victorian era machinery
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victorian era machinery


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Old 06-25-2012, 02:58 AM   #1
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Default victorian era machinery

hi. I need some advice.

I'm poor as poo. It's a fact. Like a lot of younger people, the economy has royally fiddled my plans for the future. I sought out gunsmithing as a plan C for income. Plan D is government help.

So, if I am to be a gunsmith, I'll need machine tools - cheap ones. And the cheapest method was to make one. Enter David Gingery - God bless 'im! With his help I aim to build my own lathe and mill, but the mill is an area of special concern.

My Dad is a machinist for a big corporation, age 65. He wants to use a large portion of his retirement money to buy me a lathe and mill (harbor freight - china - bleh). I learned, but have yet to use, all I know about mills from public domain books on google books. These books are dated 1917 at the latest.

The predominant mill in these books is the Lincoln-type miller, essentially an evolved lathe. My dad says that he wants to buy me a 'real' mill, and that using any homemade tooling, or any Victorian era tooling will always lead to a bad part and inaccuracy and an angry customer.

Bear in mind he was brought up on punch card and CNC machines and he's very stubborn. I think maybe he doesn't know what he's talking about.

I need help from someone who has experience with Victorian era machinery. If this is you, could you answer these questions?

- is the Lincoln mill or Victorian era machinery a good or bad idea?
- would a homemade machine be accurate as a chinese machine?
- are these tools accurate to .001 inches or .02mm
- do you think my dad is being an old fogy?
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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Deep subject........

Not going to try to talk you out of building equip,even when considering how cheap you can get lathes/mills.Patience,diligence,willing to travel,and networking being high on the list of priority's.....moreso than outright money.

So,for the sake of....DIY,see if this link works.

http://www.homemadetools.net/
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:51 PM   #3
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I purchased a Harbor Freight "all in one" micro mill/lathe.

To find the correct bits was a challenge and the motor did not last too long.
but, accuracy seemed to be good enough to complete most required tasks.

If you plan on making a living with it, always go with the best quality you can.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Intheshop View Post
Deep subject........

Not going to try to talk you out of building equip,even when considering how cheap you can get lathes/mills.Patience,diligence,willing to travel,and networking being high on the list of priority's.....moreso than outright money.

So,for the sake of....DIY,see if this link works.

http://www.homemadetools.net/

I did not know this site existed, and it is now bookmarked. thx.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:01 AM   #5
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Look to used shop machinery dealers. Lots of times you can find some pretty good deals, especially if you're willing to do the work and invest some money on a "dog" they've got taking up space. Local papers and "bargain shoppers" rags can also be a source. Best bet, IMO, is visiting any/all local machine shops. If naught else you'll make some contacts to find/borrow needed tooling and you just might find a gem as well ! And, since cash is a critical factor, you might find you can "work off" some of the expense !

As for your idea of "rolling your own"; reminds me of a guy that owned a dog but was always barking himself ! IOW, you can refinish ways, redo guide blocks, tighten bearing slop, and rework chucks with patience, care and a lot of sweat equity, but you ain't gonna build a good lathe or mill from scratch ! But you can rehab a neglected machine into a precision instrument !

FWIW, I've got a bunch of collets sitting in the basement right now. Interested ? >MW
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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A good machinist can do the same exact work on a manual machine as he can do on a Cnc machine. Right now at work I am working on a old worn out lathe from the 50's I can still hold tolerances of +.000 -.0005 it will take me longer than it would with a Cnc machine but it can be done. I do tolerances like that at least once a week. as far as a cheap Chinese machine you get what you pay for in my honest opinion. It's better to buy a American made machine.if you make your own machine I'm gonna say your gonna spend more money doing that than buying a older machine. Your ways won't be ground, chances are there will be alot of slop in your axis's your spindle will not run true and your gonna spend alot on the gears if you wanna have feeds and different spindle speeds. I would just say buy one it will be 100 times easier and you know that it will be a good machine
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
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A good machinist can do the same exact work on a manual machine as he can do on a Cnc machine. Right now at work I am working on a old worn out lathe from the 50's I can still hold tolerances of +.000 -.0005 it will take me longer than it would with a Cnc machine but it can be done. I do tolerances like that at least once a week. as far as a cheap Chinese machine you get what you pay for in my honest opinion. It's better to buy a American made machine.if you make your own machine I'm gonna say your gonna spend more money doing that than buying a older machine. Your ways won't be ground, chances are there will be alot of slop in your axis's your spindle will not run true and your gonna spend alot on the gears if you wanna have feeds and different spindle speeds. I would just say buy one it will be 100 times easier and you know that it will be a good machine
Never said different ! IN fact, isn't that what I suggested ? >MW
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Intheshop View Post
Deep subject........

