December
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
Who's Online
10 registered (craigd, cpa, Borderbill, Konor3inch, 2 invisible), 9 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
13925 Members
10 Forums
35087 Topics
492419 Posts

Max Online: 462 @ 08/05/16 09:13 PM
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#578794 - 08/27/20 03:21 PM Machinery in the Shop
Woodreaux Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 259
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
I've been thinking about getting a mill and a metal lathe, and I'm trying to sort out whether it's a reasonable idea or just a symptom of tool acquisition syndrome.

I've got a little unimat lathe that I picked up cheap off FB marketplace recently, but I haven't used it yet.

Some questions:
1. For those who use machines in their shop, what are the most common tasks related to double guns?
2. Is a benchtop/mini mill or lathe useful (as opposed to a Bridgeport and a full size lathe)?
3. Any other thoughts on machines in the amateur gunsmith's shop?
_________________________
Jim

Top
#578796 - 08/27/20 03:28 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
SKB Online   content
Sidelock
**

Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 5568
Loc: Colorado
I cut my chokes on my lathe, you will want at least a 13/40 for that.

The small bench top mill/lathes are handy for small stuff., turning screws and pins etc.

A full size bridgeport/lathe gives you tons of options but if you need that I can not say.

Pro-tip....if you can find someone selling out a whole small shop or selling tooling combined you are way ahead. Tooling can easily cost more than a machine. I bought a pile of machinery when first set my shop up, sold off what I did not need and more than covered my initial purchase price.
_________________________
http://www.bertramandco.com/

ACGG Professional metalsmith, firearms import services.

Top
#578797 - 08/27/20 03:29 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
hereford Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 11/03/16
Posts: 39
I have the same inquiry. Needing a lathe for my shop but unsure if I just need a mini lathe or a full blown floor models as most lathe work for a double is small screws and parts, etc. Same concern for is it worth it getting a mill.

Top
#578798 - 08/27/20 03:55 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: SKB]
Run With The Fox Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 05/16/08
Posts: 7152
Loc: Michigan
And if you are lucky to find a shop "selling out" maybe you can snag a Gerstner wooden machinists tool chest with the green felt lining each tray- you have the "Steinway" of all-- I have a South Bend "hobby sized" shop lathe- 6" swing and a 38" bed- belt compound drive. Do not have a milling machine, wish Bridgeport made a smaller series for general gun shop work--Good luck in your search RWTF
_________________________
When The Man In Black Comes Around- Rev: 6-8

Top
#578801 - 08/27/20 04:10 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
Woodreaux Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 259
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
One of the "advantages" of a tiny shop is that some things are not really an option. So for me, it's probably a benchtop or nothing.

I've been looking at the Little Machine Shop lathe and mill, which are both fairly small and cheap. About $1k for the "hi-torque" mill, and $600 for the lathe (currently on sale).

Here's the mill: https://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=3990&category=
And the lathe:
https://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=4959&category=1271799306

I've gotten the impression from some online info that the benchtop setups might not be well suited to precision work with steel.

I would have some other non-gun related uses for both, but I'm trying to think realistically about whether it's worth the investment.
_________________________
Jim

Top
#578811 - 08/27/20 05:52 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
WBLDon Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 282
Loc: Minnesota
I started out with a Jet Mill Drill that uses R8 collets and a 6 inch atlas lathe you had to manually change gears to change speed and cut threads. Then moved from the Atlas to a South Bend 9x24 with quick change gear box. I was in heaven. But I have found that the South Bend is lacking in two areas. The hole in the headstock is only 7/8" limiting the diameter that I can put thru it. Currently you are looking at doing "little stuff" but that can change quickly over time and you can't make the headstock hole larger. The other area that is a problem is the length of the bed and travel, currently about 20" if I push it. I have not done a number of things over the years because of these two limitations and instead paid to have them done by someone else when I was more than capable. My advice is buy as big as you can afford (10" with 1.5" hole in the head stock and 24-36" bed). It should have a quick change gear box. A 3 jaw chuck and 4 jaw chuck and a set of collets is nice for smaller items. My jet drill mill has worked well for me over the last 15 years or so. As others have said finding used with lots of extras is a must unless you have deep pockets as building up what you need will double the cost of each machine. One last thing. If buying used find a machinist and have them go with you to check out the machines. They will know how to check things like backlash and runout.

Oh and if you have to move the machinery you will find the number of friends you have to help reduces proportionately based on the weight of the equipment. Speaking from experience some won't even answer your phone calls in the future....LOL...

Top
#578813 - 08/27/20 07:38 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
Der Ami Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 07/04/12
Posts: 3563
Loc: East Alabama
For someone not "in the business", it is hard to beat a 12x36" (54"bed) Atlas, preferably with quick change gear box. These lathes are American made ( similar size foreign made lathes are generally OK too), parts are available and cheaper than better known lathes, often can be found with a lot of "set up", missing set up can usually be made or "jury rigged"( gives valuable experience), the slow speed is 28 RPM, which I prefer for reaming, and it has power cross feed which is generally not found on smaller ones. The spindle bore diameter is only 3/4", which is a little disadvantage, but you can do barrel work between centers( chamber between a center and steady rest). When you are learning, this is actually an advantage because you can take it out of the lathe, try it, and put it back in at the same place). I prefer mine for barrel work, even though I have both a Clausing and South Bend. You can do very minimum milling with a milling attachment for the lathe until you find a bench top mill( Atlas or "off shore"). If you need a full size mill, you will know from the job you want to do, that the small one won't do.
Mike

Top
#578818 - 08/27/20 10:29 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
Mike Hunter Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 271
I’m a toolaholic, yes I have a problem.

