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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK guys, I'm almost ready to assemble my first parts kit rifle. I got a Romak 3 parts kit and a "Dragunov" receiver. I've been reading Gunco til my eyes are bloodshot. (By the way, I love this place!) I've bought and modified a pair of HF 24" bolt cutters. (HF has a store 5 minutes from my house!) I got a "AK" rivet set with the receiver but they aren't right so I'm using them to practice with. I'm now waiting for rivets from K-Var and I have a few questions.

1. The holes for the front trunnion line up on one side of the receiver but are off by about 1/32 on the other side. Should I just enlarge the receiver holes to match the trunnion?

2. The 8x42D scope I just got from Tantal has the SVD style clamp but won't fit the mount on the receiver. But, it does fit the mount that was loose in the parts kit. Should I try to grind off the receiver scope rail and replace it?

3. The FCG parts are very sloppy, and at this point won't even work without jiggling them around. :bawling: How good are the "US Made G2" double hook FCG's. Should I just bite the bullet and order a Red Star Arms FCG?

I'll probably have more questions, but for now, Thanks.
 

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Master Endmill Breaker
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bbowling said:
OK guys, I'm almost ready to assemble my first parts kit rifle. I got a Romak 3 parts kit and a "Dragunov" receiver. I've been reading Gunco til my eyes are bloodshot. (By the way, I love this place!) I've bought and modified a pair of HF 24" bolt cutters. (HF has a store 5 minutes from my house!) I got a "AK" rivet set with the receiver but they aren't right so I'm using them to practice with. I'm now waiting for rivets from K-Var and I have a few questions.

1. The holes for the front trunnion line up on one side of the receiver but are off by about 1/32 on the other side. Should I just enlarge the receiver holes to match the trunnion?

2. The 8x42D scope I just got from Tantal has the SVD style clamp but won't fit the mount on the receiver. But, it does fit the mount that was loose in the parts kit. Should I try to grind off the receiver scope rail and replace it?

3. The FCG parts are very sloppy, and at this point won't even work without jiggling them around. :bawling: How good are the "US Made G2" double hook FCG's. Should I just bite the bullet and order a Red Star Arms FCG?

I'll probably have more questions, but for now, Thanks.
1. 1/32" shouldn't be a problem once you get the trunnion fitted to the receiver. The trunnion holes are chamferred, so when you squeeze the rivets, the receiver should compress into the chamfer. You can also do this before installing the rivets by using a pointed punch or even a large cone-point set screw to recess the receiver into the chamfer around the holes. Make sure the trunnion goes into the receiver straight and that there aren't any burrs keeping the alignment off. My Romak receiver had burrs on every hole that prevented easy installation of the trunnion. I cleaned them up with a file and the trunnion fit nicely.

2. You can adjust the rail on the receiver with a 60 degree dovetail file to get the scope to fit the rail. Replacing the rail is a lot of work, unless you have the equipment and like tinkering...

3. Check through your parts kit for a thin metal sleeve. The sleeve fits into the FCG to make installation easier. Not all trigger groups use the assembly sleeve. If the FCG was intended to use a sleeve, and you assemble the FCG without it, the trigger group will be VERY sloppy. There is also a small metal "donut" that is used to keep the disconnector in position. The "donut" fits in like this:



The arrow shows where it goes. The asssembly sleeve is also shown in the pic. If you don't have either of these pieces, you can pick up thin wall brass or steel tubing at hardware or hobby stores. You can make the pieces yourself for only a few dollars and some of your time.

Any AK trigger group should work in the Romak 3. The G2 and RSA sets are both good, but if you can get the original set to work you'll save $40 to $80...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the feedback. :thankyou: A picture is definitely worth 1K words. I did not get the sleeve with the FCG. I do have the donut though. Is the sleeve in one piece from one side to the other? The reason I ask is that the hole in the trigger and disconnector has an i.d. of .240, but the donut i.d. is only .200. Since the o.d. of the pin is .195, it's definitely sloppy. I'll dig through all of the packaging again, but I doubt if the sleeve is here since the FCG was in a sealed bag.

