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Thread: Shop tips

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

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    And if you have boogered screw heads you need to make a swedge block. You drop the screw into the correct base hole and using a ball peen yu tap the metal back into shape and re cut the slot with a needle file. Then polish and re blue. It doesn't take long and really maked the gun look 100% better. My swedge blocks and bench blocks were made years ago from old sad irons that I got from my grandmother. I polish my screw heads by chucking them in a mini athe and pushing a soft pine board covered with emory cloth against the head, then either cold blue or nitre blue them.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

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    THis is the most awesome gunsmithing vise you can buy and is only $49 at Grizzly:

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/item...emnumber=H3302

    They sell for over $100 at Brownells/
    Last edited by PatMarlin; 03-17-2006 at 01:08 PM.

  3. #23
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    Here are some optional jaws for uneven surfaces.
    Last edited by PatMarlin; 03-17-2006 at 01:07 PM.

  4. #24
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    Gotta fresh cup o'joe and I'm going to try to think of a couple things here-

    Removing frozen screws-

    1. The screwhead/bolthead is in good shape-
    A. Find a screwdriver that FITS THE SLOT (very close fit end to end and in the slot of the screw) grind or file the screwdriver to fit if needed. With Phillips head/Torx head/Allen head you just find the one that fits best and maybe grind/file a bit off the end for a really tight fit. Set the screwdriver bit tightly into the slot and strike it 4 or 5 times with a hammer, a plastic mallet, brass or copper hammer, anything under 10 oz. or so. Don't try a 16 oz. claw hammer on a 6-48 screw because you can drive the screw through the threads. IOW- use an appropriate sized striking instrument. Try this several times and se if that doesn't work.

    B. A doesn't work- Try turning the screw "FORWARD" or into the work. This is simple but a lot of times it works. If it turns into the work even a bit, just rock it back and forth a bit and it may come out. If it moves at all apply a solvent/oil/penetrant. Work the screw with the oil on it and it may back right out. This also covers the previously unknown "LEFT HAND THREAD". I worked for hours on a payloader once trying to remove a lug nut. An old drunk guy, ( he was REALLY good at drinking), asked me if I'd thought of it being a left hand thread. He may have been a drunk, but he wasn't a stupid drunk.

    2. Add in here that the screwhead is buggered up already.

    C. A and B don't work. Now we go to heat. If someone lock-tited the screw in it amy well resist all the solvents, etc. Get a soldering gun/iron and get it up to heat. Leave whatever oil, etc is on the screw head as it will keep th solder from sticking. Make sure the soldering gun/iron tip has a "wet" look to it. Thats melted solder and is yoour heat trasfer source. A dry tip will take forever to heat you article. Apply the tip to the screw for maybe 45 seconds or a minute. You may see/smell the oil you used spitting and smoking. Thats good, it means the heat is transfering. Once your godd ol' common sense says it's time put the soldering gun/iron down wherte it won't start a fire and immediately try the screw. You can also do this with a very small flame out of one of those micro torches but you chance over heating things and scorching any nearby wood and loosing the blueing in the area.

    C2- For buggered Torx/Allen/Socket head or hex head screws and bolts. Vicegrips, over size Torx/Allen head wrenchs, driving a flat tip screwdriver bit into the hole, E-Z outs. At this point you're less concerned with recovering the screw and more concerned with geting the darn thing out. E-Z outs rarely work IMHO. For socket or Allen heads try driving a slightly oversize Torx bit into the hole. Works better than any E-Z out I've used. Almost always works. For hex heads you're into Vicegrips, those sockets specificaly designed for removing rounded off bolts heads, I forget the names, Sears has them, or even welding another nut onto the bolthead so you can get a good grip. I doubt you'll use that on a gun, but maybe on a car or tractor. Works on busted studs and such. Sometimes a flat blade screw driver can be driven into a phillips slot, and I mean driven into it, and it will work. Othertimes you can chisel or Dremel cut a new slot in a screw and get it. Obviously you have to use extreme care for the surrounding metal/wood or you'll make a real mess. Trust me, I've done it a thousand times! This is probably a good time to step back and stare at the problem for 15 minutes or so. Have a sandwich and a drink and give the screw a minute or two to think about repenting and backing right out. Oddly enough it sometimes seems to work. There may be gremlins hanging onto the threads that give up after some in-activity, I don't know. It works sometimes, thats all I can say. You may have a brainstorm at this point and discover how to get it out too. Don't go to a "bigger hammer" at this point unless you can control the ol' temper.

