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 Post subject: "Lasts Forever" Spindex Crimp Starter
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:20 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 6010
Location: Eastern Nebraska
The fact that this item snaps on and off is handy, but eventually the little socket gets worn and they start to pop off while loading. They can be purchased from Gammies for $4.95. IF you want to spend some time on a little home project, there is an alternative. Keep in mind you will spend a couple hours "fixing" something that can be replaced for <$5.00. You can drill and tap a bolt head and attach the old worn out spindex with a 6-32 SHCS (socket head cap screw.) The spindex will still swivel and self align as with the original ball stud. It WILL NOT snap on or off. If you do wish to switch 8pt to 6pt you must remove the entire assembly. You must have a good quality solid drill press and a vise that is clamped down. I elected to use a 2024 aluminum bolt because I thought it might be easier to tap than steel.

First, some parts:
https://www.mcmaster.com/#93306A542 1/4-20x1 2024 Al Hex head screw 25/$12.68
https://www.mcmaster.com/#90566A029 Thin Nylock Nut 1/4-20 100/$3.56
https://www.mcmaster.com/#91078A029 Thin Hex Nun 1/4-20 100/$3.26
http://www.fastenermart.com/SC106-4502.html 6-32x3/8 SHCS 100/$2.64

And tools:

http://www.wttool.com/index/page/produc ... m+Hex+Keys 7/64 Hex Key Get a couple they are 8 cents

http://www.wttool.com/index/page/produc ... ter+Drills Center Drill 7/64 Pilot 1/4 body $2.25

http://www.wttool.com/index/page/produc ... +%28USA%29 #28 Drill $1.00

http://www.wttool.com/index/page/produc ... +%28USA%29 #36 Drill $1.00

http://www.wttool.com/index/page/produc ... ber+Drills
#7 Drill $0.83

http://www.wttool.com/index/page/produc ... +Hand+Taps 6-32 Taper Tap $2.70

http://www.wttool.com/index/page/produc ... +Hand+Taps 1/4-20 Taper Tap $2.25

http://www.wttool.com/index/page/produc ... mer+Wrench SMALL Tap Wrench $4.25

http://www.wttool.com/index/page/produc ... +End+Mills
1/2 In 4F Center Cut End Mill $9.90

http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cf ... top_cat=60 10-12 Inches of 3/4x3/4 6061 Al Bar $3.61

Hard to say who will have what parts and tools in stock already and who must order, but I believe this is pretty much the complete list.

Clamp the aluminum bar solidly in a vise or to the drill press table with a spacer underneath. Do not move it or loosen it until project is complete. Drill a hole through the bar with the #7 drill and tap through with the 1/-20 tap. It should be possible to do this in place on the drill press table with the tap wrench suggested above. To be sure the tap starts straight: clamp it in the drill chuck, lower the chuck and turn by hand to cut the first thread or two. Loosen the chuck and finish tapping with tap wrench.

Put a nut on one of the 1/4-20 aluminum hex head screws and thread the screw into the aluminum bar about 1/2 inch. Run the nut down tight against the bar. Put the 1/2 inch end mill in the drill. Come down gently to make a clean flat cut on the bolt head and make it a bit thinner. Put the center drill in the chuck and use it to go about 1/8 deep in the bolt head. Use the #36 drill to go about 1/2 inch deep. Put the 6-32 tap in the drill chuck, bring the chuck down and turn by hand to cut the first couple threads. Loosen chuck and tap deeper with the tap wrench. Do not go too deep.

Use the #28 drill to open up the hole through the old plastic Spindex. A 6-32 SHCS should drop through with a bit of slop. Try assembling this onto the hex head aluminum screw. Run the SHCS down til it runs out of threads (bottoms out) in the aluminum 1/4-20 screw. If the spindex is very loose and sloppy, remove the SHCS and tap the threads a bit deeper. Ideally you want the SHCS bottomed out where the threads end but the spindex still free to swivel and move. It takes a bit of trial and error but is not all that difficult. If you cut the threads too deep, you could probably use thread locker to maintain the correct adjustment

With everything still in place drill and tap several more of the 1/4-20 x 1 aluminum screws. It goes pretty fast. When assembling onto a Mec press it is your choice of where to use the 1/4 thin nuts and thin lock nuts. My choice is Nylock nut on the aluminum screw below the top of the press and regular thin nut on top. You can remove and replace the entire assembly and NOT lose your crimp adjustment. If you want to adjust use a pair of 7/16 wrenches, one on the bolt head and one on the Nylock. Move it 1/4 turn or 1/2 turn and it stays where you put it. You can have one set up for AAHS and another set up for Remington.

Those with small lathes or experienced machinists can probably think of ways to accomplish all this much simpler than what I have described.
Good luck- happy tinkering!




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 Post subject: Re: "Lasts Forever" Spindex Crimp Starter
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:54 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 2539
Location: Newton Kansas
Are the original Steel MEC Spindexes still available from MEC?

Those actually DO "last forever". The one on my 310 is as good as new.
No swiveling, but free rotation.

