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Waited 34 years for a "Junk Room"


17thairborne
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Despite the backdrop issues, I found that it was not too difficult to photo shop the background out. It took a little more effort to remove the transition and the stand, but overall not too much work. This was a quick and dirt job, and did not pay close attention to completely cleaning up the edges. I need to work out the process and details to get the next book going. Here's the first effort at blending old photo with the new. I'm still not decided on the manner of presenting the full uniform shots in the book. I have gone through several great books by others and there are a host of different ways to present the subject.

 

M43merge.jpg

 

I really like the way the mannequin looks with that background isn't it amazing what you can do with Photoshop.

 

-Dave

 

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Johan Willaert

I'm still not decided on the manner of presenting the full uniform shots in the book. I have gone through several great books by others and there are a host of different ways to present the subject.

 

If you're using fully clad mannequins to describe a complete uniform a 360° view allows every part of the uniform and equipment to be described...

 

This is an example from the French Militaria Magazine #22/23 on US AB troops in Normandy from 1987...

post-92-0-34896800-1390938910.jpg

post-92-0-36044900-1390938918.jpg

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Johan,

Thanks for adding that. The idea of four full views certainly makes all the gear and aspects of the uniform visible, rather than a front and aft quarter shot. Every time i see that series of images I think of the heavy load they carried for several hours. It must have been a relief to finally hit the ground. Of course they immediately replaced the weight of gear with the weight of combat!

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I watched an auction of the famous "Patton Prayer Card" recently and was astounded by the selling price of $1350.00 I regretted selling mine many years ago when I changed my collecting focus. Just this past weekend, while tediously reading every listing in a dealer's website, I found one listed for a very reasonable price. Although it is not a 17th Airborne Division item, Patton did meet with Maj. Gen William Miley shortly after their baptism of fire on 4 Jan 45. It makes a suitable discussion piece for the war room.

 

Patton_card1.jpg

 

 

Patton_card2.jpg

 

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Continuing on the work for the STEN Mk V build.

 

I took my ATF Form1 to the Sheriff Office for signature and he signed right off, having done several of these in the country where I reside. When I went in to pick up the forms, I met him and he said, "Come with me, I have something to show you!" :unsure: He unlocked the County Arms Room, and in the rack were two Thompson SMGs with about 99% original finish. One was a nice war-time M1A and the other an extremely rare M1921 model. I had never seen that one before so it was a treat to see it. I have to say it's nice living in a county where the 2nd Amendment Rights are well respected. My ATF Forms go out today for the 8-month wait. I can do all of the work up to purchasing a 7.75" barrel. I will save that part of the build until I get the approval.

 

I received my STEN Mk V parts kit from Apex guns. Overall I was pleased with the parts kit. The torch cut of the receiver tube was done with the re-builder in mind. There was no damage done to other components, and I am pleased that I will be able to detach the trigger housing from the cut tube and reuse it. It has a few nice ordnance markings on it, and it will save me a few bucks. I was curious about the finish as it was done with the semi-gloss black finish over a dark parkerization.

 

Upon review of Ian Skennerton's book on the STEN, I found out a few interesting notes:

 

1. The STEN MK V was finished with a dark grey rustproof phosphate and was over painted black. This finish proved to be very durable. I plan on following this method when I refinish the gun.

2. The Magazine housings were marked with STEN Mk V during the war, and after 1945 the roman V was replaced with a 5. My Mag housing above is clearly a post-war version. The SN on the one I received with my kitis marked RTL VS 43XXX STEN Mk V M/78. According to another website, that places the manufacture well before June 1944.

 

I was lucky enough to find 5 original ww2 marked, non-modified (pinned to reduce number of rounds loaded to 30) with markings such as L.B. (Line Brothers), M68 (Line Brothers again) and M69 (London Sand Blast). STEN parts were made all over the entire country.

 

I will be able to use most of the parts from the kit. The barrel shroud, trigger housing, wood furniture and fittings, magazine housing, front sight and some of the components.

 

I will need to purchase a few parts from Indianapolis Ordnance to get the gun running and legal. They sell a Mk III/V kit which is ATF approved and incorporates a smaller diameter bolt that fits in their tube and fires from a closed bolt. Their tube has a smaller inner diameter to accept the bolt, but you cannot put an original FA bolt in their tube. I am not sure which of the trigger components will be able to be used. With my parts kit and their new 4130 steel components i will have a STEN Mk V that looks about 99% the same as the original and is legal. I plan on matching the finish with a bit of wear so as to display the gun with the 17th Airborne Division Recon patrol display. I'll post progress as I move along. When finished, not only will the gun display nice, I can take it out and pound a few metal plates and paper Nazis with it.

 

Next I will have to research and determine how to mill the tube blank and remove the old cut tube from the kit.