    D. A,B and C don't work after repeated attempts. By now any Lock-tite type product will have given up the ghost from the heat and any rust would have been handled by the solvent/heat/tapping. We're into metal on metal galling most likely. You've got a cross threaded, cockeyed jewel on your hands. That or your into the infamous broken and boogered screwhead/bolt head. Here are your options-

    1. Take it to a gunsmith/machine shop and have them remove the part.

    2. If you have the ability and confidence AND the proper tools you can try drilling the screw/bolt out on your own. We're talking a drill press and a good vice mounted to the drill press, center drills for starting, accurate center punching, sharp undersize drill bits for the hole, good cutting oils, and the knowledge of when to STOP. Left hand drill bits (yeah, they're real) may work here and bring the screw right out, or they may not. Worth a try if you have them. If you are thinking you'd do it, then you probably already have the tools. Read Brownells "Gunsmiths Kinks" , all 4 volumes, to find a bunch of methods to do this and a lot of tricks to make it easier. If this sounds like certain disaster, then go to the gunsmith/machine shop. Just be honest and admit you don't want to risk screwing up the item big time and that you don't have the equipment to do this. It doesn't mean you're not a man or that you're a failure. It means you are smart enough to stop before you loose a bunch of $$$$$.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    Another thing that sometimes works when the screwdriver slips out of a phillips head is to put some lapping coumpound on the bit so it has a chance to grab the screw.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master twotoescharlie's Avatar
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    screw removing

    on slotted screws, if you will peen the end of the screwdriver bit, it will make it bite into the bottom of the screw slot and not slip.

    TTC
    NRA life member (benefactor)

  7. #27
    Boolit Mold
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    To keep from bending one of your long pin punches use a starting punch which is a short (about 1" to 1.5") tapered end punch. This breaks the hold that the hole has then you can use the long punch to finish removing the pin. If it is a role pin you must use a roll pin punch; otherwise you are likely to peen the pin in even tighter and burger it up to boot.
    Another handy tool is several sizes of crochet neddles. They are great for retreving small parts deep in small cavities, pulling springs to hook them up, holding small parts in place, fishing small screws into holes, that are down in less than finger and thumb sized spaces, ect. haveing several sizes lets you work with different size parts.

  8. #28
    Boolit Man
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    VersaVice clone is on sale. $40

    FYI
    VersaVice clone is on sale. $40


    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=666974

    Thanks,
    C.J.

  9. #29
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    Here's a short post on taps and dies.

