NOTE: Breech end of barrel must protrude 5-1/2" from the wooden clamp. See page 31, Figure 84. Do not use wedges at this time to allow for barrel adjustments.

1. WEAR SAFETY GLASSES. Break a new 6" -8" flat bastard file into pieces. You can place in a vise and hit it with a hammer to shatter it. Better yet, if you have moto-tool and a little cut-off disc, cut a piece off the file that measures 1/4" tall to 1/2" - 5/8" long. We will use only the untapered edge portions of the file that have teeth on them. Note: Use a round edged file if you want round bottomed rifling.

2. Grind the sides smooth and as parallel as you can. The bottom must be smooth and parallel to the top. Both ends must be ground smooth and perpendicular to the top and bottom edges. Lightly remove the corners from the edges. If you don't, the bit will "work" back and forth in it's mortise and slowly enlarge it. The results are catastrophic and induce premature failure of the rifling head.

3. Remove the upper corners by grinding them tapered to the front and rear.. Remove 1/8". See Figure 101

Fig. 101

8. Now we are going to mark the dowel to tell us where to inlay the cutter into the head of the rifling rod. Go to the rifler cutter head and draw a line on the dowel where the breech end of the barrel ends on the wooden dowel. See Figure 99

9. Now push the rifler into the barrel all the way until it protrudes out the other end of the barrel about 1" -1-1/2". Now mark the cutter head again. See Figure 100

Rifling Head Cutter

Fig. 100

Homemade Rifling Bench

Fig. 106

Pa8e 38 ©2004 A Wooden Iowa Rifling Bench

Button Rifling

Fig. 104

Antique Rifling Machines

Note: the rake of the teeth on the cutter must always point toward the muzzle of the barrel when the bit is installed. This is because you always rifle from the breech towards the muzzle.

Fig. 102

4. Hold the cutter parallel and centered between the marked lines. Place the cutter with the teeth pointing to the rounded tip of the head. Then using a nobby knife, cut along each side of the cutter and the ends. The closer the cut is to the base of the bit, the better. We want a snu 2 fit. Remove the cutter and using the knife, slightly deepen the lines. See Figure 103 & 104

Fig. 104

5. Back trench the cut along the inside of these lines.

6. Using a small 1/8" chisel, carefully remove the wood from the inside the mortise to a depth of about 1/32" to 1/16". If you do not have a small chisel, you can make one by grinding a common or concrete nail on one side.

See Figure 105 & 106

Fig. 105

Fig. 106


1. Remove the rod from the rifling bench. Put the rod into your vise with the marked dowel facing up.

2. Slightly flatten the surface of the dowel between the lines a little wider than the cutter. This will allow for easier inletting of the cutter into the head

3. Center the cutter between the two lines on the head. Note: The cutter must be centered with a minimum of 1/8" away from the lines as there must be clearance from the barrel breech to allow removal of the cutter later to place shims under it. See Figure 102

Fig. 103

Pa8e 38 ©2004 A Wooden Iowa Rifling Bench

Fig. 110

Wooden Rifling Bench

Fig. Ill

Fig. 108

10. Continue removing wood until you reach a depth of 3/16". The bottom of the mortise must be flat and not sloped. Insert the bit firmly into the head. See Figure 109 & 110

Rifling Cutter Head


Forward Rake Of Teeth

Cutter Head Assembly

Fig. Ill

12. When the cutter slips into the barrel with NO grabing, insure the "rake" or cutting edges of the teeth on the cutter point towards the tip of the head, you're finished with the head.

13. Install completed rifling rod assembly into the breech of the barrel ana into the tail stock of the worm.

14. Congratulations!! You have iust joined a small handful of people who have built their own rifling bench in the past 100 years or so.

Fig. 110

11. Try fitting the head into the breech end of the barrel. There should be a tiny bit of clearance between the cutter and the bore of the barrel. If not, remove additional wood from the bottom of the mortise in the head or perhaps metal from the bottom of the cutter. See Figure 111

Fig. 108

10. Continue removing wood until you reach a depth of 3/16". The bottom of the mortise must be flat and not sloped. Insert the bit firmly into the head. See Figure 109 & 110

7. Check for initial fit by inserting the bit into the mortise. Adjust the cavity as may be required. A snug fit is required. Do Not Insert Bit At An Angle Into The Mortise. Always insert bit into mortise squarely so the sides do not get enlarged.

8. Continue inletting the bit as long as it fits snug. (Pliers with leather padded jaws can assist inserting the bit throughout all stages of this process.) See Figure 107

Fig. 107

9. When you have reached a depth of about 1/8", drill a 3/32" hole in the center of the mortise completely through the rod. This will allow a 3/ 32" punch to be used to extract the bit from the mortise. See Figure 108


Wooden Rifling Heads - Often can be used for one or two more rifles.

