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I built 7 firearms in one afternoon

12213 Views 35 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  wpage
Well sorta, at least in the eyes of alphabet guy's.

I received Stitckerman's bending jig Friday, so I spent yesterday afternoon bending up 7 flats.
6 Tapco's and 1 FAC I've had hanging around for a while. All 7 came out perfect.

Stickermans jig does a fabulous job bending these flats, however setting them up is a royal pain in the kiester.
Setting them up by measuring is very time consuming and frustrating (have you ever tried to move something .002?)

On top of that, once you finally have it perfect, it changes when you tighten the plate.

After doing the first 3 by measurement, I decided to drill the jig to use locating pins.
After carefully locating a flat, I drilled the jig center piece for pins, what a relief, the last 4 went very quickly, and were right on the money.

Bending 7 flats, does not make me an expert on the subject, but I have a couple of observations as a guy whose been there, done that.

After seeing how much force is required to start the initial bend, I'm very leary of DPH's new jig base design,
His die looks very robust, even more so than stickermans, (although his works perfectly) but the base concerns me.

I would be afraid that the angle iron would tend to splay after a few bends, it appears to be only 1/4" stock, and with those huge notches on either end, there is nothing to hold the two sides parallel.
I don't know this as fact, it's pure speculation on my part.

Judging by how hard I worked my press, I would say it takes at least a couple of tons of pressure to start the bend.
I do like their full height center section, and that it's threaded instead of having to fumble with nuts.

I'm not sure why stickerman does not have locating pins on the jig itself. There are a couple of undersized pin holes on the bottom plate to get you in the ballpark, but man, it's a big freakin park when you're working in thousandths.

I know both of these are new products, and will certainly be refined as time and experience go on, both are proven performers.

But as they sit right now, I would say the ultimate bender would be DPH's die in stickermans base.


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mike said:
max how do you bend the top rails with stickmans jig.those flats you bent look great.also what will you do for heat treat? great job! rick
I start the upper rail bend with a super high tech tool I designed. lol
I ground and polished the head of a H-D head bolt, it works good to get the bend started.
Then I use a hammer and a block of steel to finish the bend.

I have a Mapp/Oxy torch for heat treating.


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Chiroone said:
So , as I understand it, you drilled two 1/8" holes in the die in the areas of the alignment holes on the flats and then put two roll pins in them. Is that about right?
More or less.

The pin holes in the flats are .120 I opened them up to 1/8" (.125)
Drilled two .125 holes in the center section about .500 deep, opened up the holes in the plate to .125
Then used two 1/8" drill bits to align the flat while I tightened the the plate.
Then removed the bits.

The plate locks the flat in place nicely, so the pins are only needed for alignment.
Cephus said:
Are the insde walls of the lower polished very much,just so i'll know. because I want to be sure that i've got all the little trix in my head before i get this done.

When I got the jig the first thing I did was polish the inside of the base with 400 wrapped around a wooden block.

I'm not saying this is necessary, it probably would have worked just fine right out of the box, but I decided, why not, it can't hurt.

I also lubed the inside of the base as well as the flat.
The pressing itself went very smoothly.
I'm trying to catch Winn, I'm not there yet, but I'm gaining on him.
Anybody remember the pic he posted of his receiver drawer?

Clockwise from left.
3 piece weld up, 1 finished and 1 partially finished bent blank, 1 finished laser cut, 1 bent FAC flat and 6 Tapcos.

Come on 9/14


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sks_hunter said:
Which flat do you like better, Tapco, or FAC???
The FAC has a little more authentic looking magwell dimple, it also comes blued.
The latter is of little consequence since it gets scratched up pretty bad during the bending process.
Other than that, they are pretty much identical.

When I bought the FAC, (over a year ago) they were the only game in town, and at the time they were getting $49 for them.
They have since lowered the price to $39.

But at $19 ($15 on sale) Tapco gets my vote.
Stickerman said:
That's the kind of feedback I wanted to hear. I'll make some changes on the next ones. Threading the holes instead of using nuts will take longer to make though. Maybe just tack welding the nuts on would work?
Sure, tacking them would accomplish the same goal.

It won't be as big of a deal (not that it ever was) once you add the pins.

With the pins in place you will only have to tighten them once.
While I was setting the flats up by measuring them, I had to to tighten and loosen them many times, before I was happy with the set up.
On top of that, I only received 3 of the serrated nuts (which do help quite a bit) so I was using a standard nut on one of the bolts.

All in all, the jig works very well and I'm very happy with it. :thankyou:
Chiroone said:
Like the idea of dual purpose use, so is that a shovel head or a evo head bolt? :cool:
Shovel, but a panhead or even a knuckle would work fine.
Evo's don't have headbolts, they use studs :)

That's great, I hope you have great success with these jigs.

I was a die hard bent blank builder, but after seeing the success You, 555th and stickerman were having with these jigs, I knew I had to try going the bending route.
I am now a convert.

These jigs are a little pricey (as is any good tool) but if you're a hard core builder, they are the only way to go.
David, You must of climbed into the wayback machine with Mr Peabody to find this old chestnut. original post date was Sept. 2004 :)
Max -- It's hard to believe how long we've been at this. I can't say I had much hair then but at least it wasn't all grey!
Man, how time flies. Can you believe it's been 10+ years since we hooked up at the old place.
I've still got a pretty good stack of kits, I need to get around to. I got side tracked by a couple FAL builds and the M1919.
Last Winter was brutal around here. A combination of several heavy snow storms and couple of ice storms back to back, caused a lot of roofs to collapse. Both our clubhouse and 100 yard range house collapsed, only our 50 yard range house survived intact.
We have been in the process of rebuilding for almost a year now. Dealing with the insurance company, engineers, inspectors and several sub contractors, has been slow going. Especially since each step must be approved by the membership.
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