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Building the Stevens Favorite

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Tom Griffin

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#31
RE: Building The Steven's Favorite The 12-32UNEF was harder to find than I thought. McMaster Carr let me down and MSC had one for $45, so tonight instead of starting on the breech block, I got to make a tap. Per Machinery's Handbook, I added a couple thou to the major diameter and cut a 32 pitch thread with a pitch diameter just over the max limit on a piece of O1. Then I milled four flutes with an end mill on the center line of the tap and a little deeper than the thread, hardened it and hand ground a taper starting angle on the ends of the flutes. I test fired it in a piece of aluminum and the screws fit well so I went ahead and tapped the two 12-32 holes in the receiver and called it a day.

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I intended to get started on the breech block tonight but the piece of O1 I had in mind for it turned out not to be O1 so I had to order a piece and play the waiting game. A guy I work with gave me a large chunk of black walnut the other day so I decided to make another incredible mess in the shop and get started on the stock (I'm still cleaning out wood dust from the last woodworking project). I didn't care for the orientation of the grain in the board but it was thick enough that I could cut the blank for the stock on an angle to make it more quartersawn. I also discovered a check in the wood which required even more creative layout to avoid. I left it slab sided for now because the next task will be to throw it in the mill and inlet it for the receiver. Looks kind of boring now but it's a start.

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I’m still making sawdust, although not near as much. I got the receiver inletted into the stock using the mill and it ended up a nice tight fit. Then I did some rough shaping with a wood plane and blended it all together on the belt sander. The notch on the top of the stock just behind the tang was roughed out with a die grinder and sanding roll. It still needs some final finishing. The stock also needs some final fitting around the tangs. The bottom is getting close but the top still has a bit to go. I dug around in my supplies a bit more and found a chunk of Stentor which is Carpenter Steel's brand name for O1, so as soon as I get finished making wood dust I'll get back to making chips and make the breech block.

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The stock is finished. Getting the wood to metal fit was challenging. There are a lot of different surfaces that mate and getting them all to come together at the same time was a real pain. I ended up bumping the slots for the tangs back several times before I got everything just right. There is still the forend to do but that won't happen until the barrel is made. There may also be checkering to do (I haven't decided) but that will be the last task on the list, and a butt plate. The original butt plate was hard rubber and I was thinking of tooling one for mine out of leather. That's a rainy day project though, there are metal chips to be made.

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[HR][/HR]"Aviation is going to make such progress as cannot be imagined."
 

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Tony Wells

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#32
Did you consider clocking your slots? Looks like it turned out very well.
 

Tom Griffin

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#33
Tony,

Personally, I don't care for the look of clocked slots (Don't tell George). That much symmetry gives me a left brain headache.

Tom
 

Tony Wells

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#34
I think they have their place, but not just anywhere. I won't tell George.....he'll read it for himself.:biggrin:
 

Tom Griffin

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#35
I intended to get started on the breech block tonight but the piece of O1 I had in mind for it turned out not to be O1 so I had to order a piece and play the waiting game. A guy I work with gave me a large chunk of black walnut the other day so I decided to make another incredible mess in the shop and get started on the stock (I'm still cleaning out wood dust from the last woodworking project). I didn't care for the orientation of the grain in the board but it was thick enough that I could cut the blank for the stock on an angle to make it more quartersawn. I also discovered a check in the wood which required even more creative layout to avoid. I left it slab sided for now because the next task will be to throw it in the mill and inlet it for the receiver. Looks kind of boring now but it's a start.

007_3.JPG

008_112.JPG

I’m still making sawdust, although not near as much. I got the receiver inletted into the stock using the mill and it ended up a nice tight fit. Then I did some rough shaping with a wood plane and blended it all together on the belt sander. The notch on the top of the stock just behind the tang was roughed out with a die grinder and sanding roll. It still needs some final finishing. The stock also needs some final fitting around the tangs. The bottom is getting close but the top still has a bit to go. I dug around in my supplies a bit more and found a chunk of Stentor which is Carpenter Steel's brand name for O1, so as soon as I get finished making wood dust I'll get back to making chips and make the breech block.

