To remove/install a flash hider, has anyone used wooden blocks with "V's" cut in them in a vise instead of barrel vise jaws blocks?
I use wood blocks (oak) in a home-made wood vice for all of my AR barrel work.
The top and bottom 1" oak compression blocks operate on 1/2" threaded rod, and compress the 2" clamping blocks between them. Everything is mounted to the middle of the long edge of a piece of 1/2 plywood for a non-torquing work surface with plenty of wrenching room when it is on a table's leading edge.
The compression blocks without the inserts also hold an A3 upper nicely for barrel nut work, too.
Instead of the V notches, I bored a 3/4 next to a 1" diameter round hole before sawing the clamping block(s) apart, and use leather pieces between the wood and barrel for extra grip.
It all slides between a desk and reloading bench when no in use. I needed a vice and didn't have a workbench, so I made my own.
The spirit of this forum inspires me to say GOOD GOD MAN, YOU WILL BLOW YOURSELF UP or THIS RIFLE WAS NOT DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF OAK BLOCKS or YOU MUST USE THE USMC MK1 MOD2 BARREL BENCH VISE WITH A CALIBRATED TORQUE WRENCH. - or whatever BS I happen to make up or have heard at the gunshop.
Seriously, sure. Whatever works. Just crushfit the wood to prevent a possible scratching your phosphated finish if it slips. I like aluminum as aluminum smears can be cleaned off with bore cleaner.
Putting a 1" dowel in an upper makes it crushproof. Learned that one the hard way too.
If a better gun was designed to allow use of household tools and shadetree methods exist other than a Sten type, I've not heard of it.