My Latest Acquisition

  • @martino1 said:

    AND they've got way too much spare time on their hands.

    or... Just enough? I throw lots of time into hobbies... not sure if I would like making chips but I'd certainly give it a go!

    How's that thing working out @bigfoot ? I bet that shorter throw is niiiiiice.

  • @brittel said:

    or... Just enough? I throw lots of time into hobbies...

    What else are we here for if not spending time? lol

  • @brittel
    I haven't used it yet, don't have the time. (insert snicker) I do know when you let go of the handle it falls back home which is ok. One less movement. Looking for a milling machine now. One of our local guys here just passed away that had a real nice shop out in the country. He was a machinist for ALCOA for years and was a good one. I just found out his wife contacted a friend of mine and told him her husband wanted him to have the machines. He already has a huge welding business and two lathes but he doesn't know jack about running them. I volunteered helping him with the basics so we will see how that goes. Running a mill was my forte but I have some experience on a lathe mostly doing second op's and roughing billets before going into a cnc lathe. I did some parts from start to finish that required bearing fits but I was too slow, time is money in a job shop. My brother in law has a machine shop at his house and blows me away with the stuff he creates, freaking unbelievable.

  • Trying to reach the next level of reloading I always find there is room for improvement. I feel I have gained several points in just the last few week and have a long way to go, the tip of the iceberg as they say. I have had a Hornady bullet run out checker sitting in my windowsill for about three years and that's all it does. Pretty common knowledge they are sloppy but will show run out just not exactly how much. And you can forget pushing really crooked bullets with it, just put them in the practice box and move on. I know not everyone has a lathe but I figured it was way more rigid than my window decoration so I stole the cone out of it and made a bullet center to go in the tailstock of the lathe. I used the Hornady piece but it marred the bullets pretty bad so I made one out of aluminum with a plastic insert to put in the chuck. I tried checking neck run out with some resized brass using a live center in the neck and spinning them with my fingers just like you do with the majority of these devices only I have a pretty solid lock up between the case head and the neck by applying a little pressure with the quill of the tailstock. I tried it with the tailstock tightened and also let it float and got the same readings. I still have about a half thou to one play if I push sideways but the Hornady will go three or four without trying. Worse thing is craning my head over to see the dial, got to get a better setup on the indicator. Might get a cheap tenth indicator and mount it face up. Hornady match out of the box was about one and a half thou out but the Winchester Supreme was pushing five. Now I want to check more but I can't handle looking sideways. That's what I did this afternoon, with my spare time.

  • I’ve used the spacer you made for me on a few hundred pieces of .223. It for sure makes the throw much shorter and easier on me. I’ve been waiting to give a full review until I did some .308 brass. Some of the .223, had crimps removed, and as most know sometimes the crimps aren’t all gone making it harder to seat primers. So on a few pieces not having the full stroke made it harder. But I just snapped out the spacer and then had the full throw.

    So far I’m really happy with it though.

  • @norcal_in_az
    I made a stainless one that is the same length as a RCBS extended shell holder. It would be a bit shorter than yours but not near as long as the one I plan to use. I just haven't needed to prime anything yet but in the near future I will. When I mess with brass that had crimped primers I usually use the swaging tool and also barely hit the pocket mouth with a chamfer tool. It puts a little lead angle on the diameter and the primers go in a lot easier. Some brass has a generous chamfer on the pockets like Hornady and some not so much on others like Federal. I'm still not so sure this new tool is telling me much, maybe bullet runout once it's been seated. Checking the necks on the center for true is debatable, I might just be seeing thickness variations. I was really surprised the resized brass was this true and I ran the indicator in several places along the brass just to see. I'm going to pull some range brass out and see what it looks like shot in other peoples guns. Just about every rifle I have was built in the same shop by the same gunsmith using his reamers but there has to be an ugly duck somewhere.

  • Been making a few things with my old lathe, mainly some tools and a couple of spacers to go between my suppressor and the muzzle on my Remington 22. I had the barrel shortened and threaded and the tenon is a bit longer than needed so I made a spacer so the suppressor would shoulder up on the barrel. Usually these would be ground flat but I trust the lathe and I have a granite slab I can lap them on if they need it. I turned a piece of oil well sucker rod which might be 4140 or 4130 to make the tool steel boring and turning holder. I have some tool steel but no way to hold it so I made this piece, probably use it on plastic if i need to turn a piece. Minimum bore diameter is about 7/8th's so it's pretty bulky. I even machined the flat on it with the lathe using a 6mm end mill. Found out my tool post wasn't too square with the chuck so I straightened it up yesterday. Whatever that stuff was it finished like chrome and had a nice surface even with my old rig. Back to tiny boring bars the brass holder was made on the lathe to hold those in the tool holders. I have opposed countersunk set screws to hold them squarely on the flats machined on the bars and give them the correct angle. I just received an internal threading bar and some inserts so maybe I can do single point internal threads now. It's pretty small so I can't do very coarse threads, forgot what the max is on this one. Might never use it. Oh well, keeps me out of the beer joints.