006_2.JPG

004_4.JPG

005_4.JPG

003_5.JPG

The stock is finished. Getting the wood to metal fit was challenging. There are a lot of different surfaces that mate and getting them all to come together at the same time was a real pain. I ended up bumping the slots for the tangs back several times before I got everything just right. There is still the forend to do but that won't happen until the barrel is made. There may also be checkering to do (I haven't decided) but that will be the last task on the list, and a butt plate. The original butt plate was hard rubber and I was thinking of tooling one for mine out of leather. That's a rainy day project though, there are metal chips to be made.

003_6.JPG

004_5.JPG

005_5.JPG

006_3.JPG

[HR][/HR]"Aviation is going to make such progress as cannot be imagined."
 

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Tom Griffin

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#36
Still making sawdust though not near as much. I got the receiver inletted into the stock using the mill and it ended up a nice tight fit. Then I did some rough shaping with a wood plane and blended it all together on the belt sander. The notch on the top of the stock just behind the tang was roughed out with a die grinder and sanding roll. It still needs some final finishing. The stock also needs some final fitting around the tangs. The bottom is getting close but the top still has a bit to go. I dug around in my supplies a bit more and found a chunk of Stentor which is Carpenter Steel's brand name for O1, so as soon as I get finished making wood dust I'll get back to making chips and make the breech block.
 

Tom Griffin

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#38
Thanks Ron.

I just finished blowing out the shop with a leaf blower and wiping down all the machines. Wood dust and metalworking machinery just doesn't play well together. :huh:

Tom
 

Tom Griffin

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#41
Tonight was breech block night. I sawed out a piece of the O1, squared it up and located the three cross holes. Two of the holes were temporarily threaded to screw the block to a sub-plate for the rotary table work. It was then set on a sine bar at 12º, the slot milled and the firing pin hole added. Next it will be mounted to an aluminum sub-plate containing locating holes for the centers of all the arcs. As with the receiver, that will make the rotary table work a lot easier and faster.



More long slender end mills. This one is 3/16" diameter by 1 1/2" long. The secret to making them long lived is to plunge cut first and side mill to finish. The slot was cut as deep as possible with a standard length end mill before resorting to the long one. This cut was over an inch deep and made in one pass using .02" steps. The same technique applies when milling tool steel like this or when milling aluminum. A lube such as WD-40 is necessary for deep slots in aluminum to keep the cutter from loading up.



Gauge pins are handy for locating features from cross drilled holes. Just place a pin in the hole and touch it off with the end mill or drill using a piece of paper between them. Here, the block is set up to drill the hole for the firing pin. To set the 12º angle, I just put a pin in the chuck and held the bottom of the slot against the side of it as the vise was tightened.
 

ScrapMetal

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#43
You lost me right here...

TLGriff;49683 The secret to making them long lived is to plunge cut first and side mill to finish. The slot was cut as deep as possible with a standard length end mill before resorting to the long one. This cut was over an inch deep and made in one pass using .02" steps. The same technique applies when milling tool steel like this or when milling aluminum. [/QUOTE said:
Probably more my ignorance rather than your explanation but I'd really appreciate it if you could put this one in "idiot speak" for me. :eek:

I want to let you know that you're killing me with this project. Beautiful work AND I'm getting the hankering for a Steven's myself. :drool: Almost picked one up at the last gun show due to you, most likely will at the next one (at least you'll get the blame when I explain it to my wife :biggrin:) won't be nearly as nice though.

-Ron
 

Tom Griffin

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#44
You lost me right here...



Probably more my ignorance rather than your explanation but I'd really appreciate it if you could put this one in "idiot speak" for me. :eek:

I want to let you know that you're killing me with this project. Beautiful work AND I'm getting the hankering for a Steven's myself. :drool: Almost picked one up at the last gun show due to you, most likely will at the next one (at least you'll get the blame when I explain it to my wife :biggrin:) won't be nearly as nice though.