I decided to alter the scope clamp to work with the existing rail. The clamp was made of soft alloy, and was easily accessible. I used a triangle file with masking tape on one side to keep from cutting the clamp where I didn't want to.
 

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I just know you are going to love your Romak when you are done. It is one of my very favorites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to Scott at DPH arms, my FCG is now working. He had the sleeve I was missing. The sleeve fit the trigger and disconnector, but wouldn't go through the donut spacer. I suspect that my FCG was a bag of mixed parts. I was able to make a new spacer though and now all is well.

K-Var rivets are due today.

While waiting I stripped the wood. Today I'll put the finish on while waiting for the BBT. I stained using a variation of Ironwood Designs "Russian Red." Putting on tung oil finish today.

I'll post pics, if it turns out nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The BBT arrived with the K-Var rivet sets. (I ordered two, figuring on goofing one set up.) Using HCPookie's "almost world famous" bolt cutter rivet squeezer method, I was able to make quick and I must say impressive work of the 4 short rivets.

The long rivet at the front of the trunnion wasn't so easy. It is a swell head that goes all the way from one side to the other. I used a 3lb hammer, but wasn't able to keep it tight against the receiver on the swelled end while hammering the other. I was using a large vise as an anvil. It is fairly tight, but I'd like to do better. :dunno: Any suggestions?

Some comments on the rivet sets. The Romak 3 uses 5 rivets on the front trunnion. Two short swell heads at the magwell, two round heads at the barrel sides, and one long swell head across the receiver in front, below the barrel. The rivets from K-Var were pretty close. The magwell rivets were too large a diameter shafts. I had to drill the trunnion slightly. They were also a hair too long. Making for a lot of rivet to crush to clear the magazine. The barrel rivets were a different color, (black vs dull gray) than the rest but fit perfectly. The front swell head was about .060 too long. I trimmed it to have about .150 protruding before crushing.

The finishing process is moving along smoothly. I have three coats of tung oil on, but I'm still seeing a satin finish.

How many coats before it starts to shine? Or will that come after some waxing and buffing?

Next, I'm pressing in the barrel...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh yeah, another thing. The mag release has been the only really difficult thing so far. Not only was it hard to get in place, but it didn't work once I had it in. I had to remove it and shave a little off of the end where it engages the magazine tab, and also shaved a little off of the back of the catch where it rests against the trigger guard.

Before, it wouldn't hold the magazine at all, now it has a nice reassuring click when the magazine locks in.

A tip from a newbie. :sick: After shaving off the mag release I degreased it and dunked it in Van's instant blue for a few minutes. This put a nice dark gray finish on the bright metal. Van's is great stuff for darkening and putting a protective finish on scratches. Since the metal hasn't been polished, the finish looks more like a Manganese park than a blue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I got the barrel in. Actually it looks to be perfect. I can't catch a sharp pointed scribe on the seam inside the barrel pin hole. Once I check headspace, I'll find out for sure when I drive in the pin. Here is the rig I used to press in the barrel. It was inspired by HCPookie's bar clamp method. Each time I applied pressure with the screw, the barrel would bow a little since I was supporting it at the trunnion low by the magwell. I would then give the barrel a couple of thumps with a big rubber hammer straight down, right in front of the rear sight block and the barrel would scoot in 1/16" or so. I could vary how much it moved by how hard I thumped it and by how much pressure I put on the screw. Toward the end I had only a little pressure and was thumping lightly and the barrel tweaked in the last couple of 1/1000's. If anyone is interested, I have more pics of the barrel thumping rig. The duct tape is just where I was protecting the finish during other steps.


Here is the lower hand guard too. I like the color, just can't wait til the tung oil starts to shine.
 

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Master Endmill Breaker
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bbowling said:
The finishing process is moving along smoothly. I have three coats of tung oil on, but I'm still seeing a satin finish.

How many coats before it starts to shine? Or will that come after some waxing and buffing?

