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New Myford ML8 owner - Advice please

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AndrewG

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Dear Turners,
I am not a great or devoted turner, but I make a fair number of chairs and can see value in having spindle turning in my skill set. I was attempting to do that with a Nutool NWL37-4 (donated by a friend), that seemed ideal for turning 18" legs and stretchers. However I was getting an issue with vibration spoiling my finishing cuts and a general feeling of flimsiness about the set up. Reading this forum suggested that whilst there is worse out their, these models are not up to much though it was never clear what the exact weaknesses were.

Generally I get the impression that most turners quickly want to be chucking up large pieces of fire wood and make impressive bowls, making mass and bed clearance vital. I have turned a bowl on a friends Graduate and can see the attraction, but I have neither the budget or space for such a beast. So when I was offered a Myford ML8 by someone clearing a house, I checked what people had to say on here and decided to take a punt on it.

IMG_20200216_192920_01.jpg


What I liked about the Myford is that with the motor slung underneath, it can be mounted very close to the wall. It only needs a foot of depth (where as the punier NWL37 needed 18"+ of depth, which is significant for an occasional tool in a small workshop ). It also seemed to have a good reputation, with parts still available. Anyway having given you the story so far, I am hoping other owners can give me some advice and direction:

Specifically

1. I have taken most of it apart to clean, except the bed tube out of the headstock. My metric allan keys wont fit the grub screws which I are probably imperial. What size do I need to get hold of?

2. The lathe bed tube was pretty rusty. I have cleaned it up with white vinegar and wire wool but there is a lot of pitting/roughness, which I am guessing is rust lifting the nickle plating. Plan to wet/dry sand it smooth and wax it to fill the pits so it si protected and provides a slick bearing surface for head stock etc. Is that the right approach? Also how best to clean inside the tube - rag and baton, musket fashion tried so far.

3. The V belt is OK but damaged so wondering if whilst I am cleaning and reassembling, I should fit a new one. Any guidance/warnings about disassembling the head stock bearings to do this?

4. Any pointers on building a bench for it.

Thoughts and suggestions please....I am aware that another lathe might not address my turning issues, which could be operator related, but that can wait for now!
Thanks in advance
Andrew
 

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Trevanion

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Myford ML8s are a pretty good machine, they're not the most robust or accurate but they're pretty good. I think that's a longer bed than standard, I'm pretty sure mine isn't as long and it definitely doesn't have that extra bracket in the middle to hold it to the bench.

You should be fine to just remove the rust and wax the tube, it isn't going to make it any worse.

For the bench, mass is your friend, steel is preferable but not essential.

As far as belts go, you can't get a regular rubber V-belt on without stripping the headstock down which has the potential of messing with the bearings. So if you need a new belt you either need to do that or buy a link belt.
 

AndrewG

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Thanks Trevanion, yes it is 42" between centers (the longest sold according to lathes.co.uk)
I guess I can turn back legs too with that.

I've sanded off the worst of the loose plating/pitting on the tube and seems reasonably smooth so think I will leave it and give it a wax. However still weighing up dissembling head to fit new v-belt vs getting a linked belt.

And yes bench mass - plan to build in wood, but considering making bottom shelf a torsion box and filling with bricks.
 

graduate_owner

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I have owned a ML8 for about 35 years, bought from a school. Unlike some of today's lathes it will go all day, no problem. Axminster and Charnwood specify 100 hours of use annually as a maximum for their hobby / craft machinery - 2 hours per week??
No whistle and bells such as variable speed or swivelling headstock, and limited in capacity, but overall a great little lathe. I have never liked the outboard turning arrangement on it, mainly because those parts are home made and a bit iffy, so when I saw a graduate bowl lathe going for £150, I thought that would be almost as cheap as buying the correct parts for the Myford. So the graduate for bowls and the ML8 for spindle work. Lucky I have space!!!

K
 

AndrewG

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So bit of an update to share and more advice sought.

As far as further refurb, I decided to get some use out of it first before deciding how much I needed/wanted.
So a bench become the priority - wanted it to take up minimum floor space, against the wall behind my Planer/Thicknesser. Ended up building it as two mdf boxes screwed firmly to the wall with adjustable feet at the front. Whilst in theory top could be only 8" wide, I went for 10"
Doors on lower section are made of off-cuts, so 'harlequin' selection of oak, ash, maple and sycamore with mdf panels.
I knew the motor was going to stick out a bit, and would need access so fitted a drop down door here with strategic cut outs for protrusions and air movement!
IMG_20200819_213910.jpg

Rock solid and easy to keep clean, and so I started my attempt to master spindle turning and particularly the art of the skew.

But...after about 25min it stopped turning when the breaker popped. A touch of the motor suggested overheating was the likely cause, so I left it hoping a thermal fuse had saved us and indeed the next day it started fine but again lasted 20-30 min before the pop. Looks like the motor is the original (sorry motor plate in back of cabinet so had to shove phone in to get a look:
IMG_20200825_114658 (1).jpgIMG_20200825_114506.jpg

Guessed the motor was not meant to be enclosed, but liked keeping the mess away from it and just happened to have an old extractor fan lying around, so wired that into the contactor to blow air over the motor..sorted?

Well I can now turn for close to 35min, but it still overheats after that and so I am beginning to wonder of there is something wrong with the motor.
So what is my best next move?
 
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