    On guns your most common issue will be "chasing" or re-threading an existing hole or screw. Chasing is the term used for re-newing or cleaning an existing thread. Scope mounts and sights commonly use 6-48 and 8-40 threads. The taps and dies will not be available at your garden variey hardware store. Brownells has them and you should have the Brownells (www.brownellls.com) catalog just to be aware of all the neat things there are to spend your bucks on. A 6-48 screw is a number "6" diameter screw with 48 threads per inch. Brownells also sells what they call a "Screw Check'r" which is a metal plate with a bunch of threaded holes in it. You take your screw and try it in different holes until you find the one the screw fits. Then your thread and size is identified. You can also measure the screw with a caliper or mic and a thread gauge. Once you determine the size you can order or otherwise get ahold of the tap or die you need. A tap goes in a hole. A die thread a screw or bolt. A die stock holds a die so you can form the threads, it's the handle for the die in other words. A tap handle holds a tap, although a light wrench will work and makes it even easier to break the tap. I recommend a tap handle. Lts say you need to clean a threaded hole- you have the tap and handle. Secure the tap in the handle and take a look at the hole. Assuming the hole doesn't have a broken off screw in it, you can place the nose of the tap in the hole. If you have the correct size tap it will fit part way into the hole. Before you start turning the tap apply a lubricant, 3 in 1 oil, Break Free, WD40, something. Obviously on a right hand thread you'll turn the tap clockwise. Righty-tighty, lefty-loosy. The biggest problem now comes up. Taps are very, very delicate in 6-48 and 8-40 size. They break easy and once broken in a hole, you're into some work and $$ to get it out. They are also very hard and tough steel, so it's not easy to get them out, hence the work and $$$. You have to get the tap into the hole STRAIGHT, not cockeyed. My sugeestion is to start the tap (we're chasing threads here not tapping a fresh hole) without the tap handle, just your fingers. You'll feel the tap take the existing thread unless it's full of dirt or galled metal in which case it still may take. once you feel it take the thread let it stand there and look at the taps angle with the hole. It should be a pretty much right angles to the work. It may cock off a little due to dirt or metal pushing the tap sideways. Back the tap out and put it in the handle. Get tap at right nagles relative to the work and start it about as far as it went with your fingers. Very slowly and with care turn the tap 1/4 to 1/2 turn, then back it the same amount. Go into the work the same 1/4 to 1/2 turn and then add 1/4 turn and back out again. You'll feel the tap start either following the thread or cutting the dirt/metal. The very instant you feel the tap start to "bind", back it out of the hole and clean the juck off the tap. The flutes will fill with dirt, Lock-Tite, oil, metal, whatever is in the hole. Then clean the hole with solvent, re-lube and go back to it. Go about 2 complete turns and back it out and clean. You'll eventually come to the point where the tap stops either becasue it bottoms out in the hole or comes to the end of the threads. Or, it comes out the far side of the work if it's a through hole. Unless your need more threads stop there. Now you're into bottoming and plug taps which aren't as "pointy" as a regluar tap and can go further into a hole, and break off deeper in the hole. We're just chasing or re-newing an existing thread so we'll stop there. If at any point the tap binds or grabs- STOP TURNING!!!. Back the tap out and find out why it's doing that. It may be the end of the hole or some garbage in the flutes causing it. The flutes in the tap carry the waste material so they need to be cleaned as they fill. DO NOT FORCE THE TAP, IT WILL BREAK!!! Just go slow and easy. If the tap starts grabbing or going cockeyed or there's clearly a problem then take the work piece to a gun shop or machine shop and have them do it. It could be a hardened work piece or some other problem. Until you've tapped 25 or 30 holes it's a learning process and you won't have the feel for it. Break a few taps and you'll know what fustrating work is. Once the tap cleans the threads, use the solvent and try your screw in the hole. Should be a nice, easy job to screw it in. Chasing a thread with a die is easier. Secure the screw or bolt in a vise and start the die with you fingers. Then lightly put the diestock on the die, secure the lock screw and do the 1/2 turn biz with the lubericant. You'll see the metal and dirt gather in the die flutes. Often you cna just back the die 1/2 turn and spray the garbage out of the flutes with solvent rahter than backing the die all the way off. Sometimes a small screw can be turned into the die with a screwdriver if it will start straight. The same cautions apply as with tapping a hole ecept if a screw beaks off in a die it's a relative breeze to get it out. Of course then you have to aquire a new screw to replace the one you broke.

    The cardinal rules for tapping are-

    1. Use a sharp, correct. lubricated tap or die.
    2. Start the tap or die straight. If you tilt the tap it WILL break.
    3. Use no more force than needed.
    4. CLEAN THE TAP OR DIE EVERY TURN OR SO!!!!
    5. STOP when the tap or die binds!
    6. Go slow and easy and you should be OK.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master versifier's Avatar
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    Post Taps continued...

