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Posted: 6/8/2017 12:31:42 AM EDT
I recently picked up an old lathe and vertical mill on one of the .GOV surplus auction sites. I've been working on getting them up and running good the last few weeks. I tried my first "muzzle mock up" this evening. Just trying to get a feel for this lathe.

I am not an experienced machinist, but it runs in my blood. My dad is a retired tool & die maker of over 45 years, so I was pretty much raised on it. Yes, he is looking over my shoulder as I learn, and I want to learn as much as possible from him while I still can. He has a lot of knowledge stored up in that brain.

My plan is to be able to true, chamber, and barrel my own bolt rifles. I had a custom remmy 700 built a few years ago, and for what I paid in gunsmithing work, I could have bought both of these machines. - I know, I was paying for the knowledge and experience of the smith as well, But I like to learn, and this isn't rocket surgery.

I am also heavily into reloading, especially for precision. I couldn't tell you how many times over the years, I've asked my dad to make this or that, or turn this down a little bit for me. So now I can do it myself. I also always have some crazy plan going on in my head for a piece of equipment, or tool to build. Now I can do that as well.

I don't think it turned out too bad, for my first go.
Attachment Attached File


Man... It was almost like sex when I threaded this on.Attachment Attached File


Yes. This is going to get expensive!
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 2:03:10 AM EDT
I have rifle work for you .



Seriously though that's awesome OP. I wish I had time, money and more importantly patience for that kind of stuff!
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 9:24:12 AM EDT
Link

Some good reads and info on this site.  He lists all the tools he uses to do the work also.
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 11:30:07 AM EDT
Threads are kinda rough... Did you single point or use a die?
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 1:42:59 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Brassaholic13:
Threads are kinda rough... Did you single point or use a die?
View Quote
Single point.

Like I said, This was my first attempt, just starting to get a feel for this lathe. It can only get better from here. I have some practicing to do.
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 1:43:33 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By TreeFrog169:
Link

Some good reads and info on this site.  He lists all the tools he uses to do the work also.
View Quote
Thanks. Will be checking this out.
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 2:28:33 PM EDT
That is too cool. Congrats on getting into tool and die. I wish I had never left the trade as it was very rewarding and satisfying. Something about taking a piece of metal and churning out a part according to print is just an awesome feeling.
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:06:27 PM EDT
I like it.  You are looks fun and expensive.   Good luck!
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:09:02 PM EDT
Not bad. The threads look a little rough, but still usable. Did you run any cutting oil or was it a dull die?
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:32:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2017 8:33:15 PM EDT by Brassaholic13]
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Originally Posted By Triumphman:
Not bad. The threads look a little rough, but still usable. Did you run any cutting oil or was it a dull die?
View Quote
Single point doesn't use a die.  It's done with a single point tool.  Yes, you can still, and probably should, use cutting oil on it if it's a HSS tool.  If it's carbide, not as important.  Most likely, the tool wasn't set at the correct height which garfed the threads.  They also don't look deep enough, based on the fact that the major thread still looks "flat".
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:33:30 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Triumphman:
Not bad. The threads look a little rough, but still usable. Did you run any cutting oil or was it a dull die?
View Quote
Very usable threads. They look worse in the photo, I think the way light is reflecting off the peaks. The flash hider screws on like butter.

Single point cut. Had some type F trans fluid in the shop, so I tried that for cutting, will probably experiment with other stuff as well.

I am using an old HSS cutter that dad had handy. I think I need to sharpen it better. Didn't have much luck with carbide, as I'm not comfortable with the cutting speed necessary for that.

I might also have a little play in my lead screw/half nut that needs to be addressed. I'm just figuring things out like that, and fixing them as I go.

I'll post more pictures, good or bad, of my attempts at hobby gunsmithing/machining as I go. I have lots of fixtures and such that I need to build before I can even attempt anything on a real action or barrel, and I'd like to do a full build thread eventually.

