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Building the Stevens Favorite

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Tom Griffin

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RE: Building The Steven's Favorite Tonight's task was the one thing I dreaded about making the lever. On the lever of the original Steven's, there was an internal pocket centered on the pivot to clear the end of the extractor which shared the same pivot point as the lever. It was a simple feature to include because the lever was cast and the pocket was just another part of the pattern. Since I am machining this lever, I had to either engineer the pocket out, which I couldn't figure a way to do, or machine it, which would be tough since it would be a blind cut inside the lever and the only access would be through a 9/32" pivot hole. The technique I decided to use was to make a single tooth cutter that I could insert through the 9/32" hole and use it as an end mill by rotating the lever on the rotary table. The catch was that since the shank diameter of the cutter would be 1/8" and the diameter of the pivot hole 7/32", I would only be able to move the cutter over about .04", not enough to machine the full diameter of the pocket in one setup. In other words it was going to take three different sized cutters to machine the pocket. The dastardly pocket can be seen in the section view of the drawing shown in the photo above.

The cutters were made of O1. I turned the 1/8" shank on the lathe, ground the form on the belt sander and grinder, hardened and then sharpened it. I almost completed the first cut, but the cutter shank broke at a stress point. I made another with larger radii and tempered the shank, leaving the cutting edge nearly full hard and the shank a bit springy. This one worked much better and I was able to finish what was left from the first pass plus a bit more. One more cutter will take the pocket to the full .406" diameter.

These simple paddle cutters are easy to make and should be considered when making a project. You can make them exactly the size needed and not have to settle for something close or spend a lot of cash to buy one. This one would work just as well as a boring bar instead of an end mill with some slightly different angles,. The cost was a 3" long piece of 3/8" drill rod and about 10 minutes worth of time.

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The first cutter. This one was small enough that it fit straight through the 9/32" hole.

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The second cutter, slightly larger diameter with the shank tempered blue for flexibility. This one had to be rocked through the hole which was a pain to set up, but it worked great.

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The cutter in place, with the lever mounted on the rotary table, after taking three passes to cut the internal pocket.

Now that it is all finished I've found there is a better way to do the counter-bore. Jim Wisner pointed out that on the samples he uses to make reproduction parts, the counter-bore is cut through one side of the lever and then the outside part of the counter-bore filled with a bushing. Sounds like a good addition to REV B.

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The next task will be to make the link and pins that connect the lever to the breech block. Then operating the lever will actually open and close the breech block.

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The lever is finished, save some contour filing and polishing. I went ahead and made the link and the pins to attach it to the breech block and put it all together. Unfortunately I got ahead of myself and didn't take any pics. It's pretty encouraging to see everything operate as it's supposed to when the lever is cocked.
[HR][/HR]"Aviation is going to make such progress as cannot be imagined."
 

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Tom Griffin

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RE: Building The Steven's Favorite Not much time for the project tonight. Between a couple of chores and tip-off time time, I was only able to make the screw that attaches the end of the mainspring plunger to the receiver. Just a simple 8-32 thread, a .04" wide parted groove and a screwdriver slot in the head. This is the perfect application for a collet block.

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The next task will be to make and install the pin for the clevis and to wind the mainspring if I have the right size music wire on hand.

Tonight I got started on the mainspring plunger. The Steven's uses a compression coil spring for a mainspring and it sits on a rod with a clevis on one end with a pin in it that pushes against the hammer. The other end rides in a bushing that hooks on the grooved screw that I made last night.

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The first step was to square up a piece of O1, rough out the turned end and center drill each end so it could be turned between centers.

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I rarely turn between centers so I didn't have the proper size dog on hand. The alternative was to drill an oversized center in the yoke end and use that to drive it. Thye driving center is just a piece of aluminum turned to a 60º point. It should work fine because the shaft is only 5/32" diameter and won't require much torque to drive.

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The radii were cut with a corner rounding end mill. Next, the center of the clevis gets milled out. Not tonight though, it's been a long day. I'll be working at home in the morning and will need the mill so I guess I'll just have to finish it then. angel.gif

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Toolmaker's clamps aren't used often, but they worked well here to stabilize the .075" thick fingers on the clevis. Even so, with the long thin fingers and the long end mill, the potential for a spectacular wreck was high.

