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Does anyone know the spindle run-out on a Southbend Heavy 10? What tolerance will it hold (assuming properly adjusted and in good working order).

TIA


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They have a reputation of being one of the best- all other things being equal- short of a Monarch which will cost you 5 times as much. As long as the bearings in the head stock, and the quick change gears are in good shape you would have a hard time buying a bad one from what I know and the ones I've looked at. As usual with machine tools, the real issue is in tooling. Make sure it comes with or you have access to a good 3 jaw, 4 jaw, collet set, chuck set, cutters, center drills, boring bars, quick change tool holders, etc... to make your life easier ...
They do have a 1 3/8" spindle bore so you can do barrel work with them and most of the used ones come with a very heavy stand.

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...

Last edited by Sheister; 03/20/23.

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Spindle runout matters but is easy to measure and compensate for… You compensate for spindle runout with the 4-jaw or spider chuck…. but even if the spindle nose itself has zero runout, whatever chuck you put on it will have runout up the wazoo (technical term) unless you can dial it out. I use Set-Tru or Adjust-Tru type chucks for this reason when I’m “making parts”; I can dial my 10” Bison in at a given clamping diameter very quickly and the repeatability is excellent, way better than most would think a 3-jaw is capable of. Same with my 10” Buck 6-jaw, and the 6” Buck on my HLVH clone.

But for barrel work you want a 4-screw spider chuck with rounded brass or copper ends on the screws, and another spider chuck on the back end of the spindle so that you can adjust for both concentricity and axial alignment to the spindle CL. If you only use a 4-jaw, you can dial in the concentricity but it’s not going to be exactly longitudinally coaxial to the spindle CL unless you skim cut the chuck jaws themselves “in situ”with the chuck mounted on the spindle… and that can be tricky, depending on the chuck.

Measuring spindle nose runout is easy, although it can change with how warm the bearings and spindle are. Assessing the main ways, and the crossfeed and compound ways and leadscrews, is trickier. One way to get a read on the functional condition of the main ways is to cut a cylinder test and check for taper. Take a light roughing cut, then a light finish cut, using a sharp cutter on an unsupported bar of material sticking as far out of the chuck as you can get away with without it singing (chatter). You want a stout piece of material here. I have a left over piece of 1-5/8” T303 about a foot long I use for this, although I’m running the test using a live center to verify the tailstock is dead nuts for precise shaft works….. different test, same idea. Doing the test with the stock unsupported shows you if the ways are worn enough to drop the carriage relative to the CL of the work, which will change the resulting diameter of the test bar. Often lathe ways “dip” up close to the chuck due to normal wear. The difference in diameter is subtle, unless the ways are really worn, which is why you measure with a micrometer, not a caliper.

High quality floating reamer holders cure many ills……..


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Thanks guys. Much appreciated. I'm a novice and looking to purchase a gunsmithing lathe and mill for tinkering in retirement.


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How significant an issue is wearing of the bed ways? I've looked at a couple of lathes and the ads say "ways are noticeably worn". I've heard they can be resurfaced, but that sounds like alot of work and expense.


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way wear can be scraped out if you know what your doing. But will cost a bunch. Might want to check out new Grizzley lathes

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Don't settle on a 9".

Spindle bore hole is LIMITING factor.
Ask me how I know!


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If you're buying used, check on parts availability before you buy. Don't settle for a small spindle bore.

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I use my Webb 17x40 (Mori Seiki parts-compatible licensed clone) for my own gun stuff. The headstock is deeper than ideal but I’ve made tooling to get around that and it’s awesome in every other way. Overkill is great with machine tools. smile It’s almost 5000 lbs… anyway, why I say that is they do have full parts support. I crashed mine once and was really glad for the parts support.

A Heavy 10 is unlikely to have been used for production, which is one way you get bed wear. Another is exposure to abrasives. If previous owner(s) ever used it for polishing, or if it lived in a shop where grinding was also happening, then it’s likely abrasive particles got in between the ways and the carriage and that would do it. Also, I know SB (or at least their competitor Logan) sold some lathes where it was an option whether the ways were hardened. Don’t know if that’s true of the H10. Be extra diligent if the ways are soft.

Some bed wear won’t really matter for chambering; that’s all chuck and tailstock work there. Where bed wear gets you is if say you had to make a continuous, high-tolerance cut for 6” for some reason; if the ways are worn close to the chuck and part of that 6” cut takes place in the dip, you’ll see a difference in final diameter where the carriage rises up out of the dip. Visualize the cutter meeting the work, then dipping down a bit, to get a sense of why the diameter would change. But you won’t be doing that for gun work.

Honestly? I wouldn’t sweat bed wear within reason if your goal is to chamber your own rifles. Threading the barrel tenon is “seat of the pants” type precision; you aren’t measuring so much as cutting the threads until they have the perfect fit to the receiver threads. Nothing about machining the tenon area itself requires extreme precision. What does require extreme precision is the setup. That’s just you being finicky. If you use a good floating reamer holder it really does cure most small stuff- like a slight axial tilt relative to the spindle CL- by itself.

There are guys who hold the reamer solidly in an ER type chuck in the tailstock and then you do need the machine to really “right”. But that’s unusual and not necessarily better.

Scraping ways is a thing for sure but that’s advanced work and opens a can of worms… such as your tailstock not being the right height anymore…


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A great place to ask about this is the Home Shop Machining forum as well as the Practical Machinist forum. On HSM especially they are very familiar with Heavy 10’s. You can find entire step by step procedures for evaluating them.


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I bought a vintage South Bend H10 (1945) and got lucky on condition. I bought from a widow in Eloree SC back in 2012. Its been a great learning experience and would not trade a thing.
I have no trouble dialing barrels to within needle width repeatability using a .0001" test indicator.

Last edited by Tim_in_TN; 03/21/23.

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Originally Posted by Jeff_O
I use my Webb 17x40 (Mori Seiki parts-compatible licensed clone) for my own gun stuff. The headstock is deeper than ideal but I’ve made tooling to get around that and it’s awesome in every other way. Overkill is great with machine tools. smile It’s almost 5000 lbs… anyway, why I say that is they do have full parts support. I crashed mine once and was really glad for the parts support.

A Heavy 10 is unlikely to have been used for production, which is one way you get bed wear. Another is exposure to abrasives. If previous owner(s) ever used it for polishing, or if it lived in a shop where grinding was also happening, then it’s likely abrasive particles got in between the ways and the carriage and that would do it. Also, I know SB (or at least their competitor Logan) sold some lathes where it was an option whether the ways were hardened. Don’t know if that’s true of the H10. Be extra diligent if the ways are soft.

Some bed wear won’t really matter for chambering; that’s all chuck and tailstock work there. Where bed wear gets you is if say you had to make a continuous, high-tolerance cut for 6” for some reason; if the ways are worn close to the chuck and part of that 6” cut takes place in the dip, you’ll see a difference in final diameter where the carriage rises up out of the dip. Visualize the cutter meeting the work, then dipping down a bit, to get a sense of why the diameter would change. But you won’t be doing that for gun work.

Honestly? I wouldn’t sweat bed wear within reason if your goal is to chamber your own rifles. Threading the barrel tenon is “seat of the pants” type precision; you aren’t measuring so much as cutting the threads until they have the perfect fit to the receiver threads. Nothing about machining the tenon area itself requires extreme precision. What does require extreme precision is the setup. That’s just you being finicky. If you use a good floating reamer holder it really does cure most small stuff- like a slight axial tilt relative to the spindle CL- by itself.

There are guys who hold the reamer solidly in an ER type chuck in the tailstock and then you do need the machine to really “right”. But that’s unusual and not necessarily better.

Scraping ways is a thing for sure but that’s advanced work and opens a can of worms… such as your tailstock not being the right height anymore…

Good info Jeff. You and Sheister make a lot of sense. Didn't know he was a machinist. Met him once and shot with him. Great guy that does excellent work with stocks and stuff. When I saw the OP, I just thought to myself runout should be easy to check with a dial indicator, then maybe correct for some issues with a 4 jaw chuck. The op should be able to tell right away how much runout it has by checking it, if at all possible. Maybe he's looking at it online where he can't put hands on it? Good stuff though guys.


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I run a well worn and ancient South Bend 13 x 60, complete with babbitt bearings. When it's time to sneak up on a critical last pass dimension, I torque my bearing caps down very gingerly while its turning, stop, check with the old "Last Word" DTI.....and end up with no more than the width of the needle deflection. I can then run that tight setting, well lubricated, for up to 30 minutes without damage.
No I don't make parts for Boeing, I'm just making the point, you can run worn old heavy American iron and with a little patience, you can get quality results.
China imports are fine, Japs are great quality, everybody runs them that does any volume of work, but I wonder how many will still be going 80 years from now.


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No less than Harry Pope used a Heavy Ten. I use a South Bend 13x60. Heavy Ten has the same spindle bore. It uses the same 5C collets which have made the 4-Jaw chuck nearly obsolete for me. I wouldn't trade my machine for 5 Grizzlies.