This is one big learning process, and can be frustrating at times, but I love it!
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:35:28 PM EDT
OP, not knowing what you have a for a lathe, consider an Aloris style Tool Post.  They are really handy to have, and save a bunch of time with tool setup.  If you can afford the big bucks, get an Aloris or Dorian brand.  If you cannot, the best Chinese knock off is the Phase II.  In any brand, get the wedge type, not the piston type.
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:37:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By boy-scout:


Very usable threads. They look worse in the photo, I think the way light is reflecting off the peaks. The flash hider screws on like butter.

Single point cut. Had some type F trans fluid in the shop, so I tried that for cutting, will probably experiment with other stuff as well.

I am using an old HSS cutter that dad had handy. I think I need to sharpen it better. Didn't have much luck with carbide, as I'm not comfortable with the cutting speed necessary for that.

I might also have a little play in my lead screw/half nut that needs to be addressed. I'm just figuring things out like that, and fixing them as I go.

I'll post more pictures, good or bad, of my attempts at hobby gunsmithing/machining as I go. I have lots of fixtures and such that I need to build before I can even attempt anything on a real action or barrel, and I'd like to do a full build thread eventually.

This is one big learning process, and can be frustrating at times, but I love it!
View Quote
I've used this fluid for years, and it works just fine.
http://www.tapmagic.com/product/1/tap-magic-ep-xtra
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:40:09 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Brassaholic13:


Single point doesn't use a die.  It's done with a single point tool.  Yes, you can still, and probably should, use cutting oil on it if it's a HSS tool.  If it's carbide, not as important.  Most likely, the tool wasn't set at the correct height which garfed the threads.  They also don't look deep enough, based on the fact that the major thread still looks "flat".
View Quote
Cutter is centered to the work. Is that not the correct height? The one area my dad lacks in is single point threading, guess there wasn't much use for that in the injection mold making business.

I have thread pin gauges, but I'm trying to get my threads to turn out a little better before I take that step.
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:41:42 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Brassaholic13:
OP, not knowing what you have a for a lathe, consider an Aloris style Tool Post.  They are really handy to have, and save a bunch of time with tool setup.  If you can afford the big bucks, get an Aloris or Dorian brand.  If you cannot, the best Chinese knock off is the Phase II.  In any brand, get the wedge type, not the piston type.
View Quote
I bought a Phase II wedge style. That is what I'm using currently.
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 8:51:34 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By boy-scout:


Cutter is centered to the work. Is that not the correct height? The one area my dad lacks in is single point threading, guess there wasn't much use for that in the injection mold making business.

I have thread pin gauges, but I'm trying to get my threads to turn out a little better before I take that step.
View Quote
I like to run my threading tool about 0.005" - 0.010" below center.

What type of lathe did you get?  Have you checked spindle play vertical and horizontal?  Excessive play in the spindle bearings will also cause a crappy finish.
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 9:00:53 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Brassaholic13:


I like to run my threading tool about 0.005" - 0.010" below center.

What type of lathe did you get?  Have you checked spindle play vertical and horizontal?  Excessive play in the spindle bearings will also cause a crappy finish.
View Quote
I bought an older Enco. I know, it's not a logan or south bend, but I'm hoping it will be useable for what I want to do. All the research I did, pointed to older Taiwan machines being pretty solid . Spindle play is good, carriage, crossfeed and compound are good. I think I have some play on my half nut or screw that I may need to deal with.

The mill is a Bridgeport.
Link Posted: 6/8/2017 9:19:53 PM EDT
Good deal! I'd like to get one but I just don't have the room or the time!!!
Link Posted: 6/13/2017 12:03:27 AM EDT
Well, I had to go back and give it another try. I think it turned out a little better after lowering my cutter about .005", as was suggested by brassaholic. I also sharpened my bit a little better.

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Link Posted: 6/13/2017 1:51:43 PM EDT
Much better.

