Heat Treating the Lower Rails of AK Flats Before Installation

I like to heat treat my entire lower rails before I install them. Some guys just heat treat the tip but I go for overkill.  When I would get flats and rails from AK-Builder for whatever I was doing, I’d do all the lower rails at once and store them oiled in a bag for later use.

The process is simple, I heat them up with a torch to dull to medium orange, which comes out to around 1500-1600F.  Some guys use magnets and stop the heathing when magnetism is lost, some use marker/applied heat indicators – there are many ways to do it.  I tend to use my sheet metal/jewelers oxy-acetelene torch. It is known as a Meco Midget and the thing is awesome for sheet metal work.  I’ve had mine for over 10 years and never had a problem.  I have a giant Journeyman II set but find it too big and cumbersome for stuff like this.

Tin Man Technologies (TM Tech), who I got mine from years ago,  actually sells the torch on Amazon now so here’s a link:

Next, quench the parts in room temperature used engine oil.  It works great for me.  I have an old navy fuse can with a lid glued to a piece of wood that I use for this purpose.

After that, I anneal them by putting them in a flat pan, pouring in some brake fluid with some paper towel exposed, lighting the towel and then letting it all burn it off, which is about 500.  It’s messy and you want to do it outdoors for sure – I let it all burn off and then air cool.  Some guys put them in a toaster oven at 500F for 5-10 minutes and let them slowly cool down by turning the oven off.  That works too.

Here the rails right after the brake fluid is finished burning off – you can see some of the soot that is generated:

When you weld the rails in with a spot welder, just be careful not to ruin the heat treat by letting a tong get up against the ejector tip and heating up.  I’ve done it twice over the years.  One time I didn’t notice and had to repair a peened over ejector and the other time I saw the discoloring of the tip and did a spot hardening of the ejector tip while it was in the receiver.

At any rate, I’d then oil everything and put them in a ziploc bag for future use.  I would sand the backs of the rails prior to installation to get good spot welds.

While I use OA for a lot of my work, MAPP works just fine too, and I have to following torch that works great:


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


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Beware of Power Line Networking – Netgear Powerline AV500 Failure

Okay folks, I’ve just spent the last few days and some money replacing equipment blown by an apparent power surge through Netgear Powerline AV500 equipment.  What these units do is to transmit ethernet network signals over the AC wiring in a building and are billed as an easy shortcut to pulling wire.  Our house has a lot of solid ceilings and is a bear to pull wire through so I opted for these to try and save some time.  I have used these for a number of years now up until we had thunderstorms with plenty of lightning last week.  One day by daughter told me the TV no longer was connected to the Internet.  Then we found out about her room’s wifi access point not having Internet access either and the same for the access point in my shop plus a TV android appliance that we use to watch Netflix and other things.  What was the common element?  They all worked except their ethernet ports were blown.  The little converter units said they were connected but no signal came through and even directly connecting new wire did not solve the problem.  In the cases of the TV and android appliance, I switched them to wifi and they worked fine.  For the access points, I could log into them but I could not get anything from the ethernet ports.  I am convinced a power surge went through these devices and blew the ports in the attached devices.  All other ethernet devices in our home were fine.  The powerline repeater is in the trash too as I am done with this stuff.  I don’t think it is a coincidence – the surge must have gone through the adapters.

So you can see, the next two photos are of the Netgear powerline stuff that is going in the trash along with the two fried network access points (the third photo) that are also history.

  

In short, I have tossed the four power line adapters and installed much better hard lines going to decent TP-Link 450 access points.  We have excellent coverage again but I will never use the powerline stuff again. I’m very happy with these TP units – they get great reviews, were easy to install and have great reception.  I’ll link to these access points at the end of the post.

  

By the way, in digging I found a great Android WiFi signal strength utility that is great and, surprisingly, free.  Check out Wifi Analyser by Keuwlsoft.  It’s very useful to help you see the signal strength and understand the best place to put an access point.

While I was at it, I also replaced two old 10/100 ethernet hubs with Gigabit switches.  We’re definitely seeing a lot better speeds now.