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What brand/model floating reamer holder do y'all recommend? I have one that came from the gunsmith that I bought my 11" Logan lathe from 35 years ago and I cannot find any markings on it. I just wonder if there is better available since this one probably dates back to the 70's but you can bet Jack got it from Brownells.

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I’ll look at mine. I can’t remember. I think it starts with a “J”, lol. It was $300+ about ten years ago if memory serves.

I’ll grab a pic of it and the spider chuck I made for my Webb as well as the spider chuck the PO of my old Logan made for it… he was a gunsmith.

Man this is getting me hot to do another build! DAMN you people! smile I have this wild hair idea… I bought a 7 SAUM M700 as a donor to build a 6.5 SAUM Mountain Rifle… this won’t be the year for a build, as I’m about to take off on a big adventure so I will be in a financial hole when I get back…. BUT… it occurred to me I could rechamber the 7 SAUM to 7 WSM (I have the reamer and gauges for that) and, if it shot ok, just lean on my pile of 7 WSM components (I have two) and shoot the living snot out of the thing! It would be kinda fun to have a rifle to just abuse with no guilt qualms. My two 7 WSM’s are well over 1k rounds each and have very visible throat erosion, but still shoot well, so they are no longer high-volume rifles, at least until I cut off a thread and rechamber….. I’m saving them for when it counts, like hunting.

Just watch, if I rechamber that factory 7 SAUM tube, it’ll shoot so good I won’t want to abuse it, haha… that’d be my luck. It’s a magnum profile barrel. Might shoot GREAT.

Speaking of getting things set up perfectly… if I do this, that 7 SAUM chamber is going to be the mutha of all pilots for the 7 WSM reamer; it’s going to follow it. If Remington cut the chamber with poor concentricity to the rifled bore, I don’t think I’ll be able to fix that. The new chamber will too. If anyone thinks otherwise I’d love to hear ideas. I could maybe prebore it just a little with my tiny solid carbide boring bar but there’s not a lot of difference between the diameter of the 7 SAUM and 7 WSM; the 7 WSM is bigger, but not massively so.

Last edited by Jeff_O; 03/21/23.

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I looked online and found a picture of the Clymer and it is exactly the same.

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Originally Posted by lee440
What brand/model floating reamer holder do y'all recommend?.

Do you want one that goes in the tailstock or that uses a pusher? -Al


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Hobby Machinist Forum is another good site to look at for input. Very friendly and knowledgeable people.

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This is my reamer holder. I was right- starts with a J! The memory on this one, oy….

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

This is the spider chuck I made. It’s a direct mount to the A1-6 spindle. That pocket on the back is tapered.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

This is how I did the spider screws. Drilled/tapped the end of an Allen bolt (they are hardened, be careful) and screwed a brass screw into it then rounded it.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

THIS might be of interest for the OP, at least if the Heavy 10 has a threaded spindle nose. This is how the gunsmith who had my old Logan made his spider chuck. The knurled/threaded portion is just the thread-protector for a Hardinge indexer or the very common chinese copies.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

I meant to grab a pic of the spider chuck I made for the back end of the spindle but forgot… tomorrow maybe.

Last edited by Jeff_O; 03/22/23.

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When you buy your lathe get one large enough with a spindle bore large to pass any barrels thru. Keep in mind that some are much larger than you need and you will not find them as comfortable to work over as one just the right size.. I have a nardini 12x30 which does all I need and I believe an 1 5/8 spindle bore. At times I wish it wa a 12x40. The nardini is high precision machine. Also you may find some or many that are a three phase motor. Can make them cheaper than a single phase. It is pretty easy to convert from three phase to single phase. Can put together the third leg of three phase from a home made phase converter. I did it myself so it can’t be too difficult.


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A Heavy 10 in the same category as a Monarch, give me a break. You can do excellent chambering work on them with the sleeved headstock bushings adjusted properly. Tell me what bed wear has to do with chambering accuracy? When you turn a tenon you are only using about 1" of travel and the same in threading? 99% of folks use the tailstock to push a floating or pusher style reamer holder and bed wear has no effect on this.

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Originally Posted by butchlambert1
A Heavy 10 in the same category as a Monarch, give me a break. You can do excellent chambering work on them with the sleeved headstock bushings adjusted properly. Tell me what bed wear has to do with chambering accuracy? When you turn a tenon you are only using about 1" of travel and the same in threading? 99% of folks use the tailstock to push a floating or pusher style reamer holder and bed wear has no effect on this.

Butch, stop making so much sense, buddy. grin

Hope you're doing well, my friend. smile -Al


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Originally Posted by Tarquin
Does anyone know the spindle run-out on a Southbend Heavy 10?...

TIA
Originally Posted by Sheister
They have a reputation of being one of the best- all other things being equal- short of a Monarch...

Uh, no they don't. Though maybe OK, no experienced machinist will call the H10 "one of the best". It is nowhere near the top of the food chain. And, while an experienced machinist might be able to do precision work on one, he will likely have to work for it. Comparing it with a Monarch is a joke. Mine is a 10EE, perhaps not the best size for gunsmithing, but very precise and well made.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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Be still my beating heart. Nice, pal!

I got a Feeler clone of a Hardinge HLVH inch/metric a couple years ago… sure makes working in tenths easy <g>. I had an ongoing job that required two bearing pockets fairly deep in a large casting, and I had my tricks to nail them within the required couple tenths on the Webb, but it would’ve been easy on the Feeler… but it never could’ve swung ‘em. Had to take the gap out of the Webb to do that work.

Production machining for money is a whole other universe from chambering. Production stuff requires all parts of the machine to be in adequate spec at all times because you never know what you’ll need to do. Chambering is basically a very finicky setup, with expensive material, followed by a relatively straightforward threading and reaming sequence. It’s not “easy” but it certainly doesn’t really push a machine to its limits- especially the bed ways.

I have this notion of trying it on the Feeler next time just because threading on an HLV type machine is so elegant and easy. However, a) my reamer holder won’t fit the tailstock taper and b) the HLVH doesn’t go as slowly as you’d want for reaming. Reaming is basically a major “form cut” and as the size of the “form” goes up, RPM’s go down… a guy could set up an HLV with multiple VFD’s (it has 3 separate electric motors) to slow it down but, meh.


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Well, I guess the machinists and hobbyists I have talked to have misinformed me on the quality of the Heavy 10 machines? So, you guys with Monarchs don't seem to think the Heavy 10s are good enough for a home hobbyist to do gun work or????? Not sure I would worry too much about guys running out to buy a Monarch any time soon, but I would think for 99% of what most machinists will do the Heavy 10 would be more than sufficient and they are built very well. Most professional machinists won't be buying their own machines IMO anyway, so I'm guessing most of them will be working on the machine they are supplied with and that will almost never be a Monarch from machine shops I have done electrical work in over the years.

For those of you who can afford a Monarch or equivalent machine I envy your machines but deep pockets doesn't in itself make one a machinist any more than any particular machine does. I've seen guys with Atlas machines do some pretty darned nice work once they have them set up properly.


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Originally Posted by Sheister
Well, I guess the machinists and hobbyists I have talked to have misinformed me on the quality of the Heavy 10 machines?...

"One of the best" they aren't.

Originally Posted by Jeff_O
Be still my beating heart. Nice, pal!...

Thanks. I would have been happy with the Hardinge too; was looking for one when the Monarch presented itself to me.


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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.

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Originally Posted by pal
Originally Posted by Sheister
Well, I guess the machinists and hobbyists I have talked to have misinformed me on the quality of the Heavy 10 machines?...

"One of the best" they aren't.

Originally Posted by Jeff_O
Be still my beating heart. Nice, pal!...

Thanks. I would have been happy with the Hardinge too; was looking for one when the Monarch presented itself to me.

I would have been happy with a Monarch! smile Although the power supply complexity stuff is a bit daunting.

This one popped up at the perfect time and is in excellent shape and being an inch/metric machine is awesome because I do lots of metric threading on small parts. If you’ve never threaded on a HLV, be sure to try it if you get the chance. The Newark DRO is pretty sweet. The lathe itself is quiet but the RPC isn’t. smile

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

This is the spider I made for the back of the spindle of my Webb. It’s held on with two sets of 4 screws…… talk about a pain to get it perfectly (sic) concentric, which was only necessary for craftsmanship reasons, but once done MAN is it useful for stuff way beyond gun work. For example I have an adjustable work stop I insert through the rear of the spindle and is held by that chuck that works great for the type of work I do- typically batches of parts in the 20-200 range. Having a really repeatable work stop on a working lathe is really handy and enables some great work flows. Honestly- I can’t say enough good things about the Webb/Whacheon/Hwacheon WL-435. They are fantastic lathes. Kind of a great combo of old-school “big iron” but with modern spindle speeds (IE for carbide) which a lot of otherwise awesome old heavy iron won’t do. That just a plastic slug I keep in it when not in use so the screws won’t back out and go flying.


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Jeff_O; 03/23/23.

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Thanks for the info guys. Much appreciated. Had no idea so many guys had lathes.


