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Tools for the Amateur Riflesmith
There is a lot of work that involves hand grinding or polishing. The easiest way to go about these tasks is with a motorized tool.
ÝÝ Ý Above is the Dremel Tool, a high-speed grinder/polisher. They come in fixed speed and variable speed, and with ball bearings and sleeve bearings. I prefer the ball bearing models and variable speed is nice, but not required.
This is the Foredom Tool, a high-speed motor connected to a "handpiece" by a flex shaft. The motor is hung on a hook, while polishing or grinding tools are mounted in the handpiece. With the Dremel Tool, you hold the motor in your hand, while with the Foredom Tool, you only hold the lightweight handpiece. The Foredom model comes with a foot-operated control, is usually variable speed, and some models are reversible.
Above can be seen a carbide burr in the Dremel Tool (top) and a cut-off wheel and mandrel in the Foredom handpiece (bottom), and some loose cut-off wheels and container to the left. The carbide burr is used to remove metal and can be used to cut out a broken tap. The cut-off wheels can cut through screws and pins and can be used as small grinding wheels, against the manufacturers' recommendations.
These are two other things that the Dremel/Foredom Tools can spin. On the left is an assortment of Cratex abrasive goodies (about $52). These are rubber wheels, points and disks with abrasive particles imbedded in the rubber. They are used to polish hard to reach places. To the right are some "mounted points" or "mounted stones". These are small grindstones mounted on shafts; used to remove metal in hard to reach places. The stones shown are a "100 piece assortment" from Wholesale ($22).
Some times stoning by hand is preferable to power stoning. This is true when working on triggers and such. In these cases, a set of 6-inch silicon carbide stones in a variety of shapes (round, square, triangular, etc) is nice. These came from Wholesale - $4 a set of 6. Of course, everyone needs a sharpening stone 6-inch x 2-inch, $2.50 from Wholesale.
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