Lathe question

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by straightshooter, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

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    Would this be any good for truing actions and chambering? Ad says-monarch lathe for sale, this machine is in working condition. Flame hardened ways. 17" swing. 60 center. this machine has a taper attachment on it. coolant. no tooling. This machine was just completely updated with all new contractors and electrical. I will deliver this machine to your place locally. u have to be able to unload it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  2. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    This machine will do it all. If it's in great shape, I'd be thinking resale to somebody with a better need for it. The chuck is gonna cost you about $120 an inch in diameter.

    What you really need to know is which model Monarch it is. If it's a Double E, your looking at one of the greatest lathes ever built. But there are two designs. They are both variable speed, and one uses a solid state drive; while the other is tubed. You cannot buy parts fr the latter. The Double is is one of their smaller lathes, and they just get bigger from there. Monarch parts are rather expensive (as in very). I'm betting that this lathe is a standard tool room lathe.

    Few folks know how to rebuild machinery, so keep all that in mind. You'll want to have a good first hand look at it. Check for slide wear as well as the tail stock wear. Take a four foot long 2x4 to check the spindle bearings for slop. I would bring along at least two .0001" wand type indicators (you can get by with a .0005" one). A look inside the electrical pannel will tell you a lot. It will be three phase for starters. Check to see if the main disconnect was replaced along with the wiring. The motor starters should have been replaced as well in a rebuild.
    gary
     

  3. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I think someone that's savvy could get a good deal. I looked at a few ads and decided I wasn't educated enough to properly assess a used lathe. So, I bought a new Grizzly g4003.

    I've been very pleased with the results. I did have a minor issue with a loose wire on the start capacitor. But, at least I had someone to call and walk me through it.

    Good luck,
    -- richard
     
  4. Hired Gun

    Hired Gun Well-Known Member

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    Your post is a little unclear. Are you looking to sell it or are you considering buying it?
     
  5. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    A job shop I worked in had a 16"x 60" Monarch (an older model). Might have put a receiver truing jig in the chuck, but for chambering, it was just too big , IMO. Tail stock was just too heavy for easy movement with delicate tools. The little South Bend 10X, that sat behind it, was much more suited for the task of chambering. Might work OK if you use a pusher style reamer holder.
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    you can cut most small stuff in anysize lathe, but you can't cut big stuff in a little lathe. A Monarch tool lathe is a beast for sure, but keep in mind they made then all the way down to 12"x42" to at least 30"x120". Their spindle bearing line is probably 2x over built, and the quality of the cuts show it. If your looking at Monarchs, then the Double E is what you want. They are without question one of the single most accurate lathes ever built, and often can be bought rather cheap. Just be sure to get a solid state drive machine! I rebuilt one that was tubed once, and te replacement drive was only good for .025" cuts in steel. But it was a solid .0003" machine with little effort. Check the Navy surplus auctions, as they bought hundreds of them for use on ships.

    Older machines have better frames under them, and most of the newer frames leave a lot to be desired. If I were looking for a good used lathe to put in my garage, I think I'd start with a Southbend (8" or 10") that has the flame hardened ways.. Then rebuild it piece by piece as time allows. They are pretty easy to convert over to 220vt single phase.
    gary
     
  7. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

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    I am looking to buy. The add had a video link and after thinking it all the way through, this machine is just way to big. It would be a big headache to even have it unloaded. If anyone can utilize this machine, it is in the las vegas craigslist and the cost is $3000, but like I said, this machine is huge.

    Just some history. I am taking a machinist course and want to have a machine of my own so I can practice a lot more. My goal is to do precision gunsmith work truing actions, chambering, head spacing, and treading barrels. I may also decide to contour barrels in the future. I am looking at 3 types of lathes. The cheap import lathes-reason, to have a new lathe (don't have the skill to grade used lathes), also the lathe will be used in a two car garage. The second type is a good quality used lathe like a 16" Hardinge etc.-reason, max size that I feel I could get to fit in my garage shop, a machine I could grow with, capable to do everything. The last type is a used toolroom style lathe-reason, small enough for my shop, may have a little extra precision from what I have read. Any suggestions from smiths that specialize in building precision bolt action rifles would be greatly appreciated.
     
  8. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    Your thinking right! You just don't need a large tool room lathe, unless you plan on doing work on the side. For 98% of the folks here an 8" or 10" lathe will do it all.

    Never seen a 16" Hardingh hand lathe, but then again I've not seen everything in life. Right now the best new lathe a guy can buy (for what we are doing) is probably a Colechester out of the UK. Excellent quality, and somewhat overbuilt. But then they don't come cheap. I don't think Monarch Sidney builds hand lathes anymore, as they are now part of LeBlond Makino. A real shame. The LeBland Regal line is fairly good, but beware of the servo setup in the headstock (we'd probably never have a problem, but the mechanism is known for failure). They tend to need a rescrape every five years or so. Stay away from the Southwest Tracs and their clones. Simply junk on a good day! What you really need is a 10"x42" lathe (an 8" chuck will do just fine). I would be on the hunt for a Southbend (an original one), and rebuild it as I got the time.

    Whatever lathe you buy, your gonna have to tool it up. I like Buck Chucks over all the others. The Alorus Tool block has become the standard, but there are a couple others just as good. Don't get sucked into buying the smallest one. But the middle sized one, as it has a much bigger varity of tool holders. They make a tooling head for the Alorus that uses collet sleeves to hold boring bars. Buy this one! Everybody has their favorite brand of boring bars, and it's hard to beat a Sandvik or a Kennmetal. But there are others as well. Buy good ones as they seem to have better anti vibration properties. A couple small carbide ones are also nice to have. The Alorus threading heads are very nice and resharpenable. You'll also want a good drill chuck. I like the Jacobs ball bearing chucks as they are easilly rebuildable, and down the road that option pays for itself. (also much more accurate) You don't need an Albreight in a lathe, so don't get talked into one of them. Buy a good spray mist coolant tank that runs off air pressure. (they make small one gallon ones). Of course your gonna need some measuring tools (mics upto 3" will get you by)

    I learned to run a lathe on a Southbend, and then moved upto an American and a LeBlond lathe that was much bigger. It's all the same in principal, so don't worry about that part. In that shop each lathe man had a Monarch and an American Precision lathe except for yours truly! But later I had a 10" Monarch with scales on it, and was ruined! I highly recommend the addition of scales if you have the money! I've since installed about thirty sets on tool room lathes. I personally like Anilam as they seem to be straiter and easier to install. Nothing wrong with the more common Hidenham, but they are not as strait out of the box. These days I wouldn't own a lathe without scales!
    gary
     
  9. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. I have always received really good advice from this sight.