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AK all day
03-23-2014, 1:43 AM
Okay, this might be a dumb thread as well as a dumb question however....

What exactly does an AK build using screws consist of? I was looking at buying a kit with an installed and populated barrel and using a screw kit for a a little practice build but I am having trouble finding information about screw builds.

If i bent a flat and installed guide rails, do i just bolt everything else on? With a 100% receiver. would you simply need to bolt on the parts and install trigger group or am I missing something? Thanks in advance.

Plisk
03-23-2014, 2:03 AM
Avoid screw builds, take the time to do it right and build with rivets. Screw builds are not safe.

AK all day
03-23-2014, 2:08 AM
I have seen people doing rivets with bolt cutters, but I'm guessing that probably slightly on the ghetto side.. I'm just trying to figure out what I need to do to get a rifle built. I would love to build 4-5 rifles, but feel like I don't even know where to start. Thanks for your response on the screw l builds. I understand they don't flex the same and can fracture, but it sure seems easier.

Plisk
03-23-2014, 2:53 AM
Easier yes, proper no. It is a Western approach to Eastern engineering and it doesn't mix.

The bolt cutter method is definitely ghetto and doesn't crush rivets perfectly flat. Flats require to be bent, certain holes reamed, rails welding on, heat-treated, and trunnion holes drilled. On a 100% receiver, like Nodak or 74uLLC, all is needed is trunnion holes drilled. Depending on what rear stock option you're using some variants may be pre-cut for the rear stock. Proper tooling for rivet forming is the proper way, such as the tooling sold by Curtis at AK Builder.

Pre-barreled kits (if headspaced properly) does make the process much simpler.

AK all day
03-23-2014, 8:02 AM
Thank you for your help. Well alright then, screw build is out the window I suppose. I guess I will just need to bite the bullet buy all the proper tools. I just hope I can actually be successful... It's a shame build parties are stopped at this moment..

hermosabeach
03-23-2014, 8:44 AM
Screw builds just don't hold up. There are some old threads on the leaded rivets used in an AK. The rivets can flex and bend while the screw will crack and fail with a decent amount of use.

Screws will mess up the trunions if you later want to convert it to a rivet built.

CSACANNONEER
03-23-2014, 8:54 AM
Actually, rivets are easier than screw builds if you have a couple rivet jigs. Otherwise, you will need to tap all your trunion holes. The bolt cutter type rivet jig is far from getto. It's better than the other short rivet jigs on the market. If you want to do 4 or 5 AKs, it would be STUPID to do screw builds. Either make your own rivet jigs, buy some or just find the right rivet set and use some bucking blocks where needed. You can spend a couple hundred on rivet jigs or do it slower by using a rivet set and a bolt cutter jig. Personally, I'd get a trigger jig, bolt cutter jig and just use a homemade rivet set for the long rivets. That should run you between $100 and $200.

AK all day
03-23-2014, 9:38 AM
Okay so $100-$200 just for the tools needed to do the rivets. What can I expect to pay for all of the tools needed to complete a rifle? I have virtually no tools as of now....

Do I NEED a press to bend the receiver? Thanks for the help guys.

valley82
03-23-2014, 9:48 AM
http://t.harborfreight.com/12-ton-shop-press-33497.html#.Uy8d7ye9KSM
http://ak-builder.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29972
http://ak-builder.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29922
http://ak-builder.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=30060
http://ak-builder.com/index.php?dispatch=categories.view&category_id=198
http://ak-builder.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=30083

AK all day
03-23-2014, 10:05 AM
Thanks for those links!

Would I also need a spot welder for the rails? How about heat treatment?

valley82
03-23-2014, 10:21 AM
http://t.harborfreight.com/115-volt-spot-welder-45689.html#.Uy8lNSe9KSM
http://ak-builder.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29794

After these and the previous links you can get a bench top drill press and build as many AKs as your wallet will allow.

