View Full Version : Bbl wrench/vice etc info wanted

October 05, 2001, 08:56
Does anyone have the bbl wrench that RPB is selling?

FSE FAL Metric Barrel Vise Set FNM22 $49.95

Seems that I've heard a lot of people having problems with the vices not holding securely enough.

I think I'm more interested in a wrench or what I call a vice block. Here's one that I had a friend of mine make. The stock he used was supposidly cold rolled steel. As you can see, it didn't care for 180 ft/lbs of torque.

Here's one that Casey made. But it sounds like he either isn't making them anymore or they will cost a pretty penny. http://wsphotofews.excite.com/030/4Q/il/is/N440826.jpg

I'm starting to think about just putting the bbl flats in my vice and going at it. I don't want to try the open end wrench.

[ October 05, 2001: Message edited by: Slugger ]

[ October 05, 2001: Message edited by: Slugger ]

October 05, 2001, 11:26
Seems that I've heard a lot of people having problems with the vices not holding securely enough.

I tried everything short of filing my own flats onto the barrel, and mine still spun. I used aluminium vise blocks with rosin, and the barrel still spun with only about 20 ft/lbs of torque. I know some people claim that it works, but I haven't seen it.

I'm starting to think about just putting the bbl flats in my vice and going at it. I don't want to try the open end wrench.

Be careful when you torque down the vise with pressure on only one side. You might want to put a piece of wood of the correct size on the other side to even-out the pressure on the vise. I recently broke a large, almost 50 year-old vise. I think it was because of the uneven pressure.z

October 05, 2001, 13:22
OK Here are my thoughts on homemade barrel wrenchs. Since I joined the Files, I have looked at all the pix of tools that I could find and I have noticed that all the barrel wrenches that people seem to use that have worked have one thing in common. They are made wider on the perpendicular (to the barrel) than on the parallel.

If you take a 2x4 and lay it flat on the ground with someone standing on it in the middle and then grab one end and try to bend it up, it will bend some before lifting the person or breaking. But turn it on it's edge and then try to bend it up. You can lift the person up and toss them as high as you can if you have the strength. It will not break either.
The amount of flex lies in the way the cut for the barrel is made, in reference to the direction of the strength of the piece of steel you use. The one pictured above is very stout but it can still flex because of the direction the cut was made. I'm sure the type of steel used makes a difference also but I don't have the knowledge in that department.
I am headed to my machinist friend's later today and I am going to have him make me one out of a piece of steel also. Probably 3-4 inches wide but only 3/4-1" inch thick. Also the cut shouldn't be as deep as the one above either. The deeper the cut, the more the sides can flex. Just deep enough for the barrel to fit would be ideal. Then you wouldn't have to drill a hole in it either. Just put it in the vise and tighten.
I guess I'll soon find out if my "theory" will pan out. I am going to attempt a rcvr. chunk removal as soon as I get the barrel wrench made today. I'll let you know if it works.

Uncle Buck
October 05, 2001, 15:13
CR steel is a little soft and it doesn't harden well. I don't think that the little dings are going to make it unusable, however. I made mine 1/2 inch from 1025 plate and hardened it. The jaws still got a little compression ding at about 200 ft lbs.


October 08, 2001, 14:12
Thanks for the input. This is gonna be a trial/error (hopefully light on the error side) situation.

Test #2. Here she is after my friend took a little off the sides and tried to add some surface hardening. We'll see how it goes.


October 08, 2001, 18:01
Just received gunplumbers barrel vice. It was $30, made of aluminum, and states it works for metric and inch barrels. No idea how it works, but receiver wrench is on it's way so I'll post results soon.

December 08, 2001, 23:12
So, has anyone been able to use their new vices yet? How about an update! :)

December 09, 2001, 02:36
You cant use cheap steel. It has to be quality tool steel and heat treated Unless you are just going to do a build or 2. I am still considering putting back into production if I can keep my cost down. For the home shop.
As far as the bbl bushings we were trying to make one for both inch and metric but we think this difference between the two bbls is clamping surface unused. In other words, a versa bushing doesnt fit either well.

December 09, 2001, 09:27
Slugger, If you have a friend that can make that I bet he could make a copy of the Brownells barrel vise like I did. Click on the link if you want a bigger picture of my print.


LINK TO BIGGER PIC (http://www.hunting-pictures.com/members/footlongcuban/barrel_vise_revised.jpg)

December 09, 2001, 14:35
I made a barrel vice from the plans that gunthings.com has on there web page. Mine is about 5 1/2 inches long, I use it with a Elliot Receiver wrench and a 3ft breaker bar that I made, have taken several receiver stubs of with out doing any cutting.An impact wrench works good for tightning the nuts on and off and I always put some Rosin on the barrel before I bolt it down.fal (http://www.hunting-pictures.com/members/dude47jp/fal.html)

December 09, 2001, 14:51
I try to conceal my vices.


December 10, 2001, 12:54
Thanks for all the input. My bbl vice block seems to be doing well for now. I've used it on 5 builds so far and it's holding it's own.

The first build I did, torque to approx 180lbs, did the damage on the bbl vice block. Since then, my friend has done some hardening on the tool and I've built a copy of one of Orca's bbl lathes.

After that 180lb build the Williams builds seem like a hot knife through butter down under 100lbs.