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You could do good work on a Heavy 10. Run any prospective machine you might buy at all speeds and through all the gears in the threading gearbox. Run the carriage the full length of the bed, both by hand and under power. Run the carriage crossfeed by hand and under power. Listen and feel for rhythmic clicks or throbs- most machines have been crashed at some point(s) which can result in a damaged gear tooth (clicks) in the threading gearbox or elsewhere… or a bent shaft (throb) somewhere. It happens. Doesn’t mean the machine is toast but a good thing to know about before buying rather than after. smile


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It amazes me how often the lathe is needed. Though I always wanted a mill and a lathe, it wasn't until I was in my 70's that I finally got them and taught myself how to use them. Still learning.


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Originally Posted by Jason280
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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

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Yup, everyone saying I am a dumbass about my opinion on the Southbend Heavy 10 is probably right. When I saw the question I initially assumed the OP was asking for a mid level machine for some home machining projects like a lot of us. Anyone looking for a Monarch or roughly equal machine probably wouldn't be asking here for input, right? And to me, the Heavy 10 is a pretty darned good machine for us home machinists and hobbyists from all the research I've done on these on several forums and buddies who are machinists. I still think that for those of us who need a hobby machine the Heavy 10 is right up there in a reasonable price and utility point to do some pretty good work without investing in a professional machine...

How about this- list a few machines that are in the category of the Heavy 10 type machines that might be as useful for what guys like us may use them for- barrel work, chambering, making tools, bushings, etc....

Here is a small list of machines that most guys could afford for home hobbyist work
Atlas
Craftsman (models almost identical to the Atlas machines and also larger machines basically identical to a Heavy 10)
Sheldon
Jet
Southbend

There are tons more...


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Originally Posted by Tarquin
Thanks for the info guys. Much appreciated. Had no idea so many guys had lathes.

For the hobbiest, there are many, many lathes that will give you good service and results. Very good work can and is being done with very modest equipment.

You might want to find a machine tool business in your area that specializes in rehoming lathes, mills, etc. In most cases, these machines are up and running and have tooling. A friend of mine is in that business and the quality of stuff that comes in is pretty impressive. He specializes in high performance engine shop stuff but there's always lots of stuff he either knows about or can connect you with.

Good shootin' -Al

http://jamisonequipment.com/


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Originally Posted by pal
It amazes me how often the lathe is needed. Though I always wanted a mill and a lathe, it wasn't until I was in my 70's that I finally got them and taught myself how to use them. Still learning.

A lathe is the only tool that can make parts to fix itself. If you also have a mill. wink -Al


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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.

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Originally Posted by Al_Nyhus
Originally Posted by pal
It amazes me how often the lathe is needed. Though I always wanted a mill and a lathe, it wasn't until I was in my 70's that I finally got them and taught myself how to use them. Still learning.

A lathe is the only tool that can make parts to fix itself. If you also have a mill. wink -Al

Actually a knee mill also amazes at how often it becomes useful. And it really goes hand in hand with a lathe.

Mine is an ancient Index Super 55 (photo). Also shown is the very first part I made on it: an end fitting for a 4" diameter sailboat boom. I had never operated a mill before, so this was a great challenge for this old man.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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Awesome work, pal !


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Very nicely done! smile

Between rifle stuff and race car fab, the mill keeps me busy.

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[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Good shootin' -Al


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Originally Posted by Direct_Drive
Awesome work, pal !

Thank you.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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?

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


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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.

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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.


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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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Originally Posted by Al_Nyhus
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
That is my opinion as well. It is very unfashionable nowadays to admit you do your barrel work between centers, the terms "dog and faceplate,steady rest, lathe centers, half point center" are never mentioned maybe banned....and I don't know why. Much ado and noise now about working thru the spindle hole with an outboard spider. A lot of truly great rifles were turned out in the heyday of custom rifles on nine or ten inch SB's, Atlas' or Logan's, early Jet imports, by nationally famous gunsmiths.

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What we need for chambering and fitting is very simple.

-Short head stock
-Short, rigid bed
-1.5" spindle bore with very good bearings
-Outboard spider
-Inboard spider on a good face plate
-Decent 3 jaw chuck
-A good tool post

We don't need to be able to do 80 kinds of thread pitch, etc. Heck, it doesn't even need to be 220V. Short, simple and high quality is all we need.


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My 14x40 has a 1.500+ spindle bore,but I do wish the headstock was narrower. First World "problems". Hint...............


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Youse gentlemen working thru the spindle...how and what do you indicate off of on the outboard end to locate the outboard center?


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You can indicate off the bore, or a pin in the bore. If the barrel is concentric, you can indicate off the outside. If your method includes dialing the throat area to zero, the runout at the muzzle is less important, as long as it is within reason. When I was working with a lathe which was too long in the headstock, I used sleeve which were slipped onto the barrel and which were a slip-fit into the spindle (3 1/2 inch). The barrel was indicated at the throat and centered at the muzzle by the sleeve. This worked out fine. Given the divergence seen in the average barrel, the alignment achieved this way wasn't any worse than indicating both ends. GD

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Originally Posted by greydog
You can indicate off the bore, or a pin in the bore. If the barrel is concentric, you can indicate off the outside. If your method includes dialing the throat area to zero, the runout at the muzzle is less important, as long as it is within reason. When I was working with a lathe which was too long in the headstock, I used sleeve which were slipped onto the barrel and which were a slip-fit into the spindle (3 1/2 inch). The barrel was indicated at the throat and centered at the muzzle by the sleeve. This worked out fine. Given the divergence seen in the average barrel, the alignment achieved this way wasn't any worse than indicating both ends. GD
OK Greydog, thanks, I was looking for a 'quick and dirty' setup to find the best center for longhole drilling for installing liners in old blackpowder barrels. So I guess a minus .0002 gage pin in each end of the bore should get me close enough. I am still old and hardheaded though, and work between centers when chambering, threading and crowning....grin, old dog old tricks.


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Centering buttons come in handy to center tooling on the cross slide and centering tailstock to the chuck. Caliber specific buttons can also be used to mount the barrel.

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My understanding is that one big reason to go through the headstock is so that you can ensure that not only the mouth of the bore is concentric (to the chamber you are about to cut) but also that where the throat is going to be once the chamber is cut is concentric. Since the rifled bore can and does wander when they are drilling it that’s not a given. So, you may end up with the muzzle end of the barrel running “true” at the outboard spider or you may not; that’s not the goal. The goal is that the new chamber be running true to the bore at the chamber end of things.

To that end you could use gauge pins in the bore at the chamber end, or you can use a long-reach indicator to reach in and directly read the bore where the throat will be. That’s what I do. You are reading the lands/grooves so it’s kind of a pain. It’s a spendy little gauge. I’ll take a pic of it when I head back out there today.

This is why you use a spider chuck with rounded “jaws” (screws) rather than a 4-jaw: so the barrel can pivot on those round ends when you adjust at the outboard end. With the 4-jaw and its square jaws you could index in the bore (at the soon to be chamber mouth) there, but in terms of tilting the barrel to compensate for a wandering bore, such that the throat area ended up concentric, no. You’d be locked into whatever axial alignment the chuck jaws created.

It’s a very finicky setup and takes me a long time.

The headstock on my Webb is quite deep. I made extender sleeves that slip over the muzzle end of the barrel and lock on with brass screws. Works great.

At least some of what I typed above is mooted by at least some of the available floating reamer holders. You’d think a piloted reamer would also moot it, but things flex way more than folks usually imagine…

Maybe this will help visualize… I have a 7 SAUM donor rifle I bought recently and the plan is to make a 6.5 SAUM light rifle (not sure how light yet). I’m about to go on a 2-month wilderness backpacking trip (!) and for $$ reasons this isn’t gonna be the year for a new build. It occurred to me that I could rechamber the donor to 7 WSM, for which I have the reamer/gauges, and who knows, it’s at least possible it shoots great and then I have a toy to abuse for a while. I have mountains of 7 WSM brass, correct powders, etc. But here’s the catch. You know Big Green ain’t setting things up as above; so it’s possible, likely even, that the 7 SAUM chamber is not particularly concentric to the bore at the throat area. My new chamber is gonna follow that old one; the old one is the mutha of all pilot holes… and so my new chamber would end up also not concentric at the throat area. Course even given all THAT…… it might still shoot just fine. smile


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Could you use a boring bar to make an existing chamber or throat more concentric before running in the finish reamer? I know this would be a delicate operation and my cross slide probably wouldn't handle it on my Sheldon , but a heavier duty lathe might do a clean job of this as long a you're only talking about a light pass on the non-concentric areas?


