More work on the CNC router

Most of the machining has been completed on the two side panels. This is how they looked in the solid model.

router table4

router table2And this is how they turned out.


DSC_9759csWe still have 6 holes to drill on each plate and 12 hole to tap on each plate.

With any luck I will have them mounted and I will be able to start wiring it back together again.

More work being done on the cnc router

With the wiring completed on the angle connector plate

DSC_9641sThe next item to be made is the side panel. This is where the fans and angle plate attach to.

router table4These are the pictures of it being machined on the HAAS machining center.

Everything starts as a solid model and then a drawing to work from.

DSC_9721sEven with solid models and drawings the components are checked for proper fit.



DSC_9720sThe side plate will be completed by today and this weekend installed on the machine and I will commence wiring everything up.

3D Printer update

When we received the new 3D printer and some of the plastic support pieces were broken. I did a post about making the new parts. Then when we tried to operate it we noticed that the over travel switch did not work on the Y axis. There are still spare parts so a new wiring harness was ordered and received this last week. The old harness was removed.

DSC_9643sand a new one installed.

The problem with the Y axis over travel switch was the set screw had damaged the wire. It had been improperly installed at the factory.


Spare switches were also ordered in case repairs are needed in the future.

DSC_9662sI completed the first test print and actual part print on Sunday. There were a few set backs but nothing serious.

The first issue was that the filament is old and gave me a few problems feeding.

DSC_9648wsOnce this problem was corrected the next issue was the nozzle placement over the printer tip wipe. It was not going back far enough. A quick search on the internet as well as looking at the cube x courses, along with Orin’s help,  and a solution was found and implemented.

This is my first test print which went totally wrong.

The final product did not come out.


The next post on the 3D printer will cover the corrections and the final test print that was completed.

CNC Router update

With the temperatures souring this last weekend most of the projects that were accomplished were done in the house with it’s A/C going.

In this case I continued the fun that I started the weekend previously. All the connectors have been installed and soldered on the angle connector bracket.DSC_9377csBy the end of last weekend I had finished just a few of the plugs.

DSC_9555csBy Saturday night the entire block was connected up.

DSC_9641sOnly one wiring harness had been completed by a week ago. I then completed the next two wiring harnesses.

DSC_9642sThese have the pig tails made up so I can wire them into the new control panel that we built and I wrote about.

DSC_8904sThe next major components to be finished on the router are the new side panels.  Maybe next weekend.

Working on the CNC router

In the last update on the router I showed a picture of the milled angle plate that was made here.



DSC_9377csThis weekend I started wiring up this block. I first tried using solder connectors. With out the proper soldering iron that turn into a disaster. After ruining a number of 9 pin connectors due to excessive heat I gave up.

The next approach I tried was using crimp connectors. For this I bought a crimp tool, special wire and insulation, and male and female connectors and pins.


DSC_9549sFor some reason the crimps would just not come out correctly.

DSC_9550csAlso the female connectors had no stop in them. This meant that if you were not careful the wire would go into the connector  thus not allowing the male plug to go in all the way.


This process was more aggravating then the first one. So, it was off to Fry’s electronics to buy a new crimping tool. No such luck. There was no crimping tools at all, however they did have a large selection of pencil tip soldering irons.

DSC_9557sWith a new pencil tip soldering iron in hand I set up a little work area on the dining room table. Not really to my wife liking, however it was hot in the shops so she did not fight it much.



DSC_9519sAfter a couple of hours trying to get in a mode and working out all the bugs in the procedure I finished 1/2 of one plug. With 12 plugs to do I couple be dead for really old age before I finish this one step.

DSC_9520sA new system needed to be implemented.

DSC_9542sI first cut wires to length and strip the ends

DSC_9546sThen I soldered the ends

DSC_9547sThen I installed and soldered them in the plugs.

DSC_9555csThis whole process was a little nerve racking and when I finally got a procedure that I liked the tip went out on the soldering iron. Now new tips have been ordered and I hope to be back on schedule this next weekend. Only 12 more sets to install.

I also made up the first of four wire hook up circuits to go from the control panel to the angle junction block.

DSC_9554sThis coming weekend looks to be a fun one. By the way no video on this phase of the project, the foul language would have given me an X rating


The pictures of this  rifle was sent to us from Mr. H.F., a friend of gun lab.

