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 Manufacturing Pictures 
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Location: Wabash, IN
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014
Posts: 28
Real Name: Josh Smith
Hello,

I thought you all might enjoy some pictures of what I do in the shop. It illustrates the work I put into one single piece, the Classic Target Post.

As a preface, please understand that I generally dislike machines for this sort of work. Though I could turn these posts out on a lathe, I have no desire to do so. I prefer to shape them manually. The drill press is a necessity and is useful, and it's also the most sophisticated piece of machinery I use!

I start shaping with a coarse file. This gets the basic profile down:

Image

I then move on to a less aggressive file. This allows me to smooth out the lines -- though you'll note I do keep lines on the post cut down on glare. The goal is to provide a surface that is as flat matte black as I can achieve:

Image

The last step on the press is to apply cold bluing. This is not so much for color as it is to prep the surface by oxidizing it:

Image

Next, I do a process I invented. I call it Perma-Soot, though it's an unofficial name. I have no idea whether anyone else uses this name for something different, though a quick Google search didn't kick up anything.

You know how target shooters often smoke their sights to make them as absolutely black as possible? My process is designed to lock that in.

Step 1, soot the sight post:

Image

Step 2, apply the Perma-Soot chemical:

Image

Step 3, remove this chemical after a certain period of time:

Image

That's the camera flash on the sight post. That's all the glare I can get it to produce. By comparison, a standard blued sight appears almost white when exposed to the same amount of camera flash.

A couple additional pictures of hand-shaping the shims I sell in my Mosin Accuracy Kits:

Image

Image

I hope you've enjoyed. As I've stated elsewhere for years, I do this by hand. Every single item I make passes through my hands, and is therefore inspected for quality every step of the process. Most specialized tools I use I've made myself, too, with the exception of a jig which holds the sight for drilling. That was made by Elby of the sight tool fame. It's excellent.

Regards,

Josh


Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:53 pm
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Location: Kent
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Real Name: Andy
Very cool. Thanks for sharing


Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:14 pm
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Location: Everett
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Very cool! I enjoyed that.


Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:19 pm
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Location: Renton, WA
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old11bravo wrote:
Very cool! I enjoyed that.


Same here. Thanks for posting.

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Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:20 pm
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Location: Olympia, WA
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Real Name: Dan
That's awesome! Thanks!


Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:45 pm
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Location: Skagit Valley
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Why do you dislike "machines" for making parts? Whats your disdain for lathes? Just curious. Really appreciate the post and like the work.


Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:10 pm
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Location: Wabash, IN
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014
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Real Name: Josh Smith
Jagerbomber35 wrote:
Why do you dislike "machines" for making parts? Whats your disdain for lathes? Just curious. Really appreciate the post and like the work.


Hello,

I apologize for the late response. My email notifications don't seem to be working.

It's just preference. There's something about shaping the metal by hand that's more personal. It's nothing against machinery at all, just preference. I see something in the metal and I like to dig it out myself.

Regards,

Josh


Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:01 pm
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Location: Marysville, WA
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Josh Smith wrote:
Jagerbomber35 wrote:
Why do you dislike "machines" for making parts? Whats your disdain for lathes? Just curious. Really appreciate the post and like the work.


Hello,

I apologize for the late response. My email notifications don't seem to be working.

It's just preference. There's something about shaping the metal by hand that's more personal. It's nothing against machinery at all, just preference. I see something in the metal and I like to dig it out myself.

Regards,

Josh



I'm with you on doing "hand work".

Learned how to do hand metalwork to close tolerances when I worked in the BAC Wind Tunnel Machine Shop (early 60's)

We worked with Big files, Medium Files, Small Files, and REALLY Small files. Scrapers were popular tools too.

Some jobs did require a mill, shaper, lathe, or grinder, but the fun work was creating the small parts or items that were going to be very carefully measured on an optical comparator to the last "tenth" before accepted by an inspector. One does learn to be patient (or they go work somewhere else :) ).

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Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:38 pm
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So it's kinda like Old Yankee Gunsmith Shop. There is something satisfying about using the most basic of hand tools, and especially ones you have made or salvaged.

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Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:21 pm
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Location: Wabash, IN
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014
Posts: 28
Real Name: Josh Smith
Absolutely.

And I have custom tools in there. One sight fixture was made by Bruce of Elby Sight Tool fame (elby.yolasite.com), but from there on out I made any tools I needed.

It's very enjoyable work.

Regards,

Josh


Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:31 pm
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Location: NW Wa state
Joined: Tue Apr 7, 2015
Posts: 28
Very interesting.
Are you able to share more info on that "Perma Soot" chemical, or is that a proprietary process? It does sound useful.


Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:39 pm
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