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Of course you can, and this technique is used by many. In fact, with the chamber bored true to start, the pilot on the reamer is superfluous. When rechambering a barrel in which the existing chamber is eccentric, you can bore the existing chamber and end up with a decent job. It will still be necessary to set back in order to correct an eccentric throat and neck. The barrel is indicated at the location of the new throat, then bored to true up the body of the chamber. It can be bored to match the body taper of the new cartridge, or it can be bored straight at about .010" under the shoulder diameter. Either way will give a straight start. I have used this method many times. GD

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I watched a video of a guy fit and chamber a barrel without indicating anything. It was a 308. He tested it with factory Federal match ammo, and the first shots out of the barrel made a neat little cluster. Remembering (some of) how he did things I bet his chambering job was better than most factory rifles out there.

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Mine is a brand new Matthews ultra precision 14x40, so I can do big barrels through the headstock if I need too.

I got a 3 phase so it would cut smoother and put a VFD on it, then upgraded the motor to a bigger one…

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Originally Posted by mathman
I watched a video of a guy fit and chamber a barrel without indicating anything. It was a 308.

He'll find employment with any number of pre-fit bubble packers. If he comes up with the idea of clear clam shell packaging and including a new case as a 'head space gauge', he'll get stock options and a better parking spot in the alley.


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I had watched other videos of his in which he demonstrated the more modern and precise methods. He did the one I mentioned to demonstrate what could be accomplished simply using a steady rest.

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Originally Posted by mathman
I had watched other videos of his in which he demonstrated the more modern and precise methods. He did the one I mentioned to demonstrate what could be accomplished simply using a steady rest.

Ahhh...the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say.


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Originally Posted by greydog
Of course you can, and this technique is used by many. In fact, with the chamber bored true to start, the pilot on the reamer is superfluous. When rechambering a barrel in which the existing chamber is eccentric, you can bore the existing chamber and end up with a decent job. It will still be necessary to set back in order to correct an eccentric throat and neck. The barrel is indicated at the location of the new throat, then bored to true up the body of the chamber. It can be bored to match the body taper of the new cartridge, or it can be bored straight at about .010" under the shoulder diameter. Either way will give a straight start. I have used this method many times. GD

Just from putting quick calipers on 7 WSM and 7 SAUM cases (actually 6.5 SAUM) the 7 WSM reamer will clean up the chamber, but there’s not a ton of extra. If memory serves around .010” at the base of the case.

Should be a good “learner” if nothing else. And who knows, maybe the existing chamber is nice and concentric. Or close ‘nuff. If there’s anything machinists understand, it’s that nothing is perfect. There’s just “good enuff”, and that of course varies by the part or even a feature on a part and, of course, runs up against our ability to measure.

This is the long-reach gauge I use. # 312B-15

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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Originally Posted by Sheister
Could you use a boring bar to make an existing chamber or throat more concentric before running in the finish reamer? I know this would be a delicate operation and my cross slide probably wouldn't handle it on my Sheldon , but a heavier duty lathe might do a clean job of this as long a you're only talking about a light pass on the non-concentric areas?

Barrel blank in the headstock with Deltronic pins in either end. Indicate both ends. Drill and then reach in and indicate the throat. I use a solid carbide boring bar to taper bore to the shoulder. If you indicate the throat and taper bore it, it will be concentric to the bore. Your reamer will now follow the taper bored hole. I use no bushing as I do not want it to influence the direction of the reamer.

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In my case (if that’s what we are talking about) it’s not a barrel blank; it’s a factory tube I’d be rechambering. So the problem, if there is one, is that the reamer will follow the pre-reamed hole a.k.a. the old chamber.


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Originally Posted by Jeff_O
Originally Posted by greydog
Of course you can, and this technique is used by many. In fact, with the chamber bored true to start, the pilot on the reamer is superfluous. When rechambering a barrel in which the existing chamber is eccentric, you can bore the existing chamber and end up with a decent job. It will still be necessary to set back in order to correct an eccentric throat and neck. The barrel is indicated at the location of the new throat, then bored to true up the body of the chamber. It can be bored to match the body taper of the new cartridge, or it can be bored straight at about .010" under the shoulder diameter. Either way will give a straight start. I have used this method many times. GD

Just from putting quick calipers on 7 WSM and 7 SAUM cases (actually 6.5 SAUM) the 7 WSM reamer will clean up the chamber, but there’s not a ton of extra. If memory serves around .010” at the base of the case.

Should be a good “learner” if nothing else. And who knows, maybe the existing chamber is nice and concentric. Or close ‘nuff. If there’s anything machinists understand, it’s that nothing is perfect. There’s just “good enuff”, and that of course varies by the part or even a feature on a part and, of course, runs up against our ability to measure.

This is the long-reach gauge I use.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


.0005" indicator? Most that I know use a .0001" indicator. Run your indicator over a piece of .001" shim and tell me what your indicator reads.

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Graziano is another great lathe.
Owned by Deckel-Maho now.
Very smooth.
$$$$ to fix. But seldom needed

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Originally Posted by Jeff_O
I’ll look at mine. I can’t remember. I think it starts with a “J”, lol. It was $300+ about ten years ago if memory serves.

I’ll grab a pic of it and the spider chuck I made for my Webb as well as the spider chuck the PO of my old Logan made for it… he was a gunsmith.

Man this is getting me hot to do another build! DAMN you people! smile I have this wild hair idea… I bought a 7 SAUM M700 as a donor to build a 6.5 SAUM Mountain Rifle… this won’t be the year for a build, as I’m about to take off on a big adventure so I will be in a financial hole when I get back…. BUT… it occurred to me I could rechamber the 7 SAUM to 7 WSM (I have the reamer and gauges for that) and, if it shot ok, just lean on my pile of 7 WSM components (I have two) and shoot the living snot out of the thing! It would be kinda fun to have a rifle to just abuse with no guilt qualms. My two 7 WSM’s are well over 1k rounds each and have very visible throat erosion, but still shoot well, so they are no longer high-volume rifles, at least until I cut off a thread and rechamber….. I’m saving them for when it counts, like hunting.

Just watch, if I rechamber that factory 7 SAUM tube, it’ll shoot so good I won’t want to abuse it, haha… that’d be my luck. It’s a magnum profile barrel. Might shoot GREAT.

Speaking of getting things set up perfectly… if I do this, that 7 SAUM chamber is going to be the mutha of all pilots for the 7 WSM reamer; it’s going to follow it. If Remington cut the chamber with poor concentricity to the rifled bore, I don’t think I’ll be able to fix that. The new chamber will too. If anyone thinks otherwise I’d love to hear ideas. I could maybe prebore it just a little with my tiny solid carbide boring bar but there’s not a lot of difference between the diameter of the 7 SAUM and 7 WSM; the 7 WSM is bigger, but not massively so.

Check the existing chamber for concentricity. If it ok, just send it. You might get away with a thou or two on the boring bar clean up but its not a sure thing

I do what Butch outlined but i bore to the same angle as the case and i leave the pilot on. Never occurred to me to not use the pilot


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Originally Posted by Jeff_O
In my case (if that’s what we are talking about) it’s not a barrel blank; it’s a factory tube I’d be rechambering. So the problem, if there is one, is that the reamer will follow the pre-reamed hole a.k.a. the old chamber.

This is where I was going with my comment. I was wondering if you could straighten out a non-concentric existing chamber with the boring bar, given you have enough meat on both sides to cut and not leave an oblong hole. After starting the chamber cut with a center drill and bit first, of course. Leave it a bit short of finished spec and use the finish reamer to complete the concentric final cut chamber. Seems like it would be a way to cut down on reamer deflection and reamer wear and still cut a really clean chamber.
It looks like my question was answered though. I'm hobbyist so I'm always trying to learn what I need to know to start doing barrels , chambering, threading , etc... by my own hand. Anyone can do the barrel tapering and cutting/crowning job but I don't trust myself to cut a shank properly yet and I still have to practice a bit at cutting threads. Seems like I can never get those nice, clean threads I see on some of these pictures of barrel threads and I'm not sure why. Even with brand new cutters and every thing set up properly I always get these very rough threads that would probably work, but bug the heck out of me....

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Without knowing the geometry of your cutter/insert, can only speak generally, but I’d say slow down the spindle speed, and lower your tool height a bit… if you are right at centerline or god forbid a bit high, weird stuff can happen, whereas, being a little low ain’t no thang. Since it’s a form cut, set up for maximum rigidity, (minimum possible extension of work, toolholder, etc)…. Use lots of good sulphured cutting oil. Run a fan, that stuff is irritating when it smokes.

You wouldn’t do this for barrel threads, or if a guy did it’d be with a very light hand, but in a more production-type context you can run a fine triangle file down the threads (with the work spinning) multiple times to clean them up. And of course a fine sharp flat file rested gently on the thread crowns while still under power is SOP.

I cut a lot of threads on my lathes. I’ll be cutting (30) metric threads on the Feeler tomorrow. If you play around with your parameters a bit you’ll figure it out. Just try something (like lowering the toolheight) and take note of whether things get better… or worse. Iterate until happy.

And one other thing, random mild steel can be gummy and soft and a pain to get clean threads on. Grab a piece of T303 stainless some time and practice on that. Cuts cleanly, predictable, consistent… easy to machine, it’s good stuff. That’s what I’m threading tomorrow. Don’t accidentally get T304. smile


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A properly ground steel bit will cut cleaner than carbide. Feeding in at 29.5 degrees, with the compound, will give a better finish. Threading at a higher speed will give a better finish. GD

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Learn to thread feeding out!
You can run faster with no crashes!
Attachment shows cutter position.

