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Posted: 10/15/2002 11:54:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/15/2002 11:59:10 AM EDT by Bign]
I woudl really like to get a regular decent sized milling machine and tool up, but if I did, I woudln't be able to afford any kits to make ARs and 1911s...

I have noticed the use of grizzly minimills on this board, and have been told that they are capable of 0% ARs and 1911s, but my question is how many?

My plan would be to do a couple for My wife and I, then one for The Boy whe he is of age/responsible enough to have his own no to mention any other possible kids that we may have, and even grandkids.

I ask this becasue there is a Harbor Freight tool store down the road here, and they have a minimill IDEBTICAL to the grizzly, certainly made by the same folks. It is marked $500, but the guy told me that they woudl sell it for $400 hence my great bargaining skills...

I've been told that these things are no good, by some and ohters say the machines would likely be passed down to my kids if not abused.
I seen where someone had a picture of a grizzly that they braced to the workbench from the tower somehow....

What say those who've used one???
I'd want to do at least 10 ARs and 10 1911s, over a whiiile of course...

Or would I be better advised to buy 10 %80 and a jig? there is no jig for the 1911s yet is there?

I still have no idea about the actual strength difference of the cast vs forged...

How strong would the 80% "410 STAINLESS STEEL" 80% be, how aboutt he CMM ceramic????

I like the idea of having my own milling machine though...





Link Posted: 10/15/2002 12:42:11 PM EDT
I have the HF minimill and have made six or seven AR15 lowers from 0%, a couple from 50%, two AR10s from 50% and two 80% 1911s. If you can make one, then you can make as many as you want and have time to do.

Some of the setups where you have to machine the front or back of the forging can be tricky but I've managed to do everything required to finish these.

Keep it tight and lubed and it will last a long time and serve you well.
Link Posted: 10/15/2002 1:16:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/15/2002 2:15:08 PM EDT by Bign]
Thank you, I was concerned that it would wear out(outta spec) after doing a few magwells...

Is there any problems fitting the 0%AR in the mill? It don't look like you could drill the buffer hole with it? How'd you do that?

Thanks guy,
Link Posted: 10/15/2002 2:49:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bign:
Thank you, I was concerned that it would wear out(outta spec) after doing a few magwells...

Is there any problems fitting the 0%AR in the mill? It don't look like you could drill the buffer hole with it? How'd you do that?

Thanks guy,



No, the machine has adjustable gibs just like bigger machines. Several ways to do the buffer tube hole. I set up an angle plate flush with the end of the table, then secure the lower to the angle plate with the front/magwell hanging below the surface of the table. Then I drill to 3/4 and bore to size. You could also just stand it on end centered on the table and use a short end mill to drill the 1.125 hole.

On the SS, that's hard to cut. Just go slow, use cutting fluid, and use carbide cutters.
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 2:05:54 PM EDT
Got any pics???

Can you also let me know what tooling you used??? I am interested in how much this might cost...Gots to be upfront withthe Ole lady!!!
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 2:43:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bign:
Got any pics???

Can you also let me know what tooling you used??? I am interested in how much this might cost...Gots to be upfront withthe Ole lady!!!



Yep.






Tooling: usual stuff, HSS mills and drills, high helix AL cutters, boring head, fly cutters, center drill, R8 collets, dial indicator, counter bore for the mag well bevel.

Link Posted: 10/18/2002 1:25:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/18/2002 1:29:58 PM EDT by Bign]
Thanks guy, I'm an absolute beginner at mill work, haven't even decided to get on or not yet...

I'm not even sure what some of those tools actually are, could you give me a little more detail if you get a few minutes???

I kinda want to price the bare minimums so I can get permission from my CO (wife) and I don't want to get in over my head either...

Thanks guy,
Link Posted: 10/19/2002 1:59:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/19/2002 2:06:18 PM EDT by Waldo]
Hey Nevada, how'd you do the inside of the magwell????

I did the semi 1919 parts on mine, but might want to try doing a lower this winter just to see if I can. (not that I neeeeeed another AR)

;)
Link Posted: 10/19/2002 4:35:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Waldo:
Hey Nevada, how'd you do the inside of the magwell????

I did the semi 1919 parts on mine, but might want to try doing a lower this winter just to see if I can. (not that I neeeeeed another AR)

;)



Start by drilling all the 1/8 inside radius corners. Then mill it out with long end mills, followed by some finish up filing.

Link Posted: 10/20/2002 1:18:52 PM EDT
If you want to know about using a mini mill to do 0% AR15s and 1911s, the best available info will be found on:
www.roderuscustom.tzo.com/cgi-bin/ib3/ikonboard.cgi

I've built 4 ARs from 0% and 2 from 80% lower recivers all using a Grizzly mini mill. The biggest challenge is clamping but, once you figure out a way, it works. I've got it down to 5 hrs. start to completion starting with a 0% DSA lower forging.
Link Posted: 10/20/2002 1:52:31 PM EDT


Thanks to both you and Nevada for the info. I might just try a 0% this winter after hunting season is over. Jan-mar, work is usually slow and I have some free time to spend in the shop.
Link Posted: 10/20/2002 6:41:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Waldo:
Hey Nevada, how'd you do the inside of the magwell????

I did the semi 1919 parts on mine, but might want to try doing a lower this winter just to see if I can. (not that I neeeeeed another AR)

;)



1919 ????
I'd like some info on that!!!
Maybe another reason to get a mill...

I've seen the 1919 kits before, but it seems that the semi kit to go with em are really high. And I'm not really interested in getting into class iii stuff.

