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4575wcf 04-15-2020 05:27 AM

LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch
 
Hey all
Just to prove older ain't smarter I recently bought a couple of LC Smith receivers. One is a pre-1913 Roller Joint model-the original LC Smith. That one will have to wait till I gain some more LC knowledge. The other, the current project, is a stripped featherweight 12 gauge receiver circa 1927. I have named her "Rusti":). Anybody else starting a build like this that wants share information? This project eventually leads to assembling, fitting, jointing, stock work, etc. etc.

4575wcf 05-05-2020 08:19 PM

The LC project has progressed a bit. I have researched and applied the electrolysis rust removal process to free up the remaining internals in the receiver. I don't know if other members have tried this out, but it works in spades. The LC Smith rotary lock, trip and spring are freed up now and removed. I scored the correct trigger plate in an ebay parts lot. This gives me the lower bearing point for the top snap lever, so I can now duplicate the coupler, coupler screw, and rotary bolt from Acralloy 4140 scraps. Once the top snap, trip, coupler assembly is in place and working I can begin roughing in the butt stock. I have also picked up a set of locks, equally rough, from another circa 1927 FWT receiver, they will go in next once they are refurbished, new screws made, and one mainspring replaced. When the locks are inletted and working, I can begin fitting in the cocking rods, triggers, and safety mechanism. Plenty to keep me busy for a long while, maybe I can get some pictures posted pretty soon.

jwsmith1959 05-06-2020 04:21 AM

Pictures would be nice!

All the best and good luck.

bobski 05-06-2020 07:13 AM

may i suggest going to...

www.doublegunshop.com to learn about your L.C?

4575wcf 05-06-2020 07:20 PM

Just as soon as my computer technical advisor (daughter #1) arrives for a visit I will have her set me up with an online picture service and begin documenting the build. My wife forbids me to fool around much with her computer; I can get around a bit, but I am no techno. We will see how much interest we can rouse, most builds seem to involve rifles, but I am locked in shotgun mode for now. Who knows, perhaps we will gather a few more enthusiasts and begin a new forum. There are scads of parts out there, most from various manufacture's damascus doubles deemed unsafe in these modern times. The very first thing you learn about the LC Smith is how much they changed them without really editing the basic design over the years. I am learning at a good clip, but there is SO much more to know.

"Machinist by Trade
Gun Crank by Preference"--HM Pope

jwsmith1959 05-18-2020 04:55 AM

You can post images directly by clicking the "Go Advanced" button at the bottom of the message box. Scroll down and click the "Manage Attachments" button.

It will allow you to choose up to 5 files. After you have picked the files click the Upload button. Wait for it to finish and then submit your reply.

4575wcf 05-19-2020 04:58 AM

LC Smith Project-Electrolysis Part 1 Pic attempt #2
 
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Here we go again. Thanks jwsmith1959 for the picture posting help. When "Rusti" arrived she had been poorly stored for many years in a very humid environment. The top lever, coupler and it's screw, the trip and its spring, and the rotary locking bolt were rusted in place. The LC Smith design does not allow easy access to any of these parts. Once this process was complete a few hundred very light taps with a brass hammer loosened the components enough for removal. Only the coupier screw was lost in the process. I will document the process 5 pics at a time.


#1 This is Oscar. AKA as "Shopcat" or "Donor of the Bucket"

#2 This is the Tidy Cats 27 lb. cat litter bucket. These are just about made to order for using the electrolysis derusting process on a shotgun receiver. The various you tube videos on setting up a regular 5 gallon bucket for electrolysis apply here also.

#3 Notice the "racks" cast in for the corners and the small "flat spot" where you would drill through to attach the 3\8 rebar. The rebar pieces are sold at Home Depot in 12" lengths, they will need cut down a few inches to fit. Then solid copper wire leads attached at the top of each rebar, and wired together outside the bucket in series to form a circuit.

#5 The receiver is attached with soft iron wire looped through the front trigger plate hole.

#4 It is then suspended into the solution with a "flat" pointed toward each corner rebar because the the electrolysis process works pretty much line of sight between the anode and the cathode.

to be continued. . . .

4575wcf 05-19-2020 06:41 PM

LC Smith Project-Electrolysis Part 2
 
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Okay, let's wrap up this write up on the electrolysis part of this project. Not the most exciting topic, I know, but the kitty litter box idea worked so splendidly with so little modification that I definitely wanted to pass that idea along. Even If you don't have a cat, the stuff works great to soak up spills in the shop. Also we got the pictures posting from the PC. That was the other goal.

Pic #1 Here are the ingredients for the solution. About a quarter cup of the Super Soda and enough water to just reach the first set of holes where we drilled though the bucket is about right. I dug out my old battery charger I have had for years and it still worked great. I used the 2 AMP manual setting.

Pic #2 Here is the whole set up. The red positive connector is attached to the wire that runs around the top of the bucket and connects to all four pieces of rebar, and the black negative connector is hooked to the wire that suspends the receiver in the solution. If you look closely at the bucket you will see that I cut a couple of grooves in the top with a medium rat tail file to accept the dowel that holds the receiver in place. That keeps stuff from moving around too much. Of course in actual service the bucket would be full of solution at this point.

Pic #3 The whole receiver is surrounded by a pretty impressive cloud of small bubbles in a really short time. I left it going under the porch and went to work on our small farm, checking on it occasionally. I gotta admit, I thought the thing might be dissolving from the amount of junk coming off in the solution, but nothing of the sort happened. I gave it 8 hours the first day, and then 8 more the next day before I was satisfied with the results. Here is Rusti and the removed parts. The trip spring came out as a solid block rather than a coil. In the background is the roller joint LC Smith receiver from 1892 that was ordered with Rusti. That is a very impressive piece of ordnance made just three years after LC himself sold the line out to the Hunter Arms Company. A few shotguns down the line I would like to tackle it.

Next up--Lapping the LC Smith rotary bolt and it's seat.

