Help me spec/build my Haas TL1/2
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    Default Help me spec/build my Haas TL1/2

    Good day gents. I'm about to pull the trigger on a Haas CNC lathe. This lathe will be used primarily for barrel threading, chambering and contouring. We will be using this machine to work towards moderate production.

    My questions.

    1. TL1 or TL2. Are there any advantages in going with a longer lathe for this application? (30" or 48" Cutting Length)

    2. Spindle size. Are there any advantages in going from the standard 2.3" spindle bore, to the 3.5" spindle bore for this application? I feel like the obvious answer is no, but I just want more advice on this.

    3. Chuck size. With the larger 3.5" spindle, I have the option to upgrade from the standard 8" chuck to the 10" chuck. So, are there any advantages in going with the 10" chuck?

    4. Tool turret. Looking at the 4 station tooling turret, what's your thoughts on spending the money on this feature? I like the idea of it helping speed up production, but my worry is that going this route may limit what I can do on this lathe. Is that a valid concern?

    5. Lastly, the Chip conveyor belt. Is this worth the doe? Or is this gimmicky?


    I appreciate any advice ya'll can provide. I've always been a buy once, cry once kinda guy. So long as the upgrades are practical and add to the overall value then I'm all for it. There's also the angle of buying a machine that appeals to other markets in the event I have to sell the machine...


    Cheers,

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    1. Pick one. Or shake a dice. It all depends on what you're doing. If you really don't need the extra travel, go with the TL1.

    2. I would stay with the standard spindle and chuck. Unless, of course, you plan on doing howitzer barrels.....

    3. See 2.

    4. If it can be added on later, you could leave it off. If not, better put it on if for no other reason than resale value.

    5. Yes, worth it! Cleaning out any machine without an auger/conveyor is A ROYAL PITA!! You will find all the hard, pointy objects on the machine by suddenly standing up.....

    Good luck to you and enjoy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSplitter View Post
    1. Pick one. Or shake a dice. It all depends on what you're doing. If you really don't need the extra travel, go with the TL1.

    2. I would stay with the standard spindle and chuck. Unless, of course, you plan on doing howitzer barrels.....

    3. See 2.

    4. If it can be added on later, you could leave it off. If not, better put it on if for no other reason than resale value.

    5. Yes, worth it! Cleaning out any machine without an auger/conveyor is A ROYAL PITA!! You will find all the hard, pointy objects on the machine by suddenly standing up.....

    Good luck to you and enjoy!
    No howitzer barrels, but up to and including 50cal. So I guess the standard 2.3" spindle bore will suffice then? As for the tooling turret, it can be added after the fact but it is double the cost so that's why I'm considering adding it now. I was just worried that this feature would limit me and or make the learning curve much steeper as apposed to a manual tool post.

    Thanks for the feedback really appreciate your help!

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    well if you ever want to do a long barrel between centers go 48
    not very many people wish they had a shorter bed

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    As far as the larger work envelope goes the advantage is being able to do larger parts. Maybe you'll never have a need but it's better to have it and not need it than the other way around. I think the turret limits the max turning diameter but on something like a gun barrel shouldn't be an issue. Place I used to work had a TL3 for big shafts. Its a cheap way to get that much travel but I hated not having a turret. Part of that is laziness from running turning centers but it is a serious time suck if you're trying to do any level of production, it also allows for longer amounts of time running unattended so you can do something else. Chip conveyor is another thing if you can afford it and have work, would you rather your machine is running? or sitting there wait for you to hump chips out of it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 72bwhite View Post
    well if you ever want to do a long barrel between centers go 48
    not very many people wish they had a shorter bed
    I am wracking my brain trying to think of a barrel/rifle that would need that kind of length. I was thinking the max length of barrel I would ever contour would be 30" so would the TL1 not be able to contour a 30" barrel properly?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ H View Post
    As far as the larger work envelope goes the advantage is being able to do larger parts. Maybe you'll never have a need but it's better to have it and not need it than the other way around. I think the turret limits the max turning diameter but on something like a gun barrel shouldn't be an issue. Place I used to work had a TL3 for big shafts. Its a cheap way to get that much travel but I hated not having a turret. Part of that is laziness from running turning centers but it is a serious time suck if you're trying to do any level of production, it also allows for longer amounts of time running unattended so you can do something else. Chip conveyor is another thing if you can afford it and have work, would you rather your machine is running? or sitting there wait for you to hump chips out of it?
    All very good points and very helpful! Thanks

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    [QUOTE=bozzy;3559787]I am wracking my brain trying to think of a barrel/rifle that would need that kind of length. I was thinking the max length of barrel I would ever contour would be 30" so would the TL1 not be able to contour a 30" barrel properly?


    Machining a 30" part with 30" travels is really splitting hairs. Sometimes jaws eat into your workspace, it doesn't allow for raw material to have stock on it, it doesn't allow to approach the material with the cutter at a "safe" distance off the part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bozzy View Post
    I am wracking my brain trying to think of a barrel/rifle that would need that kind of length. I was thinking the max length of barrel I would ever contour would be 30" so would the TL1 not be able to contour a 30" barrel properly?