So, I’m not thrilled with Powerline networking but am very, very impressed with the price and performance of the new TP-Link equipment.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something from one of the Amazon links, or use one of the links to go to Amazon and buy something completely different — as long as you use one our links to go and buy something from Amazon, it helps us out.  For each item you purchase, we get a small bit of ad revenue from Amazon to fund the blog.  The same is true for eBay as well.


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TP-Link TL-WA901ND Wireless N450 3TER Access Point, 2.4Ghz 450Mbps, 802.11b/g/n, AP/Client/Bridge/Repeater, 3x 5dBi, Passive POE  (TL-WA901ND) (Personal Computers)

TP-Link TL-WA901ND Wireless N450 3TER Access Point, 2.4Ghz 450Mbps, 802.11b/g/n, AP/Client/Bridge/Repeater, 3x 5dBi, Passive POE

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Back in the stone age we had to mill our own top AK receiver rails!

Back when AK-Builder flats didn’t have the top rails cut to size, we had to do the work.  I’m talking circa 2006 and then late that year he came out with a simple layout tool that was so awesome.  You applied Blue Dychem do your flat, clamped the layout jig to the rail, used a scribe to mark the profile and then you came through with your mill (or Dremel) and cut out the shape.  It was faster than doing it all by hand and the one plus was that you could get the exact spacing between the upper rails that you wanted.

Setting an AK’s Internal Front Trunnion Rivets with the AK-Builder rivet jig

It’s pretty straight forward really.  You need to insure the rivet jig is sitting on good strong steel cross plates – don’t use wood.  I’ve seen guys try so don’t laugh too hard.  For the record – that one I never tried – I used 1/2″ steel plate from the get go.  Wood is not your friend under high pressures.

Be sure  to use the right rivets – AK-Builder sells the best rivets and tailors them to what you are building.  Lay them all out and identify what rivets are for the front, the swell neck rivets for the lower back of the front trunnion, etc.  A rivet should stick out 1.5x its diameter – that’s it.  Just for example and to keep the math easy for me, a 4mm rivet should only stick out 6mm.  If you go further, you are going to have problems.  As you get experienced, you can buy rivets in bulk and use rivet trimmers but you might want to save that for down the road.

Make sure the rivet and your receiver are all nice and square and that the little cup is under the rivet’s head to support it.  Make sure everything is nicely supported too.  If you don’t you will bend the receiver.  When I make cautions, it’s usually because I did it the wrong way already at some point 🙂

Only extend the rivet arm the minimum amount necessary.  The longer it sticks out, the easier it is to bend it.  I’ve done that and you may too.  If you do, just bend it straight again by pulling it out of the jig, supporting it by steel block and press it straight.

Now go slow.  Speed will only help you mess up faster, especially if you are new to this.  Extend the little set screw enough to squish the rivet and clear the trunnion walls.

Do not go crazy with the pressure.  You want to squish the rivet, not start bending stuff.  The rivet swells inside the hole and and the end caps it – that is all you need to accomplish.  Too much pressure and tooling starts to bend.

 


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

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Build Your Own AK (Vol. I): Headspacing & Virgin Barrel Population (Kindle Edition)

Got an AK Parts Kit? This ebook shows you how to build it right!

The AK-47 and its variants are world-renowned for being simple, rugged and nearly indestructible. But if you wanted to build your own Kalashnikov rifle there was no good single source of construction information—until now.

This new ebook series dives deep into proven techniques of home-built AKs. Profusely illustrated with numerous photos and diagrams, these manuals will show you exactly how to assemble your AK parts kit step-by-step. Your build will go easy using our techniques, recommended tools, and veteran builder tips/tricks…all with a critical focus on both safety & quality.

Volume I covers both headspacing procedures and the population of the barrel components in a non-original barrel or virgin barrel AK parts kit. Both AK-47 and Ak-74 build procedures are described in the first book.
Topics include:
– Measuring the barrel journals
– Cut extractor relief on chamber end of the barrel
– Cut the clocking notches for the lower hand guard retainer
– Strip bolt, in preparation for headspace check
– Align, and press front trunnion onto chamber end of barrel
– Headspacing
– End mill/ream barrel pin notch, and set barrel pin
– Install, and drill/pin Rear Sight Base
– Locate, and cut lower handguard retaining notch
– Gas Port location
– Install Lower Handguard Retainer
– Install, and align the gas block
– Drill and pin the gas block
– Install, and align the Front Sight Base
If you have been waiting for the ‘definitive AK assembly guide’ before building your AK, wait no more.
Volume II (coming this Fall) will continue the journey, showing every step to complete your Matching or Newly populated AK parts kit into a complete rifle.


