Tag Archives: tool

How to Safely Change AR Muzzle Devices and Barrel Nuts Using a Magpul BEV Block

If you like working on AR-type rifles and plan to replace a muzzle device or change a barrel nut to install a free-floating handguard or to swap barrels, you are going to need to apply a lot of torque. Torque and aluminum are not friends and this is certainly the case with the upper receiver for AR rifles and pistols.

What not to do?

I actually want to take a minute and tell you two things not to do. First, do not simply clamp your lower in a vise and go cranking on whatever on the upper. Remember that the upper is connected to the lower by two steel pins going through relatively soft aluminim. Not a good combination.

Number two, there are work fixtures that look like a rectangle that allow you to remove the upper from the lower and then pin the upper to this block that is then held by a vise. I’m not fond of this either because then your two aluminum connection points on the receiver take up all the stress and they weren’t designed to do so.

Please do not do either of those or you may regret it. The odds are that you will regret it. I word it this way because you may get by once or twice but these methods are risky so don’t do them.

So what do I recommend?

At this point, it comes down to two options that engage the barrel extension, which can handle the torque of any AR upper operation you may need to perform. The first is the Geisselle Reaction Rod. It’s pricey but it does the job and you can get a relatively good price on an AR tool kit from them on Amazon.

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B01F48QSDK”]

The second approach, which is what I use, is to secure the upper in a vise using a Magpul Barrel Extension Vise (BEV) block. It’s a very well designed block that engages via the barrel extension with its own steel lugs that are designed for strength but also to not harm the extension.

This is the top of the BEV block. You can see the front engagement lugs, the rear protrusion is for the bolt carrier and I would recommend keeping that O-ring oiled. The hole just under the front lugs is for a cross pin to secure it to the upper.

The BEV block uses a bolt carrier with the bolt removed to further secure it in the upper. You could remove the bolt from the bolt you normally use. I have a bolt carrier body that I keep in my toolbox for just this purpose.

The following photo shows it partially inserted in the upper.

This next photo shows it fully forward with the bolt carrier assembly installed. It does not have a cross pin installed at that point. Even without the pin it can handle the rotation stress. The pin just keeps it all in position and is not load bearing.

At this point you are good to go to change muzzle devices, barrel nuts or whatever else you may need to do without risking damage caused by torque. It’s a solid tool and I highly recommend it.


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.


Magpul BEV Vice Block Armorer's Gunsmith Tool - MAG536-BLK - New Genuine

$46.29
End Date: Monday Jul-1-2019 7:07:34 PDT
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MAGPUL BEV Armorer's Vise BLOCK Tool MAG536-BLK GENUINE FAST SHIP

$44.82
End Date: Thursday Jul-4-2019 12:58:41 PDT
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Magpul MAG536 Black BEV Block (Barrel Extension Vise) For 223 Rem Gunsmith Tool

$44.81
End Date: Friday Jul-12-2019 10:43:42 PDT
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Magpul BEV Vice Block (Barrel Extension Vise) Reversable Armorer's Tool MAG536

$49.99
End Date: Thursday Jul-4-2019 21:40:42 PDT
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MAGPUL MAG535 & MAG536 Armorer's Wrench & BEV Armorer's Vise Block Tool SET

$113.74
End Date: Thursday Jul-4-2019 12:58:45 PDT
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Wheeler AR Bolt Catch Punch Set Makes The Job Way Easier

If you are new to building AR lowers, there is one step that is, in my opionion, the most risky in terms of making a mistake and scratching the finish if not even gouging the aluminum.  That’s when you go to install the bolt catch.  You must juggle the receiver, spring, detent, catch, punch and hammer all at the same time while being right against the nicely finished receiver!

The two ears that hold the cross pin of the bolt catch are just above the magazine catch.  In the small hole will sit the spring and the detent pin.

Historically, you had to get ready for battle and would tape your receiver to protect it from slipping punches or glancing blows by a hammer.

I would apply duct tape, Gorilla tape or something thick to protect the finish.  Note, if you are starting out, taping is always a good idea no matter what.

Installing the slide catch is way easier now with the right tools.  I have really come to rely on three punches to get the job done.  The first is a purpose specific punch set from Wheeler this is flat on one side and has a protective rubber coating.

The Wheeler set has two punches.  The starter punch has a hollow end that the pin sits in.  This allows you to focus on the hole and hitting the punch with the hammer.  The other is a roll pin punch that you can use to align the catch at the start and also drive the pin the final distance.

