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Originally Posted by Direct_Drive
Awesome work, pal !

Thank you.


"There's more to optics than meets the eye."--anon

"...most of us would be better off losing half a pound around the waist than half a pound on our rifle."--dhg

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Originally Posted by butchlambert1
I don't think I posted that a H10 couldn't do a good job, it just ain't the quality of my 10EE. I do my chambering on my Clausing 6913. Somebody said they couldn't get their lathe slow enough for chamber reaming? How slow do you think you need to go. I have a Grizzly 0709 lathe. It is heavy and works very well, but is awkward for me to use.

I dunno. Slow. smile The HLVH pattern machine doesn’t have back gears and is difficult to run from VFD’s so most guys don’t. The low range on it tops out pretty high. I want to say a nominal 174 rpm for some reason. I’ll glance at it next time I’m in the shop. I was running it today finishing some parts a bit over an inch diameter, little discs, sorta, T303 stainless, that get a cosmetic face cut on one side. On that machine, spindle speed is completely separate from feeds speed (unless you are going through the threading gearbox) so you can run a 2500 rpm spindle, for example, but with a microscopically slow feed, and get an almost mirror finish. I wasn’t taking it that far, but that was the idea.

You’d think that would be a bit high for threading towards a shoulder but the HLVH threading setup is just slicker’n chit.

I do my chambering- which to be clear is only a few so far- on my Webb (Mori Seiki) which is on a VFD, and has low gears too…. so I can indulge my desire for slowness. In fact the time I crashed it badly enough to damage parts, it was due to excessive slowness, which is a different story and kinda funny in an $800 splined shaft and 3-day teardown kinda way. smile


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Originally Posted by pal
Originally Posted by Direct_Drive
Awesome work, pal !

Thank you.

Yes that’s super cool! 👍


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Originally Posted by Sheister
Originally Posted by Jason280
Quote
I wouldn't be surprised to hear they hold .0005" or better in good condition. My old Sheldon will with my good 4 jaw chuck on it, but not with the 3 jaw...

How do you like your Sheldon? I picked up an EXL-56B a year or so ago, and I'm just now starting to mess around with the thing...I built a steel table for it, next project is to add a VFD. I have a rotary converter in the shop for 3ph, but I think VFD's are much better option.

I'm just a hobbyist so my review may not be as reliable as some here who use machines for a living but I did a bit of research before buying a lathe and then this Sheldon KFQU popped up out of the blue for very short money so I bought it. It is a machine built in the late 40's or early 50's when they had a reputation for being a great and very accurate machine. However, do some research on Sheldon lathes before you buy a used one. Some of the later models had a not so sterling reputation and tended to break down a bit. Finding parts will be next to impossible, though there is a guy on Home Shop Machinist who used to work for Sheldon and still makes parts for some of the machines and sells them on the site.

All that being said, I like this machine a lot and I am still learning how to make use of it. I made a lot of bushings, and other pieces for my hotrod and other projects when I first got it and turned a few barrels , among other things. The headstock bearings and gears are still available if I remember correctly and used parts come up on ebay often. I don't think mine was ever a production machine so it is still very accurate and solid. Be careful of the units with the legs with rounded tubes. Most of these were built for military contracts and were carried in heavy trucks and used for battlefield repairs and machine work . Also some ship board machine work from what I heard, but can't verify. They got beat up pretty good for the most part from what I understand unless you find one that was never issued.

Anyway, check out online info about them and the forum on Sheldon lathes on The Home Shop Machinist site...

If I had the cash and a real need a Hardinge, Monarch, or even a Nardini would be sitting in my shop as I had chances to buy each of them. But for my uses I couldn't justify the cost...

Bob

Mine is (what I assume) an ex-military one...the price was right, and came with a collet drawbar/set of collets.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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A guy I used to make parts for before his business (high-end drives for custom electric bikes) got wrecked by Chinese imports got a Sheldon and likes it a lot. Now that his business has shrunk he’s doing his own machining. He’s older than me, mid-60’s, and was a SoCal hotrod guy in his youth, so he’s loving it. Lathes are great therapy, or at least they can be. They can also KILL YOU STONE DEAD!! A lathe is a very dangerous power tool, deceptively so perhaps. Anyone buying their first lathe should google “man sucked into lathe” and look at the pictures and read the stories. Also that poor young woman in the MIT shop…

He hasn’t talked about holding .0005” on his but that’s a fraught term anyway. smile


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It’s been bugging me that I put up such an ugly pic of the Feeler. I knew I had a better one somewhere.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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Deeply regret having to sell my Okuma LS due to loosing my old shop space. Just did not have room in the new shop for both lathes.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