Next, I'm pressing in the barrel...
You're not using satin tung oil are you? :rolleyes: Seriously, I had to return the second bottle of oil that I bought because I grabbed satin by mistake. Duh...

It could depend on how you're applying the oil. I did my stock set with a heavy coat of oil initially without wiping too much off. The second and third coats were really heavy and buffed with 0000 steel wool between coats. If you put the oil on too thin, you will not make any progress as the oil won't fill in even the tiny scratches from the steel wool and it will leave a satin finish. You need to wipe or brush on at least one heavy coat. When you do this, keep rotating the part to prevent the oil from running or sagging. You will need to keep continuously turning the part for about 15 or 20 minutes. I usually sit down and watch something on TV while I'm turning the part. Work over a drop cloth! If you're married, make sure she doesn't know about this...

You could also try more thin coats without scuffing with steel wool between them. Eventually the oil will fill in the scratches and give you a glossy finish.

If you put on a heavy coat and keep it from running or sagging, you can get a finish that is like glass. The Romak stock set in this picture turned out fairly well, but I have a milled AK set that looks like it's still wet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After reading your post, I went and checked the can. It is made by Behr and just says Scandinavian Tung Oil. It doesn't say what kind of gloss. So, I went by Lowes on the way home and got a can of Homer Formby's. It actually says high gloss on the label. I put a coat on and right away I could tell there would be a difference. The Behr wouldn't get tacky even after 20 minutes or so. Like it wasn't really setting up. It would be dry when I'd come back an hour later though. The Homer Formby's gets tacky pretty quick, like in 15 minutes, so you need to rub it out more quickly. Hopefully, it will also build up thickness faster. Thanks for the tip.



Here is a pic of the Van's gun blue results. These are spare rivets. One right out of the bag, the other after being dipped in the Van's for a couple of minutes. These rivets are pretty shiny, so the van's blue is a little shinier than it is when used over scratches etc. You need to degrease whatever you are darkening. I use aerosol brake parts cleaner. I soak a cleaning patch in the Van's and just keep sopping it over scratches, etc for a couple of minutes then wipe it off and oil it. The oil is important. Small parts I just drop into the bottle and fish back out with a magnet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here are two places I found with a quick Yahoo. The first one, shooter's solutions I've ordered parkerizing solutions from. They're good people. The second link is to the Van's website. I haven't ordered from them though. I actually bought the bottle I have at a gun show.

http://www.shootersolutions.com
http://www.vansgunblue.com
 

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Happy Camper
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bbowling said:
I got the barrel in. Actually it looks to be perfect. I can't catch a sharp pointed scribe on the seam inside the barrel pin hole. Once I check headspace, I'll find out for sure when I drive in the pin. Here is the rig I used to press in the barrel. It was inspired by HCPookie's bar clamp method. Each time I applied pressure with the screw, the barrel would bow a little since I was supporting it at the trunnion low by the magwell. I would then give the barrel a couple of thumps with a big rubber hammer straight down, right in front of the rear sight block and the barrel would scoot in 1/16" or so. I could vary how much it moved by how hard I thumped it and by how much pressure I put on the screw. Toward the end I had only a little pressure and was thumping lightly and the barrel tweaked in the last couple of 1/1000's. If anyone is interested, I have more pics of the barrel thumping rig. The duct tape is just where I was protecting the finish during other steps.
Nice job! FYI, I've made a minor tweak to my method- turn the barrel and receiver upside-down and you can get better clamping against the trunion, AND you don't have to worry about accidentally biting into the receiver near the mag well.

http://pookieweb.dyndns.org:61129/AK/docs/construction/pressing/pressing_barrel/pressing_barrel.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'll try that next time. I might not need the Bug Rubber Hammer.:thankyou:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK Rhino, you showed me yours, so now I'll show you mine. Thanks for the tip on the tung oil type. I still don't know what I started with, but as you can see, the Homer Formby's high gloss tung oil finish will definitely shine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
More Newbie questions, help please.