4575wcf 05-22-2020 07:47 PM

LC Smith Project-Part One-Lapping the Rotary Bolt and it's Seat
 
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Hello All
Here in pictures #1, #2, and #3, we see three different views of the rotary locking bolt from an LC Smith. This mechanical detail is what sets the LC apart from many other designs. I am currently working on a mechanical drawing of the bolt, which I will be posting soon. It is a pretty involved little piece of hardware, and will take 3 views on my blueprint\shop sketch before I have a complete enough drawing to make a part from scratch. As can be clearly seen in picture #5 the bolt engages the barrel rib extension when rotated counterclockwise (from the shooters position). The rib extension drops through the slot when the barrels are placed into battery, and the "tooth", that section of the bolt nearest the receiver, rotates through a matching cutout in the barrel rib extension. Pressure is applied from a heavy spring located in the action under the trigger plate. The spring acts on a lug integral with the top snap lever. Some cam action is accomplished by inclined surfaces applying pressure to hold the rib extension down and back against the force of firing. We will go into more detail on this later when the bolt drawing is complete. The small front facing notch in picture #3 is the catch for the trip. It holds the top snap hard to the right, and holds the notches in the upper receiver and bolt lined up when the top snap is pushed to the right to open the action. When the action is closed, the spring loaded trip is pushed down by the rib extension, freeing the bolt to rotate to the locked position, and the top lever to return to center.
Now that I have given a bit of background on the locking system, you can understand why these shotguns have the reputation for strength and staying tight after years of use that they do. It is a bit of a fussy mechanism, but a strong one and not crazy complicated. Even when you can see clearly what you are doing during assembly, it seems you have to jiggle the top snap, coupler, and locking bolt parts a bit to find the correct relationship to get them working together.
Picture #5 shows the rotary bolt from Rusti as far into it's seat (Picture #4) as it will go. The correct position is flush with the back of the receiver
Coming up on the next post--lapping the seat and rotary bolt to get free movement.

4575wcf 05-24-2020 07:51 AM

LC Smith Project-Part Two-Lapping the Bolt and Seat
 
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Hello All
This post catches up the LC build as far as I have gotten.
The milled pocket for the LC Smith rotary bolt was put in at the factory, I believe, by a separate special milling machine utilizing a separate milling process. The cutter was a right angle one, working similar to a 90 degree die grinder. The pocket was plunged into the back of the receiver, tight up under the tang. The cutter was fed into the tang a bit to gain some clearance, side cutting, and then backed off a bit and plunged straight in, end cutting. The position of the top tang absolutely prevents cutting the pocket vertically so the operation had to be carried out horizontally. Probably two cutters were utilized, a rougher to get the bulk of the material out, and a finish reamer to bring the pocket to size. To get that blind pocket cut in right and on size within the extremely limited area to access it, which they pulled off repeatedly; well all I can say is that those old boys knew their business, knew their machine tools and knew how to use 'em.

In order to lap the bolt back into the seat, some sort of wrench had to be improvised to turn the thing while I applied light thumb pressure to advance it straight into the seat. I did not wish to remove any actual metal, just the surface rust that had formed between the two surfaces, so I chose Clover Brand 1200 grit lapping compound. This is grease based abrasive compound that will imbed into the surfaces. There are lapping compounds available now that do not, but this is what I had on hand. A light polish given to the seat with fine emery paper will remove the bulk of the leftover grit from that surface, and the bolt will be newly made.

Pics #1-4 Here is the wrench I came up with. I hand sawed and filed it out of flat stock mild steel here at home and then hardened it with Casenite carburizing compound after work

Pics #5 The lapping operation being carried out. The wrench allowed me to rock the bolt while pressing it gently into place. The grease based lapping compound was applied lightly to both surfaces with a Q tip. After a few minutes work, the surface rust was converted to a fine reddish slurry. This was washed and wiped out of the seat with plenty of WD40. A couple of repeats of the operation and we were there. About .002 clearance exists between the bolt and the seat, which is right where I would have fitted it.

Next up-Draw the rotary bolt, and machine a new one (gulp)

4575wcf 06-10-2020 07:03 PM

Hey all
I deleted the first version of the process of making the LC rotary bolt. I discovered A. That the process was not suitable for the particular lathes I currently have access to. It would work fine on a Hardinge, Pratt and Whitney, American etc. toolmakers lathes but not on the less rigid ones that I currently run. These are much more typical of what the home gunsmith is likely to have., and B. The actual part as I began to machine and recheck it varied too much from the original in some places. I will need to revise the drawing and post again soon. I have another bolt well underway that is checking much better, but the order of operations is all different. Thanx

4575wcf 06-10-2020 10:11 PM

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Back in the Saddle
Here in picture #1 we see the raw stock for the rotary bolt. This is a small piece of Accraloy 4140 polished rod 3/4 diameter. One of a run of pins for an agricultural job that came up a tad short and was scrapped. Pictured with the original bolt drawing (so far). The original set up--First the outside of the new bolt is turned to .6875 finish diameter, and Picture #2 a new 5/16 end mill is clamped in a v grooved tool holder, then indicated into the exact center of the lathe spindle using the coaxial indicator. Also indicated longitudinally along it's shank and any misalignment corrected. The bolt is chucked back up in the independent 4 jaw chuck Picture #5 and the jaws drifted to indicate zero on two opposing sides, then indicated to plus .0468 and minus .0468 on the other opposing sides. Now just a simple matter of setting up an indicator on the longitudinal travel Picture #3, and gently plunging the end mill straight into the bolt .5625 deep, which is running off center .0468. Simple and done, right? Not quite. Our rather old and rickity lathe lacks rigidity and the tool holder allows some flexing during the cut. The result is a rough and over sized hole, Picture #4, not to print. And as it turns out our off center dimension for the hole was incorrect all along. Well, we still have the other end of the rod stock to get it right.

Next up--Another way to skin the cat

4575wcf 06-11-2020 08:20 PM

First two cuts on the LC Smith rotary bolt-post #1
 
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I first moved the operation over to our larger lathe to gain a bit of rigidity in the set up. Unhappily, I was now limited to the 3 jaw self centering chuck because the 4 jaw independent chuck for this machine is very large and would not chuck down on this small diameter. The mistake that I had made in the amount of offset needed from center for the inside pocket was caused by the fact that the next upcoming cut, the 5/16" slot cut 9/16 deep through the pocket, is cut in from the side past center by about .045 thousandths, which I failed to catch.

As I continued to study the geometry I finally noticed the very thin outline left of the pocket in the bottom of the slot. See picture #1. I measured the web here and got an accurate reading of .110 thousandths. From there simple addition and subtraction from the known dimensions gives us the correct offset, .093 or 3/32nds inch. The print is revised accordingly and we begin again.

Four tools are required to form our pocket in this new approach. Working from left to right, we will start with a center drill to get our drills started nice and straight, we will then drill in to a mark 9/16 deep with a .3593 (29/64) drill. Next we will grind a flat version of the same drill and clean the metal left by the drill point out of the pocket to a depth of 9/16, then we will run a .375 (3/8) chucking reamer in full depth to size the pocket. See picture #2

This is close up of our flat bottomed drill. These are not over difficult to grind if you have some experience with offhand sharpening regular drill points. The procedure is the same, only the normal 118 deg angle is left off. Care must be taken to preserve the separate cutting tips in order for the drill to properly cut to center though. See picture #3

We get our offset close to the required .093 thousandths by placing a shim under one of the chuck jaws to move the 3/4 in stock over. In this case a short piece of coarse emery paper doubled over on itself was enough to get us very close. See picture #4.