    Never buy just one tap in any given size. Unless the hole goes all the way through whatever it has been drilled and tapped into, then it has a bottom. If you want as much thread bearing surface as you can get (especially important with shallow holes) then you need a bottoming tap. This is easily made from an old, broken (yes, I've seen it and done it - don't ask), or extra tap. 8) Carefully grind it down with water handy and quench it often so that it doesn't heat up enough to remove the temper until you are up past the tapered portion. To use one, you must start with a conventional tapered tap until it hits bottom, then blow the hole out with compressed air and follow with the bottomer. The bottoming tap needs the tapered tapped hole to start as it won't feed cleanly on its own. They are most useful for mounting sight bases, etc., and any application where you have a shallow hole with very few threads to depend on. You can buy them, but they are often hard to find and usually more expensive.

  11. #31
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    A quicky on grind stones- Everyone has a 6 or 8 inch grinder in the garage. FYI- the coarser the stone, the less heat builds up. The finer the stone, the quicker the metal heats up. I don't really understand why, I'm not all that bright, but it's true. If you really want to pick up some good info on sharpening and grinding then get Len Lee's "Complete Book of Sharpening" availble form www.LeeValley.com Lee Valley Tools/ Veritas. It's a compnay/store up in Ottawa Ont. and the catalog should be right there in the magazine rack next to the john, along with Brownells catalog. They sell a soft white grindstone that runs way cooler than the typical cheapy hard gray stones that your grinder came with. Just the thing for doing a really good job on yoour woodworking chisels etc. They also have a zillion and one items you'll find you can't live without and some real good, really hard to find books on wood working, metal working, gardening, all sorts of stuff. I got the complete Popular Mechanics Shop Note collection one Christmas. We're talking like 30 volumes of articles and ideas from 1915- 1945 or something like that. Way cool. Great company. Quick sevice.

  12. #32
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    The coarse wheel presents less contact to the work, thus less friction. Think of the wheel coarse grade as tire tread, an off the road aggressive tread (coarse) presents less contact area then a racing slick (fine).

    Joe

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Chopsticks

    They make handy mixing sticks for epoxie, paint and stain. Cut to lenght they make "no scratch" punches to remove pins such as the Remington 870 shotgun trigger group retaining pins. They make into easy "slave pins". Use them as small dowels for "pining" forend tips or repairing stocks. They even work nicely as retainers for screws when driven in tight fitting holes in concrete. Handy for reaching into tight plsces (won't scratch like metal). Good cleaning aid. Keep a few around the workbench you will find many other uses for them.
    Getting old is the best you can hope for.

  14. #34
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    Gorilla Glue- I don't know how long this stuff has been around, 3-4 years. It's one of the new brands of glue and I picked some up a while back. This stuff works on almost everything! I've glued metal to metal, glass to metal, fabric (glued the back of my calf to the seat of my pants accidentaly), plastic, even wood! It expands a bit and is messy but it works good. Little sample bottles are available at Walmart. This stuff has yellow wood glue beat by a mile.

    JB Weld- the standard epoxy filler. Great for repairing the cracked steering wheel on your tractor, sealing a seam in a gas tank, making barrel vice blocks. Will not take loads, heat above maybe 250 degrees or impact. Handy stuff.

    PC-7, Devcon, other 2 part epoxy type glues/fillers. Great for a lot of mechanical uses. Make sure you really degrease the mating surfaces. Epoxy doesn't stick to grease/rust/water/air. Some types will work in overhead work.

    Brownells Acra-Glass and it's varieties. The gold standard glass bedding, cracked stock, all around handy 2 part epoxy type filler/glue. Can be colored. Never seen it fail on it's own, user failures do happen. Read any of the Gunsmith Kinks series to find a million and one uses. Even works as a stock finish!