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It's a nice day outside but I still managed to sneak into the shop for a bit and wind the mainspring. The method I use to make springs is to set the lathe up for the number of coils per inch, put a slotted wooden insert in the tool block to pinch the wire and provide tension and wrap it around a mandrel under power. The spring always ends up larger than the mandrel so figuring out the right size mandrel requires some experimentation. Once wound, it was clipped to length and the ends ground square on the belt sander.

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This is the wooden tensioning block sawed out of a leftover piece of walnut from the stock. The amount of tension required depends on the diameter of the wire and sometimes takes some trial and error to get right.

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Safety glasses are a must when working with any kind of wire, especially when winding springs. The mandrel I ended up using was a long aircraft drill about .015" under the finish diameter of the spring. Forcing springy wire to conform to the shape you want is a dicey proposition, so it's best to run the lathe at slow speed and stay well clear of the wire. The end of the mandrel is supported with a drill chuck snugged up and well oiled. The start of the spring has a 90º leg bent on it and pinched in the lathe chuck along with the mandrel.

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The finished spring mounted on the mainspring plunger.

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The spring force on the hammers feels a tad light, but it is only a .22. If it misfires I'll just re-wind the spring with .055" or .063" wire instead of the .047" I grabbed at the hobby shop. The hammer doesn't fall all the way yet because I still need to cut the notches and the extra stock is hitting something inside the receiver.
[HR][/HR]"Aviation is going to make such progress as cannot be imagined."
 

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Tom Griffin

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Today was hammer time. In between spring cleanup, I managed to get most of it completed. I chose to mount it on a sub plate as with the breech block and the receiver only the hammer only had one hole in it so I had to add another in an area that would be cut out. I also decided to forego the screws and just use pins, relying on the clamps to hold everything down. I made a design change on the fly and added some extra material on the top for some cocking serrations and also some additional material on the half cock notch to make it more "safe" since the half cock position is the actual safety.

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Here, the blank is mounted to the sub-plate that has all the center holes located just as with the receiver. Since there are a few radii that end on this part, I had to indicate the edge of the sub-plate and zero the degree scale as well as center it on the rotary table.

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Since there was only one hole in the hammer, I had to be sure to clamp on the hammer while machining to keep it from moving.

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The rough shape is finished. The half cock and full cock notches still need to be cut and the top of the hammer serrated.

Cutting the notches in the hammer turned out to be a royal pain. Not because it was difficult work, but because I neglected to get the machining order straight before starting the part. With all of the different angles, it would have been much easier to machine the notches before milling the outline of the hammer. Then there would have been lots of straight and right angle surfaces to work off. The two angles of the full cock notch were cut and the half cock notch roughed out with and end mill, then the half cock notch was finished with a form ground fly cutter.

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This was the setup used to cut all of the angles on the notches. Some of them were set with a sine bar and some with a protractor. This pic shows the form cutter ground to cut the deep half cock notch. The bluing (Magic Marker) serves as a witness to show when the cutter touches.

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The finished hammer. Each of the eight different angles around the notches was a separate setup. smiley-signs125.gif

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This shows how the breech block, lever, connecting link and hammer all interact. In this pic, the lever is being cocked and the link is pushing the hammer to half cock. Once there, the link will pass the hammer allowing the lever to actuate the extractor, which is farther down on the task list. I think it only makes sense to make the trigger next.
I had to use the shop for actual work today and between that and the Wings game, not much got done on the Steven's. I did manage to make the sub-plate for the trigger and get a piece of O1 mounted on it, but nothing photo worthy. As soon as I get the use of the mill back I'll get the rotary table back on and start cutting the trigger, probably tomorrow night. My significant other is up north through next week so I'll have a lot of Steven's time when I'm not holding down the fort.

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

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Tom Griffin

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RE: Building The Steven's Favorite I got most of the trigger finished tonight. It took longer than expected because I decided to make some changes on the model to make it easier to machine. The sear was the hardest part just because it was so darn small and hard to see. This part was a good application for carbide tooling just because the end mills required were so small and long and the material was tool steel. I don't use carbide much, but it was handy for this application. Next is the backside of the trigger and possibly rounding off the front so it feels better on the finger (another thing I changed on the model).

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After mounting the trigger to the sub-plate, the first two cuts were made on the front of the trigger.

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Next came the back side of the sear (on the right) and the flat that the trigger return spring pushes on.

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The sear tapers 10º to .030" which matches the half cock notch in the hammer.