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Here the pin is being started.
See, I use the roll pin punch on the left to align the bolt catch and also to capture the detent pin and spring.  Once that punch is in, you can let go!  Whew.  You can then focus on tapping the starter punch on and making sure everything is aligned.

Now plenty of guys can get their build done with the above.  Because of my tremor, I like to drive the pin in the rest of the way by using a really long roll pin punch that safely clears the receiver.  I have a Tekton gunsmith punch set and the 1/8″ roll pin punch works great for me. 

This is the nice Tekton gunsmith punch set that I really like.
This is me with the 1/8″ roll pin punch.

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I hope this helps you out.  This is what I do every time now.  It’s also what I use if I need to remove and replace an existing catch.


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.


Wheeler Tool Makes AR Trigger Guard Installation or Removal a Breeze

I was asked how I install AR trigger guards to minimize scratching up the receiver or even risking snapping an “ear” off.  On one hand, you can use a solid backing block to support the ear and then use a roll pin punch to drive in the pin.  That’s what I used to do but it’s a headache to be honest.  As some of you may know, I have a tremor that makes fine motor stuff a headache so finding methods that are simpler really helps me get work done.

This is a Brownells Billet 7075 aluminum trigger guard (078-101-164) and it has a bulge to accomodate gloves.  The set screw goes in the end with a blind hole.  The roll pin goes through the end that is drilled all the way through.

A few years ago I started using the Wheeler trigger guard tool and it works great.  Here’s the link to it at Amazon – click here.

This is how I use it:

  1.  Install the end of the triggerguard that uses the set screw.  That’s the end with the blind hole – the roll pin goes in the end where a hole goes all the way through.
  2. I lightly oil the pin to make things easy and tap it with a small hammer just to get it started.
  3. I then use the Wheeler tool with the shorter starter pin.  The starter pin has a nipple that centers it on the roll pin.
  4. Keep the parts aligned and turn the knob to drive the pin in.
  5. Stop when you have inserted the pin – it’s that easy.

Note, Scott Igert of Modern Antique Firearms recommends you put a business card or something between the frame and your receiver to protect it from scratching.

It has two tips – here you can see one installed and one stored in the frame of the tool.  The short one is for installing and the long one is for pushing a roll pin out.
Simply stop once the pin is flush.

Note, I actually have one from another maker also.    I’m holding it in my hand.  It does the same conceptually but is heavier made.  I’ve built probably 4-6 ARs with the Wheeler unit and it seems to be holding up fine.  The other is a Little Crow unit from Brownells for about $39.99 + S&H and its built like a tank but you do pay more for it.

Little Crow Trigger Guard Pin Pusher

I hope this helps you out.  


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.


The Ingersoll Rand 125 Needle Scaler is a HUGE Time Saver + An Into to Needlers

One of the things you learn in Michigan when you have to work on cars is how to deal with rust. Most cars after 10 years in Michigan look like they were dipped in the ocean and then allowed to rust like crazy. It’s pretty much inevitable. The older the car the worst shape they will be in. This year while working on my 1996 Landcruiser I decided to invest in a needle scaler to go faster and save my hands.

Historically, I would use chisels, screw drivers and wire brushes to remove loose rust from part still on the car. This was time consuming, my carpal tunnel would flare up and my hands would ache.

A friend helping restore an old submarine told me about how he bought a needle scaler to help remove rust faster, I had never seen one at the time and filed it away for future reference. One day in Harbor Freight I finally saw one but I really wasn’t keen on buying one of their tools. I’ve had one too many HF tools die at the wrong time and have slowly moved away from them for most tools.

At any rate, I like Ingersoll Rand air tools and read up on their model 125 needle scaler. It has 4.5 stars out of 5 stars on Amazon with 73 reviews. So I read up more about it.

[amazonjs asin=”B0002STTDE” locale=”US” title=”Ingersoll Rand 125 Standard Duty Needle Scaler”]

It generates 4,600 blows per minute using 15 CFM at 90 PSI. It has a rubber seal on its throttle to reduce leaking and you can disassemble the unit to clean or replace needles without tools. To stress that next to the last point – you can buy replacement needle packs for the unit.

