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S&W-Smithing Maintenance, Repair, and Enhancement of Smith & Wesson and Other Firearms.


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Old 02-11-2024, 03:15 PM
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Default Tooling up to do my own trigger work!

I have gone completely down the rabbit hole in the past week, tooling up to do my own action jobs on my revolvers. I have a few that I just do not like the look and feel of the trigger engagement surfaces, even after doing spring kit conversions.

I have purchased the Power Custom Series 1 stoning fixture, both adapters for J, K, L, and N frames, Norton India stone blocks in various grits, very fine grit whetstones, and Jerry Kuhnhausen's 5th edition S&W shop manual.

I am really looking forward to working on my revolvers over the next month or two as I have time.

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Old 02-11-2024, 04:13 PM
Shotguncoach Shotguncoach is offline
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Welcome to the rabbit hole! I am having a boatload of fun messing with stuff and figuring out what works and what doesn't.

A few more things that I have found are really handy to have:

- A good notebook so you can keep track of what you do and how well it works

- A set of proper fitting screwdrivers. I have the big Wheeler set, the Brownells "LE" set, and a set of Forster screwdrivers. I prefer using the Forsters...I get better control if the shank is the same size as the tip.

- A good pair of small, non-serrated needle nose pliers. I like the Vampliers brand. These are more for picking things up than for anything else.

- An assortment of sandpaper. Stop by your local auto parts store and grab a paint finishing assortment. 600, 1000, and 2000 grit sheets. You'll also need a piece of glass or lexan that you can use as a backer when you're sanding.

- A dental pick. Good for cleaning out gunk and really handy for reinstalling the hand onto the trigger.

- Containers for small parts. Sierra plastic bullet boxes work well, as do liquid laundry soap cups. I also use an empty .45 AARP plastic ammo tray for things that have to go back in a certain order (think sideplate screws).

- A small benchtop vise for times when you need a third hand. Be sure to get a set of soft jaws for it.

- Feeler gauges. Get these at the auto parts store when you get your sandpaper.

- A set of calipers. The ones you use for reloading will work fine.

- A good trigger pull scale. You need to know....

- Patience and a sense of humor.

- A magnifying glass of at least 10x. Amazon can help you here.

- If you wear bifocal glasses, consider getting a prescription specifically for the distance you'll be working at. There are online resources for cheap glasses. Not having to hunch up like the proverbial monkey with the football in order to have things in focus will save your back.

- A brass hammer. I have a variety of steel ball-peen hammers that almost never get used. The brass hammer gets used almost every time I need to hit something.

- A good assortment of punches and drifts. Harbor Freight chinesium punches are really soft and will not mar steel. They are great for pushing on things but they bend/deform easily and aren't great for actually moving tight fitting pins. Get those first and then spend the money for a really good set of steel punches. You'll use both. Eventually you'll also need roll pin punches and cup tipped punches.

- A rebound spring tool. I have mixed feeling on this one...it's great for removal but not so good for installation. I prefer to use a specially ground screwdriver to do the install.

- A hammer handle for removing sideplates.

- The Power Custom ejector rod straightening jig is nice to have and will be used more often than the sear jig, but you can do a lot without it.

- Did I mention patience?

- Your phone camera. Take pictures of everything before you take it apart. Trust me on this one...

- This forum. There are some truly amazing people here that will help you when you get stuck. If something doesn't seem to be working just ask and a person who has forgotten more than either of us will ever learn will come along and say "Do this..."


Have fun and be sure to share your projects with us!

Here are the tools that I use the most:


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Old 02-11-2024, 05:20 PM
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Shotguncoach,
I already have every tool on your list except for the Power Custom ejector rod straightening jig. I am pretty sure that will be ordered by the end of next week .

I already own a really nice Mitutoya digital gauge mounted on a granite block that i can use for measuring ejector rod runout on the fixture. Should be fun.
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Old 02-11-2024, 07:16 PM
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Just as you mentioned, the fixture used to straighten ejector rods is very handy. Also, a small fixture used to set the sear clearance is handy.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Extractor Rod Align Tool 1.jpg (95.9 KB, 55 views)
File Type: jpg Sear clearance 0.jpg (140.4 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg Sear clearance 011.jpg (136.8 KB, 59 views)
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Old 02-11-2024, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutWest50 View Post
Just as you mentioned, the fixture used to straighten ejector rods is very handy. Also, a small fixture used to set the sear clearance is handy.
OutWest50 - where does one find this fixture for the trigger / hammer setup?

I ordered the ejector rod fixture about two hours ago
I plan to use this micrometer setup for measurement. I need to receive the fixture to figure out how to mate the two. Shouldn't be too difficult.

