Author Topic: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins  (Read 1894 times)

Offline LOZ

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Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« on: March 13, 2018, 10:11:39 PM »
When drilling for RR thimbles or the trigger guard should I drill the location first and then install the trigger guard and mark it, and then drill it outside of the stock?  Or just drill the guard and stock all at once. Same for thimbles.
The reason why I ask this is I wanted to minimize the time the drill was in the stock while the metal is being drilled.

Offline Mauser06

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 10:20:48 PM »
Seems many prefer to drill from each side...hitting the lug with the drill bit, then taking it out and drilling the hole in the lug.


I will admit I drilled all mine in 1 shot last week. Nice clean holes and aligned well. Pins go in and out easy. I was careful on the drill to hold it steady and kept a light pressure on it and let the bit do it's job.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 10:49:32 PM »
I drill (1/16" bit) in one pass from the off side (left).  All pins, slides, and lock bolts go in and out from that side.  Easy to remembers.  I use a drill press with a vise to ensure alignment and precision.
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Offline ltdann

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 10:50:48 PM »
I drill one side until it hits the tab, then take the RR thimble/TG out of the stock and finishing drilling the tab.  I then countersink each side of the tab a little bit ( to allow for pin drift).  I put the RR thimple/.TG back in, and finish drilling from the original side, using the tab as a drill guide.

That way, if I break the little drill bit going thru the brass, it's not stuck in the wood and causing me to go insane trying to find a way to get it out.

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Offline Mark Elliott

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 11:14:40 PM »
I spent a lot of years drilling my pin holes through in one shot on the drill press.   I  did that until I accidentally drilled through a barrel.  My current procedure is to use a pin drilling jig to drill from each side and then drill the tab/tennon in the stock.   If you drill the tab outside the stock, then you run the risk of the hole not lining up correctly on both sides.   

Offline LOZ

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2018, 12:50:06 AM »
Wow. Several good method!  I donít trust myself to drill one side then the other. I do like the idea of drilling the hole and marking the brass on the TG and drilling it outside of the stock, then reinstall and finish the hole.
The thimbles I believe I can drill slowly as suggested and drill them installed in the stock.
From previous advice I am going to use a jig in the drill press to locate the exit hole before I start drilling so the drilled hole is squared with the stock.
I have a location jig for the barrel pins.

Offline Mauser06

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 01:18:51 AM »
Biggest thing is measure and double and triple check. A hole in wood can be fixed/hidden usually. A hole through the barrel... different story.

Locating the lugs on a square stock isn't too tough.  A curved precarve is a little trickier.. at least for me.  All of mine actually ended up short of where I wanted them..which was fine. But much lower and I'd been hitting the barrel.



Offline TommyG

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 03:25:52 AM »
I have had good luck drilling them on my drill press in one shot(so far).  With a plank build I make sure that both sides of my stock are parallel and square, and I drill before I do any forestock shaping to follow the barrel swamp.  A pre-carve, well that won't be so easy.  Another thing is always use a new 1/16" bit for each build and run it fast.  I think mine is in the 1800-2000 rpm range.  I'll feed only maybe an 1/8" at a time and pull the chips.  As long as my layout is on I'm good.

Offline scottmc

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 04:33:44 AM »
I just pinned my barrel last week.  The way I was taught was drill through the wood first all the way with an undersize bit.  Then insert barrel or whatever item your pinning, clamp with C clamp above and below item.  Drill through wood again and lug (still undersize bit).  Then chuck your slighly larger finish bit and drill through wood, lug and out the other side.  The whole time I'm doing this, I have a level on my drill and keep the bubble the same level as the top of the barrel.  The top of my hand drill is perfectly parallel to the chuck/bit.  Many ways of doing it as you see with the responses.  Just pick the one that sounds the easiest and try. 
I used to try and go through everything at once and the bit most always veered off trying to go through the brass and I ended up with the whole on the other side being lower than the side I started on.
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Offline Nordnecker

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 02:33:26 PM »
Whatever you do, make sure to use a SHARP bit. One time I drilled through the thimble tabs while in the stock and the dull bit pressed the metal outward when it exited the tab. It was very hard to get the thimble out of the wood because of this. Once out, I could file away the flash but it could have gone south very easily.
Another thing- make some identifying marks on your thimbles so you will always put them back in the same place, in the same direction every time.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 02:48:17 PM by Nordnecker »

Offline Turtle

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 02:43:38 PM »
For barrel lug holes  I made a tool out of old calipers. It sits on top of the top flat and measures down the side and has a sharp point to make a mark. I can reverse it and get the same height on the other side. The only thing it doesn't do is locate the spot  fore and aft. I'm working on that.

