Whilst I agree that the “three vee” design of the Boxford/Southbend lathes is a sound design the flat-bed Myfords should not be dismissed, it is just a different approach and one that has proved itself over more than a few decades too, it is entirely up to the job. Remember that the Myford machines are one inch less in centre height and therefore built for a slightly lighter duty than the Boxford/Southbend machines, it’s another of those times when size does matter!
On the subject of support documentation I can recommend anybody with a lathe could do worse than to seek out a copy of “How to Run a Lathe”, originally published by the Southbend Lathe Company it is available now in facsimile form. This small tome is of course invaluable to the Southbend/Boxford owners but is an excellent addition to the bookshelf particularly for any non-engineering based lathe owners.
The only omission in the book is a chart for cutting metric threads on Imperial (inch) machines fitted with the quick-change gearboxes. Perversely with a non-Q/C box lathe it is a simple matter of cog swopping to get the required ratio between headstock and leadscrew but with a Q/C box in the mix the ratios INSIDE the Q/C box count too and there are forty possibilities in there to choose from – kinda complicates matters unless you enjoy spending hours tooth counting! Luckily I can supply a copy of just such a chart to anyone who cares to contact me. The Boxford machines can be regarded as mechanically identically to the Southbend in this regard, I cannot say if such a chart exists for imperial Myford machines when cutting metric threads.
It has been mentioned that the Myford in particular is too small to skim some brake drums however it is worth noting that Myford sell a set of rising blocks that should solve the problem.
Another useful feature of the Southbend’s 3 ”V” bed is that it makes it very easy to knock down into “bite sized” bits for transport without any loss of alignment. It is a simple matter to remove the headstock, saddle, saddle apron complete with leadscrew and of course the tailstock.
I’d be a bit more wary than some about worn lathe beds but then my Southbend had 0.007” wear at the headstock end, (but it was free!) and a 90% worn clasp nut but that’s another story, suffice to say that it took a deal of “devious cunning” and a lot of hand scraping to bring it back!
Hi Roger, for what you want to do I would sugest that you don’t waste time looking at anything other than a Myford ML7 or Super7. It will do everything you want. Most months there is one for sale in the VMCC journal or Old Bike Fart. As Brian says, everything for them is available off the shelf. Mine is a 1947 model, good as new!
There is a Myforld ML7-R single phase with imperial screwcutting, tooling, stand etc in the VMCC journal this month for £850. bottom right of page 97. It is not my place to post the phone number online but give me a call (number on website linked below) and I’ll give you the seller info if you are not a VMCC member.
Located in Kent.
I have been using my Myford Super7 which has a q/change gearbox for 30 years and it was 17 years old when I bought it! Myford have a deservedly high reputation and spares are available at reasonable prices
I have found it ideally suited to almost all the work I have needed to do in rebuilding 3 Scotts and 2 cars. It is large enough to machine a 2 Speed backplate casting. In practice the majority of work I do is making bolts, spacers and bushes. It may not be that powerful but an amateur has plenty of time. Being belt driven it it quite forgiving of errors that might be catastrophic on more powerful gear driven lathes. I would strongly recommend a rear tool post for parting off.
No mention has been made of the Warco or Clarke ranges.
The Warco WMT300_1 combined Lathe and milling machine appears to be good value ? ?
Stay well clear of Warco; these are the ones full of casting sand! If you buy one of these you may end up like some who have bought them; you will be returning it. The build quality is bad and the metal is of poor quality leading to a bad finish; those in their showroom were not very good and this comes from a customer who went to look! I have had no dealings with Clarke machines but if they are far eastern walk away quickly. This is not to say they are not all bad just that I have never seen any machine that is any good and I have seen a few….. Modern machines just don’t have anywhere near enough metal in their construction.
Stick with something British or American and at least 25 years old that way the castings will be good. German lathes are very good but are well out of your price range.
Regards Myford the bits are expensive so make sure all the bits are there before you buy. A replacement set of chuck jaws will, apparently, set you back £130. You can buy a Polish made chuck with both sets of jaws for that money!
Hello Roger . A book that I have found very good is The amateurs lathe by L H Sparey its down to earth. Its been my shed bible for most of my adult life. Regards D F.
These far eastern machines are built down to a price; you really do get what you don’t pay for! 😈
On the subject of desirable “goodies” I would add to the list a quick change tool-post, the Dickson type is particularly good but with as many tool-holders as funds will allow and also for screwcutting a thread indicator, neither are vital but both are jolly useful!
There is a Boxford CUB on Ebay at £450.00, it appears to have threadcutting capabilities as it has a thread indicator.
Any comments ???
