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head stock or steady rest chamber reaming

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  • head stock or steady rest chamber reaming

    I ran into an interesting and quite heated post over on "Practical Machinist" on the pros and cons of cutting chambers in either the head stock or a steady rest. I have done it both ways, and have had good results with both. Maybe we could get a less heated discussion here.

  • #2
    Ummm cutting chambers ????
    Beaver County Alberta Canada

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    • #3
      If the barrel is long the enough I use the headstock, 4 jaw chuck and an outboard spider, if not the steady rest very simple. Either one is just as accurate if set up properly

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      • #4
        I am pretty flexible, The method I use depends on the lathe I am using at the time. I always cut the barrel tenon to size, with the barrel on a live center, then chamber with a floating reamer holder, weather in a steady rest or in a four jaw chuck. I know that is not the recommended way but it works for me.

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        • #5
          I have done it both ways, but I was taught to do it with a steady rest.
          the through the headstock is quicker and easier for me because I leave the outboard spider mounted on the spindle.

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          • #6
            Any opinions on this tool? https://www.grizzly.com/products/gri...fixture/t10892

            When I get Time... I'll...

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            • #7
              Not wishing to be a smart ass, but isn't that the answer to a question that was never asked.

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              • #8
                I remember the absolute flame wars over lined versus unlined bores in bagpipes, or even which end of the egg to break. The solution seems to lie in one’s training, tooling, and the quality or success of the end result.

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                • #9
                  Well it does seem that the members here at HSM, are a bit more respectful of differing points of view, than they are over at PM.

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                  • #10
                    My 10K has too small a spindle hole to take a barrel through the spindle. My Nardini has too long a spindle. I can only chamber fro the steady. With a suitable lathe I would chamber with the barrel in the chuck.

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                    • #11
                      I use a steady as a last resort. The headstock on my Acer 14x40 is about as narrow as you'll find. I use a direct mount 4jaw and I cut the two steps off the jaws. I can do barrels as short as 21". Short than that and I have to do something different. It's not very often.

                      I just can't get a barrel indicated as close in a steady as I can with the 4 jaw and spider.

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                      • #12
                        My Rockwell headstock is too small for the larger diameter barrels, so I do much of my barrel work on centers. For the chamber reaming, I use the steady rest. After the reamer is started, you can loosen the 3 rollers on the steady rest, ever so slightly. This takes the place of the floating reamer holder. This allows the reamer to self center. I learned this from an old gunsmith. He claimed it was the best way. Anyhow, I have to do it this way out of necessity. I have had good success using this method.

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                        • #13
                          Seems like the correct answer is "if it works for you, keep doing it that way". Always someone trying to force you to their way of seeing things.

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                          • #14
                            I learned by watching YouTube videos and I have perfect attendance at the school of hard knocks so I might be wrong. The steady rest and center seem the best way. I’ve had good results with both so who’s to say.

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                            • #15
                              Click image for larger version

Name:	Crowning the muzzle so the collimator will seat square 20210620_181250.jpg
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                              Here I am cutting a crown with the steady rest last week. The shotgun breech would not fit in the headstock.

                              I remember the late gunsmith Randy Ketchum whose lathe headstock was too big to get the muzzle out the left hand side.
                              He always used a steady rest, but first he had to cut a round spot on the barrel.
                              There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. -Ernest Hemingway
                              The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.-- Edward John Phelps

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