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Gunsmithing Tools For the Layman

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  • DrawbarFlatsDrawbarFlats Posts: 788 Senior Member
    I dont think people realize just how important a good, solid mounted vice is. Theres guns that id never get the sights off of without having it secured solid in a pair of soft jaws. And there's sights that are actually too tight for my sight pusher and require sharp blows from a hammer and shop made aluminum punch.
    Any recommendations on a good quality vice, preferably American Made? 
  • DrawbarFlatsDrawbarFlats Posts: 788 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    What is a gun mount?


    The whatchamacallits that holds and secures those shooty thingies. 
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,296 Senior Member
    I dont think people realize just how important a good, solid mounted vice is. Theres guns that id never get the sights off of without having it secured solid in a pair of soft jaws. And there's sights that are actually too tight for my sight pusher and require sharp blows from a hammer and shop made aluminum punch.
    Any recommendations on a good quality vice, preferably American Made? 

    I dont think people realize just how important a good, solid mounted vice is. Theres guns that id never get the sights off of without having it secured solid in a pair of soft jaws. And there's sights that are actually too tight for my sight pusher and require sharp blows from a hammer and shop made aluminum punch.
    Any recommendations on a good quality vice, preferably American Made? 
    eBay. Some GREAT deals on all sorts of vices, I picked up a Wilton for pennies on the dollar! Its not like they wear out, although they *can* be beat to death...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 749 Senior Member
    Zorba nailed it. Any old vice like Wilton, Reed, Dunlap, etc... will work better than any of the new stuff on market today. I have an old craftsman and a harbor freight just to beat on when need be. The old Craftsman is my goto.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,296 Senior Member
    I could get myself into all sorts of trouble looking at eBay vice listings...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,405 Senior Member
    Forget files. (Although sometimes I do cheat and use Swiss files when it doesn't have to be gnats-ass close).  For the close stuff, which simple machining can't accomplish, Gesswein polishing stones finish the job. 

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,140 Senior Member
    I've used a diamond needle file to clean up a screw head I boogered.  Not THAT boogered, but enough to be annoying.  Good files (not mine) are expensive.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 676 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    I dont think people realize just how important a good, solid mounted vice is. Theres guns that id never get the sights off of without having it secured solid in a pair of soft jaws. And there's sights that are actually too tight for my sight pusher and require sharp blows from a hammer and shop made aluminum punch.
    Any recommendations on a good quality vice, preferably American Made? 

    I dont think people realize just how important a good, solid mounted vice is. Theres guns that id never get the sights off of without having it secured solid in a pair of soft jaws. And there's sights that are actually too tight for my sight pusher and require sharp blows from a hammer and shop made aluminum punch.
    Any recommendations on a good quality vice, preferably American Made? 
    eBay. Some GREAT deals on all sorts of vices, I picked up a Wilton for pennies on the dollar! Its not like they wear out, although they *can* be beat to death...
    As mentioned a good vice is invaluable. Wilton as mentioned make some excellent vices. They do make American made vices. They also have Chinese made vices some people are not aware of. Zorba mentioned picking up a Wilton on eBay for pennies on the dollar I would about guarantee is not American made model. Just a FYI just because it’s a Wilton doesn’t mean American made. 
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,289 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Zee said:
    What is a gun mount?
    Gun vise, I would assume. I have a really good one. but I'll have to go check it to see who made it. It was semi-custom, so no telling if they're still in business.

    Mike
    In that case, I’d recommend he get the biggest bench mounted vice he can afford that fits the practical use of clamping barrel blocks, receiver blocks, holding rifles for cleaning and other general vice work. As mentioned earlier, soft and hard jaw clamps are a must in my book. 
    I use my vice ALL THE TIME and wish I had a bigger one. 😢