I agree with many of the previous posts. Myford / Southbend / Boxford – you wont go far wrong. Myfords seem to be the most expensive of these – £500 – £850 seems to be the norm. Boxfords seem to be slightly cheaper and southbend’s cheaper still. I bought a Southbend 3 years ago which had Q/C gearbox, and came with 3 & w jaw chucks, full set of metric and imperial Collets (1/8″ to 1/2″ and 3mm to 13mm), + Q/C tool post for £350 and its been great. A Smart & Brown can also be great value – dont seem to be too sort after – so can go quite cheap – yet they are a serioulsy good machine.
Dripfeed’s recommendation to get a copy of “The Amateurs Lathe”[/i] should not be overlooked – I was lucky enough to server a 4-year engineering apprenticeship whioch covered turning & milling – but I still learnt alot from this book.
Good luck with your searching and enjoy those hours listening to the humm of your lathe 😀
Very much a personal choice. but fashionable machines like a Myford are generally a bit expensive for what you get. Ex industrial 3 phase machines are cheaper and generally more robustly built. You can run these with an inverter. Then we have different types of lathe. Most manual centre lathes are general purpose machines intended to give maximum capacity, even at the expense of a little stability and thus accuracy. As a side comment here, look with considerable suspicion at cheap “home” lathes that have a very tall headstock, so as to swing a bigger diameter, but where the bed is flimsy like a narrow gauge railway. A lathe type that is ideal, is the “Toolroom” type and this type has a wide vee and flat bed and the saddle has good length so it will not “Crab” I use a Smart and Brown Model A lathe that has collets as well as chucks. Smart and Brown made quality toolroom lathes untill some carpet baggers sold the factory for a nice profit to build a supermarket and thus finished the largest employer in Bigglewade at that time. Even if a good machine has a bit of wear, it can still produce better than a modern item built to the philosophy “Never mind the quality, feel the width” When my friend Eddie Shermer wanted to equip a workshop as he was to retire, I advised him to buy a S&B model A lathe and a Theil 158 miller. He bought both and drives them with an inverter. I am sure if you wanted to discuss these with either Eddie or myself, we would be pleased to advise fellow Scott owners. I also bought a bigger S&B lath, a 1024 VSL which is a 10″ swing x 24″ between centres with a mechanical variable speed drive via expanding pullies etc. A truly excellent machine. One final point to consider. It is far easier to turn or bore to tolerances of half a thou or better on a quality “Toolroom” type machine and as you are highly unlikely to buy grinding machines to cover these more demanding requirements, such as bearing housings etc. then a good lathe will enable you to extend your work range into these areas.
Once you have a lathe, you need to study tool geometry as are convenient to different metals with different “Machinability” If you enjoy useing your brain to follow logic and think out the best machining strategy, you will find that the whole subject of machining is a fascinating and infinitely stimulating subject. When you have created a new piece where none existed before, you will have great fulfillment and remember when, as a child you had made something and took it to bed and put it under your pillow! Kindest Regards Roger
Still haven;t moved into the house yet,probably another 4 weeks,the vendors solicitors in Hay on Wye are so slow. However I did get my priorities right and have purchased a South Bend 9” Precision,with quite a bit of tooling.
I know this is not directly a Scott topic but it will benefit my Scotts eventually and jujging by the amount of interest shewn in this thresd it appears to be of interest to a lot of people. With the moderators approval I shall keep this thread open.
For those that have ambitions to become a modern day Hephaestus but have not had the advantage(?) of a five year Toolmaker Apprenticeship + two years as an “improver” I can recommend obtaining a copy of a little book (8″ x 5″ & 128 pages) called “How to Run a Lathe”. It was first published by the South Bend Lathe Co. back in 1907 and went to at least 56 editions. I believe it is now available in facimile form but I do not have an ISBN number for it.
While it concentrates naturally enough on working with Southbend lathes the processes/operations described apply just as well to almost any lathe and I can recommend it as a reference and guide for operators of any level of expertise.
The only omission I have found is in not providing a conversion chart for cutting metric threads on an imperial lathe with a Q/C gearbox (the model A) but I have one such and can supply a copy if anyone needs one. Please note that this particular chart only applies to a lathe with a Q/C box, for lathes with a standard change gear set there is a chart in the book. I rather suspect that the information would apply directly to Boxford machines but for other makes, even if they have the same leadscrew pitch, exercise caution.
Regarding my last post, eBay No. 270753340692 is the book I was referring to, I recommend it to anyone with or intending to use a lathe, time served or beginner, it it a very handy little book and worth every penny.
Merry Christmas everyone. I just came across this thread from 5 years ago this week !!! doesn’t time fly when you are having fun !. As an update,you will see from the thread, I bought a 1939 South Bend 9″,well,it is still going strong and I have learned a great deal about lathe work, at least 1% of a real engineers knowledge. Since then i have acquired a small milling machine and can now cut gears. Unfortunately all I have learned is from You Tube and trial and error,I do get to make a lot of swarf .
Happy New Year Roger