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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 11/17/2003 10:48:06 AM EDT
i was looking at page 1 of the new shotgun news and got to thinking. page 1 is an ad for grizzly industrial lathes and mills. i'd like to get some experiance in gunsmithing and maybe make it a part time job, mainly as a hobby for now. are these tools any good for a beginner?

any ideas, i'd like to get a start but dont know where that start is.

Link Posted: 11/17/2003 10:54:54 AM EDT
Cool lathes and tools dont make you a gunsmith.

Find a local guy and ask if he needs someone to sweep up shop/do bitch work. Most gunsmiths wont turn down free labor. If you do well with the first task you are given, they will usually start showing you alot of cool stuff.

Its how I started four years ago.

P.S. What kind of gunsmithing were you thinking about doing?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 10:56:41 AM EDT
Grizzly tools are generally serviceable and durable enough tools, however, imprecision in manufacturing and quality control occasionally results in the delivery of some DOGS.

In a recent table saw test in a major woodworking magazine, the Grizzly model submitted featured a main cabinet box that was welded up out of square complicating the rest of the set up and causing the tester to have to go through some severe assembly gymnastics and radical adjustments to get everything properly mounted up. Once set up the saw worked well, but for a novice, fighting through those sorts of assembly woes could lead to some serious frustration. Especially if the problems couldn't be overcome in assembly and you didn't detect it. You could wind up with a lathe or a mill that you just can't see to get working properly.

I'm generally a Jet and Delta guy for this reason, QC rarely seems to be a problem for either company, making the task of setting up the machines a lot easierand allowing more precise and reliable operations.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 11:03:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheFNG:
P.S. What kind of gunsmithing were you thinking about doing?

i was thinking along the lines of 1911's, high powers, ar's, and bolt guns. i'd like to be able to do flutes and contour barrels.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 11:10:09 AM EDT
Do you have any machinist experiance/training?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 11:28:41 AM EDT
i have a little experiance. a buddy of mine fabricates parts for coal mines and other industrial companies and had shown me the ropes when i was in the process of looking for a job elsewere. i have about 4 months shop experiance.
really enjoyed it.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 5:13:27 PM EDT
As was stated above, grizzly tools can run the gambit of quality. I personaly own one of their 10" table saws and I can truthfully say that it's a damn fine machine. Sure it took a few(15-20) min to set it up, but I got cast iron side tables(not sheet metal), and a nice flat table for $$hundreds$$ less then a delta or jet(many of witch were made by the same plant(s)). I also own a pair of their air nailers, and have used the &$(*$)! out of both of them, good stuff!

I know that PvtRyan over at www.roderuscustom.tzo.com/ uses a grizzly knee mill and likes it alot.

Check out what ever You buy. If You can find a good old Bridgeport mill or Southbend lathe BUY IT!!! Take Your machinest(sp?) buddy with You.

Check out the above link for lots & lots of gunsmithing info!

Take Care!
Tall Shadow
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 5:39:44 PM EDT
I have a Grizzly mini-mill -- as stated, their products can run the gambit on quality.

I've had no problems with mine, BUT.

If you buy one, plan on dissassembling the whole thing and cleaning it, then carefully re-assembling it.

When I got it, the table's leadscrews were out of alignment, and it tended to bind up. After taking it apart, cleaning it, and reassembling it using nothing more than common mechanical sense, its quite nice, with no problems.

Next on my list is one of their mini-lathes.

Now, as far as "good for a beginner", that would depend on what your level of mechanical sense is. Also, don't plan on starting off with hard stuff. I spent a while just making little brackets and such for various other hobbies to get used to the machine and machining aluminum. I'm hoping to start doing some 0% forged lowers shortly after christmas when (again, hopefully) the cash-flow will improve.

If you have any other questions, feel free to IM me.


(And yes, after I've done some AR work, I'll post a more full review of the mini-mill)
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:10:32 PM EDT
Don't forget to shop around for used machinery. You can often find an old American made mill or lathe of reasonable size for what a new import might cost. But it's good to make sure that it comes with all the accessories that it should.

Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:39:50 PM EDT
I agree with TS & CMJ.

Look around for some good used AMERICAN-MADE machinery. You can often find used Bridgeports in the $2000-$3000 range, and they usually include tons of tooling.

Same goes for lathes. I bought a LeBlonde 13" x 36" lathe at an auction for $1200. I got two four-jaw chucks, a three jaw chuck, two spindle-nose chucks, three faceplates, a quick-change toolpost, ten tool holders, four live center, a taper attachment, a steady rest, a follower rest, two drill chucks, and more. The tooling alone was worth more than I paid for everything.

Don't be scared off by three-phase units either. As long as you have 220 volt power, all you need is a static inverter. Mine cost $125.

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