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View Full Version : Is it necessary to remove barrel before riveting front trunnion?


Arisaka
03-01-2011, 11:04 AM
Just curious, I picked up an ak-builder Romy G kit with headspaced US barrel. Is there any reason why I need to remove the (headspaced) barrel, rivet the trunnion, and then replace (and re-headspace) the barrel? The rivets seem to be plenty long enough to just press in, and let the barrel be the surface that the end of the rivet deforms against. If I need to remove the barrel, I'm not sure how much good a headspaced kit is...... :o

69Mach1
03-01-2011, 11:07 AM
It's preferred. There's one technique that I'm unfamiliar with. It involves spliting the shaft and pressing the rivet up against the barrel extension. Removing the barrel pin, removing the barrel, replacing the barrel, then re-pinning it will not effect headspacing.

Arisaka
03-01-2011, 11:13 AM
Gotcha. I'll just do it the correct way. Thanks for all of the info! Now I need to pick up more drill bits to break trying to demill the rear trunnion......

lelandEOD
03-01-2011, 11:16 AM
Every time someone installs a rivet by whacking it against the barrel - God kills a kitten.

lelandEOD
03-01-2011, 11:18 AM
Now I need to pick up more drill bits to break trying to demill the rear trunnion......

I did the same thing until I figured out that if I used an angle grinder or hand file to just touch the top of the rivets flat that I could easily use a center punch to mark my drill location. Then, the real trick is to use one of those cheap countersinking drill bits from harbor freight to get the pilot hole where you want. Being 3x as thick as a comparable bit keeps it from walking all over and getting off center.

Arisaka
03-01-2011, 11:31 AM
I have them all drilled out, but now I have a broken bit in the middle of one of the holes. Which keeps breaking more bits... I've even gotten my punch stuck in there a couple of times trying to knock it out.

TURBOELKY
03-01-2011, 11:46 AM
I've used the technique of installing rivets with the barrel in...Kittens died. ;)

lelandEOD
03-01-2011, 2:20 PM
I have them all drilled out, but now I have a broken bit in the middle of one of the holes. Which keeps breaking more bits... I've even gotten my punch stuck in there a couple of times trying to knock it out.

Been there too.

Very aggravating. Somewhere I have a pic snapped with my cell phone of the vast array of drill bits and punches that met their match while dealing with those pesky rear trunnions. The best solution I've found to date it to build underfolders. The second best solution is to make absolutely sure you've taken the time to punch--in the remnants of the rivet that form in the swell area otherwise you are fighting increased resistance from the remains of the rivet head. I slowly work my way around the circumference of the rivet tapping the shoulder in towards the empty center. Then I take a punch and smack it out.

In your situation, you may have to get creative. Use some heat from a torch... If you've got a bit broke in there, you will only make a mess trying to drill out the drill. Those things are harder than the trunnion and you'll only make a mess.

You'll eventually get it.

SJgunguy24
03-01-2011, 2:50 PM
I have them all drilled out, but now I have a broken bit in the middle of one of the holes. Which keeps breaking more bits... I've even gotten my punch stuck in there a couple of times trying to knock it out.

When you demill long rivets put the punches away. They will cause more damage and frustration then if you go at it with drill bits alone. I've demilled more then 50 but less then 300 AK's and some of those have been very expensive irreplaceable kits.
All you need is a file, snap punch, drill, drill bits 1/8", 5/32", 11/64" and some oil.
I did a quick write up of this, IIRC 69Mach1 included that in his build thread in the gunsmithing section stickies.

Arisaka
03-01-2011, 4:12 PM
I did a quick write up of this, IIRC 69Mach1 included that in his build thread in the gunsmithing section stickies.

I see that now, nice write up. Unfortunately, I printed out 69Mach1's tutorial and have been using it for instruction. So, no link. And now it's too late. I'll keep trying, thanks for the advice!

Sky_DiveR
03-01-2011, 6:44 PM
Sounds like it's time to order another rear trunion.

bigbob76
03-01-2011, 8:22 PM
Sounds like it's time to order another rear trunion.

That's not the worst idea I ever heard. I have bought kits I didn't really want just because all the old rivets were already drilled out.

Arisaka
03-04-2011, 11:22 AM
Starting to get the hang of this riveting thing. Going without a press, so I'm beating the hell out of those trigger guard rivets with a punch and sledge. Actually had my first LEO run-in the other night with the AK project. Noise complaint.........

bigboy
03-04-2011, 12:45 PM
Starting to get the hang of this riveting thing. Going without a press, so I'm beating the hell out of those trigger guard rivets with a punch and sledge. Actually had my first LEO run-in the other night with the AK project. Noise complaint.........