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A lot of really good 'smith's thread away from the chuck...tool upside down and in reverse.

A tuned up clutch on the lead screw can sometimes be better than being quick on the half nut. But there's no upside to threading too close to the shoulder. Large relief grooves are worth doing for a lot of reasons. Especially if you take the time to understand how load is distributed with 60 degree threads.


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Here my rig before I really did the serious upgrades (heavier motor, VFD, RPM monitor, …. )

At delivery
[Linked Image]

You can get a shorter barrel in it if you take off the gear cover and make a spider out of the spindle vs. adding a longer spindle to operate with the cover.
[Linked Image]

3 phase is smoother for threading than single - but that means putting in a VFD… I put my setup in a industrial box hinged on the end of the lathe so I can swing it away to move the monster…
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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Stick - Gordy improved the way he indicates / cuts chambers .. that video is kind of an old one..
He doesn’t use range rods to indicate unless the cartridge body is REALLY small (below 223 dimensions).

My rifle shoots .1-.2 MOA so apparently his approach works.. I’m building 3 other ones right now… maybe 4… stuff is getting pricey fast these days.


Originally Posted by Big Stick
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Originally Posted by Al_Nyhus
A lot of really good 'smith's thread away from the chuck...tool.upside down and in reverse.

A tuned up clutch on the lead screw can sometimes be better than being quick on the half nut. But there's no upside to threading too close to the shoulder. Large relief grooves are worth doing for a lot of reasons. Especially if you take the time to understand how load is distributed with 60 degree threads.

It’s a great trick and I’ve done it a lot. It does load the carriage and compound differently than what they were designed for and you don’t want to take big cuts with this setup. They’ll buck. smile

I cut 1.5 pitch threads with the Feeler today in 303; the HLVH threading method is just awesome. You can thread RIGHT up to a shoulder, no stress, the machine stops on a dime, automatically, right where you tell it to. You could start the cutting pass and walk away from the lathe; it stops itself. I was going to take pictures of the controls and try to splain it better but… I didn’t. Check it out if you get chance to play with one.

I remembered to check the Feeler’s lowest speed. 139 RPM.

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My 16", 1937 Southbend is a 'coaster'. One reason the chuck has never unscrewed in reverse.

My homemade holder gets up close to the shoulder, you can under cut the shoulder if you like.

I only do light cuts when threading.

My brother has a 16" 1956 quick change.[Southbend] He bought several gears and can cut nearly all metric threads.

16" are cheaper than 10s. Mine will do 56" between centers. Works very well for me.

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Originally Posted by Jeff_O
It’s a great trick and I’ve done it a lot. It does load the carriage and compound differently than what they were designed for and you don’t want to take big cuts with this setup. They’ll buck. smile

Anyone taking big cuts for threading is screwed, blued and tattooed before they start the machine up.


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Originally Posted by Jeff_O
...HLVH threading method is just awesome. You can thread RIGHT up to a shoulder, no stress, the machine stops on a dime, automatically, right where you tell it to...

The HLVH is truly amazing for its wonderful design which provides this capability.


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Originally Posted by Al_Nyhus
Originally Posted by Jeff_O
[quote=Al_Nyhus]It’s a great trick and I’ve done it a lot. It does load the carriage and compound differently than what they were designed for and you don’t want to take big cuts with this setup. They’ll buck. smile

Anyone taking big cuts for threading is screwed, blued and tattooed before they start the machine up.

I once screwed up, somehow, (actually, I screwed up way more than once, but this is one of them) and cut 8 tpi threads, on a 3 inch diameter tenon, in one pass! I was threading at 240 RPM. I had cut the start to minor diameter, then just engaged the half nut. I don't know what I was thinking of. Anyway, the machine growled a bit but the thread came out good. I was a little surprised the tool bit didn't break. GD

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Originally Posted by greydog
Originally Posted by Al_Nyhus
Originally Posted by Jeff_O
[quote=Al_Nyhus]It’s a great trick and I’ve done it a lot. It does load the carriage and compound differently than what they were designed for and you don’t want to take big cuts with this setup. They’ll buck. smile

Anyone taking big cuts for threading is screwed, blued and tattooed before they start the machine up.

I once screwed up, somehow, (actually, I screwed up way more than once, but this is one of them) and cut 8 tpi threads, on a 3 inch diameter tenon, in one pass! I was threading at 240 RPM. I had cut the start to minor diameter, then just engaged the half nut. I don't know what I was thinking of. Anyway, the machine growled a bit but the thread came out good. I was a little surprised the tool bit didn't break. GD

8 TPI. !
deep a$$ threads. Quite a feat


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Originally Posted by pal
Originally Posted by Jeff_O
...HLVH threading method is just awesome. You can thread RIGHT up to a shoulder, no stress, the machine stops on a dime, automatically, right where you tell it to...

The HLVH is truly amazing for its wonderful design which provides this capability.


The pin clutch stops to about +-.001. And you can thread at 800 rpm.
Use carbide and get a great finish.

I do not understand the “HSS better finish” if so aerospace would be using it.

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Originally Posted by Al_Nyhus
Originally Posted by Jeff_O
It’s a great trick and I’ve done it a lot. It does load the carriage and compound differently than what they were designed for and you don’t want to take big cuts with this setup. They’ll buck. smile

Anyone taking big cuts for threading is screwed, blued and tattooed before they start the machine up.

800 rpm’s, eh? I’ll have to try kicking the speed up. I was threading today at 155 RPM, which is the actual, not nominal, lowest speed I can turn on the Feeler.

Big cuts….. I used to have a job that involved threading large stainless shafts in quantity… in a production scenario you most certainly do take big cuts when threading. Big being relative of course. Bigger than you otherwise would, how about. That’s how I know you can make the carriage buck when it’s loaded up wrong when threading away from the shoulder. smile Find the limits, then back down a bit and then make some $$$.

The parts I’m making now start out as 2-1/4” solid round T303 bar and end up almost like thin-wall pipe. Long story. A LOT of material gets first drilled out to 3/4” then bored the rest of the way. I use a solid carbide boring bar- which if a guy hasn’t used those, do, they are a game changer- and was taking ~ .350” off ID diameter at a pass. The machine hardly knew it. The biggest issue is minimizing the number of burns from the hot chips.

Maritool is a good place for solids carbide bars. He does a good job weeding out the wheat from the chaff. Won’t sell you junk, Chinese or not.


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HSS provides a better finish at low speeds, on a light machine. Carbide, and coated carbide, work better at higher speeds and are mandatory for some of the tougher alloys. The truth is, nobody grinds HSS bits much anymore. but if they do, they can produce a tool which is sharper and cuts with a lower chip load than many of the carbide inserts. HSS is not cost effective for modern production facilities, but is still useful in special applications. I use HSS when threading inside receivers. Here, my chicken- heart induces me to use slower speeds and the HSS produces a nicer finish. GD

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My brother just made two of these 30 degree fixtures for grinding HSS threading bits.

It is set at a 10 degree tilt

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I almost never run any lots--usually one of a kind custom parts, mostly in stainless. But every once in awhile a client needs a small lot.

Stainless bearing races for an out of production roller furler.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Left-hand-threaded zincs for refrigeration on a superyacht.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Delrin filler plugs for deck hold-downs on a superyacht.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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Much of the time the lathe is used to produce components of a larger assembly:

Custom stainless hinges for a transom door.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Delrin fairlead for a custom stainless hawse pipe.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Base for a custom stainless padeye.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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Pal, I love it. I have a boat and am around them a fair bit. 👍


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Does everyone here understand the utility and sheer, I dunno, elegance of soft jaws on a lathe chuck, and how to make/cut them? Glad to explain it, took a few pics out there just now as my big lathe still has the soft jaws on it. If you have a chuck with 2-piece jaws, and you ain’t making soft jaws for it, you are missing out on a universe of work holding…. smile

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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Originally Posted by Jeff_O
Pal, I love it. I have a boat and am around them a fair bit. 👍
Originally Posted by Jeff_O
Does everyone here understand the utility and sheer, I dunno, elegance of soft jaws on a lathe chuck, and how to make/cut them? Glad to explain it, took a few pics out there just now as my big lathe still has the soft jaws on it. If you have a chuck with 2-piece jaws, and you ain’t making soft jaws for it, you are missing out on a universe of work holding…. smile

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Thanks and thanks.


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The beauties of soft jaws on a lathe are several. First and foremost, they are amazing problem-solvers. Parts that are a pain to perform certain operations on with stock jaws- thin discs needing a facing cut comes to mind- are trivially easy and repeatable. Or, parts that will get the finish marred by hardened jaws. Or, parts where you need to absolutely maximize the the number of, and/or and size of surface-area contact points of; I have a big (12 lbs?) out of balance casting I work with where that’s critical. Soft jaws are also incredibly accurate (concentric).

