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Old 09-09-2021, 11:43 PM
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handejector handejector is offline
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Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
Originally Posted by handejector View Post
Think about it for a minute- do you really think they were building frames, drilling a swivel hole AND crosspin hole, then making plugs, installing the plugs, and sanding them smooth? Duhhhhhhh...............don't you think somebody would have been smart enough to yell "YOU GUYS QUIT DRILLING SWIVEL HOLES!!!!!" ????
Well, if you put it that way …..

On the other hand, just for the sake of argument, if you look at the development of employee numbers since 1941, there weren‘t likely that many people at S&W who had ever seen a K-frame produced without a hole. And for all the blather about old-time craftsmanship that old guys like to engage in, these weren‘t craftsmen, but industrial workers, not paid to think. The guy who drilled the whole is very unlikely to also be the guy to later plug it. So it seems entirely feasible that at least some of Jack’s 9000 hole-y S-prefix frames were produced before your smart guy yelled stop.

I don't think you are aware of the of the foreman system that S&W used. A foreman's position at S&W was a coveted job. Each department was run by a foreman. A foreman could hire and fire the people below him. His salary was at least partially based on the production of his department- it could be called a commission. Foreman jobs were sometimes passed on to a son the foreman had hired into his department when he retired. They were that desirable.
However, the foreman was also chargeable for waste, scrapped parts, and other costly mistakes.

We can assume the swivel holes were drilled in the frame department. There was no "swivel department". It is also safe to assume that any swivel holes that were plugged were plugged in the frame department. That's what they did- built frames ready for assembly into guns.
So, how many plugs (plus labor) do you think the frame foreman would want to pay for if he had not been smart enough to look around and say: "My goodness, we're drilling holes and then plugging them the same day, and I'm paying for it!! Perhaps I should stop doing that...."
NOPE- the frames were leftovers that were already drilled.

The plugs are sometimes almost invisible. They appear to be a "press fit"- probably a thousandth or two oversized. Knowing how smart S&W was in setting up machinery, I bet all the plugging operations were done on one machine they built like this-
1- it had a jigged clamp that located the frame exactly and held it securely and supported it.
2- it had a hydraulic cylinder to press the plug in.
3- it probably had an automatic drill to drill or re-drill the cross pin hole through the plug.
4- it probably had a grinder to face the plug off flush with the frame.

That's how I would do it. Average time would be 1 to 2 minutes.
Anyway, no matter how they did the plugs, some kind of machinery had to be set up and some warm bodies had to be designated to do it, so what kind of idiot foreman would be overseeing these endeavors and keep drilling holes?
I rest my case.
Lee Jarrett

Last edited by handejector; 09-09-2021 at 11:44 PM.
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