AK all day
03-23-2014, 10:36 AM
It looks like I am looking at about $1200-$1300 in just tools. Quite a bit. Thanks for all the links, I wish I would have acquired more tools over time..

Constant840
03-23-2014, 10:58 AM
Can the rails be tacked in with a mig welder?

valley82
03-23-2014, 11:14 AM
Holes could be drilled in the receiver and the rails plug welded with a mig or tig.

TaterSoup
03-23-2014, 11:33 AM
Dark Knight"s Spot Welding Rails Update:

http://youtu.be/3CByxiXW6zk

DK's YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDarkKnightBuilds

One day, or perhaps in my next life, I will attend an Armorer's class at Rifle Dynamics and learn the correct? way to build an AK variant. They appear to know their trade very well.

tujungatoes
03-23-2014, 11:53 AM
Can the rails be tacked in with a mig welder?

Yes. This is how I do all of mine.

Holes could be drilled in the receiver and the rails plug welded with a mig or tig.

A few small fillet welds on the inside of the receiver is the way to go. Faster/easier than drilling holes and plug welding. Plus you don't have to do any cleanup on the outside of the receiver. I picked that trick up from Nico and never looked back.

valley82
03-23-2014, 2:57 PM
Yes. This is how I do all of mine.



A few small fillet welds on the inside of the receiver is the way to go. Faster/easier than drilling holes and plug welding. Plus you don't have to do any cleanup on the outside of the receiver. I picked that trick up from Nico and never looked back.

Nice, that does make sense.
I have a spot welder so I do them the regular way, kind of like the look of the spot welds down the side of the receiver.

tujungatoes
03-23-2014, 7:55 PM
Yeah, it does lack the OG spot weld look. If you're after the 100% original look there's no substitute.

ar15barrels
03-23-2014, 9:33 PM
The bolt cutter method is definitely ghetto and doesn't crush rivets perfectly flat.

I'm guessing Plisk has not used the Toth Tool jaws.

The bolt cutter type rivet jig is far from getto.
It's better than the other short rivet jigs on the market.

I'm guessing you have used the Toth Tool jaws because my experience mimics yours...

ar15barrels
03-23-2014, 9:36 PM
Yes. This is how I do all of mine.

I like my spot welds though...

http://akbarrels.com/gfx/park.jpg

Builder
03-23-2014, 10:09 PM
Also recommend welding an AK.
The assembly of an AK is about compromises; original look vs. stronger welding and time vs. money.
TIG welding is the strongest and fastest as the entire assembly can be done in 3hr 15min. but it does end up with a flat side clean look. Even leaving the elevated rosette welds really doesn't look original.
Riveting tools could be expensive, but not compared to buying a TIG welder. A friend with either is much preferred!

Does anyone remember the website that had a demonstration of firing an AK that held the trunions in place with just match sticks? I recall something like the forward match sticks failing after the 2nd or 3rd shot. That means the shear forces are fairly low but something more that match sticks or soft screws are needed for reliability.
Thanks,
Builder

straykiller
03-24-2014, 12:47 AM
Avoid screw builds, take the time to do it right and build with rivets. Screw builds are not safe.

While I agree with you that the op should avoid doing a screw build as its not proper I wouldn't consider it unsafe. Screws are more than capable to hold the trunnions securely in place. There is actually not a lot of pressure put on the rivets. I've seen a receiver held in place with toothpicks and fired to prove this very point. Like its been said its not proper, but not necessarily unsafe.

Plisk
03-24-2014, 12:56 AM
While I agree with you that the op should avoid doing a screw build as its not proper I wouldn't consider it unsafe. Screws are more than capable to hold the trunnions securely in place. There is actually not a lot of pressure put on the rivets. I've seen a receiver held in place with toothpicks and fired to prove this very point. Like its been said its not proper, but not necessarily unsafe.

I say they're unsafe because Ive witnessed a screw build's front trunnion shear and remove itself from the receiver while firing.

straykiller
03-24-2014, 1:09 AM
I say they're unsafe because Ive witnessed a screw build's front trunnion shear and remove itself from the receiver while firing.