Offline PPatch

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 07:28:04 PM »
For a trigger guard I determine where I want the holes, then drill them on the drill press, and at the same time create the 82 degree countersink for the screwhead. I then inlet the guard into the stock fully, next I use a small sharp awl to precisely locate the center of my pre-drilled trigger guard holes and use a gimlet tool to drill for the screws.

Top row, Gimlets



For ramrod thimbles I use a thumb drill with a 1/16" bit - this allows very controlled drilling up to the tab on each side of the forearm. I then switch to a powered hand drill to go through the metal tab on the thimble. If I am doing keys I use the same method. Note that you want to very lightly clamp the thimble to the stock, to not clamp it down tightly, just firm with enough pressure to simply hold it in place. Also, once you have your holes in the tab use a file to widen them lengthwise to account for wood movement, slot them each side of the original hole.



Both methods are slower than using a power drill, but are very precise.

dave



« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 07:35:08 PM by PPatch »
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Offline LOZ

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 07:36:43 PM »
Yes a sharp bit is a must. I have a few bits that have the leading cutting edge sharp but slightly below the trailing part of the bit. (Just behind the cutting edge) This sounds counter productive but if the difference is very slight, when drilling the bit will not want to "thread through" brass or plastic when it exits the bottom side. This may or may not help.
The barrel tool made out of calipers is a good idea. I have an angle iron jig that I bought online that is a drill guide that will locate the hole for you and has small holes already drilled in it for different barrel sizes. I have not used it yet.

Offline LOZ

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2018, 07:41:42 PM »
Thanks for the slotting of the thimble hole idea. I would have never thought of that. I'm not familiar with a thumb drill. I'll have to look that up.

Offline flehto

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2018, 10:22:52 PM »
I drill all  the pin holes { !/16 dia} in a drill press and drill through in one swoop. The  bbl lug holes are done first, the RR pipes next followed by the TG and  trigger pin holes. Both lockbolt holes are drilled through also. The tang screw  hole starts w/ the tap drill and goes through the TP and then the clearance drill stops at the TP.

The setup to drill the various pin holes and lockbolt holes is shown below. The vise is  super accurate and the top bbl flat is against the permanent vise jaw.  A parallel towards the muzzle keeps the rifle horizontal.

Clamps are used for drilling the bbl lug and RR pipe pin hoes. ....Fred


I use a depth mike to layout the pin holes for the  bbl lugs and RR pipes.



« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 10:25:47 PM by flehto »

Offline burnt

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2018, 10:38:49 PM »
I use a drill press with a cheap (Harbor Freight) cross slide vice and while my stock is still squared and planed smooth so I can do precise layout and make a punch mark in the wood. Level and square and straight thru. I hate surprises.

Kevin
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Offline Turtle

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2018, 02:41:05 AM »
 Yes, it's harder with a precarved stock to do it right. Not having flat,90 degree edges and a perpendicular starting place for the drill. You also have to be very carefull because mistakes and dings can't be filed or sanded out. My Kibler kit was my first fully precarve I built. several things are harder to do-it surprised me.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 02:31:39 PM by Turtle »

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2018, 07:46:45 PM »
"Not having flat,90 degree edges "

I use the the top flat of the barrel.  The drilling is done is a milling machine with a table vice. 

I admire you guys who can do these jobs with crude historic tools.  When I try, it goes badly.  For me, if something is cockeyed, it bothers me.   So, I use the best tool I have for the job and get the most accurate result I can. 

Offline Clark B

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2018, 01:31:22 AM »
Both times that I have drilled for barrel pins, and once for thimble pins, I just use a power hand drill and eyeball it. It is a lot easier on a squared fore end, but center punching the rounded precarve worked as well. Out of curiosity I measured the pins with my depth mics and all were with .010" side to side.
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Offline ltdann

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2018, 03:32:54 AM »




so that's my high dollar pin drilling alignment rig.  I measure to the tab while the barrel/tg is out...making sure I use a felt tip marker on the barrel either side of the square.  I install the barrel, put the flat in between the marks....put a touch black on the sharp tip, push into the wood, flip to the other side, repeat.

I use my smallest gimlet to start the hole, switch to drill and drill to the tab.  Take the barrel/tg out finish drill thru the tab, reinstall and use the tab hole as a guide.  It almost always comes exactly on the black mark on the other side.

Doesn't matter if the wood is flat or curved. 

If I can't drill a straight hole the 1/4 or so from the black mark to the tab, I probably shouldn't be building firearms. ;)
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 03:40:47 AM by ltdann »
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Offline Turtle

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Re: Drilling for thimble and trigger guard pins
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2018, 03:44:03 AM »
 yep, that tool made out of a square looks like it would work better than my caliper tool because it is also solid back and forth. Thanks I will make one.One more thing I do is to drill first with a short stiff bit that just will go through the lug, and the rest of the way with a long bit.