    Yep, me too.
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,289 Senior Member
    Jeweler files are useful.  I've converted square notch rear files into U notch with a small jeweler file and some touch up blue.  I also have found a Dremel a good tool on occasion.  Judicious use and the right bit is the key.  With either, work sloooooooooowly and when there is a choice take metal off the cheapest/easiest to replace part.
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 119 Member
    zorba said:
    I could get myself into all sorts of trouble looking at eBay vice listings...
    I hope I was not the only one to catch that pun! 
    Vise is a fixed clamp
    vice is amoral behavior
  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 749 Senior Member
    Japhy said:
    zorba said:
    I could get myself into all sorts of trouble looking at eBay vice listings...
    I hope I was not the only one to catch that pun! 
    Vise is a fixed clamp
    vice is amoral behavior
    Even us smart people are stupid sometimes 😁
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    edited October 2020 #44
    I disagree about the files. Files are a VERY useful tool if used properly. Single and double cut bastard files in coarse and fine cut are very useful for reshaping and cleaning up serious boo-boos on actions and barrels. Draw filing is an art that few are willing to learn, though. Diamond grit files are also handy but you got to get different grits for different jobs and the good ones aren't cheap. And keep the files oiled when not in use. Clean them with brake cleaner before use and load the cutting teeth with 'sidewalk chalk' to prevent chip buildup, and clean and rechalk often or you'll end up with a workpiece full of scratches.

    Cheap dental picks from China make getting baked on carbon fouling off bolts and breech faces a lot easier, and are soft enough not to scratch surfaces. Get at least three sets. And since the Chinese ones are CHEAP you  don't feel bad about reshaping them to fit the job at hand. Good for reaching in and removing crud from trigger groups on semi auto and pump rifles and shotguns, too.

    The polishing stones and sticks Linefinder mentioned are great for lots of polishing work and come in different profiles such as round, square and triangle. Put too much pressure on the stick ones while  using and you'll learn new magic words and phrases when they break or shatter. 

    A good 1/4" drive torque wrench is right handy for all kinds of jobs like mounting scope mounts, rings, and torqueing action into stock.

    A crapload of cheap tooth brushes for getting into the 'nooks and crannies' that every firearm seems to have in abundance. And they can be reshaped with a grinder or (shudder) Dremel for specific jobs. And a crapload of Q-Tips comes  in handy, too.

    Get a  lathe and mill and you won't ever have 'spare money' for anything else. The machines are cheap compared to the tooling you need to run them. A quality vise for a mill ain't cheap.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,296 Senior Member
    As mentioned a good vice is invaluable. Wilton as mentioned make some excellent vices. They do make American made vices. They also have Chinese made vices some people are not aware of. Zorba mentioned picking up a Wilton on eBay for pennies on the dollar I would about guarantee is not American made model. Just a FYI just because it’s a Wilton doesn’t mean American made. 
    True enough - UNLESS its from the 1950s, which this one is! You and I BOTH mis-spelled the word, we should have used "Vise"! Nothing bad about it! ;)

    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,296 Senior Member
    I just went and had a look at eBay again for grins: Any number of perfectly good, older made in USA vises for cheap. You just gotta watch out for the idiot sellers who want to ship you 50 lbs of cast iron by Priority mail - its an epidemic on eBay to ship EVERYTHING "Priority"! I saw a beautiful, HUGE old mechanics vise several months ago for $100/shipped. I probably should have bought it, but I really don't need it and it would take up a lot of space. But it sure was nice - probably 75 years old.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 676 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    As mentioned a good vice is invaluable. Wilton as mentioned make some excellent vices. They do make American made vices. They also have Chinese made vices some people are not aware of. Zorba mentioned picking up a Wilton on eBay for pennies on the dollar I would about guarantee is not American made model. Just a FYI just because it’s a Wilton doesn’t mean American made. 
    True enough - UNLESS its from the 1950s, which this one is! You and I BOTH mis-spelled the word, we should have used "Vise"! Nothing bad about it! ;)

    Autocorrect is a nice feature when it works. I bought two old wiltons from a yard sale around 5 years ago for $10. That is one of the only times that I did not regret the boss making me stop at a yard sale
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,296 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    As mentioned a good vice is invaluable. Wilton as mentioned make some excellent vices. They do make American made vices. They also have Chinese made vices some people are not aware of. Zorba mentioned picking up a Wilton on eBay for pennies on the dollar I would about guarantee is not American made model. Just a FYI just because it’s a Wilton doesn’t mean American made. 
    True enough - UNLESS its from the 1950s, which this one is! You and I BOTH mis-spelled the word, we should have used "Vise"! Nothing bad about it! ;)

    Autocorrect is a nice feature when it works. I bought two old wiltons from a yard sale around 5 years ago for $10. That is one of the only times that I did not regret the boss making me stop at a yard sale
    I don't use an Autocorrect (drives me nuts) - so I don't have an excuse. I just use spellcheck, but as both forms of the word are correct spellingwise, spellcheck said nothing! Good score on the WIltons!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 676 Senior Member
    I’m not sure I can blame it all on autocorrect but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
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