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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 12/11/2013 7:58:24 PM EDT
I've done lowers before, and finally stepping up to the plate to start uppers. I figured that since I have multiple ARs I need to learn how to make uppers for maintenance/doing my own work and assembly.

I'm going to build a small but solid work bench over New Years with BIL. Getting tools together now. Here is basically what I'm looking at, but willing to take any recommendations.

Bench Vise

I realize its cheap...have no clue if I really need a 100$ plus vise. Haven't gone to home depot. Just harbor freight online then searched ebay for one of the vises I saw on there.
Could I get by with this? Or run like the wind.

Wrench

Action Block

How much am I looking at for a decent torque wrench? Anything else I should snag while I'm getting parts?

I have basic tools, hammers, punches, etc. Just none of the specialized stuff.

Thanks for the input guys.
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 8:11:56 PM EDT
[#1]
I know Sears has Craftsman torque wrenches at half off right now, $40 instead of $80. You can also find a cheaper AR-15 armorers tool if you shop around.
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 9:07:46 PM EDT
[#2]
Roll pin punch set
And if you want to splurge roll pin starter set. I can't find the one I have. But there are a few out there.
A vise and vise block are nice.
A stock wrench and bbl wrench. That is what I started with. And the odd household screw driver. Now I have a whole room of tools.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 3:02:05 AM EDT
[#3]
C'mon, search around eBay for vises made in the USA! I got one very similar to this one. It may cost you a little more, but it's not some made in China crap and it'll be something  you can be proud to have. Vise

Roll pin punches and starters. I just got these and they are great. Starter punches

This wrench has served me well and is cheaper. Dpms wrench

And like the poster above said, the craftsman torque wrenches are half off now, you're not gonna beat that price.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 3:56:27 AM EDT
[#4]
I would recommend the following

Geissele Roll Pin Tool
I have had many frustrating moments getting the roll pin in for a gas tube, this tool makes it a breeze

Armorer's Wrench
I have this wrench and it works great. It's also half the price of the one you listed.

AR15/AR10 Vise Block
I would recommend this over the action block set. I have that set from Pro Mag and I found that a couple of my uppers didn't fit correctly. This block can hold an AR15 or AR10(308)

AR15 Bench Block
This block is amazing. Makes working on gas blocks so much easier
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 5:27:26 AM EDT
[#5]
Quoted:
I've done lowers before, and finally stepping up to the plate to start uppers. I figured that since I have multiple ARs I need to learn how to make uppers for maintenance/doing my own work and assembly.

I'm going to build a small but solid work bench over New Years with BIL. Getting tools together now. Here is basically what I'm looking at, but willing to take any recommendations.

Bench Vise

I realize its cheap...have no clue if I really need a 100$ plus vise. Haven't gone to home depot. Just harbor freight online then searched ebay for one of the vises I saw on there.
Could I get by with this? Or run like the wind.

Wrench

Action Block

How much am I looking at for a decent torque wrench? Anything else I should snag while I'm getting parts?

I have basic tools, hammers, punches, etc. Just none of the specialized stuff.

Thanks for the input guys.
View Quote

Good questions, d.  
-  The vise you have in mind looks just fine.  Its plenty big enough, its similar to mine and should last a lifetime, also precision is not required for general purpose use.  Be sure to also buy some jaw liners, I like the plastic ones with embedded magnets.  
-  Don't buy a wrench until you select your FF handguard.  I recommend the newer type handguards that include proprietary barrel nuts that don't have notches for the gas tube and often don't employ a GI-type wrench to tighten.  Some are tightened with an ordinary open end wrench.  
-  The action block you mention seems OK, also the price is right.  
-  As for a torque wrench, I don't own one and never felt the need for one.  I apply a reasonable amount of torque to barrel nuts using feel alone.  If you are working with one of the aforementioned new type barrel nuts, there is even less concern about over-tightening.  good luck - CW
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 6:46:16 AM EDT
[#6]
Get a geissele reaction rod, or brownells tool instead of the action block. Once you use one you will
never go back to a vise block.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 6:56:50 AM EDT
[#7]
I like the Tapco bottle opener.  It comes with nice quality wrench, too.  Amazon has them for $30ish.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 10:59:20 AM EDT
[#8]
I like the upper vise block from Wheeler, it comes with a BCG insert that has a tube to line up the barrel nut for your gas tube. They can be had cheap from Amazon.
Wheeler upper vise block
Vince
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 1:06:18 PM EDT
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Get a geissele reaction rod, or brownells tool instead of the action block. Once you use one you will
never go back to a vise block.
View Quote


+1  

I use the Brownell's tool.  Geissele stuff is very overpriced.  This works perfectly and puts zero stress on the body of the upper receiver when installing your barrel nut or 1-piece screw-on HG.



http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/rifle-tools/barrel-tools/ar-15-m16-308-ar-barrel-extension-torque-tools-prod27452.aspx
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 2:16:32 PM EDT
[#10]
i love this site

thanks for all of the help so far.

i would get the brownells thing mentioned in these later comments, but it is out of stock on backorder,

im going to try to look for an american made vise if i can keep it in my budget of under 50$ for that alone.

keep em coming if you guys have anything else!
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 2:36:46 PM EDT
[#11]
so, is a torque wrench really needed? im assuming so.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 2:46:38 PM EDT
[#12]
A torque wrench is a must in my opinion...unless you have worked with nuts and bolts for a living you will not have a good idea what torque you are using.

If it were me, I would pick up a beam style torque wrench. I think sears has them for around 20.

Here is my reasoning.....

If you want an accurate click torque wrench you need to be prepared to spend money 200-300. The problem with the cheaper click wrenches is that they go out of calibration fairly quickly, or could be out of calibration right from the factory. There are tests you can do to check the calibration, but I am willing to bet most people do not do these.

A beam style wrench is cheap, accurate, and will almost never go out of calibration. If it does get out of calibration you can just bend the beam back to 0. I know they are not as cool as a click wrench, but they do a great job.

Uppers don't really require that many tools. Good luck with the build.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 3:51:18 PM EDT
[#13]
I think im going to go with the vise mentioned above,

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Columbian-43-Anvil-Top-Swivel-base-Pipe-Jaws-Vise-/251380253137?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a876e41d1

would it be OK to spray paint it? or would that be dumb to do?
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