First Custom Rifle Build Page 2
Marlin Action
Green Mountain Barrel
Caliber 17 Fireball

May 23rd, 2015

I started turning the barrel on the 19th and basically got the contour I want about 11PM on the 22nd. There was one night in there that I didn't work on it.

Starting out, I used a steady rest because everything I'd seen and read to this point indicated I would need one.

The first pass on the left side of the steady rest seemed promising.

And things went pretty well until I moved the rest and started on the other end and things got ugly. By the time I gave it up for the night/morning, I had enough chatter going on that the muzzle end looked like a ratchet handle

I had seen in a blog that someone referenced Brownell's Gunsmithing Kinks book, something about a wood bar attached to the compound and used to apply pressure to the barrel in a attempt to eliminate the chatter. So when things went to crap I looked at my copy of book 3 I think.

I'm paraphrasing here but basically it said "never use a steady rest and only use a very sharp point on the tool bit". Since that was opposite of what I was doing and what I was doing wasn't working, I had nothing to lose by trying.

There was a drawing in the book of the recommended grind for the tool bit and it looked familiar. So I looked at the pile of bits that came with my lathe and discovered that probably 20 of them looked like the drawing.

I removed the steady rest, installed the new bit in the tool post started spinning the barrel again. Presto -- It was working like I hoped it would have in the first place. I still had some chatter that only got worse the thinner the barrel got but I put on a leather glove and gently held the barrel just ahead of the compound and I could more or less control the chatter.

Slowly but surely the diet program for the barrel was working.

When everything was working well, I was gaining about 1 inch closer to the breech on each pass (because of the taper). It's kind of boring standing there watching it turn and cut so I got a tape measure and tried to calculate how many more passes would be required. It gave me a headache.

Long story short, I now have the taper I was shooting for but ... the finish is rough and sand paper doesn't phase it.

Seen here along side the original barrel, I'm still pretty excited and more than willing to continue on this path of construction/destruction.



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