******Cincinnati Lathe ???********

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by bigbuck, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    I have found a 5 foot Cincinnati Lathe for sale . I was wondering if this would be a good Lathe to use on rebarrel jobs . I want a Lathe so I can install my own barrels not for anyone else just as a hobbie so what do you all think. Will this get the job done ? If so what would be a fair price ? I know the individual that owns it and he says he hardly ever uses it so I want to offer him a fair price were both of us will be happy in the end .

    Thanks for your insite.

    BigBuck
     
  2. fj40mojo

    fj40mojo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Cincinnati is a good brand. How old is the machine (older American made lathes may not be equipped to cut metric threads ie Howa), what condition is it in (particularly the ways and bed), and finally what tooling are you gettting with it (chucks, DRO, tool holders, steady rest, etc)?
     

  3. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    Ditto what FJ40 said, plus it needs a 1.5" spindle bore (or at least over 1.25"), and at least 36" between centers. If 5' means overall length, it may not have 36" between centers. If it has a quick-change for threading, be sure they all work. But if it is old enough to use a set of spud gears for threading, be sure they are all there. To me, these are necessary features.
    If it doesn't have a steady rest, you may not be able to find one, and it is very desirable for some barrel work. A follow rest is good, but not essential, also a taper bar is handy sometimes, but not a necessity either. Oh yeah, if it's a 3 phase motor, you'll need 3 phase power or a good convertor.

    A good test for a lathe is to chuck up a piece of 1" or larger diameter barstock, face it off near the chuck, center drill it, then move that end down to a live center in the tailstock, tighten the chuck with about 1 foot of the barstock available to cut on, take a cut on it and mike the bar after cutting. If the spindle and tailstock are aligned well, you should get .0005" or less difference in the diameter at both ends. You might be able to live with .001", but you won't like it, and it'll cause you a lot of problems. I know, because it took me many hours to get mine to do .0005", and I never did get it perfect.
    I'm a mullet at this stuff, but maybe some more folks will jump in with more and better knowledge. There may already be a ton of info on this subject, but I rarely find what I'm looking for when I search. I'm also a mullet on computers.

    Good luck. A good lathe is a pleasure to work with, but a clunker is useless. Cincinnati was a good machine, but if it's worn out, it can't do gun work.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2010
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    I left commercial machine shops many years ago, "tape" machines were just coming into use. Those old manuel machines can be purchased at a deep discount, but, the cost of tooling and tool holders is where the real cost is! Do you have machine tool experiance? Can you re-sharpen single point threading & turning tools? Do you have a 12" machinists level so you can level the machine? If you don't get the stuff you may need (like a steady rest) you may never find one ( My old vertical mill was made by Index. It has a B&S #9 taper in the quill. That taper has been obsolete, even on grinding machines, for several years now, and as such, tool holders and collets are very hard to find, I had to make what I needed). Lathe chucks can be replaced and sometimes they need to be. The standards for attachment to the splindle have been around for years, plan on $350/$500 for a 6"/8" 4 jaw chuck, you might need a 'back plate' too. The tail stock has adjustments for alining it to the spindle. That just takes time and a good indicator w/magnetic base. These thoughts are just add to those by specweldtom.I'm not trying to discourage you here. The cost of those related, required items is alot more than having a dozen or so barrels threaded, chambered and crowned at current prices.
     
  5. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    fj40mojo and specweldtom . Thanks for your help I sure don't want to buy a clunker that I can't use long after I've spent the money. The only other thing I know is that he said you can adjust the rpm by a dial and that it has a chart for whatever thread you want to cut that's labeled A,B,C,D for different settings. I plan on taking a family member with me as I don't know anything about a lathe . This person started out running manual lathes and now runs a million dollar Monarch that is totally ran by computers he's been doing machining for about 28 years now my luck he's forgot the manual lathe :rolleyes:
    I still feel better getting some advice from this site because he hasn't ever done gun work And I need to be sure that this machine will do everything I need . Once I've looked at it I'll write down all the gadgets that it has and post it on this thread . Thanks again and if their is anything else that I need to look for just say on ......


    BigBuck
     
  6. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your information it raises a lot of questions concerning would I really want to purchase one . This individual needs a metal roof on his house and we may work out some HORSE Trading for it but I really need to know the info that you mentioned so I can figure my over all cost of getting set up . With that being said I feel that if I were to get good enough to install my own 30'' HART barrel in a .338 Edge I would feel different about the gun because I put it together myself . If you fellas have installed your own barrels already I'm sure you can understand what I mean .

