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Just broke a nipple...

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by tickTalk, Apr 26, 2012.

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  1. tickTalk

    tickTalk Member

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    Argh....
    Now I know why the 1851 navy I picked up at a swapmeet was only $75..
    one of the nipples is stuck HARD. (pietta 1851 .45)

    First, I broke a standard cheap-o nipple wrench..
    So I soaked it in pyroil for a few days.
    I pulled out the bigger gun, a 4.5mm impact socket I had ground into a good fit..

    I couldn't turn it by hand, was just starting to round it over, so I moved on to the drill press. I have a cylinder jig i built a while back for an 1860, and this luckily fits. It is just 3 hardwood dowels (for 3 chambers) in a 2" chunk of mdf, and some 5/8 tbolts to hold it onto the drill press table.. then a strap over the cylinder to hold it down.
    So, mounted the cylinder, chucked up the socket..
    and pullllllllled...
    with a screech, chunks of the nipple flats came off.

    Not one to give up, I chucked up a 1/16 cobalt bit, and drilled the nipple through. then chucked an 'easy out'... and broke it off in the hole.

    so, now I have a mangled nipple, plugged with the broken off tip of a screw extractor.

    My plan is to drill it out again, maybe bigger.. I think I can safely get a 1/8 bit through without nicking the threads, but will try with 3/32 first, then do the boiling in automatic transmission fluid trick I read somewhere here, and try an extractor again.. I have been drilling from the back, I would have to build a new jig to try and drill from the front...

    so, anyone have more ideas? I know this problem is as old as nipples themselves, and has been hashed around here for about as long.. I've been haunting all those old threads for a few days.

    At what point would you say 'heck with it, a new cylinder is only $60...'?
     
  2. junkman_01

    junkman_01 member

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    I would NEVER give up! Go for it.
     
  3. bubba15301

    bubba15301 Member

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    just load the other 5. cylinders
     
  4. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

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    Use reverse drill bits if you got 'em, and "gentle hands" on those screw extractors. Assuming you're reasonably well-centered in the hole, I'd drill it within thousandths of nicking a thread, and try to peel it away with a mason nail whose point is ground to resemble a caping chisel, or even a center punch. With sufficient penetrant, I usually find that a reverse drill grabs the walls and extracts it as I try to drill it out. My fingers are crossed for you!:)
     
  5. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

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    Whoa, wait a minute ... the screw extractor has broken off in the hole? If you can, locate a machine shop with an EDM---Electro Discharge Machine---and they can burn it out. If not, you can make a "po' boy's" EDM with a carbon rod from a D cell, some jumper cables, and a car battery. You need the hands of a surgeon to do it, but I've burned extractors and broken drill bits out before.
     
  6. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    hartek, if you try to drill thru the screw extractor even with a carbide drill you risk the drill slipping off the hardened and uneven surface of the broken extractor and damage the cylinder. I suggest you to use a dremel with a abrasive stone bit to grind thru the broken extractor.
    And one more suggestion - if you move this thread to the gunsmithing section of THR, you will get more responses from real gunsmiths (no offense meant to the nice people here). :)

    Boris
     
  7. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    drive the easy out out from the inside
     
  8. Skinny 1950

    Skinny 1950 Member

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    I had a similar problem with an original 1849 Pocket Colt .31 cal. 5 shot only all 5 nipples were rusted in. I e-mailed Track of the Wolf and they suggested the EDM method that SleazyRider mentioned. I sidestepped the problem when a replacement cylinder became available which had no nipples in it and it is an original to boot. I replaced the nipples on my Uberti 1851 .36 with Stainless Steel and used 5 of the 6 Uberti nipples in the old Colt, fit like a charm.
    If you do order a new cylinder get a new hand with spring as well as a trigger and bolt flat spring while you are at it as these seem to break with alarming regularity.
     
  9. Noz

    Noz Member

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    Argh....
    Now I know why the 1851 navy I picked up at a swapmeet was only $75..
    one of the nipples is stuck HARD. (pietta 1851 .45)

    First, I broke a standard cheap-o nipple wrench..
    So I soaked it in pyroil for a few days.
    I pulled out the bigger gun, a 4.5mm impact socket I had ground into a good fit..

    I couldn't turn it by hand, was just starting to round it over, so I moved on to the drill press. I have a cylinder jig i built a while back for an 1860, and this luckily fits. It is just 3 hardwood dowels (for 3 chambers) in a 2" chunk of mdf, and some 5/8 tbolts to hold it onto the drill press table.. then a strap over the cylinder to hold it down.
    So, mounted the cylinder, chucked up the socket..
    and pullllllllled...
    with a screech, chunks of the nipple flats came off.

    Not one to give up, I chucked up a 1/16 cobalt bit, and drilled the nipple through. then chucked an 'easy out'... and broke it off in the hole.

    so, now I have a mangled nipple, plugged with the broken off tip of a screw extractor.

    My plan is to drill it out again, maybe bigger.. I think I can safely get a 1/8 bit through without nicking the threads, but will try with 3/32 first, then do the boiling in automatic transmission fluid trick I read somewhere here, and try an extractor again.. I have been drilling from the back, I would have to build a new jig to try and drill from the front...

    so, anyone have more ideas? I know this problem is as old as nipples themselves, and has been hashed around here for about as long.. I've been haunting all those old threads for a few days.

