Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What Day is it Now?

Sheesh… First of all, I sound like a wino for even starting a blog post about this, but since I even HAVE a blog that pretty much throws my decency out the window.  Today is day 15 of my 30 days without alcohol and it’s been fine. I mean, there have been a few times that I would have enjoyed a beer, but it probably would have been more than one or perhaps a 22oz one.


I have a “Hop in the Dark” by Deschutes, waiting for me when I complete this test of my will and sanity. I suppose this small period of time will help me lose the last few pounds that I am packing around, but if not I don’t really know. Maybe I sleep better, but that’s still undecided.


Last night would have been a nice night for a cigar… yeah….  Sitting on the deck taunting the chickens and enjoying the sun set.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Personality test

Eysenck's Test Results
Extraversion (72%) high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.
Neuroticism (36%) moderately low which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.
Psychoticism (40%) moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly kind natured, trusting, and helpful at the expense of your own individual development (martyr complex).
Take Eysenck Personality Test (similar to EPQ-R)
personality tests by similarminds.com

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Versys Gypsy Bikes

The last long trip for me on the Versys was one to Kalispell, Montana. What an amazing place that is!! Once you get past the locals telling you that your helmet will kill you and apply enough chemicals to deter the bugs that surely will, it's a fun place. It was like camping everywhere we went. I even got to use the Versys for what it was intended for; it is an adventure bike after all.

Riding on the rocky, gravelly roads leading up to our hangout was a trip. A 400+ pound dirt bike (although clearly not a dirt bike) is a bit more fun than it should be. Anyhow, the chances are good that the next trip report of mine will be in a car. Once business picks up some more, I will be getting another bike, but not now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Learning From the Master

Last week, an old gunsmith who did work on my beloved 1911 pistol offered to teach me the way he does things. Now he might just be the most humble man I have spoken with in a while saying things like “This is just the way I do it, but you should keep an open mind because there is probably something better out there”. Larry is 71 years old, with 45 years of gunsmith work to draw from.


Monday morning I went over to his shop and he taught me how to prepare rifles and pistols for bluing. This is the nice shiny black finish you will see on some new guns and most old ones. The process is very involved and I think the 160 dollars he charges for it is very fair. There is at least an hour worth of setup, some waiting for the chemicals to work and then another hour or so of tear down and clean up.


Yesterday, Larry showed me how he does a trigger job on the 80 series 1911 pistols; these are stupid lawyer guns and Great Grandpa Browning would not be happy to know that some companies have bastardized his perfect creation. Well, after that gun was done, we moved on to something that is a pit fall for many new gunsmiths. The process of glass bedding a rifle stock is something that helps accuracy and also allows for adding strength and minimal weight.


As we prepared the stock, mixed the epoxy and taped off surfaces, we spoke about what it meant to be happy. The most enthralling part of the learning came from that of the time where we waited between steps. Not wanting to make small talk, we spoke about very poignant and remarkable things of Larry’s life. He has been married for 49 or 50 years this coming Friday.  


There are more things to write about with this, but it has been such a dramatically wonderful experience for me to learn from someone that knows this trade better than anyone I’ve ever met. I saw the stock that he bedded and subsequently ruined when he was 19 years old; I am happy to see and hear about these stories in hopes that I can avoid these things. I will certainly make errors, but that is only human.


I spent a shit ton of money on supplies today, but I should make it all back with these three jobs that I’m doing tomorrow. Anyway, it has been awesome and will only get better.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Free Mauser: Off to a Bad Start

Yesterday I took the Argentine Mauser receiver out of the WD-40 bath and knocked off the major crud with a few taps of a rubber mallet. After this initial removal, I went out and sprayed the part down with some heavy duty oven cleaner. This sounds super ghetto, but the person who told me to do it has been a gunsmith for 45 years and never has a lack of work. The first couple pics of the part on the white rack are with the foaming, caustic spray on there.

After rinsing off the oven cleaner, I dried the part as well as I could and went to work with the sand blast cabinet. Now, my compressor is small and cannot really stand up the rigors of sandblasting for any sort of extended period. Now, I know the part is nowhere near completely clean as I was only trying to free up the action. The bolt release is still stuck shut, so I might have to end up drilling out the screw and knocking the part off.

I am not going to invest any money into the part until I can confirm that the mating surfaces inside the barrel threads and where the locking lugs of the bolt (the thing you crank down to lock the round in the chamber) are fitting well. At a minimum, this will be good practice for me in metal preparation and surface restoration. The stamp is beyond saving as can be seen, but I am sure I can make a good use of the parts somehow.

Good times.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Initial Haul: Box One of Many

So, Tom has been mentioned on here before and he is a good friend of mine, but this time he could not make it to get the lathe. What I did get, though, is very interesting. I paid half the money and brought home a ton of tools of all types, reloading dies, cutting tools, files, gun parts and even an old rusty Mauser action. I would like to see how I can get that thing to work here in the not too distant future. That will be an interesting project to say the least because it is rusted shut now and is in an ammo can soaking in WD-40 as I type.

The couple boxes I got were the tip of the iceberg from this purchase. I got very lucky with this lathe deal and the lady who I bought it from is glad that it's going to a good home. I guess the pictures are just a bunch of parts to most people, but do a search for machining bits and you will quickly see why this is a great deal.

Lost and Found Goggy

Yesterday while sorting through my new lathe and gun parts box, this big dog walked up to my oldest son. I was a bit startled at first, but it was not aggressive and was panting heavily. I called to him, but he gave no indication that he heard me. Even when I clapped loudly and whistled, the thirsty thing didn't move. I walked over, knelt down and let him sniff me. I then petted him and took a look at his tags. Luckily, Dakota had tags on and I called his family.

We gave him water and a few minutes later, his human neighbors came to get him. I was surprised at how strong, yet docile this thing was. I mean, it was not huge, but I drastically underestimated Dakota's strength. I have not had the best luck with dogs at this house, so this is a good experience.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Lathe... Here Goes Nothing

It’s been a while since I’ve posted (I’m a busy dude), but this is a good one. I asked the old gunsmith who did work for me years ago to keep an ear out for any machinery or tools that are selling locally. Well, old Larry came through in a big way and I got hooked up with a customer of his.


The lathe is made back in the 50s or possibly before; it needs some TLC, but I am hopeful. The lady who has it is very nice and made me a fair deal. I have to borrow money to get it, but it will only take me a little bit to pay it back. Anyway, I will post pics when I get it home and set up. It is a Logan 922 and it is HEAVY!!


This is the very first step to my next phase of my gunsmithing dream. With this, I will be able to re-chamber barrels, add threading, fluting and a variety of other things that involve spinning metal. I still have to learn all the ins and outs so I will be taking a class whenever I can. So yeah.  Awesome.