but I don't particularly wish to share the actual design with an engineering firm, and would rather dabble in my free time.
Hence all these questions.
Again, thanks for the info. I am tempted to try the Axminster SIEG X1 for the prototype - I saw it mentioned recently on this forum. I'm aware that it is probably not going to be up to the job for the final production units, but rather than wade in at the deep end spend £000s on something eminently suitable, I'd rather test the water with a "throwaway" job.
If anyone has any comments on the possible suitability of the above milling machine, I'd appreciate them.
Many thanks
Odie --------------- Retrodata.co.uk Globally Local Data Recovery
Reply to
Odie Ferrous
Sounds like getting a 3-jaw chuck and extending the jaws using some fingers made of a compliant plastic would be a better way of going about this than starting from scratch.
Chris
Reply to
Chris Eilbeck
I did consider this, but strength testing is probably top priority. I have my doubts that even titanium will be strong enough for the task, given the dimensions of the fingers.
If anyone knows of anything stronger that is not too brittle.... The fingers will be approx. 5 or 6cm in length, protruding 4-5cm below the head at an angle such that the tip of the finger will touch the bottom platter in the drive first, such that when the head is "tightened" (another awkward thing to work out) the area higher up the finger will come into contact with the top platter. So a little bend is necessary.
In the same vein, if anyone has some slivers of titanium they'd be willing to sell - about 1.5mm thick, 4mm wide, any length over 5cm, I'd be interested.
Odie -------------- retrodata.co.uk Globally Local Data Recovery Experts
Reply to
Odie Ferrous
If the slightest rotation of one platter relative to the others is so critical, what about the problem of retaining the original relative concentricity?
I have dismantled scrap hard drives in the past and whilst I do not have one to hand at the moment recall that the fit of the platters to the hub usually has a little clearance so it may be that the data tracks are not truly concentric with the outer edge of the disk. If that is the case, when you clamp several at the same time by their outer edge they might centralise to each other (within the limits of your bendy clamps) but that might not be where they were originally.
Ian
Reply to
Ian Ph
What are you trying to do, lift out a set of platters then put them into a different drive casing?
Chris
Reply to
Chris Eilbeck
Can't help feeling that it is stiffness you need rather than strength. Is titanium stiffer than steel? Is steel out of the question due to magnetic properties? What about stainless steel? Questions rather than answers at this time of night but might just stop a move in the wrong direction.
Henry
Reply to
Dragon
To answer my own question, it appears that titanium is about half as stiff as steel. i.e for a given size it will bend twice a far as steel under the same load.
Henry
Reply to
Dragon

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.