I have been pretty swamped with personal stuff over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, so I've not gotten as far as I would have liked on the lathe rebuild or the Hi Point drum magazine mod. I have, however, gotten a prototype magazine built out of 16 gauge sheetmetal. This was somewhat difficult to do, as 16 gauge sheetmetal is difficult to form sharp bends or radii with. It required the use of a press buck (that I built while living in west Texas) as well as the use of a oxy fuel torch to heat the material before bending. The reason for using such thick metal is because when I welded a factory magazine to a Suomi drum, the mag began to split apart, and the feed lips began to spread. This could've been disastrous to use on a normal basis, so it just made sense to build something more reliable and much stronger than factory.
The raw metal magazine
I have made some progress on the lathe. The only things keeping me from having it back together and working is the back gear is missing some teeth and the bearings in the motor are pretty shot. Other than that, the lathe is back in (mostly) one piece.
I have something else in mind for the lathe once I get it up and running, I am going to finally build my short-barreled SKS. If you look on the sidebar of this blog, you'll see an SKS I dreamed up and did some cut and paste work on. This build will require me to shorten the gas piston assembly and move the gas port back a couple inches. The final product will have a ~12" barrel and a Tapco Intrafuse stock. I will also be machining the receiver to accept AK magazines, and I will be machining a small brake for the barrel. This is still a few weeks in the future, and I've got to wait on the ATF form 1 to come back before I can begin the build.
I should have the Hi Point 995 carbine drum assembly welded up soon, and hopefully I'll be testing it before long.
Well, I started to tinker with the HiPoint drum and only got so far before I realized that my tools were limiting me a bit. I found that I needed at the very least another lathe, and a milling machine if at all possible. Thanks to Craigslist, I found a small lathe identical to my old Logan I had last year, and it was for sale at a decent price. I contacted the seller and purchased the lathe sight unseen.
I picked up the lathe last week, and kinda wish I had ran it first before forking over the cash. It was complete, but really dirty and missing a couple of parts. There's nothing holding me back that I can't improvise or fabricate, so it was a good deal in the end. Turns out the guy I purchased the lathe from also has a large industrial sized Bridgeport mill and Rockwell lathe he is selling that I may pick up from him in the future, but that is a few months out.
So, the last few days have been spent tearing the lathe down and stripping all the dirt, oil, grease, and paint that had accumulated on the lathe over the last 70 years (it was originally built in 1941, and it looks like that was the last time it was cleaned off. The lathe has been repainted before, but it doesn't look like the Picasso who painted it bothered to clean it first.)
Here's the lathe from when I unloaded it off the truck and set it in the corner of my garage.
After a LOT of lacquer thinner, paint stripper, wire brushing, sanding, degreasing, priming, and then painting with Rustoleum Smoke Gray oil based paint, here's what we have so far.....
I still have a lot of small parts to clean, strip, sand, prime, and paint, but most of the large/hard stuff is out of the way. I have to find a way to machine a new gear for the back gear assembly as the 28 tooth gear that was already there is missing several teeth, so that needs to be attended to.
The upside is that the guy I bought this lathe from has had it for several years, and never used it. He purchased it from a guy in the Houston area who had a small machine shop, and my understanding is that that was the second owner. Aside from being very dirty, the machine was in decent shape. The ways are not terribly worn, all the bearings and bushings seem to be in good shape, and after being cleaned, repainted, and re-lubed, it should run like new.
That's all for now.....