Lathe size

Discussion in 'Gun Project Questions & Gunsmithing' started by johnfred1965, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. johnfred1965

    johnfred1965

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    I have neither the space nor the cash for a fullsize gunsmith lathe. If I am not going to work on barrels, how big a lathe would I need for blueprinting actions and such?
     
  2. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    Any lathe will do that besides a mini. Mass is your friend here.
     
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  3. johnfred1965

    johnfred1965

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    I was thinking that would reduce vibration. I have a brother and brother in law that are machinists, but they don't recommend anything less than a ton!
     
  4. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    To a machinist heavy is good. A 16x80 is just about right to face off a screw but not much more
     
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  5. boltfluter

    boltfluter

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    I have a 13 x 40 that is just about perfect to my way of thinking.:D:D

    Paul
     
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  6. Cloudrepair

    Cloudrepair Gold $$ Contributor

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    A Taiwan 12x36 is as small as I would want to go.
    I can't imagine doing actions and not doing barrels.o_O
    It took some time but I found a Taiwan 12x36 in good shape for 2,500 (needed some small repair). I think you may still be able to find one.
    I can move mine around with a cherry picker engine hoist and lifting straps.
    I almost tried to go smaller but I'm glad I didnt.
    I'm sure there are some guys around here that have and made it work maybe they will help.
    Good luck
    I don't know how I got along without one now.
     
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  7. msinc

    msinc

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    One thing not mentioned so far is the headstock bore. So-called "gunsmith" lathes typically have one that is a little larger. I have a 12X36 with an 1 5/8" bore. The point being that you can do some work on longer things like barrels if you have a big enough bore. No, you cannot taper or finish the outside of a barrel if you cant get it between centers , but you can do just about everything else. I get the space restrictions and I get spending the extra money, but the second you get this thing set up you will regret having a lathe you cant do barrels on. Reminds me of that sinking feeling you get when you realize those two Mexican hookers are just not gonna........
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  8. Johnny_V

    Johnny_V

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    It's kind of like when you think the shed or garage you're building is big enough, only to find out after it's done there is less room than you need. I vote for as large as you can go. When I bought mine I thought "what am I going to do with this monster ", but find myself needing something larger every once in a while.
    IMG_20160423_141625820.jpg
     
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  9. rgc54

    rgc54 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Look for a small standard modern 11 x 20, 13 x 20. Or 13x33 nice machines. I have the 13 x 40. Lots heaver. In the end you will want a larger machine tho
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  10. Grimstod

    Grimstod Machinist, Designer, and Shooter. Gold $$ Contributor

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  11. akajun

    akajun

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    Look for a used southbend heavy 10 with 24” centers
    That’s about a small as I would go and you could still chamber through the headstock just don’t plan on doing any barrel profiling over 22” or so without multiple setups.
    As stated before you need a spindle bore at least 1 3/8” and weight and mass is your friend
     
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  12. Bamban

    Bamban Silver $$ Contributor

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    I have the 1024 version dedicated for chambering AR 15 barrels. The spindle bore is only 1.0625, but I get the blanks close to 1 inch, so no big issue. My baby Jet is fully decked out, VFD, proximity sensor, no DRO, just dial indicators. It will have a TravAdial soon.

    Resized_20180116_070008.jpeg

    Here is a good example of what you need to look for.
    https://cnj.craigslist.org/tls/d/jet-belt-drive-lathe-model/6629917346.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  13. paperpuncher

    paperpuncher Silver $$ Contributor

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    OP I have a 10x24 jet i would like to sell pm if that is something you are interested in
     
  14. Daveinjax

    Daveinjax Silver $$ Contributor

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  15. X Ring Accuracy

    X Ring Accuracy Site $$ Sponsor

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    A ton is a "light" lathe : )
     
  16. TerryH

    TerryH

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    Y'all are killing me with these Craig's list links. This stuff either doesn't exist, is wore slap out, or is gobbled up in 2 minutes from the initial posting where I live. :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  17. Daveinjax

    Daveinjax Silver $$ Contributor

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    I looked a long time to find a good lathe and I didn’t find anything that looked that good in my many months of searching that was anywhere near me. I’m hunting a Bridgeport currently and it’s all been rusty junk at premium prices so far. It can be very frustrating !
     
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  18. TerryH

    TerryH

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    Pretty much ditto to all of that. I did eventually find a very nice RF-30 mill that I bought from the original owner for $500 but the whole lathe thing is still a major frustration. Either sky high or junk. With the new tariffs the new Chinese lathes are way higher as of today just to ad insult to injury.
     
  19. johnfred1965

    johnfred1965

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    As far as doing barrels, I was thinking of all the extra tooling(reamers) for them. Looking at REM/AGE barrels on trued actions. I only need the tooling for the actions.
    As far as tooling, I mean gunsmith specific. I can get carbide or HSS cutting or threading tools from my brother. For that matter, If I begged and pleaded with him and gave him a fifth of good whiskey, I could get him to make me an action bar and bushings! Really good whiskey.:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  20. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    If you true the action then the prefit barrels dont fit. It all goes hand in hand (the rabbit hole that is)
     
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