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triggerjob 06-06-2012 04:42 PM

chambering with a drill press, or mill?
So, is there any reason why I shouldn't or couldn't, chamber a barrel using a drill press or a mill, assuming I have a rigid fixture to hold the barrel in line with the reamer?

Is there a reason why we spin the barrel in the lathe while reaming instead of spining the reamer, other than "Lathes work that way"

I'm asking because I have limited room in my shop, and it seems that the smaller laths have spindle hole too small for some barrel work and I'm looking for a work around that won't cost me 10k.

I would be interested in hearing from some one who has either tried this, or who knows why it shouldn't be done, aside from "nobody does it that way"

St8LineGunsmith 06-06-2012 05:53 PM

I personally would not attempt chambering a barrel with a drill press or a milling machine but that dont mean it cannot be done . I however feel that the right tool would be a lathe for this type of work.

Have you looked at a Smithy Granite/ It should have plenty of bed length and can chuck up any diamiter barrel short of a cannon barrel LOL
plus it has a milling head takes up less than 4'x3' space in my shop.

St8LineGunsmith 06-06-2012 06:00 PM

I used Yahoo search and found this so apparently someone has done it.

you may be able to find something on youtube

hiwall 06-06-2012 06:45 PM

Many barrels have been reamed with piloted reamers by hand. So no you don't need a lathe (though a lathe is certainly the preferred method).

triggerjob 06-06-2012 07:00 PM


I was considering a smithy granite industrial, but the spindle bore is 1 1\8. Most gun guys tell me I need 1.5" to chamber from the chuck.

My thinking was, as long as I dial indicate the center to run true it would work. No matter how I do it, either in the chuck, between centers with a steady rest or with a mill.

I tooled around and saw TC Center does it with a drill press, and they have mixed results. But then again anything done with "employees" has mixed results.

St8LineGunsmith 06-06-2012 09:20 PM

Ya the spindle bore is only 1.125" however I have not had any problems thus far considering I agree a larger spindle bore would be a better option

LOL I know exactly what you mean about mixed results between one employee to the next.
while some employees are very knoledgable assets to the company others are meerley warm bodys occupying valuable floor space.

if you do decide to try to do this operation post back here and tell us how it went for you

Jim1611 06-06-2012 10:05 PM

Stay away from the drill press, they're just not accurate enough for the job. A good mill on the other hand would make an excellent machine for the job provided the barrel and spindle are perfectly in line, but a lathe should also be setup that way too. One advantage to using a mill is that gravity would help with chip removal. It would also help if you decided to use flood coolant.

triggerjob 06-06-2012 11:05 PM

I haven't decided, Grizy makes a table top 1340 lathe with 1.5 spindle, That's cheaper than the smithy, but the Smithy, has power feed on both x and y axis, that's seems pretty cool.

That actually turns it into a pretty handy horizontal mill to although they don't advertise it as such.

I have taken AGIs machine shop course, but I can't test because I don't have a machine yet!!!

Darrel Holland talks about equipment at the end of the series, and like everyone he sais get Bridgeport mill, and a south bend lathe if you're running a machine shop, and if machine is jsut a sideline, then the Smithy Granite series are good enough.

St8LineGunsmith 06-07-2012 01:12 AM

as soon as I get the money I am going to get that Gunsmiths bench top lathe Grizzly has for $3350.00 shipped.

triggerjob 06-07-2012 06:04 AM

Smithy has a Bench top lathe that is similiar, but doesn't require 2 phase power and has the larger spindle bore. I was thinking it was a good comparison to the grizzly.

Can you tell me if the mill head is any good on the Granite machine. The Granite industrial has a 2hp 220 motor available, that out to be good for something. But some of the reviews I have read say its Mickey Mouse, and others say they love it.

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