Branded as a "MI-BO" - the letters being cast into the front face of the headstock - this Italian-made Minganti Myford ML7 copy was discovered in Canada. Unlike the better-known Taiwanese copies, an example of the Minganti has yet to be discovered in the United Kingdom.
At a guess the lathe would have been made in the early 1960s, the use of the earlier "open" tailstock casting but inclusion of Super 7-like cross and top-slide handles being the clues. However, perhaps the makers had to hand an earlier example of the ML7 for the many details are the same including micrometer dials of the same rather crude MAKAK type; headstock bearing lubricated not by drip feed from sight glasses but through turn-to-open wick-feed oil caps; ball-spring oilers are in evidence on slideways, tailstock and leadscrew hanger bearings and an early type curved leadscrew guard is fitted.
Minganti appear to have produced not only a very high-quality copy with smooth castings and fine detailing but, by using a double-step pulley on the motor to countershaft drive, one with twelve speeds running from 32 to 1200 r.p.m instead of the original rather slow six that spanned a rather slow 35 to 640. However, as Myford limited the speed deliberately to conserve the White-metal spindle bearings, it might be that the headstock bearings of the Minganti were in bronze with the spindle hardened - just as Myford had once offered on an "under-the-counter" deal that gave higher speeds and greater reliability. It must be said that, however, that according to a Model Engineer Magazine report, the white metal bearings (by Galcier) had become too expensive and the substitution of bronze, together with a hard spindle was something that Myford could produce in-house - the bronze bearings eventually becoming the standard replacements in the years following the end of ML7 production.
If you have a Minganti-Myford the writer would be interested to hear from you.
A translation from an Italian web site:
"Minganti Joseph , one of the pioneers of the Italian machine tools, was formed in his father working abroad. In 1919 he began to produce their own letter-book presses, moulds for containers cachet and a small drill press . Within a few years the business grew and moved the shop in Via della Fontanina to a new factory in Via Ferrarese .
He was always beside his wife Gilberte Gabrielli , who took charge of the organizational and accounting side of the business. At the Paris Exposition of 1928 Minganti presented the first lathe with hydraulic control and continuously variable speeds , the patents taken out giving him international fame. Then came other machine tools including drills and milling machines, as well as a number of special machines for the packing of cigarettes and production of bearings, wire mesh and, pistons. In 1936 , during the period when Italy tried to become self-sufficient in industrial production, the Company manufactured turret (capstan) lathes - models that proved to be of excellent quality and the equal of foreign ones .
During the WW2, in 1943, the factory was hit hard by a bombing raid and subsequently the German command decided to confiscate the factory's machine tools and transport them in Germany, but Minganti fought the request to obtain the transfer of the machinery and of its engineers to Palazzolo .
When her husband died during the difficult process of reconstruction and in the following decades , it was the wife Gilberte to lead the Company with intelligence and determination, qualities that were recognized with her appointment in 1964, as the first woman in Italy to be awarded the Knight of Merit of Labour.
The company moved in the early sixties in a modern industrial complex, in Via Ferrarese, and contto successfully produce machine tools, precision grinding machines, vertical lathes and automatic."