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Thread: Finally Getting My Lathe

  1. #1
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    Default Finally Getting My Lathe

    Yippers!

    I ordered a Precision Matthews 14-40GT. Much lighter than I wanted but the 8,000 pound Monarch would eat my cash and all the reserves I had set aside for tooling. With the PM 10-54 mill, it will be tight. I'll get the mill later this summer.

    I am just waiting for Lynden to call me to tell me the booking number and I can inform PM so they'll ship the lathe, and American Rotary so they can crate the rotary phase convertor for the 3-phase motor on the lathe.

    I wanted an American made 4-jaw chuck. Buck quoted me $1840.00 and a five week wait for the chuck and a D1-5 adapter plate as D1-5 isn't a stocked item for their 8" chucks. Cushman will set me back $1130.00 and a one week wait. The 4-jaw chuck offerred by PM is $400.00. Hmm.
    Buck is made by Hardinge now so I think the overall set-up would be trick. The salesman at Cushman sent me info, but didn't even write anything, just sent attachments. Kind of snotty on his part. The saleswoman at Buck sent me a really nice email and the attachments. Prolly get the Buck.

    Lots of good stuff on YT about the PM lathes and company. Looking forward to building my first rifle. I'll practice chambering and threading cheap steel rod to a Remmie receiver to make sure I have things down before diving in. Once I am good-to-go I'll chamber up this nice Brux .375 barrel for a huge .375 boomer of my design.

    I am going to be busy having fun this summer and winter!
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    That's a nice size lathe. How big is the head stock through hole. I don't care for the big lathes for gun work. Lots of fun awaits.

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    Sweet!

    Save your money on the rotophase and just get a Teco FM50VFD. Itís a $200 box that fits in the mail. Or donít, your call but I tell you that once you use a VFD youíll throw rocks at anything else. Heck, the PM guys might even set it up for you. They are really helpful.

    Enjoy...it will be expensive. I could have had an armload of customs built for what Iíve whizzed away with mine. But itís sure been fun!

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    Right on and congrats! If you have questions about tooling or procedures drop me a line. I've done a fair bit of machining and am willing to share tips and tricks IE: coated carbide vs carbide vs HSS grind your own cutters. A cheap source of practice material is rebar. It's dirty as all get out to till the scale gets gone but is available pretty much anywhere and in different sizes. Makes decent punches and ball peen hammer heads and as a bonus when you do get to cut nice material you'll REALLY appreciate it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    That's a nice size lathe. How big is the head stock through hole. I don't care for the big lathes for gun work. Lots of fun awaits.
    Just over 2" inside diameter, best thing about this critter is a super-short spindle: 15 1/2"! With the 4-jaw on: 19 1/2". First thing I will make is a spider for the opposite end of the spindle.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbflyer View Post
    Sweet!

    Save your money on the rotophase and just get a Teco FM50VFD. Itís a $200 box that fits in the mail. Or donít, your call but I tell you that once you use a VFD youíll throw rocks at anything else. Heck, the PM guys might even set it up for you. They are really helpful.

    Enjoy...it will be expensive. I could have had an armload of customs built for what Iíve whizzed away with mine. But itís sure been fun!
    I was actually going to go this route and chose the 3-phase specifically for this reason, but according to folks over on a machining forum, the changeover would entail a minimum of a full day re-wiring the controls, and this is if you knew what you were doing and had experience with machine electrical control. One fellow has done many 14-40's and some 13-40's and has even put together a manual. Still, a VFD to carry 3hp would have cost me $1300 before I began doing anything else. Maybe in the future. I am sure even asking Precision Matthews to find a machine tool electrician to do the work at their facility would have voided the five year warranty.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracen8r View Post
    Right on and congrats! If you have questions about tooling or procedures drop me a line. I've done a fair bit of machining and am willing to share tips and tricks IE: coated carbide vs carbide vs HSS grind your own cutters. A cheap source of practice material is rebar. It's dirty as all get out to till the scale gets gone but is available pretty much anywhere and in different sizes. Makes decent punches and ball peen hammer heads and as a bonus when you do get to cut nice material you'll REALLY appreciate it!
    Thank you for that offer and I will probably ask you in the future. I have been looking on eBay for a good bench grinder so I can grind my own HSS. Abom on YT has many videos regarding machining. I should look to see if he has any on this.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    I was actually going to go this route and chose the 3-phase specifically for this reason, but according to folks over on a machining forum, the changeover would entail a minimum of a full day re-wiring the controls, and this is if you knew what you were doing and had experience with machine electrical control. One fellow has done many 14-40's and some 13-40's and has even put together a manual. Still, a VFD to carry 3hp would have cost me $1300 before I began doing anything else. Maybe in the future. I am sure even asking Precision Matthews to find a machine tool electrician to do the work at their facility would have voided the five year warranty.
    L510 rated for 3hp is $208. Iíve also read those alarmists over at practical machinist. Most of them are the same ones that will tell you that you canít chamber a barrel either unless you study for 20 years under Mr. Holland himself. Mine was extremely simple to wire. 240VAC single phase in, 3 phase motorís 3 wires to the Teco. Simple low voltage control wire on/off switches for remote operating the Teco. I learned it on YouTube. It has been going strong for 4 years without a hiccup.

    If I had to have a rotophase Iíd just get a single phase machine. Of course our power is .50/kWh.

