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Discussion Starter #1
1). Are any of these tools duplicating another tools use on the list?

trigger rivet drill guide akbuilder $25
long rivet tool restoreit $65
bolt cutter rivet tool restoreit $40
trigger jig restoreit $65
barrel press kit akbuilder $95

2). Is there a better quality or less expensive tool available elsewhere? Or one that you prefer over these? And if you don't mind telling me - why?

3). Is there another press (like the HF one listed below) that is built better for about the same money? Or the same one available somewhere else for less? I notice it being sold on Ebay but the press plates look different. Can't tell if they are cold rolled though.

12 ton press harbor frieght $164 (with shipping etc.)
 

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If you want to do it cheap and make the tools yourself hold on a bit. I am in the process of moving right now. In a few weeks I plan to post dimensions for my home built tools that work great and can be easily fabricated. I don't use a hydraulic press by the way :wink:
 

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If you're an inspired person, building your own tools is half the fun of the hobby. Not knocking anyone out there at all, because some guys do make some GREAT and VERY useful tools!! I actually look to others designs for inspiration and help designing my own ! :grin:

Waiting anxiously for your next post walt-oxie1. Some of your tools are quite innovative. Look forward to some dimensions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd be into that too. But one I don't have alot of power cutting/grinding tools or welding tools to work with steel. And two this is my first AK build so I think just getting the gun done is enough for me at this point. But as anal as I am I'll probably do some customizing of tools once I'm into my second or third build. lol! ;)
 

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synweap223 said:
If you're an inspired person, building your own tools is half the fun of the hobby. Not knocking anyone out there at all, because some guys do make some GREAT and VERY useful tools!!
Agreed - you can buy the bolt cutters at any Harbor Freight store for $8 on sale and with some time on a grinder have all you need.
 

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walt-oxie1 said:
If you want to do it cheap and make the tools yourself hold on a bit. I am in the process of moving right now. In a few weeks I plan to post dimensions for my home built tools that work great and can be easily fabricated. I don't use a hydraulic press by the way :wink:
You don't use a press?? Walt!

Do you have a big-assed vise? I broke one before I caved and bought a BIG one. Also how do you press in AK74/M90 barrels without a press? Do tell, because I built my first couple of AKs without a press, then I decided to shell out the $100 as an investment in the future. I use it ALL THE TIME.
 

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my-rifle said:
Also how do you press in AK74/M90 barrels without a press? Do tell, because I built my first couple of AKs without a press, then I decided to shell out the $100 as an investment in the future. I use it ALL THE TIME.
I used a modified I-beam clamp a few times and while it worked, it was definitely finicky! For me the investment in a press saved me a bunch of frustration.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doubling up on tools. Or choosing the wrong one.

Thanks for the input guys. Check out my air tools post. Is the tooling even helpful? Let alone the air gun.
 

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Buy the press, if your into tinkering at all you will find many uses for it. If you find its collecting dust when your done building, you can probably sell it on craigslist, and get most of your money back.

I had one before I knew AK homebuilding existed. Its a very convienent thing to have.
 

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IIRC, walt-oxie uses a bench mounted arbor press for everything. Thats DEFINITELY a pretty cool idea to squash rivets. After re-reading that post, he uses a 1/2 ton arbor press and just smacks the ram with a hammer for the tough stuff. :grin:

Check out the "Ill show you mine, you show me yours" tool thread thats tacked. Some VERY interesting tools in there as well. I'm still taking notes. :hail:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
SYN - Ya. that's why I considered air tools at all. I was checking out the one guy in that topic that made his own tools from air hammer heads. I'm sure that's not the right term. But he made all sorts of custom tools from them.

The same rivets we use to make AK's are used to make airplanes. And they use air hammers to smash the heads. And the sheet metal they are riveting is alot softer than AK receiver metal I'm sure.

