Gunsmithing Lathe - What Exactly Is A Gunsmithing Lathe?
A gunsmithing lathe usually is a device gunsmiths use when working on a gun. It can hold metal bars in position around a single central axis of rotation to allow metalworkers to perform symmetrical action such as boring a gun barrel into shape. Gunsmiths typically use two types of lathes: rotary and swing.
Rotary gunsmithing lathes have spindles that run in a circular pattern around the vertical axis of the table or stand. Spindle bearings provide counterbalance to keep the spindle from rotating off the vertical axis. Most rotary gunsmithing lathes have fixed, non-adjustable positions for the spindle bore. However, some models allow for adjustment of the position of the spindle bore with the help of moving rollers, cam locks, and other devices.
Swing gunsmithing lathes are similar to rotary ones, but they are geared to rotate the workpiece on an horizontal plane. It uses a pair of swinging arms, similar to those of a fan wrench, to move the workpiece horizontally. The arms of the swing gun allow for variable length and width of spindle seat, and hence, horizontal spindle position can be easily manipulated. To make the work easier to move, ratchet mechanism allows for spindle movement at different speeds. This type of gunsmithing lathe has a limited number of key gears and usually has a reduced range of operation.
A common type of gunsmithing lathe used by carpenters is the rotary grinder. This type of grinder functions by grinding the workpiece to a rough surface using a series of rotating drums. The work surface to be ground is placed between two of the grinding drums, which are usually adjustable to fit the work surface size. Grinding wheels are then placed over the workpiece and are either manually or automatically driven by a power tool. Grinding machines with two or more grinding surfaces are known as serrated grinders.
In addition to the above mentioned types of grinder, there are also other types of tools used by gunsmiths. Manual gun cleaners are usually used to clean both the internal parts of a gun as well as the external surfaces. Cylinder cleaning machines are also used by many gunsmiths, and are used to clean the interior as well as the outside parts of the cylinder. Laser drills also come in handy when it comes to drilling holes into wood and metal. Many modern day gunsmith shops equip their own laser drill machines with air tanks to provide constant air flow to the work piece.
In order to machine parts of the barrel into desired shapes, a gunsmithing lathe may also be used. This type of equipment allows the gunsmith to machine different kinds of hoops and cylindrical barrels into sizes and various diameters. Brass tubing is another popular material that is used for barrel fabrication, making it useful for gunsmithing applications. Gunsmiths often make brass tube nails, screws, pins and washers. Barrels can also be machine cut to precise sizes using hand tools, depending on the requirements of the client.
A necessary piece of equipment for a gunsmithing shop is the chuck. Chucks are basically horizontal bars with a locking device that prevents the chuck from turning when the handrail is inoperative. When used in an efficient manner, the locking chuck can hold any amount of material depending on the requirements of the project. Various types of hand and hydraulic jacks are available in the market today, depending on their design and application.
To keep the gunsmithing lathes running smoothly, lubrication is required from time to time. Oil is usually applied to the bearings and to the moving parts of the lathe. Lubrication prevents burrs from spinning when they move in the gun, thereby improving its performance. Similarly, the gun should always be kept on a flat surface, as rolling wheels reduce its life.