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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 10/2/2007 11:25:50 PM EST
So I've been wanting to build up an AK for quite awhile as I have two flats sitting in the back of my gun cabinet, the only problem is that I've never welded a single thing in my life other than some oxy acetylene sophomore year in a beginners welding class

I'm wondering, how hard would it be for me to weld the rails with no experience? Also, what should I look for in a welder? I'd prefer to spend the least I can get away with as I'll probably never wind up use it for anything else

I realize this is a bit of a crapshoot, but I'd like to give it a whirl and see if by some miracle I can turn out a working rifle

Thanks!

Link Posted: 10/3/2007 4:04:52 AM EST
Buy a spot welder. No experience necessary.
Link Posted: 10/3/2007 4:28:29 AM EST
Keep in mind that welding will distort/warp the piece you are working on, particularly if it is a thin piece of metal.
Link Posted: 10/3/2007 6:49:50 AM EST
Most of us use the Harbor Freight 115VAC Spot Welder, it's not to expensive when on sale and you have a 20% off coupon.

Do not buy the 220VAC spot welder, to many reports of "burn through" when using it.
Link Posted: 10/3/2007 7:27:23 AM EST
I have always used a MIG welder to weld mine.

I drill holes where there would usually be spot welds in the receiver. Space the rails with a 1/4" drill bit and clamp the rails in place and just spot weld in place, giving time in between to cool.

Then you can use a small angle grinder to knock down the weld and a file/sandpaper to finish it off to a nice smooth finish.
Link Posted: 10/3/2007 1:39:40 PM EST
Thus far I have done both spot and mig welding and the most important thing is heat. The spot welder did not produce much but as mentioned above I have heard of some burning through. The spot welder does a much nicer job and requires no clean up with a grinder. However I really enjoy welding (and am probably no better than you, experience does not always equal proficiency) but it leaves you with quite a mess which requires quite a bit of grinding (and if you're like me you'll get a bunch of little metal shavings in your hand since I always forget to use gloves, they are still there 2 weeks after my last build party).
Link Posted: 10/3/2007 7:19:29 PM EST
If you have the money to buy a Harbor Freight 110v spot welder, the modified electrode from AK builder, and can count to 4, then you can spot weld lower rails on an AK receiver.
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 5:11:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By Eyegun:
If you have the money to buy a Harbor Freight 110v spot welder, the modified electrode from AK builder.


Or you can make your own lower tong. The Tong that Curtis sells is a copy of my original design. Curtis was considerate enough to ask me for permission to copy the design, even though he really didn't have too. Just an indicator of what a classy guy he is.
Here's a link to the tong how to.
Lower tong mod
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 5:10:48 PM EST
I agree with the others, if you don't have any welding skills get the spot welder and buy an extra flat in case you mess up on your first atempt. You can always sell it later and get most of your money back.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:54:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hanover_Fists:
Keep in mind that welding will distort/warp the piece you are working on, particularly if it is a thin piece of metal.


This is true, so only weld very small almost like tack welds and then move to a hole further away. Keep coming back until complete.

A VERY important thing is to take the scrap parts of the old reciever and practice welding on it.

My last build had access to a spot welder but wanted to try the welding just to try something different.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 11:57:00 AM EST
Wow, thanks for all the great advice

Good looking out on the spot welder tongs, I had seen the FAQ for using a spot welder but didn't want to just go tearing into one without any real idea what I was doing

I think I'm going to attempt to build a gun in the next two weeks, I'll be sure to post pictures if it's not a total mess
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