Now grab some proper cutting oil and you'll be good to go.
Link Posted: 6/14/2017 10:38:41 AM EDT
Welcome to yet another addiction. I started with a lathe, then a mill, and then another mill. Now I'm looking into a surface grinder, a tool grinder, another lathe (want a lathe with a longer bed and more mass), converting one of the mills to CNC, etc. It's amazing how many things you'll start to just make yourself on the fly.
Link Posted: 6/14/2017 11:01:21 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AEnemaBay:
Welcome to yet another addiction. I started with a lathe, then a mill, and then another mill. Now I'm looking into a surface grinder, a tool grinder, another lathe (want a lathe with a longer bed and more mass), converting one of the mills to CNC, etc. It's amazing how many things you'll start to just make yourself on the fly.
View Quote
DAMN   Didn't realize you had built up that much.  I need to grab a sixer and come check it out.
Link Posted: 6/15/2017 9:58:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/15/2017 11:27:18 PM EDT
Got my Bridgeport "soft wired" up last night, using a VFD and remote on/off/FWD/REV/potentiometer operator station. Seemed to run good. Now to get the rest of the things, to permanently wire it.

I need to locate a good used mill vise, and I do mean good. I'm not going to skimp on a vise.

I still need to by some gunsmithing equipment, like a barrel vice/action wrench, range rod, and reamer/holder, go/no go gauges.

I found a good source for shot-out/take off barrels to practice on.

My next step is to use my mill and lathe to make holding fixtures for barrels, actions and bolts

And of course, I'm going to keep practicing threads.

Give me ideas what on what caliber my first build should be, help me choose. It will likely be on a remmy 700 action. I already have a custom .308, but might not be opposed to having two for a good enough reason.
Link Posted: 6/15/2017 11:50:24 PM EDT
The only vice to have is a Kurt.
Link Posted: 6/16/2017 1:12:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2017 1:13:37 AM EDT by boy-scout]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Brassaholic13:
The only vice to have is a Kurt.
View Quote
This I know. Just a big "ouch" when I drop cash on one though.

Almost worth just buying new, for what a used cost.
Link Posted: 6/16/2017 11:44:52 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By boy-scout:


This I know. Just a big "ouch" when I drop cash on one though.

Almost worth just buying new, for what a used cost.
View Quote
Yeah, just don't be a hack and mill/drill into it.
Link Posted: 6/16/2017 9:43:05 PM EDT
I bought a old bridgeport and lathe a few years ago to do just what your describing.  What I hadn't planned on was how much tooling cost, and how fast you can screw up a insert, or drill with not enough coolant, or just "getting it backasswards".  I bought most of my tooling and consumables from ebay.  

I broke a lot of drills, mills, and inserts the first couple of years.  There is a learning curve to feed and speeds, unfortunately, I wasn't doing it on a employers dime . Stick with it, you just need practice.  Your old man should be a fountain of knowledge on how to hold your work.  As I was winging it, I broke many things by not knowing any better.

My most important advice is never,  never, ever try and clear stringy chips if they aren't breaking (stainless barrels are the worst).  I nearly lost a finger by pulling on strings, and it wasn't even running....

I'd advise on books to get, but all of them are probably out of date by twenty years.... PT&G is my favorite chamber reamer company.....hope some of this babbling saves you a few bucks...
Link Posted: 6/21/2017 12:46:00 AM EDT
So. I went out to the shop last night, had to do some measuring on the mill so I can order the supplies and hardware to get it wired up permanently. I got done with that, and decided to give the threads another try, as the Tap Magic cutting fluid I ordered had arrived.

Attachment Attached File


Attachment Attached File


A BIG improvement. I do think the fluid helped, but at the same time, I think I'm getting a little more "in tune" with this lathe.

Now I need to get this mill wired, running, and set up. I have a set of Grizzly DRO scales that I got for a steal (brand new in box), now I just need to order the display, and get my mounts made for the scales. Anybody have any experience with Grizzly DROs? I have a couple questions.

Once I get the mill going, I can start making some of my fixtures and tooling to finally get some serious work done.
Link Posted: 6/21/2017 3:01:27 AM EDT
Looks good.

These guys have a good reputation for support and decent equipment for the price.

http://www.dropros.com/Digital_Readout_DRO_Displays.htm

Going with the buy once, cry once mentality, get a 4-axis dro so you can hook up a scale to the knee.
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