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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was my first time doing this period! I have 2 frames, so I decided this first one will be purely experimental and if I had screwed it up, then oh well...

To my surprise, it all worked out better than expected. Photos are attached and see my next post for building information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Breakdown (The complete "Poor Man's" technique)

Equipment:
Dremel
Dremel Router Table ($29)
Reinforced Cutoff Disks (container of 20)

I live in an apartment and do not have access to any heavy machinery so this setup worked perfect. I did design a setup utilizing drawer rollers but decided to go totally poor man's style so I used only the guide on the Dremel Router Table to line up the cuts.

After mounting the router table to a $15 coffee table from that was sitting around, I started measuring and measuring and measuring. There was already a mill line lightly running along the rails right above the dust cover and that turned out to measure just about right. I scribed a solid line above that mark then measured for the upper cut, then scribed a line for that as well.

I wasn't really concerned about making super straight cuts, as this was just an experiment. I adjusted the guide and the height of the dremel to match the first line and began cutting well within the boundary. The first cut turned out crooked and the depth all messed up so I readjusted everything. I cut along the lines, then began moving in to clear out the rest in between.

The best method was to keep the cuts really really shallow and to do multiple runs (3 dry runs per cut). After each run, I simply adjusted the guide to go just a hair deeper then went at it again. It took about 8 disks total and around 10-12 runs on each side to get the rails within specs. After making the intial cuts, I then attached 2 disks together to get the rest of the metal out and square everything off.

That was it! The rest was filing and sanding compound. All in all, it took approximately 2-3 hours to complete just cutting the rails. I kept the rpm low and moved like a snail. Patience payed off here. The rail fits like a glove and I'm waiting for the rest of the lower parts to fit everything else prior to blueing.

Co7t
 

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Looks good, I am assuming that was one of the 80% frames that is for sale at different places. Are the slots for the rails all that was needing to be done or did you need to do other work to the frame to help get it finished?

Again it is looking good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks sniper! Yes, it was an 80% frame. What I found was that even at 80%, the rails are never just the only thing that needs work. Most of the other work however is pretty minor (if you get a good quality frame) to where all you really need is some good files and emery on top of your dremel. Since this project, I've done 2 others with a dremel - each getting better every time.

Co7t
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
762X54R said:
Sorry to double tap, but what does an 80% frame for a 1911 cost?
Man, these days...who knows? Nice ones are hard to come by right now but there are a few floating around for between $150.00 - $200.00. I really like the OlyArms 80% frames in SS, but those are also few in numbers.

I just invited someone to this board who picks up these frames by the dozen every time he gets the chance, he may come around and let you guys know if he has some...

Co7t
 

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Very nice! What a great job of improvising with what you had available. All hail the "King of Tools" (Dremil style rotary tool)!

I'm hoping to be able to try my hand at a 1911 build. Finding good starting materials at a price I can afford will be the first challenge. Maybe your friend will be the ticket. Thanks, and congrats on your 1911.


Chip
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A note of caution - be careful when ordering from NOC. There's quite a bit of talk about them at the Roderus boards for unservicable products and long shipping waits (months). The major issue was their 1911 frames being all canted and having so much cosmetic errors, even the proficient machinists had a tough time getting the thing to look and work good.

Call them first and make sure you hear it from Bonnie or Steve that they do indeed have them in stock and WILL ship right away. Most of the time, they don't have anything in stock and back orders end up waiting for months at a time (I speak from experience).
 

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The slow way

If you have the patience you can also do it this way:Get yourself a 6 inch Mill file from sears.It Costs about $6. Use a c-clamp and a straight edge piece of metal as a guide.Each rail takes about 2-3 hours to cut.Make sure you are lined up even on both sides.Use lapping compound to finish up.All by hand,time consuming but it works. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Merkava said:
If you have the patience you can also do it this way:Get yourself a 6 inch Mill file from sears.It Costs about $6. Use a c-clamp and a straight edge piece of metal as a guide.Each rail takes about 2-3 hours to cut.Make sure you are lined up even on both sides.Use lapping compound to finish up.All by hand,time consuming but it works. Good luck!
Ah yes, the file method. You can also use two hacksaw blades welded together in place of the file, while utilizing the c-clamp/guide. Just keep that caliper in the other hand to measure depth frequently.

Lapping compound rocks! :rockin:
 

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Not just a dremel can be used

Also I heard you can use a Brownells slide fitting file to cut the rails for the 80% 1911 frames. i am going to try it once I get the file from the company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
tang18 said:
Also I heard you can use a Brownells slide fitting file to cut the rails for the 80% 1911 frames. i am going to try it once I get the file from the company.
I've got two of those from Brownells and they're great files. Take note, that it's a file and not a cutter. In my opinion it would take dozens of those files and many months to get even close if you were to try to file out the actual rails from an 80%. The file is best used to do your fitting after the actual rails have been cut.

Co7t
 

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Manual labor

But I think the Brownells file cuts better, but I'm not sure yet until I have it and use it. But i don't know about the hack saw method, there is potential of cutting too far into the metal with one slip.

Co7t said:
Ah yes, the file method. You can also use two hacksaw blades welded together in place of the file, while utilizing the c-clamp/guide. Just keep that caliper in the other hand to measure depth frequently.

Lapping compound rocks! :rockin:
 

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I beg to differ

I think that file has a cutting side and a deburring side, so it might work, but it will be slow, maybe an hour per side.

Co7t said:
I've got two of those from Brownells and they're great files. Take note, that it's a file and not a cutter. In my opinion it would take dozens of those files and many months to get even close if you were to try to file out the actual rails from an 80%. The file is best used to do your fitting after the actual rails have been cut.

Co7t
 

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NOC

I emailed NOC and they said that their 1911 frames are still waiting for BATF
approval for their frames, so I don't know what is going on here.


Co7t said:
A note of caution - be careful when ordering from NOC. There's quite a bit of talk about them at the Roderus boards for unservicable products and long shipping waits (months). The major issue was their 1911 frames being all canted and having so much cosmetic errors, even the proficient machinists had a tough time getting the thing to look and work good.

Call them first and make sure you hear it from Bonnie or Steve that they do indeed have them in stock and WILL ship right away. Most of the time, they don't have anything in stock and back orders end up waiting for months at a time (I speak from experience).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's strange because I had ordered a couple from them a few months back when they were actively selling their frames - that's when people began to notice the canted frames with huge cosmetic flaws.
 

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Help

Once the gun is built, would we have to register the gun with the anyone?

Co7t said:
That's strange because I had ordered a couple from them a few months back when they were actively selling their frames - that's when people began to notice the canted frames with huge cosmetic flaws.
 
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