I wasn't saying such a thing isn't possible, anythings possible. I'm just stating what I've personally seen, have I ever used screws? No, just rivets, but I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a screw build that was properly built. Who knows maybe the the toothpicks I saw were abnormally strong ones, I'm used to the dollar store type that break if you look at them wrong.

ar15barrels
03-24-2014, 1:44 PM
Ive witnessed a screw build's front trunnion shear and remove itself from the receiver while firing.

Was the weapon's operator injured when this occurred?

Plisk
03-24-2014, 2:15 PM
Was the weapon's operator injured when this occurred?

Very minor injuries. A few gas burns and an abrasion from the barrel.

tujungatoes
03-24-2014, 4:39 PM
Very minor injuries. A few gas burns and an abrasion from the barrel.

Gas burns? Sounds like somebody had a KABOOM! Rivets, screws, or otherwise, they were gonna have a bad day regardless. I wouldn't blame that on the screw build.

ar15barrels
03-24-2014, 6:09 PM
Gas burns? Sounds like somebody had a KABOOM! Rivets, screws, or otherwise, they were gonna have a bad day regardless.
I wouldn't blame that on the screw build.

The primary forces that the rivets/screws need to withstand is the battering of the carrier against the trunion after lockup.
The forces of combustion are contained within the trunion and bolt, much the same way that an AR barrel extension and bolt contain all the forces of combustion.

tujungatoes
03-24-2014, 6:47 PM
^that was my point. :thumbsup:

AK all day
03-24-2014, 11:07 PM
Well thanks for all the information.

I think what I am going to do at this point is look for the most affordable way to get the tools needed to build rifles. Besides the bolt cutter riverter, and possibly using a welder for the rails, what else can be done to save some money? I would like to avoid spending $1400 on tools to build a few rifles. Thanks in advance Guys!

ar15barrels
03-24-2014, 11:52 PM
Well thanks for all the information.

I think what I am going to do at this point is look for the most affordable way to get the tools needed to build rifles. Besides the bolt cutter riverter, and possibly using a welder for the rails, what else can be done to save some money? I would like to avoid spending $1400 on tools to build a few rifles. Thanks in advance Guys!


The most affordable way is to buy them already built.
The next most affordable build is a pre-populated barrel kit going into an NDS receiver.
The rails will already be welded and the receiver is heat treated.
All you need to do is rivet everything into the receiver.
I have completed builds like that in a couple hours total.

If you spend more money on tooling, you can get a cheaper parts kit and do more work yourself, but the tool savings from a pre-populated barrel and finished receiver will exceed the extra costs those things add to a build until you able to spread those costs over 10+ builds...

kcstott
03-25-2014, 5:13 AM
As for ghetto with the bolt cutter riveter

Now we home builders use these and they do a great job as long as you pay attention to what you are doing.

That said there are companies in Arizona and else where charging anywhere from $300 to $900 to assemble your rifle kit for you and ship back to your FFL and they use the same stuff. Same Harbor freight press to at one shop that I know of.

Now everyone here gave you good advice except one that defended screw builds. The reason screw builds don't work is there is not enough thread engagement on the trunnions to hold and place a good amount of torque on.
Second everyone use button head scres which have a smaller allen head. That allen head is there for a reason and that is to be sure you can't apply to much torque to the screw head because it's not designed to take a lot of torque like a cap screw.

Now if you had a front and rear trunnion that was 50-100% thicker in the riveted locations say 1/4" wider over all, if you used a 1.5mm receiver and added reinforcement plates front and rear to increase the thickness and had it fully heat treated and used SHCS at every location then I'd sat it it fine to use screws.
But don't ever think for one moment that just because something is put together with rivets it can be directly replaced with a screw.

Both fasteners have their place in construction of parts but they are far from interchangeable.


And this is from a guy that did his first build as a screw (ed up) build and converted it back to rivets latter on.

