New Taiwanese Gunsmithing Lathe - finally here...
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  1. #1
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    Default New Taiwanese Gunsmithing Lathe - finally here...

    A few of you guys will recall a post a did back in about January this year, as I was looking at getting a new machine with a 2" spindle bore, but with a headstock short enough to do chambering through the headstock without having to fit a barrel-extender, etc.

    I looked pretty hard at one of the Chinese models, but like alot of other guys out there I couldn't bring myself to do it. I had been doing a ton of searching and ended up ordering a new Taiwanese machine to be customised to my specs, AND with the excess spindle shortened back at the factory to reduce the length from 25" to about 20.5". The expected lead time was 2-3 months, but this ended up blowing out to about 5 months or so. The fit and finish of the machine though is impeccable. Got high quality Taiwanese chucks and accessories with it as well. Sure glad I spent the extra $$ now. As they say buy the best you can afford and cry once.......

    The company is the same one who make the Southbend and higher end Grizzly and Precison Matthews models. It is apparently the first one that they have ever shortened the spindle on to meet an customers exact request. Took a bit of arm-twisting to get them to do it though. Cost me a couple of hundred bucks extra, but hey, sure save me alot of hassles and without the liability either. If it catches on in the US, I suspect that the likes of Grizzly may end up offering it on special-order for other gunsmiths who don't want to go with the mainland-Chinese options....

    Thanks to the guys who responded to my requests for advice on the earlier posts. Here are a few pics for now, i will add a few more once I get the 'spiders' (or 'cat-heads' if you prefer) made up for both ends, as well as all the flushing system works installed again.

    (if the pics don't attach for some reason I will create a link or re-post them after this.)

    Cheers,

    Dean.

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    Default Photos

    Photo files attached this time. Bit of a glitch in the site that wouldn't allow me to attach them to the original post for some reason???

    D.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails p1000776.jpg   p1000778.jpg   p1000780.jpg  

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    That is sharp looking!!!! Sure would like to know how it performs once you get it going.

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    Well, I’m not sure why you wanted the short spindle, it really offers no advantage. I have been gunsmithing for 30 years and have never even contemplated a short spindle. You will probably have to do your barrel work between centers with a steady rest which is probably the quickest and most accurate way to do it anyway as you have no provision to screw a cats head on to the back end of the spindle. Where you will have a problem though is powering oil or coolant through the barrel as again you can’t screw a plug and water seal on to the off side of the spindle. If you like I had to make a water swivel affair for a lathe just like that screws into the back of a 5C collet that works slick as can be. I can post some pictures to get you on track if you like. Some guys solder a threaded sleeve inside the spindle but I don’t recommend that. I have seen a couple guys epoxy them in though and that works well enough though it decreases the inside diameter of your spindle hole. Then again I may not understand what you are trying to accomplish here. I can be a bit dense some days. LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by speerchucker30x3 View Post
    Well, I’m not sure why you wanted the short spindle, it really offers no advantage. I have been gunsmithing for 30 years and have never even contemplated a short spindle. You will probably have to do your barrel work between centers with a steady rest which is probably the quickest and most accurate way to do it anyway as you have no provision to screw a cats head on to the back end of the spindle. Where you will have a problem though is powering oil or coolant through the barrel as again you can’t screw a plug and water seal on to the off side of the spindle. If you like I had to make a water swivel affair for a lathe just like that screws into the back of a 5C collet that works slick as can be. I can post some pictures to get you on track if you like. Some guys solder a threaded sleeve inside the spindle but I don’t recommend that. I have seen a couple guys epoxy them in though and that works well enough though it decreases the inside diameter of your spindle hole. Then again I may not understand what you are trying to accomplish here. I can be a bit dense some days. LOL

    Yeah, the spider I am making will be a snug press fit inside of the spindle which will reduce the clearance/thru hole to about 1.730" - which is still plenty big enough. I have chambered between centers for years, which works fine as long as you are dealing with 'straight-ish' barrels. But if you aren't, then dialing in with the barrel through the headstock is the way to go. Alot of bores, even from the best 'name makers', aren't always very straight.

