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4

Biggest Project with a 3" Chuck

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crossthread

Iron
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#1
I need small parts at times and am considering buying a 7 x 14 lathe. I want a small lathe that can be moved out of the way for storage when not in use.

What is the biggest project you have successfully completed on a 7 x 12 or 7 x 14 mini lathe with a 3" chuck?
 

Les B

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#2
I have been able to rebarrel my rifles and make almost any item for my projects. Large size objects to turn can be a slow process as the motor will not be strong enough. After I retired I decided to buy a small lathes to see what can be made up. The round parts must be smaller than 13/16 in. to pass thru the headstock. You need to make a special 4 screw chuck with a hole of about 1.200 in. dia. to set the barrel deep into the headstock for chambering. A short floating reamer holder to fit the tailstock and this will allow for the chamber reamer enough distance to use on barrels to size 2 in most barrel makers which is the standard weight for a hunting sporter. Last week I was able to turn down a Krieger to 16.5 inches and fix the barrel extension for my AR15 to make up a 204 Ruger. At one time there was a post on this site of several rifles built with a 7X12. The biggest problem is with vibrations. I noticed that Grizzly has a 4 jaw screw chuck blank for sale. If you go to the Gunsmith section and look at the stock making link to the last stock made you can see the mini lathe in operation on page 4 or 5.

Les Brooks, retired gunsmith
 

crossthread

Iron
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#4
Thank you Les. That is the type of information I was seeking.
 
Last edited:

crossthread

Iron
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#6
Just buy one. You'll get the bug and end up with a garage you can't park in. Is there anything g better in life?


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I am trying to avoid that, but I know at some point I will get drawn in.
 

Dan_S

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#8
On most lathes, the size of the chuck isn't what usually limits you, its the rigidity of the machine, and/or the power of the motor.
 

chips&more

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#9
My intent is to not talk you out of buying a lathe. But, the lathe will need tooling. And need material/stock. And the lathe will need an operator. It will be a learning curve. You will need time to do all this. To say you need a small lathe to make small parts and then put it back on the shelf when done. Is not like grabbing the hand saw to make that 2 minute cut and then put the saw back on the peg board. What you are asking is a time and money involved idea. I hope I didn’t scarce you away? I hope it was just a heads up so you will need to prepare better.
 

crossthread

Iron
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#10
I purchased a Grizzly 7x14 lathe and really like it. I bought a roll around workbench from Home Depot, which has a lot of storage space for tooling. I've turned several projects that I wanted to complete over the past few years, but did not have a lathe.

I fashioned a lathe dog from a ground lug used to attach a large wire to a grounding rod. I can use it for material up to 1/2" in diameter.

I recently ordered a 4" 4 jaw chuck and lathe dog set from LittleMachineShop.com. Unfortunately they backordered the lathe dog I would use the most, the 40mm dog.

You guys are right, I've gone through some $$$$ for tooling, etc., and I've been shopping for a small mill. I can still park in the garage though. :)
 

BRIAN

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#11
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