    Anyhow, all good. Not sure how much experience you have but I know I didnít have any. Got me a couple of books and went at it. Get real friendly with cutting threads to a shoulder and also with overcoming chatter. I thought I had it all figured out turning projects out of cold roll then I got my first piece of stainless barrel stock. It was almost like starting over. In about a month I chambered my first barrel. It shoots great and I still have all my fingers/both eyes. Donít waste a lot of money on insert tooling although real nice for threading. Get some 1/4 and 5/16 HSS and start grinding. Quick change tool post is awesome, Iíd quit if I had to use that rocker. Go slow and have fun!

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    Yup! I need to grind my own for sure. Inserts are expensive and seem to be quite material specific. A full complement would be expensive to say the least.
    Oh yeah, tooling. Wow. I do want two Starrett test indicators and three would be even better so I won't have to constantly move them around. Need to email them with a photo of a manufacturer unknowns' indicator with a really long stem for reaching up into the chamber. I know Mitotuyo makes one, but I want American.
    Dorian is cool, but the Suisse Multiquick is even better. They have a threading tool that as you get to the end of the thread, flick it back out to clear the work. So simple, but expensive. A nice set would be $3000.00, and I'd have to order direct from Germany so as to get the real thing, not a Chinese clone.
    For now, I will go with what comes with the lathe, and upgrade later. Two soonest will be a quality chuck and toolpost holder set with complement of tool holders. Probably in six months or so.
    I have purchased every barrel chambering, threading, action blueprinting video and book I can find and watched/read them all. I will watch them all again and re-read them all again; only then will I make a realistic (read: only exactly what I need nothing more), list. Then another list of things I want. Will go from there. I'll be posting more as I go.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Interapid long reach test indicator is the one most gunsmiths use. I donít know where itís made, but it works. A couple of dials that read half a thou, mag bases for them (the ones that look like an arm with one knob) a good set of outside micís, and a flat blade depth indicator made by Starrett (very, very important for me anyway). Lots of good deals on eBay, if youíre careful.

    I have a Phase 3 tool holder. Yes itís an import just like a lathe that is affordable. It works great. Probably same thing that PM sells, thereís lots of Aloris knock offs. They are all fine for gun work, not building space shuttle parts. Spending a fortune on a lot of production grade stuff doesnít necessarily make for a better end product for the hobbyist.

    Get yourself a couple of barrels from Ragged Hole Barrels to spin up first. They are cheap, can find the Post Office, and in stock. Wilson makes them and the ones Iíve chambered shoot great.

    Weíll help you spend your money no problem

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbflyer View Post
    Weíll help you spend your money no problem
    GB, I like where your heads at.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    I believe that Starrett has some stuff that is not made in the US in the less expensive line. I have used Mics and Calipers from Mitutoyo, Starrett, Brown and Sharpe, Etalon and others. I prefer the feel and weight of the Mitutoyo but won't hesitate to grab my Starrett or Etalon either. As long as your eyes are in good shape and can see the Vernier scale you can cut some cost and not get digital or electronic, though the electronic are very easy to use.

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    That's what I like about the mid size lathes, the barrel sticks out both ends of the head stock. That and a 2" through hole, nice. About 30 years ago I bought a 0/4" set of Chinese mics and they are as accurate as any of the high cost mics I have used. They read to .0001. I'm not fond of digital mics but many seem to like them. I prefer HSS tools as you can grind them to fit what you need. I'm a self taught "machinist" so there are many things I don't know but it sure is fun learning. Let the fun begin.

  14. #14
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    What are you guys using to grind you HSS toolbits? I am looking at used Baldor grinders on eBay.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    Hard to beat those Baldors. You won't even hear the motor load when you really get after it while making a cutter if you get a bigger one.

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    My friend in CO who is a real gunsmith uses the slow turning bench grinder for roughing them in then finishes on a diamond wheel. Really a slick way to go. I use a slow turning bench grinder and finish on a disk/belt sander combo unit and sometimes with a hand held diamond file. Make sure you get a grinding wheel dressing tool. Youíll use it a lot. I got some sort of import dressing tool and itís pure junk. I donít know what to recommend for a good one.

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    I just use a regular 6" bench grinder with a normal fine grinding wheel and then dress the edges and top with a whetstone. My favorite wheel dresser is a square block ( about 1 1/2" x 1 1/2 x 1/2" ) with about 10 small diamonds set in one edge.

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    Okay. Thank you all for your replies. I was watching Abom on YT, he has this massive 12"x2" that sounds like a Death-Ray warming up! One video is 42 minutes long. Have seen him using Arkansas stones to polish the edges.

    Checked out some of those big machine, 12" and 10", plenty available, probably would run $1200 delivered for a higher priced one. Have to see how the overtime for this summer goes. If I can pick up a few days here and there, I'll get one.

    Found Penntoolco has all the good stuff: Brown & Sharp, Interapid, Starrett, Mitotuyo and on. I found the Interapid indicators I want with those long reach stems. I will make an order next week sometime.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    I went to the bank, then to the post office. I placed the cashiers check in an Express Mail envelope and it is off. Be there Saturday, they'll have Monday, lathe will be at the Lynden Seattle yard by the 13th or 14th. I will order the TM1054TV 3-phase mill in July.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    Sign up for KBCTools catalog. They have some good sales sometimes.
    kbctools.com
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