A redneck lathe

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by MobileMarine, May 17, 2011.

  1. MobileMarine

    MobileMarine New Member

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    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 :cool:
     
  2. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    You know what they say about the mother of invention.
     

  3. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Didja Get Any Onya?;):D
     
  4. Millwright

    Millwright Member

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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
     
  5. wmille01

    wmille01 New Member

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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.
     
  6. MobileMarine

    MobileMarine New Member

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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 :cool:
     
  7. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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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.
     
    SWSinTN likes this.
  8. superc

    superc Member

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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.
     
  9. MidnightExpress

    MidnightExpress New Member

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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
     
  10. superc

    superc Member

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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.
     
  11. MobileMarine

    MobileMarine New Member

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    I am well aware of the proper way to cut , mill ect . The post was more for the funny side and yes it does work , is it accurate ? not really . I would rather spend 100.00 in wasted material but learn on the last try than to just buy it or have some one else do it . I am not working with ar's and barrets , most of my home brew parts are for 100yr old guns were nothing was really milled so the tolerance is not really and issue as they are much more forgiving . Some of my post are not to be taken to seriously as I am a joker with a few grains of sarcasm . A post with a title of REDNECK LATHE is going to have some.... improvisions in it lol . It also seems that some of you know your stuff .
     
  12. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I have never seen a drill corded or cordless that could hold the tolerances that a good quality lather could or even a poor quality lathe.
     
  13. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    He's not talking about tolerances, he's talking about hand fitting pins and such like. I've done it before. I've turned ramrods for muzzleloaders in a half inch drill. Now that's a trick.:D
     
  14. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    OK so tolerances don't matter with pins that hold firearms together? WOW thats a new one on me. Sorry I will stick to buying proper parts for my firearms.
     
  15. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Thanks MidnightExpress thats cool.
     
  16. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    I didn't mean tolerances don't matter. I meant it's not like chucking a piece of metal in a lathe and having it come out right the first time. It's hand fitting. File a little at a time till you get it right. For somebody financially unable to buy a lathe or somebody that doesn't do much of it it does work.
     
  17. MidnightExpress

    MidnightExpress New Member

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    you're welcome, I stumbled across that a few years ago and thought it was
    interesting enough to give it a try with all the car and truck parts that come
    through here, just haven't had the time to get started on it
     
  18. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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    I used to turn and owned various lathes from .5HP to electronic VS 2HP. For me, as long as you know what you need and know how to get it done, the machine (lathe in this case) is secondary. It does make your life easier but that mush in between your ears matter more.

    I've seen some exceptionally talented people make wonderful turnings out of a drill press :eek:. Can they do better with a better machine? Yes. Can I do better than these people with my 2 HP VS lathe...I wish but sadly no. :eek:

    Some people count on the best tool so much but their skill/talent level usually doesn't really take advantage of it that much. If it works, it doesn't matter if it is a pedal powered lathe. ;)
     
  19. MobileMarine

    MobileMarine New Member

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    that thing is cool , we have some old drill press brake lathes and misc tire machines sitting around , i may try something like that this winter