A redneck lathe
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A redneck lathe


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Old 05-17-2011, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default A redneck lathe

Just for those of of us who cant afford a real lathe or those who like to make there own parts or pins . For example , you have a old sxs that needs a new firing pin but no one makes one or you need a custom receiver pin . Take a 3/8 high speed drill find a suitable material ' old screwdrivers work good ' place it in your drill like a normal drill bit and start spinning . You can use your dremel tool but be sure to run it in the opposite direction from what the drill is turning , you can use a cut off wheel or stone to get your end result .
If your in need of a flat spring or shim that is custom then I have found that using a old feeler gauge works great , BUT it is VERY hard material to drill if not almost impossible . A old ruger 10/22 bolt handle rod works great for pins . Dont forget your micrometer and dont worry about the length until your done , after your finished with the detailed work you just cut it off to what ever length you need .
I have made many firing pins and cross pins this way and music wire is a must for making your own springs . Remember : if you have the time and enough beer you can make your own parts with a vivid imagination . Dont knock it till you have tried it
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:40 AM   #2
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You know what they say about the mother of invention.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiwall View Post
You know what they say about the mother of invention.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:29 AM   #4
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I've seen pictures of a six gun made by a left coast gentleman the same way.....

My question is "why" ?

Proper machining tools are ubiquitous and often very cheap for basic setups permitting the manufacture of a lot of gun parts. Instruction in their use is often cheaper, sometimes even free.....For little monetary investment you gain the capability to make a lot of different parts more accurately and more efficiently......

But everyone "values" their time differently, I suppose.... >MW
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:32 AM   #5
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actually you can get the parts to make a cheap and simple lathe from a junk yard, as long as you have a drill press and know some math you can make one easy like you said it just takes time and beer.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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True , a drill press with a proper vice and some cutting bits not drill bits , and you can make pretty much anything you want . We have been thinking here in the shop about getting one of those habor freight lathes for 500.00 . The bad part is the machining bits for the lath and the press can be well over 100.00 ea so you had better know just what you need when you order . We paid 280.00 for a special 5/8 drill bit to drill the 3x frame on one of our wreckers . Correct me if im wrong but the vise would need to be a 3 axis right ? side/side , back/forth , and have the ability to go into the xy plane ? Or do I really hav no clue what im talking about and should go back to high skewl
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:12 PM   #7
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If you want a lathe, I would check out local auctions, flea markets, yard sales, and craigslist. I have seen many bargains. The biggest plus is you often get tooling with the machine when purchased used(this is a BIG plus). The tooling and accessories can easily exceed the machine cost.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:42 PM   #8
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names come to mind. micromark, grizzly, ebay.

Frankly I like the new 7x16 mini lathe from micromark. I also like their r8 sized mini mill. I have total agreement that the mandatory accessories double the purchase price of both. However, once purchased you can pretty much make anything. It will probably be worth your time to visit mini-lathe.com and take a look around there. Also good in my experience is take a course in running them at your local community college. It will only eat up a few Saturdays, but you will walk away knowing what it is you bought and how to do some things you hadn't even thought of.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:31 AM   #9
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you can't use a drill or drill-press with a dremel as a lathe or mill, there is too
much deflection in all three to be able to produce the small intricate cuts and
tight tolerances required in fabricating gun parts

lathes and mills are designed to keep close spindle tolerances so you can
remove very small amount of material (.0001") and it can't be done when the
drill or dremel has .010"-.020" of deflection at the spindle

it takes practically zero spindle deflection to shave .001 off a shaft or cut a
.050 groove for an E-clip or O-ring with a lathe or mill .0005 out of a dovetail
of mill a .125" wide keyway on a shaft

lathe bits and mill cutters can be purchased for well under $100, but it
depends on what type of metal you plan to cut and how big your lathe or mill is

with the small/mini/micro lathes and mills, good quality High Speed Steel bits
can be purchased for around $5 each, a little higher for cobalt, the same HSS
milling cutters can be purchased for not much more depending on size and style

carbide can get expensive even with the small stuff, but if you want to cut
O-2 drill rod (great for making shafts), S7 tool steel (hard and a PIA to cut)
or 17-4 stainless (same trouble as S7) you'll need the carbide and cobalt

you can also purchase HSS, cobalt and carbide blanks relatively cheap and
grind your own lathe bits if needed, sometimes the application requires an
oddly shaped tool bit and your only option is to make one

if you want or need a small inexpensive lathe I suggest buying one, you'll just
be disappointed in the results with the drill/drill-press/dremel set-up for the
small items we use in the gun industry

since superc mentioned Micro-Mark, their 7x16 Micro-Mark has been
discontinued and replaced with the Micro-Lux 7x16

MicroLux 7x16 Mini Lathe
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:09 PM   #10
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Yuh, I knew about the micro lux (and have been eyeing one for me), but I didn't want to say a reader should buy this or that. Better I thought to have them do some reading, learn a little, then seek out the brand/models that will do what they want. Notable that sometimes some nice machines (and accessories) pop up on the ebay fairly cheaply when used.

The average home user simply can't use a big machine such as a Bridgeport because those things can weigh well over 1,000 pounds and eat lots of non-110 volt electricity. A stone floor at least 6" thick and steel rebar reinforced is mandatory with those babies and let's face it, the average garage or home shop floor doesn't meet that standard. This is what led to the invention of the 110 volt mini-lathe and mini-mill. At less than 200 lb and bolted to a good bench they will fit very nicely in the back of your garage. You will not be able to make a nre engine block for your Chevy V-8 with them, but you can certainly make smaller items. Ever have to go to Lowes to buy just one small item, but be forced by packaging constraints to buy a box of 10 or 100? Those days end when you make your own, as desired.
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