_________________
I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


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 Post subject: Re: "Lasts Forever" Spindex Crimp Starter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:53 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:51 pm
Posts: 9276
Location: E. Rochester NY
This "fix" seems a hell of a lot more complicated than the $5 "problem"!

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BobK


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 Post subject: Re: "Lasts Forever" Spindex Crimp Starter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:19 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 2539
Location: Newton Kansas
That is very often the case Bob,,,,, seen it more than once.

Apparently (looking in MEC's Spare Parts, the old metal ones are really not available unless you find it outside them.

They consisted of:
A thick top plate, which had a reduced section that was threaded (male) and a centered threaded hole in it for a mounting screw.
A metal collar/sleeve, about an inch long, threaded (female) to thread onto the top plate.
The very bottom of the sleeve was not bored a wide as 90% of the sleeve was, thus making an inside "rim" or "shelf".
Metal 6 point and 8-point crimp starter "rings" went inside the sleeve (rested on the rim/shelf), the sleeve threaded onto the top plate.
The rings were slightly shorter than the distance from the shelf to the top plate, so screwed shut tight, they floated.

Overall pre-crimp "depth adjustment" was done by shimming the starter down on it's screw, washers work fine for this (fender washers best).

They only work , literally 'forever'.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-MEC-600 ... SwNqtZo0S-


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I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


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 Post subject: Re: "Lasts Forever" Spindex Crimp Starter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:52 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 6010
Location: Eastern Nebraska
BobK wrote:
This "fix" seems a hell of a lot more complicated than the $5 "problem"!

I tried to make that clear in my original post. I am not recommending that people should do this. I am saying it is possible and works well IF they so desire. Let's be honest here: reloading is a lot more complicated than buying factory ammo. And it saves, at best, a buck a box. BUT, we do it because we enjoy it. Some enjoy tinkering and tuning on a reloding press, some don't. Does not make either of them right or wrong.

FYI: if you have all the tools and parts (which I did) you can do several of these in an hour. You load 16-20 boxes of shells in a hour and might save $16-20.00. I make 3 of these in an hour and save $15.00. IF we placed any value on our time we are both losing. If it is something we enjoy, different answer.


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 Post subject: Re: "Lasts Forever" Spindex Crimp Starter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:14 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 1171
Location: Attica, Mi
Why not just buy a " smooth crimp" starter ? It will work for 6 or 8 crimp, or paper shells. I use them on all my 12ga reloaders - jr, 9000H, and Grabber and never worry about changing it.

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 Post subject: Re: "Lasts Forever" Spindex Crimp Starter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:32 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:23 am
Posts: 806
Location: Issaquah, WA
Albatros - Thanks for posting this. Very good description of the process. Yeah, it's a lot of work to save a few bucks but it also saves a lot of frustration. If you are running a hydraulic press and the spindex pops off and you don't notice it, bad things happen. How do I know? I'll post a photo in a bit to show how.

I'm definitely putting this project on my "to-do" list. Unfortunately the list is pretty long so I'm not sure when it will bubble to the top.


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 Post subject: Re: "Lasts Forever" Spindex Crimp Starter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:05 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:23 am
Posts: 806
Location: Issaquah, WA
Question: What happens when you are running a hydraulic press, the spindex crimp starter pops off and you don't notice?

Answer:
Image

With a hydraulic press about the only feedback you get is audible. When the crimp starter popped off, I did not notice (it's not something I normally watch) until the crimp station tried to crimp the shell with the starter still in place on top of the shell - oops!


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 Post subject: Re: "Lasts Forever" Spindex Crimp Starter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:15 pm 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:47 am
Posts: 9960
Location: Covington, WA USA
We just need albotras to start making up, and selling "kits" for his mod (which is EXCELLENT mod BTW) !!

That's one of the "smart" things that Spolar did on their machine (which uses the exact same MEC pre-crimp cup).

With the drastic varying hull length in the Remington 20-gauge hulls, there's simply no way to load Remington hulls on a MEC 9000 without doing 100% hull length inspection, or using alb's mod described above. For me, it's a MUST have to 20. Period.

In my experience (with the 12-gauge MEC 9000), the Remington hull length variation situation still exists, but popping off crimp starters is much less pronounced so long as you aren't after super tight pre-crimp's.


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 Post subject: Re: "Lasts Forever" Spindex Crimp Starter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:01 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 6010
Location: Eastern Nebraska
Pickman wrote:
Albatros - Thanks for posting this. Very good description of the process. Yeah, it's a lot of work to save a few bucks but it also saves a lot of frustration. If you are running a hydraulic press and the spindex pops off and you don't notice it, bad things happen. How do I know? I'll post a photo in a bit to show how.

I'm definitely putting this project on my "to-do" list. Unfortunately the list is pretty long so I'm not sure when it will bubble to the top.

Yeah, we all got that list and it only grows- never shrinks.
I would suggest:
If you do this, be sure to drill and tap several of the 1/4 -20 screws. Once you are all set up, they go pretty fast.

Republican:
Appreciate your comments. You are in the design and build and market Mec add ons business, not me. It is not pattented. Go for it, mabe the "Mokedex." Sure would be a good excuse to buy a small lathe!




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