The stock was then carefully spotted with the center drill shown chucked up in our jacobs holder in the tailstock, see Picture #5

. . . continued in following post #2

4575wcf 06-11-2020 09:04 PM

First two cuts on the LC Smith rotary bolt-post #2
 
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We have run the regular 23/64 drill in to the mark, followed by the flat bottomed version of the same drill. On the flat one however, we run it in only till we feel the resistance of the complete bottom cut. We err a tad bit long on our pocket, we will put it to spec later, as this is much easier to fix than if we were to go to short. By a tad, I mean we need go no more than 1/32 deeper, that is plenty.

Lastly we run our reamer, the rule being to ream about 1/64 inch (.015) on a small hole this length, and to ream at half the drill speed and twice the drill feed. We never want to pull more chips than the reamer flutes have room to handle, otherwise the chips will scrub and heat, the reamer can be jammed etc. etc. A good cutting oil is a must, and chips are kept cleared. By far the most common mistake when running a chucking reamer is to chuck it too tightly in the Jacobs at the get go. All Jacobs chucks run out some, it is only a question of how much. I always chuck only 3/8 or so of the shank in the tips of the Jacob chuck jaws, and tighten just enough to hold from spinning and pick up the hole. A small lead-in chamfer put in the front of the hole with the center drill is a necessity. Once started I back out, cinch the Jacobs down a bit more and complete the reaming.

I got so wordy there you might think simply reaming a hole is something of a science. It is. See picture #1

Our pocket is now complete except for putting our depth into spec. This is done by taking a measurement, and facing off whatever material we need to lose in order to get the correct depth. I use the ever present indicator on the longitudinal feed to put the depth in on the thousandth. See picture #2. A quick polish of the surface edges inside and out finishes the pocket.

We now pull our bolt out and return it to the small lathe and chuck it in the independent chuck with the offset side lined up closely with one jaw. We use a small "finger" type indicator with a small ball tip and adjust the independent jaws till the pocket runs exactly .093 out of center. See picture #3

Then we set up a 1" travel indicator to track travel on our crosslide-picture #4, and set up a 2" travel indicator on our carriage/bed to track longitudinal travel, see picture #5.

. . . continued on next post #3

4575wcf 06-11-2020 09:31 PM

First two cuts on the LC Smith rotary bolt-final post #3
 
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With our pocket indicated in off center and travel indicators tracking our cuts on the outside diameter in both diameter and length, we begin to turn the outside of the bolt to our correct dimension of .6875 (11/16). See Picture 1.

Touching off the face of the bolt we set the longitudinal indicator to zero, picture #2, and turn .875 (7/8) in, picture #3, somewhat longer than the finished bolt.

.75 (3/4) stock turned to .6875 (11\16) means three cuts of approximately .020 each. We are working in radius rather than diameter on our cross slide indicator though so one grad increment gets us two grads actual cut. We move the tool in .01 twice and make the cuts, then take a measurement of the part and compensate our last cut to finish at .69 leaving 2 1/2 thousandths for polishing. Our cross slide indicator allows us these very accurate and predictable cuts.

.6875 (11/16) dead nuts as they say. See picture #4 The 2 1/2 thousands carefully filed and emery smoothed leaves us a nice finish and a part that checks as it should. See picture #5. The extra stock is left on for now to serve as a handle for the many upcoming cuts, it will be removed only toward the end of the job when we begin the work on the solid end of the bolt. The first two cuts are successfully completed. Thanks all for your patience.

Next up--Milling the 5/16 slot and the aligning face clearance cut for the trip

4575wcf 06-15-2020 09:20 PM

Making the LC Smith rotary bolt--milling cuts one and two
 
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Hey all.
Monday, and back to work. Coffee and lunchbox in one hand, and the LC Smith project box in the other.

I took picture #1 before departing from home. This is the old and new bolts with the two lathe cuts completed on the new one.

I arrived an hour early and got the new bolt clamped in the milling machine vise. Pictures #2 and #3 show it clamped with the extra length outside the vice, and oriented so the thin side of the web between the inside counterbore and the outside diameter is pointed upwards.

Picture #4--We have milled a small flat on the extra length. This will serve as a flat side to hold the part against the vise jaw in the correct position when we next stand it up to make the two cuts.

Picture #5--The new bolt is stood up on parallels and the first cut is made. This is the trip relief cut, that part of the face of the bolt cut down to clear the trip as it rotates. We can only cut the right hand side of the clearance, because the left hand side is on a different axis. We will need to rotate the bolt 30 degrees clockwise on our next set up to cut and blend the left side.

. . . continued next post

4575wcf 06-15-2020 09:39 PM

Making the LC Smith rotary bolt--milling cuts one and two part 2
 
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Hey all

Here in picture #1 the .3125 (5/16) slot is cut in to full .562 (9/16) depth. I found the slot location, touched off, zeroed the dial and then moved the cutter in .010 increments and plunged the end mill to depth. Less chance of moving it in the jaws that way, taking light vertical cuts. I cut past center .0468 per the dimension on our print. A final sweep full depth into the pocket and back out with our 5/16 on size endmill smoothed up the cut and brought it to size.

I pulled the bolt out, gave it a light debur and put it in my LC box and got ready to start my day of work.

When I got home this evening I made picture #2 of the old and new bolts with 4 cuts complete. They are beginning to look and measure more alike now.

Picture #3 is my LC box. I get these at the local dollar store. They hold the receiver, parts, small tools and I can stuff in the digital camera and the rolled up prints too. They are labeled to the receiver. These greatly increase the odds of keeping the various parts together during transit.

Next up---finish the trip relief cut on the bolt face.

4575wcf 06-16-2020 08:45 PM

LC Smith Project Finishing the Bolt Face Trip Clearance Cut
 
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Hey all
I had a pretty easy morning this time. Only one small cut to get out before work, with plenty of time to get it done.

Picture #1 was taken once again before I left for work with the project.

The first order of operations was to establish a new axis to mill the second side of the bolt face trip clearance cut, this time at 30 degrees out from the x axis of the mill, for a total of 120 degrees between the side cuts of the trip clearance.

Once again, I used the "drop" ie. the extra material still attached to the new bolt to my advantage, namely to get a flat to orient the bolt for the 30 degree cut.

By clamping the bolt flat in the vise again with the extra material extended, it was fairly simple to set up, using a a protractor head for the combination square set to 30 degrees. The first flat was then picked up and the protractor head set level to clamp the part in the vise again, but rotated out 30 degrees. See Picture #2.

