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Tools and Equipment

lathes

Discussion of tools and equipment for gunsmithing and refinishing of Mosin Nagant Rifles

lathes

Postby micky » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:28 pm

Seeing how it is the center piece of a home shop, and some of you gentlemen and maybe a lady are so skilled with them, what lathes do you guys use? I am considering buying one but want to know what works for others or bits of advise on selecting a lathe.

Thanks
Micky
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Re: lathes

Postby Shepard » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:09 pm

I would love to have a Southbend lathe but I have a Grizzly 12x37 belt drive Gap Bed lathe. The lathe I posted below is similar but I have no way to show what I have cause its obsolete. Bought mine about 19 years ago. If you want to build firearms you need one that you can turn up to 30 inch barrels -- thread them and chamber them.

Remember the lathe is only one piece -- tooling is a killer. Carbide bits and tooling are expensive if you get the good stuff. My reamer from PTG for 762x54r was 200.00 dollars, my throat reamer was a 100 and so on and on and on. It never ends. Once you get your lathe -- you'll need a mill to go with it. Whatever you do -- don't buy a combo machine -- they don't hold up.








http://www.grizzly.com/products/12-x-36 ... athe/G4003
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Re: lathes

Postby Alan LA » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:06 am

Shepard wrote:Whatever you do -- don't buy a combo machine -- they don't hold up.


Didn't know that. I'll have to put that in my data bank for when I win the lottery. :lol:
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Re: lathes

Postby micky » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:41 am

I actually looked at several combos, and the one thing I kept hearing was it did both jobs ok but neither well. When it comes to the tolerances of machining I figured a bit more money for done right was a better way to go.
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Re: lathes

Postby Marauder 1 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:51 am

For small parts I'm looking for a Unimat, my Dad gave me one years ago but it was stolen when I moved. I think the movers left it on the in front of the garage in it's box and someone just walked away with it.

Man I miss that machine.

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Re: lathes

Postby Surplus » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:39 pm

For someone that likes to thinker with guns that has a steady job and settled in a place where you are not moving, it is a good idea to have one.

In my case, I work in an area with a lot of change, I have relocated 4 times, moving a lathe would be very expensive.

I think I have paid my gunsmith between $4 and $5 K for the work he has done for me (several custom rifles), I don't regret it because otherwise it would have been more expensive to pay for moving the lathe. Relocations don't pay for moving equipment.

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Re: lathes

Postby Shepard » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:09 pm

I enjoy my machines from Grizzly very much. I'm able to hold very tight tolerances, I chamber barrels. Machines similar to this one may be OK for the beginner but there just not durable or big enough to do any real gun work. I've listened to a lot of stories and small machines are usually replaced in a year or so for a larger one. Most beginners usually try to get the MOST out of the midget machines and I've seen them for sale with burned out electric motors. Save your money, buy one piece of equipment at a time. put it on a wheeled carriage so it can be moved in your shop or loaded into a truck or trailer. I can tell you from experience -- think it over -- make your decisions based on where you want to go with your work -- not where your at with your work. You will get ideas that will only be limited by the size of the machines you have.



http://www.grizzly.com/products/Combo-Lathe-Mill/G9729
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Re: lathes

Postby TheJoe » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:33 pm

Shepard wrote:http://www.grizzly.com/products/Combo-Lathe-Mill/G9729


I have this machine, it sucks. I could go on for hours about it. If you are buying new and are serious about results, you should be prepared spend at least twice this on a dedicated lathe.

The 12x36 shep linked to looks descent. Bear in mind 30 different companies order machines from 3 different chinese plants, the difference is usually little more than colors and stickers. Shop around and consider customer service in your decision.

If you are on a budget I would advise watching craigslist.
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Re: lathes

Postby Shepard » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:21 am

I wouldn't buy that piece of equipment and I'm encouraging people who want to get into the machine world to think about what there buying.
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