New to AK building (have two stamped kits and two milled kits I want to put together) and am making decisions on tools to buy. I have a compressor (and a fair amount of air tools), a media blasting booth, two dremels, a table top belt and disc sander, an angle grinder, air tool grinders/cutters, digital calipers, and a BFH or two.
I plan to buy the 12 ton A frame press from Harbor Freight. Is there a smaller one that will do? And a larger vise. Is a bench grinder necessary?
I don't think I can justify the $250 rivet tool. But I thought I would pick up a few tools. I'm basically trying to decide what to buy of the AKbuilder stuff and the stuff made by Restoreit.
Restoreit's trigger rivet jig looks improved with the keeper bolts to hold the receiver in place. His bolt cutter rivet tool looks good and a good price. As does his long rivet tool. I assume I need all three of those(?):
So I guess the only other question is - is the AKbuilder barrel removal tool enough of an improvement over the homebrew carriage bolt system (or all thread bolt as I guess some call it) to justify buying it for $95?:
Are there any other tools I should consider buying? Or any above I should look at from different sources?
I've started reading everything I can find on the forums, internet and posted videos. I also have that How To Build An AK... document downloaded, saved and am reading thru it. Is there any one particular info source that helped you the most when you started?
The biggest thing I've seen so far is I need to practice riveting...ALOT. I'm pretty good at picking up things like that I think with some practice I'll get the hang of it.
Thank you for sharing all your experience. Those starting out sincerely appreciate it I'm sure. I know I do.
I have built a dozen or so rifles from parts sets, all stamped. The only special tools I bought were the bending jig from copes and the bolt cutter rivet tool from restorit1. I am sure the rivet fixtures and barrel removal tools help speed up the process and maybe save you a little time. IMHO
Tool money would be better spent on a hydraulic press and a drill press. Both of these tools have other uses in your home workshop after your rifles are built. You will also need a welder of some type. Either a 120 volt spot welder or a mig welder will do to weld in your lower rails unless you plan to buy ready made receivers. Also a GOOD set of punches and drills.
I am sure others will jump in and offer other opinions and advice.
I don't know which "how to" document you have but here is one that helped me a lot on my first build.
If you do a search you'll see we've answered your question - already. Many times. You'll get a better response if you search through past threads than if you go off what we tell you. We've answered this one so many times we may be forgiven if we've become a bit terse :smile:
Check in the homemade tool sticky on the top of the build it yourself section. A bench grinder is not a necessity but they do come in handy. I either use a 4in angle grinder or bench grinder for removing receiver stubs. If you are trying to save money you can look through and get some ideas on making your own tools. I use very crude but effective tools for demilling and building. All of them were built with scrap metal I scrounged here and there. Once I get moved and settled in I plan on making some drawings with dimensions and posting them. I may also consider building some as well. Another thing to help will be list your location. Someone close to you may be willing to help. I would be more than willing to.