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Thread: Shop tips

  1. #61
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    Bret4207's Avatar
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    I've tried to come up with something interesting to add here, but apparently have writers block, or maybe I just don't know all that much, probably the latter.

    Couple little tips-

    Never,ever throw away a broken broom, rake, hammer, axe, sledge handle. The broom and rake hadles make dandy paper towel roll holders and they can be cut off and used as hangers for farily heavy items by drilling an apporpriate sized hole in a stud and driving the handle in there. Works good for garden hose, belts, etc. The heavier handles make good sprue plate knockers and if rasped down to a reasonable size make better hammer handles than store bought ones.

    A great design for a vise stand involves an old car rim, a hunk of well casing or other pipe at least 4" in diameter a flat mounting plate for the vise and some concrete. Obviously the vise gets mounted to the flat plate, which gets welded to the pipe at a handy height, and the pipe gets welded to the rim which lays flat on the floor. Brace the pipe to the rim as you deem appropriate. Then fill the rim with concrete, about 1-2 bags of Sack-rete should do fine. I suppose some heathen might use LEAD, but we all know there are much, much better uses for lead. The beauty of this design is that you can roll that vise around to where ever you need it. Real handy.

    Another nifty vice kink, (Uncle Ray will catch that one fer sure!) is to mount a vise to a flat plate welded to a reciever hitch insert. Real handy to be able to just pull the pin on the trailer ball and stick the vise onto your truck. Good and solid too.

    Those receiver hitch set ups offer another possibilty- The female part is availble as a seperate piece about 8" long. Theres no reason a guy couldn't weld one to a stand like the vise stand above and get several of the male inserts and attach his press, sizer and such to seperate inserts. Or you could attach the female part to your bench and go that way. You aren't dealing with a tremendous amount of torque so the samller hitch pieces ( about 1" square vs the larger 2or 2.5" setups) could be used. They're cheaper and would be easier to work with too.

  2. #62
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    ! 1/4" is the smaller standard for square tubing in a hitch. I have a 9' bed on my company work truck and a 1 1/4" square tubing holds a pipe vise in the rear corner. It is a custom step bumper but holds enough for the torque of a 36" pipe wrench and all this fat boy can pull on it so it's plenty tough for house and casting projects. Gianni.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  3. #63
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    Thanks Mt G, I was too lazy to walk out and actually measure the hitches on the Explorer and Toyota.

  4. #64
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    A quick tip from Brownell's "Gunsmith Kinks" Series that I can endorse:

    Emergency Case Puller

    If a 30 cal shell casing separates in your rifle leaving you with a headless case in your chamber and you don't have a standard headless extractor, a 38 cal pistol brush screwed onto a cleaning rod may be able to remove the case. Insert the brush into the chamber area past the mouth of the headless case and then pull backwards. It should easily pull the brass case out of the chamber.

    I've used the same method with a 38 brush to remove a 7.62x54 case from a Mosin Nagant I have so I can say it can work.

    Bruce

  5. #65
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    Heat shrink tubing.

    Most of you propably already know and use it so its just repetition
    The cleaning rods, steel and brass or whatever can sometimes do more damage to the guns than wanted In the electrical equipment shop one could buy some heat shrink tubing. Lots of different diameters and lots of different colors too
    Find the one thats closest to your cleaning rod in dia, clean that rod and put it in the tubing. Use hot air to shrink the tubing and its finished Easy to peel of with a sharp blade if you want that later and its a lot softer to the mettal than the original steel or brass cleaning rod

  6. #66
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    Didn't realize it'd been so long since I blathered on here!

    Stuck casings- In addition to the bore brush method, you can use a spiral type srew extractor. You very GENTLY turn it into the broken off case and it should come right out. Sometimes a cleaning rod from the muzzle end will knock it out. Freezing the action will also help.