By (author):  Guy Montag, Nicoroshi

List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
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First Romy G Build – October 2006!

So I have been taking photos of guns and tools for years and years and year.  I just recently decided to start dipping in and sharing.  I was pretty floored to find this collection of photos of my first build.  It was a 1981 Romanian G pattern AKM, affectionately known to many AK builders as a Romy G.  I’d invested in AK-Builder tools and used them and a big 20 ton hydraulic H-frame press to do the work.  You’ll notice the older AK-Builder flat bending jig is shown.  They worked great and the only drawback I ever noticed, and it was not a big one, was that the flats need to have a positioning hole for a roll pin at the end of each flat.  This definitely was not a big deal but he did evolve the design to not need that later on.

You can also see the old style AK-Builder flats.  They were great to bend but you really needed your act together to do the top rail.  I actually botched this first one and made the rails too narrow.  Because of this, the gap between the upper rails was too wide and the bolt carrier kept popping out.  So, I did a new one and was very careful to get the rails held in place nice and rigid plus I would mill a little and test, mill a little and test to dial the fit in.

I bought a HF mini mill so I could get better looking and more consistent upper rails.  Note the 3″ milling vise.  I bought that from Little Machine Shop and it works great.  I still have both the mini mill and the vise.  My one comment on the mini mill is that it is light duty.  On my bucket list is a full size mill at least with a digital read out (DRO) if not with CNC.  To this day I do a lot of “eye balling” of work and would like to be more precise.  Also, I eventually moved away from oak wood fillers to precise steel blocks at some later date.  The fun thing about writing this up later is that I recall lessons learned and stuff but remembering dates has never been a forte of mine.  As I used the mill more, I really learned to value work holding systems.  Old timers’ advise of “take the time set it up right so the work doesn’t move” proved to be a life lesson I draw on to this day.

Here’s the 1981 parts kit.  Notice how nice and smooth the barrel is machined.  Starting around 1983, the quality started going down hill and you’d see kits where the barrels literally had turning marks going down them that almost looked like threading.  By the way, the “G” series AKs were actually well made semi-auto rifles despite one some detractors would say.  They were made for the Patriotic Guard hence the “G” for Garda.

   

The wood was always so coated with goop, I would spray them down with Bix wood stripper several times until I got down to the wood and would then do finish sanding.  Now on this rifle I used satin polyurethane and over the years moved to boiled linseed oil as the latter was very easy to fix/maintain.  I used a number of reddish brown Minwax stains over the years.  I think that was red oak.

   

I had AK-Builder rivet jigs but I didn’t take photos of them while doing this build for some reason.

Here was the end result.  I would have used a US slant brake, Tapco G2 FCG and that might be a Tapco or generic brown US grip.  I used to get most of my parts from Copes, Centerfire and DPH Arms back in the day.  The finish was Duracoat but I stopped using it after a few years and moved to a combination of parkerizing and Molyresin that held up great.  The AK’s selector lever can wear a strip through a finish real fast.

I kept this around but shot it less and less then when the kits skyrocketed to about $300, I cut the receiver off and sold the kit.  The funds went to other projects but with 20/20 hindsight, I wish I had kept it for nostalgia.   My dad and other family members all had fun shooting this rifle.

I can’t even guess how many of these sanding sponges I have used over the years:

For rubbing between coats of poly or BLO, I’d use 0000 steel wool.

Here is a great digital micrometer that is also very affordable for your shop.

