Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Gunsmithing


Reply

Thinking about getting some big tools

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-25-2011, 05:28 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 355
Thinking about getting some big tools

Well I am one of those "Kitchen Table Gunsmiths" and im guessing i can make the lady happy if i move the operation off of the "Kitchen Table". I will just hide the fact that this is a several thousand dollar investment. I have a huge use for a Mill, as currently i am building some Chronograph Black Body Enclosures for my first Chronograph.

I decided it best to use proven technology before working on the Chronograph to end all chronographs. All i can say is getting a square box that is perfectly square and has all flat edges is more difficult than it seems using 2x4's ripped in half. For this i will either have to contract out or build one myself some other way.

I looked on the Grizzly Website and saw they sell Mill/Lathe combo sets. This looks appealing due to lack of space. Im building a wall, and compressing all of my wood working tools into one area, and will put the lathe and a good work bench on the other side of the wall. (Hot shavings and saw dust dont mix as far as my 2nd grade edumacation learned me).

I would like to have the ability to thread/ream barrels, therefore need a lathe where i can put the barrel through the chuck. Honnestly i know nothing about metal working, and not sure if any of the Under 2k lathe/mills will do this.

Also if i am only working with small projects, and eventually after hours of cussing and several band-aids later, build my own rifles.

I think that as with a wood lathe once you get it, you need all the gadgets that go with it, similar to the chisles needed for a wood lathe that do not come with it. What would be the expense to have a basic set of tools for both the mill and the lathe, and eveything i need for blueprinting receivers, reaming chambers, threading barrels and such. (I know i have to buy the reamer i want and im not worried about that).

Does grizzly make a lathe that will be stout enough to do precision work?
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old 09-26-2011, 10:54 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: greenwood, IN
Posts: 3,606
Re: Thinking about getting some big tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc0pph View Post
Well I am one of those "Kitchen Table Gunsmiths" and im guessing i can make the lady happy if i move the operation off of the "Kitchen Table". I will just hide the fact that this is a several thousand dollar investment. I have a huge use for a Mill, as currently i am building some Chronograph Black Body Enclosures for my first Chronograph.

I decided it best to use proven technology before working on the Chronograph to end all chronographs. All i can say is getting a square box that is perfectly square and has all flat edges is more difficult than it seems using 2x4's ripped in half. For this i will either have to contract out or build one myself some other way.

I looked on the Grizzly Website and saw they sell Mill/Lathe combo sets. This looks appealing due to lack of space. Im building a wall, and compressing all of my wood working tools into one area, and will put the lathe and a good work bench on the other side of the wall. (Hot shavings and saw dust dont mix as far as my 2nd grade edumacation learned me).

I would like to have the ability to thread/ream barrels, therefore need a lathe where i can put the barrel through the chuck. Honnestly i know nothing about metal working, and not sure if any of the Under 2k lathe/mills will do this.

Also if i am only working with small projects, and eventually after hours of cussing and several band-aids later, build my own rifles.

I think that as with a wood lathe once you get it, you need all the gadgets that go with it, similar to the chisles needed for a wood lathe that do not come with it. What would be the expense to have a basic set of tools for both the mill and the lathe, and eveything i need for blueprinting receivers, reaming chambers, threading barrels and such. (I know i have to buy the reamer i want and im not worried about that).

Does grizzly make a lathe that will be stout enough to do precision work?
I have no idea if you have ever been in a factory or a large machine shop, but there is this form of extruded aluminum that is used to make guards and cages for machinery. Unlike regular extruded aluminum; this stuff is strait and very square. Comes in all sorts of sizes and about any length you'd ever want. I did a mount for an Ohler 35 out of that stuff, and the results were great.

Most of the the time the lathe-mill combos leave a lot to be desired, but I do know one guy that has one. He's done some very nice work with his. I know this for a fact as I've done the finish grind work on some shafts, and they were very concentric. The mill is not upto par with a regular mill, and is best for drilling and tapping holes. I wouldn't be doing any tool steel on them unless it was O-1. Works best with aluminum and plastics.

