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  • 7 Post By SixtyTen
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Thread: DIY Extended Bolt Knobs

  1. #1
    Member SixtyTen's Avatar
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    DIY Extended Bolt Knobs

    Hi Folks,

    I have done this to a bunch of rifles now and really like the results so I thought I would share it.
    Its a pretty simple method of adding an extended bolt knob using JB SteelStik. Its the perfect product for this and the whole job only takes around an hour.
    You do not need to get the handle threaded or machined at all, simple hand tools are all you need.

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    Im starting with a factory Howa Mini bolt. I will be using this rifle for service rifle matches, so a fast bolt is important.

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    I scar up the bolt handle pretty good with a carbide burr on a dremel. You could use files and sandpaper, but whatever you do, make sure there is some mechanical lock for the putty. Im not sure this stuff bonds well to the steel, so a mechanical bond helps. I tape up the bolt body and cocking mechanism so that I dont have to disassemble and clean everything afterwards.

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    Cut off a section of the putty (note, I did not do enough here and had to add a little more. Probably another 10mm would have been plenty.)
    You have to kneed the crap out of it. I have noticed that sometimes there are little hard bits in the mix, if you feel these, just pick them out.
    You only have about 5min before it starts to go hard, so kneed it out really good, then slap in on the bolt.

    I have discovered that a big round knob works best for me, so I get it on there roughly round and keep working it as it get harder. You can use a popsicle stick or similar to mold the putty where it joins the bolt handle to get a nice clean edge.
    I just keep going over it until I cant move it anymore. This does not take long, so you dont want to piss around trying to get the shape perfect. It is very easy to shape and remove material or even add more if you screw up.

    Once it has gone hard enough that I cant move it by hand, I give it around 15min to cure a bit more, then get stuck into it with files and sandpaper. You can do whatever shapes you want, and if you decide you dont like it, grind it off and go again, or just add more putty on top of what is there.

    I finish it with 320g paper and find that this gives a decent grip and looks ok as well.

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    I put a bit of a flat on the underside of this one to see if it helps to stop my finger sliding around as I lift the bolt. Probably a more aggressive concave going further out would work better, but ill shoot it a bit first and see what I think.

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    The little lighter flecks you can see are the hard bits I didnt pick out. You dont always get this but its not uncommon.

    I have seen some people do very complicated versions with ribs and knurling but I like a simple ball.

    Iv been playing with the idea of spraying one with plastidip rubber coat (basically a spray on rubber coating) But my results with using that on other things has been very mixed, so I might try to get some other rubber coating products to try.

    Thanks for reading.
    rupert, rugerman, Tentman and 4 others like this.

  2. #2
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Nice idea, I've successfully used the tikka rubber slip on bolt knobs they give considerable grip as well as doing one with epoxy like that. The tikkoption is of course reversible.

  3. #3
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    sort of makes a fella wonder how folks ever managed with a butterknife bolt handle for all those years....maybe folks didnt need a big knob to do job back then.
    Finnwolf likes this.

  4. #4
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    Recently did similar because Browning makes a bolt knob that is just awful. @Mickey Duck it's not much bigger just a better shape
    Micky Duck likes this.

  5. #5
    Member rugerman's Avatar
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    Nice one
    that putty looks like some pretty handy shit

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerman View Post
    Nice one
    that putty looks like some pretty handy shit
    Keep a stick in the 4wd I case of any issues (Joy's of old vehicle ownership) perfect for exhaust repairs
    thejavelin and rugerman like this.

  7. #7
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    the loctite bronze putty is the way to go. i once made a shotgun slug out of it, poor damn goat never knew what hit it. but it doesnt have "hard bits" when kneaded and damn easy stuff to work with

  8. #8
    Bubba...? Ftx325's Avatar
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    on my last tikka I just used electrical shrink wrap on the knob. I didn't really want it much bigger in size but gave better grip wrapped than the polished metal finish and didn't add any weight. Gave it a custom look too.
    Moa Hunter and SixtyTen like this.
    born to hunt - forced to work

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 223nut View Post
    Keep a stick in the 4wd I case of any issues (Joy's of old vehicle ownership) perfect for exhaust repairs
    will it work on a cracked headers?

    got an old surf with a v8 in it for laughs but yea big crack in the headers

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill999 View Post
    will it work on a cracked headers?

    got an old surf with a v8 in it for laughs but yea big crack in the headers
    wont take the heat

  11. #11
    Member SixtyTen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ftx325 View Post
    on my last tikka I just used electrical shrink wrap on the knob. I didn't really want it much bigger in size but gave better grip wrapped than the polished metal finish and didn't add any weight. Gave it a custom look too.
    I like that idea, I have some large diameter heat shrink so I will give it a go.

 

 

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