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Thread: You carn`t make barrels on a lathe!

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    homebrew.357 is offline Plastic
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    Default You carn`t make barrels on a lathe!

    Hi, New member here from New Zealand, I`v been on some other forums in the US and I think there are two schools of members. The first ones are the tradesman, Engineers, Gunsmiths who on retiring go straight into hobby Engineering and Gunsmithing.
    The second school is the guys who just take up Engineering as a hobby and have never been in the trade, I`m in this school, I was an Electroplater by trade, but liked making things out of steel. My first lathe was a Myford 7, it came with a book called , The Amateur`s Lathe by Lawrence H Sparey , a very helpfull book for the new machinest . I`m also keen deer hunter and have a .308w and a .3030w Marlin, so as I did not want to go into steam engines I thought I would have go at making a Hawkins plains rifle. For this I had to get a larger lathe, I got a Tiwanes lathe, 900" centers, 38 mm head stock bore for holding 1" stock,
    Gun smiths will say "You carn`t do this on a lathe"!, it`s to hard. The trouble is us home machinest don`t know this and will go on and try to do the impossible .
    Here is some pic`s of a Hawkins plains rifle, 26" barrel, 45cal, 6 grove rifling, 1-33" left hand twist. Made on my lathe, lock, stock, and barrel. , You carn`t do this!!! Cheers homebrew357.p1010373-1-.jpgp1010374-1-.jpgp1010466.jpgp1010467.jpg

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    CBlair is online now Diamond
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    Homebrew,

    Thanks for sharing your southpaw rifle, it is always nice to finish a challenging project. Your statement that gunsmiths would tell you that you cannot make a barrel on a lathe needs to be understood in context. For a gunsmith earning a living you cannot make a barrel in a lathe with enough economy and consistency to satisfy paying customers.

    However of course anything can be accomplished with drive and ingenuity. And you have used both to accomplish something that is hard to do and you should justifiably be proud of your accomplishment. I salute you for it and hope you will stay around and tell us more about your experience.

    By the way just to satisfy my own curiosity muzzle loading black powder firearms have very little regulation. How about in your neck of the woods? Are there any laws that make what you did difficult or is this the kind of project anyone in New Zealand could try.

    Charles

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    tdmidget is offline Titanium
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    Hawken. Not Hawkins. For that you chop it up and start over.
    warlock likes this.

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    lowCountryCamo's Avatar
    lowCountryCamo is online now Hot Rolled
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    Well I am impressed. I just finished milling a scratch upper, lower, and handguard ar, and I bought my barrel so I think I understand the hours involved. Do you have any pics of the riffling set up?

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    Rob F. is offline Stainless
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    Looks nice. Is it smoothbore or rifled?
    Rob

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    garyphansen is offline Titanium
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    What part of NZ do you live in? You say you are a deer hunter, where do you hunt? Gary P. Hansen

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    homebrew.357 is offline Plastic
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    Hi Guys, This way of making " Black powder Barrels ONLY", is for a hobby only, even gunsmiths get there barrel blanks form the commercial barrel makers. O k I first tried Mark Wagner`s way of doing this, hand rifling a barrel at home, no good, so looking on the computer I found ,"Bill Webb`s Barrel Making Machine", He was a toolmaker and a bench rest shooter, I got his DVD and info on his machine. But looking at the standalone machine I could see it would cost a lot to build. So I thought with a few attachments to my new lathe I could it on that, and I did.
    Holding the barrel, the lathe is metric but can cut inch with a change of some gears at the head stock end. the H/S shaft is threaded for to bearing nuts, a bit of this thread was used to screw on the back barrel holder with 4 screws to register the barrel, also a flange with six spaced holes for rifling register.
    The gun drill, I got a gun drill on ebay in the US, I made up some ali slides for the lathe bed ways and attached my X/Y drill vice to this and clamped in the gun drill. this is pulled along by the lathe saddle. Gun drilling needs slow in feed, I geared down with a small pulley and large one at the back of the lathe, 5 turns to 0.01mm.
    The drill needs oil under presser, I used a car power steering pump and motor to feed to the drill, 200 psi, drill size .420" bore, A bit of plastic pluming for the chips and away you go. Some pic`s of the setup. Homebrew.357 p1010092-1-.jpgp1010093-1-.jpgp1010168-1-.jpgp1010171-1-.jpgp1010174-1-.jpg

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    CBlair is online now Diamond
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    Nice neat setup, well thought out and congratulations once again. Thanks for sharing.

    Charles

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    crusty66 is offline Plastic
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    Are you going to be at the cannon & black powder shoot on Saturday?

    I would like to see this up close (I probably know you!)

    Steve

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    Doug W is offline Hot Rolled
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    What material did you use for the barrel?
    What was the rpm?
    What oil volume?

    Hopefully your answers aren't in that goofy metric system. lol




    Actually I will take whatever you are willing to share.

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    homebrew.357 is offline Plastic
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    Hi, I`M the one with the camper van, yep will see if I can get there. homebrew.357.
    Doug, AISI 1045 steel, down a bit from 4140. Max rpm`s I could get was 1200 on my belt driven lathe, oil at 200 psi, volume? . Tank under lathe with 20lt oops !. any way It flushed out the chips. Homebrew.357.
    p1010175-1-.jpgp1010170-1-.jpgp1010179-1-.jpg

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    Doug W is offline Hot Rolled
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    Interesting, you are well under Sterling Gun Drills recommendation of oil pressure and volume/minute (I assume) which is good, because I plan on doing some gun drilling using well under their recommendations, but only to a drill depth of 12".

