is done and as soon as the heated portion of the bolt-handle turns blue in color, pour water upon that until it is cool. The bolt-handle is then repolished with fine carborundum cloth and crocus cloth.
Rifle bolt handle bending setup. Bolt packcd and wrapped with wet cloth, with water kept dripping on cloth.
In cutting off a high-rising bolt-handle to weld it back on the bolt in a lower position, so that it may clear low-mounted scopes, the position and shape may be copied from the Remington, Enfield or model 70 Winchester. The bolt-handle may be sawed off with a high-speed steel hack-saw blade unless it happens to be casc-hardcned, in which case a groove must be ground around the bolt-handle at the place it is to be cut, just through the case-hardening, using a narrow grinding wheel dressed to a vee-shape, or you may use a %2" thick cutting-off wheel if you have one.
Notch ground out of bolt handle, so it will pass tclcscopic sight tube.
The hollow of the bolt is filled with a cloth strip saturated with water, as in the case of bending the bolt-handle, and the bolt must be covered with cloths with water running upon them as before. In some cases the bolt can be placed in a shallow pan of water, as it is not necessary to grip the bolt in a vise as in the bending
operation. It may be necessary to arrange some kind of a jig or holding device for the bolt and handle to keep them in the position in which you wish to weld them.
The ideal welding method for this operation is the
electric arc welder, as it does not spread its heat as far as the acetylene torch does. After the weld is made and filled in above the old surface of the bolt-handle, the bolt-handle is dressed down at the weld and smoothed up by grinding, filing and polishing with carborundum and crocus cloth.
In changing over bolt actions which cock upon the closing of the bolt to make them cock upon the opening of the bolt, the cam of the bolt which engages the cam
Portion at rear of bolt barrel (in white) to the right of cocking piece notch to be filled in by welding, on Enfield bolt, to make this rifle cock upon opening the bolt. Bolt barrel lies in water to half its depth, and carbon rod 13 inserted inside the bolt barrel.
on the left receiver wall to extract the cartridge must be protected from the welding heat. For which reason the electric weld is almost imperative in this operation. However as this cam is on the opposite side of the bolt barrel from the bottom opening that must be filled up, this weld or build-up can be made with a gas torch if care is used. In using either type of weld the bolt barrel is plugged with a closely fitting carbon rod and the bolt is laid upside down in a pan of water so that the extraction cam is under water, then cloths are laid over the bolt so that both ends are in the water and these are kept wet over the bolt to prevent the heat from running back to the lugs.
The bolt must be filled in at the rear end on the bottom, so that a new cam groove can be cut resembling that in the Springfield or other bolt-actions cocking upon the opening of the bolt. It is necessary to cam the cocking piece clear to the rear end of the bolt barrel, so this bolt barrel notch (on the type that cocks on the closing of the bolt) must be filled up so that the new notch can be cut with an easy sweep from the deepest point to the rear of the bolt barrel. As this takes considerable wear at this point, a build-up steel of very tough quality must be used. Each manufacturer of welding rod has his own pet formulae for this type of steel but they can all supply it.
In making the weld, handle it carefully as it must be hot enough so that the steel flows readily and makes a perfect, close-grained surface to get the greatest wear but be careful not to carry this heat high enough to burn the steel in the slightest or to get pin-holes in it or it will soon roughen up the cocking-piece surface.
Modern bolts of the nickel-steel type may be readily machined without annealing but the older type of case-hardened bolt must be annealed and after the machining is completed must be rehardened. Springfield arsenal will supply upon request the proper heat-treat-ment information to reharden these bolts in the modern manner.
Sometimes an extractor is broken off just where the hook end joins the body and a new one is not available. A repair can be made by brazing a new piece of steel to the end of the body of the extractor to make a new hook. This should be a piece of spring-steel heavier than the original hook and after the end of the body of the extractor is ground square, a piece of brass is laid here between the ground end and the new picce of steel for the hook and, using the regular brazing rod, the two are brazed together. The new hook end is then filed to shape and proper thickness. This is only a temporary repair and the extractor should be replaced with a new one as soon as possible.
It is often desired to use a smaller cartridge than the original extractor was designed for and in this case, in any type of action, the original extractor can be lengthened by welding on a new piece of steel, to be cut to fit the smaller cartridge. On the Winchester single-
New extension brazed upon single-shot extractor of Winchester type.
shot action extractor, and extractors of a similar type, the side extension of the extractor can be entirely cut off, the shank notched at the top, leaving part of the shank in place at the rear and a new piece of steel is brazed in to make a new side extension to the chamber.