A second flat was then milled alongside the first flat with 30 degrees between the planes See Picture #3

By placing our new flat against the vise jaws we can make the cut, along the x axis of the mill this time' .0625 deep to blend. The small step on the lower left shoulder of the notch measures .203 measured along the notch on the original bolt, so I matched the new step to that dimension. See Picture #4

The last picture #5, was taken when I arrived home showing the new and the original bolt, with the first three milling cuts complete

. . . .next up side milling the trip detent notch and its accompanying angle

4575wcf 06-17-2020 07:53 PM

Making the LC Smith rotary bolt--milling the trip detent notch
 
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Hey all

Here once again in picture #1 the photo was taken before I departed for work showing the original bolt with the cut for the trip detent, and the new bolt that needs the cut for the trip detent. The original machining cuts gives us some clues as to how the original cut was put in at the factory. We can tell with a 1/2 inch radius gauge that the cutter used was a side milling cutter 1 " in diameter. See picture #2. It was (9/64) .1406 wide on the face with a straight cutting surface on the bottom, and an angled cutting surface on the top, probably 15 degrees, to produce a notch with a flat side, and an angled side in one pass. The lead in angle allows the trip to engage the detent smoothly when the bolt is rotated and the notch comes around. The trip has an angle matching this one to fit snugly when it snaps up and engages the detent. More on this later when we build the new trip.

The depth of cut .4375 (7/16) from the face, .375 (3/8) from the recess surface, is marked using a black Sharpy and then scribed very lightly with our caliper points. We will use a .125 wide cutter, 3/4 in diameter, see picture #4, and cut the .1406 width by moving the cutter up in the cut by 1/64, then get our angle by indexing the bolt 15 degrees and picking up the upper side of the slot at this angle and cut again. This is a cutter we have, and can be used to make a correct dimension slot, but requires a couple of extra steps. The slight difference in the cutter diameter is of no matter since the radius end of the slot is "in the wind" and does nothing. See picture 5.

I was not "firmed up" on the 15 degree angled side of the notch, I had guessed 20 degrees, but that looked a bit steep once I got it set up. it was a tough dimension to measure since the original trip notch is washed out and peened a bit from many years of use before Rusti was stripped for parts. I wanted to have a look at the relationship of the sides of the notch once the first cut was made., so I stopped there with the notch at .125 wide and cut full depth at .125 (1/8)

. . . next up finish the width and angled side of the trip notch

4575wcf 06-19-2020 07:45 PM

Making the LC Smith rotary bolt--milling the trip detent notch-part 2
 
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Hey all
Picture #1 shows the initial cut where we left off last post, namely with our slot cut in full depth at .125 wide and full length.

Our next step is a repeat of the setup we used to make the second cut on the face of the bolt to provide relief for the trip. This time, however; we need a flat cut at 15 degrees to orient the second cut for our trip notch. We use the combination square with the protractor head set at 15 degrees, and pick up the original flat we made on the extra material "drop" last time. Then tighten the part in the vise on it's side. See picture #2

Then we mill the flat 15 degrees out Picture #3

By chucking the part with our new flat on a vise jaw we now have the bolt caught by the extra material, with the bolt extending out of the vise, and the trip notch tipped downward at 15 degrees See picture #4

We pick up the top side of the notch and move up and in to the notch at the new angle with our same cutter til we get a cut that widens our slot to .140 at the bottom and cuts the top side to 15 degrees simultaneously. Due to the angle this is a go slow and make small adjustments kind of cut with the part well blacked with marker til we get the exact shape we are looking for. See picture #5.

. . .continued next post

4575wcf 06-19-2020 08:19 PM

Making the LC Smith rotary bolt--milling the trip detent notch-part 3
 
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Hey all
Here in picture #1 is the old and new bolts with the trip notch cut completed.

Picture #2 is the original bolt viewed from the bottom with the original trip placed as it lies when it is pushed into the notch by the trip spring. Note the small amount of clearance around the trip, shown bottomed in the notch. This is a result of wear caused by the opening of the action, who knows how many times during its service life. Curiously, the bolt notch did all the wearing, the trip itself showing almost none. The result of this wear would be for the bolt to lock up on the trip in a less than fully rotated position. This in turn would cause an ever increasing misalignment of the slot where the rib extension drops through. This would cause a bit of rubbing where the rib extension and bolt contacted, and indeed the original bolt shows a mild wear pattern confirming this. The original barrels with the rib extension integral are long gone, but the side of the rib extension would have been scuffed as well.

Picture #3 it appears our 15 degree angle was the correct one, for the fit is considerably better between the original trip and our new notch. Indeed this trip could be used as is with our new bolt. The trip is such a minor part to build though we will get one out, and remember this one was rusted in solid. The trip, and its seat are a bit pitted. Also it did not come out easily, requiring more than a few gentle whacks with a brass punch, so the surface finish has suffered some.

The trip and the bolt should have been made to the same hardness to wear equally. The trip was obviously the harder part, since the bolt did all the giving. Neither of these parts are intended to be removed during the service life of the shotgun since the carrier screw gets peened over to discourage disassembling them. Our parts will be made from the same stick of material, it being prehardened. Also note the difference in the back end of the notches, the original being tapered where the formed cutter made the straight and angled side in one pass, and ours being straight due to taking two cuts with the same cutter in different planes. Only the front 1/8 inch or so of the notch bears on the trip, so this effects nothing, but the original cut looks a bit better at least in my opinion.

. . . next up cutting the "tooth" without a rotary table--bring on the Vector Calculus!

4575wcf 06-26-2020 11:08 PM

Prepping the Rotary Bolt to Cut the "Tooth" Part 1
 
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Things are getting busy at the shop, the haying season is in full swing and the agriculture repairs are rolling in. There was not lots of available time to work on Rusti this week, but I did do some figuring in the mornings about how to machine the locking notch in the rotary bolt. I think that the best way to approach this rather complicated helical cut is to mark a series of chord measurements around the periphery of the bolt. These can be picked up with a pointer as the bolt is rotated around in the vise jaws by hand. A hard stop set to the back of the bolt will allow rotating it and maintaining its position. Vector calculus will provide the correct dimension to distance the cut away on each line as we index around, using the one milling machine we have that is equipped with a DRO (digital read out).

The first problem was to lay out a series of accurate scribed lines along the barrel of the bolt .032 apart. Attempts to do this by hand were less than satisfactory so I cooked up this method which worked very well. First we consulted the Machinery Handbook and used the provided table to find a chordal measurement that was a good fit. 68 equal spaces worked out about right on the .687 circumference. I attached a strip of electrical tape to the chuck marked off at the same 68 spaces on the larger diameter, improvised a pointer, and then scribed the bolt along a "straightedge" improvised by a piece of keystock placed in the toolholder and held tight to the bolt.

This method allowed very accurate graduations to be scribed along the length of the bolt. See picture 2

. . . Next up--Calculating the tool movement in the "x" axis to comply with rotation.

