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Posted: 10/16/2005 11:18:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/25/2005 7:20:22 AM EDT by Zhukov]
I just finished my first AK build, and it was really fun. I'm very excited and can't wait to go out and shoot it this afternoon. The title of my build is:

"There's nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot with a big hammer"


I started with a Romanian parts kit from DPH arms, and a Global Trades 1.0mm receiver. I got the US made gas piston and pistol grip at a gunshow, and had the FCG left over from my SAR-1 when I put in a Tapco G2 trigger. Here is a pic of the kit:



I started off doing this as a screw build. Initially, I ground down all the rivet heads as much as possible, and then pried off the receiver remnants, then ground the rivet shanks down some more. Most people recommended drilling out the rivets, but I simply used a hammer and punch - even on the rear trunnion. It took some pretty good whacking, but they all came out eventually.

Drilling out the front trunnion rivets proved more problematic. I had an elongated hole in one, and I broke off a drill bit in another hole. There was no way to drill out the remnants of the old drill bit, as it simply chewed up any bit I used. At this point in time, I decided to pull the barrel. First, I drifted out the barrel retaining pin, and it wasn't too hard. Definitely took a good pounding. I then hung the front trunnion in my vise with the barel hanging down and just the trunnion supported on my opened vise jaws. I took a 4" carriage bolt, laid a penny on the chamber, and put the carriage bolt head on top of that. More pounding from my trusty 3 pound mini-sledge, and the barrel came out fairly easily. The rivets were now easy to pound out with my punches.

At this point in time, I didn't really want to mess around with threading the trunnion. I re-read the latest Shotgun News and decided I should rivet it after all. I was pretty nervous, but decided to press ahead.

First thing I did, like most people, is to rivet in the trigger guard. This appeared the easiest at first, but proved to be a major pain in the rear, as the GT receiver already had the center support tube installed. I used various punches, and beat the rivet shanks to hold tight. They're UGLY - real ugly. But you won't ever see them, and they don't have to support much.

With that out of the way, I needed to drill the receiver holes for the front and rear trunnion. Thereare several ways to do this, but I got an idea and it worked out pretty well. First, I put a piece of paper on the front trunnion and aligned the edges, then made a pencil rubbing:



Here's a pic of the two side-by-side:



I aligned the edges to the receiver and taped the paper in place:



Now I should mentioned that I test-fit the trunnion, and it aligned perfectly with the GT receiver. No trimming needed. Here I have drilled the holes all the way through. Notice that I left the trunnion in place to support the receiver wall as I drilled:



I didn't drill the holes full size, but left them a little small, and went in with a Dremel and diamond grinding bit to enlarge the holes concentric around the trunnion holes:



Here's a pic with the enlarged hole and one rivet test fit into the lower hole:



I repeated the process on the rear trunnion, and then proceeded to smash the rivets with my trusty hammer. I had never riveted before, so I made the mistake on one of them and hammered it too flat. Only later did I realize that you only hammer it about half way down, and then use a ball peen hammer to round over the edges. It works, but it looks a little to wide and flat. About 3/16" of the rivet shank should stick out. Any more than that, and it'll make more work, so I ground the shank down a little bit.

Now came the big head-scratcher. How do I rivet in the front trunnion? The guy in the shotgun news article had used a backing bar, but it was obvious from the picture that he had a mill and turned down some bar stock to the exact diameter of the inside diameterof the front trunnion. Not an option for me, but I got lucky: I had planned to rivet these with the heads inside of the trunnion. The heads protrude into the barrel space, and a 1/2" iron pipe from some pipe clamps I had fit that space perfectly! I had my backing material:



Here I've already flattened the rivets. You can see the end of my 4ft pipe clamp sticking out of the trunnion. In order to do the rivets on the other side, I needed to grind down the rivet heads to allow the pipe to slide back in. Here's the inside of the barrel after that process:



Now one of the rivets wasn't backed really well, and that's kind of a bummer, but It's a swell-neck rivet, and I'm sure it'll hold just fine. I then repeated the process on the other side, and those rivets turned out just fine.

