A builder's bench : tools, vises, etc

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TraderVic

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I'm contemplating building a kit, likely a Jim Kibler rifle. For a novice such as myself, what tools and vise(s) do you recommend ?
 

FishDFly

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You might send an e-mail to Jim Kibler and ask him what is needed to complete one of his kits. That way you do not buy tools that you do not need.
 

Bob McBride

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Everything you see in pic #1.... ;)

For a Kibler you don't need much really. An exacto knife or a few small chisels. Either a flat 1/8", 3/16", or 1/4" for Kibler. A few others for other kits. Pfeil is best quality but expensive. A Mill Bastard file for cleaning up the furniture. For other kits a minimum of a 10" #49/#50 Cabinet maker's rasp or similar. Sandpaper. Probably don't need a vise for a Kibler either but the 'Gunmaker's vise', or like mine, which is the same except for the color, handle, and gearing, a 'guitar maker's vise', is excellent for holding any shape. Which is handy. Taps and Dies for most kits. Not Kibler.


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ord sgt

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Wow. Nice workshop
Everything you see in pic #1.... ;)

For a Kibler you don't need much really. An exacto knife or a few small chisels. Either a flat 1/8", 3/16", or 1/4" for Kibler. A few others for other kits. Pfeil is best quality but expensive. A Mill Bastard file for cleaning up the furniture. For other kits a minimum of a 10" #49/#50 Cabinet maker's rasp or similar. Sandpaper. Probably don't need a vise for a Kibler either but the 'Gunmaker's vise', or like mine, which is the same except for the color, handle, and gearing, a 'guitar maker's vise', is excellent for holding any shape. Which is handy. Taps and Dies for most kits. Not Kibler.


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nice workshop.
 

Sidney Smith

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Definitely a bent shank 1/8 inch chisel. Best $20 I've spent on ML tools.

You don't need a fancy workshop to build a kit, but you do need basic tools. Drill, chisels, taps, dies. A vice like the one above is great but a simple woodworkers vice will work too. Something to support the forearm of the stock is good too. I use sand bags stacked on an old bar stool, and a padded wood vice. Works.

If your handy with a dremel tool, they are indispensible IMO.
 

Zonie

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I built my first Pecatonica River "kits" with a few chisels (1/8", 1/4" and 1/2"), a few good flat files, a set of drill bits plus a few special size "tap drills" for the threads, a #8-32, #10-32 and a 1/4-28 tap and tap driver handle, an electric drill and a Black & Decker Workmate bench (plus a lot of sandpaper and wood sanding blocks), a dial vernier caliper, a couple of screw drivers and a pair of ViseGrip locking pliers and they came out fine.

The moral of my story is, a person doesn't need to have a ton of expensive tools to get the job done. Yes, some of those other tools are nice to have but they aren't absolutely necessary.
 

sussexmuzllodr

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I built my first Pecatonica River "kits" with a few chisels (1/8", 1/4" and 1/2"), a few good flat files, a set of drill bits plus a few special size "tap drills" for the threads, a #8-32, #10-32 and a 1/4-28 tap and tap driver handle, an electric drill and a Black & Decker Workmate bench (plus a lot of sandpaper and wood sanding blocks), a dial vernier caliper, a couple of screw drivers and a pair of ViseGrip locking pliers and they came out fine.

The moral of my story is, a person doesn't need to have a ton of expensive tools to get the job done. Yes, some of those other tools are nice to have but they aren't absolutely necessary.
Zonie I would pick up swiss army knives at garage sales being so cheap I would regrind the componets for a specific use.
Sm
 

Capnball

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Everything you see in pic #1.... ;)

For a Kibler you don't need much really. An exacto knife or a few small chisels. Either a flat 1/8", 3/16", or 1/4" for Kibler. A few others for other kits. Pfeil is best quality but expensive. A Mill Bastard file for cleaning up the furniture. For other kits a minimum of a 10" #49/#50 Cabinet maker's rasp or similar. Sandpaper. Probably don't need a vise for a Kibler either but the 'Gunmaker's vise', or like mine, which is the same except for the color, handle, and gearing, a 'guitar maker's vise', is excellent for holding any shape. Which is handy. Taps and Dies for most kits. Not Kibler.


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"Everything" lol, that was brutal!
 

Sidney Smith

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Don’t forget a good light so you can see what you are doing!
Definitely. Good lighting is a must. I have two overhead lights above my bench plus two tabletop desk lamps which I maneuver into position over whatever area I'm working on. Lighting is a big one.
 

oldwood

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Most of the nitti gritty of tools, shop stuff , and "how to do it for beginners , is well covered in " The Art of Building the Pa. Longrifle. Costs around $22.00 @ Dixon's M/L shop Kempton , Pa.. Been building m/l rifles for 50 + years , and still think it's fun to go back and read Dixon's book. Wore out one Stanley Workmate Vise and on my second one. Most used chisel is 1/4" , and is maybe most common second hand chisel on earth. The rest down to 1/16 " can be ground out of small screwdrivers. Larger chisels can be found in second hand stores and flea mkt's. Good tools are priceless , but can't understand why one has to pay a high price for them. Myron Carlson challenged me once , "If you can build a gun , you can make the tools to do the job." I agreed . Friend of mine , Dave Wagner , worked at Colonial Williamsburg gun shop. He said they did a study of most used tools for woodworking on gun stocks. The most surprising group of carving and inletting chisels were ground w/ curved ends w/only one bevel , made to impress precise inletting and carving lines in circles. The most expensive item for a craftsmen to sell , is his time. ........oldwood
 

Rifleman1776

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I do like that vise. But my days of needing something like that are over. I believe that is what Dave Person uses.
 

oldwood

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Forgot a very important tool. Back in the 1970's , I used to stop in the Dick and Don Getz m/l barrel shop. I noticed they both wore 2 power magnifier visors on their heads. Asked them , "why the magnifiers?" They said wearing a 2 power magnifier makes any errors 2 times smaller. Made sense to me . I can't work w/o one.. oldwood
 

GANGGREEN

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I need one of the magnifying visors. I also want one of the gunmaker's vises. I recently found one for sale used for a fair price and when I inquired, I found that it was going to cost $30 to ship to me, which made it far less reasonable. Definitely need/want one though.
 

RB POWELL

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Don’t forget a good light so you can see what you are doing!
I am having a heck of a time locating a good articulated shop light like the one in the picture. Anyone have an idea where I can get one?
 

Bob McBride

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I am having a heck of a time locating a good articulated shop light like the one in the picture. Anyone have an idea where I can get one?
Try eBay. They’re antiques. The two farthest away are Dazors and the third is just an articulated drafting light. There are some new Chinese ones on eBay too but just make sure the total length is something like 40” so you can really move it wherever you need it. The old ones are bulletproof.
 

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