[amazonjs asin=”B0184XOWQM” locale=”US” title=”Ingersoll Rand Ingersoll Rand NEEDLE PACKAGE FOR IRT125 – IRTPF2219-22-19 by Ingersoll-Rand”]

So, I took the leap and ordered one from Amazon.com and it showed up in two days courtesty of Amazon Prime. My wife now grills me when Amazon boxes show up 🙂

Out of the Box

It arrived fully assembled both longer (about 12″ without the quick coupler fitting) and also heavier than I expected at about 6.8 pounds, also without the coupler.

The first thing I did was install a quality Milton quick connect male plug. These are case hardened steel and not soft brass like you find at Harbor Freight and the big box discount retailers like Home Depot and Lowes. I swear by Milton now because I haven’t had one fail yet (I’m sure they will eventually) but I have replaced countless Harbor Freight, Home Depot and Lowes air fittings over the years.

[amazonjs asin=”B005IUEC2O” locale=”US” title=”Milton (S-210) 1/4″ NPT M-Style Coupler and Plug Kit, (12-Piece)”]

I also use quality PTFE/Teflon tape. I’ve also given up on the cheap tape. Ace brand tape is pretty good and lately I’ve been using this AntiSieze Technologies brand heavy duty tape and really prefer it.

[amazonjs asin=”B00LX5EMYQ” locale=”US” title=”ANTI-SEIZE TECHNOLOGY 46135 White PTFE Poly-Temp Heavy Duty Tape, 520″ Length, 0.5″ Width (Pack of 5)”]

Taking it Apart

There apparently is a secret society of air needlers who protect the world from very much information being given about these tools. I kid you not, 90% of the manual is legal disclaimers, safety notices and useless boiler plate. I am seeing this trend over and over with the tool companies.

Since I can’t point you to a page, let me try and explain. At the end of the day, an air needler is an impact tool. Inside the body is a 1″ piston that is driving an “anvil” up against the base of the needles 4,600 times per minute. It’s pretty much what you would expect to see if you pulled apart an air hammer except the body is a straight line vs. a pistol-like configuration.

Why is it long? My guess is that it helps the unit get into tight spaces by reaching further.

Now, the needles are really 1/8″ diameter hardened steel rods. These “needles” are really good at getting under rust flakes and popping them up and off the steel surface. It’s a loud tool but it does its job amazingly well.

So you rotate the black color and it will pull straight off the machine and you can see the three groups. The main tool is on the right, the color is on the top left and the needle assembly with two needles removed for you to see are in the lower right of the next photo:

The needles are held in position by a disc with holes to position each needle and a heavy spring shoves the needles back against the anvil to enable the hammering effect.

Here’s a better photo of the disc with some of the needles pushed out for you to see:

This photo shows how the needles and disc would line up with the piston if head when the collar is in place:

All in all, it is a pretty straight forward tool. You will want to take it apart to clean periodically – at least I do. I take and hose the needles and collar down with brake cleaner and then apply a light oil to the needles.

Also, be sure to keep the air tool lubricated. I do not run inline oilers due to my plastic work and need for clean dry air. Instead, I add 4-6 drops of air tool oil (not regular engine oil) in through the quick connect coupler.

[amazonjs asin=”B005X5MI3O” locale=”US” title=”Ingersoll Rand 10P Edge Series Premium Grade Air Tool Oil, 0.5 Litre”]

I did think it was interesting that IR listed the exact ML of oil to pour in before running the tool. I just counted off 20 drops of air tool oil before I ran it for the first time and called it even — it’s ran just fine by the way.

The Results

I am really pleased. I used the model 125 a ton on my old Land Cruiser this summer that had flaking rust all over the place including the running boards that were in tough shape. One was salvageable and the other I had to make a replacement. Other parts of the truck were just covered in rust. This needle scaler allowed me to do the work much faster and more thoroughly than ever before.

I ran it at 90 PSI through about a hundred foot of 3/8 inch air line with 1/4″ quick connect fittings. I had no trouble whatsoever blasting through anything that could be removed.

It will definitely dent the hell out of thin sheet metal but I was not worried about that. I just wanted to get rid of the rust scale. I also found that I could use it to hammer on places that I was worried about and if it punched through I knew I had an area I needed to work on. For example some of the fenders while they still had paint had rusted really badly from the inside and we’re paper thin.

What I found interesting was that after a ton of work, none of the needles showed wear when I was done with the truck.

I definitely recommend this Ingersoll Rand model 125 needle scaler. I think it did a superb job and will definitely be using it on future projects.


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.


