Thursday, May 26, 2011

Life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Really expensive, depressing lemonade.

I haven't gotten near as much done this week as I would have liked.
Monday was a bit dull, as I had to get some dental work done, which precluded me working on the .50, and I should've taken that as a cue not to touch anything for the remainder of the week.
Tuesday consisted of : (in no specific order)
1. Breaking a brand-new tap in the new bolt head I just machined
2. Breaking an expensive Tialn carbide endmill
3. Breaking 5 brand new cobalt drill bits of various sizes
4. Breaking the bolt handle I had previously machined for the .50
5. Breaking a brand new tap handle I bought that morning when I bought the drill bits and tap that also got broken
6. Breaking an entire 10 pack of 1/8" TiN coated drill bits I bought last week (seriously, by this point I was just on a WTF? roll)
7. Breaking the roll pin that holds the handle together on my milling machine vise
8. The aforementioned vise handle falling on my foot
9. Absentmindedly getting my left index finger too close to the spinning chuck on the lathe and banging the ever-loving crap out of it
There's more I must be forgetting, but that's enough for me to know I shouldn't have bothered.

Wednesday wasn't as bad, but I found that I had made a grievous error on the barrel extension on the .50. When I had machined the barrel extension, I apparently goofed up something, since I thought I had the headspacing set exactly where it needed to be.
Looks like I was wrong.
Turns out that when I try to load a live round in the rifle, the headspacing is off by .005"-.007, and that's just not acceptable. That's way too much room between the round and the chamber. So, I am going to have to machine a new barrel extension that will allow for proper headspacing. This shouldn't take near as long as the original one did since I have a better lathe now, but it's still a PITA and really annoying that I didn't catch this earlier.
So, I logged on to my account with and ordered up a length of 2.25" OD 4140 prehard steel. The good thing about this is that I can machine the new part out of this stock, and once the rifle is assembled and functional, I can test fire it before sending everything out to be final hardened. Then I can make sure everything works smoothly before it gets Duracoated.
Chock this one up to a learning experience, (as if I needed another), and eat the cost of materials and be thankful I found this out before the first test fire.

I did managed to machine a new bolt handle today and get some other minor things done, but the last three days have been a real bitch.


  1. I think that sometimes Murphy gets bored and decides to just dump on someone. You haven't been taunting him have you?

    Six (still having Blogger troubles)

  2. Six,

    I'm starting to think so.

    Some days you're the bug, and some days you're the windshield, and this week I played the part of the bug fairly well.

    Blogger is a real S.O.B. sometimes, isn't it?