Can you give me some info on the 1919 semi kit???
Link Posted: 10/20/2002 9:11:11 PM EDT
Bign go to www.1919a4.com They can answer all of your questions there. Depending on what the price you can get a parts kit for you can get into a 1919 semi for $700 or so...
Link Posted: 10/20/2002 9:18:41 PM EDT
The semi "kits" for the 1919 are expensive--a bit TOO expensive actually. go to www.1919A4.com and you can find links to other build sites such as "shot in the dark" where you will find diagrams of the SA trigger modification. There is some variation in dimensions and details between different "designers" though all follow the same basic planform. The companies that market the SA kits aren't interested in revealing a lot of specs, because then every intrepid machinist would do their own.
On virtually all sites concerning the 1919 you can find the legal aspects of how one must be assembled to make it legal--notably, a right side plate that starts out .250" thick, then milled along the inside to create a ledge, with corresponding milling of the bolt, barrel extension and lock frame--this prevents installation of FA parts once the gun is assembled. The RSP must be deep-welded to the barrel trunnion, and bottom plate so that it becomes an integral, non-removable part. The SA trigger parts aren't really that complicated once you see how the gun works. A new sear release must be machined, along with enlarging the mating slots in the bolt. The trigger is modified to a "two-piece" with the forward section becoming self-disconnecting as the bolt opens. If you can do the mill work to complete an AR15 lower, then milling the SA parts for a 1919 would be a piece of cake.
As for the Mini-mill...I've used mine to mill numerous 1911 frames, Sig frames (both steel and aluminum), revolver parts, rifle receivers, etc and have never found it lacking. As with any piece of machinery, much of the "output" is determined by operator skill, knowledge, and set-up. I milled Sig frames clamped upright to a heavy, 6" L-bracket sitting on top of a 6" rotary table, and still had clearance to raise the head and clear the bit...as for "power"...believe me, you're more likely to shatter a mill bit using too heavy feed than to "bog" the motor.
Link Posted: 10/21/2002 10:22:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2002 10:28:22 AM EDT by Bign]
Now I'm definatly affraid of what this milling machine is going to cost me. I've seen those 1919 kits before, but the semi kit and plates costing 2-3 times the cost of the parts kit, I just never paid much atention to em...

I'd still like to get a good list of exactly what tools I would need to get started with the 0% AR lowers. Never machined anything before, in fact I just ordered the 1911 CD and 0% AR video from PvtRyan, hopefully this will give me a better idea of tooling...I know he's using a different mill in the AR video, so I'm affraid that some of the ways he clamps and cuts may not fit in the minimill.

Nevada shootar, what kinda vise and clamps and such did you use??? I can see the one in th pics you posted, what else is necessary??

AS for tooling:


HSS mills and drills,high helix AL cutters, boring head, fly cutters, center drill, R8 collets, dial indicator, counter bore for the mag well bevel


Got any part #s or catalog #s handy for any of this tooling??

Not sure about high helix AL cutters, boring heads, counterbore....or what size and types of mills and drills...

I appreciate everybodies time!!!

Link Posted: 10/21/2002 11:14:09 AM EDT
Having used a friend's mini-mill, and on the recommendation of another friend, I purchased the Grizzly G1005 Mill/Drill. It cost $895 plus shipping, but it is substantially more machine than the mini-mills. I highly recommend you save up and buy a larger machine; it is just a lot easier to work with. Plan on spending another $500-$1,000 for tooling regardless of the mill you buy. Its not a cheap hobby!
Link Posted: 10/21/2002 12:29:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2002 12:31:01 PM EDT by Bign]
I can't understand why I'd need to buy a bigger machine, particularly if the next one up is over twice the cost of the minimill...

I've seen a few guys say that they've used the minimill, here and over at rodders custom boards...

I won't be manufacturing tons of em to sale, one guy said he could do a lower in 5 hours with his minimill.

If it's just a little more pain in the rear, no big deal, I just want to make sue the machine doesn't wear out too early, and also want to know what kind of tooling I need.

Is there any other reason I might consider the bigger one???
Cost is a big issue. I really can't "comfortably" afford the mini, but I want to get some lowers done and uppers assembled to em before anything else is made illegal... and I really like the fact of them being "personallized."

If I end up doing 5 ARs over the next few years (knock on wood) I'd be happy.

Thnaks guys,
Link Posted: 10/21/2002 12:45:06 PM EDT
The larger mill is better because the table has a lot more range of motion. The minis work, but they are annoying to work with. If you are just doing 1911s, the mini is fine, but the ARs are a challenge. Look around for a used fullsize mill. You won't be sorry.
Link Posted: 10/21/2002 2:04:04 PM EDT
Has anyone tried the Grizzly combo mill/lathe?
Link Posted: 10/21/2002 4:15:07 PM EDT
Hey Bign

I just received the latest AGI catalog . They now offer a milling machine course on video 12 hours packed full of information for the beginner and professional . It's not cheap $349.00 plus s/h . I am also thinking about getting a mini-mill ( not right now but maybe by summer) AGI's courses have great information on them especially for a newbie like me. I have some of their armorers courses.

Check out some pics from the videos here

http://www.machineshopcourse.com

http://www.americangunsmith.com

Good luck . Keep me informed on what you do .
Jerry
Link Posted: 10/21/2002 4:53:17 PM EDT
Damn guys, I'M IMPRESSED. The thought of a fully machined AR or 1911 just gives me goose bumps. Mass production cost would be high but wow what detail you could have!!!
Link Posted: 10/22/2002 12:26:54 PM EDT
Another good tip is ebay . I was looking around last night on it and found quite a few mini-mills listed along with bigger ones. Also alot of the tools needed to good with machining , even some nice deals on material.

Safe shooting
Jerry
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