A makeshift tap wrench?

I ordered a bullet guide for a Saiga rifle and got the drill & tap kit
with it. I don't have a drill press, so I can't use one as a manual tap
wrench.
I plan to hand drill the hole with a cordless drill after punching a
starter hole so it won't drift (hopefully).
I don't have a tap wrench to hold it as I spin it. I'm thinking I may
screw it up (no pun intended) it I chuck it in my drill.
Do I have to buy a tap wrench, or is there a trick I can use to avoid
getting one? The website I got it from uses a drill press for the
instructions.
Also, what is the best thread lock for this application, Locktite red?
This is the kit I have:
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Reply to
G. Morgan
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It is very important to drill the hole perpendicular to the surface and then to have the tap aligned with the hole. And when you are tapping to turn the tap forward for say 3/4 ' s of a revolution and then back it out a bit so the chips break and do not clog the hole. A tap wrench helps to align the tap as it is easy to see if you have the tap perpendicular to the surface.
I have drilled holes in some scrap 2 by 4 on a drill press and then used that to align the drill and tap. Not good for doing a lot of holes ,but works okay for a few holes.
Maybe if you say where you are located, someone would help you. Or maybe there is a high school with a shop class that you could get to show you how to tap.
If not it is possible to tap using an adjustable wrench, but in any case I would drill and tap some holes in some scrap material before doing it on your gun. A tap broken off can be a real challange to remove. If you do practice on some scrap material, I would start with tapping some holes in wood , then aluminum, before doing it in stee
Oh yes and use some oil when you do the tapping.
Again, where are you? If you are close to me, I will help. And I suspect there are others that would help.
=20 Dan
Reply to
dcaster
Any particular kind? Can I just use Hoppes gun oil?
What about thread-locker? The red stuff, right?
Thanks. I'm in NE Houston. I have tapped before, but using borrowed tap & die sets. And never on a semi-expensive gun that you only get one chance to do it right.
I live close to my old high-school, but I certainly can not bring a gun in. Ever since 9/11 I don't think they allow casual visitors in anymore, even if that's your alma mater. I used to love the chicken-fried steak, I'd like to go for lunch one day and see if it's still as good as I remember. I will have to call first, good idea. I'm sure the metal shop would be glad to give me a short lesson.
Reply to
G. Morgan
Well you are not near me.
Any oil is better than none. The stuff made for tapping is the best. I am not sure how well Hoppes gun oil would be. Might be great, I just do not know. And I am pretty ignorant about thread lockers.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
Cool. Thanks for the reply. Have a good one!
Reply to
G. Morgan
Harbor freight sells a 3 tam handle set for $7.99, That makes one worth about $2.60. I guarantee that it will work far more successfully then anything you can cobble up.
Cheers, John B.
Reply to
John B.
Well you are not near me.
Any oil is better than none. The stuff made for tapping is the best. I am not sure how well Hoppes gun oil would be. Might be great, I just do not know. And I am pretty ignorant about thread lockers.
Dan
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This might help:
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Reply to
Dennis
I grew up in Wilmington until age 11. Is I-95 still a four-lane cluster*uck? I was there a year or two ago on my way to Rehoboth Beach for a wedding. It looked like they were working on it, but it still was bad around Nammans RD.

