Advice on tools requested: barrel vice, action wrench

jfseaman

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Apr 8, 2012
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My machining is getting better. Not ready to tackle the Proof Research barrels yet but I'm ready to start start practicing making barrel tenons and threading muzzles.

Because of the ultra torqued Japanese assembled barrels, I was going to go with double barrel vices.

I am pretty exclusive integral lug actions, Mark V, Vanguard and Mauser.

With it's small tenon, I was going to practice with the Mark V 6 lug and take off barrels.

So

What barrel vises and action wrench would you get?
 

J E Custom

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jfseaman

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They have the wrench specifict to the Mark V, Model 70 and Mauser. Same just for integral lug. Should work for Vanguard and 6 lug Mark V as well.

The barrel vise with a complete set of aluminum bushings is quite rich but the reviewers all say the same thing, "sick of slipping with the others, this one works".

It's in my "cart" that the finger is itchy.
 

Edd

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Tulsa
When you use that barrel vise, do you want your bushings sized so you can wrap the barrel with something or do you want them sized to fit the barrel?
 

J E Custom

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When you use that barrel vise, do you want your bushings sized so you can wrap the barrel with something or do you want them sized to fit the barrel?

Some of the aluminum bushings are tapered and others are straight and sized for different shank sizes. I locate the best fitting bushing and then use a piece of the paper shop towels for a gripper/protector and then tighten the vice. I don't have any problems with slipping and/or damaging the finish on the barrel using the buffer between the bushing and the barrel.

Using the shock/impact of the mallet helps brakes the barrel lose.

I also have a few blank bushings that I can do custom fits for special contours.

J E CUSTOM
 

bigngreen

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Nov 24, 2008
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SW Montana
I'm using a budget set up but works very well without marring anything at all, I have the Viper vice which will grab any barrel or Savage nut, crank it down with paper around the barrel. I then use a Wheeler Rem action wrench, I had to blast of 2 MK5's and 2 Winchesters recently so I flip the cap of the wrench which lets the same wrench clamp up on the flat bottom action, put some paper on the action and tighten down modestly.
I was using a Snap-on dead blow but switch to a steel hammer and the actions just spin of with one blow, much better than the dead blow!!
I tighten my actions with an action wrench with a hex head so I can torque them.
 

shortgrass

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Mar 31, 2010
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Western Oklahoma
If you're 'practicing' your machining techniques, why not make what you need instead of buying? Just a lathe, a drill press and some know-how/ingenuity can accomplish a lot. Ya' might even come up with tools better than you can buy, and you might just learn something you would not have, otherwise. Very few of my tools are 'store bought' and they work as intended,,,, and better than many that can be bought. Far too many, who aquire a lathe are in a rush to chamber, ignoring much that the lathe can be used for. I've chambered, crowned, threaded many barrels over the years, but made many tools/parts to do the 'work', also. If you've got a vertical mill you're even further ahead. Nice to have at your disposal, but not required.
 

jfseaman

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I've had smaller mills and lathes before. Not in a rush to thread and chamber anything I'm going to use. I've had this mill and lathe for 6 years but getting it setup was a 5 year wait.

My previous was a Sherline which I eventually made CNC. Used it to make hundreds of parts for RC planes. "Semi" production and custom motor shafts for the DIY brushless motor builders. Held to .01mm (aka ~.0004"). That was all done with insert tooling.

I'm starting slowly. I've made a bunch of expanders for my pbike257 forming die, delrin bore rider jag adapters and things like that but most of what I make is parts to upgrade the mill and lathe. AFAIK, the best way to know your mill and lathe is to make parts with it and for it with it.

Also with this setup I'm learning to grind, sharpen, maintain and setup HHS tooling. When I get it right it's better than the inserts. As in: roughs faster and finishes better but I have a nice selection of insert tooling if I just need to get something done.

I've gone from everything manual to independent power feed in the lathe, boy did that make a difference in finish. The threading gears just could not match the slow steady pace of a power feed.

I've changed the manual head movement on the pedestal mill to powered head. Installed an air driven tool changer. I started with no DRO, all dials and back lash adaptation to now installing the scales.

so

I certainly could make the tools. There are plenty of designs available and it's not "technically" difficult. It would be fairly easy to copy the Brownells design and make the inserts for each barrel diameter.

