model 1917 rifle is hard to beat A sufficiently high front sight may be used with this rear peep so that the rifle shoots center at about 100 yards, then the regular elevating slide may be used for longer shots. The wings can be sawed and filed off of the receiver, leaving two small ears to hold the sight in place. After the wings are sawed off roughly, a coarse file is used to bring the receiver close to the final size and shape. A common 10" or 12" half-round file is very good for this. After using the coarse file, a fine file of the Swiss type, such as the various size pillar files, as made by the American Swiss File Co., of Elizabeth, New Jersey, is used to remove the coarse file marks and give the receiver its final shaping. As the job nears completion with the fine file, keep rubbing chalk on the file, to prevent small particles of steel sticking in the file teeth and scratching the work.
Removing the file marks left by the fine file is done with carborundum cloth, starting with #120 and using gradually finer grades until the desired polish is reached.
If you do not desire to use the regular rear sight of the model 1917 rifle, it may be entirely cut off and the receiver rounded up to the measurements of the Remington model 30, after which any receiver sight made for the Remington may be mounted upon the receiver.
The sharp angles can be filed off the receiver at the left rear of the bridge and the clip slots cut and filed off at the front end, bringing these places down in gradual, graceful curves and streamlining the receiver.
The front sight protecting wings are of soft steel and can easily be sawed off and the block filed up to a graceful shape. Standard bead sights can be purchased from Pacific Gun Sight Co., of San Francisco or D. W. King Sight Co., of San Francisco to replace the military blade sight.
If you wish to shorten the barrel saw off the desired amount and, with the barrel held upright in the padded jaws of the bench vise with the new muzzle three or four inches above the jaws, select a medium-coarse flat file of ten or twelve inch length, put a good file handle on it and file the muzzle flat and square, using a small machinist's square such as made by L. S. Starrett Co., or Brown & Sharpe to check the squareness of the muzzle. As the barrel has a taper, the muzzle will not be at right-angles to the sides when it is square with the bore, the angle will be slightly greater than a right-angle, but by filing the muzzle until the variation is alike from all four directions the muzzle will be square with the bore.
After the muzzle is squared, take a fine flat pillar file, chalk it and remove the coarser file marks, then using this fine file, round the sharp corner where sides and muzzle meet, finishing it smoothly with a fine grade of carborundum cloth.
Use a sharp countersink with six or eight cutting edges to round the mouth of the bore. Hold this in your hand, holding it as nearly vertical as you can, and turn it slowly, without too great a pressure upon it, until the edge of the bore is or more tower than the end of the barrel.
Now clean the bore thoroughly from the breech and then drive a wood plug into the bore, just to the lower edge of the countersink cut, from the muzzle end. Get several ball-bearings of sizes from to y¿" and tear some coarse carborundum cloth into narrow strips, about the width of these balls. Starting with the smaller ball, place a strip of the carborundum cloth around it and grip it tightly between the thumb and forefinger of one hand, then proceed to polish out the countersink cut in the muzzle by pressing the carborundum cloth around the ball into the end of the muzzle and twisting it back and forth. Keep moving the ball to new positions along the strip of carborundum cloth, so that the cloth cuts freely. After the countersink cut is polished out clear to the bottom with the small ball, use the next larger size and so on until you have the muzzle of the bore shaped to suit you, then start over again with the small ball using a very fine grade of carborundum and, going up the line of balls again, give the muzzle a good polish. Remove the wooden plug from the muzzle by pushing it out with a rod inserted in the barrel from the breech end. The purpose of the plug is to keep carborundum particles out of the bore.
If you desire to use the same front sight band that came upon the barrel, it may be refitted to the barrel if the latter hasn't been shortened more than three or four inches. To do this use a pillar file to file the barrel down in diameter for about from the muzzle until the sight band can be tapped upon the barrel for almost its length. Then, holding the barrel in one hand, just back of the sight band, use a small hammer to tap the band smartly all over. Use the flat face of the hammer for this work, as you don't want to mar the band any more than is necessary. This hammering will stretch the band so that it can be driven farther onto the barrel. Continue the hammering and driving the band farther onto the barrel until you get it to the place you wish.
Now set the barrel and action on a surface plate or a piece of plate-glass, with a square piece of steel beneath the bottom of the receiver and a vee-block beneath the barrel a few inches back of the muzzle and, using a machinist's square set upright on the plate beside the muzzle, first on one side and then on the other, measure the distance from the edge of the square blade to the edge of the front sight mount block, tapping the block and band one way or the other until it is properly centered on the barrel.
