Tools for Gunsmithing?
I have finally managed to get into a couple of the NRA gunsmith classes at Montgomery College. Many thanks need to go to my family for supporting this. Anyway, the budget is still a concern so I thought I would ask folks on a couple of different forums for opinions.
In my experience, tools fall into one of three categories:
One: Complete junk. With lots of cursing and a little luck, you might get through one job…
Two: Meh. Will hold up for a couple of jobs, but may still involve cursing. Great for beating on, using torque multipliers, cutting into custom shapes, etc…
Three: Good stuff. These get the job done every time.
Four: Masterworks. These are a pleasure to work with, but at the cost of a second mortgage.
So, with that in mind I am looking for the following stuff in the second or preferably third group and ideas on good places to buy them.
Drill Bit set: I need a complete 115 piece “three way” set. I am clueless on this one; I usually just sharpen up sometime from the box… so it is obviously something I really need!
Dial Caliper and micrometer: OK, I have never owned either one, so I am clueless on these as well. I suspect the ones at Harbor Freight are not up to the job, but a top of the line is not in the budget.
Screw driver set: I am leaning toward a Chapman set (8900 Gunsmithing) to get me started. I know a bit type set will have some “reach” problems, but I figure I can back fill with Grace style drivers as I need them. What do you guys think?
Punch Set, with Cup tips: The required tool list includes these from Brownells (080-000-645). They seem like a necessary tool for certain firearms, but they are pricy for a full set and I don’t know how often I would use them. Can anybody tell me which firearms need these? Are there any other (cheaper) place to buy them from?
Files: What do folks think is a good cut to go with that is between a bastard and a stone? I can’t find anything other then bastard files locally to “finger” test. Is “smooth” to fine?
Norten stones: Where to get…
Lath and Mill bits: Where to get…