 

STEN_Layout_SN_Oblit.jpg

 

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Recevied a fewnice ww2 STEN Magazines yesterday. These are in average condition in terms of wear to the finish and are full of cosmoline, which is good, but I seected them for the differing manufacture stamps. There are three types

 

1. L.B. For Line Brothers

2. S68: Code for Line Brothers

3. unknown symbol/letters in a diamond. Looking for comments on this one. It is also blued ni stead of phosphate finished

 

STEN_Mags.JPG

 

LINE_Bros.JPG

 

S68.JPG

 

Unknown_STEN_Mag.JPG

 

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Progress for Today on the recreation of a STEN Mk V as used by a member of the 139th AEB reconnaissance team.: Removed the torch cut receiver tube from the trigger housing. Since I tend to get impatient and my work suffers, I'll stop at this point and use another day to clean up the trigger group. Here's the round up:

I looked through a few web sites where others were building STEN III or V's. I noticed on one of them, the man damaged the upper rim of the Head Casing when he removed the tube from the back. I suspect he did not fully remove the spot welds and when the tube was bent upward to remove from the Rear Head Casing, it took a chunk of metal with it. I wanted to prevent that, so I proceeded slowly.

Started by clamping the tube in the vise being careful not to clamp the tabs on the Case, Trigger Mechanism. The spot welds are fairly easy to see, but once the metal glitter flys, they get covered up. I started by marking the welds so I could grid easier.

Welds_marked.JPG

I then began to grind using the TiN metal cutting bits from the Dremmel tool to eat away at the welds. As I made some progress I was able to get a small pry tool between the tube and the Head Casing Ring and pry the tube slowly away. This told me how my progress was going and let me see how deep my grinding was so that I did not cut into the Head Casing. Here you can see the progress as I gind the tube, being careful not to exceed the thickness of the tube and go into the Casing. You can also see the pieces being separated from the casing by light prying and bending.

Begin_Grinding.JPG

It occurred to me that if I cut the back of the tube, from the weld cut to the back, I could begin to roll up the tube on the inside as I ate away the welds. This allowed me to grind away without goig too deep. In the next photo you can see where I took the hacksaw apart, turned the blade upside down and reconnected it to the hacksaw frame so I could say inside the tube. This worked real nice and I was able to cut through only the tube from the torch cut to the back of the tube.

Hacksaw_Cut1.JPG

Here is the progress after the cut was finished and you can see how easy it was to roll the tube inside the Rear Casing. This really helped with the weld removal. Notice how there is no damage to the Casing Head. Success.

Hacksaw_Cut.JPG

The next step was to clamp the Trigger Case Mechanism using some leather to prevent marring the parts that I want to use. I began grinding with a ball grinder on the Dremmel. I was hoping to use my drill press and Ball Mills to grind away the welds and not damage the two tabs on the housing. As I began to grind the inside of the tube I realized i could cut the tube completely off in front of and behind the two tabs. I failed to photograph this step, but you can see in the next photo where the cuts were made. Just in front and behind the tabs there are small recesses that allow you to cut with a hack saw without touching the housing below. This left a small ring of metal only over the tabs, and as I ground away I was able to bend the tube back and away from the tabs without damaging them.

*****Wait to do this until you get most of the welds removed or you might bend/snap off the tabs.

Trigger_Housing2.JPG

All I have to do now is clean up the inside of the Rear Head Casing and the inside of the two tabs and the trigger mechanism housing will be ready for blasting. This step did two things for me:

1. Saved $200 by not having to buy a newly made mechanism,
2. Saved all of the valuable marks and Broad Arrows on the housing.

Trigger_Housing1.JPG

Reusable???

Cut_Tube.JPG

More Later

 

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Oz, you're a braver man than I, but the conversion process is looking great so far! Thanks for the progress pics and as always, this is a fun thread to follow. :)

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Jamie,

I.m not sure if brave is the right term here....probably crazy or something like that! :blink: It is a fun project, and I will be happy to have a shooter in the end. I've never attempted something like this before, but I find so much info on the web it made the leap easier. There are dozens of guys building these things, and with the kits still plentiful at $200 (unlike the Thompson) I thought id better proceed.

 

thanks

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I have looked for nearly 10 years to find a BEVO tab to accompany my BEVO Type 14 17th Airborne Division SSI. I only recall seeing about 3-4 for sale over the past few years. Finally I found a complete set. It was pricey, but I consider these to be among the most rare 17th SSIs, the others being the Type 11 black background SSI with extremely curved and attached Airborne tab/arc,the Type 12 German Made and the Type 15 British Made.

 

Type_14_F.jpg

 

Type_14_R.jpg

 

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Something I forgot to mention....there is a small pin that protrudes from the inside top of the Rear Head Casing. The pin serves the purpose of accurately positioning the receiver tube to the correct depth and at the correct angle with the trigger mechanism casing.

**** Take care not to grind it off when removing the tube.

Reference_Pin-1.jpg

 

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Here are images of my new tube, just received in the mail There is no slot for the pin on the back side. Since the pin mentioned in the last build post is already installed for the sight as on my head casing, I will need to mill a small slot at the 12 0'clock position to accommodate the pin which will correctly position the tube in the head casing.

Tube1.JPG

Tube2.JPG

Tube3.JPG


Last image showing the end milling to accept the barrel seating.
Tube4.JPG

 

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I spent more than an hour studying the new tube and comparing notes from other builds and I have noticed a significant difference between the IO tube and the original Mk V tube. The ejection port for spent casings is very different between the two. The original tube has a port that is tapered smaller towards the front of the tube by 1/18 of an inch. The IO post is also 3/8" longer than the original length of 1 7/8". I will call Jason at IO and ask why he drew the template in that manner.

My plan is to mill the port as close to the specs of the original tube as possible. Does anyone see any problems with doing that?

Tube_DifferencesJPG-1.jpg

 

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Your pictures are great and worthy of aspiration.

 

I continue to watch your progress and find it fascinating.

 

Thank you for posting.

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Your pictures are great and worthy of aspiration.

 

I continue to watch your progress and find it fascinating.

 

Thank you for posting.

 

Thanks...its good therapy.

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Set up the drill press for milling today. i mounted my x/y axis table and ran some test milling on the old tube.

CAUTION..............I realize that one should not use a drill press as a mill because of the potential for the side loads to cause the chuck to fly off and it could ruin the bearings. I will use the drill press and make plunging cuts along the vertical axis of the chuck and minimize the side loads. I will not use the hand wheels to "feed" the material on the x/y axis while the mill bit is in contact with the metal, I will simply use them to make small precise movements along one axis while the bit is up and continue to take small vertical bites out of the metal and create a straight cut. The test cut on the old tube worked fine.

I used the formula for computing rmp, based on the hardness scale for 4130 steel and the feed recommendations 4 x sfm divided by mill bit diameter. I set the drill speed to the closest setting. The best I could find was that 4130 has a hardness of about 385. the recommended sfm is 35, so for a 3/16 bit I should set 560 rpm.

PS: I suck with a Dremmel and cut off wheel.

Drill_Press.JPG

Milling1.JPG

I decided to scavenge the Barrel Seating (barrel nit) from the old tube. I milled out the places where the nut was welded to the tube. I tried not to plunge below the thickness of the tube. I then cut the tube near the hole for the barrel nut hole as shown on the red line in the photo. This way i could cut completely through the tube at that location and pry it away going slowly where the welds were. I used a dremmel to clear these spots before prying the tube piece away.

Barrel_Seating.JPG

 

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Decided that the Dremmel tool was not such a difficult Beast to overcome and put it to work yesterday. I have made all of the cuts except the straight cuts for the charging handle and the trigger mechanism at the bottom of the tube. I will do those today. As you can see my Dremmel work is only fair at this point, but no damage done. I should ensure I drill a hole at every corner though. It makes connecting the dots easier. Here is one of the two slots at the rear of the tube.

Tube_cut1.JPG


And the nearly completed tube partially inserted into the Rear head Casing just because i have to see what she's gonna look like!!!

STEN_Mock1.JPG

You will notice that i did not follow the template on the spent round discharge port. I used the torched tube and took measurement from it to mirror it's configuration. Upon studying the Mk II and Vs in Peter's book, every image taken of the right side shows the tube opening shorter than that of the Magazine Housing. I wanted it to look right.

 

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Finished all of the milling and drilling of the tube. All that remains to finish the tube is the filing. I have quite a few rough areas to refine. especially the access hole for the trigger parts. I've added a photo to illustrate the method in which I milled the discharge port in the tube. Once I finish refining the edges it will match as close to the original profile as possible. I also drilled three 3/16 inch holes in the forward part of the tube. Those will be weld filled to mate the barrel retention nut with the receiver tube. I will drill three similar holes through the rear head casing so that the rear portion of the tube can be welded to the trigger housing and casing. Final holes will be 2 in each of the trigger housing tabs to secure the trigger housing to the tube. Here is the working mock up with the furniture, tube, housing, barrel nut/shroud and the magazine housing in place. I need to buy another screw and washer for the pistol grip. The spring is just in place to put tension on the rear plunger to hold the stock.

STEN_Mock2.JPG

STEN_Mock3.JPG

 

This is one fun project. I am really thinking about tackling a STEN Mk VI, silenced version :rolleyes: (with ATF papers of course)

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Dave,

Thanks. You are right, it is the first volume of the 17th Airborne Division's 'year book" They made two more, one for the Ardennes and one for Operation VARSITY. It has photos of every platoon in the division, unfortunately, the names of each trooper are not recorded. That would have beena nightmare to get right, but think of the historical value of that! Too bad though.

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I was fortunate to find a Colt Commando with the 2" barrel. This one is near 99% or better condition with only a little wear. It is properly marked and has not been refinished:

 

1. SN on frame 16,XXX

2. "X" under SN on frame denoting Ordnance acceptance

3. "T" under SN on cylinder arm denoting Test Fired (I think)

4. Ordnance bomb stamp on LS frame near cylinder

5. Colt Commano 38 Special on LS barrel

6. CONN instead of CT in factory designation on RS barrel

 

Ordnance contract W-478_ORD-3136 requested 3000 with the 2" barrel and these were issued to the Army Intelligence and OSS units.

 

Colt_Commando1.JPG

Colt_Commando2.JPG

 

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Thanks very much! Good to see you are focusing on the PTO and especially 11th AB. The time will come where you won't find things from the 11th and the prices will get crazy. Look forward to seeing some of your 11th A/B stuff!

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