This is a discussion on Recommended Files and Stones for gun smoothing? within the Gunsmithing forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Howdy all,
Wondering which files and stones I need to smooth up our guns. Don't want to end up with a bunch of junk. Can ...
Absolutely check Brownells, they have a great selection and their catalog explains the differances in the stones and files. And if you still have a question, just give the tech line a call. They are great to work with.
Ok gunsmiths, do you believe all stones are good to use or do we really need to buy the more expensive ones? If I have to pay for better that is ok but I like good deals if it doesn't matter and someone is offering us a better deal!
stoble, No offence but as I have stated before ... if you have to ask about stones, you probably shouldn't own them. Stoning an action is a very delicate process. A slight mistake can cost you dearly. I have at least 50 different stones in my tool chest. All different shapes, sizes, and abrasive qualities. None of them are cheapies and none of them are for sharpening knives or anything but gunsmithing.
Ever heard about the guy that ruined a $200,000 house with a 29 cent screwdriver?
So lets say I have no business using stones. I still want to know if the earlier mentioned less expensive stones are not the quality you would use on a gun in your opinion. Maybe a young guy that is studying smithing might want to know if this is an option to use as he starts?
stoble, Your question doesn't really have a good answer. Cheap stones typically get poor results but sometimes they may be the best tool for the job. The Norton stones in nicholst55's link are excellent (that's mostly what I use) but as you can see, they aren't cheap. When you stone an action, you never know what you are getting into. You may have to start with a coarse stone to get deep machine marks out. Then you have to stone out the marks left by the coarse stone with a medium grit and finally polish the fine scratches out with a fine ceramic (man made) stone. The next sear may be totally different and require a different shape or grit. Meanwhile you usually need a jig to hold the part where the sear surface stays flush with the stone so you don't change the angle. Handholding a part an freehand stoning is sure to make a mess of things.
stoble, Try this little drill. Get yourself some grinding stones with 1/4" shafts made in "China" then go to your local Industrial supply and get a few made by say.......Carborundum Abrasives (made in the USA) and put them all to "work" and see which ones grind into "dust" in less than a minute! You guessed it. The Chinese "junk"! Now "some" tools and products that come out of China will work well for you and be cheaper in the long run. Grinding stones are not one of them! Go with the "good" quality gunsmithing stones for sure. (Norton, Smith, Carborundum, etc.). They will last you "your" lifetime. I must have been collecting stones longer than Iowegan. I must have 100 or more of them. Some of them have seen a lot of use over the years and are pretty well worn but still fully serviceable. I "dress" them when they get too out of shape.......................Dick
Last edited by bowhunter; January 2nd, 2009 at 04:24 PM.
Location: Illinois (one of the most gun unfriendly states)
Hello all. Not too long ago I tried my hand at buffing and polishing some external parts, and from there I've started working on the internals to some of my firearms. Jumping from simply buffing to using some sandpaper (from 400 to 2000 grit) I've managed to smooth out the "gritty" trigger on my GP100, drop the pull on my 10/22 from 5# to 3#, and recently improved the trigger on my KMK-10. I understand the need for jigs, although I have not purchased or used one yet. I also understand the purpose of stones. Since I really am too scared to get into changing angles and removing any amount of metal (at least till I get to be more confident in what I'm doing), will just using sandpaper be sufficient?? (as long as all I'm doing is basically removing tool marks and getting to the mirror finishes)
Since I really am too scared to get into changing angles and removing any amount of metal (at least till I get to be more confident in what I'm doing), will just using sandpaper be sufficient?? (as long as all I'm doing is basically removing tool marks and getting to the mirror finishes)
I am a hobbiest jeweler and I prefer wet sand paper and buffing wheels with various rouges. Its hard to remove critical angles when you are working slowly and methodically. Many jewelers supply stores (online) sell all types of supplies useful in this application.
An industrial supply is the place to go. I love Brownells and Midway, and I do buy from them. But they have a heck of a markup.
I got a precision ground bench block for a few dollars where they were about $40 from the "gunsmith suppliers". I also use mostly Norton. Fine India stones are cheap. It's the hard Arkansas stones that start running into money. And you can save a ton of it by going to an industrial supply. And 3M Wet-R-Dry sandpaper and RemOil will do amazing things too when followed with a good polish or rouge.
As mentioned before Enco is a good one and MSC, McMaster-Carr, and KP Supply are good as well. And as a bonus you can get good quality precision calipers for about the same money as a gun supplier.
I believe one really needs a stone for nice polishing. Lets say you need to remove high spots from the side of a hammer. That stone will take care of that while keeping a straight surface while sandpaper, if not applied with some kind of straight metal handle behind it, will smooth the low spots too.