I have a 1" X 14" length of stainless steel bar turned for me by a friend with a machine shop. (dont' see wy alum. or even a wood dowel wouldn't work) I align the rings and tighten them evenly till the bar just barely slides free back and forth. I then apply some fine rubbing compound on the bar and lap all the burrs off the inside of the rings. I'll use cold blue if there are shiny spots left. End up with good smooth rings in alignment,
I just read an article that explained that we tighten our scope rings WAY to tight. It takes surprisingly little tightness to hold a scope in place even on hard recoiling rifles. The article said overtightening those screws is where 99% of scope marks come from.
If you go to online metals for around $26 you can buy a 1 foot section of 17-4 stainless centerless ground stock. Buy a section of this and then line the rings up and use some valve lapping compound on it to lap the rings in. When the rings are lapped in this manner it will take very little force (meaning the rings don't need to be cranked on) to hold the scope in place.
Lapping compound is basically some type of grease that acts as a carrier and has an abrasive in it. It is basically an abrasive paste. You may want to check with a local machine shop and see if they have a section of 1 inch stainless of 4130 round bar (chrome-moly). Just tell them you are looking for a piece of centerless ground stock. Alot of them will have pieces of this in their local stock and will sell you a foot or two. As far as a lapping compund, you can go to most any auto parts store and as for fine valve grinding/lapping compound.
Years ago I bought a lapping tool from Sinclair International that has served me well. The tool consists of a 1" diameter blued steel rod about 8" long to which is attached a handle. A container of lapping compound and instructions are supplied in the kit.
Lapping the rings allows me to move scopes from gun to gun without warping the main tube of the scope.
Lapping compound is an abrasive paste that is used to "true" the inside of the ring. The bar sliding over the ring with lapping compound in between removes high spots in the metal. The bar itself, when mounted in lieu of the scope, "trues" the alignment of the rings in the base for my Leupold mounts.
After you have lapped a ring, you can usually see where the lapping process has worn away a little of the metal on the inside of the ring. I put a little Kroil on the abrased surface to prevent rust.
As other posters have noted, you can independently buy the components of the kit from various sources.
I think that the latest Sinclair kits have stainless steel bars.
My company sells some pretty high-grade seamless 316 stainless steel tubing with an O.D. of 1.000" It is fairly rigid heavy wall (.083) tubing which would work great for this task of scope mounting I would think. The tubing sells for $21.25/foot. I'd be happy to cut it to length and de-burr the ends for you. Would ship cheaply too by USPS in a big manila bubble envelope. ......Rick
Go to you local machine shop and get a couple of 6" to 10" long pieces of one inch diameter drill rod. They may even have a couple of crap pieces they would give you. You can use them for turning the ring into the mount (Leupold, etc) for one piece mounts and you can use a straight edge to align your rings vertically and horizontally between the two rods. You might have to shim two piece mounts to get the scope aligned in the rings vertically. If your eye relief will allow it, move the adjustment body up against the front ring. This will keep the scope from moving from recoil. You do not have to get the rings over tight to hold the scope in place. You can also place one thickness of paper between your rings and scope to avoid the scratches. My two cents worth. Good luck. Bob
I appologize as I should have been more clear. I refer to all lapping compunds as clover. I would use a lapping compund of 400 grit or higher. Clover comes in grades from 54 grit (very agressive) to 1200 grit (very fine). If you really want to do a great job work with 400. If you get about 600 or so, the metal will actually get polished and it will be harder for the rings to hang onto the scope tube. Another trick to mounting scopes so that the rings dont leave marks is to use a strip of an adhesive label in the inside of the rings. You want the labels that are flat on the top, not shiney like masking take. They will add a tiny bit to the ring and they also act as a friction material. You're rings will not need to be near at tight. Burris used to send along little stickers for the inside of their rings for this purpose.
best way to initially line up the rings is to use two pieces of 1095 drill steel about 4" long that have had a 60 degree point turned on one end. Put one in each ring and and turn the rings (at least Leupold rings) so the two points come together. Then lap the rings. Use a 6" - 8" piece of drill steel with a 1/4" hole drilled and tapped perpendicular to the axis of the drill steel. Use a jam nut to secure a 6" x 1/4" bolt to the drill steel. Then lap away. Quicky