Calguns.net  

Home My iTrader Join the NRA Donate to CGSSA Sponsors CGN Google Search
CA Semiauto Ban(AW)ID Flowchart CA Handgun Ban ID Flowchart CA Shotgun Ban ID Flowchart
Go Back   Calguns.net > INTERESTS AND ACTIVITIES > Gunsmithing & How To
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Gunsmithing & How To Pro, Amateur & WECSOG and Tutorials, Guides & OLL Build Instructions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-08-2012, 9:30 PM
TriumphAndrew's Avatar
TriumphAndrew TriumphAndrew is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 392
iTrader: 6 / 100%
Default $700 best spent: Grizzly mini mill or AK build tools?

My Girlfriend is newish at selling real estate. Since she has a large deal closing soon, she'd like to spend 700 bucks on some tools for me to show appreciation for my support. I have been shopping around and have decided between a Grizzly mini mill and some tooling, or a 20 ton press, receiver jig, riveting jigs and other related tools. I like both AR and AK platforms, so I was thinking that 80% receivers would be easier to get started on and cheaper to get going with. She's a big AK fan and wants more, but we have no build party experience or much time to do so on weekends, and I'm a bit hesitant to go for it without some learning. My biggest concern is if I get a mill, how will I learn to use it? CC classes are not an option, as I have a current professional job, they don't fit my schedule, and don't plan on changing my life around to learn to use the thing. Would anyone be willing to teach me some basics for some form of compensation, or guide me towards a place or method to learn? Can I do a 1919 side plate with the Grizzly? I have many ideas, but little experience. I'm well read as far as machining, but have Zero hands on besides converting a Saiga and assembling an Ar from parts. Hey, something is better than nothing.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-08-2012, 9:42 PM
SJgunguy24's Avatar
SJgunguy24 SJgunguy24 is offline
I need a LIFE!!
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Northern Mexico(San Jose) Where illegals have rights and citizens get screwed
Posts: 14,858
iTrader: 18 / 100%
Default

If you go with a machine tool, get a lathe to start. You can jig stuff up and mill with a lathe, but you cannot turn with a mill.
Add in a welding machine and you'll be able to make all of your tooling.
__________________
There are 3 kinds of people in this world.
The wise, learn from the mistakes of others.
The smart, learn from their own mistakes.
The others, well......they just never learn.

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death!"
Patrick Henry.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-08-2012, 11:45 PM
robtech robtech is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 126
iTrader: 1 / 100%
Default

I say pick which platform is your fav...ar = mill ak = tooling theyre both easy to leatn with minimal trial&error so i say pick your preferred platform and roll with it
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-09-2012, 5:28 AM
Jayruta's Avatar
Jayruta Jayruta is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Mira Mesa
Posts: 923
iTrader: 22 / 100%
Default

What is your location?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-09-2012, 7:39 AM
CSACANNONEER's Avatar
CSACANNONEER CSACANNONEER is offline
CGN/CGSSA Contributor
CGN Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Thousand Oaks
Posts: 40,019
iTrader: 125 / 100%
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Lathe first. Then mill. Then build whatever AK/AR jigs you want to.
__________________
NRA Certified Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun and Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor
California DOJ Certified Fingerprint Roller
Ventura County approved CCW Instructor


Offering low cost private basic shooting and reloading classes for calgunners.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-09-2012, 9:21 AM
yari's Avatar
yari yari is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 868
iTrader: 7 / 100%
Default

I would avoid the mini mill. I have one and it's basically only good for using as a small drill press. The table is tiny and the tolerances are crap. .03 difference from one end to the other.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:14 PM
TriumphAndrew's Avatar
TriumphAndrew TriumphAndrew is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 392
iTrader: 6 / 100%
Default

I'm located in san diego.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:34 PM
Intimid8tor's Avatar
Intimid8tor Intimid8tor is offline
Calguns Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Boise, the land of the free.
Posts: 5,718
iTrader: 75 / 100%
Default

I learned to machine mostly on my own. I had a lathe in high school which was used only to true commutators for electric motors. In high school I learned how to program G code on my own with a small CNC lathe that was the size of a sherline lathe.

There are plenty of books and resources to learn how to use a lathe or a mill. Yeah, it's nice having someone around, but when I bought my mill I just took it easy and figured it out. Not an expert, but can make parts.

In your price range, I wouldn't buy the mill. It will have really no other uses other than doing 80% lowers. Not worth it. Either step up to a larger machine (double your money just for the machine) or go with AK tooling. The AK tools will also be useful for other things whereas the mini mill will really not be.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-09-2012, 2:10 PM
wash's Avatar
wash wash is offline
Calguns Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: sillycon valley
Posts: 9,020
iTrader: 12 / 100%
Blog Entries: 13
Default

Take that $700, buy two AK kits and then find a build party to attend.