Winchester factory extractors for this action are made in this manner.
Chisel-steel is the best material out of which to make new firing-pins. It is bought in the annealed state and after the pin is machined to size it is hardened by heating to a cherry-red and quenching in oil. Either a light machine oil or a special quenching oil may be used. The pin is then polished and reheated slowly and evenly to a deep blue and again quenched in the oil. All quenching of parts much longer than their width, such as firing-pins, should be done by being dipped endwise into the quenching bath, heavy end first, and be agitated in widening circles while cooling. The endwise quenching is to prevent warping. In drawing parts to proper temper after hardening, where no fur-
nace or lead bath is used, they can be heated more evenly by laying them upon a heated iron plate and turning them over and over as they slowly heat to the proper color.
Coil-springs of desired size are easily wound from spring-steel wire on the lathe. This wire comes in many different sizes and is already tempered. A rod is mounted in the lathe chuck upon which to wind the spring. This rod must be smaller in diameter than the desired inside diameter of the spring coil, as the spring will expand somewhat in size after it is wound. If the rod or spring mandrel you mount in the lathe chuck is very long, it will have to be supported at the outer end with the tail stock center, as the wire must be pulled tight at right-angles to the mandrel while it is being wound. One end of the wire must be fastened to the lathe chuck or passed through a hole at the inner end of the mandrel, so that it can be held tightly, or it will not wind around the mandrel.
The lathe should turn in a left-hand direction, so if it is placed so that you cannot stand at the back of the lathe, the direction of the spindle travel must be reversed. The coils of the spring are spaced by slipping
a large washer for spacing the coils.
a washer or a loop of wire of the desired thickness over the mandrel. If a washer is used, a hole is drilled through it and wire attached in the hole, so that it may be held in one hand to keep the washer tight against the mandrel as it travels along with the spring being wound. The hole in the washer must be larger than the outer diameter of the spring being wound. A very tight pull is kept on the wire with one hand while the spacer is held tightly with the other hand. This tension on the wire out of which the spring is being wound is necessary in order to produce a spring of even diameter.
• This method will do very well for making springs out of fairly light spring-wire, but sometimes a spring of much heavier wire is needed. In this case tension on the wire is controlled by a simple tension device in the tool post of the lathe and the carriage of the lathe
is moved along the bed by the lead screw with the lathe geared to the same number of threads per inch as the spring being made has coils.
This tension device is simple and is made of two steel blocks held in the tool post, with a groove slightly smaller than the wire cut between them. By tightening the tool post screw the proper amount the desired
Steel tension blocks in tool post of lathe to keep heavy wire tight while winding coil springs on a mandrel in the lathe chuck.
tension is put upon the wire. The wire must be oiled for this operation.
Flat steel-spring making, with its attendant forging and tempering, is quite an art and the proper steel is not always easy to get. The English steel is considered to be the best but our spring-steel is improving in quality.
Flat steel-springs are heavier at the fixed end than at the operating end and this is accomplished, not by grinding or filing down the steel at the operating end, but by forging it. While bringing the bar to the proper thickness and width, the steel must be kept at a cherry-red, for if it is hammered while at lower temperatures it will develop cracks. Between 1400 and 1500 degrees is the proper heat and in heating do not heat it too rapidly but keep it out of the hottest part of whatever fire you are using, so that it heats up gradually. In doing the forging, make your hammer blows as even as possible as you draw the steel out to its proper width and thickness. As soon as it shows any signs of cooling much, return it to the fire for reheating.
If the spring is of the sharp-bent or vee-type, after it has been forged to size, cool it in lime, file it to the desired dimensions, then mark the place where the bend is to be made. Place it back in the furnace and reheat to the same temperature used in forging, then bend it, using a piece of steel of the proper thickness to space it at the bend. It is hardly possible to make this bend without having the steel cool too much, so bend it only part way and then reheat it to complete the bend.
After this sharp bend is made, the spring is again heated to the same temperature as before and curved the proper amount at each end, being sure that the steel does not cool too much during this operation, which will also include squaring the two sides so that the spring is in line all over.