    Reloading dies- This seems real simple but- When you get a new die, or used die for that matter, take a minute and clean that sucker up. Nothing against Lee, I should own stock in the company I have so much of their stuff, but many of their dies are FILTHY when received. Take them apart and use a solvent to clean them up good followed by a metal protector. Might be a good idea to remove the O ring on the Lee type to protect it from solvents.

    Loose mould handles- After waiting for the handles to cool down, (you can guess why I added that!), pull the handles off. You can try a bunch of methods to secure them. Due to the heat I haven't had much luck with glue/epoxy. Toothpicks on the other hand, combined with a homemade feurrle (sp) do work. Main thing is to determine WHY they're loose and remedy the issue. Bits of wire inserted into the handle hole sometimes work. This ain't art. It's a freakin' mould handle. Ugly is ok.

    Loose handles on a mould- Sometimes we have to make do. My first set of Lyman type handles was made from a radiator hose clamp pliers. They fit the old spring style clamps and already had a hole about where I needed it. (To this day my evil step father wonders where they went! BWAAAAAHHHHAAAAAAA!!!! Trade ya for my Marlin 44 mag and the 2 Savage 24's you took you dirty........, uh, sorry.) Anyway, they didn't fit real tight. But by shimming them with some soft copper tubing they worked. Same idea with factory type handles. If they go all wimpy and loose on the mould, just shim them with washers made from pop cans, shim stock, anything that won't melt. A hole punch for paper will work on aluminum, or you can punch a hole with a flat nosed punch against a wood surface. Shim till the setup feels right and stop. Easy as pie.

    Loose sprue plate screws- OK, some moulds have a set screw to lock the sprue plate screw. Assuming that screw will move you're all set. If on the other hand you're like me and will buy any old rusty mould that you might concievably one day own a gun for you WILL end up with a non-functioning or non-existant set screw. If the sprue plate screw won't stay where God and man declared it should be there is a simple fix. Getcher screw where you want it. Then take a prick punch or nail set and LIGHTLY punch the side of the mould over the screw hole, about halfway down the length of the screw. What you are doing is very slightly dimpling the hole the sprue plate screw runs in. This will cause the screw to bind a little and stay put. Don't over do it. Try the screw as you go. When you feel a bit of resistance, thats far enough.

    Sprue plate sharpness- A nice sharp sprue cutter is good. Dull is bad. Dull makes holes in the boolit base among other things. Get a cone shaped stone designed for the Dremel tool at Wally World or where ever. DO NOT PUT IT IN A DREMEL TO DO THIS!!!! Read the last sentence about 10 times. Take the sprue plate off the mould. Using yer fingers twist the stone in the sprue hole till you just feel a ridge start to form on the bottom of the sprue plate. Give it about 3 more twists. Stop there! Now you have to flaten the ridge you just formed. When you bought the stone you also bought at least one sheet of 320 grit abrasive paper, at the auto parts store if the hardware or Wal Mart ain't got it. Finer paper will work and give you a nicer finsher, but don't go coaser if you can help it. A FLAT shapening stone will also work. Put the paper on a FLAT surface, like a piece of glass, stone counter top, or if nothing else is available the side of the mould itself. That will be very small, but it can work in a pinch. Gently rub the sprue plate in a circulare motion, a small circle with not a lot of pressure. All you are doing is knocking that ridge back a little. You'll see the ridge as a shiny spot around the sprue hole at first. Then after 5 or 6 cirlces check it. If the shiny ring is about gone stop there. Thats all there is to it. That sucker should cut like a hot knife through butter. Try it and see.

  7. #67
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Bret, You know how Lyman & Lee mold handles sometimes work loose? I've used JB Weld or plain epoxy many times and have never had the wooden handles bend, warp splinter or loosen again. Also, for loose sprue plates on molds with set screws, e.g., Lyman/Ideals, an easy fix is to mark the sprue plate screw when it's in the correct position (with respect to movement, tension, etc.) and file a flat on it. The set screw can then bear on it and maintain the proper adjustment.

