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Gunsmithing Lathe

 
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  #1  
Old 06-24-2008, 10:33 PM
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Gunsmithing Lathe

I was Looking for some advice. I have been looking at the gun smithing lathe that Grizzly has and was wondering if this is a good lathe to start out gun smithing at first as a hobby and passable more in the future. the other one I have been looking at is the smithy combo lathe/milling machine. any info on these lathes pros cons would be appreciated.

thanks

Hegster
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2008, 05:38 AM
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IMHO, forget the Smithy combo.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2008, 06:44 AM
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Yup forget the smithy or any of the combos
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2008, 09:44 AM
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Certainly don't go the combo route.

Bleh!

I know nothing of the Grizzly machine, but I can say this; you get what you pay for.

FWIW:

When I started at Nesika I was given the green light to order any lathe I wanted for barrel work. We (Glen and I) ended up going with a Harrison Alpha 1330U tool room turning center.

Now, 65K is probably outside the realm of reality for most folks.

It took a few months to get it to the states as its made in England. So, as a temp solution, I used the shops Hardinge Tool room lathe. These can be picked up for as little as 5K if one shops dilligently. Accuracy is great and its very user friendly with its infinite speed/feed selection. (Just push a button and turn a dial and your set)

You'll be threading/chambering with the barrel suspended through the spindle bore since the bed is way too short for anything other than a pistol. this, in my opinion, is the only way to go anyways as it allows one to truly datum off of the bore's centerline.



Great addition to any shop/garage.

Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2008, 10:42 AM
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There is a 1986 Nardini 15x40 (I think) on ebay for 5,500. If I hadnt already ordered a lathe I would have probably gotten it.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2008, 02:42 PM
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The combo machines don't have the size or accuracy for gun work. They are probably fine for hobby work, making odds and ends, etc., but every time you turn around, you won't be able to do something you need to. A 13 x 40 is a good size for gun work. A large spindle bore is good (1 1/2" at least), a slow spindle speed (40 rpm or so), is good. Anything higher than 1000 rpm scares the crap out of me. You need a steady rest and a follow rest and a good quickchange tool holder (and a lot of tooling). If you don't have 3 phase power, a single phase motor is good. I use a 3-5 hp static converter, but it's not ideal. I like the D-1 spindle nose better than a threaded nose, mostly because it won't spin a chuck off when you run in reverse. I also like the knob and lever threading quickchange better than the caliper type. Less chance of screwing up thread pitch.

Maybe someone here can advise you on how to evaluate a lathe's accuracy before you buy it, because all the rest is useless if it won't hold tolerance turning, facing, and threading.

I got too long-winded, but a good lathe is irreplaceable, and a bad one is un-usable.

Good luck, Tom
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2008, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hegster View Post
I was Looking for some advice. I have been looking at the gun smithing lathe that Grizzly has and was wondering if this is a good lathe to start out gun smithing at first as a hobby and passable more in the future. the other one I have been looking at is the smithy combo lathe/milling machine. any info on these lathes pros cons would be appreciated.

thanks

Hegster
I have the Grizzly 4003G Gunsmith lathe and so far I am happy with it. One of the things that I do not care for is that the slowest speed on it is 70 RPM the next step is 200 RPM but that is certainly not a "deal breaker". For hobby gunsmithing I think this lathe is great. So far the worst total indicated runout on a chamber that I have measured after reaming the chamber with this lathe has been .0001". I have not measured the runout of all my chambers but the rest that I did measure were 0.0000 TIR so the lathe is capable of doing good work if the operator is up to the task.

I believe the main reason for the offering of the "gunsmith" lathes by Grizzly is that the President of Grizzly, Shiraz Balolia is an avid F-Class shooter and is himself a hobby gunsmith.
Customer service has also been great.

James
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