The Story & Rebuild of a Myford ML7


This is the story of my Myford ML7 Lathe.

According to the records kept by Myford, K81121 (now K81121R) an Imperial ML7, was built in 1968, and in August of that year was sold as a stock item to Buck & Hickman Distributors in London, and later that year the Lathe was sold to the Greenwich Workshops for the Blind. Odd place for a Lathe you might think, but the workshops helped to rehabilitate the blind by providing work for them, and part of this involved factories making quite diverse items.
Alongside manual work they made knitting needles, baskets, buttons, combs, and badges. Many of these were made by injection moulding, and they needed machine tools to make both the moulds and dies as well as jigs and fixtures. The Myford ML7 formed part of their engineering and toolmaking workshop.

In the mid 1970’s, K81121 was sold by the Greenwich Workshops, together with some other machine tools, to a newly founded Toolmaking firm in Clacton-on-Sea, called TJH Toolmakers. In this new setting the Myford was employed as a production machine and was worked hard for more than 10 years, making pins, tool cores, and electrodes for EDM machining. As the firm grew larger, bigger; better; and newer lathes were bought, and then K81121 found its way to the home of Steve Hale (Steve was the ‘H’ in ‘TJH’), where it sat in the back of his garage for many years, being called into occasional use to turn down the odd broom handle or bit of plastic pipe, and make the odd piece or two in metal.

This is where I came in. Steve Hale and TJH had been making Injection Mould Tools for the business I worked at for many years, and in discussion one day I mentioned I was looking to buy a Myford, having just bought (and swiftly returned) 2 Chinese built DB10G Lathes from Chester UK. To say these Chinese lathes were awful is an understatement, but that’s another story.

Anyway, Steve mentioned that he had a Myford, and was happy to sell it to me if I was interested, so after haggling a bit over the price, it was mine.

After arranging a date to collect it from Steve, the tired old Lathe was trailered home, and then the story of the rebuild begins.


The Rebuild