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Best lathe for home gunsmithing?

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Old 03-12-2009, 09:07 PM
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Best lathe for home gunsmithing?

I am looking at getting a lathe and also a mill for home gunsmithing and some work making stuff for about my farm.

What models and how much do I need to spend to get a reliable outfit that can do a good job?
scientia est potentia
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:44 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 753
Re: Best lathe for home gunsmithing?

With things the way they are right now it is definetely a buyer's market.

Since you a farmer I advocate buying the largest machines you can afford/fit in your building because you'll always find a use for it.

That being said a Nardini is an excellent machine for barrel work and a tried n true knee mill like a bridgeport or Kent are also great machines.

To give an idea of how desperate things are right now I bought a CAT40 spindle 4axis CNC tool room mill for under 10 thousand dollars delivered to my house. It's a great machine and is perfect for what I need/do. A CAT40 spindle on a tool room knee mill is very rare and very desirable because of the extra rigidity it offers. These are the same kind of tool holders used in fully furnished machine cells.

I got my B/S surface grinder (hydraulic unit) for 900 bucks. It runs like a watch.

Scour Ebay and the equipment listings from dealers. There are some screaming deals out there right now.

Good luck.

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Old 03-13-2009, 09:53 AM
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Location: MS
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Re: Best lathe for home gunsmithing?

I saw a 16x40 Nardini with a large spindle bore on ebay a while back under 5 grand. It looked like a pretty good buy to me.

I would probably just have one of the larger grizzly gunsmithing lathes delivered.
I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous.....but dangerous at ever extending distances.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:50 PM
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Re: Best lathe for home gunsmithing?

Hi I am looking at this Lathe detailed below. It has a 38mm spindle and distance between centers of 925mm. Min speed of 50 rpm. What do you think?

Cost A$3500

AL-330A LATHE A superior quality specification, floor standing, heavy duty metal turning lathe suitable for the enthusiastic home model engineer, general maintenance and small work shops. Featuring a precision ground, induction hardened bed, fully gear driven spindle with hardened and ground gears with a speed range of 50 - 1500rpm, selectable via the front of headstock mounted gear selection levers. 2hp single phase 240 volt motor is supplied on machine, taper roller spindle bearings, range of cross and longitudinal feed speeds selected on a separate gearbox, thread chasing dial chuck guard with safety interlock, splash guard and work lamp. Supplied with a large range of standard accessories including a 150mm(6") 3 jaw self centring chuck, 200mm(8") 4 jaw independent chuck, face plate and dead centres. 5 to 3 MT reduction sleeve, steady rest, follow rest, standard tool post, floor stand with a swarf tray. Change gears and toolbox with maintenance tools.
scientia est potentia
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:06 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 85
Re: Best lathe for home gunsmithing?

I think rather than getting name specific, it would be very intersting to hear what the "old hands" at gunsmithing expects from a lathe (and Mill)

Threading: Inches/ mm?
distance between centres
spindle bore
etc etc.

What kind fo tolerances must you be able to hold?
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