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Posted: 1/5/2006 10:02:42 PM EDT
I am looking into buy the equipment needed for building my own AK's. What's the cost of getting into it and are there any tutorials for the newbies?
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 11:02:21 PM EDT
it really is all up to how handy you are
you can make all your own tools and be into them under 50 for everythang
or you can buy them all and be into them 500

ive always said the best teacher is failure
just start building if you get stuck someone is always willing to help
but the best way to learn is just to do it
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 5:32:01 AM EDT
I agree with socandyman in regards to getting the hands on experience to learning. I went into building my first AK build with no knowledge, nor the tools, whatsoever. Reading the online postings here and elsewhere, I figured out what was needed. The first thing I purchased was a 12 ton press from Harbor Freight for about $100. Then I figured I needed some gear pullers, to help with the barrel removal process, for $12 (3 piece set). The only other thing that I purchased to help facilitate my builds was a $59 dremel kit. Now I am wanting to purchase a $155 flat bending jig so that I can bend my own receivers. Figure in a $199 spot welder for the rails. All in all, it's to what extent you want to get into building, that'll determine how much it will cost to get into building an AK. Over time, that ramp up cost will more than pay off with the amount of builds you do.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 9:02:13 AM EDT
If you buy ready-made receivers and do screw builds, it can be damn cheap and pretty easy.

These new "push rivet" thingies look even easier than a screw build. Hell, you wouldn't even need a tap.

Like socandyman says, failure is a learning experience. Get a $80 wore out Yugo to screw up on, before buying a $600 M92 kit...



Link Posted: 1/6/2006 10:45:02 AM EDT
I work ina machine shop and when I f*ck up my boss asks me how I think that I will ever become a machinist. You learn more from your errors than anything else. Just my .02$.

Give yourself a shot, you might like it. build your own tools.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 11:03:40 AM EDT
Do you guys think it is worth it to start up even with the barrel ban coming into effect soon????

I would think there would be a market for USA barrel makers, for the entrepreneur.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 11:05:31 AM EDT
I really didn't need much for my build.

Grinder to make rivet squisher.
Cheap $8.00 bolt cutters
drill press
drill bits
Dremel
Bench grinder to disassemble Romy kit
set of cheap punches
big hammer (2 or 3 pounder) to knock barrel and barrel pin in and out.
5 pennys stacked and taped together to protect barrel from pounding.
Vise.

Not bad if you already have some of this stuff.

I think thats about it

Oh yeah...after the build I bought a set of headspace gauges to check the headspace. Then traded them for some mags on the I.E.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 12:24:06 PM EDT
If you are planning on refinishing the metal, you'll need a large compressor, sandblasting cabinet, parkerizing set up, and an airbrush if you want a spray on finish.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 6:26:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2006 6:28:17 PM EDT by Swordslinger]

Originally Posted By socandyman:


ive always said the best teacher is failure
just start building if you get stuck someone is always willing to help
but the best way to learn is just to do it



AMEN!!!

I have built one that runs flawlessly out of a Tapco flat, bent without a jig, and used screws and loc-tite red. Then did a prebent Yugo from coldsteel solutions with minimal tools. The 39.00 drill press came in real handy, along with 14.00 tap and die kit. Couldnt have done any of it without the Dremmel. Eseacialy the prebent. The re-enforced cut off wheels are a must.

The next one is going to be with rivets, but I may try the U drive screws first.

Either way, I have a very used Yugo, and a brandspanking new Romy, and I am a happy camper.

Edited to add: A nice vice would be the first place to start.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 6:42:20 PM EDT
here is my 2 cents

It helps if you have a few of the basic tools If you plan to build 2 guns it is deffantly worth it.
I am doing a small group build that consist of a co-worker, my brother, and my grandpa and we are having a blast so far
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:45:38 PM EDT
Well I plan on setting up shop in a small section of my girlfriend's parent's pole barn. So I could even get by without having a 12 ton press? Just use a BFH? What's the disadvantage of a screw build? If a rivet build isn't too much harder I'd be willing to do that. I'm gonna buy a kit and see if I can get someone near me (hometown forum) to show me the ropes. Where's a good place for a reciever and kit?
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 8:37:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Weasel_Master:
Well I plan on setting up shop in a small section of my girlfriend's parent's pole barn. So I could even get by without having a 12 ton press? Just use a BFH? What's the disadvantage of a screw build? If a rivet build isn't too much harder I'd be willing to do that. I'm gonna buy a kit and see if I can get someone near me (hometown forum) to show me the ropes. Where's a good place for a reciever and kit?