The chuck in the picture is an Adjust-Tru type, meaning the chuck body itself has some limited adjustment range to bring a part to true. But for illustrative purposes let’s imagine a fixed chuck; you put it on the spindle, and it’s fixed in place. What you get is what you get as far as concentricity.

(that’s kind of an abomination; all scroll chucks should be Adjust-Tru type. But I digress. Most are NOT)

If our subject fixed chuck has 2-piece jaws you can take the top jaws right off. You can see on the pics of mine with the aluminum jaws for easy visual contrast how the top jaw fits into the master jaw. It locks very precisely to the master jaw- it’s a very light press fit. Zero wiggle between master jaw and top jaw- that’s important. I make mine from bar stock and when milling that cross piece section I leave it about .0005” over and do the final fit with a few strokes of a fine file. Each jaw is numbered to match the number stamped in the master jaw. You can find the dimensions for master and soft jaws online- it’s a standard. For that matter you can buy them, but I make my own. This is an uncut, mild steel soft jaw, one of a couple sets (of 3)on my shelf, waiting to be needed.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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What makes them so accurate is that you cut the gripping surface right on the spinning lathe. You are cutting a pocket for the part, using the machine they’ll be spinning on, right into the jaws, “en situ”. It HAS to be concentric. Hence the elegance.

There’s a key step to this. You’re probably thinking “but the jaws wiggle in the chuck body on the scroll”, and that’s correct. That’s what the back jaws are for. More on that below. First things first, close or open the uncut jaws to where you want them such that they’ll have the most grabbing surface once your pocket is cut. To do that, make a slug the exact (sic) diameter of the parts you intend to grab. Or, as often is the case for me, I’m working a new prototype part through the steps to make it, and I come to a situation where I need to grab a diameter I just machined; you could use THAT instead of a slug. But you need the slug at the desired finished diameter; the slug will be your gauge to test-fit the pocket you are cutting into the jaws. You are cutting that pocket the exact (sic) size of the diameter you’ll be grabbing.

So you’ve got your blank jaws positioned where you want them, no pocket cut yet, but they are loose and floppy. Cannot cut them like that, don’t try. That’s where you need a second slug, and it needs to be the correct diameter (ish) such that the back jaws are grabbing it when the soft jaws are where you want them. That tensions the master jaws against the scroll. A thousand words. See the slug deep in the chuck with the red X I put on it? That’s the purpose of those back jaws!

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

I reverse those aluminum jaws to grab two different diameters on these parts I’m running. A huge plus I forgot to mention- note the built-in work stop you create via the depth of the pocket! If you made the jaws correctly so that they have that light snap-fit onto the master jaws, you can reverse them with impunity, without even needing to adjust concentricity, once you’ve adjusted for the first side….. (that comment is assuming now that you have a Set-Tru or Adjust-Tru type chuck), because, at least in this case, I cut both sides of those jaws with the chuck body in the same position, adjustment-wise.

On a non-adjust-tru chuck, IE one mounted directly to the spindle, it *should* repeat its basic position on the spindle quite well. So when you put the jaws back on the chuck, they’ll be in the same place on the master jaws- because of your careful snap fit-, and the chuck body will be in the same place on the spindle nose, because of the taper……. And so there your pocket will be, in your soft jaws, running damn near perfectly (sic) true.

(Or, if you are an Adjust-Tru geek like me, put the soft jaws on then use your slug, or a part, to set everything running true at that gripping diameter. I won’t own a scroll chuck without this feature. A chuck that is out by even just a few thou as far as concentricity is useless to me. It just creates downstream headaches…)

It’s the same idea as 5c “emergency collets”, which are another thing, if you aren’t using them, you should! Obviously just buy those. They are CHEAP.

Last edited by Jeff_O; 04/01/23.

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Nice work


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Wish I was better set-up and about 20 years younger. There's an auction of an engine speed shop nearby with a Clausing Colchester 13" x 36" engine lathe, and a Gorton 10" x 42" Mastermill that I'd have loved to have, and just a few blocks from a couple of the machinery movers that I've worked at over the years.

Link: Auction


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]




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Stout looking little mill!

Yeah……….. I could become a machine collector. smile My wife reads me the riot act every time I move a new one in, haha. It’s a project… I usually have to rent an all terrain forklift, although, with the Feeler I was able to very slowly move it from the big box van I rented onto my slab, on rollers, with pinch bars. It was sketchy AF. I had a strap on it in case it got away. Took a couple hours to move that last 4-5 feet down the loading ramp.

I’d like to have a Hardinge “chucker” and a precision surface grinder…. and and and…. but those two, I could make $$ with I think.

I lost a big customer this year, they put together their own machine shop, so I’ll be chasing new business when I get back from my big backpacking trip in a couple months. I’m going to try to find more small, very precise, ongoing work for the Feeler. Maybe medical stuff… hydraulic parts… who knows. I’ve machined literally thousands of fairly large heavy castings in the last 6-7 years and just handling them, in a production scenario, wears on my body. Got some forearm tendinitis I battle, etc.

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Check out some of the tooling at the auction... I don't know if it is a bankruptcy, a retirement, or a death but these types of auctions make me sick seeing someone's life's work being pieced off at little to nothing.

Riser Block on the head of that mill is worth as much as the mill...

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We see lots of estate sales in my rural area. I agree, they mess with my head too. That’s at the heart of the riot act my wife reads me- she doesn’t our kids to have to deal with huge old iron I’ve accumulated.


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Any of you ever roller burnish chambers? Makes them slick as snot and accurate as hell. Noticed a box of tooling in this auction had a few of them in it.

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When I lived in Prescott I went to a local shop that had a bunch of gear hobbling machines. He had a Graziano and an HVLH for sale. Either one for $3000. I thought the headstock on the graz way too long. The HVLH not big enough. I bought a Nardini. I wish I had that Hardinge


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I will always owe you for giving me the nudge to buy the Webb when I was wavering! 👍 To quote you, “why not?” I had no good answer… so I bought it! 10-hr drive each way to go get it. That wasn’t fun.

A really clean Webb turned up 5-6 years ago a bit south of here… I think the guy wanted $8k for it. I had the money, but I was like, why have TWO? Regretted that ever since. They are around $30k now new.

The only bummer about most HLV-H is they don’t do metric threads…. one reason I jumped on this Feeler was that it’s English/Metric. I have two customers who need metric threads on small work- it’s amazing for that. The Webb does metric (with a gear swap) but since it’s an English leadscrew, you have to leave the half-nut clamped and gear chain engaged the whole time. So to back up to take the next threading pass, you have to reverse the whole machine. Not SO bad with a VFD, but kind of a pain. Effortless on the Feeler/HLVH E/M.


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Lathe pick-up porn. That forklift had janky hydraulics.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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I did some metric threads on my Nardini last year. Quite a pain changing all the back gears and learning to thread with half- locked in and backing up the machine


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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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That will make a good watch repair machine😁


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Originally Posted by Greyghost
Any of you ever roller burnish chambers? Makes them slick as snot and accurate as hell. Noticed a box of tooling in this auction had a few of them in it.

Phil

Chapuis does making the Manurhin MR73 since 98……Manurhin has since 73 when they were making them.
I want to do the throats in cylinders with them.
Maybe chambers. But I don’t have much problem there……..the brass always drops out if the brass is good

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What's the consensus on Precision Matthews lathe? I'm looking at their China-made 1130V. I like the 1 1/2" spindle bore, short head stock, VFD, and 120 V power.

My purpose for this machine would be muzzle threading, general turning and boring of small parts.

https://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-1130v-lathe/


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Originally Posted by Dinny
What's the consensus on Precision Matthews lathe? I'm looking at their China-made 1130V. I like the 1 1/2" spindle bore, short head stock, VFD, and 120 V power.

My purpose for this machine would be muzzle threading, general turning and boring of small parts.

https://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-1130v-lathe/

Not bottom of the barrel, but close.


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Originally Posted by Dinny
What's the consensus on Precision Matthews lathe? I'm looking at their China-made 1130V. I like the 1 1/2" spindle bore, short head stock, VFD, and 120 V power.

My purpose for this machine would be muzzle threading, general turning and boring of small parts.

https://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-1130v-lathe/
I’ve got one and really like it.


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Originally Posted by pal
Originally Posted by Dinny
What's the consensus on Precision Matthews lathe? I'm looking at their China-made 1130V. I like the 1 1/2" spindle bore, short head stock, VFD, and 120 V power.

My purpose for this machine would be muzzle threading, general turning and boring of small parts.

https://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-1130v-lathe/

Not bottom of the barrel, but close.

Which similar/in-class lathe is better?


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Originally Posted by Dinny
Originally Posted by pal
Originally Posted by Dinny
What's the consensus on Precision Matthews lathe? I'm looking at their China-made 1130V. I like the 1 1/2" spindle bore, short head stock, VFD, and 120 V power.

My purpose for this machine would be muzzle threading, general turning and boring of small parts.

https://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-1130v-lathe/

Not bottom of the barrel, but close.