If you have no surface plate or sheet of plate-glass, a good dining table top will answer the purpose pretty well, but you had better pick an afternoon when the boss of the family is at her bridge club and then cover the table top with a single thickness of newspaper, unless you have a dog or tom-cat to blame the scratches upon when the Mrs. asks questions.
After the sight band is in place, place a small drill in the hand or electric drill and drill the hole for the cross-pin, to lock the band onto the barrel. In some cases you will find that this cross-pin bites only into the original lug on top of the barrel and not into the top surface of the barrel proper. If this is the case, you will have to drill a slightly larger hole and use a larger cross-pin to make it bite into the barrel surface, as you have no lug on top of the barrel with the sight band in its new position on the shortened barrel.
Start this cross-pin hole from each side, and at the start of the drilling hold the drill at a 45 degree angle downward instead of horizontally, for if you don't the drill will ride up and go through at an upward angle. After the hole is just started with the drill in the angle position, the drill can then be dropped to the horizontal position and you can drill pretty straight through, but drill the hole only halfway from each side, after which the drill or a small round needle file can be used to remove any high spot that may remain in the center.
In using standard length drills of small size in a hand or an electric drill, it is very hard to drill holes true to size or to prevent the drill bending, due to the pressure put upon it. This can be avoided by bujdng center-drills, which are 1" to 1J4" in length, and considerable pressure may be put upon them without any trouble, as these short drills bend very little. These center-drills can be purchased from Greenfield Tap & Die Corp. of Greenfield, Mass., Morse Twist Drill & Machine Co., of New Bedford, Mass., Cleveland
Twist Drill Co. of Cleveland, Ohio, or any other drill manufacturer. This is the type of drill supplied by the Lyman Sight Co. to drill holes to tap out for screws holding telescope sight base blocks.
Instead of using the standard military front sight band, you may wish to make a ramp upon which to mount the front sight. This can be done by getting a piece of thin walled steel tubing of the right diameter to drive tightly upon the barrel, and welding a straight piece of rectangular steel lengthwise of it. This tubing can be had from the National Tube Co., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The piece of rectangular steel is filed to a chisel edge along one side. The tubing is laid upon its side and the steel piece to form the top of the ramp is laid lengthwise of it, upon short pieces of round or flat steel of sufficient thickness to bring it up to the center of the tubing with its chisel edge against the side of the tubing. Welding of this light type can be done by the low priced electric welders upon the market, an example of which is the Electric Torch, made by the Electro Torch Co., of 2613 Michigan Ave., Chicago. This torch sells for $6.95 and plugs into any 110 volt electric socket.
After welding the steel piece to the tubing, or rather dotting it at three or four places along one side, turn it over and make a full weld along the opposite side, then reverse it and make a full weld along the first side. If you cannot do the welding yourself, a welding shop will do this small job for 35^ to 50£.
The top part of the ramp may now be sawed off and filed to shape to make the tail, then the tubing is filed away beneath, at the rear, leaving a band y.2" to wide at the front to encircle the barrel. A cross-pin hole is drilled, to anchor this to the barrel as the regular sight band was anchored, or a screw hole can be drilled and tapped through the part of the ramp in which the sight is mounted, running down through this part to the top of the barrel, where a shallow spot is drilled into which to set the point of the screw. If the top of the screw is left flush with the bottom of the dovetail slot, in case a dovetail base front sight is used, the screw cannot loosen. If a blade front sight is used, thread a piece of steel rod of about diameter to make the screw and, before cutting it off the rod, screw it tightly into the hole and mark the north and south sides of it, so that the slot in the head can be cut lengthwise of the ramp. Remove the threaded rod, cut off the screw and slot it at the marks with a slot the width of the sight blade. Now screw it back into the hole, setting the slot lengthwise and file the top down flush with the top of the ramp. When the ramp is slotted with hack-saw and thin Swiss type files for the sight blade, the blade will set into the slot in the screw also and when the blade is pinned in place with a pin through the ramp top, from side to side, the scrcw is locked so that it cannot move.
The tail of the ramp may be cross-ribbed upon the top surface to break up light reflection, or it may be matted to achieve the same purpose. To look right, the cross-ribs should be laid out evenly and while this can be done fairly well by eye, it can be done more surely by using a checking file. These files are flat and have teeth set in rows, so that the file plows grooves on a steel surface. These files are supplied by the American Swiss File Co. in 6" and 8" lengths in cuts from 00, the coarsest, to #2, the finest, the cuts of the 6" file being finer, number for number, than those of the 8" file. After the grooves are marked out with the checking file, they can be deepened with a knife file and then brought up to an edge with a three-square file, both of these Swiss type needle files being made by the American Swiss File Co.
