What is it Saturday 5-27-17

Another interesting nick knack.

DSC_5775s DSC_5776s DSC_5777s

More on the CNC router

The making of the new Z axis.

Starting with the solid models. You can see the entire assembly. Front and


z-axis rev1 3

z-axis rev1 4This solid model shows the changes that we have made.

z-axis explode 3Pins to maintain alignment, lower bearing for the screw support.

z-axis explode 5

z-axis explode 6The new upper housing

z-axis explode 7

z-axis explode 2Now on to the actual nuts and bolts.

DSC_5219sThe entire assembly was taken apart.

DSC_5222sThe new lower support plate with the lower bearing installed.



DSC_5221sHoles for pins as well as the bolts holding it together.


IMG_0425sA close up of the positioning pins.


IMG_0421sA quick video tour of the cnc router z axis.

Weekend update 5-21-17

I spent most of the weekend in the fab shop trying to clean up some small projects. With the temperature at the century mark there was no fun working in the sun.

I obtain another bead blaster from a friend.

IMG_2532sThis required me to run a new air system over to it.

IMG_2531sI then started on adding new plugs for my work table and metal table.



Then it was time to mount a vise at the work table.


I started changing out the fittings on the hydraulic power pack.


This is to allow me to change the hoses to run either the fluting press or the hot forging press with the same unit. Eventually I hope to have a separate power pack for the forging press.IMG_2537sI also welded on hose supports.

I demo out some cabinets this last week so they were mounted. This is to allow extra storage.

IMG_2543sBrought the rollers in and did the drawings for the steel support for the band saw.

IMG_2544sThe last weekend project was to cut the pipe for a welding and brazing rod holder. I will clean them up with the bead blaster and then weld it up.

IMG_2546sA quick video.








Sunday answer 5-21-17

The answer is that it is a low light front sight for a Lewis light machine gun.

One of my favorite machine guns. The Lewis machine gun.

DSC_6022sThe front sight of a Lewis machine gun

DSC_6023sIt clamps around the front sight

DSC_6024sAs seen from the rear of the weapon


What is it Saturday

It has been a while since I have posted a what is it Saturday post.

This is an interesting one.

DSC_5781cs DSC_5782cs DSC_5783cs DSC_5779s DSC_5780csGood guessing

Barrel Fluting for the VG1-5 barrel

Here is a short video about fluting the VG1-5 barrel.


The process of fluting a barrel is dependent on a number of factors. The first is the tool design. So far we have use 4 different types of fluting tools. All of them have had minor dimensional changes.

The second is pressure. We have pressed the flutes at 1300, 1000 and 800 psi. This factor changes as to the type of steel used in the barrels and the sharpness of the tool.

Third is the material and heat treat of the fluting tool. The first 4 tools were made of O-1. The truth is that this not a satisfactory material. With the suggestion of John D., a friend of gun lab, we will be changing the material to D-2 with a correct  heat treat.

In upcoming video’s I will go over the changes to the tool design and why. I will also show the chamber castings of the fluted chamber as the cases after firing using different flute designs and depths. There will be a lot more on fluting in the future.

The Passing of Kevin O’Brien

It is with a heavy heart that I pass the news on that Kevin O’Brien has passed. Most of you will know him as Weaponsman.

There is more here.

I really enjoyed his site and went to it several times a day. He will be missed.

The last book that he reviewed I ordered just after reading the review. It came in today, only to make me once again think of him and miss his site.

Sig PE-57 and AMT repair sections

Pete, a friend of Gun Lab, was at the last Knob Creek show and picked up a PE-57 kit and repair section. He was nice enough to send me some pictures of the repair part and I thought I would add a few pictures of my AMT rifle to give you a comparison.

The first thing I have to say is that I am not beating up on the guy that made this repair section. This receiver is very complex and if made with the correct steel would be very difficult to press. With out having a progress stamping set up I think he did a descent job.

I also did not have the repair section here to measure.


DSC_5457sthe ejection port still needs to be cut out and formed









GE DIGITAL CAMERAHis bend looks a little rough.



GE DIGITAL CAMERAEverything seems to match up when pressed together

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe most glaring issue I see is the caming surface.



DSC_5459sOn the original weapon it is a clean and precise bend.


DSC_5461sThis one looks to have a not so clean surface and a dimple in it.


GE DIGITAL CAMERAWho ever made this put a great deal of work into it. It does need a re-press to clean it up.

I would like to hear from people that have used this repair section to build up a rifle.

Lebel 1886 cut away

Once again an interesting cut away rifle has shown up. In this case it is a M1886 Lebel rifle. It is the only one that I have seen.

On to the pictures.







The feed tube.6Left side.

10a nice close up of the left side of the receiver and the feed mechanism.

11There are a lot more pictures at Gun Broker. Check it out.

Italian Vetterli-Vitali M1870-87

This rifle from the reference collection is a Italian Vetterli-Vitali M 1870-87. It was made in 1880 as stamped on the left side of the barrel. It is a magazine conversion of the M1870 single shot rifle. This conversion consisted of a metal shroud around the magazine housing, removing the dust cover and installing a knurled knob on the bolt to close of the magazine to allow single shot firing. There were a few other changes. For furtherinformation on this and other Vetterli rifles check out this very interesting book by Robert Wilsey.

crop-sYou can find it here.

Now on to the pictures

DSC_1830csA close up of the receiver.




DSC_1845csThe M90 rear sight .

DSC_1844csThe stock markings.

DSC_1839csBayonet lug on the side of the barrel.


DSC_1847sA view of the rear locking lugs

DSC_1854csA look at the magazine follower and the face of the bolt.