how big of lathe?

I'm looking at adding a lathe to help drill some 4x4's (among other turning projects). Basically the hole would be dead center in one end. The 4x4 would anywhere from 2.5ft - 3.5ft in length, and the hole would be 1" diameter going in like 6" deep. Can I use a mini-lathe? thanks.
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On 30 Oct 2006 14:37:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yes. but have to make the lathe bed longer.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Maybe if you stay closer to the 2.5 feet. Even with an extension, most minis have a capacity of only 40" or so as per manufacturer, but like many, I find that to be pretty optimistic.
You will have to mount your piece, true it, then drill through the tailstock since it would be suicide to "chuck up" a piece that much longer than it is wide. And since you are drilling through the tailstock, it means you will be limited to about a 5/16" hole on most, as samll as 1/4 on others.
I drill on my lathe frequently, but it is to accomodate project kits, or to get a hole started for hollowing. The lathe will not replace a radial drill press, and further, if you drill anything over a few inches, you will have bit drift so bad you won't believe you aren't breaking bits.
When I drill a small body out (12 inches or so), I now drill the blank first (after trueing), and then use the holes as the new centers.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

if you're talking construction grade lumber, a lathe is the wrong tool. a drill press is much more to the point, and a jig with a handheld drill is probably better yet.
if you're talking furniture grade wood and you need the accuracy the lathe can offer, you'll need a much bigger lathe.
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