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What CNC lathe for barrel work?

 
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:22 PM
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What CNC lathe for barrel work?

If you were going to get a used cnc lathe for some barrel work what would you suggest? I don't have any CNC stuff yet and would like take that step soon. I can take a couple classes in programing at the local schools. I just want to make a machine decision or at least direction so I know what kind of programming class would best suit my needs. I am not new to machining or barrel work just new to CNC.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:35 PM
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Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

You may want to pick Chad Dixon's brain on that. He is the ony guy I know that uses CNC.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:14 AM
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Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

G code is G code, base your decision on the control that you like the best,and I'd suggest that you look into a CAD/CAM program like GibbsCAM. As for a machine, IMHO for gun work you are going to want a Tool Room Lathe with hand as well as CNC controls. You are talking a bout a big investment for a hobby.

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Old 03-21-2011, 11:21 AM
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Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazylabs View Post
If you were going to get a used cnc lathe for some barrel work what would you suggest? I don't have any CNC stuff yet and would like take that step soon. I can take a couple classes in programing at the local schools. I just want to make a machine decision or at least direction so I know what kind of programming class would best suit my needs. I am not new to machining or barrel work just new to CNC.
if you asked me to go out and buy one to do that job, I'd simply order in a Hardingh slant bed lathe with the motorized tail stock and live tooling. You don't need X1 & X2 slides unless you plan on doing other jobs as well. Accuracey wise it's a solid .0003" lathe when properly aligned, and the live tooling will do a solid .0015". The spindle group is built well enough to withstand hard turning, and you probably could build a complete action off it if you so desired. How does it stack up against an Okuma or a Mazak? Beats the snot out of them! Those lathes can't run with a hardingh when it comes to speed and accuracey. Mori Sekis are junk, and spend more time broke down than being up and running. The downside with the Hardingh is getting your hands on one. They often are back ordered six to twelve months. But they actually come at about $25K less than a compairable Okuma, and as I said will smoke one seven days a week. The Jap lathes don't seem to take a good wreck very well, and often never run well after one. Their turrets are prone to misalignment, but after awhile folks that own them get good at realigning them! (I could do one in about an hour and a half). Okumas have always have a problem with the coolant system valves mounted under the turret indexing area, and never seem to seal up well in that area as well. Of the Jap lathes the Okuma is by far the best, but as I said it has it's own set of problems. And I didn't mention the electrical system on the Okuma! It can be a nightmare when the grid switches screw up. But still if you have a good one it's usually a six or seven tenth machine (that's very good). None of the Jap lathes have good chucking systems, but a few do offer SP and Cushman chuck systems as an option. Stay away from the Asian systems as they are are mess! In spades!! All these lathes use the same Fanuc controll which is OK at best. Rumor has it that you can buy a G&L lathe with the Gemini controll. This is the design that Fanuc copied, but the Gemini is far more user friendly (and much more reliable). A Hardingh with the Gemini controll would be the best lathe on the planet period!
gary
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:05 PM
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Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

Can't help but wonder what the 'pay out' would be on that. Sorry, maybe I'm stuck in the past, but can't see the advantage for barrel work, for production work, he!! yes!
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:01 PM
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Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

We have a nardini that works pretty well. Only thing that sucks is the headstock cannot fit a barreled action in it so barrels need to come off or turned on centers.
Bridgeport had an "easy path" that was kind of the same.
Gibbs is pretty advanced and over kill in my opinion. Maybe bob cad or just use the machines features.
Depends on your budget really and how much you really really want to get into cnc
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:30 PM
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Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

I would certainly use the lathe for stuff other than barrel work but barreling would be the hardest job it would see. I figure that if I am going to spend a bunch of money to get a lathe with better tolerances than what I have I might as well move to the CNC world. The action makers and barrel makers are going CNC so the rest of us gun nuts will probably end up there eventually.... right?
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