CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame

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Thread: CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame

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    Default CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame

    I am launching a build thread to document my fabrication of a 1911 frame using only the tools available to me in my garage. I am taking this on more as a mental challenge than the desire for a handgun. I found a wonderful set of prints for the 1911 created by Rio Benson, Benson Consulting, LLP, ©2010, and used them to create my 3D models in Solidworks. It is legal for me to do this if I build it on my own using only tools I own. I already have a legally registered pistol I will use for parts, and if I succeed I may just chop the fabricated frame up and destroy it. Building your own frame is a contract binding till beyond death--you can't sell it, you can loan it, you cant bequeath it to your kids, you literally have to take it to the grave with you when you die. And if you get stopped with it on your person, supposedly you have to prove you built it yourself according to all the rules stated here. Sounds like a lot trouble, but attempting the build will be a great challenge nonetheless.

    Anyway, I own a table saw, drill press, 3D printer and a little home made CNC router that I use to make mandolins. I have found that if I take off only a little bit of material at a time, about .020", I can shave down a block of 6061 aluminum to most any shape. Oh about materials, since I will probably trash the thing when I am done, I don't want to spring for exotic material such as 7075 aluminum (I know its not that exotic, but I don't have any). I have some 6061 bar and some 01 tool steel in my scrap heap, so I am using that. I will make the frame from the 6061 and the rails from the tool steel. the rail inserts will be pinned and epoxied into place. You'll see. My design methods do not revolve around what is the easiest, or most producible, or even the what makes most sense. I design for what I got laying around the house.

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    Default Re: CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame

    Interesting project. Someone on here just did some very nice grips for a 1911 that turned out amazing. 6061 aluminum is pretty nice stuff and you can do a great deal with it so I think you are good in that area.



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    Default Re: CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame

    OK, to get started. First I wacked off (hmmm) a 6.5" length of 6061 1" X 1.25" bar and mounted my drill guide. The drill guide is made on the 3D printer, which happens to be pretty dad gum accurate, using 1.75" long 1/8" dowel pins to precisely locate it to the bar. I then use a spot drill to just kiss the aluminum bar to mark each hole location.

    CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame-drill-guide-2-png

    CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame-drill-guide-1-jpg

    Whoa, I hear you say. You need more that a 1" X 1.25" bar stock to fab a 1911. I say look at the STI style 2011 gun with a polymer handle and you might begin to get the jist.

    Next drill the holes with a .120" bit (1/8" dowell pins are not 1/8" round, they are .120" so why don't they call them 3/25" dowel pins?) all except a couple that are smaller.
    CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame-drilled-jpg



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    Default Re: CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame

    Several of the holes are for locating dowel pins. For example, below is how the piece will be oriented for the Magwell machining operation.

    CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame-20170129_143028-jpg
    Ya gotta stand on your head for this one


    CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame-20170129_154136-jpg

    The magazine well and the hole for the disconnector need to be machined at an off angle. The disconnector hole is a bit tricky since I am drilling into an angled surface. I use a flat end mill to just kiss the surface and make a little flat area that I can then use a spot drill, then an actual drill to precisely place the hole. If you try to spot or drill in a slanted surface the drill will walk down hill before it bites.

    In the first picture you will notice an Ohm meter. I connect one lead to the work piece and the other to the router body. My meter has a buzzer that lets you know when you have continuity, I use this to zero my mills to the work piece or the locator dowel pins. this is how I can precisely align my machining operation to the part, switch tools and repeat.

    CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame-20170129_163942-jpg

    CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame-20170129_164127-jpg

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame-vise-magwell-jpg  


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    Default Re: CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame

    Load up a quarter inch end mill and let'er rip

    CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame-20170202_232816-jpg

    Does it look like a 1911 yet?

    Last edited by gregmary; 02-03-2017 at 09:03 PM.


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    Default Re: CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame

    your getting there, very cool how the tooling pins are used to create the correct angles for drilling.



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CNC Router machined 1911 pistol frame
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