    P.S. Glad to hear you avoided serious injury in your battle with the red oak.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tpr. Bret View Post
    Loose mould handles- After waiting for the handles to cool down, (you can guess why I added that!), pull the handles off. You can try a bunch of methods to secure them. Due to the heat I haven't had much luck with glue/epoxy.
    JBWeld is supposed to work on engine blocks, so it will definitely handle the heat. Your sprue plate sharpening tip sounds like a winner. I'll have to give it a try.

  9. #69
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    Talking

    Must be mine just get hotter. They tend to loosen back up on me. Maybe it's me manly mitts crushing the very life outta the 'poxy?!

  10. #70
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    Loose Lee mold handle remedy

    The story is when, NOT IFthe handles will come loose on a Lee mold.
    Single cavity to 6 banger , my experience is that it IS going to come loose.

    NOT A PROBLEMO!!

    As soon as the mold /mold handle comes into ones possession:

    Chuck a 1/16" drill bit in the drill press,

    Tap the wooden handle on snug if it is loose,

    Drill thru the metal ferrule cap and wooden handle,

    Use the appropriate finishing nail or other 1/16 diameter wire to make a rivet.

    Once treated like that, I have never had one come loose.
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  11. #71
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    Sprue plate handle break on Lee 6 banger

    I have had a couple fail so I make a simple fix before I use them.

    Sand the wood down untill warmed 3/4" ( think that is right diameter and they are not close by to check) PVC pipe can ge "gently forced over the wood and metal ferrule.

    NO more problems with the metal ripping out thru the wood when sprues get a little too cold/hard!
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  12. #72
    Boolit Master Four Fingers of Death's Avatar
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    RCBS are just as guilty in this area I have found. Mick.
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  13. #73
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    Wonder why I haven't found this thread before tonight. Over the years I've come up with hundreds of things. Maybe I can think of a few now.

    Seems most families have someone wearing contact lenses. Take the empty Saline bottles and use them as oil can's. Sure handy for that. I've got one with ATF to lube the Lee mold pins, hinges. Just a drop will come out, perfect for this.

    Way back in the late 50s they made a Liquid Steel, I haven't found the same stuff in many years. JB weld isn't as good. I even filled some pits in the surface of the concrete porch that have been there since then, over 45 yrs, crowding 50 maybe.

    Did you know a lot/most of the surgeons are using a form of Crazy Glue to 'stitch' you back together instead of sewing? Girl friends dau is an operating room assistant and she got a bottle of regular crazy glue out to fix a bad cut on her man's hand one day I was there Worked slick! I've put two of them in my first aid kit and use them often to glue those painful little cuts together. Even used it on a major cut and it worked good there too.

    Sundog: Slick handles? Here's the solution to that. Epoxy, fiberglass resin or such sticky, get some on your slick tools and sprinkle or rub some fine sand in it. They'll never be slick again, and mighty hard to get it off them IF the surface is half way clean of oil.

    Frank46: many an old sludged up engine can be washed out real well with Diesel #2. Drain the oil, new filter, put about two gallons in a five quart capacity engine and let it idle for half hour. Don't run the rpm up, or you'll knock the bearings out. Just a slow idle is good. Crankshaft splashes it around real good. Drain it, another new filter and fresh oil and that engine will stay clean for a long time.

    Bret: Those old broom handles make dandy shooting sticks. Run one side thru the table saw to flatten them, point one end, drill a 1/4" hole about 3-6" down from the rounded top and bolt them together. Cut them to the right length before pointing. For shorter one's, just spread the tips out further.

    To make a cheap reamer. Get some (yeah!!) drill rod, leave enough end for chucking it, turn the shape you want in a lathe, turn the leading tip down to the proper pilot, round off the front edge. Then grind, or mill just half one side away, leaving the pilot alone, file, or stone it smooth. Then heat and quench til cold then stone the flat surface til the edge's are sharp. You can even make sizing dies this way, or rechamber a gun etc. These are HAND reamers so turn them by hand, not in a lathe. Use a little cutting oil to retain the edge and assist cutting. A Tee tap handle is real handy if using these by hand and not chucking in a lathe and turning the chuck by hand.