    All very good points and very helpful! Thanks
    try a 32 inch barrel on a sharps just for one

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    [QUOTE=AJ H;3559795]
    Quote Originally Posted by bozzy View Post
    I am wracking my brain trying to think of a barrel/rifle that would need that kind of length. I was thinking the max length of barrel I would ever contour would be 30" so would the TL1 not be able to contour a 30" barrel properly?


    Machining a 30" part with 30" travels is really splitting hairs. Sometimes jaws eat into your workspace, it doesn't allow for raw material to have stock on it, it doesn't allow to approach the material with the cutter at a "safe" distance off the part.
    Yeah I figured being at the very end of the cutting length would be pushing it. This makes sense. Thanks.

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    This might be a stoopid question since I'm not a gunsmith, but why couldn't you do a 30" barrel in a 30" Z travel machine? Do one end, flip it around and do the other.........

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    I've ran both a Prototrak and a Hass TL-2. I liked the Prototrak much better and the Hass machine was 16 years newer. I ran the Prototrak in 1998, the Hass 2014 TL-2 for the first time last year. The Proto is much easier to use and that was 22 years ago, I'd only imagine they have improved in that time.

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    The downside of course is space. If you have the space, go for it. The TL-2 is not ridiculously long anyway like those 16' manual lathes on Craigstlist going for $2K because no home shop can house it. Regarding 2 and 3, my lathe expert friends always say spindle bore turns out to be the most generally valuable lathe feature. 2.3" is not bad, particularly for your non-Howitzer type application but 3.5" would give you all sorts of options in future. Regarding the turret, based on experience with mills, and our own (excellent) TL-1 with just a regular tool post, I think you will love having a turret. If you need to save up and buy it later so be it but if there's a wiring option to be ready, I'd go for that.

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    Couple things, are you really going to be contouring barrels? If not, I'd consider a true turning center. Faster, more rigid, higher spindle speeds, tool changer, chip auger/belt.

    If you really are going to be contouring barrels, then that's obviously out.

    Either way, I'd get the big spindle bore. You want to make sure what ever action you happen to have will fit in the bore with the rail and recoil lug, with room to spare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcoope View Post
    The downside of course is space. If you have the space, go for it. The TL-2 is not ridiculously long anyway like those 16' manual lathes on Craigstlist going for $2K because no home shop can house it. Regarding 2 and 3, my lathe expert friends always say spindle bore turns out to be the most generally valuable lathe feature. 2.3" is not bad, particularly for your non-Howitzer type application but 3.5" would give you all sorts of options in future. Regarding the turret, based on experience with mills, and our own (excellent) TL-1 with just a regular tool post, I think you will love having a turret. If you need to save up and buy it later so be it but if there's a wiring option to be ready, I'd go for that.
    Thanks for the helpful insights. I've decided to run the 4 station turret with the larger bore. No regrets, invest now, save later.

    Quote Originally Posted by 300sniper View Post
    Couple things, are you really going to be contouring barrels? If not, I'd consider a true turning center. Faster, more rigid, higher spindle speeds, tool changer, chip auger/belt.

    If you really are going to be contouring barrels, then that's obviously out.

    Either way, I'd get the big spindle bore. You want to make sure what ever action you happen to have will fit in the bore with the rail and recoil lug, with room to spare.

    I really do want to have the ability to contour barrels. It would be perfect if I could completely finish raw barrel blanks from start to finish with my specs. I had one guy mention to me that I wouldn't be able to contour barrels with the TL series lathes. But I'm racking my brain trying to figure out why? These lathes look pretty robust, the plan was to upgrade to the 3000rpm spindle as well. Am I missing something here? Can these lathes not contour barrels?

    Also, I did consider the larger ST series lathe with live tooling. But for the money, I'd rather invest in a 5 axis mill and crank out my own receiver sets one day.

    One step at a time though, we'll see where this barrel stuff takes us.

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    problem contouring barrels is when you start getting chatter
    like any long skinny part.

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    Wouldn't the quality of this lathe paired with some quality tooling solve this problem? If not this lathe, then what would a guy need to contour barrels properly?

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    The lathe will contour barrels by programming the taper in. You cant offset the tail stock to taper. You will need a good follower rest, most barrel makers use some sort of air or hydraulic support fingers to follow the taper. This will have to be made to fit the lathe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bozzy View Post
    I really do want to have the ability to contour barrels. It would be perfect if I could completely finish raw barrel blanks from start to finish with my specs. I had one guy mention to me that I wouldn't be able to contour barrels with the TL series lathes. But I'm racking my brain trying to figure out why? These lathes look pretty robust, the plan was to upgrade to the 3000rpm spindle as well. Am I missing something here? Can these lathes not contour barrels?

    Also, I did consider the larger ST series lathe with live tooling. But for the money, I'd rather invest in a 5 axis mill and crank out my own receiver sets one day.

    One step at a time though, we'll see where this barrel stuff takes us.
    The lathe may be rigid enough, relatively speaking, but the barrel isn't. I think you are going to need an active follower for any hope of decent results contouring a barrel.

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    I don't know about your power availability but our TL1 is hooked up to single phase 240V. It will also run on 3 phase but we have to generate our own 3 phase and are maxed out so having a machine that runs on single phase is great.

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    no need to waste money on a chip auger. These machines have a "chute" cast into the bed that allows the chips to fall down towards the tailstock end. I have run our TL2 for 8 years with every kind of material and part size and never wished i had one.


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