Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


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


Reply

What CNC lathe for barrel work?

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #8  
Old 03-22-2011, 11:56 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: greenwood, IN
Posts: 3,618
Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

a true CNC lathe is a ball game not fore a novice. Something like a Southwest Trac that has a user programable feature (similar to a Prototrak) is completely different. Your also looking at spending a lot more money for a good CNC lathe. It's not hard to spend $10K on tooling alone, and twice that is in the picture. Not all NC lathes (or anything else) are built to the same standards. Yet most folks expect them to be that way. Downtime is money, and few folks know how to seriously deal with a malfunctioning piece of equipment. That will cost you roughly $120 an hour (some folks get well over $200). It's not too hard to spend $10K on a wreck (chucks alone run about $120 an inch). Another problem is in getting parts to repair a machine. Many companys have bought into the just in time inventory, and often take ten days to two weeks for parts. So you best have something that dosn't break very often (they all do).
gary
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-22-2011, 04:20 PM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 725
Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

Tricky

I see what your saying by the expense. I will have to spend quite a bit on tooling but a few tools at a time and picking up stuff used(not abused) I should be able to get a good setup together. The hard part is trying to tell specs from reality. I think there should be good used machines that even a novice can learn on, everyone has to start on something. That's what I can sift out what can you get that is quality but reasonable for VERY low production requirement. I am not making huge parts with massive amounts of stock removal.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-23-2011, 10:00 AM
SPONSOR
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 53
Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

So far, we are a traditional manual lathe shop. However, the guys out at Stiller Precision use a Harrison Alpha series and love it. I've had them chamber a few barrels for us recently and the quality is superb and the whole job can be done in about an hour including setup and final chamber touch up.
__________________
Dale Troutt

Thoroughbred Rifles
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-23-2011, 10:53 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: greenwood, IN
Posts: 3,618
Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHunter View Post
So far, we are a traditional manual lathe shop. However, the guys out at Stiller Precision use a Harrison Alpha series and love it. I've had them chamber a few barrels for us recently and the quality is superb and the whole job can be done in about an hour including setup and final chamber touch up.
no doubt that what you said is true. But when you buy a used piece of equipment, you'd best know how to check it out. 90% don't! And as I said some machines don't come back from major wrecks very well (it only take one good wreck), and believe me I have had to put many a machine back together after an event. I've said it a hundred times that the very best hand lathe ever sold for anything we'd ever want to do is a Monarch Double E. But they're also hard to find with no spare parts out there.
gary
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-23-2011, 04:06 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Spokane WA.
Posts: 228
Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

I have been programing ( mazatrol ), setting up and running Mazak's for about 6 years and that is what I will get some day to do the same thing you are wanting to do.
__________________
Nape
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-24-2011, 10:31 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: greenwood, IN
Posts: 3,618
Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nape.270 View Post
I have been programing ( mazatrol ), setting up and running Mazak's for about 6 years and that is what I will get some day to do the same thing you are wanting to do.
if your looking at a Jap CNC lathe, the Okuma is the best by a wide margin. Better engineered, Uses the controll software package Fanuc stole off of Meridian, and applied it to turning centers. But still far inferior to the Hardinghs. Lodge & Shiply did a model called a "minute turn" many years back that was capable of doing 24" a minute at 2400rpm, but they no longer are out there. Think they came out of Germany. I like the contoll that G&L uses better than anybody elses. It's the one everybody copied years ago, but never completely got it right (actually a K&T design).

But if your talking machine centers, you need to also be looking at real machines. In todays world the best machine centers come from G&L. You just can't get better than an "MM" series machine no matter how much money you spend (and they don't come in cheap). There is an Okuma (not the lathe company) that is very similar to the old Saginaws, but with a much better frame design. Makinos are probably the best Jap machine centers (I don't care where they claim they're made), but a G&L will smoke one seven days a week. By the way the fastest machine I've ever seen is a G&L Ram series. Not recommended for the novice!! When you crash this beast you spend serious cash!! (rapid travel moves are 3600 IPM). But without the slightest hesitation the fastest machine center on the market, but a bear to fix! I hate them
gary
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-26-2011, 12:03 PM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 753
Re: What CNC lathe for barrel work?

I've used two turning centers for barrel work:

A Harrison ALPHA 1330 U and my Doosan 280N II MecaTec.

Both have inherent advantages and disadvantages over the other.


The Harrison has a very simple conversational programming set up that'll get you going.

If your G code fluent it'll annoy the hell out of you as you don't have the control that straight code offers.

The Doosan is my machine of choice. This little biche just flat out rips.

I can thread, chamber a barrel in a very short amount of time and I'll lock horns with anyone who suggests I'm using it in a "production" capacity.

That is the true power of creative programming once you get a handle on it. My thread fits are exceptional. As are the surface finishes and the accuracy of the chambered bore.











It's all in the setup and the way the tool is used to remove stock.


Last,

If your not experienced with the equipment I suggest you get the experience on someone elses dime first.

Any modern machine is going to have G0 rapid rates in excess of 1,000 ipm. They move very quickly so you better have your poop in a group before hitting the cycle smash button.

Barrels are not cheap and the delivery lead times don't offer much for error. Not unless your sitting on piles of cash anyway. If so, call me and I'll certainly help you spend it!

Coolant choice can make or break you. This isn't the land of ******* a little oil on the cylinder. I run at over 800SFM on some of my cycles. Inserts are almost $20 each. Run them dry and you'll have a nice coffee can full of burnt up tools that yield about $7 bucks a pound at best when taking it to the recyclers.



It's a very, very powerful tool that can really raise the bar on quality, performance, and presentation. Just make sure the guy flying the thing knows his/her chit. Common sense says you don't turn a 14 year old with a learners permit loose with a new ZR Vette.


C.
__________________
Chad Dixon

Last edited by NesikaChad; 03-26-2011 at 12:07 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: What CNC lathe for barrel work?
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Weatherby Vanguard barrel work VjjR Gunsmithing 1 03-20-2011 02:58 PM
WTB lathe for barrel work terryede Gunsmithing 5 12-20-2010 11:46 PM
Savage barrel and brake - Who can do the work? TORCHRIDER Long Range Hunting & Shooting 11 10-28-2010 04:03 PM
Help needed- 480 SRH Barrel work GeorgeD Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics 1 04-04-2010 07:49 PM
How well does a 300WSM work in a short barrel? HHI 812 Specialty Handgun Hunting 2 02-22-2008 02:27 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:26 AM.


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