Myford ML7 Operation / Testing

Hello everyone,
I'm new to this group (but not to RC Groups - I fly Slope Gliders an Helicopters).
I am going to look at a Myford ML7 lathe soon :) , and since I have n
experience with this type of lathe, I have no idea how to start it, ho to test it etc. :confused: The previous owner unfortunately passe away, so I have nobody to ask for advice.
Could anyone give me a step-by-step to starting it and and any ML specific evaluation tips? For example, the oilers need filling before test it presumably...what type of oil is required and how are the filled? Self-explanatory or is there a specific method?
The last thing I want to do is damage it.
Thanks a lot in advance,
Garth
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DR_G wrote:

The normal thing to look for is wear broken parts and general condition.
If it looks beat to death, it probably is. If it looks well cared for, and in good condition overall, it likely has few issues.
The handles that move the various sufaces should move freely, and have little slack when changing direction, less than half turn. Wear in the screws or in the nuts is easy to repair, and parts are available, but it will give you an idea of condition. Myford is still in business,and can sell you the appropriate manuals, if they did not come with.
If you can. take a picture or two, and post them to a web service like photobucket, and post the links up here. If you get the serial number, you can determine age from it.
You want to avoid having the carriage up against the chuck when you turn it on (motor switch, usually mounted to the left, on the front of the lathe). It may be a reversing switch, maybe a on/off type.
It may be equipped with a clutch, if you are lucky. The clutch lever is above the chuck and behind.
Take a look at the myford info on lathes.co.uk
You should be able to recognise the various parts from the reading there.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Trevor,
Thanks very much for that - it does have a clutch.
Here are some pictures..any comments??
Thanks again,
Garth
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That lathe has been used, most recently and possibly for some time, for turning wood. The bed has not been abused and the rust on the vertical slide, cross slide and chucks is such that it will come off in a few minutes with some Scotch-brite or similar. Changewheels appear to be in the box under the bench. It's slightly confusing in that it appears to be a Dove grey colour (early) but has a later pattern tailstock. This might just be a lighting effect and isn't really significant. Probably mid-late 60's, but phone the serial number (back left hand end of the bed) through to Myfords and they will tell you when it was made. The bench _might_ be a little bit flexible, but if it is, a couple of diagonal cross braces will fix that. Three jaw chuck is a backplate type (less good) but 4 jaw appears to be integral body type (good). That oiler is the original Tecalemit oiler (irrelevant but good). The draws may well contain significant tooling.
One thing I would do, given its obvious use on wood, is to remove the bearing caps on the headstock (take a set of imperial allen keys and don't lose the shims under the caps). Look at the bearing journals and white metal bearings. if the journals are clean and without grooving and if the bearings are similar, then the Owner has looked after the lathe and oiled it. if there is significant signs of grooving, the owner has been more worried about oil getting on his wood work than he has about the life of the lathe. That would knock 200 of the price :-(
If I were buying I would not feel aggrieved if I paid 500 for that lathe and its tools. It will need a thorough disassembly and cleaning to get rid of all the sawdust, but that can be treated as "getting to know the new family member". You will probably spend at least another 300 in the next year on tooling and stuff, but that would happen what ever lathe you got DAMHIKT! If there are micrometers, dial gauges etc also as part of the workshop, then make a reasonable offer for them as well if you don't already have them.
You will need 1/4", 5/16", 3/8" and 7/16" BSF spanners (or 3/16 to 3/8 BSW.. same thing) plus 2BA, for operation and adjustment plus a 5/32" allen key that has been cut short to engage the backgear. If you see these near the lathe, they go with it because they are a necessary part of the toolkit!
I've seen much worse on Ebay. I think I am unbiased because I own two ML7s and am trying to get one ready for sale. This one obviously hasn't been prepared for sale, but it looks as if it has had a reasonably quiet life.
Mark Rand RTFM
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DR_G wrote:

