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Thread: an afternoon with top smith steve bowers

  1. #1

    an afternoon with top smith steve bowers

    I thought i would post for anybody interested an afternoon yesterday spent with steve bowers
    steves workshop is situated just outside cheltenham .
    I had arranged to pick up my 222 that he was screwcutting for me that i had bought through
    geordie the BLaser basher off this site .

    when i arrived just after lunch the rifle still had a bit to do to be finished so steve said i could
    watch him in the workshop .
    I was up for this as not everybody is keen to let you do this in their given profession .
    it became obvious steve is not a man to be rushed it takes as long as it takes to do the job to
    perfection .
    just seeing him set up the lathes to within a thou of tolerences was an experience .
    over the next three hours i watched him machine a collar for this rifle and screw cut it to the same
    tolerences so it would accept the mod from the 20 tac steve is currently building for me .

    After completeing the work and checking that everthing was perfectly allinged we went out back to
    fire two shots into an earth bank to check nothing was touching and everthing was as it should be
    as expected job was a good un .

    I confess the trip was a also a bit of a nudge to try and hurry steve along with the Tac build he is doing
    for me .
    he will admit himself he is not the fastest at turning rifles around but with a three year waiting list for a new
    rifle build and five orders last week alone for his services i can see why .
    he does not give a definite finish date which i can see may turn some people away
    but after watching steve at work I came away with a different mindset about my wait for my rifle that when
    it does arrive it will be a fully custom masterpiece that i know that will have been built to the highest standards
    and will shoot like a dream will be a pleasure to own and will be passed onto my son in the years to come.

    I also met Rob who is making my custom stock that will be individually fitted to me he did some visuall checks
    yes basically saw i am a short fat Bas...d with sausage fingers so is going to deepen the grooves on the thumb
    hole stock to give me a bit more room .
    he explained how he makes the stocks from blanks shapes then finishes everthing to fit and suit the customers
    requirements .
    my stock is going to be fully adjustable also .

    Summing up i suppose when we order something especially guns we all want it yesterday and cant wait
    but when watching a guy like steve at work who machines everything himself makes his owm custom mods
    that he was showing me then it takes time .
    he wont be the quickest . he wont be the cheapest but at the end of the day hes one of if not the best
    and yes i cant bl..dy wait to pick up my tac 20 .
    hopefully to be unvailed at the H4H at monmouth

    regards pete .

  2. #2
    It is great watching a master at work, and once you actually see what goes into doing something so 'simple' as a screwcut done properly, you can also then see how cheap jobs go wrong, I've just had a look at a thread job done by Ian McKillop, and you can see the expertise that goes into that, it's almost a shame to hide it under the mod. There are lots of people out there that will turn out a job like that quickly, but the best jobs are worth waiting for.

    Pete

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by The tramp View Post
    It is great watching a master at work, and once you actually see what goes into doing something so 'simple' as a screwcut done properly, you can also then see how cheap jobs go wrong, I've just had a look at a thread job done by Ian McKillop, and you can see the expertise that goes into that, it's almost a shame to hide it under the mod. There are lots of people out there that will turn out a job like that quickly, but the best jobs are worth waiting for.

    Pete
    have to agree with you there pete
    regards pete

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Roedinator View Post
    he will admit himself he is not the fastest at turning rifles around but with a three year waiting list for a new
    rifle build and five orders last week alone for his services i can see why .
    Does the three year waiting list include jobs like screw cutting? If not, it seems a bit naughty to be fitting in small jobs while customers are waiting for rifles to be built.

    Personally, I wouldn't be taking five new orders a week if I was already three years behind and, as a customer, I wouldn't be happy with that sort of timescale, too much can change in three years.

    Having said that, plenty of people must be happy to work on those terms so good luck to him.

  5. #5
    To within a thou, crikey he's getting a bit sloppy or is that just the rush job for you Pete. I thought that the guy normally worked to within microns.

    I like the description of yourself Pete. I have seen a couple of the stocks that Rob turns out and you will not be disappointed as he can adapt a stock to fit all unusual shapes and sizes .
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  6. #6
    not being funny but if a profesional time served machine operator couldnt set a lathe up within 1 thou they should be in the job.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JC275 View Post
    Does the three year waiting list include jobs like screw cutting? If not, it seems a bit naughty to be fitting in small jobs while customers are waiting for rifles to be built.

    Personally, I wouldn't be taking five new orders a week if I was already three years behind and, as a customer, I wouldn't be happy with that sort of timescale, too much can change in three years.



    Having said that, plenty of people must be happy to work on those terms so good luck to him.
    JC thats the terms when taking an order people are welcome to go elsewhere if its too long a wait
    meant in a polite way of course
    regards pete

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by see it shoot it View Post
    not being funny but if a profesional time served machine operator couldnt set a lathe up within 1 thou they should be in the job.
    As mike mentioned above i meant to put within microns .
    but as not a time served machine operator myself i put thou sorry
    i will just let the guy build em and i will just shoot em
    I like to just let my shooting do the talking
    regards pete

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Roedinator View Post
    As mike mentioned above i meant to put within microns .
    but as not a time served machine operator myself i put thou sorry
    i will just let the guy build em and i will just shoot em
    I like to just let my shooting do the talking
    regards pete
    It's ok Pete. I know where the confusion stems from, it's you being so used to laying that Tarmac to one thou tolerance
    Regards
    Pete

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