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Thread: Lathe and Mill

  1. #1
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    Lathe and Mill

    I'm wanting to buy a decent gunsmithing lathe and mill.

    Anything good quality considered.
    No dinosaurs please.

    Maybe you know someone who has a decent lathe or mill that they haven't used in years ?

    As we ( NZ ) drift further away from the rest of the gun world ( USA) i realise i will just have to make some if the things i want !

    Any other gunsmithing odds and ends considered also.
    Chamber reamers
    Crowning tools
    You name it

    Cheers

    PM any leads and i will follow them up

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by akaroa1 View Post
    I'm wanting to buy a decent gunsmithing lathe and mill.

    Anything good quality considered.
    No dinosaurs please.

    Maybe you know someone who has a decent lathe or mill that they haven't used in years ?

    As we ( NZ ) drift further away from the rest of the gun world ( USA) i realise i will just have to make some if the things i want !

    Any other gunsmithing odds and ends considered also.
    Chamber reamers
    Crowning tools
    You name it

    Cheers

    PM any leads and i will follow them up
    I use an older mill (albeit stripped and sorted by a tool maker), 1980's pacific combination horizontal / turret mill (like a Lagune FU2-LAC). Some would call that a dinosaur, it does however beat the shit out of any of the new lighter weight supposedly up to date mills available today other than some of the flash German stuff. Large hand scraped ways and quality cast iron on mass make for one pass immaculate cuts free of chatter. I would avoid like the plague bridgeports unless you've got someone to check it out as most are thrashed by now and way out of spec. Name:  IMG_8308.jpg
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    ishoot10s, ebf, northdude and 6 others like this.

  3. #3
    ebf
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    Prepare to throw money down a very deep and dark hole

    If my experience is anything to go by, the cost of tooling, measurement equipment and all the other bits and bobs needed far, far outstrip the cost of the lathe and mill itself.

    Lathe:
    Choose your lathe leadscrew carefully - decide if most of the threading you will do is going to be metric or imperial.
    Make sure the spindle bore is large enough, and that it will be easy to attach a spider on the outboard end.
    You can never have too many chucks : 3-jaw, 4-jaw, collet (great for holding tiny parts) etc.

    Mill:
    Large capacity X and Y travel, especially if you intend to do stock inletting work.
    DRO is something you seriously want to look at for precision work.
    Power feed is something I would add when I buy my next mill.

    General
    Don't skimp measuring equipment. You can easily spend the bulk of your money here. Buy metrology tools that are capable of measuring 1 decimal place more than the precision you want. If you want accuracy to 1/1000, get indicators that can measure tenths.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing View Post
    I use an older mill (albeit stripped and sorted by a tool maker), 1980's pacific combination horizontal / turret mill (like a Lagune FU2-LAC). Some would call that a dinosaur, it does however beat the shit out of any of the new lighter weight supposedly up to date mills available today other than some of the flash German stuff. Large hand scraped ways and quality cast iron on mass make for one pass immaculate cuts free of chatter. I would avoid like the plague bridgeports unless you've got someone to check it out as most are thrashed by now and way out of spec. Attachment 112463
    Thats not my idea of a dinosaur
    But more like what I'm looking for

    Dinosaur is flat belts and obsolete systems etc

    I have a huge 3 phase supply
    bing likes this.

  5. #5
    ebf
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    Couple more things :

    Rigidity and mass can not be underestimated. The older and heavier machines are fantastic. In general they are significantly more rigid than the new stuff.

    Learn about properly setting up machines and how to diagnose setup issues. Leveling a lathe bed and doing verification cuts is a fundamental skill. Same goes for tramming a mill and setting it up properly.

    Make friends with old school machinists, spend as much time as you can watching how they do things...
    Viva la Howa ! R.I.P. Toby
    Black rifles matter...

  6. #6
    Member Danny's Avatar
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    I can supply TNMG lathe turning tools with tips, a Mity dti on a mag base, a boring bar, end mills (4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 14mm) but I cant help atm with actual machinery. Id agree with above comments, a few here know their stuff. Pm if youd like.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    akaroa1 likes this.
    Dan M

  7. #7
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    I’ve got a very nice Bridgeport, three phase, awesome machine, came with vice, collect set,parallels, sundry tooling, horizontal arbor
    Paid 2k, great machine for the dollars
    Tommy and akaroa1 like this.
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  8. #8
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    pm sent

  9. #9
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    Buy the biggest new Taiwanese metric/imperial lathe and mill you can afford then spend twice that amount on tooling.. once 20k to 30k deep think of all the cool rifles you could have bought instead
    ebf and TianBotha like this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebf View Post
    Couple more things :

    Rigidity and mass can not be underestimated. The older and heavier machines are fantastic. In general they are significantly more rigid than the new stuff.

    Learn about properly setting up machines and how to diagnose setup issues. Leveling a lathe bed and doing verification cuts is a fundamental skill. Same goes for tramming a mill and setting it up properly.

    Make friends with old school machinists, spend as much time as you can watching how they do things...
    Yep, right with you on the set up part. I'm amazed how many folk are sloppy on basic set up. I've a really good machienest level and tramming plate which see regular use. Simple care of the bed is worth noting - if its a longish bed and your going to leave it for a while center the bed over the knee and don't leave anything weighty like a rotary table on the end of the bed. Cast iron has some plasticity and can move in response to weight and develop a 'set'. How true the bed is in relation to the quill or horizontal arbor is at the heart of accurate repeatability.
    ebf and Moa Hunter like this.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wingman View Post
    Buy the biggest new Taiwanese metric/imperial lathe and mill you can afford then spend twice that amount on tooling.. once 20k to 30k deep think of all the cool rifles you could have bought instead
    Realiscally I have all the hunting rifles i can ever use.
    And there are only a few ither man toys i want !

  12. #12
    Fulla
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maca49 View Post
    I’ve got a very nice Bridgeport, three phase, awesome machine, came with vice, collect set,parallels, sundry tooling, horizontal arbor
    Paid 2k, great machine for the dollars
    And your going to sell it to me for $1500?

    I have a mini lathe, it's limited at best but I'm not too worried. I would like a mill, or probably more my money mill/drill. I just muck around at home. Single phase. Maybe an optimum mill/drill....
    I'm interested in the replies to this topic.

  13. #13
    Member Uplandstalker's Avatar
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    Number 8 are an auction house that deal with a lot if engineering shops and selling there gear

    https://www.number8.bid/auction/mass...87/bidgallery/

    Also, Smith's Auctions in Christchurch often have stuff to.

    This is something I've always been keen on doing at some scale.

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    Moa Hunter likes this.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bully View Post
    And your going to sell it to me for $1500?

    I have a mini lathe, it's limited at best but I'm not too worried. I would like a mill, or probably more my money mill/drill. I just muck around at home. Single phase. Maybe an optimum mill/drill....
    I'm interested in the replies to this topic.
    No not 4 sale, but turned down 5 k the day I bought it
    bully likes this.
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  15. #15
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    I suggest putting feelers out with machine shops and fabricators. If you can get a whole shop's worth of equipment with the lathe you'll be way ahead. That or a retiree who wants his garage back and just wants it gone as a lot.
    WallyR likes this.

 

 

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