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Amuse Ourselves For A Moment - What If

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Bamban

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#1
You could order a purpose built gunsmithing lathe with configuration of your choosing, how would it be like? For me here are the things that are a must

Very short spindle with just 2 speed spindle control
Highest rated spindle bearings with the least spindle run out
Belt drive, using link belt system
Inverter Drive, at least 3 HP motor
Side gear cover notched to accommodate outboard spider without swinging the cover out.
Enclosed gear change box
2 inch spindle bore
9 inch bed way for rigidity
T slotted cross slide
40 inch length center to center
Splash lubricated apron with sight glass
Target minimum net weight not less the 2000 pounds
DRO factory installed
At least 5 inch TS quill travel
Cast iron stand, heavy
Spindle center height from bottom of cabinet to be not greater than 40 inches, ergonomically correct for my height
 

GA Gyro

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#2
Looks like a good list to me....

How much of that is in the new PM1440GT...
 

wrat

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#3
Purpose built? Okay...
Very short spindle with just 2 speed spindle control
What does this do for me? Short spindle? With a big enough bore, why would i care? 2 speed? why only 2?
Highest rated spindle bearings with the least spindle run outt
Highest what? Tribology is a complex subject. Highest load? Longest wear? Smoothness?
The least runout, yes. Good idea.
Belt drive, using link belt system
Inverter Drive, at least 3 HP motor
Why belt drive? Why not hydraulic drive? Why link belt? Why not silicon belt? Why any belt at all? Why not chevron gears?
3hp is a good place to be. After all, especially for gunsmithing, no one gains much by taking a 1/4" cut on anything. So 5 or 10 ponies would be excessive, IMO. 3hp would give good startup/braking power for the hefty spindle and head we'd want.
Side gear cover notched to accommodate outboard spider without swinging the cover out.
Enclosed gear change box
Yes and yes.
2 inch spindle bore
9 inch bed way for rigidity
T slotted cross slide
40 inch length center to center
Maybe a teensy bit more bore. 2.125 bore. That way a 2" bar fits easily or something that *should* be 2" but actually is a bit over (like always) fits easily.
9inch bed minimum. Purpose built? I could go for more rigidity just cuz.
T slots in the cross, but only if it comes with all the tooling to support that ;-)
Might go 49" centers. Goose gun barrels can be what? 38"? Plus a 9" action? So 47" would allow solidly barreled actions, like bolt guns, to be held between centers -- which a guy would never need, ever, or at least until the day he got this machine installed, then these jobs would appear from nowhere.
Splash lubricated apron with sight glass
Target minimum net weight not less the 2000 pounds
DRO factory installed
At least 5 inch TS quill travel
Cast iron stand, heavy
Spindle center height from bottom of cabinet to be not greater than 40 inches, ergonomically correct for my height
Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
I might add:
at least 6 leveling feet.
foot brake
certainly a taper setup

If you like 40" height, then build it to 41". Why? Because you'll wanna be standing on a 1" rubber mat because you'll be spending a LOT of time at a sweet machine like this ;-)


Wrat
 

wrmiller

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#5
What's with the old dinosaur crap? I want a composite/granite bed and a direct drive spindle thank you, with individually driven/infinitely variable feed and electronic threading capability.

Or I just call Matt at QMT and order a RML-1640V with constant speed control and call it good. :D
 

wrat

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#6
What's with the old dinosaur crap? I want a composite/granite bed and a direct drive spindle thank you
What does that kind of bed gain? I mean other than sounding new, what material properties does it possess that's inherently advantageous to machinetool construction above and beyond cast iron or forged steel?
Just curious.
Direct drive spindle i could understand wanting though i'm not sure how that's done. A >2" hole through your armature is unlike any motor my limited experience has observed.

Wrat
 

wrmiller

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#7
A hole through a armature is easy, though a motor like that would not be cheap. Didn't even get into the uber precise and noise immune power supplys to drive this stuff. I mean is we're going to dream here, why not hold millions of an inch?

There are much better materials available than cast iron for dampening vibrations, rigidity, and thermal stability. Cast iron is just cheap, easy to manipulate, and was readily available during the Iron Age. :)
 

wrat

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#8
A hole through a armature is easy, though a motor like that would not be cheap. Didn't even get into the uber precise and noise immune power supplys to drive this stuff. I mean is we're going to dream here, why not hold millions of an inch?
Of COURSE a hole in an armature is easy. I'm just saying i've not seen one and certainly not one of that kind of size. By the time all your windings were in place for 3 ponies, that would be a big head on that lathe. Are you saying you know of such a motor?

And this, to me, wasn't really a 'dream' thing, so maybe i oughta start there. Instead of farming this out to George Jetson, to me it was more of a spec thing. Using available -- maybe not OTS, but available -- technologies to build up a purpose-built machine. Emphasis on 'built' as in something buildable.

"Gunsmith Lathe" is as overused as eBay sellers saying "mint". It seems to mean about nothing, except, perhaps, a shorter bed for the size of bore you get. If that. So such an academic exercise is not without merit, IMO. What would people that genuinely work on guns (as opposed to salesmen and spectators) really want in a lathe if they could get it?