"There's more to optics than meets the eye."--anon

"...most of us would be better off losing half a pound around the waist than half a pound on our rifle."--dhg

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You guys have some real good looking workhorse machines for sure. I started out on a Smithy 3 in 1 machine for a while and keep it around for quick and dirty jobs because it is so easy to set up and run but you have to be really careful to get any kind of accuracy out of it - but it can be done in time.... wink


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Mine as she sits this moment. Paid $4200 for her in, I think, 2012 and have run almost 100x that amount of biz through her since. A very simple, very stout, very accurate and repeatable machine. Makes me look good. smile I run it from a VFD. All controls are mechanical; just hook the VFD straight to the 5HP spindle motor and away you go. (As opposed to the Feeler/HLVH. I think I misspoke yesterday; I think it has FOUR motors, not three. Hence the RPC. )

It’s got that old keyed Albrecht chuck in the tailstock because I was power-tapping a centered hole in the stainless discs I mentioned. Can’t really do that with a keyless chuck. One thing I love about using a VFD is I can have the lathe gearing set to a fast spindle speed, but slow it waaaay down with the VFD at like 12 hz or so. Then, when I flip the switch to reverse the spindle, it slows down, stops, then reverses quickly because the VFD is only spinning it down from 12 hz instead of 60 hz if that makes sense. You CAN add brake resistors to the VFD to achieve a more aggressive spin-down from 60 hz (the VFD has to absorb current from the motor as it’s slowing it down) but this works great if you don’t need the full torque the lathe can deliver. Which I never do.

Pal, note the risers. It looks like your (gorgeous) Okuma also sat low. I’m tall; I had to raise it. I raised it by myself, by hand, all 4800 lbs, with long pinch bars from good ol’ HF and squares of thin plywood “shim stock”. Took a couple hours.

Here’s an uncomfortable question. Have any of you protected your machines against earthquake at all? We found out about 10 years ago that this area gets a big one every few hundred years. Oh, and it’s periodic, and we are overdue….. “Who knew”. I feel like I’m being an idiot for not strapping them to the wall or SOMETHING.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Jeff_O; 03/25/23.

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That’s a 10” Bison Set-Tru. My workhorse chuck. I make soft jaws for it. If you’ve never made soft jaws for a lathe you can’t imagine how awesome they are. You need two-piece jaws to do this. Details on request. With the Set-Tru I can dial it in at a given diameter and the sucker just REPEATS. I dial it in like that multiple times a day; it’s worth it, and I’m fast at it. Keep everything nice and concentric, even if it’s not technically necessary for the part, and the work just flows from there. I also have a 10” Buck 6-jaw Adjust-Tru for it, but only with 1-piece outside jaws, and a 12” 4-jaw independent, and a Bison 5c collet chuck.


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Originally Posted by Jeff_O
...Pal, note the risers. It looks like your (gorgeous) Okuma also sat low. I’m tall; I had to raise it...


I'm short. smile The Okuma was designed for short people--perfect height for me.

My 10EE sits on very low machine skates and is barely low enough for me.


"There's more to optics than meets the eye."--anon

"...most of us would be better off losing half a pound around the waist than half a pound on our rifle."--dhg

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"Here’s an uncomfortable question. Have any of you protected your machines against earthquake at all?"
After the 1994 Northridge earthquake (6.7) there was a lathe, good size, about the size of your WEBB sitting in a driveway. It had gone through a sectional garage door, left gouges leading up to where it decided to stop. Wiring looked like bicycle grip tasseles ...

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Well that’s the thing. It feels like bolting to the wall would just be kidding myself anyway. With what, eye bolts into the studs? That’s gonna rip out. Seems like I’d have to go THROUGH the wall and have a big backing plate on the outside. That would help, I’d think, with lurches trying to make the machine fall away from the wall, and could be accomplished with say a section of tow strap webbing (in tension). But to keep it from falling towards the wall would require something rigid.

I end up doing nothing because anything I come up with that actually seems like it would have a chance starts to seem like a big project, and my confidence level that it would actually work is not high. We are on a giant sedimentary basin that’s supposedly going to liquify temporarily if it’s bad here.

Then there’s the mill. Mine is a big one, for a Bridgeport type, and it’s top heavy.

I’m sure California has some kind of mandated “solution” that probably costs more than I make in a month per machine to implement. Any CA guys had to deal with this issue?

Last edited by Jeff_O; 03/26/23.