    Thanks for all the help

    BigBuck
     
  7. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    Bigbuck, the spindle speed dial control is very convenient. It is all geared with knobs and / or levers for selecting spindle RPM. No belt changing. Handy. Also, the threading pitch selection by levers and knobs.... A, B, C etc, is very convenient. My guess is that this lathe will also have 3 or 4 spud gears in the headstock that can be configured to allow cutting inch or metric threads.

    Something I forgot to mention is being sure that the threading tables on the lathe are easy to read, not beat up or faded. The turning and facing tables also, but they're not as critical as the threading tables and the spud gear arrangement for inch or metric threads.

    You've got a real ace in the hole taking an experienced machinist with you. He can inspect, test, and evaluate the condition of the lathe on the spot, and you can check for the features you need to do gunwork. No matter what lathe you end up with, he can also advise you on the best place to put it, and how to set it up. He can also help you learn how to dress tools, select surface speeds and feeds for different materials and sizes, choose tooling, all the things shortgrass listed, plus a lot of stuff you won't find in a book. (I'm convinced that "parting off" is black magic). I manage, but I've decided that being self taught means I have a dummy for a teacher. There is nothing like having a teacher who has made a living doing what he's teaching.

    Hope it works out. Good luck, Tom
     
  8. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there is certainly feeling of satisfaction from any job you did yourself. Run "MSC/J&L Industrial Supply through any search engine. They are a complete metal working supply house and you will get an idea of the "costs' from their web site. I have used them for many years. I've a real weekness for "Kenametal" carbide tools and inserts, some of the finest I've every put to steel.
     
  9. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again Tom , This family member happens to be my step dad :) He is the only person at were he works that can reprogram his machine when it breaks. When he's not at work the head machinest (his boss) has to call him at home to get advice as in how to fix it . He is the only one that knows all of the codes to it . Job Security...


    BigBuck
     
  10. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    I finally got the chance to go and look at the lathe. Here is what I know about it for now.

    I couldn't find the Model # on it so if anyone can tell me were it is located I would appreciate it very much. I do have the book with me though and it says that it is a LRT model and the owner says it is a 60 inch lathe.

    It really looks to me like it will do just about all I would need . The Spindle Speed Selector Dial is very readable and turns down to the lowes setting at 37 . So would this be plenty low enough to cut the threads very nicely or would you prefer something slower ?

    It will cut left handed threads and 3 different tipes of threads as well . I'm no machinest so I can't remeber what the tag said on the Lathe.

    He started it up but we didn't cut anything, that will happen when I go back next time.



    The Quick change thread panel is in very good condition everything can be read.

    The spindle bore is 1 3/4 . Will this work with the barrel blanks from say Hart, broughton and others ?

    Overall the machine looked very well it is ran by 3 phase though the guy had the slickest rig i've ever saw to convert it to 3 phase he had a little electric motor that was mounted on a plate made by him and he would use a special belt to get this bigger electric motor turning and once it did he would lift up on the plate and off the belt would come and he was flipping swithches . I don't know if I've made this understandable but I thought it was kind of neat.

    Oh I almost forgot It has a 3 Jaw chuck and a 4 jaw chuck and it also has a tper with it as well.

    So, what do you guys think ? Am I missing something ?

    What would a Lathe like this cost ?

    Thanks for the help

    BigBuck
     
  11. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    Everything sounds good. A 1.75" spindle bore will handle just about any barrel. If the 60" is between centers, that's great. If it's bed length, be sure it can get an absolute minimum of 30" between centers, preferably 36" - 40".

    There are a couple of different types of single phase to 3 phase converters that are simpler than what he's using sounds, and if he has to do that operation every time he stops the lathe, it would be worth doing something else. You'll stop and start the lathe a lot.

    34 rpm is a very good low speed. You would probably only use it for parting off and maybe chamber reaming. I thread at 40 - 64 rpm for 12 tpi, 64 - 100 rpm for 16 tpi, and 100 rpm for 28 tpi. I ream chambers at 40 rpm. I think most guys run faster, but I don't have a continuous coolant flush, so I keep the spindle speed down. I reamed a .22 K-Hornet chamber at 160 rpm, but would not do a bigger chamber at that speed. I think it would dull the reamer faster.

    Having both chucks is a big plus. Also the taper attachment is good. A quick change tool post and some turning, facing, and boring bar holders and tooling would be another big plus. A good, big drill chuck for the tailstock, and a good live center is necessary. Take anything he volunteers to include, even if you don't know what it's for. Your stepdad will.