How hard is it to rivet without a press? What kind of punch are you using?

Arisaka
03-04-2011, 3:00 PM
It's not that hard, I just drilled some 1/4" dents in a piece of steel to support the rivet head, then use a regular 1/4" Harbor Freight (http://www.harborfreight.com/5-piece-long-drive-pin-punch-set-93111.html) punch to knock down the rivets. You have to go easy on it, try and knock the edges out to get the top to swell (otherwise the body of the rivet gets fat and will stick in the reciever hole). I put all the rivets in, knock them down a bit, then slowly hammer them all down until the trigger guard is tight. Look up "rivet" on wikipedia, and it shows a drawing of a ball peen hammer bucking a rivet. It was pretty instructional actually :)

Arisaka
03-04-2011, 3:03 PM
I'm keeping this build ghetto, man. No press, oxy-acetylene torch to plug weld the rails. Coming along nicely! No build parties way up here, gotta go it alone with Calguns as my guide, as well as some field improvisation.....

Ryan in SD
03-04-2011, 3:52 PM
Sometimes drilling a little bit out from both ends then punching it out works. God speed.

AngryPossum
03-04-2011, 3:56 PM
I'd like to see some pics of the progress of your build.

Arisaka
03-04-2011, 5:19 PM
I'll snap some pics this weekend as I work on it. So far the wood has been stripped and refinished, donkey dong was removed and handguard reprofiled (courtesy of Dremil and alot of hand sanding), flat is bent with the Grasshopper jig, trigger guard almost completely installed.

bigbob76
03-04-2011, 5:38 PM
I'll snap some pics this weekend as I work on it. So far the wood has been stripped and refinished, donkey dong was removed and handguard reprofiled (courtesy of Dremil and alot of hand sanding), flat is bent with the Grasshopper jig, trigger guard almost completely installed.

Keep up the good work! Innovation and determination count for a lot.

Arisaka
03-04-2011, 7:47 PM
Keep up the good work! Innovation and determination count for a lot.

Thanks BigBob! Here's a pic of the wood, along with the old sawed-off DonkeyDong for reference...
http://i1223.photobucket.com/albums/dd512/russhud/CIMG2476-1.jpg
:chris:

Arisaka
03-04-2011, 7:55 PM
That pistol grip was BEAT TO HELL, but I just sanded it and hit it with the polyurethane while I was finishing the wood. It's a little blingy, but better than the dead rat turd that it was.

bigbob76
03-04-2011, 8:03 PM
That pistol grip was BEAT TO HELL, but I just sanded it and hit it with the polyurethane while I was finishing the wood. It's a little blingy, but better than the dead rat turd that it was.

At a later date if you start thinking the furniture is to glossy you can always just go over it with steel wool to tone it down. Starting out glossy gives you a chance to have a choice. Choices are good.:)

Arisaka
03-04-2011, 8:09 PM
Agreed! I'm kinda thinking that glossy is good, I like it. I may put the stripe back on the tail end, it didn't sand out too well and may look cool. That pistol grip was raised from the dead, I like the original ones soooo much better than the U.S. made plastic ones. Lends some old school Soviet cred to the build.

Arisaka
04-27-2011, 4:47 PM
Alrighty, here's how it turned out....

http://i1223.photobucket.com/albums/dd512/russhud/IMG_20110413_142332.jpg

Shiny pistol grip and all!:)

BLD
04-27-2011, 6:52 PM
Wow, that looks good. The handguard looks great. I cut the DD off my Romy kit too, but I wasn't able to get the classic profile out of it. It looks more like a WASR Handguard.

Well done, let us know how it shoots!

Noobert
04-27-2011, 6:58 PM
Great job with that lower handguard! And don't forget to include a cleaning rod

Arisaka
04-28-2011, 10:17 AM
Thanks guys! Ya, that handguard was roughed in with a hacksaw, then on to the dremel, then a few hours of hand sanding. It was a little tough not having an AK to model it after (I've never even shot one), but I googled a picture of one and tried to make it look similar. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a cleaning rod. Maybe Centerfire Systems has them.

SJgunguy24
04-28-2011, 2:43 PM
I'm keeping this build ghetto, man. No press, oxy-acetylene torch to plug weld the rails. Coming along nicely! No build parties way up here, gotta go it alone with Calguns as my guide, as well as some field improvisation.....

Learning on your own can be the best way sometime. At least for a stubborn bastard like me it is.
You AK looks good, I might be able to help you out with that cleaning rod, PM me your address.

Arisaka
04-28-2011, 2:59 PM
PM inbound SJGunguy, thanks!

The oxy-acetylene thing didn't happen, I saw some horror pics of warpage on Akfiles and wimped out. I plug welded the rails with a MIG instead.