Now came the next big worry: reinstalling the barrel. I put an old muzzle brake on the barrel, and stuck it in the freezer after polishing up the barrel shank with some steel wool. I did the same thing to the inside of the trunnion, and put on some motor oil on both to ease assembly. I once again supported the part of the trunnion sticking out above the receiver on my vise and started pounding in the barrel. No pics here - I had to move fast before the barrel cooled down. I hit it in a little too far, and used the handle of my car jack to tap it back out slightly. The barrel started kind of difficult, and I was panicking, but then it slid in nice and easy. Here's a pic of me about to install the barrel pin:



I finished assembling the rifle, but I still didn't know how I was going to install the lower rivets in the front trunnion. It was time to head to church, and while in church I had a little epiphany....

Another carriage bolt was sacrificed. I cut it a little long, and then tapped it into place to back the rivet:



Ta Daaa! One side done, shorten the carriage bolt remnant a little more, and do the other side:



You'll have to grind the rivet heads here too so the magazine can fit.

Finished product:




Mind you, all the tools I used were hammer, punch, grinder, and Dremel tool. I had bought some bolt cutters to modify as rivet squeezers, but didn't use them. The AK looks realy ghetto as-is, and I don't know what I'm gonna do with it just yet. Leave it, or refinish it. I need to work on the rivet heads a little more to make then look better, but I'm really pleased having finished this project...

UPDATE 10/16/2005: : Just came back from shooting it. The first few rounds went off flawlessly. No signs of overpressure on the spent cases. Then I started to get FTFs with the bolt carrier being really sticky. I figured it might have something to do with me shooting a dry gun, so I squirted some CLP here and there and PRESTO! Reliable AK! Did a little bumpfiring, and she rean like a charm.

UPDATE 10/21/2005: : The stock is refinished, the metal is next...

UPDATE 10/25/2005: FINISHED RIFLE:

Link Posted: 10/16/2005 11:31:25 AM EDT
very nice.
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 12:59:29 PM EDT
It's too bad you opted out of using the bolt cutter for the rivet squeeze. If you had used the bolt cutter you could have put the rivets in the right way instead of backwards!

Hey..if it runs and your happy...I'm happy

Good job with minimum tools!
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 1:00:04 PM EDT
Nice,cant wait to hear how it shoots
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 2:17:48 PM EDT
How did you get your barrel pin in/out ?
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 5:20:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bob1984:
How did you get your barrel pin in/out ?



The old fashioned way. Three pound mini sledge and a punch.
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 5:21:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BUSHMAN15:
It's too bad you opted out of using the bolt cutter for the rivet squeeze. If you had used the bolt cutter you could have put the rivets in the right way instead of backwards!



I specifically tried to do this project on a budget. If I felt like I could do it without, that's how I did it. It was a new experience for me so I'm definitely happy...
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 5:36:30 PM EDT
I hear that's how they do it in Peshawar.
Does it function? Then you done good.

Tet.
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 6:10:48 PM EDT
Sahweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 6:42:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zhukov:

Originally Posted By Bob1984:
How did you get your barrel pin in/out ?



The old fashioned way. Three pound mini sledge and a punch.



lol, how long did you have to beat the thing ? I have a Romy and I'm working on the pin right now, can't get the thing to budge, going to beat on it some more tomorrow.
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 6:48:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bob1984:
lol, how long did you have to beat the thing ? I have a Romy and I'm working on the pin right now, can't get the thing to budge, going to beat on it some more tomorrow.



I supported the trunnion on the vise and just started beating the snot out of it. It wasn't easy, but it came. Once it budged, I knew the bitch was mine.

And it was just as hard to get the pin back in, even though I put some oil on it...
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 7:03:25 PM EDT
tagged
Link Posted: 10/16/2005 8:44:40 PM EDT
take off the furniture and spray it with teflon moly-coat, then bake it in the oven at 300 for 15 minutes.

