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Thread: Home Built Rifling Machine
11-21-2005, 12:41 PM #21
Nice job, Perk. Does anyone have any information on how $much a traditional cut rifling machine (such as the one at the Springfield Armory, or a Pratt & Whitney) change hands for?
11-21-2005, 04:07 PM #22
Unfortunatley, there is no "book" or set of plans for this machine. It was entirely cobbled together out of my head after looking at some real life machines in museums, and studying the information in Ned Robert's book "The Caplock Muzzeloading Rifle". I just figured out what the requirements were and built a variation suitable for the home shop. It's a spiral broaching machine. I think that any way you can turn the cutter as you draw it though the barrel will in theory work to cut rifling.
In reply to your question about finding a genuine used sine bar rifling machine; from what I understand, it is almost impossible. The only ones I have ever seen are in museums. If you could find a Pratt & Whitney machine the question wouldn't be what does it cost, but do you want it bad enough to suck it in and pay the price? I imagine it would go for a very high price since the laws of supply and demand are in effect here. No new sine bar rifling machines have been built since WWII and as I understand it, the total number of machines in this country is probably a few dozen or so. Thus we come to the topic of building your own machine. Cheers!
Perk in Cincinnati
11-21-2005, 10:54 PM #23
Perk do you plan on doing muzzleloader bbl's in the future ? like boring out old rifling and making larger Cal. with new rifling ?
11-22-2005, 12:10 AM #24
thanks for the comments. My interest was along the lines of "what is the price a historic machine trades for, and hence, what potential price might a 'kit' support?" E.g., similar to the ornamental turning lathes, rose engines, and other "iconic" devices from the late 19th c. that many people are periodically interested in building, or make a limited run of for collectors.
I have studied the one in the Springfield Armory on a couple occasions and have photos of it. Am going back up for Thanksgiving again this week, though probably will try to do the Indian Motorcycle museum this time. Also have a collector chainsaw to pick up nearby. The Springfield Armory seems to be a little more dusty and less traveled each year, lately. hope they don't close it.
11-22-2005, 12:38 AM #25
Yes, the plan is to rebore and re-rifle some existing barrels rather than trying to gun drill blanks of 4140. This is just as easy with a black powder gun as a highpowered rifle so, I can go either way. Having the rifling machine just leads to new projects, particularly in toolmaking. I am currently making several reamers to take an old 30 cal. Springfield rifle barrel up to 35 cal. I thought it would be a good experiment. The lathe has to be outfitted too to draw the reamers through (they are pulled, not pushed) using the power feed and mounting the reamers to the carriage via the oil tube. Then of course you need to be set up to pump and recirculate oil. One thing seems to lead to another. I realize now that to do a professional job honing reamers, I should probably build a special jig. Then, their is the big one----the retractable rifling head. Eventually I will get to the rifling step. Stay tuned!
Perk in Cincinnati
11-22-2005, 11:21 AM #26
Perk I started a rifling macinie 15 years ago ! used a 4 jaw chuck and large bearings for head usec C channel iron for base have 2 sine bars one curved for gain twist ,Head is going to be connected to motor and will have different speeds for polishing inside barrels after reaming ,like a Sunnen Machine, have tank for oil to be pumped threw hollow tubes into barrels ,I planed on 2- 48 " hydraulic cylinders to pull buttons and cutters threw barrels ,I purchased a barns double spindle borine machine for the blank steel to make barrels and also bore out old ones , my plan was to do shotgun barrels ,muzzle loaders & whatever came along ? I have a new just completed building 21X47'when I started the foundation is 21X60' but township made NEW RULES !! so I lost 13'the boring machine is now sitting in my garage gathering rust ! took me 10 years to finally get free from Horrible divorce debts ! The 13' area was for the bluing and other equipment I have , now I'm very limited for space ! I have been to WV Clarksburgh looking for a small farm with free gas to relocate , I'm not staying in PA ! I need some freedom from this place and being a disabled VET WV is for me ! Bare land will do but with free gas Frank
11-22-2005, 12:27 PM #27
Where I am just doing a little HSM tinkering, it sounds like you have had big plans all along. I know the divorce route and am glad to get all that behind me. I am remarried and built a new house about 5 years ago. When I built the house, a few of the the things I insisted on were a walk out basement with double wide doors, 9 ft. basement ceilings, a built in firearms vault, and a rear entrance to the basement from the garage. All the rest of the house is pretty much my wife's ideas. Now all my kids are grown, and I have accumulated an impressive set of machines and capabilities that entertain me to no end. Love it! I am looking forward to having more shop time when I retire which will be in about 7 years. I'm 55 right now. Life is way to short not to have a good shop!