  • @bigfoot
    Went space age this weekend. I installed digital scales on the old gal. I'm anxious to see how long these cheap things last. They measure right with the dial and with an indicator but refresh really slow. Nothing like the ones we had in the shop I worked in. Can't expect much for a little over a hundred busks for both of them. I wouldn't mind having one set up on my planer and shaper for woodworking if they could take the dust. I had one on my table saw and it died pretty fast.
    With the guard on
    Tiny readouts

  • I had a request for some lathe work today. Very basic but I have pretty basic skills and equipment so I was the man for the job. I think you can order these shims for around seven bucks but they hammer you with shipping and handling for about the same. Ace Hardware sells a washer if your Ace has it that will also work but we didn't go there. Pretty simple operation, turn the OD then drill the ID and bore the hole for clearance for a reloading die body which is 7/8". The big trick is trying to part the piece off to exactly the thickness of the shim that is .135". In the real world these would most likely be made out of some kind of heavy wall tubing that is close to the dimensions needed that required very little machining then parted off and finished on a surface grinder for the thickness. For a seven dollar part I doubt if heat treating would be in the budget but I may be wrong. Ain't going on the space shuttle. I had a piece of cold roll and did the turning and boring then took a shot at parting and just guessing how my old lathe would do either it will be short or long and the first one was a smidgen long. I adjusted on the next one and it was still one thou long and the third one a half thou. I lapped them by hand on a flat piece of steel with some 400 and got them all to measure .135. Most of the extra metal was bad surface so it came off pretty fast. So what the heck do they do? My friend, a gadget master, saw these shims for sale to aid in reloading 38 Special and 357 Magnum. I'm confused at this point. Don't mess with pistol reloading much. Set the dies up for 38 and to switch to .357 remove the die and add the .135 shim. If you are seating the same bullets for both carry on just make sure each die has the lock ring tight. I just said why not adjust the die for each one and the next thing I was making one. Learn something new every day I guess.
    Final dimension to hit my number with the DRO. The shim actual measurement after machining was .1355, .0005 over. You can see some of the surface scratches in the pic.


  • I have used these shims before. They have a set for 44 special/mag too. There is a company that also makes this shim to go under or over a custom made Dillion toolhead so that it can switch the entire toolhead between 38 or 357. Another shim works for 44 special/magnum.

  • @dddoo7 Yes he did mention the 44/44mag also. I don't know the dimension for that one and don't have any 44's. Beats having to adjust the dies when you switch. He was loading some 38 Special and wanted to run some magnum's and talked me into making a couple and didn't have to wait on the mailman. :)

  • I had another lathe job come up for one of my items. Just a simple thumb screw and it is for something valuable to me that's been in our family for quite a few years. I have four custom fishing rods and two were built with Featherweight Reel Seats which I believe are extinct now. The screw corroded up and at one time was attempted to remove and it snapped off in the finger that holds a reel in place. I was lucky enough to get the pin out and remove the broken piece without too much trouble and make a new one. Pretty basic stuff just turning and a light knurl and some free hand radius work that wasn't too ugly. Threading was done with a 10-32 die. I made small parts like this when I worked in a job shop with a much larger lathe and sometimes the little parts take as long as big ones do to complete. Anyway, it works and got a good coating of grease on the threads as well as the other one I have. These two rods are forty five years old but have been refurbished once with new ceramic eyes and tip. The wraps at the but of the rods have been untouched because they tell the history of the rod. My parents names are on their corresponding rods and the makers name and our old address. The young man that built these had just started his career as a custom builder and was unfortunately killed in a car wreck not too long after he built these for my dad. Lots of memories in those two sticks.