Which similar/in-class lathe is better?

"Similar/in-class" meaning another Chinese lathe? I wouldn't know. But you're almost always better off buying a quality used lathe with tooling, for the same money (or less, by the time you buy the tooling). These Chinese lathes seem very appealing to beginners who have not yet taken the time to learn about lathes, and therefore fear the risk of assessing a used one. Taking comfort, instead, on the shiny "newness" of a cheaply made copy.

Checkout: http://www.lathes.co.uk/page21.html


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Originally Posted by pal
Not bottom of the barrel, but close.

What issues have you run into when using the PM1130V?

Good shootin' -Al


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Radio silence, Al.


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Originally Posted by Al_Nyhus
Originally Posted by pal
Not bottom of the barrel, but close.

What issues have you run into when using the PM1130V?

Good shootin' -Al
Originally Posted by Dinny
Radio silence, Al.

That was a rhetorical question, right? My current lathe is a Monarch 10EE. While not in the same category as a Precision Mathews, it gets me by. Weighs about 7 times what the PM weighs. Came with its own base.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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Pal,
That's a beautiful piece of machinery! I'm sure our tastes are different as are our purposes. I doubt I could thread a muzzle with the action still attached using your lathe. That's why I'm interested in a lathe with a large(r) spundle bore and a short headstock.


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Originally Posted by Dinny
Pal,
That's a beautiful piece of machinery! I'm sure our tastes are different as are our purposes. I doubt I could thread a muzzle with the action still attached using your lathe. That's why I'm interested in a lathe with a large(r) spundle bore and a short headstock.

Thanks. The spindle bore is 1-13/32" diameter, surely enough for that type of work.


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one thing - get a brake pedal version if you can … or at least that’s what Mikey told me a few years back, not sure if he saw something bad or not…

But a Lathe will Kill you if you’re stupid about it… just like any other piece of heavy machinery.

Just something unsaid on the thread so far.

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That Monarch is a wonderful looking piece of machinery with great reviews from everyone I've ever talked to who operated one. Is that a 24" model? Do you ever feel limited by the short bed work area?


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Originally Posted by Sheister
That Monarch is a wonderful looking piece of machinery with great reviews from everyone I've ever talked to who operated one. Is that a 24" model? Do you ever feel limited by the short bed work area?

I like it. It is 12-1/2" x 20". Because it has a large spindle bore I have never needed a longer bed. BTW it has 5 hp and operates on 230-volts single phase.


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The PM lathes aren't Chinese built. They are Taiwanese which is supposedly much higher quality from what I've read elsewhere. I personally have a Smithy 14x40, and not one of the combo machines because those are trash. Mine has a 1.5" spindle bore and has done everything that I've asked of it.

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Originally Posted by BeardedGunsmith
The PM lathes aren't Chinese built.

Check again, you're not entirely right or wrong. Some PM machines are made in China and some are made in Taiwan. Words matter.


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#1 and #2 rules of machining, whether a beginner or an old hack... Never allow anyone in your work area. And No loose long hair, loose clothing, jewelry of any kind (particularly rings), and keep your tools on the bench not on the machine. I worked at a shop way back in the 60's and the company had one of those bring your kids to work days. One old guy brought his Granddaughter (about 9 or 10 years old) had hair down to her waist. She got to wondering around and somehow her hair got caught in one of the machines work. The SWARF caught her hair and wrapped it around the running work and pulled her into the machine. Ripped her scalp all most completely off. I don't think places even do that any more. But brings up another rule, whenever possible grind or use a bit with a chip-breaker... and never wear gloves while machining either. May seem like fun to see who or how long a continuous string of SWARF you can make, but its a waste, hard on the bits, and dangerous.

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Originally Posted by Greyghost
#1 and #2 rules of machining, whether a beginner or an old hack... Never allow anyone in your work area. And No loose long hair, loose clothing, jewelry of any kind (particularly rings), and keep your tools on the bench not on the machine...

Actually the number one rule of machining (and woodworking) is:

Thou shalt not touch spinning bits (blades, cutters, etc).


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And always make sure the wrench is out of the chuck before powering it up.


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Originally Posted by Al_Nyhus
And always make sure the wrench is out of the chuck before powering it up.

This is unnecessary because rule #2 is:

Never leave the wrench in the chuck.


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Precision is as Precision Does... the making of the Colchester lathes.





thought you all might be interested in the video.

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Can not believe this 14 pager.. what a rabbit hole. Great read. Keep the pics coming guys. Work that these machines turn out is always interesting. Rifle or other.
My compliments to those who have the time and patience to keep the older iron in tip top shape


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Though my Monarch 10EE was built in 1971, it is basically the same as the 10EE's built in the '30's. Controlled by vacuum tubes. smile


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"...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 Greyghost
...The SWARF caught her hair and wrapped it around the running work and pulled her into the machine...

In case some here doubt how dangerously large swarf can get, this was on the mill, drilling 1-1/4" diameter hole in stainless, prior to boring 40mm.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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As it turns out, I'm buying an Emco Maximat Super 11 lathe I found online. For those unfamiliar with those lathes, they have a 1.4" spindle bore, a short headstock, and were made in Austria. A very reputable gunsmith friend of mine uses one everyday and swears by it for small threading jobs and chambering. I'm stoked to be the new owner of such an incredible machine.


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Congrats. Much better.


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I'm not excited about the tool hanging out there over air but that's an easy fix.

https://postimg.cc/gallery/bwrK4jg

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This lathe stands 48" tall, 55" long, 30" wide and weighs 600lbs. I originally planned on having it loaded into the bed of my Ram 1500 and I would drive it home to the Indy area from Boston on my way back from Maine. Other than having to remove and store my tonneau cover, I'm not sure how much weight my corner anchors can take and I'm not wild about it being top heavy and tall. Am I better off spending $300 to rent a Uhaul open trailer and towing it home?

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If it is bolted to the pallet in the picture when you transport it that will help substantially to stabilize the machine, along with your tie downs. Even with a Ram I wouldn't worry too much about it. If it was a Ford I would say to have it shipped... wink


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I'm not sure it will come on the pallet. I can ask the seller. If so, hopefully the pallet is narrow enough to ride between my wheel wells.


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You can take the lathe off the stand and transport them side by side without the worry of it being top heavy.

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At only 600 lbs you should have no trouble transporting it in the pickup bed.


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That looks awfully similar to a bench lathe sitting on top of a wood cabinet, painted to match the lathe. You might want to check and see if that stand is wood. The door hinges appear to be for wood cabinets and looks like 1x material upright pieces in the picture. May not want to transport 600# on a wood cabinet, if it is wood.


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I can't imagine doing much gunsmith work with a 600# lathe regardless the origin. Maybe ok for making pins. I have a lathe like that at work and pretty much can't turn anything steel on it. The toolpost just isn't rigid enough. Typically deflects and breaks the tool. About all i can do is turn bronze bushings and drill small holes. Cutting threads is going to be fun.


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Originally Posted by dennisinaz
I can't imagine doing much gunsmith work with a 600# lathe regardless the origin. Maybe ok for making pins. I have a lathe like that at work and pretty much can't turn anything steel on it. The toolpost just isn't rigid enough. Typically deflects and breaks the tool. About all i can do is turn bronze bushings and drill small holes. Cutting threads is going to be fun.

Les Brooks used to chamber pre-turned rifle barrels in a Chinese 7x14 table top lathe, and I know (knew) a famous barrel maker that used a Southbend Heavy 10 to thread, chamber, crown and turn barrel tapers.

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Gunsmiths aren't the only ones known to have used inferior equipment.


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"...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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Kurtis down under has a lathe that can turn barrel blanks. Maybe a bit of overkill though. grin

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Heavy Duty! My friend that installs my barrels and helps me with all sorts of little gunsmithing projects that involve machining was once involved with machining the missile tubes for Trident submarines. Measuring them for QC was quite complicated he says.

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I bet a person could do some gunsmithing on this guy's lathe...


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That's Kurtis down under!

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Did the OP get his lathe home yet?


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Curtis does some interesting work. I have watched several of his videos and enjoy them. I have an old Prentice lathe I bought from a guy in Coolidge. Has a 20” swing and 24 foot long bed. Took two boom trucks to load it. Took my backhoe and a forklift to put it in the shop. Probably built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.

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Originally Posted by 45_100
Curtis does some interesting work. I have watched several of his videos and enjoy them. I have an old Prentice lathe I bought from a guy in Coolidge. Has a 20” swing and 24 foot long bed. Took two boom trucks to load it. Took my backhoe and a forklift to put it in the shop. Probably built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.

What do you use it for?

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Originally Posted by Retired_Spook
Originally Posted by dennisinaz
I can't imagine doing much gunsmith work with a 600# lathe regardless the origin. Maybe ok for making pins. I have a lathe like that at work and pretty much can't turn anything steel on it. The toolpost just isn't rigid enough. Typically deflects and breaks the tool. About all i can do is turn bronze bushings and drill small holes. Cutting threads is going to be fun.