I will definitely get a press. (Thanks for the tip on craigslist - hadn't thought of that - thanks to who posted that) But I may definitely try the air hammer. I have two of them. And used one to chisel out the inside of an old car last summer. GREAT tool! One of the few I have actually used alot that came free with my compressor.

Anyway I'm straying way off topc here. Thanks for input - I sincerely appreciate it.
 

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I'm still squirreling away money for a good compressor, and I want to over buy on that since thats what EVERYONE suggests. Once you have a compressor, you'll generally tend to need more air than is available, so I want something that will blast, paint, and run the tools without stressing too hard. I also took notes from that post for the air hammer-chisel tools as well. :shock: THAT post got me thinking hard about how many ways there are to build an AK. I just wish I could buy it all in one shot, but I have to piece by piece it just cause the cost of living. :evil: Slow but sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
sorry for the double post
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Syn - When I bought my compressor I ran into some random guy who convinced me to go bigger. So I got lucky. I had done some research. But I bought bigger than I was going to.

But even then - I still wish I had more compressor. I have the normal air tools. But also a media blasting booth I got for $99 scratched at my local HF store. And I can only use it for like 20 minutes or so before I have to stop and have a smoke while it fills back up. And it's a pretty big tank/compressor. That's where it gets you. Having enough PSI to run the tools you want. And then being able to run them for "as long as you want".

Subscribe to slickdeals.net they are pretty good at listing anything that HF puts on sale. Also check for when your local (if you have one) HF store has a parking lot sale. They bring out their scratch and dent stuff. I saw big compressors on sale last time I went. You might even ask them if they have any compressors like that in back. I think it's a pretty commonly returned item. I have been trying to do the same to find a press. If I have someone drive me down (recovering from back surgery) to the HF store they are $140. With shipping ALOT more. I'm also going to try Craigslist. My tool list with a press is close to $500 as it is. So there is plenty of incentive to try to improvise. Some of the ideas here could lower that amount significantly. HF also sells an arbor press for $50. I have read on here about someone using it and a BFH with fairly good results. Might have been Motor'.

I too, see the many ways an AK can be built. More and more I think it's about what you have on hand and what your good at. What your confident with. I can't weld (just haven't tried). But I feel totally confident with air tools. Especially an air hammer. I've stripped several cars with the chisel attachment on the air hammer.

I'm going to buy some of restorits stuff and akbuilder. Use the $40 bolt cutter rivet tool on the front trunion rivets. Use my normal air hammer to demil, do the trigger guard rivets, barrel in and out, and give the aircraft rivet air hammer a try for the long rivets. If it worked I'd save $50 and have less stuff crammed in my shop. Not that a press isn't a VERY usable tool. I could try it and return it if it didn't work I guess. No harm trying.

It also seems like the more you could use an air tool on a build the less set up time you have. Just the time grinding the old rivet heads off is cut way down by using the air hammer with the chisel attachment. I forgot to ask Motor' if he uses his air hammer to push out old long rivets. He does the barrel pin that way. But if you could do the old long rivets that would have to be WAY faster too. I also have this huge set of bolt cutters in my shop. It would be awesome if they could stretch open wide enough to do the long rivets. You wouldn't need a press for anything then. But I don't think the geometry of the cutters bite would work. And I'm sure someone has already tried that - those bolt cutters come in some huge sizes for cheap.

An air hammer is so much like a hammer and/or with a chisel. I like the idea of being able to build an AK with the simplest tools. Like throw out all the power or hydraulic tools and just use a hammer. But even if I ditched the air and did it all with a hammer your still using some pretty sophisticated jigs. I just mean like if you were trying to replicate building an AK as if you were in the middle of nowhere, third world, dirt floor gunsmith type stuff - you'd still be cheating a fair amount. :) Restoreit and AKbuilder aren't exactly marketing their stuff in the Afghan mountains! lol! They could probably make a killing if they did though. :)

Sorry for the long post. I'm recovering from back surgery. And BORED as hell! lol!
 
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