For making the action wrench, welding is my least skill in metal working. Brazing and torch welding ok but ARC and wire feed? It's been 40 years since metal shop class and I just don't remember any of the welding stuff that wasn't flame based. My biggest issue with welding at the moment is its summer in California and fire danger is serious. Not the welding equipment but an errant spark that could burn down California. I have no place to weld where a spark won't reach dry grass. I was going to "practice" by building up the edge of the bucket on my back hoe/loader. Needs it bad.
 

shortgrass

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Mar 31, 2010
Messages
3,016
Location
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I've had smaller mills and lathes before. Not in a rush to thread and chamber anything I'm going to use. I've had this mill and lathe for 6 years but getting it setup was a 5 year wait.

My previous was a Sherline which I eventually made CNC. Used it to make hundreds of parts for RC planes. "Semi" production and custom motor shafts for the DIY brushless motor builders. Held to .01mm (aka ~.0004"). That was all done with insert tooling.

I'm starting slowly. I've made a bunch of expanders for my pbike257 forming die, delrin bore rider jag adapters and things like that but most of what I make is parts to upgrade the mill and lathe. AFAIK, the best way to know your mill and lathe is to make parts with it and for it with it.

Also with this setup I'm learning to grind, sharpen, maintain and setup HHS tooling. When I get it right it's better than the inserts. As in: roughs faster and finishes better but I have a nice selection of insert tooling if I just need to get something done.

I've gone from everything manual to independent power feed in the lathe, boy did that make a difference in finish. The threading gears just could not match the slow steady pace of a power feed.

I've changed the manual head movement on the pedestal mill to powered head. Installed an air driven tool changer. I started with no DRO, all dials and back lash adaptation to now installing the scales.

so

I certainly could make the tools. There are plenty of designs available and it's not "technically" difficult. It would be fairly easy to copy the Brownells design and make the inserts for each barrel diameter.

For making the action wrench, welding is my least skill in metal working. Brazing and torch welding ok but ARC and wire feed? It's been 40 years since metal shop class and I just don't remember any of the welding stuff that wasn't flame based. My biggest issue with welding at the moment is its summer in California and fire danger is serious. Not the welding equipment but an errant spark that could burn down California. I have no place to weld where a spark won't reach dry grass. I was going to "practice" by building up the edge of the bucket on my back hoe/loader. Needs it bad.
The action wrench(s) I've made required NO welding.
 

Hired Gun

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Apr 21, 2003
Messages
1,561
Location
North Bend, Oregon
Mark 5's are not even on my radar as a tight barrel fit so don't get to carried away here. I built my own 4 bolt barrel vise and it is two opposing 45 degree cuts and I use aluminum angle metal for bushings. It is made out of 1 1/2" thick steel plate 4" wide by about 8" across. The four bolts are all grade 8 1/2"-20 bolts with real long nuts to spread out the pressure. The bolts are recessed in the bottom plate so they act like studs. The top jaw is spring loaded so it opens itself when the bolts are loosened. The bottom plate is bolted to a 1/2" thick piece of plate that is bolted to the leg of my bench so it is never in the way when I'm not using it. It never slips or marks a barrel not even brand new Cerakoted barrels which are the slickest thing you will ever try to grab.

On Mark 5's I only tighten two of my 4 bolts to 75 to 100 pounds and that will cover all but Vangard rifles. Those take all 4 bolts at 100 pounds torque and a lot of shock to get them started. The action wrench for Mark 5 rifles is the Brownell universal wrench and it lays flat on the bottom and has a v slot on the top jaw. I use brass shim stock to protect the action on the top side. A Mark 5 will come right loose with a bop or two of the hand.
 

Clark

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Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
755
For making flat bottom Mauser action wrenches I like to use 2x2xL pieces of steel and 1/2-13 tapped hole and knurled cap screws. I have used 2" round steel, and that does make mounting the cheater bar easier.

For making barrel vises I like to use 2x2xL steel and 7/8-14 threaded rod and nuts. I like to make the bushings with drills, boring bar and hacksaw from 1.5" round 6061 Aluminum round stock. Really thick bushing are better 2 piece. Thin ones are better one piece with multiple slits from both directions. I use powder sugar or corn starch to raise the coefficient of friction between the bushing and the barrel. I like to bolt the barrel vise to a 400 pound bench.

For making round bottom Rem700 action wrenches I make the equivalent of a handheld barrel vise with a cheater bar attached.
 

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