Friday, May 14, 2010

Haenel 303-Super Stripping the Stock Part 1

Acquired an old NIB Haenel 303-Super many months ago. It was made in East Germany. Haven't found time to go inside and tune the rifle yet. Heck, I've barely had time to shoot this one. It's got some issues as it sits. Tom Gaylord reviewed one of these guns a while back.

From several feet away it looks pretty good.

Up close, there's some damage to the finish from sitting in a box for 25+ years.

The stain and varnish(?) on both sides of the grip is gone.

The right side is worse. The double-line border around the stippling is also poorly done and non-existent in a few spots.

Cleaned out the stippling and the border with an old tooth brush.

Bought a set of Dem-Bart checkering tools a week ago.

Used a single line cutter and chased the existing lines to deepen and define the border.

Sanded out the bare spots in the finish. The finish was puddled at the edges. Maybe it was boxed before the finish had dried completely.

Did the same to the left side. Tried spot staining the bare wood, but couldn't get it to take enough color to match.

In the right light, at the right angle, this is a really nice piece of beech.

Pulled the action. You know what's next.

Yeah, I know. I'll ruin the collector value. Hey, these guns trade hands for all of about $300. Since I'm not likely to sell it, I'm the one who has to shoot it, and it's already less than perfect...

No going back now. See how easy and decisive this can be? 100 grit paper across the finish really has the sound of commitment.

Tip: Leave the buttpad installed. I thought about a Morgan adjustable pad. Maybe the plastic base model? I'm waffling. The stock pad is marked "SUHL" and it's pretty cool. Though, it is hard plastic....Still waffling.

With the majority of the finish stripped off, here's what's lurking below.

This grain has some real potential. I'm going to try a chemical stripper on the stippling. If that's a no-go, I'll attempt to recreate the Haenel stippling technique. Looks like it was tapped into the wood. I may try a Dremel tool with a small ball mill as it seems to produce a similar appearance. Hopefully, it won't come to that.

More to come in a couple days.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fitting A New Rubber Band To A Slingshot

I'm in between projects and pressed for time so here's something only nominally connected to airguns.

I bought this Marksman slingshot for a buck at that garage sale two years ago.

It didn't have much power and the condiction of the rubber band was suspect. You can see the checking.

Doesn't inspire confidence.

So I rolled the edges up and off of the slingshot forks.

I picked this up this "Talon Grip" replacement kit at our local "Bi-Mart", I forget how much it was but it was cheap.

It was the only kit they had in stock. I'm not sold on the "magnetic pouch" but what the heck.

I put the replacement tips on the forks.

A 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water for lubrication.

And the bands slid right on. You then leave them until the water/alcohol mix evaporates.

Now to hide it from the kids, again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gecado Diana Model 5 Pistol, Fail Whale

Ahh, the day started with such promise.

I found a ball to fit the spring plunger for the trigger adjustment screw.

.125" diameter.

Fits and works.
Then I put the rest of the pistol back together in reverse order of disassembly.

Then I noticed that the spot welds on the front half of the trigger/cocking shoe stamping were all broken.

Both sides, lucky me.
Not sure how that happened. I didn't put any force on that assembly beyond clamping it in the spring compressor, and since I've done that to several other similar diana pistols I don't think that was it. Could just be that the spot welds weren't as strong on this earlier Diana postwar pistols. It could have been caused by someone before me trying to cock the stuck piston repeatedly, or by holding it in a vise by the stamping and unscrewing the end cap. But that's just guessing. In any case I need to dig out some spot welding gear, make some special tongs that extend into the tube, etc. Doubt I'll get to that any time soon...we'll see. Derrick says the pistol is my "White Whale".

I do happen to have another Diana 5 action of later vintage that's missing some parts so it may get put in place of this one.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Weihrauch Rear Sight Screw for Alan

Airgun buddy, Alan, accidentally damaged the rear sight attachment screw on his new Weihrauch 30S and has been unable to obtain a replacement. A plea to HW Germany was unsuccessful, so I sent him the bolt from my Beeman R1. Unfortunately, it proved to be 2mm too short and Alan was stuck with a new gun he couldn't shoot. Remembering my annoyance at having to use threaded bushings when making a sight cover plate for my HW35E, I elected to obtain a thread cutting die and just make him a new screw.

The screw is an M5 x 0.5mm and it's such a bizarre pitch size it's difficult to find a thread cutting die in the US. I did locate one on the net, but it was $39--that's about 4 times what 1" diameter thread cutting dies sell for.

Of course, my favorite machine tool supply company, Kromehard Twist Drill, had a small box full of them for about $10 each.

Die shown with a too-short-for-Alan HW rear sight screw.

Just a pic for scale. Pretty small screw.

Cut off a piece of 3/8" O-1 tool steel.

Bored the jaws and chucked the stock. Turned the end down to 4.90mm. Put a slight taper on the end to ease the start of the threading die.

Liberal application of cutting oil and the die cut the threads effortlessly. Fine pitch threads are a dream to cut due to the low torque needed to advance the cutting tool.

Cut and faced the end down leaving 7mm of thread to the underside of the head.

The HW screw has a 9mm diameter head. The 3/8" diameter drill rod equates to 9.525mm.

Another angle

Removed 0.525mm.


Alan didn't want me to waste my day on this, so I cut the slot with the hacksaw, too. Aligned by my green optical guestimating comparators.

Faced and beveled the head of the screw.

I cleaned the threads a final time since it had been in the 3-jaw, but there was no need.

I'll clean it up a bit and cold blue it with Birchwood Casey Perma Blue paste. Alan can polish it out further if he requires it. Looks like a Chapman #93 flat blade bit fits the slot exactly.