There are much better materials available than cast iron for dampening vibrations, rigidity, and thermal stability. Cast iron is just cheap, easy to manipulate, and was readily available during the Iron Age. :)
Well, okay, is that what you're saying? You brought it up. I'm not saying no such material exists (though cast iron has its place) but I am asking just what properties are being claimed, here? Cast iron we know. But before we throw it out like so much "dinosaur crap" i was just wondering what we're gaining. that's all.

Wrat.
 

wrmiller

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#9
And this, to me, wasn't really a 'dream' thing, so maybe i oughta start there. Instead of farming this out to George Jetson, to me it was more of a spec thing.

Wrat.
Sorry, misread/misunderstood the original post.
 

wrat

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#10
Out of curiosity, i revisited this thread. Came across this remark.


Or I just call Matt at QMT and order a RML-1640V with constant speed control and call it good. :D
Not really being up on my contemporary hardware, I checked this out.

WOW! What a sweet looking machine. Believe I'd be fully content with such a device in the right setup and accessories. Didn't know about this line.

This game is over for me. I'm gonna hafta just set on the bench, now.

Wrat

p.s. anyone know what kinda moolah we're talking about, here? he annoyingly keeps his prices to himself.
 

wrmiller

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#11
I've been told low teens. By the time I get the CSS and variable speed it would kill 15 large for sure. Just a SWAG on my part though...
 

wrat

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#13
So you're saying these are appropriate motors for a lathe? Specifically the lathe in question?
Just wondering if you thought 7.5 ft-lb of stall torque was adequate.

I guess when i said "your armature", i was clumsy in not specifying "the armature of a motor suitable for a lathe" as opposed to "the armature of any-sized motor anywhere". That was my bad grammar.

Wonder what those are generally used for? Bet they're expensive ;-)

Wrat
 

JimDawson

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#14
So you're saying these are appropriate motors for a lathe? Specifically the lathe in question?
Just wondering if you thought 7.5 ft-lb of stall torque was adequate.
I'm guessing those guys would build any spec motor you wanted if you brought them several wheel barrel loads of cash! :grin:
 

derf

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#16
There are no real "gunsmith" lathes made, that is nothing more than marketing hype. There are no manufacturers of lathes that actually "gunsmithed" for a living to know exactly what the optimum machine would entail, and how every operator has differing opinions.
I have been a full time gunsmith for the last 25 years, and I can tell you that there is no single lathe to fit the entire bill. That's why I have 3 lathes, and every one of them has been modified to a certain extent to accommodate a particular purpose.
 

BGHansen

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#18
There are no real "gunsmith" lathes made, that is nothing more than marketing hype. There are no manufacturers of lathes that actually "gunsmithed" for a living to know exactly what the optimum machine would entail, and how every operator has differing opinions.
I have been a full time gunsmith for the last 25 years, and I can tell you that there is no single lathe to fit the entire bill. That's why I have 3 lathes, and every one of them has been modified to a certain extent to accommodate a particular purpose.
I couldn't agree more. Guns have been in existence for what, 400 years? Gunsmithing lathes became a marketing term within the last decade or two.

Bruce
 

OLEJOE

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#21
Hope our "Gunsmith Lathes" don't get stereotyped and start a whole new group of who're mongers wanting to confiscate them.
Just sayin
 

george wilson

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#22
An OLD model Oliver wood lathe had a motor inside the centerline of the headstock,with a 1/2" hole through the armature. It was quite an ugly lathe. I bought one once and tossed the headstock,as it could not be made to work any more. I wanted the bed,with its strong cast iron feet,which ended up as a wire drawing machine.

I have an HLVH,and I WISH it had a longer bed. Somewhere in my fading memory,I think I have heard of a few long bed models that were made. Maybe some Googling would help. I use my HLVH for small work,as was intended for it in the first place.

It is the handiest lathe I have ever used(though there are some that are better,I know). But,the HLVH works smooth as silk and is very light on the controls. Like driving a sports car!
 

wrmiller

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#23
I've always admired the HLVH lathes as it would be perfect for 99.9% of what I want to do. But the prices, even for worn out junk, and the heft will likely prohibit me from ever owning one. I have more lathe now than what I need. :)
 

jer

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#24
If there was a "Perfect" lathe, it would only be perfect for You. Everyone else would want something changed.
 

weaselfire

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#25
It would weigh less than 50 pounds and cost less than $100, complete with all tooling.

Seriously, weight and cost are my highest considerations for a lathe.

Jeff

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george wilson

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#26
Are you REALLY wanting a lathe THAT light? I have a watch maker's lathe that weighs more than that!
 

Old Squier

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#27
The term "gunsmith" lathe is nonsense. Best lathe is HEAVY. I'm fond of1640's. With this swing I can use the lathe for all sorts of non-smithing stuff. Needs a spindle bore of 2". HP, if I have my way would be 5-7.5HP. Best 4 Jaw money can buy -- D6. Swiss toolpost, Dorian or Aloris in the alternative. Relatively short thru headstock. Good tooling like Sandvik or similar. Coolant. Newall DRO.

Some will claim overkill. I'm a retired gunsmith, and I liked a big, heavy powerful lathe. Today, I would look for something like Blue Line from Japan, a clean used Mori, Graziano, Cazaneuve or something along those lines. I hear the new Colchester lathes are very sweet if you want to buy new. There are plenty of great machines out there.

Nowadays, I use a PM 1340 for most stuff, but if I went back to work I would be using a more serious machine. PM is a fine hobbyist machine, but not very good for heavy daily use IMHO.

Squire

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