    No problem with coolant, the GTR attachment has a tapered rubber nozzle which fits snugly into the barrels muzzle and keeps the oil where you want it - in the barrels bore.

    The shorter spindle means you can set-up standard length barrels through the headstock without having to fit a barrel-extender, or some other contraption. So there is a definate advantage there being able to reference off the barrel itself, rather than something else.

    Don't worry SC, it will all become clearer when i get around to posting some more pics later on.

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    Well, I suppose that's fine if you find a way to dial the barrel in 4 inches from the start of the chamber and at the start of the chamber. That would be a nightmare to do given that the inside of the barrel is rifled. I suppose you could insert a precision ground rod 4 inches into the barrel and dial it in both linearly and axially but it would be a very hit and miss best guess arrangement at best and decidedly not very accurate. Simply dialing in the barrel at each end really accomplishes nothing if you think about it. The barrel is still bent just as it was when you had it between centers. Holding it in a cats head won't straighten it. I have done barreling a million different ways and always went back to centers because of the speed of setup. There is nothing to dial in and each time you do dial in a point you have to consider that you are adding error. People and measuring devices simply can't measure to absolute. If you are concerned about bent barrels you have to use some sort of floating reamer holder to get around it. And it must float linearly not just axially like some of the commercial ones do. I have seen a couple production models that were a double floating ball affair that also floated on a flat disk. Those things would drive a drill or reamer around a corner but they wanted a grand for the fool things. I'm not certain how many hundreds of chambers I have cut but I have yet to see an outsized one. I used the old school method of holding the reamer on the tail stock center with a T handle for a few years but eventually switched to holding them in MT3 collets. I also back off the steady rest posts about .004 of an inch each so that the reamer itself acts as the tail stock center. The steady rest just holds the barrel when I pull the reamer out. Most of the guys I know hold them in good quality Jacobs chucks. They never seam to have problems either. But curiosity and experimentation are the mother of invention. Have at it.
    Last edited by speerchucker30x3; 07-25-2011 at 05:35 AM.

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    Great looking lathe Dean,
    I have been waiting for you to post with info on your new lathe.
    Looks like it has Turret Mfg on the side. That is supposed to be one of the best lathe manufactures out there according to many who post here.
    Can't wait to hear how it performs when you turn a few test pieces.
    John

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    I've run a few(4-5) of those Turrets in 14x40 and up to 18 or 20", apron levers on the opposite side though. They were quite popular in the area about 10yrs or so ago because the only place selling machines here happened to sell them. It should do well for your purpose. They are an ok build, not the best and certainly not the worst, but in every day production they don't last very long(but definitely paid for themselves, just really showed their age after only 3-4yrs usually), it was on one of those I nearly got my hand crushed(got real lucky there) when it powered up as I was tightening a piece in the chuck, loose lever/switch, in part likely due to bad maintenance, they also seemed to quickly develop play in the screws/nuts, slides, quite a bit of it, quickly as in quicker than other brands I've used. Not sure why that was, but its nothing you wouldn't be able to adjust in time for your use, even make a new nuts of need be a few years from now, feed clutch may also go weak after a little while but its adjustable. Tailstock also kinda likes to slip, weak cam, but I think its got a nut in the rear end to wrench it down. But again unless you run it everyday, and depending on how hard you have to push it, you may never see any of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtg View Post
    Great looking lathe Dean,
    I have been waiting for you to post with info on your new lathe.
    Looks like it has Turret Mfg on the side. That is supposed to be one of the best lathe manufactures out there according to many who post here.
    Can't wait to hear how it performs when you turn a few test pieces.
    John
    Hi John,
    Yeah it has been about 6 months since I ordered it. As murphy's law would have it a Harrison M300 came up for sale (ex-hospital workshop) 5 or 6 weeks after placing the order for 'Turret'. I had been looking for one of those for the last 3 or 4 years!!! Ended up buying it anyway as I managed to get it at a reasonable price, and the (Gamet) headstock bearings are still in great order.

