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About s2thalayer

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  • Birthday 09/01/1990

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    Danville, VA
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    Firearms, Guitars, Dirtbikes, Construction, booze, and the Washington Redskins.
  1. So I've got some "middle of the build" questions. Trunnions are both installed, turned out great. Barrel is installed. I've got the rails clamped now. So my first question: The rail with the round inset, not the ejector. Should the trigger pin pass through that in the dead center, or could my hole be drilled a little off? Because mine is a little off. The only other issue, the 7mm end of the trigger pin is slightly too low, I can tell by looking down the receiver from the back...and by looking at one of my Saigas. We're talking slight, as in....maybe a 16th. Should I weld it up and redrill, or is it not a big deal being off that much? Also, I had the holes treated, but ended up reaming one out just a bit more because the pin was too tight...does it need to be re-treated? Thanks for any help you can give.
  2. Shoot, you guys are right. Rivets are not as complicated as they're made out to be. I just crushed my center support, and honestly, I just used a regular ol claw hammer without a set. Just put the rivet head down on the tool desk, and hit it like a nail. It wasn't a clean, pretty crush by any means, but it's secure. I'll shape it with a dremel, but the crushed end is on the side with the selector so you won't see it anyway. It bent going in, but i'll grind part of it off. I don't see an incredible amount of stress being put on that particular rivet, so I'm not worried. Like I said, nothing is loose. The other side of the rivet and receiver looks great. My only real issue with the build so far was that when I used my punch drilling the holes, I bent the receiver inwards. It's all a learning experience, figured I'd make some mistakes on the first one. But, I stuck to the K.I.S.S. method since it's an ak and just used the claw from the hamer to pry it outwards, and now it's just about perfect. grinded the top rails down to .19 by hand with a dremel, worried about how that would look, but it turned out great. Even though the rivets are simple, I had our local welder that I sub work out to often heat treat my receiver and ejector rail. After he did that, he's been excited about seeing how it turns out. He's never done anything like this before. So I mentioned the welding ideas and the concerns I have heard. His reply was "Bring that thing down here and when I'm done TIGing it, you'll be able to run it over with a train and it'll be fine for your grandkids." Told me to just make sure I drill the holes oversized...he said he'd prefer the size of the trigger pin holes, 7mm. I had heard that mentioned several times for a better surface area already, so was prepared. I'll at least try the welds on this one. If it works out well, I'll weld the other two. If not, I'll get to riveting. I'm going to just screw the trigger guard and mag catch. Saigas use screws for the trigger guard, so why not? Neither of those areas have any real stress going on either. I also didn't use reemers for the holes. I drilled them out with small bits and worked up to the precise sizes...then dremeled off the excess sheet metal. So far this build is turning out beautiful, much better than I imagined it would go. I appreciate all the help you guys have offerred. Building this thing with the makeshift tools of a carpenter is looking simple. The hardest part has been drilling out the rivets, which was a bitch and ruined wayyy to many bits and sets, and since we were in the middle of a snow storm, had to drive through the mess to get new ones. Today I will put the guide rails on and drill my trunnion holes. Looking forward to documenting all this on the next build for others lacking the propper tools.
  3. I am absolutely going to do that. Already planned on making a video. When I did my first Saiga, there were so many precise videos on how to do everything, it was all made easy, and taught me a lot about the rifles. This on the other hand, if you don't have a press or knowledge on jigs and how they work, a thread like this is the best you can do. I searched AR15.com, these forums, akfiles, google, everything for solutions, but all I found were specific issues from different people. Since I have 3 builds, I'll likely take my time on the first and get the hang of everything. The second I will make a video about, and if I pursue a Magal on the third like I plan to do, will DEFINITELY document that.
  4. Nevermind. I believe i have everything I need now. Going to just bolt the guide rails rather than weld, since a lot of people are saying that it gives me a little more of a margin for error. Though that does make me wonder if I should heat treat the guide rails before or after they are bolted in place. My welder said he could get all the spots I need treated cherry red, and he could bend a flat I have if I mark it for him. So looks like I'm ready to go. Thanks for all your help.