 

When you are working in the shop, it is frequently very important to have reliable measurements. I have owned a number of calipers and one good dial micrometer (which I can’t find) over the years.  I am definitely not a machinist but I run into situations regularly where I need more reliable measurements then what a normal pair of digital calipers can give. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it is really easy to get readings all over the place on a caliper depending on how hard you squeeze it. At any rate, I realize I really should invest in a digital micrometer but had a limited budget also I started doing a bunch of research and found the IGaging 0-1″ micrometer at Amazon. I bought it back in January 2017 and have been very happy. Everything about it is very easy to use.

4/10/2017 Testing:

 

After I posted the blog, some guys asked me to take a feeler gauge, get some samples and post the results.  I must admit I know I should take 30 samples but opted just to do 10 for the sake of time. I zeroed the micrometer and pulled out the .027″ blade and I have no idea where the set came from – quite possibly Autozone or Harbor Freight so just how exact it is, I don’t know.  I would take a measurement, back the anvil off a few turns, and bring it in again until I could hear the clutch click.  The work and the micrometer were resting on the table at all times unlike the photo I took above.  Here is the results that I generated in Excel:

I think it is remarkable that out of 10 scores there was only a spread of 0.00015″ – that repeatability is pretty cool given the price of this micrometer and is exactly why I wanted a micrometer vs. a caliper for some of the stuff I do.

What I like:

  • Very easy to use with simple instructions
  • Large easy to read digits
  • You can adjust a little clutch to get consistent clamping during measurements
  • The battery is easy to get to
  • Appears to take consistent measures
  • As you can see from testing, repeatability appears to fall very close to their 0.0001″ claim
  • If we assume that the gauge really is .027, then the average (.026895) is exactly .000105 short of that but that is an assumption
  • Easy to toggle between inches and millimeters, which I have to do all the time

Con:

  • One small complaint is a very cheap case. Now, I’d rather have the money spent on the tool so this is a nit-picking con but also the only one I have so far.

If you’re looking for a good budget 0-1″micrometer that does not break the bank, I would recommend you buy it.


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iGaging 0-1″ Digital Electronic Micrometer w/Large Display Inch/Metric

Professional Tool, SUPER Precision

Crisp, clear, easy-to-read LCD display, accurate to 0.00016″. Hardened and ground spindle with carbide anvil ensure durability and accuracy. Comes in a case with adjustment wrench, instructions booklet, ball attachment and extra battery.

Features:

  • BONUS: Ball attachment
  • 2 measuring modes Metric/Standard
  • Large LCD Display
  • Absolute & Incremental Modes
  • Automatic Switch Off
  • Accuracy +/- 0.00016″
  • Range 0-1″/0-25mm
  • Resolution 0.00005″/0.001mm
  • Carbide Measuring Surfaces
  • Direct USB SPC Output available
  • Meet or Exceeds Federal Accuracy Standards

Features: 

  • Range: 0-1″, Accuracy +/- 0.00016″
  • 2 measuring modes Metric/Standard
  • Large LCD Display
  • Absolute & Incremental Modes
  • Direct USB SPC Output available. Search Amazon for item B00IO0EH16

List Price: $39.99 USD
New From: $39.99 USD In Stock
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Remington 870 and Winchester 1200 Riot Shotguns

Ran across these photos of two riot shotguns I built – a Winchester 1200 I bought new in the early 1980s and a Remington 870 Express I got a good deal on from Gander Mountain in the early 2000s.  One thing I learned is that the Blackhawk recoil reducing stocks really make a difference.

 

To be honest, I think Remington makes a lot cheaper guns than they used to and their quality has suffered.  Some years back I picked up a Remington 870 express in great shape but one thing that drove me nuts was that the little orange plastic follower would spring out and jam the action.  I did some quick digging and found a machined aluminum replacement that I installed and never had a problem since.

Also, from a pure “keep it simple” angle, I have since stopped installing anything on a tactical shotgun other than a light.  It took to long to turn on the red dot plus worries around battery life, was it still zeroed, etc.

For lights and lasers, I really like the Streamlights.  I use a TLR-1 300 lumen LED light on my home defense 870 to this day.  They are rugged, simple, easy to operate and durable.  Having had a ton of cheap Chinese imports fail over the years, I only use proven lights and lasers on critical firearms.  To save on the CR-123 batteries, read my post on that topic.

