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Case Trimming Fixture
Reamer Drawings
Making a muzzle brake


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Shop Made and Other Tooling


During the process of learning how to build rifles, chamber barrels, and other gunsmithing related tasks, it has been necessary and convenient to build some custom tooling. These little items can make a big difference in the time and effort it takes to do some operations.

Some of the items were designed and made by myself, others were variations or outright copies of other peoples ideas, and others were purchased outright.


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New Hermes Engraving Machine

I purchased an older New Hermes model engraving machine to mark barrels and other items. I use the 1/4 ground carbide cutters from Gravograph, 0.010" size, model 1/8 quarter  round cutter 010, reference number 40366010, item number 33944. These cut the stainless barrel steel easily. I use a little thread cutting oil on the barrel when engraving.

I had to replace the bearings in the cutter spindle as it may have been used with the diamond drag engraving tip, which puts extreme loads on the bearings and ruins them in short order. I purchased the top and bottom bearings from They are both 5/8" OD by 1/4" ID, and 0.196" tall. The bottom bearing has a sealing ring, part Kit7949, the top is plain, part R4ZZ-1. They were under $3 each, making it best to buy a few at a time so you can replace them whenever necessary. This replacement made the machine run a lot better, and allowed the engraving cutter to generate a very clean mark on the barrel.

In order to securely hold barrels or other round stock during engraving, I made a couple of V grooved acetal plates that fit onto the machine's vice jaws. The jaws were made from 0.5" acetal flat stock with Vee grooves on the mating faces, and had holes drilled to fit the locator pins on the New Hermes vice jaws. The pins are 3/16" spaced exactly 2.250" apart. There is a 8-32 threaded hole on the centerline between the two pins, 0.155" to the outside of the vice centerline, that is used to hold the jaws onto the vice firmly. I use a small adjustable vise to support the outboard end of the barrel when engraving.

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This site was last updated 01/03/15