DPH on the kit, and coldsteel solutions on the reciever if you want to dremmel it out yourself. If you wany a 100% reciever, DPH sell EW Banks. I know nothing of them, but FREEFALL-E7 has built a really sharp build. The two kits I got from DPH were unfired, and un-used period. NO Wear at all!!! Anywhere. The stocks didnt even have sratches from storeage, and from the looks of FREE's, his was the same way. I did both of mine with screws and did not have to pull the barrel. If you pull the barrel, you will need GO/NO-GO gauges to make sure you head space is correct before fireing.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:59:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 6:59:39 PM EDT by Weasel_Master]
What would determine if I need to pull the barrel?
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 7:42:26 PM EDT
You would only need to pull the barrel if you plan on using rivets to attach the receiver to the front trunion. If you are doing a screw build, you don't need to pull the barrel; just drill the old rivets out (be careful not to drill into the barrel), tap the threads and screw on the receiver.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 7:43:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 7:46:25 PM EDT by motorcityman]

Originally Posted By Weasel_Master:
What would determine if I need to pull the barrel?



If you want to do it right you should pull the barrel, SCREW screws, use rivets, most people who have done screw builds in the past are redoing their builds with rivets, I say do it right the first time. If you do a build use a 100% receiver, all you really need is a good hammer, good set of punches, a good set of drill bits, a bench vise, a hand drill or a drill press, a 20 dollar pulley puller, some files, a dremel is a big help, a nice ruler or dial caliper. For under a hundred bucks you can have all the tools u need really. Rommy kits are easy the only problem i've had have been the barrel pins, but i finally figured that kroil penetrating oil really works, so you should pick up a can of that too. All in all the investment in the tools isnt all that bad because once you build that first one you will want to do more (its that easy) and its really addicting! McM

Edit to add that a set of bolt cutters is the best bet for ya too, theres instructions on this site that will show you how to modify them.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 6:00:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2006 6:19:50 AM EDT by Weasel_Master]
How do you attach the rails if you don't weld them? Do you just use rivets and cut them down? Is there a step by step tutorial anywhere?
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:30:50 AM EDT
I've seen some folks screw them in, but it's just as easy to spot weld them. I am sure you can find a local weld shop that'll do them for relatively inexpensive price...even for a 6-pack.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:47:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Weasel_Master:
How do you attach the rails if you don't weld them? Do you just use rivets and cut them down? Is there a step by step tutorial anywhere?




I used 6-32 screws on the first and cut down nuts to fit them and red lok-tited them in. I plan to get my own spot welder, and when I do (someday) I will modify the tongs and do it myself. I have heard of many people useing screws without a problem. One fella said he screwed them from the inside, and ground the outside down flush and finished over them. I forget how many rounds he said he had throuh it, but it was quite a few. Thats what I did with the second, and it is doing fine as well. I am doing all of this on an extremly tight budget, and will gather other tools as I go along. Doing it "cheap" was my sole goal. A realiable weapon, on the cheap. The DPH kits are so nice that I have decided to hold off, gather the tools and do it as it was intended. However, I am waiting on the U drive screws as mentioned in another thread. I believe the title is "Easiest AK build ever".
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:55:30 AM EDT
I looked at the dpharms website and the kits now state they are $109. Although if you look on the right side of the site there is a link to Roamian Kit Prices. There is a note that says they are no longer $109 as of Jan. 4. So any idea on new price?
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 9:53:36 AM EDT
Scotts Romy kits are great! In addition to Scott, Bocefus (look him up at gunco.net) has kits with matching numbers for a good price and fixed rate shipping.

You will not go wrong with either Scott at DPHArms in NC or Bocefus in OH. Both will take care of you!

Terry in NC
(fuzzy_dba)
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 6:49:33 PM EDT
The lower rails can be silver soldered in using a Mapp gas torch. Use the high-temp silver solder though, not soft solder. I couldn't afford $150 for a spot welder I'd only ever use on 2 or 3 guns. The couple welding shops I approached didn't want to work on guns- liability issues.
Disadvantage of a screw build? Tapping the trunnions can be a bear, and is a nightmare if you break a tap. Also, the Clan of the Rivet People will make fun of your build as inferior.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 6:25:07 AM EDT
Well I've gone ahead and started buying the tools needed for a rivet build. I figure if I'm going to do it, might as well do it right. Just waiting for a drill press to go one sale.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:36:48 AM EDT
Alot of times, retailers will honor a 30 day credit if an item goes on sale. If you can't wait to get building, splurge and get a drill press. I know Home Depot had a nice Ryobi 10" drill press for $99 that I've been eyeing for a while.
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