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I need to make a 52" long cylinder from wood by turning a piece of wood that is initially a little bigger than 4" square, by 52" long. The middle 48" of the piece is to be 4" dia, +/- 1/16" or less. At each end of the piece, the diameter is to be 2" long by 3" dia, again +/- 1/16" or less.
Does anybody manufacture a drive end with a base for a drive motor and chuck, a turning piece support with rollers, a cutting tool support, and a tail piece with a live center, as separate pieces. I would supply the bed, made of either a structural steel member (such as a standard shape, say a 4x4 "I" or "H" beam), or a sturdy piece of wood, (say a 6" high x 2" wide finished dimensions wood base)? I'd clamp the separate chucked end, support roller, cutting tool guide, and tail piece to the bed as needed, to turn the 52" long x 4" wood piece, made of maple or clear pine laminate to as accurately dimensioned cylinder cylinder as possible, which will be the basis for a black powder gun rifling machine.

I've operated metal lathes for years, but have no experience with wood turning. Any advice or comments would really be appreciated. Thanks, Harry Schroeter
 

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Many of the cast iron bed wood lathes are made to accept bed extensions, which means the whole assembly is open ended and amenable to adding a well built homemade extension to your specs. Look up a few at your local supplier of Delta or Jet, etc., and see what you think you can do.
I would have to wonder if some of these will take multiple bed extensions to get the size you need. Alternately the extension bed can be separately mounted on a wood bed at the proper distance and alignment for your needs if an extended toolrest can be supplied.
 

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The new Delta mini lathe will take many bed extensions and get as long as you need.
You might be able to find used parts on ebay to build your own lathe. Since you can turn this between centers you could just build one. I've built 2 wooden lathes with some metal parts. Do a search for homebuilt lathes and you should find some good info.
 
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