Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Props Progress

Suomi --

The first pieces are cleaned and ready for welding. I've found a wire welder at one of my theaters that I can use. Not neat or strong, but okay for filling; techies often describe them as "hot gluing with metal."

What's going to make it more plausible is the permanent jig. The piece of aluminium up there is standing in for a fake bolt I'm turning out of 1.25" aluminium. That will hold all the pieces together for welding and remain in place as part of the finished prop. As an additional advantage, it will look like a closed bolt when viewed through the ejection port.

Jubal Early --

Finding the correct dimensions for the frame was a matter of successive approximation. First I stuffed paper in there and used a graphite pencil to rub the edges. Then transferred that to foam-core. Adjusted the foam-core and transferred to MDF.

The last cut was in 3/8" basswood, which appears to be slightly wider than is correct. A lot of sanding and adjustment, and I finally had a mock frame that the Pachmayr grips fit properly.

Next is scanning or photographing. And it is unfortunately obvious that the grip other people are claiming is correct, is slightly different.

But I might blame Pachmayr. They are rather inconsistent about keeping the same names across different frames. (The different shapes visible here are not an artifact of that. That's an accurate depiction of the cut-out void inside the grip itself).

However, all of this does underline how uncertain my references are. I am sure I can get the final gun to look very close to the screen shots. But I am equally sure that the first prototype is going to involve at least some filing and sanding (and translating corrections back to the original CAD files.)

It's also not cheap. The top part is a slab of aluminium a full inch deep. A nice working size from Online Metals comes out to thirty bucks. So adding the stock for the rest of it, brass tubes and al, over a hundred bucks of metal and hardware. Then add the cost of how many end mills I may be destroying in order to cut that much.

On the other hand, an all-metal PPG is currently selling for over $900. So I think I can probably do this economically enough to be worthwhile.

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