Fig. 28

Chcckoring cradle most generally used in the gun shop

Fig. 27

A portable bench grinder is Indispensable in the small gun shop of these tools. In the end, after summing up the merits of different checkering tools, you will find these the best.

Motor Grinders — These are among the most essential parts of any shop where mcchanical work is performed, for the}' are called upon more times throughout the clay than any other machinc. The beginner should manage, if possible, to have some kind of a grinder, even if nothing better is available than an electric fan motor. Small cloth, leather, felt, and wooden discs with sandpaper attached are almost indispensable at times. Any investment you make in this equipment will pay for itself many times. There are many electric motor grinders on the market costing from $30 up. It is impossible to list them all, but a good selection may be obtained from machinery-supply or mailorder-house catalogs. Figure 27 illustrates a Black & Decker bench grinder.

All these small rcasonablc-priced grinders carry-two emery wheels and are usually of the ball-bear-ing type; one emery wheel can be removed and this side used for polishing and buffing. These grinders are small and compact and may be conveniently placed on the end of the bench. At an additional cost, they are furnished with cast-iron floor pedestals; these are usually preferred, as they leave the end of the bench free and clear for other purposes. On all the small grinders, the shafts are J/2 inch in diameter; therefore, all holes in the polish-

Fig. 27

A portable bench grinder is Indispensable in the small gun shop ing wheels or discs must be of this size and a free but perfect fit, or too much vibration will result. The grinders are equipped with movable guards and a tool rest, which can be conveniently adjusted to heights; on some it is possible to get various short angles. With the emery wheels removed, it is possible to use wire or cloth buffers and sandpaper discs for dressing rubber recoil pads. Various uses for the grinder will continually occur. By using different-shaped emery wheels with thin, rounded, or bevel edges, it is possible to grind out places on hardened parts which would ordinarily require annealing and the use of a file.

Fine circular steel wire wheels are the secret of all fine bluing on firearms; they not only card off rust during the bluing process, but also burnish the barrel. A fine wire buffing wheel should be used only for the bluing operation; when first purchased it should be boiled in strong lye water to remove all traces of grease, and then rinsed in clean boiling water. Should the fine wire show evidence of rust, it indicates that there is no grease or oil on it to spoil the bluing. Other fine wire wheels should be used to remove rust from gun parts and to burnish nickel-plated revolvers. It is surprizing how one of these wheels will clean up a spotted barrel when small rust spots have formed, particularly on fine shotgun barrels.

Muslin buffing wheels are also required on the grinder. The 8" diameter is used for polishing. The sewn wheels are classed as "hard" and the un-sewn as "soft." Keep a number of these wheels on hand, as well as the different polishing compounds, such as Tripoli, rouge, Vienna lime, emery paste, etc. Others may be surfaced with fine emery for the breaking-down process before the other compounds are used for a final polished surface.

Wooden wheels should be made from hardwoods such as maple, cherry, or beech. Scribe a circle of the desired size, and with the J^-inch wood bit, bore out the center for the shaft, and saw the outside of the circle. Clamp it on the shaft and true the outside with a regular turning chisel. A rest must be provided so that the chisel can be handled more conveniently and will not catch in the wood, thereby causing a painful injury.

Coat the sides of these discs with glue or shellac and apply different grades of sandpaper or emery cloth, clamping them in place with other boards or discs, and allow to remain until completely dry. The outside edges are then trimmed off to the outside diameter of the wood. These are used when a flat surface is to be polished; with the coarser sandpaper disc, the rubber recoil pads are dressed to the outside contour of the stock.

Special wheels of felt make the finest wheels for polishing purposes. They may be used with fine abrasive glued to the outside surface or used with emery paste, rouge, or Tripoli. Very fine polishing wheels arc also made from rubber, leather, etc. The leather wheels are used for various shapes and forms after being turned in a lathe.

Another useful accessory is a chuck made so that it can be screwed or slipped on the end of the grinder spindle and then fastened by a headless screw. This arrangement is used to polish small pins and to file a number of pins and screws. A small firing pin or a bead for a sight can be made in this manner. A successful lapping operation can also be accomplished by holding the lap in the chuck and holding the work in your hands.

There are various wood laps which can be made: square-faced, pointed, round, oval, etc. They are also made small in small sizes to polish the inside of metal parts, such as trigger guards, where it is rather difficult to reach with any other form of polishing wheels. These are made in a cone shape and screw on the end of the spindles; they should project between two to four inches from the end. Wooden laps made from hard or soft wood are used for polishing steel or any other form of metal and general lapwork. The substances used on these laps are oil and flour emery, Vienna lime, rouge, rottenstone, tripoli, etc.

Wood Chisels — Often these can be made from worn files which have been discarded from machinc shops; special wood chisels can be forged from high-carbon tool steel, and even made from worn power hack-saw blades. At times the beginner will do much better to forge all the special chisels required for the stock-making operations and in the end will find it much cheaper than purchasing them. Of course, you must buy some chisels, but the ones you make will be more prized. A study of your needs should determine your purchases; for instance, the most-used flat chisels are the narrow ones; therefore, purchase l/s, lA, M> H inch tool steel in 12-inch lengths.

