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Idiot with a DREMEL

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by geronimo509, Apr 4, 2009.

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  1. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Member

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    I'm not really an idiot, but I just bought a dremel tool and polishing accessories.
    I am new to using a tool like this but I'm a smart guy. I plan on going very slowly until I get the hang of it because I do NOT want to ruin any of my firearms.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Also, is there anything that I could practice on that would be similar to a firearm?

    I plan on polishing a feed ramp or two. Also, on my new EG mak the hammer and safety is a weird color. What would happen if I tried to polish the hammer and safety, and maybe the slide release????



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  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Any scrap iron or steel will work for practice.

    Buy a black bolt at the hardware store if you can't find any scrap metal laying around.

    You can polish the safety, hammer, etc. but doing so will remove the finish and they may rust easier. For hammer flats, I prefer to do it by hand on fine emory paper on a glass plate or ground steel saw table.

    DO NOT attempt to polish and large flat surfaces like the slide or frame with a Dremel. You will just end up with a bunch of unsightly swirls & streaks that don't blend in.

    rc
     
  3. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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    I believe that "weird coloring" on the hammer & safety is case hardening. It's a specific process in which the above-mentioned steel parts in your Makarov are subjected to an additional, carefully controlled heat-treatment to increase surface hardness & wear resistance. Case hardening is a surface treatment & doesn't go completely through the part. If you want to smooth the pivoting-function of either part, go after (lightly) polishing the contact surfaces (low speed, mild abrasive). Leave the trigger hook & hammer sear alone, that's for experienced pros and usually best done with the Dremel locked-away in another room. :cool:
    And IMHO, I wouldn't spend any time trying to change their color.
     
  4. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Member

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    Thank you, but I would never do that anyway.

    I really do not want to remove the finish but I can't stand the way it looks. By hammer flats you mean the side that is "flat" right? Will the emory paper still remove the finish?

    Thanks RC, You've answered a few of my questions here on THR and I really respect your opinions.

    Do I have any other options to change the color. I do not want to paint them lol. Also, It probably costs to much and takes to long to get them professionally refinished.
     
  5. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Member

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    I wouldn't dare touch that stuff. Just the external parts of the internals, if that makes sense.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I can't say for sure if they are case-hardened or not, but it does look like they might be.

    In that case, I wouldn't touch them.

    People find great beauty in case hardened, contrasting parts, and pay big money to get it!

    Think old Lugers, old Colts, old S&W's!
    Then just pretend it's one of them!

    rc
     
  7. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Member

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    Since that might be the case, I will not touch them. All of the parts are original. The last 2 digits of the serial number are 24 and just about every part ( all 27 of them) have 24 engraved. I dont know if thats normal or not but you can tell that its supposed to be there and a previous owner did not put them there.
     
  8. Tim the Enchanter

    Tim the Enchanter Member

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    The Germans used to add the last two digits of the serial numbers on all of the parts of a Luger, but that was because they had to be hand-fitted to each particular gun. Maybe something similar went on in East Germany.
     
  9. krs

    krs Member

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    Those parts are just turned plumb colored - you can try removing the plumb to bright steel and then cold blueing them. You can usually get away with cold blue on small parts and that particular German steel takes and holds the blue color pretty well.

    Some people like a little plumb showing, and unless you remove each part to do a thorough job it's unlikely that none of the plumb will show as a telltale that you did a halfway job on it. That kind of thing erodes the value of a gun very quickly and EG Maks are more desirable all the time. (I sold one of my four recently for $345. WITH plumb colored safety and hammer).

    It's also pretty highly likely that your dremel polisher will get away from your intentions. Even a small slip with the parts installed in the gun will effect the finish on surrounding parts that you didn't intend to touch and which don't need any help. The damage you do will also drop the potential value of your pistol.

    So you make your choices and you live with the result.
     
  10. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    As a Journeyman Toolmaker, I guess that I can say that I have a better than average aptitude when using metal working tools.
    That being said, I don't want a Dremel tool in the same building as my firearms.
     
  11. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    A rotary tool and a firearm have something in common. A Dremel tool is only as dangerous to firearms as the man using it. I have found my Dremel to be VERY useful in the shop(on firearms). Try to polish the inside of a trigger guard for bluing without one! Or the flutes of a revolver cylinder....
     
  12. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    I would keep that fire arm and the dremel far apart.
     
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I know folks who scream and run at the mere mention of the word Dremel, but like a lot of things, including guns, they are OK if properly used.

    On those "plum" parts, I suspect the color is not case hardening but the result of heat treatment. If so, the color comes off easy and nothing should be affected. Putting back any color will be harder, as cold blue is neither permanent or especially good looking.

    I would just leave the color there, but then it isn't bothering me.

    BTW, case hardening is very rarely used today. It was originally used to surface harden iron receivers and revolver frames (the color was for decorative purposes only) since you can't harden iron. But steel can be hardened all the way through, so case hardening ceased except for decoration and a few special situations after about 1910.

    Jim
     
  14. krs

    krs Member

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    No "plumb...ers" for you, eh Jim? :)
     
  15. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Being an old time shooter and gun hobbyist, I have to say that I have seen more guns ruined forever by amateurs with a Dremel Tool and good intentions. If you insist on using one, duplicate purchase your firearms, therefore the non ruined parts can be reused on the second gun. :banghead:
     
  16. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Member

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    I did it!

    Well, I bought a spare parts kit for my Mak and polished the hammer, safety, side of trigger, and slide lock. I only polished the parts that you can touch when the gun is together. I didn't mess with the internals because I didnt want to screw things up. I left the original parts alone! What do you all think?
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Member

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    (Geronimo - your posted picture of 03:20 PM does not show up - try again!)
     
  18. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Member

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    i can see the picture. now here is another one for everyone
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  19. DAVIDSDIVAD

    DAVIDSDIVAD member

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    That looks really nice, man!
     
  20. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Member

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    Thanks Davids

    Also, I just starting reading all the posts again and I need to clarify something. The gun was completely apart, So even if I slipped or anything I wouldn't mess with the finish on the gun itself. I bought and polished spare parts so that I still have the originals the way it came. I only polished the exposed parts so that I wouldn't mess with how the gun functions.
     
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