Les Brooks used to chamber pre-turned rifle barrels in a Chinese 7x14 table top lathe, and I know (knew) a famous barrel maker that used a Southbend Heavy 10 to thread, chamber, crown and turn barrel tapers.

You can build a house with a 12 oz hammer and screwdrivers too but not the right tools for the job.


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Dennis,
I understand your concern. The Emco Maximat Super 11 is an incredible lathe in a class of it's own. It's hard to believe, trust me, I was a non-believer too. Other lathes in this category can't come close to matching the Emco quality. That doesn't mean I can use it to turn telephone poles or inconel. For my purposes (threading muzzles and other small jobs) it's perfect.

To answer other questions...

I pick it up on June 17th and transport it home from Mass.

The stand is a Emco factory option and is made completely of steel.

I plan to rent an open Uhaul trailer and strap it down after I've wrapped it in a tarp and secured the tarp with industrial strength plastic wrap and waterproof T-Rex tape. Hopefully it doesn't all unravel while I'm barrelling down the interstate.

A couple of my first projects will be to make inboard and outboard spiders so I can indicate barrels on both ends of the headstock.

Here are a few examples from a local gunsmith who's helping me get set up.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


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Good luck with your lathe, Dinny! I am sure it will be great.

A huge lathe does not make a great machinist but a great machinist can make a small lathe great!

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That's small.... back in '74 or '75 while closing down the Martin Marietta plant in Torrance, CA we moved one that had a 120" swing and over 90' between centers. That's when machines were big and heavy and nearly bombproof.

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If we're getting off subject this far (nothing new for this site), I worked at the dock in Portland for a while when they were installing the new dry dock at Swan Island. In one of the machine shops they had a couple of the lathes that they used to turn the gun barrels for the 16" guns on the WWII battleships...
Then I worked at Oregon Steel installing some new equipment over there and the rolling lines were powered by some huge DC motors for rolling forward an back to create sheet steel from huge bars. The DC motors still had the labels on them from the submarines they were used on for drive motors. They still ran like a Singer sewing machine...


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The Emcos are very good just not capable of taking big cuts. I guess i would have to try before saying more. I had a 12x36 for my first lathe.probably weighed 800#. I upgraded to a Nardini 14-40 and Mori Seki 16-40.i can't believe how handicapped i was with the 12 inche.


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Helped my neighbor move this 1943 Springfield 16" x 56" Gear Head Lathe


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I have two lathes. A Smithy 14x40 and a Bolton BT1030a benchtop lathe. Apparently the Bolton is made in China then imported here by Bolton who then accurizes it and replaces what they deem needing replaced. That little lathe has been fantastic and holds tolerance like a toolroom lathe. The 3 jaw chuck has .0003 run out over 6 inches and it'll remove some material as well. I've used it for barrel work many times but usually dedicate it to smaller parts and fixtures.

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Originally Posted by Retired_Spook
Originally Posted by 45_100
Curtis does some interesting work. I have watched several of his videos and enjoy them. I have an old Prentice lathe I bought from a guy in Coolidge. Has a 20” swing and 24 foot long bed. Took two boom trucks to load it. Took my backhoe and a forklift to put it in the shop. Probably built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.

What do you use it for?

First let me say I am not a machinist. I like to mess around with machine tools and have been fortunate enough to acquire a few. I try to hold tolerances within 1/8”. I bought this lathe for $500 from a guy who wanted it out of his shop. He threw in a Buffalo #22 drill press. He was a well driller and used it to face off flanges welded to steel pipe. The flanges get distorted and won’t seal. He could turn a 21’ joint of 16” pipe.

It needs a lot work which I hope to complete some day. I have used it to modify some brake rotors and turn other non-critical, large diameter projects. The length is not really an advantage to me other than a sturdy shelf in the shop.

When I get it all restored I plan to start making pocket watches. Should be a good market for them.

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What do those more experienced think of Logan and South Bend lathes? I have a Logan 825 and I like the way it is laid out but it won’t take very deep cuts. Or maybe I just don’t know how to operate it.

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There is a site called Home Shop Machinist for those of us who aren't professionals but like to tinker with machine tools where guys can discuss their tools, buying, selling, repairing, and working with them... Great site and a lot of really helpful folks over there.


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I found Les Brook's article on cutting the threads and chamber for a #2 contour barrel on a cheap Chinese 7x12 mini-lathe. I am not sure if still available from Les but he was selling a zip-drive with lots of stock making instructions and it was part of the deal.

It is not the lathe, it is the guy running it...

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Originally Posted by 45_100
What do those more experienced think of Logan and South Bend lathes? I have a Logan 825 and I like the way it is laid out but it won’t take very deep cuts. Or maybe I just don’t know how to operate it.
I'm no machinist but here is my opinion...a Logan 825 is a 10 inch? About the same as a light 10" South Bend. Assuming quite a bit of wear...a little here, a little there...is a lot everywhere. If you want to hog steel off with heavy cuts...you gotta do some stuff not in any book. Slow down! Ignore feeds and speeds in the 'book'. Razor sharp tool HSS or cobalt (skip carbide on old slow machines), mounted with max rigidity. Did I mention rigidity? I made home built overkill tool holders for most situations. Tighten the hell out of your gibs. Don't be afraid to lock your carriage when you can. Lacking that, use auto feed when you can't lock the carriage. And as important as anything...cutting fluid, a subject unto itself. I much lament the demise of white lead and linseed oil. The experts claim Moly EP is the next best thing...meh, maybe. I am making some very heavy square thread cuts on alloy drill stem steel right now. Getting by with sheep tallow thinned with black pipe thread oil. I am using a well worn SB 13X60 on the original cast iron base, maybe 1200 pounds?
A machinist would laugh at me, but my level of confidence reached a milestone when I started using a power cross feed with a parting tool. Little steps in the learning curve.


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Originally Posted by flintlocke
Originally Posted by 45_100
What do those more experienced think of Logan and South Bend lathes? I have a Logan 825 and I like the way it is laid out but it won’t take very deep cuts. Or maybe I just don’t know how to operate it.
I'm no machinist but here is my opinion...a Logan 825 is a 10 inch? About the same as a light 10" South Bend. Assuming quite a bit of wear...a little here, a little there...is a lot everywhere. If you want to hog steel off with heavy cuts...you gotta do some stuff not in any book. Slow down! Ignore feeds and speeds in the 'book'. Razor sharp tool HSS or cobalt (skip carbide on old slow machines), mounted with max rigidity. Did I mention rigidity? I made home built overkill tool holders for most situations. Tighten the hell out of your gibs. Don't be afraid to lock your carriage when you can. Lacking that, use auto feed when you can't lock the carriage. And as important as anything...cutting fluid, a subject unto itself. I much lament the demise of white lead and linseed oil. The experts claim Moly EP is the next best thing...meh, maybe. I am making some very heavy square thread cuts on alloy drill stem steel right now. Getting by with sheep tallow thinned with black pipe thread oil. I am using a well worn SB 13X60 on the original cast iron base, maybe 1200 pounds?
A machinist would laugh at me, but my level of confidence reached a milestone when I started using a power cross feed with a parting tool. Little steps in the learning curve.


This proving the maxim - It is not the lathe, it is the guy running it!

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Way Off topic, but I thought I would mention a recent learning experience, maybe you can benefit from too. I had to drill a big sheet of an unknown AR type steel for a rock crushing outfit down the road. That stuff destroyed every drill bit I had (customer insisted the holes must not be flame cut) including a high dollar cobalt spotting drill. I called an old millwright friend, he advised to NOT pilot drill clear thru, build a dam with ductseal, fill it with plain old turpentine and drill it at a speed and down pressure to give 2 continuous curls. Worked like magic...I got 4 holes before I had to sharpen the drill.
If I ever have to drill a Krag again, I will try turpentine.


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Originally Posted by Retired_Spook
This proving the maxim - It is not the lathe, it is the guy running it!

OK, but can't the same guy run a better lathe even better?

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Originally Posted by mathman
Originally Posted by Retired_Spook
This proving the maxim - It is not the lathe, it is the guy running it!

OK, but can't the same guy run a better lathe even better?

Perhaps, but sometimes we use what we can afford or fit into our shop.... wink


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Sheister and flintlocke, I very much appreciate your comments. I have been heading in the direction you suggested but hesitated because all the books say otherwise. Time spent sharpening cutters seems to be well spent. I have fabricated different devices to help sharpen the cutters and kinda came up with my own angles. Varying depth of cut, feed and speeds to see what works. I have heard about building a dam and filling it with cutting oil of some kind. I have a Buffalo 22 drill press with automatic feed but haven’t used it for any bigger jobs yet. Thanks for your advice and encouragement.

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Missed a chance to bid on a really nice Clausing 1440 Engine Lathe at auction last week. It was a machine from a local high school that didn't look as if it had been used much at all. Was watching, but waiting until auction day to throw in a bid and then forgot. Later found out it went for $850. Won't find another like that one again, not for awhile anyway.


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