Re: What lathe to buy
I got impatient with the long time frame with gunsmithing and jumped right in and bought a cheap Grizzly lathe-with little or no machining skills. This bug bit me hard, and I could not get enough. I purchased a 12-36 benchtop machine and learned as I went. Tried chambering out on the bed with steady rest and soon went to chamber through headstock. If you use this method, you may not be able to stick barrel out back end of spindle to use a cat head support(four set screws in very end of spindle to act like 4 jaw chuck). Also through headstock method works best if you have your lathe trued up-which can be a nightmare-dont listen to the manuals and turn a bar at each end and measure each diameter- hrs and hrs of frustration-use centering indicator indicated in your chuck and run around 60deg center-left and right is adj. with set screws-up and down-a machine shop to grind your tailstock plate-mine was 2 and 7tenths high. I could go on and on but to answer your question--here goes- I got rid of my Grizzly for several reasons. One was it had an oddball spindle thread-hard to buy a good 6 jaw chuck. Also it chattered. A real nightmare when reaming a chamber. Machine was light-chattered in backgear-chatter is something to avoid. Lastly-my spindle bore was less than 1"1/2 and started chambering 1.5" barrels. Ended up with 14-40 Nardini. Has common chuck mount(most machines do)with big enough hole through headstock. If you chamber between centers out on bed, dont need a bigger machine or spindle-but through headstock is rigid setup and if you true your tailstock will produce good chambers. I think a 14-40 machine with single phase (any bigger and comes 3 phase) with 1"9/16 spindle hole is ideal. A 15-50 machine is better yet but much costlier and 3 phase. Heavier the machine, generally the more rigidity.