With that said, think about what you want/need to do before deciding on machinery then buy the biggest that you can afford and/or house.

Mini lathes are good, still have one in the shop….but serious limitations. And accuracy is not there.

Mini Mills are junk, too flimsy, you will never be able to take a decent cut not enough HP/Mass, you will take forever machining .050 at .002 a pass. And you can only mount a litty bitty vise on that table...wont hold much or very well. heck a decent Kurt or Parlec vise prob weighs more than the machine. For a mill, take a good hard look at “Knee Mills” where the knee is dovetailed to the base. Those bench top mills where the head cranks up and down are a real PITA for any type of precision.

Also, keep in mind the amount or real estate available on a small mill. Mount a vise, rotary table, indexer v-blocks etc.,,, and you run out of table real quick.

Thirty years ago, I started out with a mini mill and a drill press.

Today: two full size lathes (14x40 & 10x36), three Bridgeport manual mills, a horizontal mill, a Bridgeport/True-Trace tracer mill, couple of surface grinders, and a crapload of buffers/sanders.

If you asked me what I could do without…none of them, need them all for the work I do or may do…that’s why I have them. BUT keep in mind I make barrels, and any other obsolete part needed.

Also keep in mind tooling… it gets expensive. Carbide endmills can easily run $30-$80 each, stay away from imported HSS lathe and mill cutters, total junk.

Play with the Unimat, see what it can do, as your capabilities start to grow, so will your tool collection.


Edited by Mike Hunter (08/27/20 10:43 PM)
_________________________
Mike Hunter
www.mikehunterrestorations.com

Top
#578822 - 08/27/20 11:33 PM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
Woodreaux Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 09/20/16
Posts: 259
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Thanks all. There seems to be a concensus of sorts: start learning with what I've got and upgrade as possible; buy used; budget for tooling; get a machinist to look at a tool with me before purchasing

I do have one counter balance to my small shop space, lack of experience, and tight budget...

I have a friend who is a machinist and he has recently decided to start his own shop. Sounds like it's full of some nice stuff, including a Bridgeport with a 42" table. I think he would let me use them and give some instruction. He might even be willing to let me use the shop on regular occasions as needed.

If so, I could add to my shop the tools that I get sick of driving downtown to use.
_________________________
Jim

Top
#578831 - 08/28/20 08:50 AM Re: Machinery in the Shop [Re: Woodreaux]
Mike Hunter Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 271
Jim

That’s the absolute best situation, a friend with the machinery and willing to teach….awesome, I wish I had that when first starting out….spent a boatload of $$ on stuff I really didn’t need.

Some random thoughts, suggestions:

Look at joining /participating in forums such as Home Shop Machinist, lots of very good info there, and they are willing to teach. Practical Machinist is another good site, but is very much geared towards the “professional”... They really don’t suffer fools or newbies kindly.

For tooling.. Buy quality and buy it once. That imported stuff may look bright and shiny, but that’s about it. I’ve had too many problems and wasted too much money on imported tooling. If you wouldn’t own a double manufactured in X country, chances are you wouldn’t want tooling from there either.

EBay is an excellent place to buy tooling, look at used/pre owned, quality tooling generally doesn’t wear out quickly, and you can generally get it for dimes or pennies on the dollar.

Quality end mills and lathe bits are expensive, for end mills look at “reground” or “Refurbished” save you a ton of $$$. Reground generally means undersize, so a .500 inch EM may be reground to .485 dia, not a problem for most cuts, and it will give you good practice on “shop math”. Indexable lathe tooling will confuse the heck out of you, may want to look at decent HSS or carbide tipped tooling starting off.

Don’t plan on using your buddy’s lathe/mill cutters, bring your own, time can be discounted… cutters. Not so much. Buy a few extra for your friend that will go a long way.

Lots of knowable folks on this site.. Keep that in mind. Also post WTB in the Buy/sale/trade section on this forum. Never know what someone has..
_________________________
Mike Hunter
www.mikehunterrestorations.com

Top
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >



doublegunshop.com home | Welcome | Sponsors & Advertisers | DoubleGun Rack | Doublegun Book Rack

Order or request info | Other Useful Information

Updated every minute of everyday!


Copyright (c) 1993 - 2019 doublegunshop.com. All rights reserved. doublegunshop.com - Bloomfield, NY 14469. USA These materials are provided by doublegunshop.com as a service to its customers and may be used for informational purposes only. doublegunshop.com assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in these materials. THESE MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT-ABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. doublegunshop.com further does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within these materials. doublegunshop.com shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including without limitation, lost revenues or lost profits, which may result from the use of these materials. doublegunshop.com may make changes to these materials, or to the products described therein, at any time without notice. doublegunshop.com makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. This is a public un-moderated forum participate at your own risk.

Note: The posting of Copyrighted material on this forum is prohibited without prior written consent of the Copyright holder. For specifics on Copyright Law and restrictions refer to: http://www.copyright.gov/laws/ - doublegunshop.com will not monitor nor will they be held liable for copyright violations presented on the BBS which is an open and un-moderated public forum.