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dremel tool advice needed.

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by bullseyebob47, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. bullseyebob47

    bullseyebob47 Member

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    im thinking of polishing the chambers of my glock 9mm, ak47, 12 ga shotgun, and some .22lr rifles. i don't have problems with these guns except maybe the 22s. good idea to polish them all anyway?

    im set up to buy at amazon and midway usa. could someone show me exactly what to order? im not sure what attachment would be for polishing.
     
  2. mcb

    mcb Member

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    The most terrifying thing an RO hears at the range is, "I took a Dremel to my gun and did..."

    The Dremel is frequent a sufficient tool but never an optimal tool for any job.

    Friends don't let friends Dremel on their firearms.
     
  3. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
     
  5. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    The felt type the drunkenpoacher linked to is the right type

    HOWEVER, if you're not having a problem I'd leave them alone.

    I'm a DIYer and I've learned the dremel is kind of last resort type tool.

    It's agressive. Speeds are like 5k to 35k rpms. It's hard to put equal pressure everywhere on what ever your working on.

    That isn't an issue when your cutting something but polishing is more of a finesse thing.

    I had a Russian SxS that had rough chambers. I used super fine sand paper from Lowes for wet sanding commonly used for automotive paint.

    I was very surprised how little it took to smooth it up considerably.

    I've heard of people using steel wool and wrapping it around a pencil. Self centers and is slow both of which a dremel isnt.

    Be very very careful.
     
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  6. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    But you're about to!

    If you decide you just can't help yourself, go ahead and polish up the brake calipers on your car instead. At least they're visible, and you won't break anything important.

    When you're ready to learn to work on your firearms carefully, buy a couple of Kuhnhausen's books and read the cautions and warnings carefully.
     
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  7. bullseyebob47

    bullseyebob47 Member

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    well im glad i asked. won't do this. thanks everyone.
     
  8. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Please understand, we don't want to dissuade you from learning and working on your firearms carefully, but you need to start with a more in-depth understanding than you'll get in a single forum post.

    I really do suggest Kuhnhausen's books; start with the 1911 manual, or one of the revolver manuals. After you've read through, you'll be in a much better position to avoid oversizing a chamber.
     
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  9. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    Just to clarify my post above.

    I'm a DIYer in general. My experience with home/garage projects using a dremel lead me to the conclusion that I'd just about never use a dremel for a firearm.
     
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  10. boom boom

    boom boom Member

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    When working on firearms, always try to modify the cheapest part before anything else. Always try to use the gentlest means first rather than the most aggressive. You screw a chamber up then you are creating several problems. If you were having a problem with extraction, then that is when you look toward altering something.

    My advice is to use power tools sparingly and use the simple hand tools if you can. Danez71 gave you one such way to polish a chamber. FWIW, you can use a boremop sized to fit the chamber attached to a piece of cleaning rod and apply something like flitz (a metal polish) or jb bore brite paste to the boremop, you then gently power it with a low speed low power cordless tool such as a power screwdriver or a 12 volt cordless on very low speed. Some use brass borebrushes that are oversized which will be more aggressive.
     
  11. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    As long as the gun is operating properly and not putting deep scratches in your brass I would leave the chambers alone. As long as the chamber is smooth it doesn't need to be shiny slick. A Dremel tool has a learning curve. I cringe every time I read a post that goes " I polished my sear with my Dremel" or some other critical part of a firearm.

    If you just have to polish make a polishing stick. Cut a short length of dowel, saw a slot in it. Cut a strip of very fine wet or dry emery paper and insert it in the slot. Chuck it in a cordless dill and run it slowly moving it back and forth and check frequently to how shiny it is. .
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  12. Danoobie

    Danoobie Member

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    When I want to "polish" a gun part, I do it by hand, while watching TV, in the evening. All you need to do is take just a couple thousanths off,
    in the wrong place, with a Dremel, and your gun becomes a paperweight. If I'm going to do a Dremel modification, I always get a replacement
    part, and do the Dremel mod on the replacement part.
     
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  13. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    That's been my policy for all modifications unless they're very simple or very familiar. . . which is why I have an extensive parts department!
     
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  14. Ken T

    Ken T Member

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    The only chamber polishing I have done was on newly chambered barrels.I did it immediately after chambering using the lathe and fine grit emery cloth wrapped around a split rod.I would not try to polish a chamber with any hand held rotary tool.
     
  15. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Remember, when a gunsmith talks about "polishing" gun parts, we DON'T mean "like a mirror".
    We mean to SMOOTH the rough working areas on a part to prevent catching or excess friction.

    In most cases the part doesn't even need to be perfectly smooth, just enough to level out raised ridges and tool marks enough to smooth operation.

    People hear "polish", go for the mirror look and that's how gun parts get ruined.
     
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  16. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    What dfariswheel suggested. Smooth, not shiny. Go easy, go slow. Remember, don't let it become a restoration project.
     