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I've never been concerned about the machines moving; none are bolted down. Though the mill is top-heavy.


"There's more to optics than meets the eye."--anon

"...most of us would be better off losing half a pound around the waist than half a pound on our rifle."--dhg

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I was fortunate enough to observe a local smith while he threaded the muzzle of my rifle yesterday. He used a Emco Maximat Super 11 lathe. The barrel was long enough to easily thread while still attached to the action. Both the chuck and the back side of the spindle bore had spiders so the barrel could be indicated in to create near perfect concentricity.

Does any other manufacturer make a lathe similar to the Maximat Super 11 that has the power to cut threads but also has a short headstock so barrels can stay attached to the action for muzzle threading?

I don't see the Maximat Super 11s for sale often and they're priced higher than I want to spend on a smallish lathe.


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Seems like about any lathe with a 36" bed (or any sufficiently long bed) would be able to accomplish that with a decent 4 jaw chuck and a good steady rest. I'm just an amateur and I turned a couple barrels down from target contour to sporter and cut them off to length, faced them off , and cut the crown while still installed in the actions. Could have easily threaded the muzzle if I had wanted to in the set up... I've tried to make up a spider for my lathe but the headstock bore tube on my Sheldon just isn't really accessible enough on that end to attach a good spider to easily. Still trying to figure it out...

I've seen some machinists do some pretty surprising work on relatively small machines.

Last edited by Sheister; 03/26/23.

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Originally Posted by Dinny
I was fortunate enough to observe a local smith while he threaded the muzzle of my rifle yesterday. He used a Emco Maximat Super 11 lathe. The barrel was long enough to easily thread while still attached to the action. Both the chuck and the back side of the spindle bore had spiders so the barrel could be indicated in to create near perfect concentricity.

Does any other manufacturer make a lathe similar to the Maximat Super 11 that has the power to cut threads but also has a short headstock so barrels can stay attached to the action for muzzle threading?

I don't see the Maximat Super 11s for sale often and they're priced higher than I want to spend on a smallish lathe.

Any lathe has the power to cut threads--that is the easy part. Browse through this site:
http://www.lathes.co.uk/page21.html

Don't get your heart set on a specific lathe while shopping for used lathes, unless money is no object. Instead learn about all the potential candidates while daily shopping more or less local sources. This way, when a good candidate turns up you will have the knowledge you need to act immediately, rather than allowing someone else to snap up a good deal while you are still trying to research it.

Generally, look for a quality machine, in good condition, that comes with comprehensive tooling. Avoid bare and neglected machines.


"There's more to optics than meets the eye."--anon

"...most of us would be better off losing half a pound around the waist than half a pound on our rifle."--dhg

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Just don’t get Emco crossed with Enco.

Anything made in Japan or Korea is excellent.

Almost everything made in Taiwan is at minimum very good, and probably REALLY good. For example, many early Jet lathes were made in Taiwan, and can be sleepers. The Taiwanese are not screwing around. Buy Taiwanese with confidence, especially if it’s from the 90’s and 2000’s.

Made in China is extremely variable, to say the least. There are good machines MiC. There’s junk MiC. Everything in between. And it’s a moving target; you can’t just count on a brand name if it’s MiC. Factories change. Buyer beware.

Made in America can be tricky. There’s a lot of good hobbyist stuff; Logan, SB, Sheldon, etc. There’s a couple incredible tool room lathes- HLVH and Monarch’s like pal’s. Then there’s “big iron” that typically has really deep headstocks and *usually* runs slower than you’d like for carbide. Towards the very end of the American Iron era there were a few mid-size machines- American Pacemaker made one- that run fast. Really deep headstocks, but there’s workarounds for that. My Webb has a deep headstock…


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They don't make lathes like they use to. And they don't have the accuracy or last like the old-time lathes use to. Back in the day when you had the likes of Hardinge, Monarch, LeBlond, Warner & Swasey and a few others, when you talked about spindle runout, it was in the millionths. Today you sometimes see some halfway decent copies. But even those will run you $40k to $50k for a new 10" x 20'" unit. If a person would run across a good used Hardinge high precision tool room lathe for $15k to $20k it would be a great investment. But probably not a handful of people around that could really operate them. I use to say when I first started moving machinery that they were built out of cast steel, heavy as hell, accurate, and nearly indestructible. Hell they were actually rebuildable. But today they are made out of sheet metal, glass, computers and fiber optics, just look at them wrong and they will break.

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When you really step back and look at what is needed for barrel fitting, conventional lathes (like the 13×40's) are total overkill in both size and capability.

Good shootin' -Al


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