Reply to
G. Morgan
Thanks. There is one nearby, and I think a coupon in my inbox (they expire so quickly). I guess I should do it right, with the right tools. I don't want to mess it up to save a few bucks.
Next, I'm going to be cutting the shroud around the muzzle and use a 14 x 1 left hand die to thread it for a muzzle brake. May as well get the proper tools. I'm sure I'll be back asking the best way to cut the shroud, once I get the die and muzzle break. That one will probably require a few pictures to show what I'm talking about.
Thanks.
~G
Reply to
G. Morgan
A T-handle tap wrench like this gives you some help aligning the tap with the hole by eye:
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helps you hold it straight since the tap will try to twist out of line as it starts to bite in.
I used one to retap the forward/reverse control switch shaft on a golf cart the other day as the owner (a good mechanic) couldn't start it straight freehand. I had trouble too; the tapped hole for the handle is at a considerable angle relative to the switch shaft.
I learned to locate, drill and tap holes precisely by hand while building large custom production-line machines for GM 40 years ago but they still require a lot of care and usually a squareness guide of some sort to get the hole and then the tap perpendicular to the surface.
You could buy a tap and a steel bar at the hardware store to practice on, and see how difficult the job is to do freehand. Don't practice with the tap in the kit since you may not be able to find a replacement.
This is a very risky project if you have neither the tools nor the experience. How much do gunsmiths want to install it?
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
"G. Morgan" wrote
For that job;
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I don't do gunsmithing but I do make machinery drive shafts and axles, and cutting threads for the retaining nut on the end is a similar task:
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There's no way I could cut those threads straight enough by hand with a die. I can't even make a large die cut straight enough when I chuck the work in a lathe and use the tailstock spindle end to start it square. I have to cut a partial depth thread with the lathe to reduce the die's chip load enough that it self-guides.
Try threading the rest of a long bolt's shank with a die. If you aren't careful the threads can develop a wobble even though the original factory threads started the die straight.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Good advice, thanks.
I have not asked anyone. I don't know any good gunsmiths to tell the truth. There is one guy that I've used for an FFL x-fer that advertises himself as a gunsmith, but I asked him if he could do a few things to my Mosin-Nagant and he backed away from the project. Didn't exactly instill a lot of confidence from where I was standing.
I really want to do this myself. I plan on converting the Saiga to a regular AK. That means a US made pistol grip and stock, and new trigger control group moved forward. I've watched plenty of how-to videos, and I don't think any part of the process is beyond my skill-set.
I've become so interested I'm considering going to school and learning a new trade. I'll have to move to one of these states: (I'm leaning towards NC at this point).
Midway USA list of recognized Gunsmithing Junior Colleges and Technical Schools:
The Colorado School of Trades, Lakewood, CO Lassen Community College, Susanville, CA Trinidad State Junior College, Trinidad, CO Pennsylvania Gunsmith School, Avalon, Pittsburgh, PA Montgomery Community College, Troy, NC Murray State College, Tishomingo, OK Pine Technical College, Pine City, MN Piedmont Community College, Roxboro, NC Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ American Gunsmithing Institute, Napa, CA Modern Gun School, , Saint lbans, VT Foley-Belsaw Institute, Kansas City, MO Thompson Education Direct, Scranton, PA Professional Career Development Institute, Norcross, GA Sonoran Desert Institute, Scottsdale, AZ
Reply to
G. Morgan
I don't have anywhere to put that behemoth! Plus, $3500 is a bit much for a one-time use
Here is the guy I've been watching:
Bullet guide install:
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Here's another (muzzle threading, 1st try!)
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What about the guide used in video #2? It worked for him.
Definitely will practice with scrap before I try that on the rifle.
Reply to
G. Morgan
Thanks, I tried to watch when you posted but had to upgrade Flash before I could see them.
Watching #1 now.
Reply to
G. Morgan
Sorry, can't make them download, I'm running a stripped-down XP install that fits on one Seagate Disk Wizard backup DVD and anyway dialup access is too slow for Youtube. My full-featured XP is on another hard drive that I don't use for general browsing, only to update and copy onto sacrificial "sandbox" drives.
Try it on some scrap. 14mm is 9/16". Maybe you have the natural talent to become an impoverished gunsmith or a rich tool-and-die maker.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Well, I just got back from Ace Hardware. The Irwin tap wrench was $9, my total out the door was $59 ! By the time I got thread locker, a small file & handle to shave the magazine catch by 1/16", an automatic center-punch, and a sharpening stone & honing solution I needed anyway.
I think I'm going to record the whole thing and post it on Youtube. I'll show you fellows what an amateur metal worker/ gunsmith's work looks like. :-)
Now, I wait for the motivation to kick-in. I have to get in a Zen state before I work on it.
Reply to
G. Morgan
"G. Morgan" wrote >
A past I'd rather forget.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Many years ago I had a local "gunsmith" drill, tap, mount a scope on my Ruger Mini 14. I already had all the parts but didn't feel confident that I could line it all up accurately. The mount was a special one for this gun made to go along the left side by the action. It had two big thumbscrews that attached the scope mount to the receiver mount. So you could unscrew those, remove the scope and use the iron sights yet. To do this you had to kind of hook, roll the scope onto the receiver mount and then tighten down the thumbscrews. This was all pretty obvious to anyone with even the slightest mechanical ability.
When I picked up my gun with newly mounted scope I could already see it didn't look right but decided to look it over better once I got it home.
The receiver mount was crooked, higher in the front than the rear. Easy to see just eyeballing it. The scope wasn't rolled on properly, just set on top and the thumbscrews cranked down leaving an obvious gap between the two pieces of the simple mount... Should have bitched but I decided to cut my losses, consider it a lesson. I can't imagine how they would have tried to FIX this...
The "gunsmith" was interested in making money, not doing a good job. I would have been better off doing it myself, because I am a whole lot pickier and more capable than the average "craftsman". At the time I was still too young, naive to realize the later...
Reply to
Leon Fisk
You might want to think about threading the end of the barrel a bit, before you do it. Generally anything attached to the muzzle needs to be very accurately aligned with the bore or a certain amount of accuracy is going to be lost. Cheers, John B.
Reply to
John B.
At one time I did quite a bit of gunsmithing and like many trades there are things that you make money at and things you don't. If we could have installed scope mounts 8 hours a day we would have been quite happy to do so as to drill and tap 4 holes was a 10-15 minute job and we could charge (this dates things a bit) $2.00 a hole. On the other hand, I had a guy with an old Winchester .22 that came in to see whether we could reline the barrel. The gun was worth maybe $25 and I figured it would take about a week to do the job so we told him that we couldn't handle the work.
When I retired from the A.F. I thought about opening a shop but after I did the math I decided not. The problem is that it is a one man business and you can't charge enough. I could make you a real "nail driver" of a varmint rifle, beautiful blueing, nice checkered stock, guaranteed 1/2MOA accuracy. Take me abut a month to do it. But even back in the day I couldn't get a month's salary for it.
But it was a good part time job. Build a few guns in the evening, after work, and come deer season sell them for a few hundred dollars each. It certainly paid for my shooting :-)
Cheers, John B.
Reply to
John B.

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