Ingersoll-Rand 125 Air Needle Scaler IR125

$129.00
End Date: Monday Jul-1-2019 5:30:01 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $129.00
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INGERSOLL-RAND 172 NEEDLE SCALER (105653-1 H)

$59.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Monday Jun-17-2019 13:31:35 PDT
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Ingersoll Rand 170PG Pistol Grip Pneumatic Needle Scaler 3,000 BPM 1/4 NPT 90psi

$225.99
End Date: Sunday Jun-30-2019 13:06:47 PDT
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Ingersoll Rand 170PG Pistol Grip Pneumatic Needle Scaler 3,000 BPM

$200.00
End Date: Tuesday Jul-16-2019 9:55:53 PDT
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INGERSOLL RAND Straight Handle Needle Scaler IR125

$126.60
End Date: Monday Jun-17-2019 19:06:08 PDT
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Pneumatic Needle Scaler Kit Ingersoll Rand IR-182 K1 NEW

$329.99
End Date: Monday Jun-24-2019 5:28:42 PDT
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Ingersoll Rand Air Needle Scaler-8 CFM 4600 BPM #125

$179.99
End Date: Wednesday Jun-19-2019 2:37:43 PDT
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Pneumatic Needle Scaler Kit Ingersoll Rand 172K1

$314.99
End Date: Monday Jun-24-2019 5:28:42 PDT
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INGERSOLL-RAND 172 NEEDLE SCALER/ CHISEL

$65.00
End Date: Sunday Jul-7-2019 8:44:51 PDT
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Ingersoll Rand 125 Standard Duty Needle Scaler

$141.74
End Date: Sunday Jul-7-2019 5:21:41 PDT
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Very Compact Astro 1828 ONYX 3/8″ Nano Impact Wrench Is Great For Tight Quarters

This past winter I had the fun of changing the starter motor twice in 15 degree weather in my Landcruiser.  It was a bear getting to the starter bolts with my full size Ingersoll Rand 1/2 Thunder Gun.  It’s an awesome impact wrench and I had trashed a few cheap Harbor Freight ones before taking the advice of my friends and buying it.  To make a long story short, with a long extension and a universal joint, I was able to get the two bolts out.

[amazonjs asin=”B000E21CZ6″ locale=”US” title=”Ingersoll-Rand 232TGSL 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench Thunder Gun”]

While working on the truck, it struck me that I really needed a compact impact wrench to get into tight spaces.  I did some digging and found the Astro 1828 Onyx for 3/8″ impact sockets.  I figured I wanted small and probably would not need 1/2″ most of the time.

These next photos show how much more compact the Onyx is compared to the big Thunder Gun:

The little Onyx gets great reviews – currently 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon with 148 reviews.  I bought it and a Hot Max 28083 Swivel adapter at the same time.   It arrived in a nice little cardboard box from Amazon and I promptly put good Teflon tape on the swivel’s fittings, installed it and then a Milton M-style plug.

[amazonjs asin=”B00N2TVWRG” locale=”US” title=”Hot Max 28083 360-degree Swivel 1/4-Inch Male NPT x 1/4-Inch Female NPT”]

[amazonjs asin=”B00LX5EMYQ” locale=”US” title=”ANTI-SEIZE TECHNOLOGY 46135 White PTFE Poly-Temp Heavy Duty Tape, 520″ Length, 0.5″ Width (Pack of 5)”]

[amazonjs asin=”B005IUEC2O” locale=”US” title=”Milton (S-210) 1/4 NPT M-Style Coupler and Plug Kit, (12-Piece)”]

So far, both are holding up great in my home garage use (I’m not a pro mechanic – more like a shade tree one with ADD and sleep deprivation).

What I find interesting is that it is a torquy little beast.  They claim 450 ft/lbs.  I have not bothered checking using a calibrated torque wrench but I can tell you it’s done a great job so far.  For big stuff / tight stuff, I still go to the Thundergun with its 625 ft/lbs of torque.  The Onyx is more of a special purpose tool for me.  By the way, if you notice it is shiny above, I had just used it to remove the drain plug off a 2002 Camry’s transmission.  They are about 18mm and use a 10mm Allen bit to come off.  My 10mm Allen bit is for a 3/8″ drive so I just stuck it on the Onyx and it whipped it right off.  Reinstalling, I set torque at 1 out of 3 and then checked it with a 3/8″ drive ratchet wrench after — it was in there solid.

[amazonjs asin=”B000NY31CW” locale=”US” title=”TEKTON 1378 3/8-Inch Drive by 10 mm Hex Bit Socket, Cr-V”]

In short, I am happy with the little Nano and Hot Max swivel combination.  I definitely still use my Thunder Gun for wheel lugs and big fasteners but the Nano is now my go to for tight spaces.


