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flintnapr 08-15-2009 03:13 PM

what lathe?
what would your recommendations be for a lathe intended to thread barrels, and general gunsmithing? I need especially one that would do the threads of military mausers. thanks

flintnapr 08-16-2009 06:14 PM

which lathe?
there are a few lathes that look good right now on my local Craig's List. they are in the 14 x 48, 16 x 40, 12 x 36 range. I'm thinking of getting a long bed in order to do muzzleloader barrels. any thoughts or advice?

mrm14 08-16-2009 06:26 PM

Never have done gunsmith work, but, have used Bridgeport and Jet brand lathes and mills. Both these brands are pretty good machines.

bb1 08-29-2009 02:24 AM

My buddy has a grizzly. It is belt drive, but it seems to be a good machine. Mine is a Chinese "Birmingham" It is a good machine, gear driven but it goes too fast. It turn 70 rpm, 270 and then up to 1200. It won't even turn itself at that speed. It is a 12x 36, but you have to squint real hard . The bed is 36" I can only fit about 27" between centers. It's a good lathe. The people who sold it are crooks. It won't do 28 tpi(Enfield) guard screws.
I got it w/ a DRO. I sweated that one. I'm so happy I spent the extra thousand bucks. It makes the machine idiot proof. I find myself using it as a mill more than my mill. I make vices and tool holders to fit on my tool post.
Do it. Eat the big one and I promise you will enjoy every minute. It will keep you out of the bars and ,at least the high priced, whorehouses.

stalkingbear 08-29-2009 03:15 PM

I would recommend you get a good used heavy lathe with at least 36" between centers & rebuild it. The chinese lathes are OK for a tinkerer's lathe but need a lot of work to make them precision. Recalibrating & tightening up are 2 areas the cheap imported lathes need.

bb1 08-31-2009 07:14 AM

Don't listen to MR. Stalking. He is probably a pro. I have had experience with old lathes. You don't want to rebuild one. The ways are nearly impossible to straighten out once they get worn. They can get swayback like an old mare.
If you only need to hit it within a couple thou. Get a brand spanking new import. They are waaay out of adjustment. It will be a good lesson to adjust it. It won't hurt you to take the saddle off and apart to see how it works. Then you will understand how to adjust it.

tapmajik 09-16-2009 01:18 AM

Bought A Smithy
a couple months ago, seems to be one of the better chinese machines, has wipers on each end of the carriage, that was a suprise. I had ordered a grizzly1340 gunsmith lathe but when it got here the tailstock was loose on it's side and had bounced around on the ways, not good, called grizzly and they sent me a RA and I sent it back, reimbursed me promptly. it had an 'oil slingin' gearbox' which I didn't like. the Smithy has enclosed gearbox with oil bath. 1.5" spindle hole, with D1-4 camlock chuck mount. it had a 4-way toolpost which I exchanged for a quick change wedge style. haven't made any heavy cuts yet, could use a few more spindle speeds, slower as about 30-40 rpm for threading and chambering. going to add a coolant pump soon. I'm making a spyder for the outboard spindle end at present.
here's the link to the website:

Smithy ::: Machines

Highpower 10-04-2009 08:19 PM


Originally Posted by tapmajik (Post 160339)
1.5" spindle hole,

This is a very good point if you plan on doing barrel work. Especially on long barrels. It is advantageous to be able to have the barrel running through the headstock in order to work close to the spindle. I would make sure that whatever machine you decide on has at least a 1.5" ID. JMHO.

agoetz2005 11-10-2009 12:13 PM

My smithy uses a Clausing Belt Drive with auto Feed.

I think it's a 12x42 if I remember Correctly.

I know a few people that use the Jet too, and they are mucho happy.

Highpower 11-17-2009 02:58 PM

For 3-4 times the cost, I'm afraid that American iron is out of my budget. And I'm not into spending the time and money it takes to rebuild and scrape an old, heavily used, worn out piece of American equipment. I'd rather be working on the guns, not the machines... :D

I'm not a professional gunsmith but I manage to get by just fine with a 12x36 import. YMMV. :)

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