    Any idea how straight the hole is?

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    homebrew.357 is offline Plastic
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    Hi, It was the gun drill size and tip hole controls oil presser I found, drill was .419" and the bore was .421". A larger drill uses less presser . The hole looks nice and straight, I`v no way to test it, any way it`s shooting good at 50 m`s/yards. Cheers, homebrew.357.p1010179-1-.jpgp1010238-1-.jpg

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    dero338 is offline Plastic
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    very interesting
    I wasn't sure if I coud do it, but now I know the answer
    thats the buty of hobby, time doesn't matter
    tanks for sharing

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    keydiverfla is offline Cast Iron
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    Carn't argue with results

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    wquiles is offline Plastic
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    That is awesome - nice job

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    Quote Originally Posted by homebrew.357 View Post
    Gun smiths will say "You carn`t do this on a lathe"!, it`s to hard. The trouble is us home machinest don`t know this and will go on and try to do the impossible .
    Yeah, that doesn't sit well with the gunsmithin' folks...it's guys like you that really give home machinists a bad name. Shame on you!

    Quote Originally Posted by homebrew.357 View Post
    Here is some pic`s of a Hawkins plains rifle, 26" barrel, 45cal, 6 grove rifling
    Very nice.

    I was told the same thing, that it can't be done by a home machinist...What would happen if you took a piece of 4140, just turned it on the lathe and bored it out to perfect dimensions? Even with no rifling, wouldn't the bullet be projected out the front of the barrel? I felt I could do that at the shooting range and it would at least be projected towards the vicinity of the back wall...in theory a barrel without rifling would just be a heck of a lot less accurate, not just in consistency but in how the bullet travels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by traditional-tools View Post
    Yeah, that doesn't sit well with the gunsmithin' folks...it's guys like you that really give home machinists a bad name. Shame on you!



    Very nice.

    I was told the same thing, that it can't be done by a home machinist...What would happen if you took a piece of 4140, just turned it on the lathe and bored it out to perfect dimensions? Even with no rifling, wouldn't the bullet be projected out the front of the barrel? I felt I could do that at the shooting range and it would at least be projected towards the vicinity of the back wall...in theory a barrel without rifling would just be a heck of a lot less accurate, not just in consistency but in how the bullet travels.
    Well as long as you drilled it .410 to .420 you could shoot 410 Foster slugs out of it and it would shoot just peachy. Well, it won't be a bench rest gun, but as peachy as can be expected with 410 rifled slugs.
    lowCountryCamo likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speerchucker30x3 View Post
    Well as long as you drilled it .410 to .420 you could shoot 410 Foster slugs out of it and it would shoot just peachy. Well, it won't be a bench rest gun, but as peachy as can be expected with 410 rifled slugs.
    I have to admit, I wasn't aware of the rifled slugs. That is pretty cool. Those must not be as accurate as rifling the barrel, or I would imagine rifled slugs would be the norm. However, you must not be able to use those in a rifled barrel without munging up the bore? Or can the rifling on a barrel sustain that without problem?

    I must say, many people have gotten good results in a home shop using basic tools to rifle barrels. Not that they are as good as a production machine can do, but good enough for folks to be proud of.

    In my mind I can kinda see some type of button broach that had expanding cutters on it.

    Can anyone describe how the Pratt & Whitney rifling machines work? Do they have a smaller end on them at one end, so that it broaches the entire depth of the rifling as it pushes the entire broach through? I wasn't sure if they could do that in a single pass or if those would need multiple broaches that keep getting larger in size to reach the proper depth. I saw a video once that looked like the broach was rotation in/out, but it was hard to tell as it was flooding the cut with coolant as I recall...

    Cheers,
    Alan

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    hanermo is offline Cast Iron
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    I am no gunsmith, and have never built anything on a rifle, but ..
    In the 1800s and early 1900s all guns, later many, were hand built.
    Long guns were used to shoot to around 1000 m distance, once rifling became common.

    Many parts of the world, guns are still hand built to an extent - and just like the early guns, accuracy is actually pretty good.
    AFAIK, there is nothing particularly difficult about building a long gun.
    Its just that its slow, and may be painstaking, and mostly not commercially effficient for production.

    The hard parts are trying to make or copy commercially made parts, and make adaptations of and to them.
    A lot of hand work is easily done with cnc stuff and automation stuff.

    Any cnc lathe can button rifle, for example, if you have a c axis and time.
    To an extremely repetitive, ie likely highly consistent, level.
    With trivial, under 100$, tooling costs.

    We made commercial ballnuts like this, for example, to better than 0.01 mm angular accuracy, on a Haas.
    Just by (draw) boring along the z, ie c-axis while controlled-rotating the part.
    Afaik draw rifling is exactly the same.

    To me it seems that an under-2000$ retail widget cannot have more than about 200$ in machining costs to make a profit.
    Thus the above, excellent btw, example proves the same perfectly.
    You spent about 400$ in parts and 2000 $ in work-hours to make an under 1000$ widget.

    Your widget (the barrel) is likely at least as good as the commercial one, partly because given your investment in time and resources, you can also afford to spend the extra 100$ in materials to make it "better" than the cheapest-solution manufactured widget.
    And if you made a lot of 100 of these, you could refine your process to make better ones, faster, until the results were better than the commercial ones, at a somewhat increased cost.
    Manufacturing, in other words.

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