    Loc-Tite- There's about 27 different kinds and most work great. Go to their website and read up. You'll find what you need. Some types will even work to fill gaps and will hold a suprising amount of force, as in a stripped thread.

    Krazy-Glue- Gotta have a little tube for fixing broken plates, figurines, Christmas ornaments and for gluing your index finger to your eyelid.

  15. #35
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    Talking

    I love this thread! Gianni.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  16. #36
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    I hope everyone adds their favorites to this one-

    Books, books, books. Any gunny type he man has to have the aforementioned Brownells catalog. Better get Midways USA too, along with the standard Cabelas, Red Head, etc. Now there are a bunch of littler companys out there such as Lindsay Publishing, www.lindsaybks.com , that have titles you never dreamed of. Lindsays got a wicked sense of humour too, although a bit on the liberal side politicly. There's websites galore if hunt around. Don't over look the weblinks at the various gun sites you go to, lotsa good places.

    There's an older book out there called Shop Savy by Roy Mongouvon (sp?) If you find a copy, grab it. You'll learn something new evrytime you pick it up. Same for the "Machinists Bedside Reader" series, available through "The Home Shop Machinist" magazine and Brownells. Any older copies of Audels books are great, carpentry, machining, plumbing and electrical work. The older pre-60's issues are better for us amature type guys because we don't have plasma cutters and CNC milling machines. In fact the early black covered series are my favorites and they are from the 20's and 30's. Their welding books are great. On welding there are a million old copies of "Welding Helps for Farmers" out there, great stuff. Same for any of the old Lincoln or Hobart books on welding. South Bend, LeBlond, Atlas, all the old lathe and machine tool companies put out books that are still available and indespensible. Check your local library too for older titles.

    On guns- Clyde Bakers "Gunsmithing" book is the standard. James Howes 2 volume set is fantasic if you can afford it. Same with Dunlops book. All the Brownells "Gunsmithing Kinks" are required reading. Great recipies in there too, along with a bunch of good jokes. More later.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master and Generous Donator
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    Bret:

    Geez! Sounds like you're cataloging MY library! I've got at least as much invested (time as well as $$$) in "paper" as in the "hardware" of our avocation.

    Floodgate

  18. #38
    Boolit Master

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    Okay, I got a gripe and a pet peeve. Tools that you simply cannot hang on to! Who do these manufacurers think they are kidding by putting these shiny, highly polished finishes on tools? You simply cannot hang on to them. At all! I have some wrench that I got many years (many years) ago through J.C. Whitney that were produced in India and have a dimpled finish. Stay in the hand great. Quality is ****, but you can hang on to them. Lee is one of the offenders of slick finishes. I could care less if a die has a shiny finish, I'd rahter not have it slip from my fat little fingers. My Lee dies get a wrap of duct tape so I can at least handle them. I got tools out in the shop that get the slightest bit of oil or grease and I cannot hold them. Many of my very good tools have been run up against a grinding wheel just to rough the handle 'so's I kin to hold on'. Anyone else have this problem? I really hate to rough up some of my very good tools ($$$ and stuff my Dad had - $$$) but these slickery finishes are ****. sundog

  19. #39
    Boolit Master

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    Sundog-

    You have to put down the BBQ while reloading..

  20. #40
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    What I learned in school

    Today, as I was inletting a barreled action, the head gunsmith came around, to check on my progress. I have always been a low tech gun builder, so was very happy to get his advise on getting the barrel drafted 50% into the stock. He showed me to take a square, and set the bottom corner, in the bottom of the inlet. Then, the wings of the square, will contact the edges of the inlet, at 180 degrees, which is the appropriate depth, no matter where you are checking on the barrel channel. This cuts the inletting time immensely.
    This guy is a Kuwait era Marine, a grad from the Colorado gunsmith school, and worked under Dennis Olson. I do believe this will be a very educational job.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check