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Finally Found Something I'd Trade My Mini-14 For...


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I've got a friend who's been trying to talk me out of my 2008 vintage Mini-14 (heavier "flanged" barrel, not the pencil barrel) for a couple of months now. I threw him an asking price awhile back, and he said he'd talk to his wife. This was back in May.

Last week, he pulls me aside and says, "I know you're getting into 80% lowers. You're going to need a drill press, and I have one. Had it for 4 years, and haven't even plugged the damn thing in. You interested?" I thought about it for a couple of days -- I've been wanting to buy another drill press since my shop was burglarized 4 years ago. Muthafvckers got everything that wasn't bolted down -- workbenches, air compressor, shelving units, welder, and even my 60-year-old drill press my deceased grandfather bought with his first paycheck from Santa Fe Railroad after he got out of the Navy back in the 1950s. That drill press wasn't worth sht to anyone but me. But I digress.

Long story short, my buddy (a local LEO) says, "I've looked into it. It's an old Journeyman 12-speed drill press, made in Taiwan, that my dad gave me. I can't find anything about it, so I'll take $75 cash or $100 credit toward your Mini-14." Sonofabtch, I knew he had an angle. I do some more looking, and that press is probably worth $200-300. So I tell him he's got $250 credit toward the Mini. Another $550 and the rifle is his.

This old press is probably gonna take a little rehab (and some cleaning...), but I think she'll make a good addition to my garage. He's dropping it off tonight, and I'll check the runout and endplay before I plug it in. A little steel wool and WD-40 on the column, new belts for peace of mind, and bolts to mount the vise to the table, and I think we'll be in business.



...but not the "business" of manufacturing firearms for sale. I see you, BATFE.


Pics to follow, if anyone's interested.

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At dinner tonight, my friend’s car broke down. A stupid plastic Y connector that connects the heater hose to the recovery tank drained half the coolant out onto the parking lot. 

I just got home from helping him tear it apart, only to realize it was going to require parts. That we couldn’t get at 9:00 p.m. Then towed it to OKC. 

All that to say this: I didn’t get any pics tonight, but I did check runout on the chuck. -.003” to +.004”, a .007” swing through a full revolution. Not bad, I’d say. As soon as he brings me the drift wedge he has (but forgot to bring), I’ll pull the arbor, press (who am I kidding — DRIVE) the chuck off, and check runout on the arbor. 

Zero perceptible endplay at the chuck. I didn’t measure it, because it felt rock solid.

All adjustments work as they should. So far, it’s looking like I did pretty good on this deal. Got a 3/4 hp, 12-speed drill press with no major issues for $250. 

Edited by COBrien
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I like the 12 speed one, with a stand I got from Harbor Freight for $135 two and a half years ago. So far it is holding up fine.  Every thing locks down good and solid, wouldn't want to have to use it for full production, but it serves my hobby purposes. I sold my old Craftsman in 2014 after the it kept burning out the starting condensers and motors. I paid $200 for it in 1967.

Is anyone here using a Smitty Grizzly 3 in 1 machine, as a mill and lathe?

Edited by mrmackc
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Smart trade by your buddy. He got a gun, and still has access to his old drill press. I'd charge him an hourly rate the first time he needs to use it...with a 2hr minimum! Lol. 


Overpaid, naw. As long as both parties are happy in a trade it was a good deal. It can't always be down to dollars and cents. 

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2 hours ago, washguy said:

Cobrien        just in case he didn't include this...here ya go   container,health,medicine,merchandise,treatment,healthcare,plastic,nutrition,can,clean,isolated,packaging,food:laffs:   Wash

He was originally asking $75 for it. I can honestly say that’s too little. I threw out $250. So I asked for it.

The old Mini hasn’t seen daylight in 3 years — I’ll get a helluva lot more use out of the drill press. 

Edited by COBrien
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11 hours ago, mrmackc said:


Is anyone here using a Smitty Grizzly 3 in 1 machine, as a mill and lathe?

No, but I've been eyeballing them for about 15 years and almost pulled the trigger on a CNC model years ago.  It's a nice machine that is great for the hobbyist. 

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