This AR18S made by sterling for Armalite Costa mesa.  This and a AR180 were the first two sterling guns into USA.  Difference from an American AR18S:

  1. Serial number is AS033 – their meaning Automatic Shorty…033rd gun made, not 33rd Shorty.  The only gun in USA with that type serial number.  A=Auto,  S= semi and this one.
  2. Top receiver stamped AR18S , not like the American AR18S where nothing to mean a shorty.
  3. the barrel is about an 1 inch longer
  4. different style flash hider
  5. Flash hider has a front sling rotating clip
  6. Op rod has a sling clip on it.
  7. straight pull charging handle
  8. the Front pistol grip has a different style screw in block.
  9. A tad different, front hand guard cap

AR18s-2cThe selector and markings

AR18s-3The different type cocking handle

AR18s-4cBarrel proof markings

AR18s-1The different British style flash suppressor

AR18s-5cFire control group

AR18s-8cSee how the “S” is marked

AR18s-7Manufacture markings

AR18s-6A close up of the selector markings



AR18s-9Thanks for sharing these pictures of a rare and beautiful rifle

The Golden Age of Gun Information.

This is truly the Golden Age of Gun Information.  First there are all the great sites on the internet dealing with gun collecting.

Like Forgotten weapons, located here:

also Historical Firearms,located here:

As well as C&Rsenal,located here:

Then there are specialty sites like this one dealing with the Carcano rifle.

And The Italian Carcano rifle site

Carcano home page

And there are great new books that have just come out or coming out.

I remember when the only information was “small arms of the world” or “Janes infantry weapons” Then Collector grade came on to the seen and things really started to change for the better.

Still information was lacking on the weapons that people had little interest in. Even now that has changed. Take for instance the Carcano rifle. There was nothing written about it forever. Now look at the information available.

My first book that I found on the Carcano was the paper back book by Richard(Dick) Hobbs. I bought mine from Dick over 30 years ago. It was a gold mine of information that was not any where else. There are just a few black and white pictures. The majority of the pictorial references are line drawings.

scan_Page_3sNext while overseas I happen to come across an Italian book on this same weapon. The original engineering drawings in the book are hard to read,yet the information available is priceless.

scan_Page_4sI don’t read Italian but the pictures and information in this book is invaluable.

Then two separate books have come out in the last couple of years. This book not only covers the Carcano rifle but it is one of the few references to early semi auto rifles from Italy. There is also information of handguns and sub machine guns.scan_Page_1s

This book has some really great original photos of the Carcano rifle in use as well interesting accessories.


Now a new book has come out that I just received. I am going to tell you right now that this book is GREAT!

The color pictures are really very good and some of the information in this book I have never seen anywhere else. Take for example the post I made a while back about the engraved and gold plated presentation rifle. This book has 5 pages dealing with this rifle only.


With a price tag of less then 40.00 on Amazon you will not find a better deal anywhere.

This is truly the Golden age of gun information.

Building the semi auto MP-44 part 5

This is another update on Pete’s project of making a semi auto MP-44.

In this post Pete goes over making the replacement pieces for the lower receiver area.

As with everything in the making of this rifle there is a great deal of trial and error.



GE DIGITAL CAMERAIt is interesting to see the tooling that Pete make to do the work necessary to complete the task.




GE DIGITAL CAMERAThere is a great deal of hand fitting and filing in this project.



GE DIGITAL CAMERAIt is looking better and better.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAPete is a master metal smith. I am impressed with the quality of the work that he has done on this project.

Making a Chauchat magazine box

This last weekend was extremely busy, I ended up working all day Saturday and over 1/2 of Sunday at my primary business so not much time in the shop. That with the fact that it was 115degrees and no A/C in the shop meant not much time for projects.

However with the above said, some where on the internet I came across some pictures of a chap making a magazine box for a Chauchat. Having a Chauchat I really wanted one to hold the few magazines that I have. Now the pictures were great, but there were no measurements so a great deal of guessing went on, The second thing I had to deal with is that I just wanted to make an example and not an exact reproduction, at least not yet. I needed to work out all the details of the design first. I made mine over the weekend and used available materials that I had on hand. I can tell that the thickness of my basic material is wrong and my measurements are also wrong. That now being said it did give me the information I needed to now redesign my solid model and make a correct box.

This is an original box that he used to pattern his new box after.

A couple of side views.


cboxboxside2The latch that locks down the lid

cboxboxlockclosedA look at the rope handle

cboxboxtopThe hinge and latch views.


So this was my quick weekend project. I just wanted to make a quick copy that I couple obtain measurements from.

DSC_9395sI have hinges and a latch to go on it for temporary use. The side were made from an old kitchen cabinet that I demo. The ends, bottom and top came from Axel,a friend of gun lab, on his last trip over here.

DSC_8148sSo my next step is to draw it up in solid works and make on with the proper look.

Interesting belt fed AR

A while back I had the opportunity to photograph a very rare and unusual rifle. It is a shorty AR carbine that has been converted to belt fed. This little toy would be a power house of fun. I don’t have any additional information on the rifle.

IMG_0158c1A close up view of the left side of the receiver.

IMG_0159csA different angle of the feed system.


IMG_0161cThe bottom of the feed system and lower receiver

IMG_0162cA close up of the hand guard, flash hider and barrel


An interesting weapon from the Reed Knight Collection