-Ron
Thanks Ron.

I'll take the blame if it will get you a new rifle. :) Remember though; it is a boys rifle so it's rather short and small, but still a heck of a lot of fun to shoot.

Plunge milling is when you use the end of the mill to do the cutting instead of the side. If you tried to side mill a 1" deep slot in tool steel with a 3/16" end mill it would just bend and break because you wouldn't be able to generate enough force to make it cut. By plunging it to full depth and moving over a few thousandths at a time you can get the job done and with the end mill in one piece (hopefully). Once the slot is roughed to depth, then you can side mill with very light cuts to get it to the proper width with many climb and conventional passes and free passes to get slot to size at the very bottom. An end mill like this is very flexible and moves around an alarming amount. :bitingnails:

Tom
 

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#45
Very nice work Tom!!!! Thank you for sharing with us. I can't wait to see finished classic!

David
 

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#46
I am still watching and am duly impressed, real nice work and documentation;)
 

ScrapMetal

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#47
Thanks Ron.

I'll take the blame if it will get you a new rifle. :) Remember though; it is a boys rifle so it's rather short and small, but still a heck of a lot of fun to shoot.

Plunge milling is when you use the end of the mill to do the cutting instead of the side. If you tried to side mill a 1" deep slot in tool steel with a 3/16" end mill it would just bend and break because you wouldn't be able to generate enough force to make it cut. By plunging it to full depth and moving over a few thousandths at a time you can get the job done and with the end mill in one piece (hopefully). Once the slot is roughed to depth, then you can side mill with very light cuts to get it to the proper width with many climb and conventional passes and free passes to get slot to size at the very bottom. An end mill like this is very flexible and moves around an alarming amount. :bitingnails:

Tom
Got it. Kind of what I thought but I wanted to make sure. I'm aware of the size of the Steven's, it'll actually be "for my son". :rolleyes: :biggrin: It would make a great companion to the Ruger Bearcat.

Thanks much,

-Ron
 

Tom Griffin

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#48
Thanks David and Bill.

I'm takin' the night off so the shop is dark, but should be able to finish off the breech block tomorrow after work.

Tom
 

Tom Griffin

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#49
All of these basketball games are getting in the way of progress, but I still managed to finish up the breech block and get it fitted to the receiver. I took a few extras pics to show the method I use to locate a part on the rotary table and generate radii, the same technique used on the receiver. The few extra minutes spent making the subplate can save hours of setup on a part with many radii.

Next in line is the firing pin, then the cocking lever and the link to attach it to the breech block.



First, the table is centered on the spindle with an indicator and the dials or readout set to zero. Then the part is centered on whichever radius needs to cut using s pin in the spindle, and clamped to the table. If the radius being cut ended on the part then the part would also need to be indicated parallel to the table and the dials on the rotary table dilal zeroed as well so the angle could be read.



The table is then offset by the desired radius plus half the diameter of the cutter (tool offset) and the radius machined.





Large radii like this are easy to blend by eye. On smaller radii, it works better to calculate the tangent angle.
 

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#50
I have been following this build from the start. True craftmanship! One question about centering the workpiece. The s pin you mentioned,is this chucked and then put into the hole? How did you mount the piece to the subplate? (sorry,2 questions).
keep posting. We hope to see a video of the finished product in action.
 
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aametalmaster

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#51
Very nice work there Tom. I too will be learning something from this...Bob
 

Tom Griffin

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#52
I have been following this build from the start. True craftmanship! One question about centering the workpiece. The s pin you mentioned,is this chucked and then put into the hole? How did you mount the piece to the subplate? (sorry,2 questions).
keep posting. We hope to see a video of the finished product in action.
Thanks Knifer-one.

The block has several through holes which I drilled undersize and tapped, then it was mounted to the sub-plate with counter-sunk screws from the back.