  17. ewlyon

    ewlyon Member

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    If you want to polish a chamber (sounds unnecessary but thats up to you) the proper tool is a Flex-hone. Works extremely well and just uses a hand drill and oil. Otherwise, I have used cotton bore swabs of an appropriate size with lapping compound run slowly in a hand drill.
     
  18. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Guys, PLEASE, leave those chambers alone! It's seldom a chamber needs smoothing out, not polishing as already explained, and it's definitely not done with a Dremel, Flex-Hone, or the like.
    Leave. Those. Chambers. Alone.
     
  19. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    My feelings exactly. Too many guns have been destroyed by Dremels.

    I knew a guy who used a Dremels to lower his front sight as it was hitting low at 25 yards. By the time he was done (being a little too heavy with the Dremel) his gun was sighted for about 150 yards.

    This is one of those things like regular "detail stripping". Guns are not designed to be taken completely apart on a regular basis. Even with the proper tools pins and other small parts will wear out just from being taken apart so many times.
     
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  20. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I was cleaning up the desktop on my computer and happened across this image. Thought it fit the thread nicely...

    Dwef3ah.jpg
     
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  21. tark

    tark Member

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    Having worked for Les Baer for 21 years, I can truthfully say that we used air dremels for an amazing number of jobs, mostly fitting of parts, where removing a lot of metal was required. Fitting beavertails, matching backs of slides, beveling magwells, flaring ejection ports, etc. In each instance we needed to remove a lot of metal in a hurry. When we got close to the desired dimension, the dremel was put down! I never used a dremel for final polishing or fine tuning the shaping of any part. That was done by hand with files, emory paper, the polishing wheel, whatever. Polishing a chamber was done with a dowel, wrapped with very fine emory paper, chucked in a lathe that turned very slowly. Maybe 120 RPM. The barrel was held in one's hand and carefully slipped over the dowel, to polish the chamber area. A smooth finish was all that was needed, not a mirror shine.

    Dremels are fine for removing a lot of metal in a hurry, but they are almost useless for much else. They are the best and most surefire way I know of for destroying a barrel's chamber. We re-barreled a lot of guns because someone tried to "polish" their chamber with a dremel.

    If cases eject reliably without being horribly scratched, leave the chambers alone.
     
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  22. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    "If it ain't broke...." I agree, but have to defend the Dremel tool. They are great tools if (IF) you know how and especially when (and when not) to use it. And inside a chamber is almost certainly not a proper place for using a Dremel.

    Jim
     
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  23. Mr. Standfast

    Mr. Standfast Member

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    I'd defend the Dremel too - in its place. It is less durable than the working gunsmith needs - I've outlived about four of them in some thirty amateur years. I now have the own-brand hand grinder which is likely to be unfamiliar in the US, as it came from the German LIDL supermarket chain in the UK, which seems just a little more powerful and robust, and came with a flexible shaft which will let me work wet on gemstones etc., without risking electrocution. It uses slightly different 4.8mm shank collets, available only in two sizes at an eye-watering price from their service department, but I bought a kit of 10 sizes from China on eBay for about $3 delivered.

    I'd agree that chamber polishing should be done with great care, when an actual need is observed, and it takes something pretty drastic to need more than hand tools. It might have some point if you use one of those semiautomatic things, which never much appealed to me. VERY fine abrasive paste on a piece of wood or plastic shaped to the chamber. You could do that with the Dremel, with a strip of glued paper wrapped around a1/8in. steel rod. But there is no real need to bring electricity into it.

    In general the use of the Dremel can sometimes, with care, be easier than the unfamiliar art of using a file really well. But this job sounds a bit like the very natural desire to do a bit of work on your gun, so why look for labour-saving ways of doing it?
     
  24. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    I guess it must depend on the Dremel that you get but my Dremel tool that I purchased in 1999 has been one tough machine. It is 18 years old and still going strong. I use it in taxidermy work and I have really been rough with it. For gunsmith work I only use it only when working on a rifle stock. If you are careful, it works to remove small amount of wood when installing oversized triggers and when installing sling swivel bases. I also use a Dremel to cut carbon arrow shafts. For work like removing the burr from the neck of rifle cases I use a small variable speed drill and a tapered stone. I Dremel turns too fast for most applications other than grinding or cutting, but it does work to grind in sensitive places if you use a stone instead of a burr.
     
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  25. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Dremels are a very useful tool if you know what you're doing (and have a steady hand). I use them for things like final fitting of the barrel link lug on 1911s. But we're talking taking off <.001" at a time with fine stones and abrasive-impregnated rubber bits, putting the barrel back in and checking, take it back out and remove another few tenths, put it in again, repeat until slide goes into battery smoothly but tightly.

    Polish your feed ramps if you like, but stay out of the chamber. And be careful not to round over the top of the feed ramp and create a case head support problem.
     
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