    I don't know about over in the US but here the 'Turret' name is what the Machinery importer here in NZ puts on their Taiwanese machines from the Shun Chuan company. I don't know if the Turret name in the US is used also for their machines, or someone elses? I do know that if you look at the pictures of some of the Southbend and higher end Grizzly machines they look to be from the same factory as far as I can tell.

    If you are still with Comcast then send me a PM on this site instead and I'll answer any questions you need. Otherwise if you have changed your email provider then just email me direct.

    Cheers,

    Dean.

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    There used to be a turret.net website for these, it was in taiwan and I assume it was the manufacturers website then, perhaps manufacturing got switched since, or just name change of the plant, or nobody cared to keep the site doing, definitely same machine as the ones sold in Canada.

    In the US machines often get renamed and the larger dealers try to often pass off on as being their own, or to their specs, cause they spec the color they want..., while in Canada we can often get machines not rebadged right from the manufacturer, and in some cases at a better price, like my cyclematic. Try to find a cyclematic in the US... and yet its the company making all the HLV-H copies out there. I've not seen a Turret show up on a used US site yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    There used to be a turret.net website for these, it was in taiwan and I assume it was the manufacturers website then, perhaps manufacturing got switched since, or just name change of the plant, or nobody cared to keep the site doing, definitely same machine as the ones sold in Canada.

    In the US machines often get renamed and the larger dealers try to often pass off on as being their own, or to their specs, cause they spec the color they want..., while in Canada we can often get machines not rebadged right from the manufacturer, and in some cases at a better price, like my cyclematic. Try to find a cyclematic in the US... and yet its the company making all the HLV-H copies out there. I've not seen a Turret show up on a used US site yet.
    Thanks SND, it's always interesting to hear a bit of background info from other countries, and you have confirmed a few of the things I was thinking anyway.

    The current site is Automatic Lathe of Taiwan SUNMASTER Automatic Lathes Manufacturers, Suppliers

    I probably won't be doing full-on production machining on this machine, just barrel fitting and gunsmithing work, so it's not going to get a hard life at all.

    Cheers, Dean.

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    oh, looks like this site recognised the web address and converted it into a website link.

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    Sorry it has taken me so long to update this post, but for the benefit of John G and some of the other guys who requested an update here we go - 6 months later!

    I finally go around to making up a suitable outboard end spider of a design that is a little different to the norm, and also made up a spindle nose end spider chuck from a semi-steel D1-6 backplate - i managed to get one thick enough to work with so i didn't have to attach another steel plate onto it. Photos to follow.

    As for six months of gunsmithing use i can honestly say it has been a really nice machine to run in and get used to using. Although it is probably bigger than what most guys really require for this sort of work, the extra size has not been a hindrance at all. All the controls are nice and smooth to operate, and things just flow freely. The extra mass of the machine has been quite an eye-opener in the lack of vibration, and just 'solid' feel of the machine, seeing as i have been used to working with smaller machines.

    Accuracy wise - no complaints at all. The headstock bearings run nicely - and when you are trying to dial in actions for truing work to run under 0.0001" 10-12" out from the chuck face, minor glitches or short comings in your spindle bearings or machine quality of the cheaper/older(worn) machines out there will definately drive you nuts. Dialing in barrels prior to chambering though is relatively simple.

    I had a 14" long 1" dia test mandrel ground up for me (PTG) to check the spindle and tailstock alignment. As i had the machine setup, the spindles central axis actually ran true to the 10.5" wide bedways to 0.0007" over a 6.75" length. I tried to look at adjusting the headstock, but found that the headstock bolts had been chemically set into place (or loctited or something). So instead i made some minor alterations to the levelling feet at the tailstock end. This reduced the deflection over the 6.75" length to only 0.0003", so i decided that is fine and can live with that. After all, that's only 0.000044" per inch!!

