pulling trigger on a lathe

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by eddybo, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    I am holding my nose and taking the plunge, but wanted some reccomendations from the smiths here before I make a three thousand pound mistake.

    Here is what I am thinking about,the Jet 14x40 3 1/8 spindle bore or the larger grizzly gunsmithing lathe.

    There is a big price difference between them, but I have seen the types of work that can be turned out on the Jet.

    I admittedly do not know much about the grizzly other than I fondled Mickey Coleman's and reccomendations from the internet.

    I know the jet has a huge headstock and you cannot indicate the muzzle with a spider, but am stil leaning that way. My smith built some bushings that fit tight on the muzzle and slide into the big lathe head bore. He then indicates the barrel in on the lands where the throat will be, threads, drills and bores, and then pushes the reamer using a dead center rather than a floating holder. Every chamber he has done for me will indicate to .0002 or usually better. The inability to indicate in the muzzle when chambering through the headstock seems to be the only drawback of having such a big lathe.

    I do not ever plan to do work for the public but want to learn to true remington actions, chamber my own benchrest rifles and hunting rifles, turn parts to make a few rests, and any general needs my old shoptask will not handle.

    Are there any other lathes I should be considering? Any input between these two? Any recomendations as to a source for the lathe that also carries milling machines, just figure I will get it all over with at one time.
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Eddybo

    The jet will work fine !

    As for indicating the muzzel I built myself a spider with 4- 1/4-20
    socket head screws that is a slip fit on the spindle and it works great.

    Look at the end of the spindle and see if the inside or outside has been
    turned and use that surface to fit the spider to, Mine fits on the outside
    and with 4 screws it is easy to true the barrel .

    You will be good to go
    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    Eddybo , either way you will be able to do a great job with either. I have never used the JET like Mr.Don's but it is a precision tool that JET markets as their high end model and it is certainly top of the food chain for the lower end tools , but the extra large headstock won't allow you to setup barrels in a spider but the bushing thing seems to work pretty damn good doesen't it. . I have gotten to play with a Grizzly's 16"x40" "Profesional Gunsmith's Lathe" and it is a very well made machine with a few extras that make life a little easier when they are needes like roler tips on both the stready and follow rest , neither of which get used often but when they are needed the roller tips are nice. and the narrow headstock that already setup for indexing barrels if thats somthing that you think you need to do.

    For around $7000 the Grizzly is a good buy and the little extra money will allow you to buy some better tools to upgrade it , like a Precision 6 jaw or precision set true 3 jaw "Buck" chuck which is gonna run you around $1000-$1200 , some quality cutting tools , setting up the lathe for a muzzel flush system and so on. Either way you will be able to do about any job that you can runn accross with either one and seeing the limited use either one will last for years..

    The samew thing goes for the Mill , but with that I highly suggest spending a little more a getting the best you can.

    PS , my mom came through her surgery great this AM , thanks for your thoughts.
     
  4. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

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    I have the smaller grizzly gunsmith lathe and really like it. It comes with some nice feature we can use. So far, the rifles I have built on it shoot extremely well, so I can't complain.:D
     
  5. James H

    James H Well-Known Member

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    I also have the smaller Grizzly Gunsmith lathe and have also been happy with it.
    If you don't already know, the President of Grizzly, Shiraz Balolia, shoots competition F-class and personally uses the larger Grizzly Gunsmith lathe.
    I personally think that if you have a choice and it is a close decision you may as well support the business that is supportive of shooting sports. Shiraz adds some special features on the gunsmith lathes that make them superior to the near equivalent lathe you would get from Jet. Customer service has also been excellent.
    This is just my opinion and you can take it for what you paid for it.

    James
     
  6. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    Eddybo, one thing that would be a tie-breaker for me would be the length of the spindle. My lathe only has a 1 1/2" bore diameter, but is 25 inches from the back end of the spindle to the face of the chuck jaws. I can't recrown anything with a barrel less than 25" without stripping the receiver off or removing the reversible jaw inserts and chucking on the inner teeth of the main part of the chuck jaws. I can crown a 24" barrel by doing that, but I don't like messing around with the chuck.

