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Old August 21, 2011, 03:14 AM   #1
chack
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setting up a shop for an amatuer gunsmith.

I'm buying a piece of property with a somewhat neglected house with a 10x12 outbuilding and a 4 stall pole barn. Each stall is 12'x12' and one of them has been roughly converted into a tack room. I want to completely dry in either the tack room or the outbuilding and get some fairly inexpensive tools for working on and building firearms and vehicles.

I have just about every hand tool and precision measurement device I could possibly need. I also have a 4" grinder, drills, hobby oxy/acetelene torch, and arc welder that works OK.

I think I need a drill press, a 10 ton hydraulic press, a bench grinder, big vise, and possible a small lathe.

What other tools should I consider trying to get?
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Old August 21, 2011, 09:39 AM   #2
oneoldsap
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Take you electric service into account when you decide ! If you have machine tools in your future , most of the good ones are 240V 3 phase , so you don't wan't to run anymore wire than you must ! Even if you go with a phase converter , and 220V .
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Old August 21, 2011, 11:00 AM   #3
brickeyee
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Quote:
Take you electric service into account when you decide ! If you have machine tools in your future , most of the good ones are 240V 3 phase , so you don't wan't to run anymore wire than you must ! Even if you go with a phase converter , and 220V .
A Variable Frequency Drive will create better three phase power than either a static or rotary phase converter.

A decent milling machine is also useful for many things.

Avoid the mill-drill type machines.

You want something with a knee action.
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Old August 21, 2011, 11:01 AM   #4
chack
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It only has 110 now. I'll definately be running 220 out to the barn in order to use my welder. I'll want to have enough excess capacity to power a A/C unit and serious filtered ventelation eventually. I don't think I need 3 phase though, and definitely DON'T need 440! I don't want to have a full blown machine shop, but I want to be able to bend my own AK recievers, press barrels, make small replacement parts and restore/repair cars occasionally.

I am thinking I will route the underground cable through PVC conduit instead of just using burying it and using location tape. Overkill, but what's an extra 10% cost on a project I intend to be part of a legacy to my unborn great grandchildren?

Last edited by chack; August 21, 2011 at 11:14 AM.
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Old August 21, 2011, 03:13 PM   #5
edward5759
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I for one don't like cheap tools. With that said I do like some of the tools made by "JET". Out of the imports they seem to have OK quality control.
I used JET in the High School where I taught machine shop.
If you can find a LeBlond, or South Bend or a decent U.S. machine that is good you will pay top dollar for it!
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Old August 21, 2011, 04:20 PM   #6
Edward429451
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If you size your service wire from the pole then you will be able to deduce the correct largest capacity service box that the pole wire will deliver without a new wire drop from the pole.

So now you get to list and research the amp draws for all of the equipment that you will run and add it all up. There is a formula that Sparky uses that escapes me at the moment that presume that you do not run everything at once and so give it a certain multiplier or something and that lets you know how many breakers you can actually run in it and still be safe. Best to buddy up with a local sparky that does this stuff 7 days a week.

3 Phase equipment costs less to run than single phase equipment.
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Old August 21, 2011, 04:30 PM   #7
chack
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I'm just trying to plan for a decent hobby shop. I will probably only spend a couple hundred man hours a year in there.

I eventually expect to enclose at least two of the bays and the tack room and install a package A/C unit there, so I'l want to allow for extra capacity.
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Old August 21, 2011, 07:40 PM   #8
Hunter Customs
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A decent milling machine is also useful for many things.

Avoid the mill-drill type machines.

You want something with a knee action.
Good advice, I use my mill more then I do my lathe.
However you do want both and you need them to be seperate machines.
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Old August 21, 2011, 11:19 PM   #9
kraigwy
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Besides what was listed, two items I couldn't live with out is an air compressor and a belt sander. 1 in belts are best for gun work. Great for polishing and sharpening bits and other tools. Belts from 140 to 2000 grit.

Mine is a combination belt/disk. The disk sander is great for recoil pads.

Also an assortment of buffing wheels is a must.

Also contrary to what that guy on Sons of Guns (Red Jacket) says you do need a depth micrometer to chamber barrels if you want it done right.

Regardless what has been posted, and what else you think about, you're gonna forget something, that is a given.
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Old August 22, 2011, 04:37 PM   #10
PetahW
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Better if you get an FFL, 'cause sooner or later (once they see/hear of your shop), SOMEONE you know is gonna ask you to work on their gun(s) - something someone w/o the FFL can get away with for only so long (aka a crapshoot).

.
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Old August 22, 2011, 05:17 PM   #11
chack
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I MAY consider getting an FFL eventually, but I am just a hobbyist and couldn't justify all that. I just want to build toys that I spent hundreds of hours to complete which are only worth a couple hundred dollars. There's no room for profit in that....

A few things that come to mind are:
- semi auto version of several different SMGs
- 10/22 in a bunch of different configurations to resemble NFA guns.
-10/22 and/or SKS gatling gun
- a cannon that shoots 12 ga shells
- a modern revolver inspired by the Lemat consisting of .22 around a .410/.45LC
- RPG that shoots 9mm tracers
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