If it's a good party you will each wind up with a good AK to keep and you'll see if you like fooling around with that kind of stuff.

Metal working isn't rocket science, even using manual machines like lathes and mills, there is just a learning curve, it's dirty work with oils, metal chips, etc. and a very real chance that a moments inattention will ruin your part, throw it across the room or at you (very hard) and break your tooling.

Try to get a taste before you go all in. It can be fun but it's not for everyone.
__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by oaklander
Dear Kevin,

You suck!!! Your are wrong!!! Stop it!!!
Proud CGF and CGN donor. SAF life member. Former CRPA member. Gpal beta tester (it didn't work). NRA member.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-09-2012, 2:26 PM
big ron's Avatar
big ron big ron is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: rancho cucamonga, ca.
Posts: 801
iTrader: 48 / 100%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wash View Post
Take that $700, buy two AK kits and then find a build party to attend.

If it's a good party you will each wind up with a good AK to keep and you'll see if you like fooling around with that kind of stuff.

Metal working isn't rocket science, even using manual machines like lathes and mills, there is just a learning curve, it's dirty work with oils, metal chips, etc. and a very real chance that a moments inattention will ruin your part, throw it across the room or at you (very hard) and break your tooling.

Try to get a taste before you go all in. It can be fun but it's not for everyone.
what he said.
__________________
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-09-2012, 4:15 PM
TriumphAndrew's Avatar
TriumphAndrew TriumphAndrew is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 392
iTrader: 6 / 100%
Default

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm leaning towards the AK tools at the moment. She hates the way the ar looks, and I honestly only built it so I could say I did and have another rifle to reload for. We'd love to attend the next SD bp, but will have to wait for the following one so we can get some parts kits. I have a pretty good sense of mechanical engineering, and a decent amount of hand fabrication experience under my belt, having restored a decent number of oddball cars and motorbikes. I'll start with the press and flat bending jig and go from there. I figure the press will have plenty of use for other things as well. Looks like I need to go make a list.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-09-2012, 5:24 PM
ChuckD ChuckD is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 470
iTrader: 1 / 100%
Default

I believe the average price of a build party (both AR & AK) is about $60, you would have to build 11 - 12 rifles to break even on $700 worth of tools, and that's not even factoring in that you get way more than just use of tools at a build party.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-09-2012, 5:45 PM
SJgunguy24's Avatar
SJgunguy24 SJgunguy24 is offline
I need a LIFE!!
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Northern Mexico(San Jose) Where illegals have rights and citizens get screwed
Posts: 14,858
iTrader: 18 / 100%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
I believe the average price of a build party (both AR & AK) is about $60, you would have to build 11 - 12 rifles to break even on $700 worth of tools, and that's not even factoring in that you get way more than just use of tools at a build party.
Some guys are just stubbern and like to bleed and swear in the comfort of their own garage. I still say buy machine tools and make your own build tools. I've found some of the AK Builder tooling to be a bit on weak side and those little rubber do-hickey's to keep the receiver level when pressung long rivets suck balls. The buck bar needs a wider foot print and the long rivet jig bolts bend. Not to mention if you plan to build any Chinese guns, your gonna need to make your own stuff anyway.
__________________
There are 3 kinds of people in this world.
The wise, learn from the mistakes of others.
The smart, learn from their own mistakes.
The others, well......they just never learn.

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death!"
Patrick Henry.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-09-2012, 7:48 PM
50BMGBOB 50BMGBOB is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 1,579
iTrader: 6 / 100%
Default

I bought both a lathe and a mill and I am teaching myself to use them. I make a lot of mistakes but I am having a lot of fun learning.

The mill for $700 will be to small to do a full size 1919 in one set up/clamping. If you want to cut a RSP from new stock (0% not a 80% plate) then while possible, it is a lot harder to do but not impossible. A mill is not needed to do a side plate from a 80%. I went up a size with my mill but the price was a lot more.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-09-2012, 8:10 PM
gawker gawker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 423
iTrader: 2 / 100%
Default

Sure you can turn a mill to a lathe. You just won't have a large workspace.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=T-JRTDdSTWE
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-10-2012, 12:16 AM
straykiller's Avatar
straykiller straykiller is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Fresno area
Posts: 2,575
iTrader: 14 / 100%
Default

I have a small lathe for sale right now on the forums, its the one i used to build my psl pistol.
__________________