  5. Right. So basically, if the welding isn't done professionally, don't do it at all...and even if it is done professionally, you'll never really be sure if it's going to break on the next round. Does anyone rivet or screw their guide rails? Or is welding really the only method there? If I have to, I'll just get a welding shop to spot weld that, because I'm not buying a welder just to weld on 3 or 4 sets of rails. May even consider screwing or riveting them.
  6. The bolts are used as bucking bars. I use an aircraft 3x rivet gun (a fancy air hammer with a more controllable trigger) with an AN430 rivet set (available from US Tool for a few bucks) on the outer, round head of the rivets. The inner (aka the "shop" head) head of the rivet is what is actually formed when riveting, against the bolt clamped in a vise to give backing to the whole process. Grind bolt heads as needed in order to reach what you need to. I will try to remember to post pictures of my bolts in a couple of days. The trigger guard rivets are kind of a booger. I use a jig in my press, which works sort of OK, but others use the air hammer with a special modified rivet set that is ground on one side for clearance, which seems to work as well or better. I may do that instead, next time around. Be advised that the air hammer method takes some practice and still. I'm an aircraft mechanic, and the rivet hammer is one of the tools of my trade, so I know how to use it. You will want to get plenty of extra rivets, and practice riveting scrap steel together first. No matter what method you use. You still need to pull the barrel. I use my press, but others have used ball joint pullers, etc. with success. Hardest part of the process is often getting the barrel pin out first. Anybody who says you can rivet the front trunnion with the barrel in place is recommending a substandard practice. You have no way of knowing that the inner head of the rivet was formed correctly, and there are plenty of ways it can go wrong. And it's a lot easier to locate and drill the holes in the receiver in the first place, with the barrel removed. Getting the barrel back in is more difficult. The best way is with a press and a special jig that supports the trunnion (do not try to use the receiver as support, you will screw it up). In the past, I have been known to screw a thread protector (blank firing device, etc) in place on the end of the barrel, and beat it in with a big lead hammer. I made the hammer by pouring an empty soda can full of lead, drilling a hole through the middle, and installing a handle. Fit of the barrel to the trunnion is more important using this method; a press can usually horse it back in, but using the hammer method, I've sometimes had to hone the trunnion slightly for a better fit, and it's still sometimes a struggle. Don't hone too much. Thanks, I think I understand the concept of riveting pretty well now. You're actually putting force on the side of the rivet that DOESNT originally have the head if I've got it right. I think I'm pretty certain on just using screws for the trigger guard, as that's what is used on a Saiga, and I would guess if it's acceptable there, it's acceptable for this as well. If they are fine there, I would also guess they are probably fine for the mag catch. If they aren't I can always fix it later, as those two things are not dangerous like the trunnions could be. I am fairly certain I will only rivet the trunnions. Also, do you think a welding job could be a success if JUST plug welding the front trunnion, and riveting the rear? Or maybe something makeshift like welding in the rivets? I'm really dreading barrel removal, but I'll do it if all the other ways are irrational. Thanks for the pics, I'll definitely use these as a reference tomorrow when I make these tools.
  7. so removing the barrel is something anyone could do with a couple cheap tools? No need for a press or a lathe?
  8. AH! I get it now! Haha. Trying to visualize all this without having any rivets or parts in my hands. I get exactly what you guys are saying now. The only rivets you can't get to from both sides of the receiver are going to be the front trunnion, which is where the bolt cutters come in, which would require barrel removal. If I have to do that, I guess I'll just have to, but would just plug welding that be an option? Most of the welding complaints I hear have to do with the rear trunnion, not the front. As for refinishing, the receiver is a blank, not heat treated or anything...so it's gotta be finished anyway. Does anyone have any issues with what red308 was saying about smashing rivets against the barrel that is already pressed? That wouldn't cause headspacing issues or any significant change in accuracy? Thank you guys so much for the help. At this point I'm fairly certain I'm going to rivet most of the rifle if not all of it. Something else I was thinking about earlier...does everyone weld their guide rails, or do some rivet those as well? Could something like that or the mag catch/trigger guard use soft rivets rather than steel? I can't imagine they would be under nearly the stress the others would be. That's more of just a curious question.