Matting can be done upon the ramp tail or upon the receiver ring and barrel of a rifle with a fine-pointed prick-punch and a light hammer, or with an automatic center-punch of the small size as made by the L. S, Starrett Co. or Brown & Sharpe. To operate these punches, you simply place the point upon the work and press down upon the back end of the punch and as the blow is struck by a spring mechanism within the punch it will be the same weight each time.
Another way of doing matting is to use an electric door-bell which has a ball-type clapper. A small hole is drilled into the ball and a steel phonograph needle is driven tightly into the hole so that the point projects out of the side some distance. The point of these needles is pretty fine, so if you desire, it may be blunted by grinding it to a steeper taper on a grinding wheel, or it may be blunted with a hand stone. The door-bell is connected up to a storage battery or four dry cells or, by using a door-bell transformer, it can be connected to the 110 volt lighting circuit. You had better cover the binding post connections on the bell with some tape to prevent getting a shock. The bell may be held in the hand and, after some practice, you can turn out a pretty even job of matting with it. A light steel frame may be made for it, so that it is held the same distance above the work for each stroke, then each blow has the same intensity.
If a ramp without a band is desired, take a piece of rectangular steel of the right size and, using a round or half-round file, shape the bottom so that it fits the barrel contour closely. Saw and file the tail slope to shape and groove or matt it as previously described, then drill a hole down through the part in which the sight mounts, so that a fillister-head screw can be passed through it and screwed into a hole drilled and tapped into the barrel for a fine-thread screw. A #6x48-thread telescope base block screw makes a good one for this purpose if you can get one long enough. If this cannot be obtained, get a #6x40-thread screw and use it. Drill the hole through the ramp as nearly vertical as 3'ou can, then mount the ramp on the barrel, squaring it up as before so that it stands vertical, and clamp it in place with two machinist's parallel clamps which can be purchased from the L. S. Starrett Co., Brown & Sharpe, or any ten-cent store. Take a #27 wire-gauge drill and, putting this down through the hole drilled in the ramp, spot the barrel with it, then substitute a #31 drill if you are using a #6 x 48-screw or a #30 drill if you are using the #6 x 40-screw, and drill a hole halfway through the top side of the barrel, being sure that you stop at this point and do not drill into the bore or you will have to cut the barrel off again. After this hole is drilled, grind the point off the drill so that the end is flat, and drill out the hole again so that it is flat-bottomed. Still leaving the ramp clamped in place, tap the hole with the proper tap, starting it with a plug tap and finishing with a bottoming tap. If you have only a plug tap, after tapping the hole with this, grind the end of it flat back to where the full size threads start and use this as a bottoming tap. Be sure to use a good thread-cutting oil on the tap each time, either lard-oil or black sulphur oil compound. Hardware stores or plumbing shops can supply these thread-cutting oils.
After the hole is tapped, cut the scrcw to length so that its head is flush with the bottom of the dovetail slot if a dovetail-base sight is to be used, or flush with the top of the ramp as previously described if a blade sight is to be used. The slot in the screwr can be widened out to accept the sight blade, which will act as a lock for it.
Mark around the ramp on the barrel with a scriber, then remove the ramp from the barrel and, using a small scraper or file, remove the blueing from the barrel within the scribed lines and tin this place upon the
Ruffing a rifle chamber with a crocus cloth buff in the chuck of the DeLuxc "Handee" grinder. The buff is cut in circular form, then partially clipped into sections as you would cut a pic and mounted on a long spindle. Tliis method will finish the chamber tci a high polish.
barrel with solder. Tin the bottom of the ramp and replace it upon the barrel, putting the screw in place and drawing it up tightly. Place a piece of copper upon the tail of the ramp near the rear end and use a parallel clamp to draw the tail down tightly upon the barrel. Use a blow-torch or gas torch to heat the barrel and ramp, and when the solder begins to run at the edges of the ramp, draw the screw up tightly until the slot in the head lines up properly, then tighten the parallel clamp on the tail and let the job cool.
Front sights can be made with hand tools ; the dovetail base type by sawing the form roughly out of a small block of steel and then filing it to size and shape ; the blade-type by using steel of the right thickness and filing it to shape. Standard commercial sights may also be changed, in case of dovetail base types, to narrower base types and in case of blade sights to lower heights to meet special conditions.