Each radius is located as follows:

1) Center the spindle on the rotary table.
2) Place a pin in the spindle and use it to locate the part on the center of the radius to be machined using the appropriate previously reamed hole in the sub-plate. Clamp the part to the table.
3) Indicate the part parallel to the table if necessary by turning the rotary table and zeroing the dial.
4) Offset the table (either X or Y) the amount the radius plus half the diameter the cutter (allowing for roughing and finishing cuts).
5) Cut the radius.

On the breechblock I avoided having to indicate the part parallel to the table and calculate the endpoints of the arcs by machining the two arcs that end off the part first and then eyeballing the tangent points of the arcs adjacent to them. In other words, I cheated. :rolleyes:

Tom
 

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#54
I've been looking for a while now for documented rifle builds like this. Very instructive and not to mention inspirational. :D Someday I'll get the proper equipment and courage to try this.:thumbzup:
 

Tom Griffin

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#55
I've been looking for a while now for documented rifle builds like this. Very instructive and not to mention inspirational. :D Someday I'll get the proper equipment and courage to try this.:thumbzup:
Thanks Matt.

I looked for quite a while myself and there wasn't much available which is why I decided to do it myself. I guess the best way to learn something new is to jump in with both feet.

Tom
 

AJB

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#56
Congrats on a great thread

TLGriff,

I "joined" this forum just to tell you how much I am enjoying watching your Favorite project unfold. I find your comments to be enjoyable and educational. One of my "bucket list" items is to build a rifle as you are doing and I find your comments and accompanying photographs to be very helpful and informative.

Tony
 

Tom Griffin

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#57
Re: Building the Stevens Favorite Rifle

Thanks Tony.

It's good to hear people are watching. I enjoy projects like this and if documenting them can help others get started on their own, then all the better.

Tom
 

Tom Griffin

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#58
Re: Building the Stevens Favorite Rifle

So, mistake #1 is under the bridge. I made a dimensioning error on the lever drawing and then like an idiot, made the lever exactly to print :p. But, the good thing about working with steel is that all it takes is a little weld to make it right. :cool:

After squaring up the stock, I drilled the two holes, cut the internal radii with a boring bar and milled an angled surface while it was held in the vise. Next, I set up the 1 1/2º per side taper to the lever with a sine bar and milled them tangent to the two radii that I previously bored. Next, it'll be back to the rotary table for a couple of external radii and then a bunch of hand filing to get the elliptical shape of the lever. I could make another radius cutter, but for this part it would take less time just to file the shape.

I had to knock off early tonight because I managed to get a chip in my eye. It landed on top of my safety glasses, fell down behind them and then flipped right in my eye. I saw it coming but not quite soon enough. Luckily, even though it was steel, it wasn't hot enough to stick but it still irritated the heck out of my eye. Oh well, it wasn't the first and it likely won't be the last, just one of the hazards of the trade. :huh: WEAR THOSE SAFETY GLASSES!



Just a little weld to make it right.




Sitting on a sine bar to machine the taped part or the lever. Did one side first, then doubled the angle on the sine bar and did the flip side after sawing off the excess stock.







Next, the sides will be tapered on the belt sander, the end radiused and the elliptical shape filed.
 

Tom Griffin

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#59
Re: Building the Stevens Favorite Rifle

After a day off for house painting, back on the lever...



The rough shaping on the lever was done with the belt sander, files and strips of emery cloth.



The rest of the radii were cut on the rotary table (getting rid of the weld evidence ;)). At the same time, the curved shape around the pivot point was approximated by using three different tapered end mills.



This is a quick and dirty fixture I made up to bend the scroll shape on the lever.



The first curve was tough. It took a lot more heat than I expected because of the thickness of the part and the tight bend.


Bending it around the second and third form rolls.



It still needs some hand finishing, but I couldn't wait to try it on the gun. The shape is pretty close, but it still needs to be tweaked a bit. Next time I'll add more form rolls to make it easier to hold the shape.
 

ScrapMetal

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#60
Re: Building the Stevens Favorite Rifle

I was looking forward to see how you were going to do that one. Now that it's "bent" to roughly where you want it will you need to harden it?

Thanks,

-Ron
 
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