How to run barrel in steady rest without marring the bluing?
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  1. #1
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    Default How to run barrel in steady rest without marring the bluing?

    So I'm dealing with the customer from hell right now.

    I'm at a record high amount of work right now, and this one jerk keeps calling me literally every other day with the "you dun yet?" calls. (And I'm still short of the approximate promise date I quoted.) On top of that ,this is turning out to be the sporterized Mauser 98 from hell. I swear its hexed. It has fought me like a buck toothed b**ch from the first second in every conceivable way.

    All I have to do, now, finally, to finish the job is to recrown the barrel. The previous gunsmith cut the barrel back in such a way I can not use my barrel vice to clamp it and take the action off. The rear sight block is entirely in the way. It's to0 short for the spiders I made on both ends of my lathe spindle. It doesn't work in my 8" long universal spider I made for the lathe to do short barrels in and to true actions and bolts in.

    I rented a 11 deg. crowning tool from 4D reamer rentals and they are just being a bunch of a$$holes, refuse to answer the phone, and have like a 3 day lag time in responding to e-mails and when they do respond its vague and does not deal with the issue. The tool has yet to arrive and 4D says its a "billing issue" but have yet to get back to me to rectify that...and they refuse to answer the phone.

    All I know to do at this point is to run the barrel in the steady rest to crown it. But I don't know how to do that without marring the bluing, unless I make a little barrel spider for the steady rest. BUT if I do that, I'm putting at least 2 more hours and cost of materials into this jerks job that I'm already upside down in.

    Would wrapping the barrel in a single layer of that aluminum foil HVAC tape stuff work to protect the bluing for a short simple job such as crowning? Any body know any other such tricks?

    Thanks,
    MG

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    I don't know anything about Gunsmithing and can't picture what you are up against. I hate it when the stress starts piling up and everything gets amplified.

    What I can tell you is to slow down and relax take one problem at a time and do good work. Screw the dates and customers from hell, just do good work. A solution will come don't rush it or take chances on ruining this barrel. If making a spider is what it takes and you know it then do it and get the job and customer out of your head and out of your shop.

    Talk with him when he comes to pick it up and show him what you had to do in order to give him a perfect barrel, ask for more money to cover your cost. That's better than taking a short cut using tape and then trying to explain why the barrel looks like shit because you took a short cut. Just do good work your name is on it.

    Just do good work, and you will be fine relax.

    Make Chips Boys !

    Ron

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    Great counsel and I really appreciate it.
    -MG

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    I am no Gunsmith. But if it were me, I would use a shaft collar if i could. Check McMaster here: McMaster-Carr

    They have several types to choose from that could clamp to a wrapper material without marring and run in the steady. You may have to true it. Just a thought. Hope this helps and good luck.

    Best Regards,
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjs44032 View Post
    I am no Gunsmith. But if it were me, I would use a shaft collar if i could. Check McMaster here: McMaster-Carr

    They have several types to choose from that could clamp to a wrapper material without marring and run in the steady. You may have to true it. Just a thought. Hope this helps and good luck.


    Bob

    Now that's just great thinking. I can make a quick/fast/dirty set collar out of aluminum. I can clamp it to the barrel with a brass set screw. Or two. Skim cut the collar to true it and run the collar in the steady. Yep. THANKS!!!

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    WQt: [Would wrapping the barrel in a single layer of that aluminum foil HVAC tape stuff work]

    wow that is tough stuff/never thought of using it/let us know
    I hunt with a sporterized 98-06

    Back in the 60s I was customizing them. wood barrel of 98s I think they were $12 each,a few good in condition with matching numbers..

    Qt:[I can clamp it to the barrel with a brass set screw.] or mild steel (CRS) shaft collar and nylon top set screws.

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    Brownells sells a barrel crowning tool that is run with a hand drill. It works very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonCeret Gunsmit View Post
    Would wrapping the barrel in a single layer of that aluminum foil HVAC tape stuff work to protect the bluing for a short simple job such as crowning? Any body know any other such tricks?
    No, but you're on the right track. The way I was taught, 2 different ways, #1 I wouldn't try on a picky customer's gun just in-case.

    #1 Wrap a thin piece of oiled leather around the barrel and clamp the end that will be "pulled" between the halves of the steady as you close it around the barrel. Snug up the fingers and keep it oiled. I've never had the guts to try this; 1 piece of grit in that leather and you end up with rings around the barrel.

    #2 Brass shim stock around .040 thick cut to perfectly butt up when wrapped around the barrel (a single continuous layer wrapped around the barrel with as small a seam as possible then deburred the edges), then hold in place with whatever clamping mechanism you can come up with (a pair of hose-clamps would do). Keep it oiled and snug the fingers around the shim stock. This is essentially letting the shim stock take wear as a sacrificial element.

    Of course, this is assuming you have a normal steady-rest. Roller steadies are a different beast and require different efforts to prevent marring.

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    I used to clamp my steady with a .002 feeler (then pull out the feeler) and use a drip can of oil.. but still might harm blue..I used nylon steady fingers that were great for not marking the steel but would/might mark blue.

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    I once did this using a collar and used a roller steady rest. In my case the collar had an inner taper to match the taper of the od of the barrel.

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    with out seeing it, we did this trick once on some steel round work. make aluminum ring with slightly smaller ID then barrel diameter OD. heat aluminum so it expands and goes over barrel let it cool and shrink, do your machining, carefully heat aluminum ring expand it and slide it off.

    my idea, but not a gunsmith am I.

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    Crown by hand, not in a lathe. Easy and at worst you wrap leather around the barrel and clamp in a bench vise.

    Not every problem requires thousands of dollars in machining equipment to solve.

    Jeff

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

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    The time making the spider to run in the steady can be thought of as time to make another tool for your toolbox, You will end up using it for other jobs.

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    I made up this device to solve the exact problem. Has been a life saver.


    img_2121.jpg img_2123.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dieseldoc View Post
    I made up this device to solve the exact problem. Has been a life saver.


    img_2121.jpg img_2123.jpg
    I second making a cathead like this. You can also use nylon tip screws to reduce the chance of damage to your part.

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  25. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    I second making a cathead like this. You can also use nylon tip screws to reduce the chance of damage to your part.
    "Cat head"....is that just another name for what we call a "Spider" 'round here or is it a completely different critter?

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    Cathead is what is shown in pics dieseldoc showed a few posts up. Usually used to run square or non round parts in the steady. Also larger ones used in oil well drill rigs that are similar. You would use it to keep the steady pads or rollers from rubbing on your delicate part, wrap your part in soft metal or use nylon tip screws.
    Easy to make with any old piece of pipe or tubing with enough wall thickness to take threads for the screws, 8, unless doing hex then 6.

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    I like using spiders like that

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    Why not clamp the barrel inside or between centers?

  30. #20
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    I work almost exclusively between centers, so this is an easy one for me...

    A piece of sandcloth (I use 300-400 grit, but it really doesn't matter)wrapped with slight overlap around the barrel, cloth side against the barrel- heavily oiled. The grit keeps the cloth from slipping on the steady fingers, the cloth doesn't easily compress so you can get good, moderate pressure with the fingers and the oil provides the needed non-marring slip.

    Needless to say, though- I always have the customer hold me harmless from cosmetic marring when doing this, though it works well without marring the finish.


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