If the front sight being made is to have a composition bead of white, red or green, it is often better to drill the hole for the insertion of the bead before the portion holding the bead is filed to final size, as in drilling these small holes by hand the hole may be a trifle to one side which will make the sight look slightly unbalanced. This applies to the Call-type head also, where a gold bead is set in flush with the surface. The hole should be drilled before the bead is made, because the shank of the bead of the composition type should fit the hole pretty closely and the bead itself of the Call-type should be a close fit in the hole.
A composition bead is not hard to make, if you have an electric drill or an electric motor with a chuck on it. The material is held in the chuck and a small dental chisel or a narrow wood chisel may be used to cut the shank to size, by nailing a piecc of wood on the bench top to act as a tool rest to rest the blade of the chisel upon. Files may be used instead of a chisel to size this bead shank, or in case no electric drill or motor is available, the material for the bead may be held in a pin-vise of the round-handle type such as those made by the L. S. Starrett Co. and revolved with one hand, with the pin-vise against the partly opened jaws of the bench vise, while the shank is filed to size. After the bead is cemented in place in the front sight with Du-Pont cement, the face of the bead can then be filed to shape with small files and finished with sandpaper.
A front sight of the composition bead type should be blued before the bead is cemented in place, as heat from the blueing process or some of the chemicals used may loosen the cement. This does not apply to gold bead sights either of the Sheard or Call pattern unless heat and oil blueing or some other type requiring high •temperatures is used, as the Call bead is soldered in place and the temperature of boiling water used in many blueing processes, or even that of the immersion type blueing which is under 300 degrees, does not loosen the solder. The Sheard-type gold bead is or should be brazed to its steel shank, so any heat used for blueing purposes will not affect it.
Shotgun sights are easily mounted with hand tools, as all that is required usually is one hole drilled for the rear sight, the front one can usually be mounted in the hole left by the removal of the standard front sight. Small reamers and directions as to what size holes to drill come with the shotgun sights.
The receiver sight is easy to mount with hand tools, as the base is clamped to the receiver with parallel clamps and squared up by setting the gun on a surface- / plate or good flat surface with a rectangular piece of cold-rolled steel under a flat portion of the receiver and a vee-block beneath the barrel, while a machinist's square is set upright on the plate with its blade against the sight base and the base is moved upon the receiver until it is parallel to the square blade. In the case of rifles not having a flat on the underside of the receiver, two vee-blocks are used beneath the barrel and the rifle is squared up with the surface of the plate and then clamped in the vee-blocks with the clamp supplied for this purpose.
After the sight base is square, it is tightened against the receiver with the parallel clamps and a drill that fits the screw-holes of the base closely is used to spot the screw-holes on the receiver. Still leaving the base clamped to the receiver, lay the gun upon its side with the sight base uppermost, put the proper size tap-drill in the hand drill and, being careful to keep the drill vertical, drill the two screw-holes through the receiver. Leave the base clamped to the rifle and tap the holes, using the base as a guide for the tap.
If the receiver is case-hardened, the spots to be drilled may be softened either with the sun lamp carbon attached by a heavy wire to an automobile storage battery, as elsewhere described, or an electric welder will soften the spots in the same manner. If you have a small hand electric grinder of a type like the "Handee" grinder, a small, mounted grinding point may be used to grind through the case-hardening at the points to be drilled for the screws.
Telescope sights are easily mounted with hand tools by clamping the base blocks or side mounts in their proper position and using these as guides for the drill and taps in drilling and tapping the screw-holes. Some of the thin side mounts, like the Weaver, are of no use in acting as a guide, so follow the manufacturer's directions carefully in mounting these scopes. In drilling holes by hand, the smaller the drill is, the easier it drills, so after spotting the holes with a drill that fits the holes in the blocks or mounts closely, use a drill smaller than the proper tap-drill to drill the holes with first, then enlarge them with the tap-drill. Another reason for doing this is that all the hand drills I ever saw do not run true, and this causes the twist-drill used to drill a larger hole than its true diameter, but if a small hole is drilled first, this causes the second drill, used to enlarge the hole, to run on a true center and the final hole will be very close to size.
A barrel that is rough on the outside, or that shows tool marks, can be smoothed up by using a 12" pillar file, held crosswise of the barrel in both hands, one on each end of the file on each side of the barrel, and drawing and pushing the file back and forth lengthwise of the barrel, working around the barrel. This will leave small flats upon the barrel and these are removed by using strips of coarse carborundum cloth, used in a circular direction around the barrel, moving them rapidly back and forth across the barrel as a shoe-shiner uses his cloth upon your shoes. Follow this coarse carborundum cloth with fine grades used in the same direction, then use fine grades to polish the barrel lengthwise to cut out the cross polishing marks, using crocus cloth for the final polish.