    Assuming equal accuracy for either lathe, I would choose the one with the shortest spindle.

    Whatever you decide, it is good to have your own machine.

    Tom
     
  7. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    As for action blue printing , you can make your own jig and I highly recomend that you do rather than buy one , I built one for a fella out of 6" 7075 aluminum with 2.25" bore ,with the larger diameter it allows a larger hole and you can use larger screws for a steadier hold on the action if needed. The guy (Nathen) took his and mounted it to a face plate so when he wants to true actions all that needed is to un bolt the cam locks and stick the face plate in their , no worry about dialing in the jig first.
    If the headstock is to thick you can use the jig as the holding chuck and run the barrel in a steady rest to recrown or thread the muzzel , rather than pull the barrel off.
     
  8. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info guys, I am still up in the air even though the jet is 3500 higher.....I do keep thinking how much tooling I can get for that 3500.
    I also keep thinking about that sleeve system Mr. Don uses. Without indicating in the muzzzle his chambers are .0002 or less. I keep hearing his words "get the big lathe" and he hasnt steered me wrong thus far.....(well there was this one time but who knew postal scales had oil in them that would leak out on leather seats.)....but 3500 is a lot of tooling.
    That would buy a nice 6 jaw set tru chuck and some other stuff I am going to need.
     
  9. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

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    Eddybo,

    For what its worth, the 2 338 edges I just built on my smaller grizzly, I just indicated the chamber end only with the 4 jaw. Both chambers are .0002" runout from the start to the throat. It just takes more time to setup than the collet method. I know Kirby uses the big Jet machine, but the grizzly is no slouch.
     
  10. Franklin

    Franklin Well-Known Member

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    Indicating the muzzle with a spider? Could someone explain to me what a spider is.
     
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Saum

    Thats what I call it, others may have a different name for it
    but this is how it works.

    When placeing the barrel through the spindle for chambering
    the spider trues the muzzle end of the barrel,(just like the bushings,
    sleeves or colletts) but the spider haveing 4 screws is infinitely
    adjustable so you can true the muzzle to the bore.

    As described earlier its just a sleeve that fits over the spindal with
    4 adjusting screws. (Simple and homemade) but it realy works.

    Just the way I do it.
    J E CUSTOM
     
  12. Franklin

    Franklin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the explanation.:)
     
  13. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    James is right about running in a steady rest to crown or thread, but if you don't want to mark the barrel where the steadyrest runs, you have to make a rider ring, and if you are recrowning a barrel that has a front sight that is sweated on it, you can't get a rider ring on. One big advantage of a rider ring is that after it is in place, you can turn its O.D. concentric with the bore before setting up the steadyrest and removing the tailstock center. All this is very time consuming for a simple crown or muzzle thread.

    If you can set up in the chuck, the sight will sometimes go between the jaws of a 3 jaw, or if you are careful, you can chuck up behind the sight and take very light cuts. You can use brass shims or card stock to protect the barrel finish and to push the bore axis true whether the barrel has sights or not.

    One thing about the big hollow spindle lathe, if you fixture up, you can shove a short barrel into it receiver and all. JECustom told me years ago that a big lathe can do anything a small lathe can, plus a lot that a small lathe can never do.

    Random question, would it be harder to find spindle nose accessories, like a collet set, for the hollow spindle?

    Nice problem to have. Good luck, Tom
     
  14. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    If the bore is 3 1/8 shouldnt I be able to use the collars I described and crown through the headstock without removing the action?

    Wonder if I would be able to get an encore barrel in that bore? How tall is that welded lug from the centerline of the bore I wonder?

    It would be nice to be able to cut threads for brakes and supressors through the headstock without having to pull the barrel.

    The more I think about it the more appealing that big bore sounds. Thanks for giving me more stuff to think about.