4575wcf 07-16-2020 05:04 AM

Hey all
This has been an interesting last three weeks. Our local sawmill has been down off and on with a series of large broken power transmission shafts; a few mornings the maintenance man has met me at the front door, sketches in hand. Suffice it to say the DRO equipped milling machine has been tied up, with the vice removed. We are about dug out now. Such is the life of a small town machinist. Other things are in the works here at home, my wife and I have found an antique house to be moved. Our existing antique house has been treated pretty roughly over the last century, and this one is very similar in size, style, and vintage, but in much better shape. Everything is in order, we are only waiting for the movers to give the go ahead, yes or no, then it gets BUSY. Saving a nice old house from the wrecking ball has been on our bucket list for some years, so this is exciting. We will keep Rusti moving along too in spite of all though. I have completed the math and drawing for the angled milling cut in the rotary bolt to my satisfaction with the numbers all worked out. I will be making this cut as soon as the vice goes back on the mill table and we get enough of a lull in the action. Thanks all for your patience.

4575wcf 07-21-2020 08:37 PM

LC Smith Project cutting the "tooth on the rotary bolt" part 1
 
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Things came together this morning at work and I completed the angled cut on the rotary bolt. It was a pretty involved cut to make in an hour start to finish, I got it out okay, but the photographic record suffered. I will repeat the set up tomorrow morning and get some better pictures.

To begin, here in picture #1 is my completed math. Measuring the slot at the beginning of the tooth and at the end of the tooth gave us the change in "x" along the angle or .0625. Measuring the length of the cut around the curvature of the circumference of the bolt gave us the change in "y" or .500. Right Angle Trigonometry gives us the angle, thus side a/side b =<tan or 7.125 degrees. We have 16 increments of .032 each marked out on the bolt. We will use line 0 thru line 14 measured to the center of the cutter, lines 15 and 16 would overcut into the part, so we must stop there and not use these last two. Cutter diameter is .125 so we must add half this diameter to move our end mill over to the right side of the cut. .020 is added to give us a finish allowance along the tooth surface for fitting later.

Therefore our equation states "For increments .03125 each increasing in y from increment 0 to 14 thus inc #/32 *( sin(7.125)) + .240 +.02 +.0625 equals distance in x" .24 is the actual tooth thickness + .02 is the finish allowance +.0625 is the cutter radius. The resulting x values in our table are the location for each cut plunged along the 1/32 divisions of our angle (vector).

Next we use an edge finder to locate our back vise jaw Picture #2, and enter positive .100 into the DRO in "y'" axis. Picture #3, Bring the edge finder up and move to zero, Picture #4, then move in -"y" to half the bolt diameter (.343) and zero the DRO out precisely in the center of the bolt in "y" axis

We have set a stop to the end of the "drop" so the bolt can be loosened and rotated in the jaws and still closely maintain its position in x

Next up. . .edge find the front of the bolt, turn the bolt and align the first index line (#0)to center, and move to the x location for the fist cut.

4575wcf 07-22-2020 08:39 PM

LC Smith Project cutting the "tooth on the rotary bolt" part 2
 
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I made it into work an hour early this morning and "re-enacted" the angled cut on the bolt to get some decent pictures.

The front edge of the bolt has been found and the center of the cutter located on that edge. We move to the first x value on our table at x -.322, bring the cutter down close to the scribed line, then rotate the bolt to center our first scribed increment. Then we carefully plunge the end mill down into the inside pocket. Back up with the end mill, move the mill table to our next value of .326. Loosen the vice, rotate the bolt to the next scribed line, clamp the bolt in the vise and carefully plunge down into the inside pocket. This process is repeated until scribed line #14 is plunged. Then our end mill is moved out to the outside edge of our slot, already calculated at x-.3917, and the process repeated in reverse rotation with no changes in x until we have cut our way back incrementally to the zero scribed line, point of beginning. Pictures #1 through #4---Move x, rotate bolt, plunge cut, Move x, rotate bolt, plunge cut. A pattern begins to develop and we see about a .004 change in x for each increment plunge begins to build our angle. Then out in to the other side of our notch, and cut the straight back edge of the notch in reverse.

4575wcf 07-22-2020 08:54 PM

LC Smith Project cutting the "tooth on the rotary bolt" part 3
 
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Here is the notch finished as far as we will take it for now. Picture #1, Once the new monoblock is made and the barrel assembly is jointed to the receiver, the rib extension will be fitted to the new bolt and both the tooth and rib extension surfaces will be mated at that time. Best to not get too far ahead of myself and become overwhelmed, so for now we will concentrate only on getting the drop sawed off the bolt, pictures #2 and #3, then get the back solid side of the bolt faced in preparation to make the final two cuts.


Next up. . . face the bolt to length, set up the original bolt in the mill, and find the exact location for the .250 diameter pocket that accepts the coupler stem from the back.

4575wcf 07-22-2020 09:22 PM

And now, a minute to tell on myself a bit
 
This post is specifically designed for the somewhat advanced gunsmithing student, like myself. I am gaining in LC knowledge all the while, but very much learning on the fly, thus I have passed a couple of inaccurate statements along. I am a stickler about this, the whole gunsmithing world is fraught with inaccuracies it seems, so to rectify:

1. Earlier in my posts I indicated the difficulty of getting the bolt seat machined in tight under the tang. In fact, the seat was cut first, requiring only an extended toolholder, and the tang was then bent down as observed in the engineering drawings available at the LC Smith Collectors site. This made cutting the seat accurately a WHOLE bunch easier, believe me, but at the same time most forgings are forged directly to shape. Whether bending the tang as a second operation, and then "freezing' it in position during case-coloring caused issues with the future "unbending" of the tang in time, I do not know. It is a question I will be running by the Practical Machinist forum.
I understand absolutely why they did it this way, I am just not sure if it cost them any integrity in the stiffness of the tang.

2. I missed the secondary notch on the rotary bolt. The tooth does slide through a hole in the rib extension as I indicated, but the back of the inside pocket behind the notch also slides over a flat on the end of the rib extension. This provides another locking surface, but a very small one. I missed this simply because I do not have the barrel assembly on hand and in front of me. These are the first retakes, no doubt more will be revealed as we move along

4575wcf 07-23-2020 04:58 PM

LC Smith Project--Face the Bolt to Length and Locate the Carrier Stem Holestem
 
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This morning first thing I set the bolt up in the small lathe and faced it down to finish length of .630. Picture #1. I then set up the original bolt in the mill vise, stood on parallels with the notch clamped against the movable jaw. Looking at the bolt in this view we would be seeing the bolt from the top down in the unlocked position as viewed from the back. Using the coaxial indicator the outside diameter of the bolt is swept in, and the DRO zeroed at part center. Picture #2 The 1/4 inch diameter counter bore in the back of the bolt is a clearance cut for the stem of the coupler, which extends into the angled stepped holes directly underneath it. Picture #3. The hole is "picked up" with a matching 1/4 " end mill, while the DRO tracks our movements. The hole is found to be at .0938 (3/32) from center in both x and y indicating a 45 degree angle from center in x and y positive. Picture #5. Good thing I checked this I had guessed the position at 30 degrees on the print--a ways off.

