milling machine...?

Discussion in 'Engraving & Refinishing' started by drhawks, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. drhawks

    drhawks New Member

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    hello guys i am new to the site and figured this might be the best place for me to get the right info ... im looking into buying a milling machine id like to be able to do everything ill need to make my own guns .. i have 0 experience on a mill but im a fast learner i just need to get the right one in my shop .. price range is 10,000 be better if i didnt drop that much but "you get what you pay for" is what ive realized over the years ...please let me know what yall think !! thanks in advance
     
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Welcome to the FTF. We have an "Introductions" area that is begging for your input.

    You are correct with the "you get what you pay for" when it comes to machinery. Some people have good luck with on-line auctions.
    Just research the machine first (just like buying a car).
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    most machine shop machines at professional grade level if properly tended will last generations. however running a milling machine takes skill and isnt something that can be learned trial and error without a LOT and i mean a LOT of error.

    designing and milling your own parts for any application is more than just running a mill. you need to be able to make technical drawings that translate into machine operations. its not like woodcraft where you chock up a chunk of wood in a lathe and get after it based off some graph paper and free hand pencil drawings.

    in high school i worked for several years in a machine shop running mills lathes punch presses etc. if your serious spend a little of that 10K$ and get some machine shop trade skill training and take a drafting course at your local community college. you will save money in the long run and figure out if you REALLY like it or not before you shoot the whole wad to find out it really isnt for you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  4. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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    This ^^^.

    Also check the regulations about "making your own guns".
     
  5. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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    BTW, I've seen some really good deal on a government surplus auction site a few years back. The equipment were supposedly used by the military armorers to refine their long range sniper rifles and includes bore machine (?). Worth checking if you want to save some. Who knows, you might just get lucky.
     
  6. MLRDist

    MLRDist New Member

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    It is actually a good time to be buying used machinery. With the slow down in the economy and the closing of many machine shops there are many machines sitting waiting to be bought up at good prices. That being said, it is not as easy as it looks. If you plan on doing production, you need to look into CNC machines. These machines will take knowledge on programing but the plus side is once you have it programed you can run the same part and get the same results as many times as you like.

    Mark
     
  7. vintovka

    vintovka New Member

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    FWIW I have older RONG FU 20 taiwanese machine. It is a plain jane drill mill machine but will do everything asked of it. Its a bridgeport copy, weighs about 400# and has (as the name implies) a 20" table. Being on the small side has it's advantages as it has only a about a 2.5 ft footprint and take little of my valuable shop space. The 2 hp 220 motor provides all the cutting power i need and its precision is about .001. Don't forget that precise milling on wood is often needed as is drilling scope mounting holes and milling extractor cuts.

    It cost under $500 at the time. $10,000 might be enough for a CNC machine!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  8. unclebear

    unclebear New Member

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    I would suggest learning from a professional, I was taught by my dad and there are a few ways you can really mess up, esp if you get your finger caught in the chuck. The nicest one I've used had a digital display, 48" table could really do anything you needed it to. The worst mill I ever used was made in the 1950's beat all to hell but still did an ok job. If your interested in getting into making custom parts and all that jazz. I would look into getting a used Mill and Lathe and get find a class on how to use them properly, also pick up a Machinist Handbook it just has a bunch of info, tables, and what not that really come in use.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  9. vintovka

    vintovka New Member

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    Learning from a pro is nice but not avail to most. I was fortunate to learn a bit for the late Hal Sharon who had his own barrel making company and did sub contract for TC. If you see a little 'heart" stamped on the bottom of your barrel he made it. Newbies shouldn't be afraid to give it a go. Pick easy projects that can be junked if ruined. Junky bolt .22s are a start and less can go wrong as opposed to. lets say, a .458 win magnum. Skill does outweigh machinery but its nice to have them. Take your time and always have lots of light to see what youre doing. Forget making a living at it.
     
  10. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    Try to get some experience on one before you spend that kind of money. Also, don't forget to get a firearm manufacturing FFL. I think it's a felony if they find out you are making firearms without one. Also, it is a good idea to get a good lawyer. Things happen and people can sue you if they have an accident. Even if it is in no way your's, or you firearm's fault. Not trying to scare you away from this, just stating the facts.
     
  11. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I'm still waiting for the OP to respond from nearly 2 months ago. Should that happen, I'll throw my $.02 in.
     
  12. nygunnut

    nygunnut New Member

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    ive been machining for a few years and my father has been doing it as a career for 30 years. in order to be good enought to create something such as a firearm it takes quite a bit of skill and some talent that cannot be taught.

    id also make sure you can legally make firearms in your area.

    if you do decide to go through with this plan id get quality equipment, such as a bridgeport mill( the original designer and maker of milling machines). and you may also need a lathe if you plan to make barrels. and metal presses( for bending sheet metal and plate metal). also possible some sort of cutting torch. either oxy-acetylene or plasma arc would do the job along with a good quality bench grinder.

    basically what im saying is youll probably have to drop more than 10k in just equipment, then add some training to that its a pretty expensive hobby.
     
  13. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In most trades it takes an apprenticeship of about four years, at 40 hours a week, to become a skilled tradesman. I have worked with tools for 40 years and I wouldn't buy a milling machine and expect to crank out parts with tolerances around three decimal points necessary for firearms.

    What I would like to pick up for a few bucks would be a CNC machine. While it still takes a lot of skill to operate them, I think some majic is also involved.;)