Tangs are forged on these, and one piece will make two chisels, tho shorter ones are sometimes required; but when forging a chisel for wood working, always make two. I am a great believer in pairs of tools, for when one becomes dull or an accident occurs, there is always the sccond one to fall back on. After the tangs are forged, dress the ends by heating and forging the cutting portion so that there will be less grinding to be done; this also gives the steel a more harmonious structure and a finer grain.

Gouges — The half-round or radius gouges are made from drill rod; the diameters used are

TA> %6> H> Viv> and >2 inch. If there should be a shaper or a milling machine in the locality— or a friend who is a machinist—they can be milled or shaped and the ends turned, as illustrated by Figure 5. Of course, the cutting end is also forged to nearly half its diameter and then filed; but since the tangs must be turned, a machine operation is the most accurate means of holding the true radius of the rod used. After the end is shaped to half its diameter on an angle, the cutting edge is filed to a true sharp point, only leaving enough metal to stone after the hardening operation is performed. A set of such gouges is indispensable in wood working, particularly when making a new stock.

Bottoming Chisels — These tools can not. be purchased, so they must be made by the student. The ordinary carving or small straight chisels are not adapted to many operations, especially the in-letting of shotgun actions into stocks. Bottoming tools are made from %6X%6-inch tool steel, forged and filed to shape. Figure 28 illustrates the forms most used to meet requirements. These are

made to suit the particular job you may be working on. This is the best way to make all such tools, as you can then better appreciate their value. In forging these tools, constant heat is required throughout the operation, or checks will develop in the hardening. Shaping of the end is an upsetting operation, and this is best done in a vise with the flame of a gasoline torch, holding the steel rod while the upsetting takes place. After the forging operation is completed and the tang is drawn out, the cutting edges are filed to shape.

All wood-working tools named here should be given very careful heat-treatment so that they will maintain their keen cutting edges. After the hardening operation, the tools are polished and the temper drawn to a purple; then the edges are stoned to a keen cutting edge with fine oilstone, finished with two fine Arkansas oilstones, and then stropped.

Handles must also be provided, and can be made from straight-grained maple. They are either turned or formed in the shape of a square, similar to the old-fashioned handles made by old-time cabinet makers. These handles are very simple to make and give the beginner practise with woodworking tools that have been supplied for the shop. Ferrules must be purchased for the ends; the heavy steel ferrules are best and arc sold by almost all large supply houses. Avoid the thin brass ferrules seen on cheaper tools. To remove the plain appearance of the bright, steel, polish and give a c^se-hardening treatment with color. (See Chapter XVI, Volume II.) This treatment not only gives the ferrules a pleasing color but protects them from

the rust caused by perspiring hands or salt air.

Screw-drivers — These tools are of the greatest importance to the gunmaker, for you can never have a set of drivers too well made; and even if you should make every known size, you will still find a screw slot that the ends will not fit. Figure 21 illustrates these, and a set of three handles of the best design for the gunmakcrs use. The steel i

Fig. 28 Bottoming tools used is the finest octagon or hexagon chisel steel, forged, ground, hardened, and tempered. In the same illustration are given the sizes of the brass ferrules used on the end of the handles. After the drivers are driven into the handles, a }40-inch hule is drilled through the ferrule and driver, and a piece of Yiq-inch drill rod is driven in, riveted over, and filed flush. This illustration also shows the auger-brace drivers which are used to remove screws that cannot be started by the hand screw-driver. Since the points are made close to the body of the steel, there is no spring to them, and when placed in the brace a tremendous amount of turning force can be placed on a screw. This driver will remove the tightest screw.

Most manufactured screw-drivers on the market have a wedge effect on the point. When such a driver is placed in screw slot and any pressure is applied, the wedge part of the point has a tendency to back out of the slot and mar the head of the screw very badly. You will notice that the ends of the drivers illustrated are perfectly straight for some distance. For this reason, when such a point is inserted in a screw slot, the straight sides have perfect bearing surfaces along the two straight sides of the slot; therefore, the point of the driver will break before slipping out. of the slot. Because of the straight sides it is only necessary to regrind the end straight across. These should be oil-hardened and the temper drawn to a blue very gradually. The employment of a lead bath for the hardening, and an oil or niter bath for the tempering, produces the best results; and when completed, the end which is inserted into the handle is drawn over a Bunsen burner so that a hole may be drilled for the keeper pin. The hole bored in the end of the handle is of the same diameter as the flat side of the steel, so when the driver is driven into the wood it cuts its form into the hole; therefore, no radius or rounded surface should be given to the end of the driver; only grind off square so it can cut its way through the wood.

Gun Braces — A gun brace or bench horse is a bracket made from a heavy piece of wood which is castened to the bench and extends over a distance to rest a gun stock on while shaping it. Figure 29 illustrates one which can be made from any scrap hardwood. The height should be made the same as the bottom of the vise jaws, so that when a stock is fastened between the jaws it will be level. The top of the brace should be padded with some soft material such as leather or felt, so that when a finely finished gun stock is rested on its surface s

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