    That's about all I can think of this time. Great thread Bret.
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  14. #74
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    Good post George..

    Now do you have a cure for me as to why- when I get some extra dollars, I spend them on a rifle, then I'm back to being broke again?..


    Hey on that engine sludge deal...

    I've wondered if churning up all those contaminants and corundum is a good idea with an engine flush? I bought my wife an 2002 Toyota with a V6 this year and I put a new air filter in it. We drive on dusty roads part of the time, and I grease around the seals so they are tight.

    Well I went to replace the filter, and it actually failed. I think it was a cheap manufactured filter. Some dust went through the pleated paper media. How much I don't know, but you could see a fine film of dust behind the filter. I never saw a filter do that.

    I was so PO'd, cause this is not a cheap engine, I was thinking about doing an engine flush like you spoke of, but I don't want to cause further damage.

    You got any pics on your homemade reamer? That would be great!..

  15. #75
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    The first stock work I ever attempted was to fit a 90% inletted blank to my Remington 700. I read about it for a couple of months while looking occasionally at the new wood, then started collecting tools.
    Got some chisels, a couple of real good files, made some scrapers, and bought a Dremel tool (back when single speed was the only kind).
    It became apparent, as soon as I touched wood with it, that Dremel tool ran way too fast.

    A duplex outlet and a ceiling fan control, mounted in a double electrical box, makes a speed control that works on any motor you plug into it...as well as being a handy extension cord for other things - when it's turned all the way up.
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    Retired...TWICE. Now just raisin' cows and livin' on borrowed time.

  16. #76
    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    Make sure those saline bottles full of oil are marked well so nobody will put the stuff in their eyes or on their contacts.

    My dad used to be bad about using Coke bottles to hold small amounts of motor oil and gasoline around the garage. Lots of folks do that, and it's a common way kids get poisoned.
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

  17. #77
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    Best Dremel tip yet. If you are going to do gun work, take your Dremel, and pound it with at least a four pound single jack, upon an anvil. More guns are ruined with a Dremel, than in any other way.

  18. #78
    Boolit Master
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    A dremel is sure handy for polishing, breech faces, feed ramps, chambers, dies, expanders etc.

    Good luck

  19. #79
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    A thought or 2-

    Never, ever, ever throw out any electrical appliance before doing a couple things.

    1- Cut the cord. You'll need it eventually and many appliances like drills and sanders come with nice cords. Saves $$$$.

    2- Never throw a drill away without at least trying to get the chuck off it. Again, you'll need it someday.

    3- If you're good with electric stuff, I'm not, washing machine motors are supposed to be good for running shop type stuff.

    4- Nuts, bolts, springs, belts, lamps- strip what you can. Less $$$ spent on the aforementioned items you saved means more $$$ to spend on gunz.

    5- Treadmill motors are supposed to be great for running drill presses. Lotsa horses and variable speeds from slow to really slow. I just scavanged one and will let you know if it works.
    Last edited by Bret4207; 01-03-2007 at 09:35 AM.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgeld View Post
    Did you know a lot/most of the surgeons are using a form of Crazy Glue to 'stitch' you back together instead of sewing? Girl friends dau is an operating room assistant and she got a bottle of regular crazy glue out to fix a bad cut on her man's hand one day I was there Worked slick! I've put two of them in my first aid kit and use them often to glue those painful little cuts together. Even used it on a major cut and it worked good there too.
    The medical stuff is CLOSE to crazy glue but not exactly the same stuff. The medical stuff does not release formeldahyde as it breaks down, crazy glue does. The amount released is usually not enough to hurt you and it takes about a week for it to start breaking down. I do keep a fresh tube of crazy glue in my survival kit. If I getta bad cut, I'll glue my self back together and then get to the hospital. The crazy glue adhesive is activated by moisture, that why is works so great fir sealing wounds, the more you are bleeding, the faster it sets. as the guiness guys would say, BRILLIANT!
    Some where between here and there.....

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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