The red fiber optic sight really worked out better than I thought.  It made target acquisition fast.  I eventually ditched the red dot optic, installed a side saddle shell holder and used just that sight.

This is the light mount

The flashlight on the Winchester was a Hellfighter with a xenon bulb.  It was ok but I would only buy LEDs going forward and my preferences are Streamlight or Surefire.

The Blackhawk recoil reducing stocks do a very good job but make sure you buy the right model.  They sell stocks both with and without the recoil reduction system.  Also make sure you get the right model – they make them for Winchester and Mossberg.  The following is an automated search from eBay so you need to double check the product and that the buyer has plenty of trades and good feedback.

Blackhawk! Specops Stock Gen II Fits Mossberg 12 Gauge Shotgun

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BlackHawk KNOXX® SPECOPS STOCK™ GEN II Remington 870 12-gauge K07100-C

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BLACK HAWK PRODUCTS STOCK KNOXX REM 870 12GA SPECOPS GEN II BLK

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Blackhawk SpecOps Stock Gen II MOSS 500 590 835 W/FOREND K07200C

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BlackHawk PowerPak Mod Low Rise Modular Cheek Piece

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Knoxx K07100c SpecOps II Recoil Reduction Stock GEN II for Remington 870 12g a

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7 Position SPEC OPS Stock Heat Shield Mossberg 500 590 Shotgun Butt Stock Forend

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7 Position SPEC OPS Stock Telescoping PARDNER PUMP Shotgun Butt Stock Forend

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Knoxx K04019-C Powerpak Modular Check Piece Blackhawk Camo Domestic Ship Include

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Knoxx K04019-C Powerpak Modular Check Piece Blackhawk Camo

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If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon to buy something.   With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


870 12Ga Pistol Grip W/Shell Holder Adjustable Tactical Stock For Remington H

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New Barrel For Remington 870 --- 28" - 3" -- VR - 12ga - Bead Sight (R197*)

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Remington Universal Magazine Cap for Remington 870 1100 & 11-87 12/16 /gauge

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Remington 870 12 Gauge 18" Magazine Tube Extension Kit Parkerized 2 Rounds 19420

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Magpul MAG496-BLK Remington 870 Tactical M-LOK Forend

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Factory Remington 870 / 1100 / 1187 Saddle Scope Mount

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Magpul MAG496 Drop-in M-Lok Forend for Remington 870 12 Gauge Shotguns - Black

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Remington 870 12 Gauge 20" Magazine Tube Blued Extension Kit 3 Rounds - 19421

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NcStar MSHBDREM Remington 870 Tactical Shotgun Barrel Micro Dot Rail Mount

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Remington 870 12GA 18" Shotgun Barrel Tactical Home Defense 24620

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Hogue 08714 Black Tamer Pistol Grip for Remington 870 Shotgun

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Remington Model 870 1100 11-87 Shotgun Polymer Heat Shield Barrel Shroud

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Remington 870 Folding Police Shotgun Stock - New

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Factory Remington 870 Composite Pistol Grip - 12 Gauge - Black

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HIVIZ ETA Remington 870/11-87/1100 Shotgun Front/Rear Sight Combo-RM2013

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NCSTAR MSHBAYREM REMINGTON 870 SHOTGUN DUAL RAILS, SLING STUD & BAYONET MOUNT

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Tactical Adjustable Stock + Pistol Grip Combo Gen II For REMINGTON 870 12

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Shockwave Technologies RAPTOR Grip for Remington 870 Shotgun Birds Head Grip

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Remington 870 pump Double Picatinny-Style Rail Scope-Sight mount.

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Shotgun Tactical Pistol Grip for Remington 870 w/Removable Shot Shell Holder

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Volquartsen Exact Edge Extractor for Remington 870 & 1100 Shotgun Bolt - VCREM

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HFD2 T Breacher / Standoff fits Remington 870 & other 1" mag extensions

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Remington 870 12 Gauge Scope Mount Used

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Truglo TG961R Slug Series Fiber Optic sight Set for Remington 870/1100/1187

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Wilson Combat Remington 870 / 1100 / 1187 Dome Head Safety - Blue - SGDHS

$21.94
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Factory Remington 870 12ga Magazine Extension Kit - 19421

$52.68
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Magpul MAG460 SGA Stock for Remington 870 Shotguns

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Remington 870 pump Heatshield black.