Dovetail slots, if necessary in a barrel, may be cut roughly with a hack-saw and then finished up with a three-square file with one side ground smooth, as was previously described in an earlier chapter.
Barrel bands made from heavy clock spring or phonograph spring that has been annealed by heating red-hot and being allowed to cool in the air, are fastened to a steel block beneath the barrel within the forearm by four small screws with countersunk-type heads. A #4x40-screw is a good size to use and the holes for these screws can easily be drilled with a hand drill. A hole is drilled and tapped into the underside of the block for a screw or sling-swivel through the forearm.
The bending of sling-swivel loops by hand was described in an earlier chapter, so we shall pass it here and take up the making of the balance of the swivel.
Front swivels of the type which pass through the forearm and are screwed into a nut within the forearm or into a barrel-band base can be made from standard thread cap-screws. These screws have a hexagon head and these heads may be filed to a round shape and drilled for the sling loop. It is better to drill the hole for the sling loop before filing the head round, as the drill will start easier on the flat surface of one of the sides than it will on the round surface after the head has been filed.
These cap-screws have rather a shallow head and if you wish a swivel fixture with a deeper head, it may be made from two pieccs of round cold-rolled steel. You can use a piece of %6" diameter round rod for the threaded shank and cut a piece of or diameter round rod for the head. This larger piece is drilled lengthwise with a hole, but do not drill the hole clear through it. Insert the rod in the hole in the larger piece and, with the two parts clamped together, drill the hole through the head and upper end of the shank for the sling loop, which will hold the two parts together.
For the butt swivel and swivels attached to the outside of the forearm by screws, the plate type with two mounting screws such as those used on our Springfield military rifle are the best type. These are easily filed to shape from steel plate and the holes drilled with a hand drill.
Triggers may be grooved or checked without having to be annealed or straightened by using a fine-grain knife edge wheel in a small electric hand grinder such as the "Handee" grinder. If nothing of this type is available, the trigger, if hardened, should have its upper parts set in water or wrapped in wet cloths, while a torch is used to anneal the lower part which is contacted by the finger. If the trigger is deeply curved it had better be straightened while red-hot and, after it is allowed to cool, it may be grooved or checked with a small file. A good type of file for this job is the die-sinker's riffler with curved knife-edge ends. These are listed by American Swiss File Co., and by Frank Mittermeier of 3577 E. Tremont Ave., New York City. If the trigger has been straightened to make it easier to work on, it is again heated red-hot and bent to its original shape after the grooves or checking have been cut.
Checking of other steel parts or matting them has been described earlier in this chapter in the making of ramps. Matting will look better after being finished if, for a finishing touch, it is rubbed a little with fine carborundum cloth or with a fine hand stone.
To get back again to our remodeling work on the 1917 rifle, it is often desirable to shorten the magazine and straighten the lower guard of this rifle. The magazine is easily shortened by sawing off the lower end of the magazine box at the point desired, but if we merely straighten out the guard the distance between the guard-screw holes will be lengthened and they will not match the screw holes for the guard-screws in the receiver, so this lower guard must be shortened when it is straightened.
There are two methods of shortening this lower guard, one of which is to cut the front extension off with a horizontal hack-saw cut, run straight back just beneath the head of the front guard-screw. The top of this cut-off piece is then filed on an angle to match the angle on the under side of the rest of the guard just beneath where the saw-cut was made. The two parts are then lap-welded together to bring the guard-screw holes the proper distance apart.
The second method of straightening this lower guard at the front end is to make a forging die out of a piece of cold-rolled flat steel, fairly thick, by cutting out a portion of one side of it with drills and files so that the front end of the guard will lie snugly within it. The front end of the guard is then heated red-hot and straightened and, while being kept red-hot by repeated heatings, is forged back to proper length, using the forging die to preserve the shape and set it back. The guard-screw hole will be more or less closed up during this process but may be easily drilled out again.
New barrels that do not quite screw up to place may be fitted by hand by filing a little off the front end of the receiver with a 12" pillar file, being careful to file an even amount off all sides.
In cases where the rear end of the barrel screws up against a shoulder within the receiver, a small amount is filed from the rear end of the barrel to seat it to its proper position.
If the barrel screws in a little too far, a thin steel shim is used between the barrel shoulder and the receiver to make it tight when in the proper position.