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The newly added curve on the front of the trigger was milled to a 3/8" radius with a form tool mounted in a fly cutter. It was ground on a 5/16" tool bit and mounted in a fly cutter, then the part was spun on the rotary table against the spinning form tool to generate the curve.

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The radius on the back side was milled to size with a 3/32" carbide end mill.

The machining is complete and it's ready for hand finishing.

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

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PurpLev

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that is awesome!

thanks for posting these... very inspiring - beautiful work you've done there.
 

clearcaseman

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It is so hard to decide if this is a piece of work... or a piece of art...
I would love to make something like this to shoot 50 cal Beowulf.
 

bodger

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Absolutely fantastic work, and a real learning experience just to watch! Thanks for taking the trouble to show it.

bodger
 

Tom Griffin

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Thanks guys.

The Steven's project has been pretty much idle lately with the summer schedule, but I'm starting to get the bug again. Not sure if I'm going to continue updating the thread here, or just on www.MetalWorkingFun.com. Either way, there should be some exciting installments over the next few months with the work needing to be done on the barrel.

Tom
 
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Tony Wells

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You should try to do both, Tom. We're running parallel and friendly sites, Ed and I....so we would welcome it here as well.
 

Tom Griffin

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OK, I'm back from vacation and will pick up on the build where I left off...

The weekend was pretty productive for the Steven's project. I played around with the action a bit and decided to re-design the connecting link a bit because it was binding a bit on the hammer after raising it to half cock. CAD is very helpful but it doesn't provide the feel you get by operating something mechanical with your hands. I also turned down the breech end of the barrel and machined the socket in it where the barrel screw seats. That allowed me to check the over center operation of the lever and breech block. It worked perfectly holding the lever tightly against the underside of the receiver. The barrel screw turned into quite a project with its convex straight knurl and a couple beads that I added on each side to dress it up a bit. I apologize for the lousy pics but the wife took the point and shoot camera up north and I was forced to use my son's Nikon D700. It's a GREAT camera but I haven't used it enough to know how to change things like shutter speed and aperture and it is ALL electronic. Consequently I have a bunch of pics with zero depth of field.

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The homebrew convex knurl was made by plunge cutting 90 teeth in a piece of 5/8 drill rod with a 60º cutter and mounting it on a bar using a dowel pin as a shaft.

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This is the barrel screw in progress. The area under the knurl was pre-cut with a form tool that had the same radius as the knurl. It produced a nice clean knurl although I noticed that some of the teeth chipped off along the edge of the knurl. Guess I left it too hard.

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Form tools were also made for the beads on each side of the knurl and the radius relief under the head. The thread is a single point cut 5/16-24. The angled point seats in the barrel to index and hold it in place.

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I still need to cut the coin slot in the head. I didn't have the right diameter cutter so it'll need to be cut on the rotary table.

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I may shorten the barrel screw a bit so none of the threads are showing.

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This is with the breech block open showing how it drops down to allow a cartridge to be chambered.



Tonight was a bit of a milestone. I broke out my trusty slotting tool and finished squaring up the corners in the receiver to make room for the trigger return spring. I didn't have any 1/32 spring steel on hand so I made a temporary spring out of phosphor bronze. Now with the extra material removed I was able to install the hammer, trigger and the return spring and check out the operation. The hammer now falls all the way to the breech block and the sear catches the half cock and full cock notches as the hammer is raised. The trigger pull is a little light for my liking but that will get heavier with a stronger steel trigger return spring and some work on the notches in the hammer.

I forgot to cut the clearance for the mainspring when I made the stock so that will be next, then it's time to make some wood screws.

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Tom Griffin

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Tonight's task was to cut the relief in the stock for the mainspring assembly and get it mounted. That involved making something I've never made before, wood screws. Their purpose is to attach the stock to the receiver through the upper and lower tangs. They are 3/16" diameter (#10) and about an inch long, with oval heads and the typical tapered sharp V thread used on wood screws.

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The shank of the screw was turned to .188 and the taper attachment used to turn a 10º included angle taper.


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The threading tool is 30º instead of the normal 60º and has a .058 flat on the point. I broke two of them off before getting wise and using a center in a super small center hole. I withdrew the tool at the end of the thread for a cleaner look, easy to do on the Hardinge with its quick acting lever on the compound. The same can be done on any lathe by stopping the spindle at the end of the thread and rotating it by hand as the tool is backed out with the compound crank.

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Cutting a 90º angle under the head of the screw to match the countersunk holes in the receiver.

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Parting off the partially finished screw.