Zombie Stickers For Sale

ClassifiedWeapons.com

Looking for a particular parts kit? Check out our parts kit locator that is automatically updated every 6 hours. Now you can see parts kits being offered by multiple websites in one location. Just select the parts kit button on the right of the home page to begin looking.
-------
Home Builds- 1919a4, Sten Mk3, Romy G Ak-47, PSL Pistol,Romanian RPK
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-10-2012, 6:53 AM
grymster's Avatar
grymster grymster is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Napa
Posts: 4,710
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default

A mill is more versatile than a lathe, at least for people without extensive experience. But I don't think I'd get a Grizzly Mini Mill. It's just too small to be of much use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJgunguy24
You can jig stuff up and mill with a lathe, but you cannot turn with a mill.
Turning on a mill is possible.... I've done it many times.
__________________
grym

Lay me dun in the caul caul grun.....

caput ferrum equus ego veho
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-10-2012, 6:58 AM
CS Sports CS Sports is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Woodland, CA
Posts: 283
iTrader: 4 / 100%
Default

Don't forget that you can spend the $700 on that mill and still not be able to do anything. You would also need tooling and a way to hold the workpiece.

I've got a really nice mill, and a pretty decent lathe, but I've spent WAAAAAAY more on tooling and workholding than I have on the mill and lathe themselves.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-10-2012, 12:46 PM
TriumphAndrew's Avatar
TriumphAndrew TriumphAndrew is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 392
iTrader: 6 / 100%
Default

Some great suggestions here. I do want the convenience of bleeding alone in my garage, and being able to take a couple of weeks rather than days to finish a gun. Is there a more solid flat bender than the AKbuilder one? Buy once cry once.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-10-2012, 12:56 PM
TriumphAndrew's Avatar
TriumphAndrew TriumphAndrew is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 392
iTrader: 6 / 100%
Default

Some great suggestions here. I do want the convenience of bleeding alone in my garage, and being able to take a couple of weeks rather than days to finish a gun. Is there a more solid flat bender than the AKbuilder one? Buy once cry once.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-10-2012, 9:01 PM
klewan klewan is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,044
iTrader: 3 / 100%
Default

$700 isn't much in the way of tooling these days, I'd get the kind of basic hand tools everyone into guns needs. Reading these threads will give you a pretty good idea what you need.

Consider the bent receivers, then you won't need the bender. Buy an unbent flat to use as the pattern for hole drilling. The riveting and trunnion hole drilling tools are relatively easy to make compared to the bending jig.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:42 PM
TriumphAndrew's Avatar
TriumphAndrew TriumphAndrew is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 392
iTrader: 6 / 100%
Default

Im very good on tools. Luckily, oddball vehicles require a decent amount of tooling, so im pretty good with the gunsmithing basics. i like the idea with the pre bent flats. I see ak builder has a drilling jig.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-11-2012, 1:40 PM
yari's Avatar
yari yari is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 868
iTrader: 7 / 100%
Default

Read the reviews on the pre bent ones, people have complained about warping. It shouldn't be hard to barrow a punch set in SD, there are a ton around.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-11-2012, 9:23 PM
1lowluv's Avatar
1lowluv 1lowluv is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Visalia
Posts: 932
iTrader: 31 / 100%
Default

On AKfiles, there's a guy names akmachinist and he makes great AK build tools for half the price of AKB. I got long and short rivet jig, barrel removal and instal kit and trigger guard jig for $240 he warranties it all.

There is a member on here named Ryan in SD and he has a flat bending jig for about $80 and I have bent about 20 flats with it and they have all turned out great.

So now you are at $320 and have money to buy a press, $100

Total $420

You still have enough to buy a parts kit.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 12-12-2012, 7:38 AM
klewan klewan is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,044
iTrader: 3 / 100%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1lowluv View Post
On AKfiles, there's a guy names akmachinist and he makes great AK build tools for half the price of AKB. I got long and short rivet jig, barrel removal and instal kit and trigger guard jig for $240 he warranties it all.

There is a member on here named Ryan in SD and he has a flat bending jig for about $80 and I have bent about 20 flats with it and they have all turned out great.

So now you are at $320 and have money to buy a press, $100

Total $420

You still have enough to buy a parts kit.
He still needs some kind of welder for the rails, drill press for the trunnion rivets, an air compressor and sand blaster setup, so he can clean it and either park it or some other finish. It's not cheap to toolup for AK building.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:28 PM
TriumphAndrew's Avatar
TriumphAndrew TriumphAndrew is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 392
iTrader: 6 / 100%
Default

Actually all I would need is the sandblaster. I have the compressor and a mig welder.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 5:36 PM.




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Proudly hosted by GeoVario the Premier 2A host.
Calguns.net, the 'Calguns' name and all associated variants and logos are ® Trademark and © Copyright 2002-2016, Calguns.net an Incorporated Company All Rights Reserved.