Ruger 10/22 Project

A few days ago I picked up a cheap Ruger 10/22 rifle to do some work on. The cheap model has a basic hardwood stock and light sporter contoured barrel. My plan is to swap out the stock with a synthetic one, possibly folding. The barrel will get switched out for a heavy contour bull barrel, threaded of course. This will serve as the primary host for my .22 lr silencer. The receiver comes drilled and tapped for scope installation, so it is just a matter of picking out a suitable scope.

The basic plan is to turn it into a fun and cheap yet highly customizable platform.

Supplier: Jameco

Today’s featured supplier is Jameco Electronics. Jameco is what RadioShack would be if RadioShack was cool and carried everything you needed. Jameco has tools, components, kits, chemicals, and just about everything you need for electronics exploration. They have good prices and quick service.

If you need some electronics tools, components, or kits, check out Jameco and see what they can do for you.

Arduino Antics

A few weeks back I picked up an Ultimate Microcontroller Pack from MakerSHED. MakerSHED items are now sold at RadioShack of all places. Turns out RadioShack is actually a decent place to get electronic components once again.

If you’re not familiar with what and Arduino is or can do, I suggest you head over to and do a bit of reading. Simply, Arduino is a cheap, easy to use, highly configurable, open source microcontroller. Arduino comes with its own programming environment for the simple to learn language. The programming language is very simple to use and learn. Arduino has been around long enough and used widely enough there are sample ‘sketches’ available for download for nearly anything. If one is not available, chances are at least portions of it are available.

The Ultimate Microcontroller Pack contains an Arduino Uno board; a ‘maker shield’, which is a stackable breadboard; some motors; a few buttons and switches; speakers; breadboards; jumper wires; and and LCD. This way is a bit expensive ($160) to get into it, but it does ensure you will have everything you need to start playing around with the quite capable microcontroller.

Programming the Arduino is a really simple process compared to most other languages. You define input and output pins then write what you want to do with them. Documentation is excellent so even if you can’t find someone’s code doing the same as you want to, you can read for a bit and figure out how to do it. There is such a large community of users for these popular microcontrollers that information is widely available on the internet.

So, what’s this all about?? More projects! More projects with more things! Now a whole new world of projects is opened up. U encourage you to do a bit of reading about the Arduino and see if it is something in which you are interested. If so, entry into this exciting world can be had for around $30 for a basic Arduino board.

Handy Tool: Knife Sharpener

I recently picked up a Gatco Professional Knife Sharpening System. I haven’t had a good knife sharpener before this. Not only is this a good knife sharpener, it is cheap and easy to use too. Gatco has a few different kits ranging from upper $20s to $80 or so. I chose the “professional” kit as it has a good selection of stones and was still relatively cheap. The next model up has diamond stones and the next model down has one less stone. I am sure both would have done what I needed of them, but I chose to get the ultra coarse stone with it as well – planning for a future need.

The key to this system is the blade clamp angle finder thingy. Gatco calls it an “exclusive knife clamp/angle guide,” but whatever. This device clamps the blade securely and holds the stone and guide rod at the correct angle. The difference between this system and ones I’ve use previously is in this system the stone moves and the knife remains stationary. The clamp has settings for 11, 15, 19, 22, 25, and 30 degrees. This versatile system can sharpen nearly any blade out there.

I was only touching up some blades, not putting a new edge on any knives I tried it on so I only used the fine and medium stones. I found it very easy to use and very quick to give great results. I did have some trouble chasing a burr from side to side but it only happened on one of the three blades I tested it on so I am not sure if it was my technique of the blade steel quality.

I plan on building a knife here in the not too distant future and this will come in very handy for that process as well. I may even try to adapt it to sharpen my hatchet.