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Lathe for gunsmithing??

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Old 04-08-2009, 01:11 PM
JEREMY logan
Posts: n/a
Lathe for gunsmithing??

I was wandering how much a used lathe would cost me in good condition and what size or model I would need . I don't need top of the line but I don't want to work with junk either, just something for my own personal builds. Thanks
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:58 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 455
Re: Lathe for gunsmithing??

I was struggling with an old lathe last night.
I am trying to get the barrel to dial in.

I am waiting for the arrival of my new lathe from China on May 8th.

Asking about used lathes is like asking, "Where can I find a 1955 Chev to commute to work?"

I have been messing with used lathes for a long time, and I quit.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:07 AM
JEREMY logan
Posts: n/a
Re: Lathe for gunsmithing??

Lol on that chevy to commute to work... Well how much does a new one cost once i get good enough i may do some work with it in my home town so i want need the high dollar machines like the big smith shops . Or do i ?
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:22 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: MS
Posts: 1,652
Re: Lathe for gunsmithing??

There is some great old iron out there. I almost bought a surplus mobile machine shop just for the atlas lathe. It had a 20 inch swing but was short and had a short headstock and big spindle bore. It may be a bit short for polishing barrels but otherwise would be perfect. I could have gotten it for a song.

If I could not find a deal like that I would go with one of the grizzly gunsmith lathes. I hear a bunch of good stuff and only a little derogatory about them.
I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous.....but dangerous at ever extending distances.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:37 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 455
Re: Lathe for gunsmithing??

It makes a difference where you live.

If I pay $2k for a used lathe on Ebay, it can cost $2k to get shipped to Seattle from the rust belt.

I can get a better lathe shipped from China to PA, and then shipped to Seattle all for $2k with shipping included.

Obviously there is a big spread between the $0.25/ pound wholesale shipping rate and the $2.00/pound + $200 crating fee for retail shipping.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:57 AM
JEREMY logan
Posts: n/a
Re: Lathe for gunsmithing??

I have the option to buy an old sears lathe now i have not a clue to talk smith talk so here goes the old smith here is retiring and offered me his (but) you have to manually turn down the barrel contour by hand or maybe hand lapp he sayed the machines now do it for you he also sayed someone around here has 5 for sale . This is off base but what does a beed blaster cost by itself or with a compressor he offered me everything for 10,000 that sounded high it's all really old but then again i don't know i've never priced anything like this . I have a family member that's worked in a machine shop for 20yrs started out on lathes ,and now runs a cnc thats as big as nesieka chads all put together so i have some one to show me how to get started just not for gun work. The old smith said he would train me so i've got a good oppertunity to learn just wanted some of your opinions thanks
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:16 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dixie, WV
Posts: 148
Re: Lathe for gunsmithing??

I think 10K is a bit much for an old lathe and a bead blaster. If thre is a bunch of tooling it may be worth it. It dosent take long to get a bunch of money in tooling.

You can get a bead blater from Habor Fieght starting 150, thier stuff is usally pretty weak but I think the bead blaster are ok. You can get a JET lathe from Blueridge Machinery (800-872-6500) at a reasonable price I am thinking under 6K for a decent sized lathe for GS work(dont hold me to that it has been awhile since I looked at the catalog). What ever get get a geared head not a belt drive. You can also buy taper attachements for most lathes. It may be hard to find one for an older machine that does not have one with it.
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