As noted in an earlier chapter, revolver barrels seldom, if ever, screw up to the proper place and in fitting these by hand a pillar file may be used to take enough off the front end of the frame which the barrel screws up against to bring the barrel to its proper place. The rear end of revolver barrels can be shortened by filing so that they clear the cylinder the proper amount, .003" to .004", and this work is best done with the barrel screwed up to place in the frame. Be sure to keep the rear end of the barrel square, for this is important in revolver barrels. After the barrel is filed to proper length it is removed from the frame and, using a sharp six or eight-blade countersink turned in the fingers, the rear end of the barrel is slightly countersunk. After this countersinking use a fine-grain tapered hand stone to smooth up this countersink cut.
Barrel blanks may be had from barrel-makers, threaded to fit any certain action, although it is best to send the action to the barrel-maker at the time the blank is ordered and let him fit the blank to the action. The barrel-maker will also supply these blanks turned to shape on the outside. With hand tools you may then cut the muzzle end off, finish up the muzzle and polish the outside of the barrel and chamber the barrel for any cartridge you desire that the action will handle. Chambering reamers of the finishing type may be bought from A. F. Stoeger Inc., at 507 Fifth Ave., New York City, in a few sizes, and many different reamers may be bought from Paul Jaeger, 4655 Fernhill Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These reamers may be honed down with hand stones to cut a minimum chamber and most of the lead for the bullet stoned off of the reamer, as the Germans seem to believe that a lead should be cut about half-way to the muzzle to give the bullet a good running jump for a start. When these reamers are stoned to proper size and smoothness, you may then cut your chamber by hand in the barrel blank obtained from the barrel-maker. Chambering reamers can usually be purchased from any of the American barrel-makers also, and (for some cartridges) from the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. These reamers will be much closer to the correct size than the ones mentioned above, but they will be much more expensive.
The lapping of barrels as described in an earlier chapter is best done by hand, with a lead lap cast on a rod within the barrel, or with the leather washer type of lap described.
Chambers sometimes become rust-spotted or very dirty and these can be polished out with discs of crocus cloth mounted on a long arbor and held in the chuck of the small hand-type electric grinder such as the "Handee." Lacking one of these grinders, a very fair job can be done by substituting a hand drill for the electric grinder. In doing this polishing of chambers with crocus cloth discs, the polishing discs should be moved slowly and steadily back and forth in the chamber while revolving. This job can also be done with a felt mop about as long as the chamber, using a thin paste of very fine-grain carborundum mixed with a light oil. White rubbing felt is the proper felt to use.
The magazine follower of military rifles is left square-edged at the rear so that when, with magazine empty, the rifle bolt is drawn to the rear, this follower rises up in front of the bolt face and prevents the closing of the bolt until the follower is pressed down. This feature is not desirable in a sporting rifle, so these followers in commercial sporting rifles are dressed off at the top rear with a backward slope so that the bolt rides over them and closes on an empty magazine. By examining one of these commercial sporting rifles you can see the angle at which the follower is dressed off at the rear and can dress off the follower of the military rifle at a like angle by using files and carborundum cloth to give it a polished finish, for if it is left rough the lower edge of the bolt will gradually dig into it and increase the roughness until the bolt will hang up at that point. Some of these followers are soft enough to cut with a file, while others are so hard that they must first be annealed at the rear end. Remove the Z-shaped magazine spring from its groove in the bottom of the follower before heating the follower to anneal it.
Shotgun barrels and chambers can be polished out with hand tools, a tight polisher of white rubbing felt on a stiff rod being best to use. Dip this in a paste of carborundum grains and light oil, using grains of various coarseness as required by the job at first, then following this with the finer grains for finishing. Use this polisher with a back-and-forth stroke in the barrel while at the same time giving it a twist. Finish with the straight back-and-forth stroke.
Gun actions that work roughly can be smoothed up by coating parts, except locking lugs, with fine grinding compound and oil and working the action until it smooths up. Wash all parts thoroughly with gasoline and then coat them with Gunslick, made by the Outers Laboratories of Onalaska, Wisconsin, and work the action for a while again, then wipe off the excess Gun-slick.
Many of the old-type lever-action rifles with a full-length tubular magazine under the barrel have been cut off to carbine-length, to increase their handiness for hunting. This job is done with hand tools by cutting off the barrel and finishing up the muzzle as described earlier in this chapter. The magazine is removed and sawed off with a fine-tooth hack-saw to the desired length. A piece of dowel-rod that fits the magazine tube closely will make a smoother job of cutting off the tube, if it is placed inside the tube before the saw-cut is made. New holes for the screw holding the magazine cap in place in the tube are drilled with the hand drill, with the dowel-rod inside the tube, and sometimes these magazine cap screws, if only one is used, extend into a shallow hole drilled in the underside of the barrel which hole can easily be drilled with the hand drill. A pair of cutting pliers will cut the required amount off of the magazine spring and the job is complete with the exception of cutting a new dovetail slot in the barrel for the front sight, or if the rifle is a round barrel type a ramp may be bought or made and mounted on the barrel to hold the front sight.