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Last edited by Cotis; 02-11-2024 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 02-12-2024, 11:41 AM
OutWest50 OutWest50 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotis View Post
OutWest50 - where does one find this fixture for the trigger / hammer setup?

I ordered the ejector rod fixture about two hours ago
I plan to use this micrometer setup for measurement. I need to receive the fixture to figure out how to mate the two. Shouldn't be too difficult.

Both fixtures in the photos are produced by Power Custom. I think I ordered them from Midway USA. I used the Minutoyo dial indicator because it is the specific one that Power Custom recommended to easily fit the fixture. Because it mounts upside down, the dial indicator comes with a special spring that you install that allows constant contact with the extractor rod. It may be the Minutoyo Series 0 model.

Items like these are expensive but so are my older S&W revolvers. Since qualified revolver gunsmiths are becoming rare, it is important to me that any work get performed correctly and with the right tools.
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Old 02-12-2024, 11:44 AM
Protocall_Design Protocall_Design is offline
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It would probably be easier to use a magnetic base holding the indicator and standing on the base of the fixture than trying to cobble up something with the granite base. You can get a small lug back indicator with 1/4" of travel that bolts to the fixture, as shown in post #4. That is the best setup of all.
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:22 PM
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FYI, here is a photo of the Mitutoyo model number.
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File Type: jpg Extractor Rod Mitutoya.jpg (167.0 KB, 23 views)
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Old 02-12-2024, 04:47 PM
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Another almost esential tool is a PanaVice, very useful tool. Dont forget blue sharpies or Dykem. Sharpies are cheaper.
I did the very same thing youre now doing. I still need the crane tool too. I also bought several cutters for the crane, both for the face and inside the barrel. Alsi got a rod for checking the line-up of the crane with the hole in the recoil sheild, also for supporting the barrel of the crane when stretching, with the stretching tool. I also bought the Brownells facing kit with a bunch of extra cutters, laps, lapping compounds and a bunch of other tools to do the best work I can do on my own guns. Im most assuredly no gunsmith but my revolvers I dont believe could operate much nicer, at least not by anything Im brave enough to attempt at home.
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Old 02-13-2024, 03:08 PM
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One thing to note about the Extractor Rod & Yoke Alignment Tool, it will not fit a J frame.
You will need to make that part for yourself, or get it done.
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Old 02-13-2024, 04:05 PM
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I bench mat is nice to have for handgun work. I use exterior rubber door mats from The Home Depot.
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Old 02-13-2024, 11:54 PM
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Here are the measurements for the J-frame yoke liners. I don't believe these are available for sale anywhere.

The alignment liner for the model 34/63 is a bit different. I can post those measurements also if needed.




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Old 02-14-2024, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
Here are the measurements for the J-frame yoke liners. I don't believe these are available for sale anywhere.

The alignment liner for the model 34/63 is a bit different. I can post those measurements also if needed.




Thanks for this.
Yes, I would like see the 34/63 numbers.
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Old 02-14-2024, 02:08 PM
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Default Yoke liner/alignment tool Model 34/63

Here's the specs for the liner/yoke alignment tool for the model 34/63.

Pretty crude, but the photo is easier than actually doing a drawing.








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Old 02-15-2024, 04:41 AM
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Thanks.
It passes the "It works" test.
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Old 02-15-2024, 07:21 AM
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Are the decimals in the wrong place on the J frame tool lower right hand side?

I make most of my own tools.

Last edited by steelslaver; 02-15-2024 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 02-15-2024, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
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Are the decimals in the wrong place on the J frame tool lower right hand side?

I make most of my own tools.


Steelslaver....thanks for catching those rogue decimal points.

Update:

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Old 02-15-2024, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutWest50 View Post
Just as you mentioned, the fixture used to straighten ejector rods is very handy. Also, a small fixture used to set the sear clearance is handy.
Where can I find these fixtures?
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Old 02-15-2024, 04:42 PM
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I don’t know how to get by with so few tools….an assortment of bench blocks is handy. I have a precision micrometer vise with Pyrex rails for filing and stoning small parts.
It is important to have good punches and correct type and size for the job.
Harbor freight don’t cut it working on quality fire arms. If screw driver or punch don’t fit, grind it to fit. I’ve got dozens of gun screw drivers of all the popular brands. If I had it to do over I would go for the replaceable bit type.
Saw video the other day of guy changing springs in CZ rifle trigger, $800 rifle with at least $400 scope. He did take it out of stock, only because he had to. Then unsupported started trying to beat pin out of trigger unit while still on action. He was using a drill bit for a punch and beating it with a claw hammer. He beat the snot out of it, broke a new hardware store punch. All this the guy puts on You Tube like he is a master gunsmith. You got to have good and correct tools for the job. If you don’t take your time, you are wasting your time.
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