Backhoe update or what have I been doing lately

When we last left our well used and over worked really old Ford backhoe we were getting diesel fuel in the oil sump. That was a while back and with no money or time to fix it it just seat there. A program was started to repair it and it is used with great regularity around gun lab to do everything.

There were and still are a number of problems with it but they are getting fixed.

The first items we tackled were the leaking cylinders on the boom. All three of the cylinders were leaking so bad. Every one had to be removed and rebuilt.

DSC_4553sAfter the cylinders were rebuilt and brought back the real fun began.

DSC_4705sNew pistons were required, the cylinders re-built and the  ends welded back on. New bushings were made here and installed.


DSC_4709sThen installed on the old girl.

DSC_7217sNext the fuel pump and ejectors were removed and re-built and then re-installed. At the same time this was going on we changed the oil, oil and air filters, all the fuel filters and fixed a few leaks.




The last item on this repair run was a new battery. It is now back to work for the old gal until their is money to re-build the control valves and replace the older hoses.DSC_7219s



But that is for another weekend.

Some days you just can’t help yourself

I saw this sign and just had to stop and take a picture.

DSC_7191sIt was at an empty 2 spot parking area.

Lower receiver support pressing for VG1-5

In this video we are pressing the lower receiver strengthening piece. This piece effectively increases the support metal around the front barrel support from 1/16 of an inch on both sides to 1/8 of an inch.


Here are a couple of close up pictures of the drilling fixture.


DSC_7095sAll the front supports pressed and drilled.



Another great gunsmithing site

As I was browsing the internet looking for information on repairing a Colt New Service revolver I had the good fortune to come across this site.

I think you will find it an enjoyable and informative site.

VG1-5 upper receiver slide

We have finished welding all the cocking handles on the upper receiver/slide. The next step is to finish the bolts and fit them to the upper receiver. Then the bolts go off the heat treat.

This is how the project looks now when we finished welding all the guides on.

DSC_7051sNow all the cocking handles are attached.

DSC_7118sAnd a close up.


On to the next operation.

Working on the VG1-5 bolt

The last post on the bolt was when we completed the lathe work on it. This left us with a turned bolt with the firing pin hole drilled and bored.




A fixture was designed to allow us to machine the bolt at the different angles and still keep everything aligned as it should be.

20151105_140130sIt is placed in the vise against a stop and the hole for the base of the cartridge is machined as is the spring for the extractor.

20151105_140819sAnother view of the same operation.

20151105_140824sNext an angle adapter is installed in the vise to allow the bolt fixture to set against it. This allow us to machine the opening for the extractor.


20151105_140919sWith this photo you can see the angle of the machined opening.


Close up as it sets in the machineDSC_7105sCompleted bolts for this operation.

DSC_7099sThe last few to be completed today.



Saturday fun not everything is gun stuff

We have been working very hard on getting the VG1-5 project completed but Saturday was a different kind of a fun day. About 8 years, or so, ago I started a whole house remodel,so if your significant other complains about how long a house project takes just direct her here. I bought a kitchen display  from a local kitchen and bath store, got a real good price for it as well, and started a kitchen remodel. When I went back to buy the rest of the needed cabinets the cost was more then three times what I paid for the display. Some how coming up with 15,000 was just not in the cards. We went to a couple of custom shops and they were even more. The next step was older cabinets from second hand stores and just make new doors and drawers and just re furbish the cabinets. Other then money which I don’t have any of, the thing I have less of is time. I would have had to buy specialized cutters for the fronts as well as finding the time to complete the project. So the kitchen has set on the back burner. Then as luck would have it 2 weeks ago I did a job at a high dollar home that was being remodeled, so being the inquisitive type of lad that I am I asked about the kitchen cabinets. The response is that I could have them if I wanted I just had to come take them out. Saturday was spent removing cabinets from this house and bring them home. Sunday was spent removing the old junk cabinets and putting in the new ones and organizing the cabinets to fit. DSC_7087s

DSC_7088sThe funny thing is that the new cabinets and the ones in the house already are the same brand and type. The old home owners varnished there cabinets. We will be taking the fronts off to be stripped and re stained to the color of our cabinets.

DSC_7084sI still need to build the corner units and the double oven cabinet.

DSC_7085sThe sink cabinet was the worst of the bunch, they generally always are. The fronts were taken off and saved, the rest of the cabinet is in the dumpster.

DSC_7089sNext weekend I hope to build the corner units and get this kitchen under way.

VG1-5 update Machining the lower receiver

This post will go through the steps necessary to machine one of the lower receiver. I was going to do a video, but there was not much to see with the coolant on.

If you remember the last post on the lower receiver we had finished welding it up and it looked like this.


DSC_6559cw2Now comes the part where we remove everything that is not part of the rifle.

First a couple of pictures of the fixture that was made to do machining. You can see that this fixture will support and clamp in the receiver securely.


20151028_123952sWhat we are going to do is clamp a receiver into the fixture.

20151028_124029sThe first step is to install a center support for the receiver.


The it is clamped into the fixture.

20151028_124133sWe do this to mark it so the excess can be plasma cut off prior to machining.


20151028_124505sYou can see the magic marker on the sheet metal where it was plasma cut. You can also see the 3 holes that were drilled to allow clamping the front and rear clamping blocks20151028_124513s

Now it is back into the fixture for machining.


20151028_124806sAfter a slow and careful machining op, sheet metal has a tendency to grab the end mill and come out of the fixture. We are finished with this phase.20151028_131647s

DSC_7034sA couple of close up pictures of the receiver after machining but still in the fixture.




This is how it looks coming out of the fixture and prior to de-buring.DSC_7059s



DSC_7063sThis how they look after the initial de-buring.


DSC_7041sAfter the receiver is cleaned up a final machining operation is conducted on the manual milling machine to clean up the inner area of the receiver.


With this operation we have gone from rough weld up to a finished machined part ready for the next operation.DSC_7038s



Single shot rifles, Book Review

I am a big fan of single shot rifles. I enjoy there design from the simplest boys rifle to the most expensive British falling block design. I also have a number of single shot rifles in the Gun Lab reference collection. I feel that the pinnacle of the gun making craft is single shot rifles and double guns. For the most part the rifles are well design and beautifully manufactured.  Some of my favorite rifles are the rook and rabbit rifles made in England and the small bore rifles made here. With this intro I just received my new book “British Single Shot Rifles Volume 8″ from Amazon. Once again Wal Winfer and Tom Rowe have out done themselves.


The pictures are superb, I am a little jealous as I wish my photographs looked that good. The detail is excellent.



There line drawings are detailed and informative.

scan_Page_3csVolume 8 is an excellent reference book on the subject of small bore single shot rifle and a great addition to the library at Gun Lab.

Interesting gunsmith site

Life around Gun Lab has been a little hectic lately. The work on the VG1-5 is progressing and I have a couple of posts about that coming up. However, I came across a really nice site dealing with metal and wood working on guns. This gentleman does some real nice work. You should take some time and check out his site. As for me I have a lot of reading to catch up on at his site. His photograph is excellent as well.