Thread-cutting dies are not often broken in use until they get very dull so that the chips, instead of cutting clean, tear off and roll up, which usually results in breaking some teeth out of the die. The remedy for this, of course, is to keep the cutting edge (which is the leading edge) of the die teeth sharp. In a die of the Little Giant type made by the Greenfield Tap & Die Corp. of Greenfield, Mass., the dies are readily removable from the holder so that the cutting edges can be ground on an emery wheel. Other manufacturers make dies of this type also, in fact they are the best type of thread-cutting die because a tap will tap a hole just a certain size and the ordinary button die has not always a large enough adjustment to produce a thread cut large enough to be a tight fit in the tapped hole, whereas the die of the Little Giant type has a very wide range of adjustment and will produce a screw-thread large enough to fit tightly in the tapped threads of the hole.
An important point in cutting threads with a die is to keep the die, also the screw being threaded, well flooded with a good cutting oil such as lard-oil or black
Using a monnted carborundum point to sharpen a button die by grinding the leading edge of the die teeth in the chip clearance hole.
sulphur oil compound, as the oil will keep the die cool, prevent it from dulling so rapidly in use, and will turn out cleaner threads as the oil will wash chips from the die while the thread is being cut.
The button-type die can be resharpened by using an emery pencil of small enough diameter to enter the
round holes in the die. This emery pencil is held in a chuck mounted on a flexible shaft or upon the shaft of an elcctric motor. The button die is more often broken by over-expanding it with the screw put in the die for expansion purposes. The die is cut open, in manufacture, at the side in which this expansion screw is placed and the opposite side is left closed but is very thin, with a spring temper, so that the die can be sprung open to cut a larger thread. If the die breaks at this point while it is in use and another die is not at hand, the broken die can be used to cut the thread if the parts are carefully lined up and the die then well tightened in the holder.
An enlarged, scctional view of the "Little Giant" type of die, showing the two adjustable parts of the die, the collet and the guide.
One side of the die is funneled-out slightly by grinding the threads off on a slope into the die and this is the side to start the thread with, so that the screw being threaded centers in the die, this also prevents all the work being put upon the first thread of the die.
This side of the button die should be on the open side of the die-holder, if a guide is not used on the holder, so that the opposite side of the die is backed by the solid rim of the die-holder. When a guide is used, this funneled-out side of the die is placed toward the guide.
Taps are much more liable to be broken than a die, and this breakage is more liable to happen while tapping threads in a blind hole than in a hole open clear through, for the chips cannot well get out of a blind hole, so while tapping this type of hole the tap should be jrequently removed and both it and the hole cleared of chips. Taps should be oiled with a good thread-cutting oil, just as dies are oiled.
Never attempt to use a small tap in a large tap-wrench, as too much pressure is put upon the tap, due to the greater leverage of the large tap-wrench. If the tap-wrench being used has a horizontal handle, or is a tee-handle type, do not use it with one hand, put equal pressure on both handles of the wrench or the tap will be easily broken. Be careful to start a tap straight, not leaning to one side, as this will put unequal pressure on the tap and lead to breakage. If possible, I place the work to be tapped in a smooth-bottomed machine vise and place it on the drill press table, then put the tap in the drill chuck and hold the lever down with my arm or with my one hand while I turn the drill spindle by hand to start the tap straight in the hole. After it is well started I loosen the drill chuck from the tap, leaving the tap in the work, and then use a tap-wrench to complete the tapping job by hand. I only do this in cases where I do not use a guide, with a hole in it for the tap, clamped to the work. The guide will assure the straight starting of the tap.
Tap and drill manufacturers supply a table of the size holes to drill to be tapped out with all standard taps. These holes are large enough so that the tap does not cut a full-depth thread, the depth cut being a 75% thread. This relieves the work of the tap greatly and supplies enough depth of thread so that the screw being screwed into the hole will twist off before the threads will strip, so it is wise to follow these tap-drill size-tables in drilling holes to be tapped.
Taps can be resharpened by grinding them in the flutes. This can be done with a narrow grinding wheel with its face shaped to fit the grooves of the tap or, in the case of taps with semicircular grooves, it can be done with a small mounted grinding point in the chuck
Using a mounted carborundum point to sharpen a tap by grinding it in the ilutcs.
of a small electric or air-driven hand grinder or flexible shaft. In grinding carbon-steel taps and dies to re-sharpen them, be careful not to heat them enough to make them change color, or it will be necessary to reharden and retemper them.