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The diameter of the head finish turned and parted to length, leaving stock for the oval shape on the head.

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Machining the oval head on the screws with a form tool.

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Cutting the screw slots using a collet block in the mill with a .045" slitting saw.

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The finished wood screws.

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Cutting the relief pocket for the mainspring assembly on the mill.

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The firing pins is simply a 3/16" diameter piece of drill rod, turned down on one end, flatted for a retaining pin and tapered to the traditional wedge shape used on rimfire cartridges.

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After turning down one end, it was mounted in a collet block on the mill, centered with an edge finder and the flat to index and retain the pin was cut with a 1/8" 4-flute end mill.

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Then the block was turned on end and the wedge shape cut with a 45º end mill. I had to break out the old eye loupe to measure the .020" flat with a rule. The opposite end gets a radius to match the rear contour of the breech block. Rather than go to all the trouble of setting it up on the rotary table, I'm going to take the easy way out and just mount it in the breech block using the block as a pattern to cut the radius with the belt sander.

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Here's the finished firing pin installed in the breech block. Another member pointed out that the newer model Favorites have a modified firing pin to prevent possibility of gases from escaping around it (inches form your eye), so I'll probably do a re-design on this one. I'm thinking to keep it looking original, I'll add an internal O-Ring to the pin to serve as a gas stop.


No pictures this time because the part has already been made once. Last night I re-made the link that connects the lever to the breech block. The link does double duty by also moving the hammer to the half cock position and I wasn't happy with the way it worked. A redesign moved the part of the link that pushes on the hammer farther away form the hammer pivot point. Now it does what it's supposed to to do without binding. That's the thing about prototype parts; sometimes they need to be tweaked and remade but it's all part of the process. Once the action is working to my liking I'll probably harden it to prevent damage to the sear and notches from playing with it too much. smile.gif
 

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Tom Griffin

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The following installment brings the Steven's build thread up to date. The next task will be to make and fit the extractor and that will complete the internal components.

Tom



A little update on the Steven's: I haven't been making many chips lately but the project has been far from idle. After two re-designs, the link/cam is finally moving the hammer to half cock properly, without binding. That turned out to be a bigger problem than expected because many of the parts in the linkage do double duty and changing one of them can have a significant effect on how the others behave.

I've also been designing a tang sight. It won't be an authentic Steven's design because I don't have access to one for reverse engineering. Instead it will be a blend of different features on various tang sights that I've found across the internet. Elevation adjustment will be made by loosening the threaded eye cup and sliding it to the proper graduation on a vernier scale on the side of the frame. There will also be a windage adjustment via a small dovetail slide in the block that the eye cup mounts to. So far I have the base designed along with the frame, the sliding nut and a first crack at the eye cup/windage adjustment. There are still a few details to work out before the design is complete.

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There has also been some progress in figuring out how to drill and rifle the barrel. I've found an inexpensive hydraulic pump to pump the oil through the gun drill, so that problem is solved, but am still waiting for a drill the correct size to show up on eBay. Once it does, and I make a cat head for my lathe, it'll be time to drill the barrel, using the spindle on my mill to drive the oil pump. I've come to the conclusion that it's just not practical to rifle the barrel on my lathe. There is a nice video on Youtube of a guy who built a gear train on his lathe to twist the rifling tool as it passes through the barrel. It looks like it would work very well but I would need to modify my lathe to mount a gear on the saddle hand wheel and I'm not willing to do that. I'll probably end up building some sort of dedicated fixture to do the rifling, so I'll definitely need to make more than one barrel to justify the work.
 

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BRIAN

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Hi Tom
Thanks for posting this wonderful project. Its so good that I hesitate to offer any advice on a subject that I know so little about.

However regarding the fitting of a O ring to the fireing pin. I think that if you cut 2 grooves and only put a ring in the rearmost one the first groove will drop the pulse pressure so the ring wiil have less to stop.

Now you can have a laugh and tell me what I have got wrong.

Brian.
 

Tom Griffin

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Hi Tom
Thanks for posting this wonderful project. Its so good that I hesitate to offer any advice on a subject that I know so little about.

However regarding the fitting of a O ring to the fireing pin. I think that if you cut 2 grooves and only put a ring in the rearmost one the first groove will drop the pulse pressure so the ring wiil have less to stop.

Now you can have a laugh and tell me what I have got wrong.

