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Thread: Lathe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    315

    Lathe

    Curious what everyone here uses for their gunsmithing lathe and what lathe you would recommend for someone looking to purchase one.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    577
    my lathe is some where around $10k
    weighs 2000 lbs
    metric and std threads with no gear change
    14x40
    thru hole is just over 1.5
    DRO more accurate than the lathe
    oil system
    aloris tool holder
    220/3ph off a motor converter 3hp/ 16 speeds
    birmingham west coast sales
    less than a 'production" lathe, more than most "Hobby" lathes
    i know a working 'smith that uses a smaller cheaper lathe
    they are "tools" ,its all in the user

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
    Posts
    333

    Summit 14x40

    I bought my current lathe ~20 years ago, the company is still around, but I think their smallest machine now is a 16x60. For the uninitiated "14x40" means you can turn a 14" diameter piece, 40" long between centers. That's a bit overkill for gunsmithing, but for general use I'd want at least 36" between centers unless I was sure that I'd exclusively work with shorter barrels. My lathe has a nearly 3" spindle bore (hole through the spindle) - whatever you pick should be big enough to put your thickest barrel into, or you'll forever regret it. Mine is a gear-head. On the one hand it won't slip or stall (if, for example, I were to get tangled up in it...) on the other hand, the headstock is too long to put most barrels through. That may or may not matter depending on your theory about how best to chamber a barrel.

    My lathe is about 4500# and I've had the "pleasure" of relocating it twice (actual moves, not moving it around in the shop). Those times make me wish (momentarily) that I'd purchased something smaller. But, I suspect the next time my lathe moves I'll be gone, or nearly so, so I no longer entertain those thoughts.

    I've got all the accessories (and more) don't let those drive your decisions, they can all be purchased after the fact *except* a taper attachment - if you really need one, make sure you can get one for your lathe, or be prepared to design one (which might incorporate changes to your cross-slide if your lathe wasn't designed for a taper attachment. In any case, I find myself cutting tapers with tailstock set-over for the very few I cut. (and I have a taper attachment). DRO, toolpost, chucks - you can get 'em all later if needed.

    If I could go back and do it all again I think I'd go with the same machine. I almost bought a SouthBend 10" toolroom (back before SB was purchased by Grizzly) - I'm rather happy today that I bought the lathe I did.

    If I were shopping I'd want:

    At least 30" between centers.
    At least 1.5" spindle bore
    D1-x spindle (i.e. not threaded - just a matter of preference)
    All else being equal, a shorter headstock.

    The Grizzly branded gunsmithing lathes are not bad. I've looked at three instances of the G4003(G) and it seems like a pretty good machine for the money. Haven't seen the larger ones or the Grizzly/SouthBend models in real life.

    GsT

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    290
    I have an 11" Rockwell originally purchased from a rimfire smith. He used it for many years before he acquired a Harrison M300. The Rockwell is a great gunsmith lathe for lots of reasons as is the M300 with both sharing a short head-stock as their best feature for chambering with the through the head-stock method. The only potential downside to the Rockwell is its 1 3/8" spindle bore so if you want to do large diameter big barrels it may not be for you but for everything else it's fine. If I were to chose to buy another lathe for gunsmithing I'd seek out an M300. The Rockwell's have a limited parts supply so if you find one you really need to check it out well for potential problems. Mine was in pretty good shape but needed parts that were quite worn. I was able to source some and make some to bring it up to par. After a complete tear down and rebuild it's a great little lathe I enjoy running.


    http://www.lathes.co.uk/delta%20metal/page2.html

    http://www.lathes.co.uk/harrison-m/page2.html
    Last edited by WSnyder; 04-24-2021 at 12:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Poetry, Tex.
    Posts
    6,909
    Quote Originally Posted by WSnyder View Post
    I have an 11" Rockwell originally purchased from a rimfire smith. He used it for many years before he acquired a Harrison M300. The Rockwell is a great gunsmith lathe for lots of reasons as is the M300 with both sharing a short head-stock as their best feature for chambering with the through the head-stock method. The only potential downside to the Rockwell is its 1 3/8" spindle bore so if you want to do large diameter big barrels it may not be for you but for everything else it's fine. If I were to chose to buy another lathe for gunsmithing I'd seek out an M300. The Rockwell's have a limited parts supply so if you find one you really need to check it out well for potential problems. Mine was in pretty good shape but needed parts that were quite worn. I was able to source some and make some to bring it up to par. After a complete tear down and rebuild it's a great little lathe I enjoy running.