    At what point would you say 'heck with it, a new cylinder is only $60...'?



    I have an ASM cylinder in the same condition except when I tried the second "drill out" I got into the threads. I parked it.
     
  10. TheRodDoc

    TheRodDoc Member

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    A TIG welder will take them right out. Then replace them. Use the pinpoint heat to heat the cone part of the nipple red. Then let cool completly. Then they will most likely come right out. If not by some chance or there is nothing left for your wrench to work anymore, then use the tig to weld a short small rod on to the top of the cone. let cool completly and use vicegrips to grab rod and unscrew it.

    But I guess if you don't have a tig or a friend to do it for free, then paying someone to do it wouldn't save anything. Probably cheaper to get the new cylinder.
     
  11. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I realize that the current owners didn't cause these frozen nipple problems but they do remind me of that old Brylcreem jingle about how "A little dab'll do ya' ", that is a little dab of grease on the nipple threads.
    I barely snug up the nipples when installing them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brylcreem

    BTW the nipple cleaning poll below is still open. :)

    How often should nipples be removed for cleaning?

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=576729
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  12. scrat

    scrat Member

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  13. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

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    It ain't about the money, but the challenge! :)
     
  14. DMH

    DMH Member

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    I agree with dprice, try to use a punch from the reverse side and push out the broken extractor. Try to heat the damaged nipple to loosen the rusted threads and use a reverse drill bit after you let it cool down a little. If your hole is centered well you can keep increasing your drill bit size until you can run a tap through and clean up the threads.

    DMH
     
  15. oldcodger

    oldcodger Member

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    I just had a difficult nipple removal on my Pietta '51 .44 "Reb".

    Apparently unfired when I got it recently (bluing inside the chambers is still virtually perfect), but some caps had clearly been popped in it, and it was left dirty, for at least several months before I got it (pawn shop find).

    Five came out easily (with a crisp "crack"), but one was being a pain, so I soaked the rear of the cylinder, up to about 1/2" depth, in PB Blaster in a small prescription pill bottle.

    After an overnight soaking, and cleaning with VERY hot water at high pressure, dried the cylinder as best I could, and guess what.. still no luck. :cuss:

    Next was a brass drift gently tapping at the rear of the nipple, then from the inside, alternating, a little harder tapping, and y'know, STILL no luck. I did manage to slightly round off the ears of the CVA t-style nipple wrench. :mad: Not the best tool, I know. I'll soon modify a CR-V 1/4 drive slim socket.

    More PB blaster soaking, rinsing again in almost boiling water, then, I taped the face of the cylinder with electrical tape to prevent marring, placed the wrench on the nipple, and secured it firmly with a C-clamp (with rubber pads) and tapped gently with a wood mallet on the T-arms of the nipple wrench, and BINGO. Loosened nipple. :neener:

    Anti-seize grease or Ballistol from here on out.
     
  16. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

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    Nice job, Oldcodger. I've been using Champion spark plug thread lubricant, figuring it would withstand high temperatures---and it does. The nipples always come out, no matter how long I leave them in.
     
  17. oldcodger

    oldcodger Member

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    Thanks. worked for me.

    I never thought of the little packets of spark plug prep.
    I'll try that, too, or at leash throw a few into the cleaning box.
     
  18. tickTalk

    tickTalk Member

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    Location:
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    I thought this was more a black powder thing than a general gunsmithing thing.. though I see now there are some sticky blackpowder gunsmithing threads.. I will look around more in the future before starting new threads..

    This is a Pietta 1851 45 steel frame.. I don't think this is the 'reb' version as that is brass frame. Isn't this that abomination Pietta made about 20 years ago because they thought, hey, use most of the 1860 parts and we have a new product... It has the colt role-engraving on the cylinder, with the patent for 1860 on it, and is stamped 1851 navy on the barrel.

    Anyway, success. The nipple is OUT....

    From the number of other threads and posts here, looks like I hit on a common thread. I was overthinking the problem, like I usually do, when I thought about the drill press. It isn't really a 'press', just a manual control system for a drill... I DO have a 1-ton arbor press though. I rigged up a mount for a piloted tap wrench, and using a chunk of key stock, mounted the impact socket/nipple wrench. I really should have taken a picture before tearing it apart. I even used duct tape ;-)

    Using a diamond point engraver for the dremel, I cleaned up what was left of the nipple, and gave it some slots for the wrench to grab, and reground the wrench to fit. Used The same cylinder jig..

    I didn't go the boil in oil route, just let it soak in pyroil for a week.
    It slowly turned out.. I was surprised that it turned hard for a couple of rotations rather than a pop-loose like the other 5, and figured that I was stripping the threads or something. But after it came out, the nipple threads where still black (none of the oxide torn off) and the cylinder threads look ok.. I haven't tried running a machine screw or tap in to see how the threads are yet..

    I don't see what was causing it to be so stuck. There is not much gunk in there, the threads look ok.. maybe it was just way overtightened and bad galling..

    The spark plug thread lub is a great idea. There used to be a product that looked like a crayon, no drips, etc. I remember using it on an aluminium head for spark plugs to prevent bi-metal corrosion.

    Thanks all...
     
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