  • After shooting a couple of pistols last week I looked into some replacement parts for my XDM 45 trigger group and decided to make a couple of aluminum drift punches. Not a bad idea to have them when messing with polymer guns or for any as far as that goes. You just can't whip on them with a big hammer, mainly for pushing pins out by hand rather than impact from a hammer. I have some delrin plastic pushers I use on AR's that I bought somewhere in my tools also. Anyway, one is for 3mm the other for 4.5mm. The pins need to be undersized a little for clearance but not too much so they align the parts back up for assembly if needed. The 3mm pin started deflecting and was climbing the turning tool at about 3.5mm so I had to take a bunch of passes and finally just used emery paper and a file to get the end down to my dimension. I bet there is more finish nails used for punches than actual punches when it comes to working on guns at the house. I have been known to do it.

  • @bigfoot Good job!

  • I did a test piece for a science project I might be working on. The threads are 24 per inch and .950 diameter in aluminum running the lathe around three hundred rpm. I never took any classes on threading or thread geometry so it's all new to me. Next I need to do an internal thread and see if I crash the tool. I did a couple of threading jobs at the shop I worked in but that was years ago. Those little threading inserts cost a few dollars and I don't like breaking them.

  • I did the internal threads and the diameter worked out but my thread depth was off a little. Guess I had better study my handbook some more.

  • @lathoto Thanks, I'm slowly getting the hang of this old clunker of a lathe.

  • I made a nifty tool for the lathe yesterday. I got the idea from a You Tuber so I can't take any credit for it. I made it out of cold roll and cut the slots with a band saw and finished them with a belt sander. For turning short tapers I use the compound and turning it by hand doesn't do too well and usually ends up with a funky looking part. This adapter goes on a cordless drill and slips over the handle of the compound feed and is then power fed. Easy to control your feed rate and get a good finish.

  • I finished these parts this weekend for the science project DDD007 sent me. They are caps to protect the muzzle brakes during the cerakote process. I made the first one from start to finish and then the remaining three assembly line style. I did the cutting, facing, drilling and the larger od first on all three and once they went into the lathe for the threaded end they stayed until the threads, taper and back bore was complete then knurled the other ends last. I fudged on overall lengths and od's because they don't have anything to do with the function of the part. Basically whatever it took to clean them up and not be grossly different from each other. Other than some heartburn with the internal tapers they all are usable. :)
    Doing the taper.

    Three complete and one ready to finish.
    Checking threads.

  • Brake covers are going to be a life saver. Currently I tape off the brake, but with these I just screw them on and they mask the brake and give me an easy way to hang the barrel.

  • @dddoo7 said in My Latest Acquisition:

    Brake covers are going to be a life saver. Currently I tape off the brake, but with these I just screw them on and they mask the brake and give me an easy way to hang the barrel.

    Nice! Good work @bigfoot !!

  • @tscustoms Thanks, coming from you that's a heck of a compliment. My old boss used to say if this was easy everyone would be doing it. I guarantee you they're not perfect but they should do the job. Anyway, it was fun to do something new and get a little better feel of this old machine. Every lathe has it's own personality I guess you can say and some are just flat worn out. This one is pretty loose but not as bad as some I have seen. I think my cousin used it more for a drill press than for turning.

  • A few days ago I was loading some more 6.5 x 55 using my old Lyman powder throw with some 4350 powder in it. I get the Lyman pretty close then trickle to get as close as I can get with a balance scale. This stick powder gives me a fit with this thing and I finally figured out something was going on in the drop tube. I have to admit I rescued this old relic out of a pile of stuff a guy was throwing away years ago but I cleaned it up and used it for years now. It just wouldn't drop the powder anymore so I took the little tube off of the bottom to see what the heck. I figured a spider got in it or a dirt dobber but the dang thing was rusted up solid. Plus, it had a tiny little hole drilled in it maybe 3/16 or so. No wonder stick powder hung up in it. I messed with it trying to polish it so I just made a new one out of brass and put a 3/8 hole in it. Problem solved but turning brass with the carbide tools I have didn't suit me so today I messed around trying my hand at grinding tool steel. I couldn't get a decent finish at all with carbide and I remember my old boss telling me sometimes you just have to use tool steel on soft stuff to get a good finish. I ain't worth a flip grinding tools but I finally made one that cut some red brass pretty good with a light final cut. If my lathe feed rate was a little slower I could really get it slick.
    You can see the difference

  • @bigfoot

    This tool looks similar to wingnut drivers that we use to put up our hurricane shutters. Saves a lot of manual turning when nasty weather heading our way.

  • I came up with a new tool. Redneck radius cutter.
    Yep, that's a carbide router bit in a lathe tool holder. Might get the nerve up to put it against a piece of steel to see what happens. Works good on aluminum.
    Made this too. It's a holder for grinding tool steel. No more burned fingers.