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Need advise. Older Sheldon or new Grizzly for Gunsmithing

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  • Need advise. Older Sheldon or new Grizzly for Gunsmithing

    Hi everyone. I need some of you experts advise. I need a lathe for doing Gunsmithing work. Mainly barrel and action work. Later on Supressors ( and yes I have my manufacturing licenses lol) I found a older Sheldon 10x24 with no tooling for $1800. Not many lathes in my area. Might could get it for $1500. Would you go with the Sheldon or a new Grizzly. Any info is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Sheldon made two different 10" lathes. One was a lighter duty with a 1-3/4"-8 spindle, the other a heavier machine with a 2-1/4"-8 spindle and 5C capability. The first is the L series, the second the XL series.

    Both are very capable machines and would be well suited for gunsmithing, but the XL is the better of the two, being a more substantial machine with 1-3/8" spindle bore. The Sheldon machines are belt drive, which some feel give a better finish than a gearhead such as the Grizzly.

    The choice is yours, assuming the Sheldon is in good condition, it is an excellent lathe.
    Jim H.

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    • #3
      The accessories that come with it make a big difference! My South Bend was bare and by the time I got collets, chucks and etc. the cost doubled. The new ones usually have both chucks, power feed and quick change gears for threading etc. Good luck!

      Ebay has lots of tooling if you do find that you need more than what it came with.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JCHannum View Post
        Sheldon made two different 10" lathes. One was a lighter duty with a 1-3/4"-8 spindle, the other a heavier machine with a 2-1/4"-8 spindle and 5C capability. The first is the L series, the second the XL series.

        Both are very capable machines and would be well suited for gunsmithing, but the XL is the better of the two, being a more substantial machine with 1-3/8" spindle bore. The Sheldon machines are belt drive, which some feel give a better finish than a gearhead such as the Grizzly.

        The choice is yours, assuming the Sheldon is in good condition, it is an excellent lathe.
        Thank you for the info. It has the 1 3/8" spindle bore. He actually has two. They both came out of a school. Haven't had a chance to really check them out. He has to move several machine just to get them out. I had to climb over several monarch EE to get to them lol. Just don't want to make the wrong decision.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mikem View Post
          The accessories that come with it make a big difference! My South Bend was bare and by the time I got collets, chucks and etc. the cost doubled. The new ones usually have both chucks, power feed and quick change gears for threading etc. Good luck!

          Ebay has lots of tooling if you do find that you need more than what it came with.
          Yea. It doesn't come with any tooling. I just don't want to over pay. It only has a 3 jaw chuck. I need a 4. I'm assuming that would be a easy find? I know the parts are few and far between.

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          • #6
            You didn't say what Grizzly, but a 10 x 24 will be a bit cramped for doing rifle barrels. Normally for 5C you need at least a 1-1/2 spindle bore. The main drawback is the length. A 36" or 40" bed will make it easier to deal with rifle barrels. Of course you can do them on a smaller machine, but this is the point where you can make life more fun. This is all just one person's opinion, but I've worked on a few in the past.
            I think something in the 12 x 36 to 14 x 40 size range is about ideal for gunsmithing work.
            Last edited by Toolguy; 09-12-2014, 04:29 PM.

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            • #7
              If you will need to do metric threading, be aware that metric threading gears for the Sheldon tend to be somewhat rare and costly.
              Don Young

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
                You didn't say what Grizzly, but a 10 x 24 will be a bit cramped for doing rifle barrels. Normally for 5C you need at least a 1-1/2 spindle bore. The main drawback is the length. A 36" or 40" bed will make it easier to deal with rifle barrels. Of course you can do them on a smaller machine, but this is the point where you can make life more fun. This is all just one person's opinion, but I've worked on a few in the past.
                I'm going to go back tomorrow and try to get some numbers off of them both. He said they are 10x24. After some thought the bed sure did look to be a lot longer.

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                • #9
                  The 10L Sheldons came with bed lengths of 38", 46" and 56" resulting in 18", 26" and 36" between center distances. I would suspect the 10X24 would refer to a 26" center distance. Some of that will be taken up by the chuck, but still is adequate for most barrel work. The Sheldon is about 17" through the headstock which allows chambering and barrel threading to be done through the headstock.
                  Jim H.

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                  • #10
                    I have to second Toolguy's comment. 10 x 24 is a bit short for gunsmithing work -- depending on what you are working. I do non- or semi- professional gunsmithing, now almost exclusively on AR platforms, so my 10 x 24 if fine. But for working on Rem700 / Win70's you have to do some tricky mounting. The barrel + action won't fit between centers.
                    Kevin

                    More tools than sense.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JCHannum View Post
                      The 10L Sheldons came with bed lengths of 38", 46" and 56" resulting in 18", 26" and 36" between center distances. I would suspect the 10X24 would refer to a 26" center distance. Some of that will be taken up by the chuck, but still is adequate for most barrel work. The Sheldon is about 17" through the headstock which allows chambering and barrel threading to be done through the headstock.
                      I actually liked the shorter headstock for what I will be doing. I had my heart set on one if the EE machines. I know they are great but the headstock was just to long for what I'm wanting to do. Plus he was over priced on them in my opinion for the shape they were in.

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                      • #12
                        IMHO I'd look at more lathes. I think there is a better used lathe for the work your doing with much more tooling out there. Better to search harder than dump a bunch of $ into not the right lathe. Even if you have to pay shipping as you will have to on the grizzly.

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                        • #13
                          I don't want to hijack this thread, but what is the difference between a "gun smith's lathe" and a regular lathe? For years I have been curious.

                          Planeman

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                          • #14
                            Nothing.
                            It's just that everybody wants to feel special.
                            --Doozer
                            Last edited by Doozer; 09-12-2014, 11:51 AM.
                            DZER

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                              Nothing.
                              It's just that everybody wants to feel special.
                              --Doozer
                              Not Everybody Doozer............
                              Some of us want to feel, Exceptional.

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