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Thread: AR: DIY w/drill press & a plate

  1. #1
    aka: SDK1968 dutigaf's Avatar
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    Thumbs up AR: DIY w/drill press & a plate

    here is a request. had this thread up before (or thought i did)& its just a basic run thru with a couple of nice pix and a template that another member made for me off of my AR set up.

    so here we go:

    we have lots of different members here with varying skill levels.

    mills are great if you have one, but not everyone can afford them or has the space for one. many of the builders in our hobby use just basic tools.

    grinder, welder, drill press, rotozip and so on...

    with that said here is a template for the guys who want to use a drill press to complete an Tactical Maching style upper. im sure it could be used to complete any brand out there, im just referencing theirs because i have done them this way.

    this PDF was sent to me and is available on many sites on the web. its pretty good for the basic completion with the drill press or even with just my "mini template" set up in the other thread.

    the main thing here is taking the time to be square and true with your markings.

    this doesnt take fancy tools, it takes care on your part and not letting yourself get in too big of a hurry.

    this is always a problem for me as i luv building and get way into it and get in a hurry every time!

    so measure twice and drill once

    the PDF shows what holes and locations to drill for the pocket of the FCG along with the depth and even the size bits to use.

    my own ad on tip is for after the drilling is done.

    go to your local fastenal, grainger, MSC or some similiar type of store and get you an ALuminum "burr bit". you'll be better served to get a 3/8" size to use a a finish bit for the sides of your pocket.

    its just a personal preference but i like the one with the flat bottom that also cuts so that you smooth up all the way around.

    now this is where the "tool NAZI's" will jump in and tell you how a drill press is not a mill and that its not made for side loading......

    they would be correct. ITS NOT good for it. especially if your gonna shove your guts out on it.

    but if you have a decent drill press and are just trying to smooth up aluminum and go slow your not gonna tear it up overnite.

    or if you have a cheap one and dont care then have at it. ;D

    the main thing is to make sure you have a ALUMINUM BURR BIT and not one for steel. the aluminum ones have different cutter grooves and wont clog up if you use them right. and this will last a long time if you use it correctly.

    dont over heat it is the key.

    my very first tommy conversion was completely "milled" out on a drill press and theres tons of pix here showing that. same thing for the P7 build. its all about patience with this.

    just remember: if you really want to build it, you'll find a way to get it done.



    http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/9...drillsheet.jpg

    and then Anthony C made this lovely little PDF that is to the correct scale. i printed it out and then put it on a lower and its perfect. so big props to him!

    http://checkyourvector.com/projects/ar15_fcg.pdf

    so thats really all there is too it. theres all the info you need on 1 sheet and pic and then theres a PDF template for laying out a FCG plate in actual size.

    ive done ..... lets just say "several" of these Tactical Machining lowers with this set up and it works every time.

    sdk
    say what you mean & mean what you say


  2. #2
    Zee
    Zee is offline
    Gunco Member Zee's Avatar
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    May have to look into building one of these for no other reason than personal satisfaction.
    This tutorial does make it look fairly easy,as long as attention to detail is followed.
    Thanks for putting this up.
    Z

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    Gunco Good ole boy tanvil's Avatar
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    Someone bought me a 0% as a joke. I'm starting to look at in a different light. Thanks Dutigaf.

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Good info! I'm not a tool nazi but do think you are spot on about the drill press capability with aluminum if you go slow and don't expect too much accuracy. I would finish up everything with a dremel sanding disk (wear a resprirator!!!!) to smooth things out.

  5. #5
    aka: SDK1968 dutigaf's Avatar
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    thanks guys and the whole idea of this was that yes regular "garage builders" like me CAN do these if they want to put in the effort and small amount of work.

    the aluma burr bits are the most important part of this and make it a real breeze, and its tough to wear them out on aluminum.

    just get a GOOD 80% lower.

    ive used many brands and the Tactical Machining is the most complete that still has an approval letter that ive ever seen.

    s
    say what you mean & mean what you say


  6. #6
    Gunco Member giddy169's Avatar
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    Do you think one of these would be a good aluma burr bit? If so which size would you recommend? MSC MSC Item Detail
    MSC Item Detail
    MSC Item Detail

    Also what did you end up using to keep the lower level while drilling it? Did you make your own bracket?

    Thanks

  7. #7
    aka: SDK1968 dutigaf's Avatar
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    thats a regular mill bit...

    you cant turn that fast enough in your drill press to get a good edge... try one of these:

    Enco - Guaranteed Lowest Prices on Machinery, Tools and Shop Supplies

    Amstar 65138 Ball Nosed Cylinder Aluma-Cut Burr (non-ferrous cut) - Standard Length

    these are what you want for finishing off a AR lower if you drilled it out.
    say what you mean & mean what you say


  8. #8
    Gunco Veteran Viper Dude's Avatar
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    Those "burs" are typically used in die grinders.
    Many years ago I used my small Rockwell benchtop drill press and small die grinder burs to mill custom ports in my model airplane engine cylinders. Not easy but it can be done. Those were steel Cox 049 cylinders by the way.

    There are plans on the net that show a neet method of beefing-up your drillpress with an added bearing, strut, and quil extension.

    Another trick for grinding on aluminum with a bur is to coat the bur occasionally with tallow (wax) to keep it from loading up with stuck metal.

    Dremel bits can also be used in a drillpress by the way. Hobbyshops everywhere have them.

    Another source of burs are regrinds or re-sharpened carbide. These may be found at user-friendly prices.

    The Tool Nazi in me says look for a deal on a milling machine !!!! Then you can goose step right through aluminum with impunity. haha.

    VD

  9. #9
    aka: SDK1968 dutigaf's Avatar
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    YOU my friend are correct!

    i use them in a dia grinder alot...... 20,000 plus RPM instead of 2,500 in the drill press on high.

    BUT it will work if thats what you got. im all about being able to do this stuff with jsut standard garage tools that "regular" people have.

    most regular people dont have a mill. LOL

    my best friend did buy me a mini mill for xmas last year so of course i can do them that way now....

    and some day i'll have a real mill. but then i wont be just a standard old garage builder anymore. :-)
    say what you mean & mean what you say


  10. #10
    Gunco Member giddy169's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help, My friend actually has a mill at his parents house but it is covered up with a lot of stuff in the garage right now. Maybe I should buy some mill bits and the tactical machine jig and talk him into letting me use it so I don't make any mistakes. I made a few 80% lowers with hand tools back when the Tannery Shop was selling them but none of them are nearly as good as my bought receivers. I am hoping by only doing the FCG area they will turn out much nicer.
    Last edited by giddy169; 04-12-2010 at 10:47 PM.

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