Well, the board is either fixed, or it's going to run terribly. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. I'm at my technical limit right now.

LAPPING

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OLDGUNNER
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LAPPING

#1 Post by OLDGUNNER » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:01 pm

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I lapped and polished the barrel of my Vaquero so brightly, to such a mirror finish that I can't take a picture of the bore. I don't have a variable light source to try to reduce the light to a point that I can take a picture. This is the first time this has happened with me. That bore is really, really smooth.
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Re: LAPPING

#2 Post by ffuries » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:03 pm

Excuse my ignorance, but can one over lap a barrel? How does one decide or tell when enough is enough?
Last edited by ffuries on Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LAPPING

#3 Post by OLDGUNNER » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:05 pm

Well ffuries ---I sure as heck wouldn't know...If you may be asking me, I would say it all depends on who is doing the sayen'. I have come to understand that one should expect some things to be different. I had a coworker one time that had a .357 and loaded them to the max. After maybe a dozen rounds the lead was piling up around the muzzle, and I assumed that the bore was rougher than a cob. Now if that happened to me, 'to me', I would lap the bore and not stop until the bore looked nice and shiny...and then lap a little more. With my .44-40 that I had pictured I think, I haven't shot it since, but I sure would guess that I can shoot it, with regular loads, until the cows come home without the barrel leading one bit. But here is what 'I' plan to do, as a test, to learn something in a shorter time. Load up maybe 50 with cast bullets of wheel weights without bullet lube with a regular loading, and shoot them and if I see no evidence of leading, which I hope to see, then I will increase the loading to near max...and shoot a few, and SEE WHAT HAPPENS. Then 'I WILL' know more about it. If I do this and it doesn't lead up, then as far as I am concerned, I will have leaned a lot. IF the barrel leads up, then I would be inclined to answer your question with a, "It all depends on just what one will live with and they will decide when enough is enough." Or more differently put, I would say that it is up the lapper...to decide that. On all his own....I would suggest which I don't like to do, suggest, that one just does some their self on their firearm, and see what they get...It will come to them just when enough is enough....FOR THEM. When you go out and wax your car, when is enough? For me I would never look on a YouTube video and try to find an answer.
For that .44-40 I had lapped with about a 3.0 micron lapping compound and then with a 0.3 micron compound which is a compound called "LINDE A" made by Union Carbide I think. I am convinced that for me that 0.3 is 'enough', until I may change my mind of course.
Now I can say that if one laps too much....AND 'THEN' DECIDES THAT HE WANTS TO GET THE SAME HIGH VELOCITY OUT OF THE SAME FIREARM he shouldn't do that because it will take a higher pressure do get that same velocity. He should only use the max powder loading that was used before lapping. Because the smoother the bore, the less velocity one will get with the same powder loading....the less pressure, the less velocity. This is where things will be different and one has to be aware of this.
I use nothing but regular wheel weights for regular shooting. I never experiment with different alloys. I keep that the same and fiddle with the other things, with cast bullets.
Now I don't know if your question was directed to me or not, sorry if it wasn't. Let's see what others may say.

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Re: LAPPING

#4 Post by ffuries » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:30 pm

OLDGUNNER wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:05 pm
Well ffuries ---I sure as heck wouldn't know...If you may be asking me, I would say it all depends on who is doing the sayen'. I have come to understand that one should expect some things to be different. I had a coworker one time that had a .357 and loaded them to the max. After maybe a dozen rounds the lead was piling up around the muzzle, and I assumed that the bore was rougher than a cob. Now if that happened to me, 'to me', I would lap the bore and not stop until the bore looked nice and shiny...and then lap a little more. With my .44-40 that I had pictured I think, I haven't shot it since, but I sure would guess that I can shoot it, with regular loads, until the cows come home without the barrel leading one bit. But here is what 'I' plan to do, as a test, to learn something in a shorter time. Load up maybe 50 with cast bullets of wheel weights without bullet lube with a regular loading, and shoot them and if I see no evidence of leading, which I hope to see, then I will increase the loading to near max...and shoot a few, and SEE WHAT HAPPENS. Then 'I WILL' know more about it. If I do this and it doesn't lead up, then as far as I am concerned, I will have leaned a lot. IF the barrel leads up, then I would be inclined to answer your question with a, "It all depends on just what one will live with and they will decide when enough is enough." Or more differently put, I would say that it is up the lapper...to decide that. On all his own....I would suggest which I don't like to do, suggest, that one just does some their self on their firearm, and see what they get...It will come to them just when enough is enough....FOR THEM. When you go out and wax your car, when is enough? For me I would never look on a YouTube video and try to find an answer.
For that .44-40 I had lapped with about a 3.0 micron lapping compound and then with a 0.3 micron compound which is a compound called "LINDE A" made by Union Carbide I think. I am convinced that for me that 0.3 is 'enough', until I may change my mind of course.
Now I can say that if one laps too much....AND 'THEN' DECIDES THAT HE WANTS TO GET THE SAME HIGH VELOCITY OUT OF THE SAME FIREARM he shouldn't do that because it will take a higher pressure do get that same velocity. He should only use the max powder loading that was used before lapping. Because the smoother the bore, the less velocity one will get with the same powder loading....the less pressure, the less velocity. This is where things will be different and one has to be aware of this.
I use nothing but regular wheel weights for regular shooting. I never experiment with different alloys. I keep that the same and fiddle with the other things, with cast bullets.
Now I don't know if your question was directed to me or not, sorry if it wasn't. Let's see what others may say.
Well OLDGUNNER my question was directed at you and anyone else that has experience. Like I said I am ignorant when it comes to lapping, the reason behind it etc etc. So the more I read, the more I learn, sort of the intent of this forum, to share knowledge with the less knowledgeable.