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New Barrel For -- Remington 870 - Tactical 20" 12ga - Bead Sight (R999*)

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Tactical 6.1" Remington 870 1100 Scope Picatinny Weaver Rail Mount 14 Slot Matte

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Hogue 08711 Remington 870 20 Gauge Black OverMolded Forend Finger Grooves

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Deathhead, Shotgun Magazine Cap fits Remington 870 1100 1187

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Remington 870/1100/1187 Extended Sporting Improved Cylinder Choke Tube 12 Gauge

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Remington 19471 Black Supercell 870/1100 Shotgun Rifle Recoil Suppression Pad

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Shotgun Pistol Grip for Remington 870 w/Shell Holder W/Sling Swivel Free Wrench

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MAGPUL REMINGTON 870 SGA STOCK and M-LOK Forend MAG460-FDE MAG496-FDE FAST SHIP

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New Remington 870 stock set taken off brand new Remington 870 Express 12ga

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Smile Wait For Flash, Shotgun Magazine Cap fits Remington 870 1100 1187

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Remington 870 Express Fully Rifled 20 Gauge 20 Inch Slug Deer Barrel, 4609

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MAGPUL MAG492BLK SGA FOREARM for REMINGTON 870 BLACK

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Great deal on dummy / action proving rounds – KP Tactical 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP

  

I tend to use a lot of dummy rounds due to working with Kydex or whatever and normally you pay quite a bit for them.  Recently I stumbled across a very good deal on Amazon.  There is a company called KP Tactical making very decent dummy rounds by machining them out of aluminum and inserting silicone rubber in place for the primer and they are only about $1/round in bags of 10.  So, I ordered 9mm, .40 and .45 and they arrived the other day.  I’m quite happy – the machining is well done and it’s a very fair price.

Use a Wen 3410 Air Filtration System to Remove Fine Floating Dust In Your Shop

Okay folks, with all the sanding of plastic I do, my shop has tons and tons of dust in it.  In 2015 I read an article about how small fine dust particles are unhealthy – in general, the smaller the particle, the more it gets to places in your lungs where you don’t want it to and it may get stuck there.  Now I may be a slob, as my wife will readily agree, but I do get concerned about safety.  Now I investigated improving my dust collection off the tools and that was way too expensive.

At some point I will upgrade my dust collection at the tools but that will have to wait.  What you will notice when talking to a lot of the vendors, and Grizzly is one example, is that they only warranty their products for wood.  What this tells you is that they are using open bearings (not sealed bearings) and if other materials get in there (like my glass reinforced plastic), it will shred them.  Grizzly product support was real cool about answering my questions and cautioning me up front before I dropped a big amount of cash on one of their dust systems so kudos to them for being up front and honest.

Fine air filter systems are supposed to be on layer of a multi-layered defense but at this point, I was really worried about were the fine particles as I already have some basic dust management in place.  In addition, I always wear a quality Moldex 2310 N99 particulate respirator when drilling and sanding but all that junk was just floating around and getting on stuff in the shop, etc.  So the immediate need was to get rid of that fine dust.  I did some digging and there is a model of suspended fine air filter that seems to be sold under many brand names.  I did some digging on Amazon, read the reviews and went with the Wen 3410.  Just to be clear, I actually bought this – you are reading a review from a real user and not someone who got something for free in exchange for a review.

The unit arrived on November 9, 2015, and I have used it a ton – replacing both the outer and inner filters many times.  Let me tell you a bit first.

  

Before I did anything, I plugged the unit in and tested it.  I learned years ago not to do a ton of work installing something and then test it!  Test it up front so it is easy to send back or get tech support on the line and work on it.

I figured out where I wanted to hang the air filter and bought some heavy sign chain from Ace Hardware so I could get it just where I wanted it.  The unit isn’t very heavy but given me and some expensive tools would be right under it, I went for overkill.  It’s around 30 pounds and the chain is around 120 pounds if I recall right.  At any rate, I hung the unit and adjusted the hooks until I got it level.  I then ran an extension cord over to it and turned it on.  It was a tad loud on the highest setting but definitely something I could live with – I usually have the stereo cranked in my shop anyways so that wasn’t a big deal.