    http://www.lathes.co.uk/delta%20metal/page2.html

    http://www.lathes.co.uk/harrison-m/page2.html


    I like what Mr. Snyder says. I've used my buddy's Rockwell and it is a great little lathe. I've used another buddy's Grizzly 4007. I was very surprised at how well the Grizzly works. I use my Clausing 6913-14x48 and after figuring it out I can do 19.5" barrels in the headstock. I love the M300 Harrisons, but if I bought today I would get a Grizzly G0509G.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    315
    Any truth to 3 phase lathes doing a better job than single phase? No 3 phase available here but could do some sort of phase convertor if there is a large enough benefit of the the 3phase over single phase

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Poetry, Tex.
    Posts
    6,909
    Quote Originally Posted by TrxR View Post
    Any truth to 3 phase lathes doing a better job than single phase? No 3 phase available here but could do some sort of phase convertor if there is a large enough benefit of the the 3phase over single phase
    Yes, and a VFD will allow spindle speed changes with a twist of a knob.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Williamson County, Texas
    Posts
    315

    Pm1440tv

    I special ordered it through Precision Matthews from Taiwan. It took almost a year to get it. D1-4 nose, 5 HP main motor, factory Yaskawa VFD, DRO Pros. The headstock is kind of long, but not insurmountable, many ways around it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    315
    Quote Originally Posted by NezRongero View Post
    I special ordered it through Precision Matthews from Taiwan. It took almost a year to get it. D1-4 nose, 5 HP main motor, factory Yaskawa VFD, DRO Pros. The headstock is kind of long, but not insurmountable, many ways around it.
    So your using the vfd as a phase converter as well?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ca.
    Posts
    904
    I have a new in 1985 12X37 Grizzly that has served me very well. Its a belt speed change, hole threw head abit over 2 inches and also quite short. Down side it has screw on chucks so if running in reverse it can be abit concerning. Its actually a pretty accurate machine. I have opened several cast bullet mould blocks anywhere for a .001, 1/2 per side up to .004 without any issues.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Williamson County, Texas
    Posts
    315
    Quote Originally Posted by TrxR View Post
    So your using the vfd as a phase converter as well?
    220 single phase input, the VFD converts it to 3P.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    315
    Quote Originally Posted by NezRongero View Post
    220 single phase input, the VFD converts it to 3P.
    It dont look like they offer the 1440tv anymore or i cant find it on their site. Did you get the vfd through Precission Matthews as well?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Williamson County, Texas
    Posts
    315
    Quote Originally Posted by TrxR View Post
    It dont look like they offer the 1440tv anymore or i cant find it on their site. Did you get the vfd through Precission Matthews as well?

    It never was a catalog item. Call Matt amd talk to him about it. It is the same lathe as the Eisen 1440EV. Made by the same factory, Liang Dei, just different badge.

    https://eisenm.com/products/eisen-14...cast-iron-base

    The VFD was installed in Taiwan. I opted out from the factory DRO offering, I wanted the DRO Pros. PM installed it.
    Last edited by NezRongero; 04-25-2021 at 12:45 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    290
    Precision Mathews used to offer a Harrison M300 clone, do they still offer one? I almost bought one from Matt years ago.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
    Posts
    11,168
    Quote Originally Posted by NezRongero View Post
    It never was a catalog item. Call Matt amd talk to him about it. It is the same lathe as the Eisen 1440EV. Made by the same factory, Liang Dei, just different badge.

    https://eisenm.com/products/eisen-14...cast-iron-base

    The VFD was installed in Taiwan. I opted out from the factory DRO offering, I wanted the DRO Pros. PM installed it.
    I can't agree with Nez enough here...... I used 7 different DROs from DRO PROS, I'd have one on my coffee cup if it'd help.

    https://www.dropros.com/?gclid=Cj0KC...EaAr3eEALw_wcB

    I do put them on myself.... for instance I've one on my tailstock quill-feed for chambering.

    Veteran/American, and they don't stuff it in your face. Good Stuff/value ... Ooorahh

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