Brian.
Hey Brian,

I haven't calculated the pressures around the pin yet but I doubt they will be very high with a .22 caliber rimfire cartidge, but I will keep your suggestion in mind when I get to that point. Just so you know, my build thread has been re-created at MetalworkingFun.com and if future updates don't occur here, they will take place there.

What kind of clocks are you building these days?

Thanks, it's good to hear from you.

Tom
 
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Tom Griffin

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Back to business. I got a long skinny package in the mail today containing a .203 diameter x 36" long gun drill, so it's time to get serious about this barrel drilling business. Unfortunately, my lathe only has 20" of travel, so it's going to be a two step process. I have an adapter to mount the drill on my tool post left over from an earlier project, but it's probably going to need to be lengthened an inch or two for this drill. There are a few other tasks to accomplish before the drilling starts, such as a guide bushing/chip box to start the drill on center and catch the chips and oil that shoot out of the hole. There also needs to be at least one intermediate support for this flimsy drill and a high pressure pump (800 psi or so) to pump cutting oil through the drill. I found a hydraulic pump for $50 that should work and figure I'd drive it with my mill. Hopefully 2 HP is enough power. Oh yeah, and I also need to make a couple of cat heads for the spindle to hold the barrel.

For a long term solution to this sort of thing I've roughed out a design for a vertical dedicated machine to drill, ream and rifle barrels, but that's another project in itself. Right now I need to finish the Stevens.

Tom

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It's not the most exciting project, but I got started on the cat heads tonight. Got 'em rough turned and parted off. The steel I grabbed turned out to be medium carbon so it took a bit longer than expected to whittle them out. Next they get counter-bored to fit the nose and the outboard end of the spindle. The one for the nose also gets a taper and key to mate to the Hardinge spindle nose. Each head then gets four 5/16" set screws to hold the barrel and the outboard one gets three more to mount it to the spindle.

The rest will have to wait because small game season just opened and I'm heading up north with my wife and the dogs to hunt grouse. :smiley-applaud:

Tom

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Tom Griffin

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I had an hour to kill in the shop tonight so I bored the taper in the spindle cat head. The compound was set to the correct taper by indicating the spindle nose for a perfect match to the 8º included angle. It still needs a locking pin and a hole for the spanner to remove it from the spindle.

Tom

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jumps4

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tom what is a cats head and what is it used for?
nice smooth finish
steve
 

Tom Griffin

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Steve,

A cat head is used to hold a gun barrel in the spindle of a lathe so it's supported at both ends. It is basically just a collar with four sets screws that make point contact on the barrel. The screws support the barrel without risk of deflection that a chuck or collet might cause on such a long part.

Tom
 

Tom Griffin

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Thanks Tony.

I just couldn't get it locally and didn't want to wait to order one. Besides, they are surprisingly easy to make.

Tom
 

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Yeah, a 32 tpi is pretty shallow, so it doesn't have to take much stress. If I'm doing my own work, I don't mind going extra to do things like that, making cutters, but for paying work, I figure it into the cost and usually have time to order it in. That way I don't have to think too much about whether the shop built cutter will perform as needed. Plus most of my work is in expensive tough materials, and I can't risk too much.
 

Tom Griffin

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If I'm doing my own work, I don't mind going extra to do things like that, making cutters, but for paying work, I figure it into the cost and usually have time to order it in. That way I don't have to think too much about whether the shop built cutter will perform as needed. Plus most of my work is in expensive tough materials, and I can't risk too much.
Same here Tony. I would never consider making a cutter for a paying job, other than an occasional form cutter. Time is definitely money when profit is involved.

Tom
 

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HMMM --- After seeing that drill I can't believe I worries about drilling a 5mm hole 6 inches deep. :lmao::lmao::lmao::lmao:

"Billy G" :whistle:
 

Tom Griffin

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HMMM --- After seeing that drill I can't believe I worries about drilling a 5mm hole 6 inches deep. :lmao::lmao::lmao::lmao:

"Billy G" :whistle:
Yeah Bill, it's pretty scary. I'll be impressed if it makes it out of the far end of the barrel, let alone on center. :scared:

Tom
 

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I've seen conventional gun drilling machines hold 0.0005/inch of drift. They always counter-rotate the drill at half speed of the work. Makes for a pretty straight hole.
 

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TomG A few weeks ago I 'told' the guys on Home Gunsmithing forum about your Stevens Favorite build thread..Wanted the guys to see a very well documented build ..This thread of yours is just exceptionally well presented..
 
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