Not going to try to talk you out of building equip,even when considering how cheap you can get lathes/mills.Patience,diligence,willing to travel,and networking being high on the list of priority's.....moreso than outright money.

So,for the sake of....DIY,see if this link works.

http://www.homemadetools.net/
Ken here from HomemadeTools.net.

I know this thread is an old one, but thanks for the link!

To celebrate our 20,000th homemade tool, we made a new ebook featuring our top 50 homemade tools. You guys are welcome to it for free:

http://download.homemadetools.net/50MustReadTools.pdf

victorian era machinery - Gunsmithing Forum
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:36 PM   #9
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Your dad didn't get to be a 65 year old machinist for a big corporation by being stupid.
Listen to him.
Used US made machinery is plentiful now that CNC is all the rage, and some of the Chinese stuff is pretty good.
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Old 09-25-2015, 04:22 PM   #10
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I really think you should listen to your dad since this was his profession. He may have retired on CMC, but trust me 30 years ago CNC was a dream not yet existing and 40 years ago old manual Bridgeports were virtually the only game in town. That said, I am a hobbyist. So can we say, micro mark? I have their mini Sieg toys (both of them) and I think between how much better they are now (vs. 5 or 10 years ago) and the great web sights devoted to them and calibrating them, tips, shortcuts, etc. as a hobbyinst they exceed my needs, China built or not (not that anyone in America offers a decent mini anyway (and yes there are concept problems/shortcomings with the Smithy 2 in one approach). Some of the English and Australian sites are great. LoL, even the Yahoo mini mill group is full of good stuff.

You serious about wanting a pro machine? You have a place with a floor that is at least 6" thick of reinforced concrete (8" is smarter) and a heavy duty 3 phase power supply? If yes, then please, sit down with your Dad and peruse the used big boys that are just filling the Ebay web site and see which one he knows/feels comfortable with and can help you with initial setup and problems that you don't know of before you buy it. I just did a quick Ebay search for you and there are used Bports with J heads and powered knees in R8 up there right now for UNDER 2 grand. Others more complete for under 7Gs. That's like 30G cheaper than new. Yeah ship it or pick it up. But read carefully. Machinist shops are now shutting down all over the planet (everything is plastic and castings) and many of the machines come with all sorts of accessories thrown in. Sometimes the guy who seized it when the shops couldn't pay their bills just wants it all gone. All of it. Lathe bits, trams, vises, T nuts, cutting heads, broaches, tool cabinets all that. Caveat Emptor, which is where your Dad is important. Buzz words like 'good condition' cover a LOT of territory and include things like a spindle bearing needs replacement or a table is pitted and needs resurfacing or re-aligning. Your Dad did this stuff for a living and he knows what questions to ask over the phone. You don't. There's stuff that will bring you as a beginner to a screeching halt for months, but to him it would probably be a mere 20 minute nuisance and just another $40 to fix it. $30 for the rebuild manual and $10 for the part. Why not use the free in-family expertise? BTW, true Victorian era machinery ran on steam power and coal fired boilers. Is that really what you are envisioning/seeking? I wish I had spent a little more on my Siegs and got them CNC from jump instead of planning to add the capability. Yes, you can duplicate manually, esp. if you are an expert. But the cut done on today's programmable CNC DRO machines in 3 minutes will take you 3 hours by hand. Time is money. Community College can teach you how to program the machines. So too probably can your Dad. Here is an ENTIRE machine shop for only 20G, described as 200G worth of stuff, but you must take everything (it's in Connecticut). If you got the wheels to go haul it all, have your Dad haggle with him and learn what (if anything it needs). http://www.ebay.com/itm/Machinists-Tool-Shop-with-Bridgeport-Milling-Machines-Lathes-Entire-Lot-/251956590082?hash=item3aa9c87602

BTW, if I had the money, the location, and the desire to go pro I would have the big boys for sure, but I would still have some of the newer Chinese Mini machines there too. Re: Tying up a machine capable of machining an engine cam for a Chevy 350 to make a 2" long part makes zero sense.
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