That looks to be a none too heavilly used machine. I have been happy using machines that were easilly in far worse condition than that one, from the appearances. Well tooled up, too.
That vertical slide is the more basic one, but provides all the motion that is generally needed.
Is there oil in the oilers? At least a little residual? On my ML, if I did not close down the needle on shutdown, all the contents found their way onto my bench. As a result, my routine each time I used it, was to fill the oilers.
It would not be a bad idea, as suggested, to pop off a bearing cap and have a look at the shaft and the condition of the bearing surface. The bearings are quite similar to those used in the bottom end of an automobile engine. Capable of withstanding a great deal, as long as ample oil is present.
I do not know if the spindle and shells are still available, but it is not beyond repair even if it is in terrible shape as the spindle can be turned or ground round, and custom bearings made and fitted, or the spindle can be built up with hard chrome and ground back to size. Not inexpensive things to repair in general, any way it is done.
If the present keepers are none too keen to have you lifting parts off, then you are left with trying to move the spindle by hand, checking for smooth motion, and allowing it to run a while in top speed to see if the bearings heat up.
If I were sent those pictures, and a price that I could afford, I would buy it and take my chances without a run. I know what my capabilities are as far as a repair are, if needed, though, and have another lathe in hand to work with, as well as access to some higher tech tooling.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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This might prove useful http://www.pilotltd.net/super7.pdf
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Garth.
    If you were to tell us where you're located and roughly where and when you're going to test your machine, you might get one of us to volunteer to go with you and offer our help and experience......I certainly would, if possible. --
Chris Edwards (in deepest Dorset) "....there *must* be an easier way!"
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wrote:

I had a couple of Myford and it's very difficult to give advice like this but I'll give it a whirl:
General condition - Loved or abused? A deceased owner tends to suggest that it has been well looked after but sadly it may have been kept "sub-optimally" in a damp shed.
On to the machine: The bed - will always be more worn near the headstock. Move the saddle along the bed from the tailstock to the head stock and feel if it gets tighter at the headstock. I'd expect it will so don't worry. If it binds solid as you move towards the tailstock it might be too worn (and have been tightened up to disguise it). The odd nick near the headstock is common and usually not a reason to reject a lathe.
Lift the headstock cover and look at the bull wheel (the big one on the right side of the pulleys). This and the one below frequently chip a tooth with abuse. Not a show stopper but it'll cost 50+ for the parts.
Put a 6" length of 2" diameter steel in the chuck and tighten it up. Then see what play there is in the headstock. Loosness is bad!
Turn on the drip trpe oilers on the headstock and start the machine - is it quiet, does the motor start cleanly?
That's about all you can say to someone without any experienece. The good thing about an ML7 is even if you buy a dog you can rebuild it.
Suggested Reading: The Amateurs lathe by L H Sparey The Myford 7 Series Manual ny Ian Bradley
Regards
Charles
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And there are lots of people wanting to rebuild them, so the lathe is very often worth more as a collection of parts. OK, it's sad to break it up but if it's got something horribly wrong you can probably sell all the other bits and get your money back. Or buy another one that's cheap because it's got no tooling.
The lathe you picture has a decent selection of tooling which will help. Chucks might be a bit rusty - make sure it's just surface rust.
-adrian
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Garth, I was a bit suprised to note that this ML7 had a new sight glass which indicates that recently someone( alive) has done something. I would hve expected that running with ISO32 hydraulic oil, the label woud have gone years earlier. Maybe the deceased owner was 'doing it up' Ignoring the rust, it has a fair amount of kit and suggests an owner who had gone to the trouble of getting a larger faceplate and a catchplate and a rear tool post. The possession of these items suggests 'someone' who bought the lathe to use and not to turn over as a sale.
Obviously, I am guessing but with only the addition of a 5 litre of ISO32 oil from an oil wholesale, you could be up and running with no more than a general clean and oiling the motor.
Can I move on a bit? Obviously, you need a decent book or two and Sparey and Bradley are - alright but you will soon run out of ideas. Go mad and get the two G H Thomas Books! Again, move to the Yahoo Groups and join the various ones but the MyMyford still has the ML7 Myford Manual to download. You will need this. The most important thing is that you will find here and in many places that you will gather an expertise to help you along.
Cheers
Norman
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On 20 Mar 2007 11:54:25 -0700, "ravensworth2674"

Worth noting that a well known Nottingham based engineer used diesel to lubricate his ML7 headstock for years with no detriment.
Charles
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On Tue, 20 Mar 2007 22:25:08 +0000, Charles Ping

Used diesel?
Mark Rand RTFM
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On Tue, 20 Mar 2007 23:19:23 +0000, Mark Rand
Isn't that CO2 and H2O?
Regards, Tony
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On Tue, 20 Mar 2007 23:19:23 +0000, Mark Rand

