Re: ******Cincinnati Lathe ???********
Very neat, Fitch. I never thought of making a spider chuck to drive the barrel with. Good to know it works. I also like the short headstock and spindle. It really would make finishing a short barrel easier. The minimum barrel length I can get in my chuck and use an external spider on the back end of the spindle is 24", and that's working very close. I set both of my 20" barrels up and worked the chamber or muzzle end in front of the steadyrest, but am building an internal centering sleeve that is almost a body fit in the I.D. of the spindle, and uses a female cone in the end to center up whichever end is not being worked. I stole the idea from my brother. It will let me work a barrel as short as 16 1/2" (safely over the minimum length for a rifle barrel) in the chuck. It is also very fast to set up. About 1 minute, as compared to 15 - 30 minutes indicating the back end of the barrel to run true in the external spider. The area around the back end of my spindle is crowded with drive sheaves, spud gearing, cabinetry, etc, and makes centering slow.
Bottom line, I would like a short headstock and spindle, but it's not a deal breaker for me. Even for the light work of barreling, I would rather have an old heavy lathe, as long as it's not worn out. Mine is a 1972 eight foot Romi, made in Brazil, 1.4" spindle bore, 13" swing over the ways, and just over 60" between centers. It's relatively old, has a small spindle bore, is very long and heavy, and I wouldn't take for it. I'm not good enough to need anything better. It will cut blue curls when I want to, or it will hold .0005" (whenever I can). I'm glad I found it because I couldn't afford a new $5000 import. Even with the tooling I had to buy for it, I'm still at about $2500 total invested. I do realize how lucky I was to turn what looked like a hopeless derelict into a good machine.
I recognize maybe more than most that buying a used lathe is something of a crapshoot, but if you do your homework, the odds start to swing in your favor.
Good luck, Tom
Texas State Rifle Association Life Member
NRA Endowment Life Member
A big fast bullet will beat a little fast bullet every time