A hole to be tapped should always be threaded first with a taper tap of the correct size and lead. If it is a blind hole, the plug tap is next run into it and the tapping is then finished to the bottom of the hole with the bottoming tap. If the blind hole is too shallow for the taper tap to start the thread in, the plug tap is used to start the thread and the threading is then finished with the bottoming tap.
If, in use, the tap sticks do not try to force it, back it up two or three turns then turn it forward again, repeating this performance until the tapping is completed. Holes drilled in work in the lathe chuck or work clamped to the face plate can be tapped while still in place in the lathe. For tapping small holes, put the tap in a small drill chuck with a center hole in the end of the shank and place this center hole of the shank over the tail stock center of the lathe. The chuck holding the tap is turned by hand while the tail stock center is kept closely in the center hole of the chuck shank by feeding it forward with the tail stock wheel or feed handle. This will result in a straight tapped hole. If the tap being used is a medium to large size, place a clamp dog on the flat of the drill chuck shank holding the tap and let the clamp rest on top of the lathe tool rest while the tail stock feed is worked with one hand and the lathe belt pulled with the other hand. If the tap is a very large size the clamp may be put directly on the shank of the tap and the back gear of the lathe used for added power.
If a small tap breaks off above the surface of the work, the tap can be grasped with a pair of pliers if the portion above the surface of the work is too short to get hold of with the tap-wrench, and by working the tap back and forth the chips can be freed in the hole so that the tap can be unscrewed from the hole.
If the tap breaks off flush with the surface or below the surface but is not yet against the bottom of the hole, it may often be broken up by tapping it with a hammer and small punch, as the tap is quite brittle. It may sometimes be backed out of the hole by placing a fine-pointed punch or a heavy scriber against the side of a flute of the tap and driving against it with a light hammer. If these methorls do not work, and heat applied to the tap will not injure the work, it can be heated red-hot with a torch and buried in slaked lime to cool. This will soften the tap so that it can be drilled out. The drill used should be smaller than the tap so that the threads in the hole will not be injured. After the center is drilled from the tap, so that the flutes are no longer connected to each other, a scriber will pick out the remaining parts of the tap.
If the work in which the tap is broken off cannot be heated for fear of injury, a small mounted grinding point of straight-cylindrical or slightly-tapered shape, or even a small ball-shape may be used in a high-speed electric or air-driven hand grinder or dental engine to grind the still-hardened tap as the softened tap was drilled, so that the flutes are disconnected, after which the remains of the tap can be picked from the hole.
If no grinder for these small grinding points is at hand, fill the hole around the tap with cither nitric acid or hydrochloric acid and let it stand, keeping the hole full of acid, for an hour or more and the acid will eat away enough of the steel so that the tap is loosened in the hole and can be gently tapped around in a left-hand direction, with a small punch or scriber and a small hammer, until it is unscrewed from the hole.
A tool called The Broken Tap Extractor is made by the Walton Co., of 311 Pearl St., Hartford, Conn., for removing taps of to 1%" diameter that have been broken off in holes. These cost from about $1.50 each on up, according to size, and are made for both three and four-flute taps. The tool consists of a steel shank of the diameter of the tap-drill used to bore the hole
The "Walton" broken tap extractor.
for tapping out. This body has three or four grooves milled lengthwise of it spaced to match the tap grooves. In these grooves are crucible-steel fingers attached at the top to a heavy ring. The body of the tool is set
Method of starting a tap straight in x hole, using the drill press and turning it by hand. The article is held in a vise upon the drill press table and after being drilled with the propel tap drill is left undisturbed in the vise. The tap is then placed in the drill chuck and, while putting some pressure on the feed lever by an arm honked over it, the drill spindle is turned by hand to start the lap straight in the hole.
on top of the broken tap with its grooves in line with the grooves in the tap and the ring is then tapped down on the body and carries the lingers with it into the flutes of the tap. Around the body of the tool, against the surface of the work in which the broken tap lies, is a steel cylinder which fits the body of the tool closely to prevent the fingers from springing out of their grooves. After the fingers are tapped down into the flutes of the broken tap, a tap-wrench is placed on the squared end of the body of the tool and the tap is unscrewed from the hole. A tool of this type may be improvised by milling or filing grooves in a piece of round steel rod and laying in these grooves pieces of spring-steel wire, commonly called music wire and obtainable from or through any hardware store. A steel cylinder can be slipped over the wires and body of the tool to hold the wires in place after they have been driven into the tap flutes.
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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.