ETA: Some reading states that this is typically done to new barrels. But used on old barrels to clean them up, so I take it this process polishes the barrel up. So is this basically a more involved process but similar to the use of bore paste on a sewer pipe barrel to clean it up.
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Re: LAPPING

#5 Post by OLDGUNNER » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:29 am

ETA: Some reading states that this is typically done to new barrels. But used on old barrels to clean them up, so I take it this process polishes the barrel up. So is this basically a more involved process but similar to the use of bore paste on a sewer pipe barrel to clean it up.
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Well Mike, I would say yes on this as you say, but with a little more background and involvement and detail.
As I have said I have talked to a half dozen major barrel makers on the phone and one gave me a look-see into his shop.
Here are some of the things that I have gathered.
They seemed to have decided that an hour to an hour and a half is to be the most time that should be spent on making a ‘custom’ barrel that sells for say 500 to 700 to the customer. ...in the white.
For larger high volume production orders of normal consumer guns this can be as low as 15 minutes, or what ever....Bluing time extra.
Barrels are not made by taking a bar of steel and drilling a hole down the center – this is next to impossible to do. They are normally made by drilling that hole in the bar and when they are through finishing the bore, and etc., they will then put it into a lathe and turn it down removing all of the material ‘around’ that hole to make a more centered bore. This is the major cost of making the barrel. Maybe 80 to 90 % of the total cost of the barrel (don’t hold me to this) – the steel its self is cheap, except for the exotic alloys and stainless steel ones. That stainless is harder to work with.
As to the bore lapping, one shop foreman told me that the most time that they spend on lapping is maybe 10 minutes, 15 at the most....on this 500 to 700 custom barrel. I can only surmise that on over-the-counter guns this can be from zero to 3 or 4 minutes, I don’t know – just my guess.
So..........I assume all barrels, new and used could use some tender loving care in relapping that bore. I think that it is the least that I can do for ‘my’ guns. I very well realize that most gun owners do not feel this way and that is okay of course. Does any barrel really ‘need’ this done – heck no. To most if it goes BOOM, it is good enough. Barrel makers can spend only a few minutes where I can spend hours say....from start to finish – I am not on a clock. And obviously I enjoy it otherwise I wouldn’t do it.
Again I don’t like to give advice but I will say that if one is really curious, they may just grab a gun and start lapping. I think one doesn’t really start learning until they start doing – just me.
When one goes to school they are just given a bunch of facts and tools to work with...then it is up to them to go out and use them to really learn.

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Re: LAPPING

#6 Post by OLDGUNNER » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:01 pm

When I say cheap for barrel steel I mean what a barrel maker would pay, not what one would pay for a piece of 4140 at a local metal outlet. The barrel makers don’t pay this price. One time I bought a 6 foot piece of 7/8’s 4140 and ask the guy to cut it into 3 pieces for me. I went to pay for it, I open my eyes and rocked my head back a bit. He knew what I meant, he said that, well I got a good deal...no more than a piece of regular ‘cold roll’. And no, I don't make barrels
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Re: LAPPING

#7 Post by Rapidrob » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:56 pm

You can reduce the light by using a handkerchief, T-Shirt or even a paper towel.
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Re: LAPPING

#8 Post by OLDGUNNER » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:12 pm

When I say cheap, I mean cheap....I just looked, first place,...'Online Metals' has 7/8 ths 4140, 4 ft. length, for $24,46 per piece, Now what would a barrel maker pay for that....1/5 of that MAX? That would be the most expensive 'material' part of a 700 dollar barrel...the rest would be for an hour to an hour and a half labor and the rest overhead and profit. And for the 700 you get a 10 minute lap job....For me, I'll go ahead and give it a decent LAP JOB......On EVERYTHING.
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Re: LAPPING

#9 Post by OLDGUNNER » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:23 pm

Rapidrob wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:56 pm
You can reduce the light by using a handkerchief, T-Shirt or even a paper towel.
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Dog gone it Rapidrob - Of course, of course, Thanks.... I didn't think of that and I have made light boxes for taking pictures too, with pieces of old Tee shirts.
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Re: LAPPING

#10 Post by Rapidrob » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:33 pm

No problem Sir, I still run a Darkroom in my basement. I ran a photographic company for several decades. I still shoot large format 4x5 film to this day.
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Re: LAPPING

#11 Post by OLDGUNNER » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:58 pm

Rapidrob wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:33 pm
No problem Sir, I still run a Darkroom in my basement. I ran a photographic company for several decades. I still shoot large format 4x5 film to this day.
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One time I needed a 'Liberal arts class' and took Photography...spent a couple of classes a week in the dark room. The first assignment was make your own camera. 4x5, now-a-days...that's something.
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