Next up. . a closer look at the back of the bolt, the straight clearance counter bore, and the angled stepped holes underneath it and some modified tooling to put these cuts in.

4575wcf 07-27-2020 10:15 PM

LC Smith Project--Preparing to drill the back side of the bolt
 
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Spent this morning early at work putting locking system pieces together and taking pictures. I got about 3 posts worth. It is time to add a few parts and put a little life into this build, I almost went to sleep myself getting through the front end of that ornery rotary bolt. Okay here in picture #1 and #2 is another couple of pictures trying to get enough light down the carrier stem hole to show the two angled holes. Not having much luck, my camera eqiipment is far from the best. Picture #3 shows the angle that the coupler is engaged into the bolt when the top lever is centered. This is one of the tricks that makes the whole system work, the coupler is engaged all the way right, then swings over at a downward angle to the matching angle 90 degrees left. Corny, but the best way I know to describe this action is to hold your pencil in the dead center of your happy face, angle down, and draw the mouth right to left. That is probably the only way to transmit motion to a rotary bolt with a very tight radius by moving a top lever directly centered to hard right. That it works at all is incredible, how smoothly and well it works under the strong spring tension as it is under- -well that is kind of hard to grasp. In picture #4 the parts are stacked as they are assembled. The 1/8 diameter stud on the front of the coupler does all the turning of the bolt, fitting into a downward sloping hole in the back of the bolt with enough clearance to adapt to the constantly changing relationship between the two parts. They are--quite simply--operating on two completely different tracks. If I was the manager when Brown brought that Idea around I would have bet him lunch and $50 it would never work. Picture #5 shows the assembly together outside the shotgun, assembled with hardware mush bolts. The wonderfully standard LC accepts them readily, and they will do all the giving, leaving us nice theaded holes when we build the real gun screws and time them toward the very tail end of the build, of course only after we assemble and dissassemble her a few more hundred times.

4575wcf 07-29-2020 05:21 AM

LC Smith Project--The Triggerplate with Top Lever Lower Bearing
 
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Picture #1 is the used and somewhat abused trigger plate that will be fitted to Rusti. I believe this plate to be from a regular frame LC circa approximately 1907. The trigger plates are not considered interchangeable between the two frame sizes. As you can see someone has drilled a small hole into the side. I wrote into the Practical Machinist Forum and got some input on how to properly repair this damage. Since the trigger plate will eventually be color casehardened to match the receiver, the correct fix is to drill the hole out to slightly larger size and give it a slight countersink. Then a mild steel plug is turned and seated into the hole somewhat proud of the surface. No TIG filler rod is needed, and the two parts are welded in place using that part of the plug extending above the hole as the necessary filler metal during the weld. The exiting outside profle fit between the receiver bottom cutout and this trigger plate is very good, Picture #2 ;however, about .02 will need to be removed from the mating top surface of the plate. This will close up the gap between the bottom top lever bearing hole and the top lever bearing stem, Picture #3, and bring the plate up flush with the receiver. The two tang screw holes line up perfectly, so I believe this slight difference in thickness is the only real difference in the trigger plates between the two frame sizes at this particular time in manufacture. Pictures #4, and #5. There are variations in the trigger plates depending on the year of LC manufacture, but these both were made with the single screw hole in the rear tang, and with the rear safely hinge lug behind the trigger block, I believe, and can be fitted up with all parts, and made to work just fine. I bought this plate in a parts lot on ebay, after examining many pictures online and familiarizing myself with what the missing trigger plate should look like. I got lucky with the fit, ie. what does not fit well can be made to do so. Once this plate is repaired and fitted up, and the back side of our new rotary bolt is finished, I can get the new rotary bolt fitted and functioning with the original coupler and top lever. When that is accomplished, I can then build the coupler new and get that part working. Some attempts were made to free the rusted components at some point before Rusti came to me, and the coupler yoke surfaces were somewhat battered. This part of the project is all about closely examining the parts as we go, and repairing/replacing and setting right every defective part.

4575wcf 07-30-2020 05:36 AM

LC Smith Project--Modified Tooling for Drilling the Carrier Stud Hole
 
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Here in picture #1 is the coupler stud hole drilled into the back of the rotary bolt. The picture is shot from the relative downward angle following the hole. The coupler stem Picture #2 is a stepped stud consisting of a small turned forward section .125 (1/8) diameter by .156 (5/64) long, followed by another section .1875 (3/16) by .250 (1/4) long. The back of the coupler is a yoke slotted through for the top lever and mounted with a pivot screw so the coupler is free to move up and down a bit as it is swung through its arc by the top lever. Picture #3 is the coupier stem stepped hole viewed from the slotted side of the rotary bolt. The hole is angled into the off side of the slot with something less than about half of the hole diameter exposed. Because the hole is started on an angled surface, I think it best to drill it with a center drill, the best tool for this kind of cut. The very top section of the hole can be plunged with a 1/8 end mill first if starting on the angled side becomes problematic. The correct angle will be determined by calculation. The drill must pass through a "ghost point" .375 (3/8) above the bolt on dead center (this represents the the hinge point of the carrier) and then drilled into the bolt at .1250 (1/8) off center through the .250 (1/4) carrier stud relief counter bore. A #4 center drill should give us the correct diameter and length of hole to clear the first turned section of the carrier stud, but behind that size the center drill will need to be cylindrically ground to .1875 (3/16) to put in the second .1875 (3/16) diameter.

Okay we are planned and laid out about as well as we can be for our next few cuts, so we can proceed with finishing the bolt. First we will plunge the clearance counter bore, then calculate the angle, and drill the hole into the back side of the bolt through it. Then we will have the trigger plate welded up and dress it out, and then fit the plate to the receiver to gain our bottom bearing point for the top lever. At this point, finally, we can assemble the original locking assembly and test the fit all around with our new rotary bolt, trouble shoot any issues, and get it working exactly like the original.

4575wcf 08-03-2020 09:32 PM

LC Smith Project--Plunging the Rotary Bolt Carrier Clearance Counterbore
 
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Monday morning I arrived early at work, and got on the project. First I clamped the new bolt in the vise with the notch facing forward against the movable jaw, Picture #1, then coaxial indicated the bolt to center and zeroed the DRO. A bit of calculation was in order. You will remember that last time we found the clearance counter bore to be out .093 in x and y. Working backwards, we know the sin and cosine of any 45 degree angle to be always equal, and we know the sin and cosine of 45 to be .707. There are a hundred and one ways to approach anything mathematically, but this time we can use a percentage to find our vector. So .093 is 70.7% of what number? 1/8 inch works out to .088, very close to what we found earlier, and this dimension fits with our other measurements. Our counter bore vector has a value of 1/8 inch at 45 degrees in x and y positive. We move the mill table to reflect (.088,.088) in positive x an y and carefully plunge the cut 1/8 inch deep. Picture#3. This cut extends through the .0625 web at the back of our bolt behind the notch. Picture #4. In Picture #5 we see the new and old (right side) bolts, and the stepped holes under the counter bore are at last visible in the original part. So far so good.

