what lathe to start with

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by tjonh2001, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. tjonh2001

    tjonh2001 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 13, 2007
    I am trying to find a lathe that i can buy that will allow me to start doing more on my rifles. i know that the more you spend the better you get but what is the minimum for me to be looking for. i want to make sure i get one that will allow me to do projects without going with way more machine then i need. what should i be looking for so that i can work on my barrels-threading and chambering? what size?
     
  2. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Nov 24, 2008
    The small Grizzly gunsmith lathe is on sale through the end of the month I think. I was hoping to get the money together for it my self but I don't think it's going to happen.

    G4003G Gunsmith's Bench Top Lathe with Stand
     

  3. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

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    This fall I got a Precision Matthews 12x36 with DRO.
    It has ~ 80% parts interchangeability with that Grizzly.

    This is the 5th gunsmithing lathe I have paid for in the last 10 years.

    My attitude is that old American lathes are nice, like old American cars.
    You gotta decide if you want to do gunsmithing or restoring an antique lathe.
     
  4. shooter#42

    shooter#42 Member

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    Nov 3, 2007
    do yourself a favor. stay away from old american iron unless you have a real good person with knowledge that will check it out with you. the old iron can be nice but you will learn alot about restoring and old lathe or pay alot to someone to do it. i have an old sheldon so i know what can be involved. a fellow around here has an enco, not one of the better imports, but he can use it effectively. will it last in a production setting, i don't think so but really how much work can a hobby gunsmith do.
     
  5. 10X

    10X Well-Known Member

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    Aug 12, 2001
    I have the G4000 from grizzly. this same lathe is sold by all the other companies just in different colors. I have had several lathes and this one is good for what it is. I have done a few barrels on it but its not ideal. its only 19" between centers and the spindle bore is only .75"
    if I had the money I would get a bigger lathe but I dont so this one will do.
     
  6. wasgas

    wasgas Well-Known Member

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    Nov 14, 2009
    I noticed the Grizzly's are made in China, I usually don't think precision and China at the same time. Are the Precision Matthews American made? What is a good size to have for a full legnth or even an extended barrel?
     
  7. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

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    I would guess that 99% of the manual lathes are made in China.
    Many different brands, but all the same models.
    Any two lathes the same size from China have ~80% parts interchangeability.

    It is like washing machines, freezers, VCRs, riflescopes, ect.
    Zillions of brands, all coming from the same place.