updates on the projects

Most of my friends know that I am a little different. Generally when I call or e-mail them to let them know what is going on at gun lab there first comment is always why don’t you just work on one project until you complete it. There is a real good reason that I do not work that way. The first being that when you hit a road block for what ever reason then everything comes to a complete halt. I generally work on 8 to 10 projects at a time.
Some are shop projects that need to be completed to allow me to continue on. Examples of this are painting the shop,



designing and building a new piece of equipment, or doing maintenance that is required. These projects are always in the background and demanding time and money. Something that there is always a shortage of here. The current shop projects are painting and hangingĀ  lights for the fab (pressing room) shop.


I am designing a hydraulic barrel fluting machine. The lights just take time to convert a number of 277 lights to 110 and then hang them. The fluting machine is something else. This machine needs to be able to flute to an accurate depth consistently then rotate and do it all again. The hydraulic system also needs to be operational in both directions. This project is taking a little time but needs to be completed to finish the VG1-5 project. The other tooling project that we just finished is the fixture for doing the last of the machining on the upper receiver for the VG1-5.bolt hole fixture_s

bolt hole fixture1_s

Some are design or concept projects. These are projects that I would like to make in the future. Generally, it is a great deal of solid modeling. There is some photo shop trickery work done as well. These are the type of projects that take a great deal of time but not much money. Generally the time spent working on these are in the evening or when it is to hot in the shop. Some of these are the lower receiver for the Sudanese contract AR-10. This solid model is now 95% complete and will be finished by this next week.

ar-10 receiver drawing9_s We are also working on FG-42 first model parts. The rear sight has been gone through and the programs have been written to start making them. The tooling just came in for those parts and they will be on the lathe and mill as soon as material is in.

rear Sight Assem_s

rear sight assem explode_s

FG42-A24 1_s



The major projects are the weapons projects. The VG1-5 is the first and almost complete. We are down to finishing the small parts with only the Barrel and wood work left for major items. However, the small parts in some cases take more time then the larger parts. Ways to hold them have to be designed, tooling has to be made, solid models have to be done and programs have to be written. Everything has to be tested against the rest of the parts that are designed. Some of the weapons projects have hit a stoppage due to costs of material or re-designing of parts. In addition when the temperature gets excessive the power runs out in the shop. During the down periods while we are waiting for material or tooling or if it is to hot to work in the shop then it is off to design projects.
With the above being said I will give you the current update here at Gun Lab.
The original knurling tool that we were using on the VG1-5 front barrel support is just not doing the job properly. My next door neighbor who wants to learn solid modeling, programing and cnc machining has design a new tool.


The only time I have to work on it with him is Saturday afternoon and Sunday.It has been an interesting project for both of us. In the process of making it the computer crashed and died a painful death. Of course there was no backup made to this file. Generally all information is backed up 4 different ways in this shop for that very reason. But not this time. So 60% of the way through completing this project we had to find away to complete it. Hoping to be finished with it on Saturday.
The VG1-5 project needed some special tooling bought and made. This caused a delay of a little over a week. With the upper receiver fixture completed it will be on the HAAS this week as well. I will be posting a more complete write up on the projects in the days to come.Thanks for stopping by.

8 comments to updates on the projects

  • Robert

    Love the info and updates on this project. Keep’em coming.

  • don

    Hope you have AC in the shop. Impressive work….as usual.

    How are the Japanese magazines coming?

    • Chuck

      There is no a/c in the machine shop or the fab shop. There is not even an evap cooler in the fab shop yet, working on it.
      I have not dome much pressing work, due to the heat in the fab shop. I should be back in there to do pressings by the end of the month.
      We have re-machined a net set of dies for the magazine and just waiting for time to test them.

  • Christopher Brosnahan

    This is one of the most fascinating aspects of designing a part or an entire device (‘gerat’)….the process of not only designing the part/’gerat’ itself, but the processes for accomplishing that task…often a series of trials & errors – all of which consume time and labor…the time is gone for ever, but the labor can be an experience both good and bad (good if you learn something from the ‘bad’ of it)…building the ‘thing’ is impressive, but the unseen part (building the ‘infrastructure’ so to speak, enabling you not only to accomplish/finish making the ‘Thing’/’Gerat’ but the ability to re0plicate the finished and de-bugged product….this is an interesting look into the lives of the great inventors/innovators of the Industrial Revolution and of the industrial age…thank you for the running commentaries, Ian!!!

    CB in FL

    • Chuck

      It is actually very interesting to design and build a weapon from scratch. Your doing all the engineering, concepts, design, set up and machining. One heck of a learning process.

  • Thanks for the update, I enjoyed reading every bit of it. I have the same problem in Tucson. Shop is about finished but waiting for prices of A/C to come down for the end of Summer sales. One can not work right in 105 degree (in the shop) temperatures. Harry

  • john

    re the FG42 rear sight, have you realised that the internal range stepped cam is a separate machined tube held in by a rivet near the low range area. Hopes this make sense.

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