Next up, some more angles and math and to drill the last two holes. Probably we will forgo the center drill modification, set the bolt up in the vise jaws 45 degrees out in rotation, and also on the sin bar at the appropriate angle. Then plunge the last two holes on location with a 1/8 end mill, and a 3/16 end mill, respectively, which tools we have. . . .

4575wcf 08-04-2020 07:07 PM

LC Smith Project Preparing to Drill the Carrier Stud Holes in the Rotary Bolt
 
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Got on the project this AM per usual. Picture #1 is some Right Angle Trigonometry applied to finding the angle of the vector extending from the center of the carrier hinge out to the tip, and into the matching hole in the back of the rotary bolt. I arrived at 19.45 degrees. Picture #2 shows an approximate angle with the protractor of the direction the drill holes will take. Picture #3, more Trigonometry to find the correct length of block to place under one end of the sine bar to create a parallel that will hold the bolt in the milling machine vise tipped out at the correct 19.45 angle, Picture #4, milling the first side of our block, a scrap of 1 3/4 inch A36 Hot Rolled, then rotate it 180 degrees clockwise, and mill the second side, adjust and finish at 1.665, our calculated dimension.

continued next post. . . .

4575wcf 08-04-2020 07:23 PM

LC Smith Project Preparing to Drill the Carrier Stud Holes in the Rotary Bolt part 2
 
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continued from last post. Picture #1 our sine bar in the vise with the 1.665 long block to give the angle 19.45 degrees to the rotary bolt, held left side against the sine bar fence. A pusher must be incorporated into the set up to clamp just the bolt, and not the sine bar before drilling commences, and a means to accurately index the bolt notch to 45 degrees must be thought up to give the correct compound angle. Picture #2 More Trigonometry to find the exact center of the bolt in this new tipped out position.

Next up--Let's drill 'em, but proceed carefully

4575wcf 08-08-2020 06:49 AM

LC Smith Project--Drilling the Carrier Stud Holes in the Rotary Bolt cont.
 
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Friday morning I arrived at work early, the milling machine vise was on and ready to go. Things took a turn when I set up the sine bar to match my calculated angle. The angle was very obviously not steep enough. I got out our wire size drill index and began trying progressively larger shank diameters in the hole in the original bolt, starting with .125 (1/8). .140 (9/64 equiv) gave a very good fit Picture #1. As I mentioned before, there is a constantly changing relationship between the coupler stem and its matching seat as the rotary bolt is turned in the receiver, so this clearance of .0151 (1/64) between the stem and the seat allows for a bit of running room. Since the error in the angle was not steep enough, a new block had to be made to go under the sin bar Picture #2.. I made an educated guess and sized it to give an angle of 25 degrees, which I figured too steep. Then it was only a matter of milling the height block down a bit at a time. In picture #3 the angle is closely approaching 23 degrees, but as you can see we are still a bit out. I ran out of time and had to quit for the morning, but I am pretty sure now the angle will settle at 22 1/2 degrees, exactly half of a 45. That makes a bit of sense, the bolt being swung almost 90 degrees, making two 45 degree rotations, one on each side of center. Not where I figured it, but hey if it ain't broke don't fix it, and we do not want to reinvent the wheel. This bolt was in and working with the angle LC Smith built into it, so that is the precise angle we want to end up with.

Next up--correct the angle, check it again, and then on to the drilling.

4575wcf 08-12-2020 04:56 AM

LC Smith Project--Corrected Angle for the Carrier Stem Hole
 
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I made a bit of progress this week. I clocked in a bit early Monday to get a local mint farmer's peppermint oil trying tank repaired, and clocked out a bit late Tuesday to help get the sawmill back up, again. I found time to correct the angle of the carrier stem holes, with only the drilling left to do. No one has asked me why exactly I am going to the trouble to build a new rotary bolt when I have a functioning one already. I found a couple pics online to post, and a picture is worth a thousand words.

Picture #1. This is an LC Smith with some miles on it. The fit between the trip and the cutout in the rotary bolt, I assume, is washed out a bit very similar to the one in my project. Look closely at the breech slot, that square member in the bottom is the trip. The rotary bolt is locked up on the trip as it should be, but the bolt is a held a bit out of rotation with the right side of the slot in the bolt extending out into the receiver slot. Some interference between the rib extension and the bolt will occur on closing.

Picture #2 This is another LC Smith that has an unworn trip, bolt assembly. The receiver slot is pretty much perfectly lined up, and the rib extension will drop through, push down the trip, and the bolt will engage, all without any rubbing or interference. This is the fit we want to see with the new bolt.

Picture #3 The angle for the drilled holes corrected to 22 1/2 degrees, right where LC Smith placed them.

Picture #4 The riser block, equal to the sin(22.5) times 5 or 1.913 inches, Picture #5 placed under the sine bar to give our angle, pictured outside the vise.

Next up, time willing, we can finally get the holes drilled in . . . .

4575wcf 08-14-2020 04:56 AM

LC Smith Project--Repairing and Fitting the Triggerplate
 
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I finished the last cuts on the rotary bolt, it is as far along now as it can be until the final fitting and assembly. Next up is to get the trigger plate fitted to the receiver, providing the bottom bearing surface for the top lever. Here in Picture #1 is the top lever parts group assembled with the original bolt, and in Picture #2 the same group assembled with the new bolt. In Picture # 3 the repair on the trigger plate is about to get started. This original trigger plate is plenty hard, I would guess upwards of 55 Rockwell. I was able to barely drill it with the high speed steel center drill, but it would not finish well. I stopped and did a bit of spot annealing with the torch and tried drilling it again, but not much improved. I next loaded a 3/16 (.1875) carbide end mill and spotted the hole, removing all rusted material down to bare metal, Picture #4. A 1018 cold rolled steel pin was then turned to size, both surfaces degreased, and pressed into the hole Picture #5. The assembly then went to the TIG bench. This brings up a question I did not think to ask before. I have read a great deal about the case color hardening process, but I have never carried it out. What I have read has always involved treating new soft finished and polished parts. I wonder if the same process is applied directly to parts already casehardened, or if they need to be annealed first? This seems to be another valid question for the Practical Machinist Forum. A proper anneal would certainly make the fitting up of the plate much easier to carry out.