I will tell you, it will then look great, but you rifle now looks great because it looks like its been in .....................battle
Link Posted: 10/17/2005 6:21:21 AM EDT
Nice work. I used a Romy kit and a GT receiver for my first build too. Tell me did you suffer from the evil microscopic metal splinters that are a byproduct of using a carbide/diamond dremel bit on the hardened reveiver? I still have tiny spots on my thumb from these things!

Sudboy
Link Posted: 10/17/2005 6:52:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sudboy:
Nice work. I used a Romy kit and a GT receiver for my first build too. Tell me did you suffer from the evil microscopic metal splinters that are a byproduct of using a carbide/diamond dremel bit on the hardened reveiver? I still have tiny spots on my thumb from these things!
Sudboy



Nah. Mine were more like dust. Maybe I used a finer grit than you did?
Link Posted: 10/17/2005 12:54:22 PM EDT
Nice job, I just built my first as well, a Rommy like yours.
Link Posted: 10/17/2005 3:22:48 PM EDT
Zhukov, excellent job of improvisation, never mind what some others would say. Fantastic!
Link Posted: 10/17/2005 3:34:02 PM EDT
Here she is after I first built her.



And after I decided I didn't like the forward grip and the origional shellac finish.

Link Posted: 10/17/2005 6:48:33 PM EDT
I've decided to go with Aluma-Hyde II and I'm going to redo the wood. I've got a different lower HG as well, so mine's going to look lind of like yours, Stove_Pipe - except for a more reddish stain to make it look more Russian...
Link Posted: 10/20/2005 5:04:13 PM EDT
Nice job with minimal tooling..........the VC would be proud of you

Will be doing two M92 Krinks in the future.
Link Posted: 10/20/2005 5:11:15 PM EDT
Great job.
Great illustrations.
Enjoy the hell out of it.
Link Posted: 10/21/2005 5:50:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2005 7:09:27 AM EDT by Zhukov]
Update:

Just refinished the stock:



Compare that to the assembled rifle with the wood as it came out of the crate:



Amazing difference - the wood cleaned up real nice. A little mahagony stain to make it look more red, a couple of topcoats of a catalyzed lacquer. It needs a couple more coats, then let the finish cure, and rub it out slightly.

The metal parts will be refinished with the Aluma Hyde II this evening. Unfortunately, that'll take a week to cure...
Link Posted: 10/21/2005 6:47:25 AM EDT
Well done Zhuk!

-David
Link Posted: 10/21/2005 4:56:20 PM EDT
Here's is the completed receiver assembly, finished with matte black Aluma Hyde II. Unfortunately, I can't put the rifle together for about a week while this stuff cures. One more pic to show the refinished rifle to come...

Link Posted: 10/22/2005 4:52:08 AM EDT

UPDATE 10/16/2005: : Just came back from shooting it. The first few rounds went off flawlessly. No signs of overpressure on the spent cases. Then I started to get FTFs with the bolt carrier being really sticky. I figured it might have something to do with me shooting a dry gun, so I squirted some CLP here and there and PRESTO! Reliable AK! Did a little bumpfiring, and she rean like a charm.
...




Wait a damn minute! It wouldnt run dry, you need to tear it apart and rebuild it, there has to be something wrong!!!

Just kidding

Nice build and nice write up


Link Posted: 10/22/2005 5:03:41 AM EDT
Excellent job!!!! Also great pictures.

Got a PMKMS done and have the same kit you built plus an AMD-65 to get built but those are on the back burner. Have other things to get done right now.
Link Posted: 10/23/2005 1:13:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zhukov:
Here's is the completed receiver assembly, finished with matte black Aluma Hyde II. Unfortunately, I can't put the rifle together for about a week while this stuff cures. One more pic to show the refinished rifle to come...

photos.ar15.com/ImageGallery/Attachments/DownloadAttach.asp?iImageUnq=42520



Just how difficult was it to do this?

I ask because I'm upgrading my MAK-90 with new furniture, and I might spring for an optic. Thing is, the finish on it is abysmal, and I'd really like to give it the AR-style parkerized look.