Perk in Cincinnati
11-22-2005, 12:51 PM #28
Perk use my E-Mail address and I will send pictures of my place , I built this house and the basement is same as yours 9 ft ceilings and walk out garage , English Touter ! I have now finished the lower portion into a nice wreck room pool table and have a super safe in wall opening under stairs . Frank
11-22-2005, 07:47 PM #29
the rifling head isnt exactly retractable but rather spring loaded. when the cutter is pushed back thru the groove you just cut the spring allows the cutter to drop slightly, usually, then it springs up before the next groove is cut...jim
12-05-2005, 11:49 AM #30
I have been interested in rifling machines for a couple of years. I have searched every forum that would let me join for rifling machine photos. These explain sine bar rifling better than anyothers I have seen. Thank you for your picts. and engineering abilities. Your post has perked me up.
12-05-2005, 12:03 PM #31
12-05-2005, 05:34 PM #32
The pictures from the Springfield Armory Museum and the American Precision Museum came out of my own digital camera. I took them during visits to both of these very interesting places. While I was there, I took plenty of pictures and did a sort of study of the machines, with the intent of building one of my own at a later date.
Perk in Cincinnati
12-06-2005, 11:05 AM #33Rustystud Guest
Thanks for your wonderful post. I have never thought about making my own barrels. I do prefer cut rifling to button rifling. I have all three of Howes books and Vickers book all have tidbits on rifling. I know some of the owners of the P&W cut rifling machines. Some still use a sine bar others use a Hass gear box to CNC the rotation of the cutter. I wonder if it would be easier to make CNC cut rods with the selected twist pre cut in them. Then use them as a pilot for the cutter to be drawn by. I think several of the smaller in house barrel makers have these pilots made up and use them over and over again. This way thay can set up to do a particular twist on a multitude of different calibers. Then change the pilot and do the next selected twist. I have seen pictures of some shops and they have a collection of these pilots on racks. Keep us posted to your progress.
12-10-2005, 01:12 AM #34
12-13-2005, 03:36 PM #35
There are several patents available that cover different configurations of scrape cutters, dating back as far as the late 1800's. Google: patent classifications. Once you connect to the government site the patents are located in classification covering plaining grooves.
12-30-2005, 05:33 PM #36
Very interesting pictures of your cam bar rifling machine!
I can add to those books of interest "Advanced Gunsmithing" by W.F.Vickery.
It was first printed in 1940.
You can fairly easily find it on the Net.
I bought three copies that way.
This book I consider one of the most completely covering the subject of gun building AND making the necessary tooling for that.
Shows in detail how to build and operate both the scrape cutter and the hook cutter.
Really very instructive!
I have used this book very much during all the years I´ve been in the ML gunsmith`s business.
(see my homepage)
Also see page 204 in the 1968 Gun Digest.
It shows the way to build and use the slow-working scrape cutter head.
Magnus in Sweden
12-31-2005, 12:19 AM #37
I checked out your home page and found it very interesting. Sounds like you have been at this hobby for quite a while! Interest in firearms and building them, seems to be universal around the world. Anyway, thanks for the tip on the book by Vickery. I will be going directly to ebay to try and find a copy. Cheers to you in Sweden.
Perk in Cincinnati
12-31-2005, 06:08 AM #38
01-15-2006, 08:49 AM #39
I used to briefly own a boring machine and rifling bench I bought from the late Robin Hale in Knoxville TN. I bored muzzleloading barrels only. It was simple but effective. I once bought a 20' stick of high pressure seemless boiler tubing with 3/8" ID and cut it in four or five pieces. That allowed me to avoid boring solid stock. The boring machine pulled reamers and had the cutting oil pumped through the reamer rod. A small fractionated motor drove the feed. I had to replace that a couple times in a very brief period (thanks for Grainger) probably because I took too aggressive a cut. I thought I hit the big time when I could finally afford an adjustable reamer.
The rifling bench used two precut twist "barrels" as guides with leaded graphited rods to repeatedly hand pull a "Firth Sterling" cutter head through the barrel. One was for pistol barrels and one with a much slower twist was for rifle barrels. If I recall, it was adjustable for 1 to 12 grooves. The secret to this set up seemed to be to build in or be able to add as much weight as you can manage to make this solid and steady.
I know little or nothing about centerfire barrels, but muzzleloaders were fairly simple and straight forward. The iron (not necessarily steel)in old barrels is often butter soft and easy to cut. You will have a lot of fun with this. Good luck!
01-29-2006, 03:58 AM #40
Rifling machine at Colonial Williamsburg: