This week in class was interesting because it showed some of the ADHD that gunsmiths needs to have. My first class I worked on one shotgun mainly, and another one as a side project. My second class, I worked my tail off on one big project and not much else. This class was much more indicative of the life of a gunsmith.
I had five guns on the bench simultaneously, some with multiple projects for each gun. Parts were scattered everywhere and there were constant interruptions for questions by students, instruction by Tim, lunch, seeing other students projects, etc. Organization was critical, as was knowing which screw or pin went with which gun. There was always something to do, and always something you were waiting on. For example, I scraped the finish off of this Browning Citori which is a major job.
While the stripper was softening the rock hard Browning finish, I went into the blueing room where one of the students was parkerizing his gun and prepping for cerakote. Since I was going to cerakote my AR-15 barrel, I was part of his project as well. Then back to scraping finish off, then over to the spray cabinet where I shot a coat of finish on some stocks that were ready for it.
Hang the stocks to dry, then back to the sink to scrape more finish off the Browning stock then apply stripper to another section and wait. You get the idea. You are always waiting on a finish to dry, or waiting on something to soak, or sitting at the bench putting something together or taking something apart. And each job is unique unto itself and there are a million opportunities to waste time or be inefficient. Like I said, this class was probably the most like being a gunsmith of all the classes I’ve taken so it was pretty interesting. The week certainly flew by.