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Proper way to set up shop

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by WPD230, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. WPD230

    WPD230 Member

    Comment on this statement: “A beginning gunsmith really only needs good hand tools and a very good drill press with a compound table. As you advance, you can still do almost everything with hand tools and attachments, probably adding a grinder and sander as you progress, as well as dremels and other power hand tools and drill press attachments. The very advanced shop you see in pictures that includes two or three precision Lathes, milling machines (both horizontal and vertical), drill sharpener, engraving machines and lasers, saws including band/table, shapers, tool and cutting grinders, blueing stations, etc. usually means that a lot of the machines go unused, because the art of making precision tools has been replaced to a large extent by the low cost of Chinese tools that are cheaper to buy and toss than make yourself.”
  2. TAB

    TAB Well-Known Member

    it depends on what type of gun smith you want to be. If all your going to do is general repair, then yes you most likly could get away with just hand tools and a good drill press. A lathe would be a good add-on, but I don't see it as "must have" Granted not having one will limit what you can do.
  3. dewage83

    dewage83 Well-Known Member

    I believe that the statement sounds good but like any hobby/profession, there are alot of hidden costs. This could be in the form of tools, machines, materials, ect.
  4. koginam

    koginam Well-Known Member

    Many shops do mainly repair work replacing broken and worn parts, fitting accessories, mounting scopes, etc...for this hand tools and a dremil will do a lot of the work. A mill / drill will be better then a drill press. If you are going to build custom guns you will need a good lathe and mill as well as a few other machines, and fixtures. I have seen many successful smiths who have lots of hand tools and little in the way of machinery.

    MMCSRET Well-Known Member

    There is a distinct difference between being a gun mechanic and being a gun smith. Tools, training, and skill level is the difference. Lots of tools do not make a smith. It takes dedication and desire, too many are in it to make the quick buck, just like the rest of us, most of them resent monday and having to go back to work. I was very fortunate in that I was in a field where I could award myself meritorious days off with some regularity, IE> if I figured I deserved a day off I awarded myself one after serious consultation with the boss.(ME)
  6. kevindsingleton

    kevindsingleton Well-Known Member

    I would say that the statement is a little naive about how to make a living. If you can't offer full-service smithing, and all you have is a few files and a couple of screwdrivers, you're going to have to work a lot of hours to turn a profit.

    I'm not even a professional, and I use a mill and lathe on almost every repair or customizing job. I don't know how you'd get by without them. I know I wouldn't want to try!

    And, I don't know anyone who tosses precision tools; not even Chinese tools! Toss some my way!
  7. VegasOPM

    VegasOPM Well-Known Member

    A mill is critical. Anyone that wants to install decent front or rear sights on a mil-spec .45 needs to mill in the dovetail.
  8. JesseL

    JesseL Well-Known Member

    I agree with kevindsingleton.

    I do some hobby gunsmithing, but I can't imagine doing much of what I do without my lathe and mill.
  9. bogie

    bogie Well-Known Member

    A good lathe, with plenty of room in the headstock. And that lathe needs to be -accurate- because runout in the lathe is compounded in the chamber.

    A good mill.

    With a good mill, you can probably save the room used by the drill press...

    A computer.

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