As for a regular lathe, it's hard to beat a Southbend with the hardened ways for the money invested (I've seen many go for less than $1K). If you run accross a Jet made in Tiawan, they can also be fairly good. The Chinese ones are not as well made in my opinion. But even then a good Southbend is much better, but the Jet can be tweaked a little bit here and there to make them better. In the shop I used to work at we bought a couple Grizzleys (I said NO!), and they just would cut it. Then they replaced them with a couple SouthwestTracs, and they were only marginally better. They didn't last three years, and one went thru a pretty good wreck and was pretty much junk after that. The Grizzley uses a belt drive in the headstock like a Southbend bench lathe, but the Southbend has a much more robust bearing pack. Also the Southbend uses a flat belt that can be changed without going into the headstock itself.
gary
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-26-2011, 11:17 AM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 355
Re: Thinking about getting some big tools

Ok, Well ive never been in a machine shop, not even seen a metal lathe or mill in real life. For milling i use a drill press, the stop and a weight hung off of the wheel. As for lathe work, all i do is wood turning. I wish i could turn my woodshop into a metal shop Anyone want to trade straight across :P
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-02-2011, 12:08 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: Thinking about getting some big tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc0pph View Post
I would like to have the ability to thread/ream barrels, therefore need a lathe where i can put the barrel through the chuck. Honnestly i know nothing about metal working, and not sure if any of the Under 2k lathe/mills will do this.
You will most likely not be happy with the results.

For that kind of money, you'd be better off buying a couple of Savage actions and pre-chambered barrels. ...or, playing with some of the hand tools available from Brownells.

I was in your position about a year ago and bought a Grizzly g4003g gunsmith lathe. It's excellent for my purposes. But, I've spent more on tooling and instruments than on the lathe itself. ...although someone savvy could be much more frugal.

With about $10k invested in lathe, tooling, instruments, materials, parts, books, and DVDs, I have 3 really nice rifles. This website was probably the best resource, and it's free.

Each time I do a project, it costs a little less. But, I have yet to figure out how gunsmiths earn a living. They must just like what they do. Nonetheless, it's been great learning with and teaching my son and can't wait for him to take a deer with a rifle we built.

-- richard
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-02-2011, 12:44 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 355
Re: Thinking about getting some big tools

At the moment i am not looking for the money, Eventually i would like to turn it into a part time business. I deal a lot currently with S&W revolvers and am working my way into 1911's. Once i get a few jigs from Brownells ill have the ability to completely tune a 1911.

I Figure i have over a year before i can apply for an FFL so take that year to learn how to do things and from there start up with the basics. The only gunsmith i know here in town is a guy who is in his 80's, and will be going and talking with him soon to work out an apprenenceship if possible.

I am looking at the G0516 9.75" x 21" or the G9729 16.5" x 31"

The 9729 is what i am more serious about because of the 31" C2C distance. On the 9729 the mill is attached at the head where on the 0516 the mill is attached at the midpoint. I would think the midpoint is more useful but then again i have zero knowlege of it.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-02-2011, 03:54 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: Thinking about getting some big tools

The G4003g will do precision work. I would have looked at the G0509g if I was going to try to do this for a living. And, if I was setting up a production operation, I'd look for something better than that.

If I had Gary's years of experience, then I'd have looked for a Southbend or Hardinge. But, I wanted something new that I could afford and still have someone to call with questions or problems.

I quickly cast aside the combo units after reading lots of bad reviews.

Someone skilled and with lots of patience might be able to turn out good work on just about anything. But, life's too short to struggle with tools that aren't up to the task.

-- richard
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-02-2011, 04:14 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 355
Re: Thinking about getting some big tools

Well I will look into getting 2 machines. I wonder if anyone on here has a combo machine.

Currently I am reading Advanced Gunsmithing by W.F. Vickery and learning a lot more about using these machines than anywhere else.

I will also be on the lookout for anyone selling a good lathe. Although i have heard that people who use them alot will wear them out and the tolerances start opening up. This is one of the reasons i thought just go new, dont have to worry about knowing anything.

Also i read these machines are in excess of 500 pounds. Can 2 guys lift one (Maybe 3). I would have to move it 10' into confiened spaces and up one step. The shop im planning on creating is one room in my shed. Top Story is a wood shop and bottom is divided into 1/3rds. Room would be about 6' deep by 12'. The lathe would go about 2' from the corner backed against a 12' wall.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: Thinking about getting some big tools
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thinking of 7mm RUM? Andy W Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics 22 02-23-2011 01:38 PM
am i thinking too much of the .308 foreign The Basics, Starting Out 32 07-08-2009 06:30 PM
Thinking about a 264 Win mag nite owl Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics 5 04-27-2008 01:20 AM
I'm thinking about getting a dog. 4ked Horn General Discussion 28 02-01-2005 01:45 AM
Hi DC: You got me thinking again demarpaint Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics 1 03-11-2003 03:27 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC