I do not have an ffl,I am an ameteur hobbyist.I do not have to recognize time is money.I make what I cannot easily buy,or afford to pay for.
A friend gave me a booklet of maybe 100 projects for a gunsmith student.It came from the Trinidad school.
You may find that one way you will learn many of your skills in school is by making your own tools.
Example,you may turn and heat treat a set of pin punches or screwdrivers or a reamer wrench or a barrel vise.
I will agree with buying quality.The old Lufkin micrometer I bought in 1974 surprised the folks in calibration past the turn of the century.I still enjoy using that mic.
A few no charge tools:Its always easier to get it right the first time than it is to do it over.
Do not force parts.
Sharp tools leave a good tool finish and better accuracy.
There is a time to push on,keep working,and get the job done...but,there is a time to stop,have a cup of coffee,chill,and let your mind make cartoons about how it works,what is going on,why you are getting tight jaws,white knuckles,and reaching for a bigger hammer.Let the elegant,simple solution come.
Your excitement and enthusiasm are great!!
Often,the reality of the moment presents enough real challenges that it is a waste of time and energy worrying about what the future may or not bring
OR,save your money,for now,so you can buy the tool you need when you need it.
There is a place on the web,MSC,.Manhattan Supply,is a good outfit to look at tools and supplies.Enco has some good stuff,maybe Travers Tools is still there,or DoAll They all carry good lines.Web or phone order from MSC will usually be on your doorstep inside two days.
McMaster Carr is a good resource if you need a foot of 2 in 8620 alloy steel,for example
Keep in touch!!
Get a little 10 x jewelers loupe,a magnifier.Maybe $7 or so.And,there are fancier stones,diamond and such,but for now,about a 4 in by 1 in by 1/4 in fine india stone,Norton is good,will be real handy.
A six inch scale,Starret or Brown and Sharpe,flexible,1/2 in wide.Get one that has scales in both 1/10th and 1/100th in,and also the 1/32nd,64th grads.
When working on a machine,checking your location quick with the scale will save you the dread .100 thou error
And,you can spread peanut butter with it.
Last edited by HiBC; May 31, 2012 at 04:07 AM.