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Myford ML8 Woodturning Lathe
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A collection of interesting literature is available for the ML8 as well as new backplates and link drive belts. Please email for details

Designed by Edward Barrs, the person also responsible for ML7 and who went on to become managing director of the Company, the ML8 was introduced in the late 1940s. With patent  GB620276 being applied for in January, 1947 and granted in 1949. Neat, well-made and beautifully finished, this 4-inch centre height wood-turning lathe enjoyed a large and loyal following and continued in production until the mid 1980s. The earliest versions were painted cream, later ones were silver and the last finished in a rather pleasing shade of light green. Intended for economical production, the lathe had a bed made from a length of seamless drawn steel tube (in an attractive dull nickel-plated finish), and was available in three standard capacities of 30, 36 and 42 inches between centres. A standard 30-inch machine was catalogued as the ML8 but, when fitted with bowl turning, became the ML8A and, with 36 and 42-inch beds as, respectively, the ML8B and ML8C. The makers also offered separate bed sections, complete with individual mounting feet, to give a maximum length capacity of 72". An important feature of the patent was the method of locking the saddle and No. 1 Morse taper tailstock to the bed - this being achieved, in both cases, by a lever that passed through a long slot cut into the front face of the bed to turn a 2-start thread that pulled up a large clamp formed on its outside surface to the inside shape of the tube. The arrangement worked well, giving the lever a very short throw and an immediate and very strong clamping action with, on the saddle, an extension to the clamping bolt that simultaneously slackened the hand T-rest assembly allowing it to be positioned at will.
Running in angular-contact ball bearings, the No. 1 Morse taper , 13/32" bore ground-finish headstock spindle was held inside a headstock with a lift-off cover and carried a 4-step V-pulley with a ring of 24 holes to assist in dividing and marking out; the nose thread was 1" x 12 t.p.i on the right-hand side and 7/8" x 12 t.p.i on the (left-hand) outboard bowl-turning end.  Unusually for an amateur's wood lathe, the spindle was provided with proper registers behind the threads to allow the accurate fitting of metal-working chucks and heavier face-plates. The 1425 rpm motor (0.5 hp 3-phase or 0/5 h.p and 0.75 hp 1-phase) was carried on a countershaft unit mounted underneath the lathe on a specially-constructed, adjustable plate and drove upwards to the headstock spindle by a single "link" V-belt. The countershaft was designed to fit either the maker's stand or beneath a customer's own bench. Four speeds were available: 700, 1140, 1780 and 2850 rpm.
Although initially available with a wide range of accessories - mortising, planing, sawing, polishing, grinding, bandsaw and metal-turning compound slides - by the end of production (and just before the introduction of the completely different Mystro) only the basic lathe was offered. The ML8 is often found fitted to a longer version of the braced pressed-steel stand offered for the Series 7 metal-turning lathes; a short bed version, the rare ML8S, was also produced--a model normally found mounted on a simple underdrive stand constructed from light angle-iron with a pressed-steel top and complete with outboard bowl turning and a metal-working compound slide rest from the metal-working ML7..

Cover of the first-ever ML8 catalogue. Click here for a high-resolution download

Rear cover of the first ML8 catalogue. Click here for a high-resolution download

Sectional view of the main elements of a Myford ML8 woodturning lathe. Click here for a high-resolution download

1947/49 Myford ML8  patent application drawing

Cross section thorough the tool-rest assembly showing the 2-start thread by which means a quick clamping action was archived by a short movement of the lever K.

Myford ML8 on a late version of the maker's neat, underdrive stand

Bowl  turning attachment

ML8S - the rare short-bed version on it's ML10-like open-frame angle-iron stand.

ML8 spindle and bearings

The No. 1 Morse taper , 13/32" bore ground-finish headstock spindle  ran on ball bearings and carried a 4-step V pulley with a ring of 24 holes to assist in dividing and marking out; the nose thread was 1" x 12 t.p.i on the right-hand side and 7/8" x 12 t.p.i (left-hand) on the left-hand (bowl-turning) end. 

Another part adapted from the ML7 - the fixed steady

A spindle indexing plunger protruded through the front face of the headstock

The 1425 rpm (1/2 hp 3-phase or 3/4 hp 1-phase) motor and countershaft were mounted inside the stand and drove upwards by a single "link" V belt to the fully-enclosed headstock. The countershaft could be used under the owner's own bench.

The ML8 bandsaw attachment had a 10" x 10" table, a throat depth of  91/4", a cutting capacity  of 33/4" and a blade length of 64".

Inboard sanding table

Outboard tilting  sanding table

Grindstone Attachment

Compound slide assembly on its special bracket. The unit was taken from the Myford ML7 metal-turning lathe

Planer & with Thicknessing Attachment

Myford ML8 Universal Woodworker Attachments: Planer/thicknesser and saw bench

Myford ML8 Mortising Attachment

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Myford ML8 Woodturning Lathe
More ML8 Here   Myford Mystro   Myford Home Page