Tools and Equipment

be built without the use of a milling machine can be found in the gun used in Vol. I. At the time it was built my home and shop had just burned to the ground, destroying everything my family owned. This left me without access to, or use of, any type of milling machinc. All operations that would normally have been done with the mill I accomplished by using files, chisels, and a hand drill. Although I hope I never have to do such a thing again, it can be done as evidenced in Vol. I.

Since I have retired from active gun work and sold my shop, I only have the small milling machine shown in the accompanying photographs. Although it is somewhat clumsy and takes more time to perform certain operations than the full-sized "Bridgeport" types that I formerly owned, this little machine will do anything the others will.

While I do not recommend them, even the oversized drill press types sold by most machine tool companies can be used, provided the table clamps are kept tight and slow, light cuts are taken. These are better than doing it by hand, but just barely.

Use of a lathe can hardly be avoided if any hope of concentricity is to be maintained. Though I am partial to lathes in the 15 - to 16-inch swing range, the only one I have at present is a 12 x 36-inch machine. Since this lathe has a hole through the headstock of slightly more than 1 1/2 inches in diameter, it serves its purpose adequately. The geared-head version, as shown, costs several hundred dollars more than a similar belt-driven model offered by the same company, but such features as a cam-lock spindle make it well worth the difference. Although the electrical systems on these Chinese-made machines are usually somewhat cruddy, the machines themselves are sound and represent good values for the money.

A small, high-speed grinder such as the Dremel tool can be used to perform many of the operations usually done with the milling machine. Receiver openings are easily cut and finished by using one of these tools, provided that the corners or ends are formed using suitable drills. With the aid of a hand drill and a few files and chisels, all required mill work can be accomplished by this method.

Above and Right: The 12 x 36-inch geared-head lathe pictured has a 1 112-inch hole through the spindle, making it ideal for most gun work. It costs about $3,000. Although these Chinese-made machines usually have inferior electrical systems, they are mechanically sound.

Below: A milling machine, regardless of type or size, is almost indispensable for operations required here.

9mm Handguns TableMilling Machine PistolTaiwanese Lathe

Above: This little mill is a combination vertical and horizontal mill. The universal table makes it even more desirable.

Left: A heavy vise, as shown, can substitute for a press or a sheet metal brake, and has many other uses.

Below: A sanding disc mounted on a large motor is useful to form parts.

Heat Treat Scales Aliminum Pics

Below: An oxygen-propane combination is handy for brazing and heat-treating operations.

Above: Measuring took include micrometers, vernier calipers, scales, and dial indicator. However, a single vernier caliper will suffice.

Right : The small high-speed hand grinder can perform many of the operations that usually require the use of a milling machine. It just takes longer.

Below: An oxygen-propane combination is handy for brazing and heat-treating operations.

Caliper Pistol MachineryUsed Hand Sheet Metal Brake

Left: This welding machine is capable ofMlG, TIG, and stick welding.

Below: A small metal cutting band saw such as this can save a lot of manual labor.

Below: A small metal cutting band saw such as this can save a lot of manual labor.

Caliper Pistol Machinery

A good, sturdy vise, the larger the better, is not only useful to secure parts while working on them hut can be used as a press or a sheet-metal brake to form the sheet-metal parrs used in the lower receiver and trigger housings. The small cast-iron vises sold by discount houses won't last long under such usage. What is required is a good heavy-duty model with at least 6-inch jaws. The discount-house jobs will break, or the screw will strip, when very much pressure is exerted between the jaws. Either way, the vise is rendered useless. The one depicted in this chapter was already several years old when my father bought it in a secondhand store more than 50 years ago. Even though it has been through a fire and used as an anvil on occasion, it still works better than a new one would.

Some measuring equipment is also required. At the very least, you'll need a 6-inch vernier caliper, and preferably, you should have access to micrometers up to 2 inches, a depth mike, and a 12-inch scale or ruler. A dial indicator also comes in handy, especially for use in stopping inside lathe cuts at a precise point.

One of the small metal cutting band saws will save a lot of wear and tear on your arm muscles, as required when using a hand hacksaw. This tool usually sells for around $200 and does its job fairly well as long as light cuts are taken and a sharp blade is in place. As soon as the blade begins to dull, it starts jumping off the drive wheels. Blades made from so called "bimetal" will last far longer than the ones that come wjth the saw. With the saw in the vertical position and a sharp blade in place, small parts such as hammers, triggers, and sears can be cut to rough shape and finished by milling, filing, or sanding.

The use of welding equipment is also a necessity. Preferably, it should be of the "heli-arc" or TIG type. Lacking this, a wire feed (MIG) or stick welder can be used. The welding machine shown in the photo is capable of all three. Some type of gas welding equipment should also be available. In my case, I use a combination propane and oxygen setup. Acetylene can be used instead of propane if desired, but I only use it for brazing and silver soldering, hardening small parts, and imparting case colors as a finish. Because the propane combination actually has a hotter flame than acetylene and is far more economical to buy, it is ideal for my purposes. Acetylene must be used if actual welding is attempted. The propane combination, at welding temperatures, will actually cook the carbon out of the steel, ruining it. The acetylene setup will not disturb the carbon content and can actually impart more carbon if desired by using an acetylene-rich, or "carburizing," flame. However, this actually has little to do with our usage here because an electric welding process should be used whenever possible.

The items described above, together with a normal assortment of hand tools and a few taps and drills, will allow a competent operator to turn out a finished firearm in short order. Vol. I goes into considerable detail about making parts with a minimum of equipment. I suggest you obtain a copy if you don't already have it.

A list of the bare minimum of necessary tools includes the following:

• 1/4- or 3/8-inch drill motor or hand-type drill

• A hacksaw with several blades

• 10-inch mill bastard file

• 3-cornered (triangular) files

• Round files, 1/8,3/16, or 1/4 inch (preferably all)

• Small square files

• Protractor

• Micrometers or vernier caliper

• Appropriate taps with corresponding drills

• Plus the use of a lathe, welding equipment, and grinder

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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