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weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Ask your build questions here. Welding, assembly, etc.
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weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby spareparts » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:47 pm

Hi all, please be point blank with me. I am thinking about building an MG42 myself. I would like to find a nice saw cut receiver I can weld. I'd buy a jig of course and a small tig welder from Harbor Freight. Hurdle #1: can a person with zero welding experience, successfully repair/weld a saw cut or torch cut receiver? Actually hurdle 0 is, can I, as a non-FFL holder, legally perform this activity? I reckon if the answer is no, then I just buy off the shelf. So, hurdle #2: assuming I can legally do this, and can reasonably expect success in the welding, would a dremel tool suffice to perform the other required modifications? I'm getting familiar with a few of these, like enlarging the grip stick area. I reckon I'd end up buying a modded bolt and gripstick off the shelf. So fire away, tell me no way in hell, or have fun!

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby jbaum » Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:11 pm

Technically, it's possible for you to do successfully the first try out of the box, but it's not likely to be pretty.

Strongly recommended would be many hours of playing with some pieces of steel so you can get some experience at welding. It's an acquired skill, not something you just pick up and do successfully the first time. A saw cut receiver will be tough to find, and more expensive. Having overlapping pieces helps a lot. With careful trimming, you minimize the amount of fill in you need to do, and the job goes alot easier. You could buy receiver halves and just weld the seams. Not quite so much trouble to assemble, but it does look slightly different than an original receiver.

Read the tutorials on here about assembly. Then read them again once you've played with the welder and pieces.

Here's a link to a tig welding manual I keep on my website:
http://www.germanmanuals.com/images/TIGBook.pdf

Much frustration comes with tuning the gun to make it run right when it's done being assembled. Did I mention to read the tutorials?

Everyone here is willing to help and advise, but patience for the builder is something you'll need a few big bags of, and we can't help with that.
John@German<remove this>Manuals.com

http://www.GermanManuals.com

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby spareparts » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:08 pm

Thanks, Jbaum. That's what I was looking for. And yeah, I was thinking that I'd spend some time playing with the welder on scrap metal before attempting the receiver seams. I'm already reading up on everything I see here. Rather melancholy that much of the information and posts are fairly old, feel like I missed the heyday of the homegrown MG42 builder.

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby Bil » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:16 am

When you do get your kit, get some steel the same thickness and practice welding and finishing the welds on that,not just flat welds. It will make it a bit easier and you won't be mucking up a good receiver. Get good on the scrap steel first. And good luck! ---bil
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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby Der Alder » Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:17 pm

Well as someone whose first gun weld was a MG3 clone last year, the few tips I can give are practice practice and more practice.

Jigs and clamps are nice, for holding parts together, but they will not stop warpage. The only way to *limit* warpage is to stitch weld so as to not put too much heat on one area. - 1/2" on this side, then the same on the opposite..stop -let it cool. Repeat. Also using copper blocks both as a heat sink and to help with burn through is a huge help. But it will still warp to some degree or another - you may as well plan on that.

One other "cheat" I use is to fold up some alumium foil and place it around my welding area. This catches the spatter and helps with clean-up grinding later.

Make sure you get enough heat and penitration. If after grinding you see a pin hole or air pocket - grind it all back out as this is a failure waiting to happen later (ask me how I know).

If and when you do burn through use some blocking with a layer of copper under the hole to build it back up. V-notching seams helps, but you still want to weld the inside of those seams where ever possible.

Just a few things - some I learned the hard way.

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby www.Prussia.us » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:19 pm

As you will learn from the tutorials and as you are thinking the project through, always remember complete the semi-modifications first before welding the receiver together.

RTG Guns has some MG3 receiver pieces that while albeit small you could practice on, and use for filler on a torch cut receiver if you want to go that way, it would mean more seems to weld, but less filler work.
http://www.robertrtg.com/store/pc/Recei ... s-c139.htm

Finding a saw cut receiver will be very hard, you may see one every 1.5 years on a gun auction site, torch cuts are still out there, sometimes you still can find a 3-cut, it all depends on your patience and how deep your pockets are for the project.

Finally pace yourself, it is not like piecing together an old Mauser, every part may fight you, these parts kits were mostly thrown together in warehouses and parts wear differently in each gun, then when you have to re-weld a receiver, nothing will fit quite as it did.

Yes, get a kit, a dremel, a tig welder, lots of beer, and proceed.
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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby 42rocker » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:28 pm

It is said on another site -->> if your a great welder you will screw it up. Beginner welders do better weld ups of parts kits because they do not know how to do large long welds and because of that they don't have as many warping problems. Clamping and backing and small areas at a time is the best.
If you opp's cut it apart again and start over.
May you enjoy the journey.