. . . . next up, dress the weld and fit up the plate to the receiver

4575wcf 08-16-2020 09:48 AM

Project--Weekend update
 
Hey All
Sunday AM and I am taking a break from all this strenuous LC Smith building activity:). I ordered some parts to go into the project, shipping during this Covid 19 epidemic can be pokey, so I thought I better get a jump on things.
First up, I am about ready for the top snap spring. I fully intend to build some v springs for various projects, but this is not a good one to start with. Even experienced spring guys voice difficulties getting this one out with enough tension to do the job. Also I am short a mainspring in my right hand lock. I opted to order new made ones from Numrich. They ran about $16 each plus tax and ship got them up around $21-22 per. In the interest of those who may come after me, I will evaluate these new made springs from Numrich. As the time arrives I will fit them, test them, and report back on them my opinions of them both good and bad. I do not know where the professional restorers of these guns get their springs, or if these Numrich ones are considered top notch. Personally, other than for my own use, I am not going to lay in some AISI 1095 spring steel, make a spring, finish and temper it for any $21 each and that is for certain.

I also bought a Lewis patent ejector for end metal. It is not for an LC Smith, of that I am sure to about 9 decimal places. All the various parts and pieces look to be intact though. This gives me an opportunity for a hands on look at the proper ejector system. Once I understand it I can set about working up a copy with correct dimensions to work with the LC Smith. When I have figured out exactly what it fits after I have copied it, I can always set it right later, list it for the correct shotgun, and resell it. I expect this ejector project to be the other part of the build that will rival the rotary bolt for sheer orneryness, perhaps even exceed it. Before I can tackle the monoblock, I have to know where I am going with the ejectors in order for everything to work together. For now though I need only concentrate on getting the top snap assembly properly sprung and working smoothy. Then I can make and fit the buttstock some sixteenth of an inch or so larger all around, to provide a handle to assist with jointing the monoblock/barrel assembly.

I do love getting stuff in the mail. I am like a kid at Christmas waiting on parts. This is just some of the fun stuff that comes with a build.

4575wcf 08-19-2020 05:12 AM

LC Cmith Project--TIG Repair of the Triggerplate
 
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We addressed the TIG welding of the triggerplate yesterday morning. I got back some responses to my case coloring questions on the Practical Machinist Forum. The process involves heating the parts inside a carburizing box to critical temperature, so any annealing needed is built in. Also it does no harm to anneal a part to repair it before the process takes place. That being said we went ahead and took the trigger plate up to a bright orange color with the torch, and stuck it in the lime box to cool it slowly as possible. Then the welding was done on the annealed part. It is now much softer and easier to work, A lesson was learned. We stayed just a tad too long with the torch on the very thin web around the hole at the top of the safety block, and we burned a bit of material away. If you would attempt to anneal such small parts with a torch, I think better to place them on a small scrap of metal plate and run the torch on the plate instead to bring them up to heat. In Pictures #1 and #2 the kid has placed a bit of TIG weld around the hole to build up and replace the metal we burned away. Pictures #3 and #4 show two views of the mild steel plug welded into the drilled hole. After dressing out this weld, I wound up with a very small surface void. Picture #5. It would not show, the exposed side of the trigger plate cleaned up very well indeed, but we will put a tiny spot of weld there this morning to fix the void. The goal, of course, is to wind up with a part that you cannot tell was repaired but you do have to stay with them awhile till you get there.

Next up touch up weld, dress the welds out, and begin the fitting up of the trigger plate. . .

4575wcf 08-23-2020 12:31 AM

LC Smith Project--Weekend Post--Ejector Plans and Such
 
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The welder kid at work has been out on the portables all week, I've been busy trying to drill and fit parts for him for assemblies I don't get to see. There was no chance to touch up the TIG welds on the LC trigger plate at any rate. I did get soft hardware screws fitted up properly to the LC frame to hold everything in place during the process, but I cannot go forward with assembly until the trigger plate welds are touched up to my satisfaction.

The mail lady showed up right on time Saturday with my ejector fore end metal though, so this evening I spent measuring, checking and seeing what I can come up with for an ejector assembly. I was not sure what I was looking at exactly in the pictures of the fore end iron, I was leaning heavily toward an Ithaca or perhaps a Fox ejector grade. I got a very pleasant surprise, once I got it in my hands. It is a late Syracuse Arms iron for an ejector 12 gauge patented by one George A. Horne in Oct 1896. Missing is the fore end catch, and the external mechanism for turning the ejectors off and on, a nice touch unique to Mr. Horne although Uncle Dan LeFever had his version of the same. The part is in the white, and appears unused. The high serial number may indicate it was an inventory part left over from the sale of the company in 1905 and the not too distant subsequent closure.

The only Syracuse shotgun I have on hand is a damascus 10 bore Hollenbeck gun, very early Syracuse serial 3xxx.

In Picture # 1 is the 12 gauge LC Featherweight on the left, and the 10 gauge Hollenbeck on the right. Notice the size difference!

Picture #2 shows the real difference between the two guns, as far as ejector mechanisms go. The LC uses a separate hinged part in the fore end iron to activate the extractors, and the Hollenbeck uses the solid round pin dead center in front to activate them. This Hollenbeck is an extractor gun, picture #3 shows the difference between the for end irons, the extractor metal on the left, the ejector on the right. The ejector frame would have hammer links installed in holes drilled front to back through the frame so the fired hammer would push a stem out into the hinge joint and into the for end iron cutout(s) to activate the ejector sear(s) of the fired barrel(s) only. Picture #4 are the sears that hold and release the ejector strikers Picture #5. Notice the space between the strikers, this is where a thinned version of the solid pin from Picture #2 protrudes between them to extract and lift the shell(s) in the unfired barrel.

These early ejector systems have their faults. Probably the worst feature is that the ejectors are "cocked" by the standing breech pressing the ejector\extractors into their seats as the gun is closed. This limits travel of the extracting mechanism to not really enough, and makes the shotgun harder to close.

Here is my preliminary plan, subject to many refinements. I would space the ejectors in my mono block to approximately match either side of the LC barrel lug. This gets each of them working in its own hole, like a modern over/under rather than using a split extractor system. Dragging against one another is inevitable in the split system. I would utilize the crank lever cocking arrangement of the LC system to cock the ejectors, possibly by riding down an integral angled surface on the ejector strikers during the crank lever's swinging travel. Lastly, I would use some form of a projection activated by a crank lever in the fired position to trip the sear of the ejector of the fired barrel only, something George O. Lewis already worked out on the somewhat later LC ejector guns. The hinged extractor activation lever in the LC for end iron would be retained, but made t-shaped to bridge the ends of the wider spaced extractor stems. I'll be tinkering, and thinking this out til such time comes to begin construction of the monoblock, perhaps mocking up a mild steel model or two.


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