The spring is now ready for hardening. As it is difficult to control the temperature evenly all over the spring in an open flame or forge, due to its varying thickness at different points, the best way to heat it is in a lead bath that has the proper temperature. Use an old ladle for the lead bath, one that has been heated many times before, if possible, so that all impurities, especially sulphur, have been burnt out of it. Use a good chemically-pure lead, not scrap lead, to guard against impurities and cover the surface of the melted lead with powdered charcoal, which prevents oxidation of the lead. Suspend the spring on a wire in the melted lead and, as lead is heavier than steel, the wire must be stiff to keep the spring below the surface of the lead. Coating the spring with alcohol and chalk, or dipping it in a solution of potassium cyanide, one pound to one gallon of water, will prevent the lead from sticking to the steel.
The lead should be brought to a bright red heat or if a pyrometer is available, to 1450 degrees, and the spring left in it until it is the same temperature or a bright cherry-red. Have a quenching bath of sperm-oil at hand and quench the spring in this when it reaches the proper temperature.
For tempering flat-springs, a bath of melted saltpeter is considered the best. It should be heated to a temperature of 700 to 725 degrees and the spring placed in it long enough, about twelve minutes, to take the temperature of the bath. The spring need not be quenched after tempering, as its temperature cannot rise higher than that of the bath.
Action-pins often need replacing in old guns, especially those in single-shot actions. Sometimes it is necessary to ream out the holes, in which the pins fit, to a larger diameter as these holes may be worn out of round. If the parts containing these holes are of nickel-steel or of carbon-steel heat-treated, not case-hardened, all that is necessary is to ream the hole so it is round and fit a new hardened pin. If however, the parts are case-hardened and are worn out of round in the action-pin holes, it means that the pins have worn through the case-hardening and, after the holes have been reamed to a larger size, the part must be rehardened by the case-hardening method.
A simple type of case-hardening can be used for this work, consisting of the cyanide process. The part to be rehardened around the action-pin holes is heated red-hot and dipped into powdered cyanide of potassium at the point to be rehardened, reheated to red heat and held there a short time, redipped into the cyanide and again reheated. This is done three or four times and the part is then quenched in cold water while at a red heat. Do not inhale the fumes of cyanide of potassium as it is a deadly poison. A small electric fan can be used to blow the fumes away from you, so that you do not inhale them or, if a forge is used for the heating, it should have a hood on it connected to a chimney so that the fumes are drawn to the outer air and dissipated.
The new action-pins to be fitted in the enlarged holes are turned to size or made from drill-rod of the proper size. The pins are heated to a cherry-red, quenched in oil, polished, reheated slowly until the color shows straw-yellow upon them and quenched again in oil.
Never weld a cracked action, except at a minor point such as tangs, trigger-guard or parts of the cartridge feeding mechanism of a repeating gun; in other words, points on which little or no strain is placed by the firing of the cartridge. If gas welding is used, be sure to protect other parts of the action from heat running to them by immersing all of the action except the part being welded in water or covering them with water-soaked cloths.
Operating levers and lower tangs may be easily bent to conform to modern, close, pistol-grips. This is often required on single-shot actions, if they are made of steel and not malleable-iron the bending is a simple process and can usually be done cold, although if tangs are case-hardened and have a screw-hole close to the end, the hardening has sometimes gone completely through the steel around the screw-hole and bending cold will result in a break at the screw-hole. If in doubt about this and you do not desire to shorten the tang any, heat the end around the screw-hole to a bright red heat and hold it at that for about five minutes, then allow it to cool before starting the bending operation.
To make the necessary bend, remove all parts from the lower tang and plug all screw-holes with steel plugs to prevent them closing up. The threaded hole for the tang screw that passes from the upper tang through the stock and into the lower tang, should have a threaded, hardened steel plug in it. This plug should have a square head, which can be larger than the threaded body, and it should be screwed in from the top surface of the lower tang, just coming flush with the lower surface.
A short steel cylinder, cut from a piece of shafting, is stood upright upon the bar of the sliding jaw of the bench vise, and the end of the lower tang is held between the back of this cylinder and the rear jaw of the vise, with a piece of copper between the steel cylinder and the lower surface of the tang. The vise is set up rather tightly and a large C-clamp is used to draw the tang in a bend around the steel cylinder. The size of the steel shaft from which the cylinder is made is varied to suit the bend desired in the tang. The position of the cylinder and the tang in the vise is varied, as is necessary to get clearance, as the bending proceeds.
Operating levers, if of the single type, will usually have to have a piece welded on them to lengthen them, in order to bring them to the hottom of the pistol-grip. A ball may be welded on them to finish off the end, or
Method of starting the bending of the lower tang of a single-shot Winchester action. As the bend progresses, the nose of the clamp is moved farther back on the tang.
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