That would be used used diesel which, as Tony pointed out, isn't known as a lubricant.
Charles
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Thanks everyone.
Excellent advice so far - especially the tip about putting a bar in th chuck, and the manual is great.
I knew about how to check the bed ways for wear, but have neve actually done it!
The offer of a possible inspection is excellent advice, but I a already taking a friend with me who is also an engineer (and, mor importantly owns a trailer!), and am keen not to hassle the lady wh owns it with too many people around. From the photographs it look fairly good with little surface rust. I believe the Gentleman who owne it was a keen model maker, and a skilled toolmaker by profession. would therefore expect the machine to be in a respectable condition but given its age I am not expecting miracles.
Thanks again,
Garth.
ps. Does anyone have a cross-reference of serial numbers vs manufacture year?
pps The Amateurs lathe by L H Sparey is on order as we 'speak'
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Garth, Again, if you join MyMyford as suggested, they are building up a list for each. With two Myfords, a ML7 and a Super7B, serial numbers don't really mean a thing to me.It is the condition which is paramount and then tooling.
Given the price being right, I would be off to get a tin of RAL7011 paint. Nope, it isn't exactly Myford Grey but it is near enough.
Have fun
Norman
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Norman et al,
Great advice. I will have a look at MyMyford tomorrow.
Now, inevitably on to prices. Assuming an acceptable degree of wea (which I will have to make an educated judgement on)...
How much? Maximum figure.
After a bit of basic research I do have a figure in mind, but woul appreciate your opinions. I am due to go and look at it tomorro (Wednesday) evening. After some pleasant discussions, the owner's agen has promised me first refusal. So with this particualr machine, tomorro is crunch time. This will be a very long awaited and anticipate purchase for me, and I dont want to regret it!
By the way, regarding the photographs I posted, did anyone notice th oil-drum type cover over the motor? It doesn't look right at all t me.
Regards,
Garth
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DR_G wrote:

Don't worry about it unless one end of the bed appears rougher than rough, while the other is super smooth. Not the case from the pictures.
If the bed is quite worn, you will be able to adjust the gibs for smooth travel and only be able to move the carriage a few inches. More likely is that you will find it gradually tightens as it moves away from the main usage area. Even on a quite worn machine, it only becomes a bit of an issue when trying to work with quite long workpieces.

The deals that have always caused me regret were the ones that I let go because they seemed dear at the time, so I passed on them. Afterthought soon had me wishing I had just bit the bullet and bought the items, which were very reasonably priced.

Possibly a workaround for keeping chips out of a ventilated style motor. I have never had a chip make it's way into one of mine, but it may be that I am just lucky.:-)
Cheers Trevor Jones

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Mark, Trevor, Everyone,
Thanks for all this much needed advice.
I will remove the bearing caps and have a quick look, Does anyone hav an online manual I could see. Someone (sorry I can't see the name now posted a link to a Super 7 manual, but this is an ML7. Is there specific torque needed to re-tighten the shells?
I will take some oil / hydraulic fluid to fill the lubricators, an some spray oil to put on the ways. From what I know about the previou owner he would not have run it without lubrication, whether turnin wood or not. Whether someone else has used it since he passed away have no idea.
A full strip down and repaint are probably on the cards (I always see to end up rebuilding things no matter how good they first look). I hav rebuilt two classic cars (1962 MGB and 1964 Jaguar E-Type), and so have accumulated a full range of tools, micrometer, dial gauges (an even an 7.99 digital vernier on offer at the moment from NETTO! Seem spot on according to my 1" slip gauge too).
I hope all goes well tonight, it looks good and they are very nic people to deal with. The sellers agent is a friend of theirs who is a experienced model engineer himself. I hope to have a look at his wor sometime.
Of course I will let everyone know how I go on, and what price I end u paying assuming I make a purchase. I must say I am engcouraged b everyones comments so far.
Regards,
Garth
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Garth, As in 'Allo Allo' I will say this only once! Well, twice!
Get onto YahooGroups and thence to MyMyford. The ML7 manual is in the Files. Meantime, the headstock bearings are adjusted with shims. These may look like one lump but they are laminated things which can be pared for adjustment. As you are looking at the lathe, remove the top shells- if you must but only to check for scoring of the spindle. Don't bugger about with any more hysterics! If the spindle is unmarked, leave it be till you get it home. As has been said earlier, you are looking for damaged headstock gears etc.
Price, I would say that E Bay prices start at 400 for a bare lathe with a 3 jaw but here you have a 4 jaw, catch plate, two faceplates, a rear parting tool holder and an verticle slide and vice. So get E- Baying for additional prices before tonight. I would have thought that with a full set of gears and no damage that 600 would be fair. You want lathe tools, centres, drill chucks, a spare set of jaws for the 3 jaw etc, Whatever else is a bonus.
Now you want to download the Manual and I suspect that the spare parts list is also in the files section.
Remember the words in your medical training-- Never let the Sun set on undrained pus
Cheers
Norm
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