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Old April 26, 2013, 11:37 AM   #38
trap4570
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Join Date: November 9, 2005
Posts: 15
Older lathes can be found at reasonable prices and is usually the cheap part. It's the tooling and other goodies that you discover you need that will get into your pocket. Some you can make yourself if you are so inclined. On older lathes bed wear is a factor. You usually find the wear close to the chuck so you will want to check to see how much wear before you start. It can be compensated for in some cases. Chuck wear is another factor. You want to be able to get your hands on a 4 jaw chuck so you can dial in work that must be true. A steady rest and follow rest is a must (to me) for barrel work using an old lathe that has a small diameter headstock. I'm now retired but have my own little machine shop that I spend most of my time in. After 40 years of running machinery I'm still hooked on it. I have a very old Barnes 9" pedal powered lathe that I still use and a 12X36 Grizzly gear head lathe. The Barnes will do everything the Grizzly will do it just takes longer and setup is different when working on rifle barrels. The only reason I bought the Grizzly was it was damaged in shipping and I got it for a 3rd of new price with all the attachments. The most important factor is to make sure the lathe has all the attachments since they can be hard to find and expensive. One machine I did buy new is a Grizzly combination horizontal/verticle mill. I have made chambering reamers with it and I am very happy with the quality. I think the Chinese are putting out a good product.
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