    Along the top edge of the test bar the deflection over the 6.75" length was only 0.0002", so that's fine by me.

    With the 14" test bar set-up between centres it was a simple task to re-align the tailstock correctly side-side. Along the top edge the error was only a few tenths, depending on the tension applied to the lock-down lever. Again, no major issues here as i use a floating pusher for chamber reaming anyway.

    As mentioned, i got the machinery dealer here to 'lean' on the manufacturer to shorten the spindle for me at the factory to 20", whereas the standard length is about 25" or so. (Cost me an extra $200.00, but beats the hell out of trying to figure out a way of doing it yourself i figured!) The headstock has triple bearings, high precision. All the gearbox layout for threadcutting is nice and no issues there.
    All similar to colchesters, etc.

    The only minor gripe would be that on this model the speed changing operation is not as smooth as i would have expected - i.e. you have to turn the chuck a bit by hand sometimes when changing the levers in order to get them to engage freely without fighting with them. But once you get the hang of it then it really no problem. The variable speed model may suit some guys better. The manual model is just fine for me.

    All i can say is that i really am glad i went the way of the higher quality Taiwanese-made machine, rather than the cheaper chinese options. There are not many lathes out there with a 2" spindle bore, 3-bearing mount, that have a short enough headstock to allow chopping the spindle length back to 20". For the sake of other guys in the guntrade in the US, i sure hope that Grizzly or Precision Matthews bring this model out for their customers with the 'short spindle' option.

    (p.s. i do like the removeable chip tray, but did find that the coolant reservoir underneath is ridiculously small. I like to have about 40 liters of oil for my chamber flush system in order to allow some cooling, etc. but had to use the machines little centrifugal pump to transfer oil from the little reservoir tank into a larger plastic tank at the back of the machine, which then feed the high-pressure pump for the chamber flush system.)

    Am having some problems up-loading the photos (possibly due to size limitiations), so if I don't have an image of what you want to see here, then send me a PM and i will email it to you.

    Cheers,

    Dean.

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    Will try to add other photos later.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails p1010053.jpg   p1010030.jpg  

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    Dean

    Looks like a great lathe. The short headstock with the 2" spindle hole. It should be an ideal gunsmithing lathe.

    Hal

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    Default + photos

    Will add a few more photos after this. BTW, my machine looks pretty much the same as the Grizzly/southbend SB1053, or the G0670 which is the variable speed model version.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails p1010027.jpg   p1010028.jpg   p1010029.jpg   p1010055.jpg   p1000980.jpg  


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    Default ++ photos

    Hopefully this will be enough to give the general idea. The spider chuck with the ball/socket tip arrangement is a new idea i have been trialing which works really well. Allows a good secure barrel grip with 4-degrees of movement, and doesn't stress the barrel like slot of other systems tend to do when tightening down the screws. also, there are 10-32 nylon tipped grub screws in there as well to prevent the main screws from working loose at an inopportune moment.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails p1000974.jpg   p1000971.jpg   p1000960.jpg   p1000979.jpg   p1000984.jpg  


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    i really like the pads on your spider chuck. did you turn a sphere at the end of the screws? that is almost exactly what i had in mind for mine.

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    So let’s say you can dial 4” of the bore in perfectly – how can you be sure the tailstock you are using to advance the reamer is then perfectly axially aligned, on a sub-atomic level, with the bore you dialed in?

    Just sayin…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quick Karl View Post
    So let’s say you can dial 4” of the bore in perfectly – how can you be sure the tailstock you are using to advance the reamer is then perfectly axially aligned, on a sub-atomic level, with the bore you dialed in?

    Just sayin…
    Right, way too many variables and you wind up chasing your tail. Floating reamer holders work well and we become bound by them, let them do their job. If you get a barrel dialed in on both ends, get the reamer ready in the holder, cut a chamber and it WILL out shoot anyone behind the trigger.

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