    Don't forget, it really needs the steady rest that came with it, or a replacement that is made for it. It has to fit that lathe perfectly. I rate the steadyrest as essential. You can do without one, but you'll have to scramble to do some things that are easy if you have it.

    The lathe will be hard to move. It will probably weigh around 2000 to 2500 lbs. You'll have to be super careful rigging it not to torque the bed, spring it, tump it over (it'll be top-heavy), or break anything sticking out. New ones come crated and palletized so a fork truck can move them safely. Used ones don't.

    I don't have a good idea about price, but if your stepdad puts the seal of approval on it, I would expect to have to pay between $2000 and $4000.

    I've subscribed to this thread so I can watch it. Let us know how it goes.

    Good luck, Tom
     
  12. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tom, I was so fascinated with watching the lathe run and all the neat Gadgets. I had to hold myself back so I wouldn't seem too interested :) That might effect the purchase price.

    I wanted to note some other things that it has with it but I'm not sure what it is called any ways it looked like it was a device to hold something from flopping around like a guide of some sort I think I've seen pipe fitters with a tool like this but not as beefy.

    The tail stock has a center tool in it but he showed me two or three different sizes.


    It has a clean out pan underneath that slides out to remove metal shavings.

    It has everything that goes with the compound rest adjusting handle .

    I have looked at some on Ebay and they are usually bare in the center and this looks to me pretty much ready to go . This one lookes new compared to the pictures on ebay.

    One thing that i noticed on ebay was the cincinnati lathes spindle speed selector dials on them were very faded and white but this one still lookes baby blue and clean:)

    I need to measure the "absolute minimum of centers"

    One last thing he wqs showing me all kinds of tools for it that he has too many to list . He is in his 70's and says he don't need it anymore. He also has one more milling machine that he keeps saying I will need to go with it this equipment is blue and has digital readouts but that's another bridge and some more franklins away.

    Thanks for your advice and help and if I get it I will post pics of it so you all can see it. That would be the least I could do for all of your help:)

    Thanks bigBuck
     
  13. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

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    You are asking if this is a good barrel lathe. You need some data to decide that.

    Most important, how far is it through the headstock from the front of the 4J chuck to the back of the spindle? Add two inches to that and that is the shortest barrel it will easily chamber through the headstock.

    In general, with a few exceptions (the South Bend Heavy 10 being one), big old american iron is not the best choice for gunsmithing. The spindle holes are small for the size of the lathe, the headstocks are long, the spindle speeds are too slow, and they are more difficult to cut metric threads with (for chambering european rifles that have metric barrel tenon threads).

    If you are serious about getting a lathe for hobby gunsmithing go look at the small Grizzly or a similar 12"x36" import (but not one from Harbor Freight). They will let you put the barrel through the headstock with is by far the best way to chamber and crown rifles. It can be done in a steady rest, I've done it both ways, but it's not nearly as convenient as thorugh the headstock like this:

    [​IMG]

    The Grizzley has the headstock cross drilled for rear centering bolts but it is a piece of cake to drill other similar lathes like I did to mine:

    [​IMG]

    As others have said, tooling is the real cost of the lathe. The new imports come with all the chucks, backplates, and centers (though probably not a live center) you will need and frequently a quickchange tool post. That tooling is worth a thousand bux if it has to be purchased for an old lathe.

    If you want to repair farm machinery, the big old iron is the clear choice, but gunsmithing where the cuts are light and flexability is at a premium, the 12x36 imports are better.

    Fitch
     
  14. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Fitch. The pics speak a thousand words to me . How long is your lathe from the front of the 4jaw to the back of the spindle ? I didn't measure this one but if I remeber correctly the cincinnati looked a few inches longer than yours and that sounds like it's not a good thing . I will measure it next time and then I'll let you guys know what it is.

    I really like how you drilled out for the four bolts in the rear of the spindle . The lathe that i'm looking at either has a cover on the back that I would have to remove or I may not be able to drill it like that because I can only remeber about 1/4 to 3/8 of the spindle that was visible through the rear of the headstock.

    I want to thank you all again for replying to this thread I know their is a lot more gunsmiths on this site that could be but you fellas are trying to help someone that knows nothing at all about machine work and i'm pretty sure it's obvious to you but yall are still willing to help an ole hill billy like me :)

    Thanks,
    BigBuck