  9. Ah, so you're using the bolt as a makeshift punch. Figured that. What's the angle grinded on the bottom for? You're saying to drill an angle away from the concave spot you modified for the rivet head? Then the steel plate under it, you need some clearance for the rivet to crush though, right? The way I understood it was the rivet head needed to be flush with the receiver when crushing the rivets. Is that not so with a hammer? Thanks a lot for your help. Also, I'm looking on the HF site, and wondering what would be better for this...an impact hammer with chisels, or a "1/4 inch air hydraulic riveter"
  10. So from what I read there, make sure the heat treating is done right, and do my research about how different metals react and make sure I'm not getting anything too hot. If I'm not confident in that, take it to a pro, which is likely. haha. Also maybe considering at least riveting the rear trunnion, if nothing else. If I can figure out how to rivet everything without removing the barrel or using a press, after reading that post, I'd really rather go that route. After doing a lot of googling for about a month though, I'm still not all the keen on how riveting works. I get that you are putting enough pressure on the rivet to make the head flush with the receiver, and the other side crush flush with the other side of the receiver. Simple enough. But using a hammer or air hammer to flatten the rivets...what makes the other side crush flush? I can't imagine you put a piece of metal on the other side, because then the head of the rivet would just bend like a nail. How do you manage that? And if I go with that, each rivet CAN be done with a hammer and a modified punch...even with the barrel on?
  11. I use a vise, a hammer (an air hammer), and a couple of ground down bolts. What are the bolts for? can it be done with the barrel still attached?
  12. Indeed, I only digress as we have had people come back with cracked receivers from welding trunnions. some areas on the gun were made to have a little bit of flex or wiggle. Well, we are talking a rifle here that will never see full auto, and out of the 10 or so rifles I have, I can't say I believe any of them have hit 1000 rounds yet. Probably only a couple are past 500. Don't know if that makes a difference.
  13. Sounds good man. Haha, will do. I think I can probably handle the three of em, but if not, they'll definitely hit the classifieds. haha. Well, the difference here like I said is I have welder friends, and worst comes to worst I can take it to some of guys I sub welding out to pretty often and probably get a good deal. Rivets on the other hand, I'd be on my own other than forum advice. There are no reputable machine shops around here if any at all, so I wouldn't have a backup plan either. I have heard about the splattering issue, and strangely enough, someone told me to spray "Pam" on the receiver...yeah...the cooking spray. And that that keeps the splatter from sticking. But I suspect it's the same as what you're saying. Actually, I think I'll take your advice. Might head out to my welder and ask him to quote it. I'm thinking it would be, what, about 6 welds a piece to get the trunnions right? I can't imagine 18 plug welds being expensive to get a professional to do. Any idea if welders typically have an issue working on rifles? I always thought liability would come into play.
  14. Ordered 3 kits when the panic happened. A Bulgarian AK74, Hungarian AMD65, and an Egyptian Maadi. The kits and three polish blank receivers are supposed to arrive this week at my door. I have already decided they will all three be weld builds, it's just down to finding the right welder. But anyway, I've never been one for traditional, nor repetitive builds. I have a long barrel Saiga .308. Then I've got a 7.62 more traditional with the tapco T6 set. So now my plan is to make one of the kits into a Magal, one of the kits into a DMR, and one kit into a traditional wooden furniture AK. So far I've been thinking of turning the AMD65 into the Magal, the 74 into a DMR, and the Maadi into a traditional AK. Anybody have any other suggestions for interesting builds? Also, the choices I made I based on accuracy. I figured the 5.45 rounds would be a better DMR round than x39s. Also thought the AMD65 having the shorter barrel (even though I extended it to 16") and the folding stock would make it more easily for the Magal. The Egyptian, being so close to a real Russian, I figured would be a good choice for the traditional AK...and is probably the most accurate of the three.
  15. Would love to hear more in detail how you managed to rivet like that. If it can be done and look right and efficiently, I have 3 kits to do that I would like to put out quickly, so that would definitely work.
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