Thing is, I've seen painted weapons that were just , and I don't want one of my own.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/23/2005 3:27:49 PM EDT
I degreased it thoroughly with $0.88 Wal Mart carb cleaner. The Aluma-Hyde applies just like high-quality spray paint. It's not as durable as baked on finishes, but the Brownell's guy said that since you don't know how the finish underneath would hold up to the heat, just to use the Aluma Hyde II. How well will it hold up? That remains to be seen.

There's this excellent article someone wrote about refinishing with Aluma-Hyde. He seems to think it works just fine.
Link Posted: 10/24/2005 5:17:49 AM EDT
Very nice... wow my first post... holy crap!
Link Posted: 10/24/2005 4:07:50 PM EDT
Sneak peak at the assembled rifle. More pics to come when I've got more light.

Link Posted: 10/24/2005 5:35:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zhukov:
Sneak peak at the assembled rifle. More pics to come when I've got more light.

photos.ar15.com/ImageGallery/Attachments/DownloadAttach.asp?iImageUnq=42604



D@mnit! This picture is making me want to buy *another* Romy kit. Please stop posting.

Sudboy
Link Posted: 10/25/2005 5:39:13 AM EDT
FINAL UPDATE!

Here she is, with the regular AKM foregrip I had scrounged up. Not bad for what I paid...

Link Posted: 10/25/2005 7:36:08 AM EDT
Sweet.

Looks like there's a refinished AK in my future!
Link Posted: 10/25/2005 10:51:23 AM EDT
waiting for my yugo to come in.
Link Posted: 10/25/2005 5:03:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/25/2005 6:26:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MrsGloftoe:
Have you extracted a round into your face yet?





Doh! Nothing says "chamber clear" like blood trickling down your face...

I'm waiting for the next Tiger Valley outing....
Link Posted: 10/26/2005 12:21:30 PM EDT
Wow, nice job dude! How does it shoot? As a matter of fact, I have 2 kits that are waiting to be built. I have no mechanical inclination, what are the odds of me pulling off a job like that? Anyway good luck with the rife, it looks really good.
Link Posted: 10/28/2005 5:52:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/28/2005 5:53:08 PM EDT by ilikelegs]
Link Posted: 10/28/2005 7:40:04 PM EDT
what is that?????????????


Link Posted: 10/28/2005 10:04:02 PM EDT
lol, I don't know what it is with people, but a lot of them "see things" that aren't intended. I've heard of people seeing faces in smoke, grilled cheese, and trees, but this is the first I've heard about seeing one on the stock of an AK.
Link Posted: 10/29/2005 4:10:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By zaphar:
lol, I don't know what it is with people, but a lot of them "see things" that aren't intended. I've heard of people seeing faces in smoke, grilled cheese, and trees, but this is the first I've heard about seeing one on the stock of an AK.



If you knew ilikelegs, you'd understand.

That boy ain't right...
Link Posted: 10/29/2005 5:03:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ilikelegs:
xzodus.com/gifs/penisAK.jpg

Anyone seeing what I am seeing?

Kinda ghey if you ask me.

Its the arfcom logo all over again.




OH, NO!!!!


Link Posted: 10/31/2005 9:50:20 PM EDT
Awsome thread!! You inspire me, im definately building an AK now.
Link Posted: 11/5/2005 7:47:22 AM EDT
Beautiful. Reach behind and pat yourself on the back.
AlumaHyde II is better than the bake on finishes when it comes to abrasion resistance and chipping...'cept for maybe GunKote which still ain't as wear resistant as AH2. Been using and recommeding AH2 for years.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 9:08:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:51:22 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 12:08:08 PM EDT
You see WOOD in his WOOD? WTF is wrong with you boy?
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 4:07:38 PM EDT
so how much did this cost to make?
$2xx?
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 2:04:25 PM EDT
Nice build. I have a Romy kit on the way. I'm wondering how much you have in yours, total (if you don't mind me asking).
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 2:39:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 2:11:11 PM EDT
Wow. Do you do romy builds for cash Zhukov?

lol

Great Job!
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