Good Luck

Later 42rocker

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby spareparts » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:38 pm

Hello, Been thinking about this. I may or may not try to do a re-weld on a cut receiver. Rather, I may try welding up some stamped receiver halves from BRP. In that case, I'll need to drill a lot of holes and notches and such. Would this milling machine from Harbor Freight be up to the task?

http://www.harborfreight.com/two-speed- ... 44991.html

I'm willing to invest in a milling machine because I don't think this MG42 will be a one-time wonder. I'll probably progress into SG43, PKM, etc. But is it beefy enough?

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby 42rocker » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:11 pm

As you don't have an address on your handle you may or may not use the following advice.
Lot's of places up North that have gone under during this "change" and a lot of mills have come up for sale. The small HC mill that you are looking at could maybe do the job. Slow small passes and it should be able to do everything. That said look around in your area and see if you can find a bigger used mill that all ready has a lot of tooling in the deal for not that much more money. That mill with extra needed tooling is going to add up.
I think it will work but look around.

Later 42rocker

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby spareparts » Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:22 am

42rocker wrote:As you don't have an address on your handle you may or may not use the following advice.
Lot's of places up North that have gone under during this "change" and a lot of mills have come up for sale. The small HC mill that you are looking at could maybe do the job. Slow small passes and it should be able to do everything. That said look around in your area and see if you can find a bigger used mill that all ready has a lot of tooling in the deal for not that much more money. That mill with extra needed tooling is going to add up.
I think it will work but look around.

Later 42rocker


Central Illinois. Maybe something like this?
http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/tls/4885449650.html

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby 42rocker » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:06 am

That's the idea, but I think that there are better deals out there than that one. There were a lot of companies that have gone under, just keep looking.
One of the questions that you need to also ask is what can you move or have some of your friends help move. One of my friends bought a big sound bend that needed a little work for $750.00. Heavy but he got it moved. Happy that he bought it or else I would have and I already have a large mill. But it's a gear driven HF. For about the price of that one you are looking at.

Later 42rocker

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby spareparts » Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:00 am


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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby 42rocker » Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:08 pm

Well that is interesting and has some tooling. As I said look and you should find some interesting stuff.
I don't know enough on this one to help you out. If it was in my area I would be looking at this ad several times.

Later 42rocker

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby anjongni » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:52 pm

http://mg34.com/product/m-53-mg42-spare-parts-set//
If you want a semi-auto MG42-type weapon, the easiest route is to purchase an M53 kit from Allegheny Arsenal. Their kits contain ALL of the receiver parts. You don't need a mill at all...just patience welding up the parts of the receiver straight.
It takes trial and error. When it's welded, straight, and of course neutered, purchase your semi trigger and bolt parts from BRP.
This minimizes what is really a lot of work. The good thing is, you'd actually be starting with something where all of the parts DID at one time operate together. It WAS a working gun.
It's a hobby, right? Something to keep busy while we're snowed-in!....Phil

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby frankle951 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:35 pm

Have you ever build a parts kit gun or rifle ??, I started with a AR-15, then a full size, mini and a micro uzi build, then a RPD, now I started on my first MG42 build, I tell you I read all of MG42 threads and all the Weaponsguild threads, about ten times of each threads, trying not to make a mistake and learning from other people mistakes, and I'm still learning as I build this work of art, If you are going to buy a tig welder, get a EverLast-140 off of Amazon, a great little welder, very easy to use, go to youtube, I don't have a mill, I'm using HF 35000 rpm dremel, it will do all your cutting you need to do on the receiver, but if I was you I would go for it, there a lot of helpful people on MG42 and WeaponsGuild, if you need any help just send me a email or PM, I'm there for you, this is a fun build when you have help for backup, I wish you luck on your build.

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby 42rocker » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:24 pm

frankle951
Welcome to the website. Look forward to seeing some pics of what you are doing.

Later 42rocker

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby frankle951 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:08 am

42rocker wrote:frankle951
Welcome to the website. Look forward to seeing some pics of what you are doing.

Later 42rocker

Thanks 42rocker.

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby anjongni » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:58 pm

0092.jpg
http://www.gunauction.com/buy/13278193//
Not mine, but...
Here's one, very close to complete, with a lot of the tough work done.
Buffer cut...done
Charging handle cut...done
Bolt mods...done
You could probably complete this with a couple of welds, without machine tools....Phil

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby messerschmittfan » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:41 pm

It does not look like the bolt mods have been completed due to the angle of the hammer slot. But the rest of it looks like an easy build. Harry

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Re: weld up a receiver (w/no welding experience)

Postby usmc8488 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:22 pm

Good price, it looks like he is just trying to recover his investment... and bonus he did some work..


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