Cutter Bit- Can be used up to five times. If the cutter is good, but the head is bad, remove the head on the steel rod by drilling out the rivet securing it and replace the head with a new head and neiniet the cutter into the replacement head.

NEVER MOVE THE BARREL - During the rifling process, do not move or remove the barrel from tne barrel clamps. We have broken cutters during rifling, bent tne steel rifling rod due to uneven stress, wore out wooden heads and split them in two while rifling. Successful repairs and replacements were made with a lot of judicious care, common sense and assistance from on high, but these malfunctions are not to be taken lightly either. The cutter entering the barrel or timing is absolutely critical. I have never been able to return a barrel back to it's original position in my entire career as a gunsmith.

Book C: How To Use The Rifler

Wood Rifling Machine

3. The bed of the rifler has parafin applied to the surface for lubrication. See Figures 4B & 5B

Barrel & Rifler Preparation:

1. Insure that both ends of your barrel are square. File if necessary.

2. Level the barrel horizontally in a vise and counter-sink or crown the ends of the barrel, between 1/16" -1/8". See Figure IB

Fig. IB

TIP: I use a breast drill and level it with a small level taped onto the body. See Figure 2B

Rifling Machine
Fig. 2B

In use, the level is checked and the straightness is eye-balled as the crank is turned slowly and smoothly. See Figure 3B

Fig. 4B

Rifling Drill Bit

Fig. 5B

Long Barrel Beretta Urika


Yourself Rifling The Barrel


4. Slip the barrel into the clamps.

5. Retract the worm fully away from the barrel.

6. Without the cutter bit installed in the rifling head, install the rifling rod into the tail stock and pin in place.

7. Carefully push the worm/rifling rod forward into the barrel as far as it will go. See Figure 6B

7. Carefully push the worm/rifling rod forward into the barrel as far as it will go. See Figure 6B

Rifling Factory


Rifling Machine

Exposed Cutter

How Build The Antique Rifling Machine

Note: "The Wooden Jack "

You may want to build yourself a wooden "Jack" to support the rifler when it is fully retracted from the barrel. We made ours out of some 1" X 2" and 1" X 6" pine stock. The intention of the jack is to hold the rifler in a level position. See Figure 9B


Exposed Cutter

Fig. 8B

Fig. 7B

9. Now draw the rifling rod back out of the barrel to it's fully retracted position. Examine where the cutter exits the barrel. You need to ensure the cutter fully clears the barrel enough to allow for removal of the cutter and the adding of shims later. Adjust the barrel again if necessary. See Figure 8B

10. Once you are satisfied with the position of the barrel in the clamps, mark the side of the barrel next to a clamp. This is an indicator mark so you can reposition the barrel if necessary should the barrel be moved before final clamping. See Figure 10B

8. Adjust the position of the barrel in the wooden clamps, to allow the cutter bit to be fully exposed (and a bit more is desirable) when the rifler is at the end of it's stroke. The end of the barrel should be about approximately 3-1/2" from the wooden clamp. You should have at least a 1-1/2" clearance between the breech end of the barrel and the tailstock end of the rifler. See Figure 7B

Wedge Firmly In Place

Wedge Clamp

Fig. 10B

Amw Rifling Head And CutterCutter Rifling Head


Forward Rake Of Teeth rin

Cutter Head Assembly


Here are some useful tools you will want to use.

Wedge Firmly In Place

13. Go to the far end of the barrel and look through the muzzle end of the barrel back toward the tailstock and observe the location of the rifling rod hole in alignment with the opening in the barrel breech.

14. You need to position the barrel, so bore of the barrel is centered with the hole in the tailstock of the rifler. Use paper or matchbook cover shims to center the hole. Take Your Time & Do It Right!

15. When the bore is centered as close as you can get it, check the location of the indicator mark you placed on the side of the barrel next to the wooden clamp again. Reposition the barrel to the mark if necessary.



Fig. 10B

11. With the worm still retracted, remove the rifling rod from the tailstock.

12. Push the worm fully forward toward the barrel, so the tailstock is near the barrel breech.

Fig. 11B

19. Slowly push the rifler forward to check fit of the cutter bit. Shim the cutter as required to raise the bit only high enough to barely contact the bore.

20. With that achieved and the rifler drawn fully away from the breech of the barrel, set the rifler onto your jack stand and generously lubricate the rifling rod, cutter head and cutter bit with lard. See Figure 12B (Before you begin, see note below.)

16. Drift the two wedges into the clamps and secure the barrel. NO further barrel movement is allowed from this point forward. See Figure 10B

17. Double check the alignment of the barrel bore and the hole in the tailstock. Remove clamping wedges and re-shim if needed. When the wedges are driven, the position of the barrel bore with the tailstock could change. Do this as often as necessary to ensure the alignment of the bore and the tailstock hole.

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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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