As regular readers of this blog and the Facebook page will be aware, many of the projects begin with some intense design work and a lot of laser cuttings! I was particularly looking forward to getting these as it was my first venture into mass-preparing parts for hand folding.
I tend to run several components’ production in parallel so that i can be working on one as another cools, but the first job was assembling this little former:
This shape allows me to very accurately bend the front sight hood by hand.
This done, I did much the same with the barrel band and drilled them so that the unit could be assembled with the sight post in the middle.
The one screw loosens and fits the whole unit. I may do some more work on the appearance of the foresight itself but it’s not bad as a first attempt!
Next was the front band, the part that ties the top and bottom of the stock together.
Again I made formers, this time out of wood, for the strips of steel going around the woodwork. These were then viced with the plates that corresponded to them and welded in place. I rather conveniently had a piece of steel pipe exactly the same diameter as the barrel of the M14 I’m working from in order to assemble these parts.
Clean, polished and fitted to the gun for the first time. I must confess that even I was surprised at the first fitting with no modifications needed at all!
With the receiver came a lot more bending. Each panel was hand bent over a piece of 38mm steel tube.
Once the curve was pretty close, the appropriate endcaps and features were welded in place, holding the exact curve needed.
I then had to fit it to the gun:
Clamped in place, ready to go! At this point my angle grinder gave out. Typical.
A quick trip to Screwfix later and I could get to work removing the receiver unit from the gun. I had hoped to keep this intact but it turned out to be integral to the gearbox housing so it had to go!
Once the main part of the receiver was gone, I could trim away the remainder of the receiver that was in the way. At this point I had to make some adjustments to the stock in order to fit the disk at the back of the gun. A straight bit cut away the space needed and a small channel where there would be a curved lead in like the original G43.
Cut away stock, also trimmed down at the front for the top guard. I will need to make a filler piece for the lead in to the receiver as the stock was pretty hollow at this point to fit the gearbox in.
The last photograph shows the fit of the parts so far. I’m happy with the back two, but I will need to modify the rear sight and chamber to fit over the hop unit/barrel mount. I will be putting strips of steel down the edge of the receiver to help it fit absolutely spot on.
So far this had been a really fun build, it’s nice to be able to focus on the cosmetics for a change!
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