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the ideal lathe??

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by WTA, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. WTA

    WTA Member

    If the other pro gunsmiths on here were to buy a new lathe what would it be? I only have an old atlas now and had an old myford but it was sold when we moved to Texas. I wish we had never done that. It was an awsome machine!!!

    I am looking for a new one now and can't make up my mind. I'm looking at star and Jet due to the prices. The star has a 2 1/16 inch spindle bore. Jet was 1 3/8 only I think. I hear bad things about jet machines and just don't know what to get. I've never seen one in a good machine shop or in any shop I ever worked in.

    There is south bend which is supposed to be a good one but it's a little out of my price range and doesn't have all the fancy gadgets of the imports. Not that I need a DRO but they are nice for production work and there are quite a few things I should be making myself but am forced to farm out.

    What do ya'll think? Is a jet worth it? Or is there something better for under 8 grand?
  2. GrantCunningham

    GrantCunningham Well-Known Member

    You really haven't given enough information - like what swing and length do you need, what is the minimum spindle bore, do you need a short headstock, etc.? Do you want "new-new", or "new-to-me-new"?

    I must emphasize one point: if you're used to working on a Myford, you will not be happy with a Chinese lathe!

    In case you're interested in a used machine, a local fellow of good reputation has this for sale:
    It is a bargain at the price he's asking. Superb machine.

    (While you're there, check out the rest of the Practical Machinist forums - it is the best place for machining information!)
  3. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    My brother makes very accurate rifles on his Jet 13x 40 GHL.

    My rifles have not done as well on my old Clausing 5914.

    I just got a 12 inch Atlas, and I have not cut any chambers on it yet.

    My suspicion is that it is more the operator than the machine that counts.

    Here is my brother's Jet 13x 40 GHL lathe with the cover off the left side of the headstock so a spider can be mounted to center the bore of a barrel mounted through the headstock.

    Attached Files:

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