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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The Vortex Torque Wrench Optics Mounting Kit is Wicked!!

I’m to the point with rifles that when I want to maintain accuracy, I know I need an accurate torquing driver.  For years I have used the Wheeler Firearms Accurizing Torque (FAT) Wrench and it was good enough.  For about $40 I got the base unit that included a few bits and a case.  The FAT wrench had a range from 10-65 in/lbs and good enough accuracy (+/- 2 in/lbs up to 40 pounds and +/- 5% over 40 in/lbs).  My only beef with it was that the mechanical scale that shows you the torque settings was in 5 pound increments.  To get close to 18 in/lbs, for example, required going close to the middle between 15 and 20 in/lbs and calling it even.

I used the FAT wrench pretty much exclusively from October 2014 to May 2018.  It was good enough at the time – way better than going for ballpark feel “farmer tight” settings but in the back of my head though, I wanted better.

By the way, in case you are wondering why a person would get one of these torque wrenches or drivers, it’s because many torque wrenches aren’t calibrated in inch/pounds (they are often foot pounds in the US) and they may not go down as low as 10 inch/pounds (in/lbs).

My interests span many types of firearms from AKs to precision rifles.  With the latter, I own a number of sub-MOA rifles and they demand precision tools if you want repeatability and reliability.  These rifles also have very good Vortex scopes and rings as well.  If you want consistency and the rings to not shoot loose, the value of a torque wrench becomes apparent fast.

I’m a Vortex fan – there’s no two ways about.  Their optics are superb and they have an absolute “we will stand behind it no matter what with no nonsense” warranty.  Once in a while I will see guys troll the brand on Facebook but I honestly question whether they have ever actually even owned one.

Folks, I’ve owned probably 7-8 superb Vortex scopes and a ton of red dots.  I really don’t know how many red dots of various types – probably approaching a dozen.  The glass is good, the scopes are durable and do you know how many times I have used the warranty? — None.  In talking with guys that have, Vortex took care of them.

So, let me get to the point.  Vortex came out with a torque driver called the “Vortex Optics Torque Wrench Mounting Kit” that goes from 10-50 in pounds in calibrated 1 in/lbs increments that you set like a micrometer.

When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was the heft.  This is a solidly built metal tool that screams quality.  It comes with a few bits.  You pull the copper colored locking ring down and turn the handle to get the torque you want.  I did find that you have to push the bits in very firmly.  There is a detent ball that holds the driver bits in and it is surprisingly stout.

A nice touch is that the end of the handle has a 1/4″ socket if you want to use a ratchet wrench for higher torque applications.  For example, Vortex precision rings can go up to 50 in/lbs.  I can do that by hand most of the time but a ratchet makes it much easier.

On the topic of bits, it is a standard 1/4″ drive so you can get a large collection of bits and pair it up with this unit.  For example, I had a Home Depot Husky brand driver with a ton of bits that I picked up on sale at some point and just had sitting on the shelf.  I put it with the Vortex and its few included driver bits.  Additionally, when I am working on a firearm, I typically have my Weaver deluxe toolkit open as well.  It contains a great selection of bits that you tend to find on firearms.

There is one thing I changed though – the Vortex unit comes in a round plastic case that is nice and strong but I don’t have the patience to try and put it all back together for storage.  So, I hopped down to Ace hardware and bought a case to hold the Vortex torque driver, the Husky driver and all the bits plus I have room for more storage.  I also used some of my spare pluckable foam left over from cases to pad the bottom of the case.

In case you are wondering, here are photos of my FAT and Vortex torque drivers side by side:

In this next photo, you can see what I mean about precisely setting the torque on the wrenches.  My Vortex Precision Scope Rings specify a torque of 18 in/lbs.  With the Vortex wrench, you can precisely set it for 18 pounds.  With the FAT, it’s somewhere around 17-19 pounds plus we already know the wrench’s accuracy is limited to +/- 2 in/lbs as well.

On the topic of accuracy, the Vortex driver comes with a certificate of calibration to testing standard DIN-ISO-6789 by a gentleman named Tom on Feb 27, 2018.  You can see my specific wrench nails the accuracy – no more guesswork and no more ballpark torque setting.

In summary, I am very happy with my Vortex wrench and would recommend it to anyone doing precision firearms work, notably optics.  You can pick one up at a very reasonable price from Amazon and you ought to do it.