The unit comes with a remote for turning the unit on and off, setting the speed (low, medium or high) and whether to use a timer setting for 1, 2 or 4 hours.  I really like the timer as I can have it set to constant on while I am in the shop and then set it to the timer so that it can keep cleaning the air after I leave to get remnants out of the air.  Truth to tell, the remote’s battery door has been the only casualty since I bought it.  The little tab that held the battery cover in place was never very firm so I resorted to a couple of layers of black electrical tape wrapped around the remote and have never had a problem since.

What I noticed over the coarse of the next few days was that stuff in the shop was not getting a thin layer of dust on it like it was in the past.  The unit has an outer coarse filter that is 5 microns and an inner filter at 1 micron.  It’s good that it is two stage like that as you can see them both getting filled with dust or at least I can.  I probably make it about 2-3 months before I have to change the outer filter and in general I make it about two outer filter changes before I change the inner filter.  The life of the filter really depends on how much sanding I am doing and the material I am working with.  Once I saw all the crap in the filters, it made me realize that some percentage of that junk was going in my lungs – probably more than I knew.   

The next photo is telling – this is the exhaust side of the Wen.  After using the unit for over a year with a ton of hours, look how clean it is.  I have never cleaned it.  That gives you an idea how effective the filters are.

I go by the looks of the filters as to when I change them and I definitely keep spares on hand.  The Wen brand filters come in two packs and I’ve noted some of the sizes in case you want to try other brands of external filter.  For example, I used a few Powertec 421x241x45, 5 micron external filters worked fine.  In general, I try to use Wen.  I have only used Wen for the internal 1 micron filter but have seen other identical looking filters but have not tried them.  Note how white a new filter is (that is a new Powertec in the machine) vs. the filthy used one sitting on the blast cabinet.

So, I am very happy with the Wen and am actually thinking about a second for the other end of the shop.  If you are looking for a fine air filter, I’d recommend this one for sure.

2/22/2018 Update:  The Wen is still going strong.  No problems at all and I’m still very happy with it.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

 


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WEN 3410 3-Speed Remote-Controlled Air Filtration System (300/350/400 CFM) (Tools & Home Improvement)

Remember when your workshop was full of clean air? Air-borne dust particulates can dirty up a woodworker’s workshop and harm a healthy respiratory system, but with the WEN 3-Speed Remote-Controlled Air Filtration System, you no longer need to worry. This system eradicates these contaminants by catching them in one of the two easily cleanable filters while circulating the air in your work area. The powerful 1/6 HP motor leaves no stone unturned, collecting every contaminant in its path. Quiet system creates 50 to 60 dB of noise and is controllable up to 26 feet away with the included remote. The lightweight design weighs in at a mere 31 pounds. Combine this with the attached carrying handle and eyebolts for easy mobility, mounting and installation. The WEN Air Filtration System collects and releases the air in your workshop after filtering it through both a 5-micron outer filter and a 1-micron inner filter. Easily switch between three speeds of 300, 350 and 400 cfm depending on what the situation calls for. With the time feature, you don’t even have to worry about turning off your machine. Simply set the timer and the machine will turn off on its own once the time runs out, allowing you to easily give your workshop a thorough cleanse at the end of a day of woodworking without having to be present. And because this is a WEN Product, your 3-Speed Remote-Controlled Air Filtration System is backed by a two-year warranty, a helpful customer service phone line, and a nationwide network of experienced technicians. Remember when you could breathe easy in your workshop? Remember WEN.

Features: 

  • Circulate the air in a 400 square foot room up to 7.5 times per hour
  • Three-speed operation flows air at a rate of 300, 350, or 400 cubic feet per minute
  • Includes a 1-micron filter and a 5-micron pre-filter, both of which can be easily replaced
  • Programmable timer automatically shuts unit off after set number of minutes
  • Remote control allows users to set timer, change speed and power the unit on and off from up to 26 feet away

List Price: $126.38 USD
New From: $126.38 USD In Stock
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