AK all day
03-25-2014, 9:33 AM
Thanks for all the good information friends.

So what tools would I bypass by using the bolt cutter rivet method?

valley82
03-25-2014, 10:20 AM
Really the bolt cutter riveting tool adds a tool as it will not crush the long rivets. The Ak-builder riveting jig will do all of the trunion rivets and the center support I use it with great results (the bolt cutter is just faster). Then you need the ak-builder trigger guard jig to do the trigger guard rivets.

straykiller
03-26-2014, 3:24 PM
Well thanks for all the information.

I think what I am going to do at this point is look for the most affordable way to get the tools needed to build rifles. Besides the bolt cutter riverter, and possibly using a welder for the rails, what else can be done to save some money? I would like to avoid spending $1400 on tools to build a few rifles. Thanks in advance Guys!


The cheapest way would be to attend a build party if they are still being hosted. All the tools would be provided for you to build your parts kit. Luckily when I started building ak's I had a chunk of money burning a hole in my pocket so I bought all of the tools required. I've been MIA from the gun smithing section for quite awhile so I don't how how often party's are hosted any more, if they even are anymore. If you have any questions on your build don't hesitate to ask there are a lot of people here that are more than willing to help.

kcstott
03-26-2014, 4:11 PM
The cheapest way would be to attend a build party if they are still being hosted. All the tools would be provided for you to build your parts kit. Luckily when I started building ak's I had a chunk of money burning a hole in my pocket so I bought all of the tools required. I've been MIA from the gun smithing section for quite awhile so I don't how how often party's are hosted any more, if they even are anymore. If you have any questions on your build don't hesitate to ask there are a lot of people here that are more than willing to help.

Well ever since the ATF pulled the plug Build parties are a no go. at least they are not advertised like they were if they are happening at all.

straykiller
03-27-2014, 11:32 AM
Well ever since the ATF pulled the plug Build parties are a no go. at least they are not advertised like they were if they are happening at all.


Interesting, like I said I've been gone quite some time. I know when I was here last time seemed like there was one ever weekend. Well scratch that op, cheeper like said before is to buy one but that's not nearly as fun.

AK all day
03-27-2014, 2:08 PM
I already own 2 AKs that I bought, and I really would like to build some now. I'm especially interested in Krinkovs, RPKs, and an all matching bulgy side folder. Building will be way cheaper for these particular guns (I think)

valley82
03-27-2014, 2:26 PM
Once you eat the cost of tooling then you can build almost any of the AKM variants not just what is being sold in the gun shops.
Things like this Yugo M76 8x57 become a possibility.
313980

nicoroshi
03-27-2014, 4:40 PM
Once you eat the cost of tooling then you can build almost any of the AKM variants not just what is being sold in the gun shops.
Things like this Yugo M76 8x57 become a possibility.
313980

Listen to this man^^^
He is 100% correct.
I have built guns that I have NEVER seen for sale (and love them BTW).

AK all day
03-27-2014, 4:56 PM
Well, tell me this. Simple question.

If I attain the tools, ($1300) or so for what I need, how much mechanical skills does it take to assemble a kit? What about a kit with nothing done yet (barrel ect.). How long does it take usually?

Thanks again friends for all your help.

valley82
03-27-2014, 6:00 PM
Buy the ebooks from nicoroshi both volumes will let you see exactly what is involved. My two sons built their first AKMs from kits with prepopulated barrels and a little guidance from the AKTEAM when they were 12 and 13 they finished their rifles in about 8hours including parkerizing. Now they are 16 and 17 and any of the three of us can complete a build in 4-5 hours, 8-9 hours including barrel population. My point is that with the proper tools and a little knowledge and patience it is pretty easy.

nicoroshi
03-27-2014, 7:03 PM
The last one I built I did the virgin barrel headspace, and pop in about 1.5 hours. Full build from an AK builder flat took me 4.5 hours (including mods, and rattle can engine paint finish).
Double that number for what it took me when I first started building.

One a day.....That's all we ask. :)