Ok,

I have the barrel in and have to measure the headspace. I've read lots of posts about the necessity of measuring headspace, so I'm sold on that. But, how can you tell on an AK when the bolt has fully closed on the gauge? With a bolt action receiver, its pretty obvious, but what do you see on an AK rotating bolt if it isn't quite closing?

Second and somewhat related question. The bolt carrier to top rails fit is still pretty tight on my Romak 3. I remember that my SAR-1 was like this when I bought it, but that it "broke in" after shooting for awhile. Should I shave the rails to get a smooth action or should this prebuilt receiver be right. I adjusted the lower rails slightly with a hammer and aluminum block to line up with the trunnion and the bolt slides smoothly from receiver into trunnion when it is not installed in the bolt carrier. I didn't do anything else to the receiver other than rivet it to the front trunnion and install the mag release.

Third question, (donning flameproof suit) Since I have rifles and handguns in 14 calibers, and would like to measure them all, I'm looking into cheaper ways to measure headspace, other than buying 14 $75.00 sets. And yes, my body parts are worth more than $1050.00 (ducking fireball). Most of my guns are milsurp, and have seen combat.

Afterall, it's just a measurement. Does anyone know where the specifications can be found for various calibers?
 

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bbowling said:
OK Rhino, you showed me yours, so now I'll show you mine. Thanks for the tip on the tung oil type. I still don't know what I started with, but as you can see, the Homer Formby's high gloss tung oil finish will definitely shine.
WOW I love that Red!!!! Nice job!! Thats how I want my mini Romak project to turn out. How did you do the staining?
 

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Happy Camper
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http://pookieweb.dyndns.org:61129/AK/docs/construction/headspacing.htm

That's where I've put the collected information from various sources that I have found about headspacing.

In short, "as tight as possible" is the right answer. All guns' headspace will increase over time. A "field gauge" is used to determine if any particular gun has went out too far.

Proper headspacing techniques are something you have to play with.

The simple way is:

1. strip the bolt and remove the firing pin then reassemble
2. trim an automotive feeler gauge (the metal strip kind, not the "coin" type) .005" so it can sit behind the bullet in the bolt's cartridge cup.
3. try to chamber several cartridges. If it chambers on them, then your headspace is > .005".
4. Move the barrel in/out of the trunion and repeat the procedure until it is within spec.
5. Drill/ream the barrel pin hole and press in the new pin. If the hole is "close" to the original, then you'll need to drill a hole slightly larger.

That's really it. Improper headspace can cause serious failures, with explosive results so for the sake of your face don't assume everything is "OK". You probably could and be OK, and there are plenty of improperly headspaced CETME clones (and probably AK clones) out there right now, but don't go there.


BTW that is a really sweet coloring on the wood. Could you put up more pics, perhaps in sunlight, under flourescent lights, etc? (We don't ask much, do we?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm on the road right now. I'll do the pics when I get home. The only thing I'm not 100% sure of in the finishing is the name of the brown dye. I'll check it and post it for sure. The wood prep is pretty standard, and I used the stain information from http://www.ironwooddesigns.com/1howto.html Here are the specifics of my version.

I put 1 level teaspoon of powdered RIT scarlet red and 1 level teaspoon of powdered RIT dark brown??? in a small bottle. I added about 20 teaspoons of denatured alcohol and shook it up. The dye has some gritty stuff that didn't dissolve well, I ignored it. This made plenty of stain for the Romak.

Next, I used a scrap of a rag to rub the stain all over the wood. I kept going over it until it looked even. After it dryed, I thought it looked a little dark, so I went over it lightly with a clean rag wetted with denatured alcohol and let it dry overnight.

That's it. Next came the tung oil. Some of the red came off on the rag as I put on the tung oil. Unless you want red fingers for a few days, wear gloves.
 

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The red looks pretty nice. How many coats of oil did you wind up using? Makes a big difference to use the right materials, doesn't it.

When I did my WUM-1 stock set in red, I used Rit scarlet and yellow dyes. After that dried, I went over the pieces with a little Minwax "Special Walnut" stain. After that, 5 coats of Tung oil. Mine came out pretty close to the color yours did.
 
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