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Walker arbor length

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Ironhand54, Mar 21, 2018.

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  1. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    After searching through the archives I learned that most of the replica Walkers have a problem with the arbor recess being too deep. Several people suggested drilling the end of the arbor and installing a brass spacer, as advocated by SASS shooter Larson Pettifoger.

    I have no doubt that this would work but I am not set up to do that. I have come up with another idea and wonder if you gentleman think that it will work.

    I propose to fill the bottom of the arbor recess with fiberglass bedding compound. I will then coat the arbor with release agent and reassemble the gun. Placing a shim between the barrel and the cylinder, to insure proper cylinder gap, I will then tap the wedge in until tight. After the bedding has hardened the problem should be solved.

    Your thoughts?

    IronHand
     
  2. DD4lifeusmc

    DD4lifeusmc Member

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    sounds good but epoxy glue is a bit harder and may take the recoil better
    another option drill the end of arbour, tap it and insert a set screw when gap is correct loctite the screw
     
  3. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    I don't think fiberglass will withstand the forces generated when firing your Walker (or Dragoon, Army, Navy, et al). I remedy the Uberti arbor length problem by using steel shims (washers) held in place with "fortified" JB Weld. The "fortification" is the addition of powdered steel to remove any compression of the epoxy part of the JB. It all aligns when the wedge is driven in and the shim stack and adhesive are under pressure. This seems to be the best solution for the arbor fix that I've found so far. This setup allows one to shoot a steady diet with full charges of Triple 7 pushing heavy conicals.

    Your technique of the shim defining barrel/cylinder clearance with the wedge tapped in tight seems like a good idea but, the wedge needs to be applying force from the arbor to the barrel assy (during the curing process) not the barrel/cyl clearance. The barrel/cyl clearance would change when you drive the wedge in tight which would then remove the arbor/arbor hole linear clearances.

    You need arbor/barrel assembly clearances to be "as is" while the curing process is taking place or they will find themselves when shooting your "fixed" open top. Therefore, you need a "load" between the arbor and it's fitment in the bbl assy during curing. This will give you the same revolver each time you assemble it.
    Fixing the arbor length by shimming up the arbor hole also frees up the end of the arbor to have another use. A 1/4" set screw (cutting end ground flat and polished) can be installed in the end of the arbor (extending to the wedge slot) to become the forward wedge bearing point (instead of the slot in the arbor). This gives the owner the ability to adjust for wear to the wedge (no need for future wedge replacement) and for wedge placement. Some folks like the wedge in the "as new" position, some the "half way" position, all depending on ones taste or holster/wedge interface.
    It's always nice to have options . . . .

    Mike
     
  4. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    DD, the set screw won't hold up, not enough surface . . . . . (good call on the epoxy! Doctored up though )

    (Also, I'm a slow typer!! Lol!)

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  5. Norton Commando

    Norton Commando Member

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    I actually MIG welded a "knob" on my Walker arbor and then file-fitted the overall length such that it and the frame contact their respective areas on the barrel in sync.

    IMG_0242.JPG
     
  6. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Norton, nice job! Just another way to skin a cat ! Lol!!

    Mike
     
  7. expat_alaska

    expat_alaska Member

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    Don't know about the fiberglass idea, but taking up the recess in the barrel lug is a good idea.That way you can add another barrel if you wish and do the same mods to it without modifying the arbor. It will fit!

    Good call.

    Jim
     
  8. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    expat,
    Exactly! Matching the arbor hole to a specific arbor allows for multiple barrel lengths for the same revolver.

    Mike
     
  9. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    Bedding compound is used to bed the recoil lugs on modern rifles, including dangerous game rifles. Why would it fail under the recoil of a Blackpowder revolver.?

    IronHand
     
  10. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Well, I told you how I do it and hundreds of revolvers are out there with this setup and it is fool proof so far. I also believe that steel shims are at least in the ballpark with the modern steel these revolvers are made of (if the revolvers were made of resin, I might reconsider). The fact that one of my local customers did have some slight compression from shooting 60gr. charges of Triple 7 in his "Pride and joy" Walker (this was early on), lead me to my addition of powdered steel and that was the fix!! No problem with this "heavy metal" approach!
    If you want to experiment with resin alone, that's fine. I can't afford to have revolvers come back to me because " it didn't work ". I know some folks will use brass washers and some will use brass plugs. I've had the same folks tell me the brass, in some cases, was too soft and clearances opened up. For this reason, I'll stick with what I know works.

    On another note, as I mentioned in my post above, when I'm installing the shim pack with my mix of JB, I drive the wedge in to load the shim pack. After curing, the result is basically a solid steel connection between the arbor and the barrel assy, that will be the same under the same tension when assembled. I don't see how you can achieve the same " compressed " (more dense) "repair" with your glass setup. The steel shims are solid and can be put under tension whereas the resin isn't and can't.

    Anyway, the true reason for the "bottoming" out of the arbor into the barrel assy is for energy transfer. The harmonics created when a shot is fired will not be interrupted because of space between the two assemblies and will therefore travel throughout the revolver as if it were a single unit. Otherwise, the two assemblies will batter each other and parts will fail. I don't think a resin connection will transfer the force as well as a "like" material will. The barrel/cylinder clearance is achieved after the arbor/barrel fitment has been made.

    Hope this makes some sense.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
    44 Dave likes this.
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