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.


Amazon products are listed below.


Resurrecting a Gummed Up Air Tool Without Disassembly

Recently I got out my Ingersoll Rand model 117 air hammer to use and found out its action had gotten all gummed up.  It’s been probably a year since I last used it even then probably didn’t use it a ton.  I always drip air tool oil into a tool before use because my air lines run driers and particulate filters for my plastics work.  Thus, I have to manually apply the oil before I use a tool.

When I went to use 117 the piston would not actuate and when I shook the tool, it didn’t sound like it normally did.  My first thought was to check the air pressure and it was at 90 PSI and the regulator was wide open so my next guess was lubrication.  Adding more air tool oil didn’t make any difference.  I then remembered a tip a guy told me years ago with gummy air tools – spray a ton of PB Blaster down the quick connect fitting and let it sit with the quick connect fitting up in the air trapping the penetrating oil in the tool for 5 minutes and try again.

So, I did that, reconnected the air line and it worked!  The tool worked like a champ and it blew PB Blaster everywhere!  I did it one more time just to make sure stuff was clear and ran the tool for a maybe 30 seconds to blow the PB Blaster out, wiped it down with a rag and then put in four drops of air tool oil.  Problem solved.

This was a huge win because I was in the middle of working on AK and wanted to use this tool plus I didn’t have time to take it all apart,  I’m writing this post a few weeks later after completing the AK build and the IR 117 is still working like a champ.

By the way, PB Blaster can be found at tons of automotive stores.  The packing looks gimmicky but it is actually one of the best penetraing oils that is out there along with Kroil.  If I didn’t have access to either of those, I would have made up some Ed’s Red or at least used some form of transmission fluid.  Tranny fluid works great but take a while to penetrate gunk.

[amazonjs asin=”B000I2079E” locale=”US” title=”B’laster 16-PB Penetrating Catalyst – 11-Ounces”]

[amazonjs asin=”B000F09CF4″ locale=”US” title=”Kano Kroil Penetrating Oil, 8 oz. liquid (KROIL)”]

[amazonjs asin=”B000F09CEA” locale=”US” title=”Kano Aerokroil Penetrating Oil, 10 oz. aerosol (AEROKROIL)”]


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.

The Gerber Suspension Multi Tool [22-01471] is Pretty Nice!

Guys, I like multi tools when I travel or go camping.  I have torn up a boat load of cheap imported ones and a Stanley just by trying to use the pliers to grab on to something really tight.  I have never had a problem with a Gerber or Leatherman tool – let me say that up front.

At any rate, I wanted to find something compact and with locking blades.  I have a Gerber multi tool that I have used a ton since 1998 and my only issue is the lack of a lock on the blade.  You don’t really think about the lock until the first time you are really yanking on something to cut it and that blade starts to close!  It’s been my goto tool for years and is showing its age.

At any rate, I did some digging around and decided on the Gerber Suspension.  All the tools I worried about have a positive locking system and the handles fit your hand pretty well.  It has 4.6/5 stars with 1,493 reviews on Amazon.  That is a pretty darned good score!  I get the warm fuzzies when I see scores like that and the unit was only $23.49 shipped with Amazon Prime.

Here are features and my thoughts

  • Needle-nose Pliers – Important
  • Wire Cutter/Stripper – Important
  • Straight Blade – Important
  • Serrated Blade – Maybe – they work great on rope
  • Phillips Screwdriver – Important
  • Large and Medium Flathead Screwdrivers – Important
  • Scissors – I have no idea if I will ever really use this but it is an interesting design and seems solid
  • Bottle Opener –  Important – this is an Emergency Beer Access Tool
  • Can Opener – Important – I can’t tell you how many cans I have opened over the years thanks to the can opener in my old Gerber]
  • Saw – not that important
  • Awl – not that important
  • Lanyard Ring – not that important

Open, it is 6.5″ long and closed it is 4″ long plus it has a little belt / storage pouch.

Here are photos of mine:

So far, everything seems solid.  I tested the locking mechanisms and they work.  I took a steel rod and grabbed on with the pliers as hard as I could and nothing bent.  I’ve had tools in the past where if I did that the handles would crumple.  Literally, I put a bar in a vise, grab hold with the pliers and then try and turn the bar which is pretty much impossible.  The Suspension held up just fine.

I’m going to be using this more over the summer and we’ll see how it holds up.


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