Reach M6G Build

JeffZugale

New Member
I actually got two whole hours to work last night! Amazing.

As planned, I started by gluing the angled side-plate box for the overbarrel onto the barrel block. At first I tried a couple of ways of taping it down to the scrap MDF piece, but that didn't work. I decided to make a jig by sticking some more scrap MDF blocks on with CA glue. That held the angle box in place. Then I slid the barrel block in from the front. Again I tried tape to hold it in place but still not satisfactory. Happily I noticed my 1-2-3 blocks; one of them is plenty heavy enough to hold the block steady. I then squeezed some Titebond 2 down into the gaps, spread it a bit with a toothpick, let gravity pull it in, and set it aside to dry.

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Meanwhile, I turned to the frame and side rails. Clamped them together dry to see how it worked; with this set of frame and rails it's almost exactly the right width, so the rails don't need thickness sanded down. What luck! Got out my ruler and the plans and marked up that assembly for the various cuts, carves and sanding they'll need.

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Time to rout out the underbarrel. Found center, marked the width, set the depth and stop line on the routing table... and realized that since I'd shaped the sides already, I wouldn't be able to rout along the straight lines parallel to centerline, oops. Solution: tape a piece of wood on the side that will hold it parallel. I also used a piece of MDF on the fence (not shown) so I could smoothly skip the big shaper gap.

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Results: MUCH better than last time. A bit of planning and thinking ahead pays off! And while I did all that, the barrel block dried nicely.

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Held together with clamps and hand, by golly it's really starting to look like the thing it's supposed to be!

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Next week: rout out bits on top block and more on underbarrel, glue top block onto barrel block, carve the side rails. Maybe get some work on the back part of the barrel block where it tapers inward.
 

Dirtdives

Division Scheduler and Keeper of Con Lists
Division Staff
Community Staff
I feel like this is an episode of "This Old HALO House" hosted by Bob Villa. Love it!!! FANTASTIC workmanship. Are you planing on any special effects? Lights/sound?
 

JeffZugale

New Member
Thx Dirtdives! No FX on this one, it's pretty much gonna be a solid object. In the future I plan to build one that's designed for more fun stuff like that.

Got in some bonus shop time this weekend! First I marked and drilled end holes for the side slots on the underbarrel. Then I drilled the larger 3/8" holes at the front end of the slots, as well as the one on the front which I'd already marked for center. Tested with dowels for fit and they look good. The ones on the side won't stick out anywhere near that far.

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That gave me an idea for how to better glue on the top block - dowel pins! Marked a line, drilled some holes, stuck in some 3/16" dowels, and voila, a well-placed top block. Not glued down yet, still need to rout it out.

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I tried to drill out a 1/2" hole for the overbarrel targeting tube, but unfortunately the bit wandered some and it's off center. Next session I'll have to fix that, after I true up the outer sides of the block and rout out the front bit. I'll just glue in a piece of 1/2" dowel and fill any gaps with PlasticWood. Instead of drilling in such a large hole I'll likely make a 1/8" hole in both block and dowel and use a steel IKEA shelf support pin as connecting support. More to come...
 

JeffZugale

New Member
Thursday shop night, Friday post pix!

First thing to do: fill the very poorly-drilled top block hole. There it is in its ugly glory! A glob of Titebond II goes in. I got a pack of 1/2" dowel pins from the Home Depot near work and just stuck one in there. Good to go, set it aside and keep going.

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On to the router table; the underbarrel's top slot needed to be another 1/16" deeper. Again because of the angled sides, I needed to stick on a piece of scrap to make the cuts parallel to centerline rather than sides. Then, the side slots needed their deeper slots cut. That was tricky, one side isn't that great. Still a router n00b. Last two shots are before and after.

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OK that'll work. Next the top block needs some work to angle the sides properly. Here's where we learn that I'm getting impatient to get this thing done, because I did a pretty sloppy job of it. None of it is straight anymore... Ah well, that's why we have Bondo. :\

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Back to the underbarrel, there are notches on top and bottom at the front, so marked 'em up and routed. Bottom one's not great, but again, Plastic Wood will fix it.

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And now to put in the round parts on side and front. 3/8" dowels with 1/4" holes carefully drilled into them. Not shown: Plastic Wood-ed the side slots to fill the drill holes at their aft ends.

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Finally, the glue's now dry on the top block, so I sawed off the big dowel and Plastic Wooded the gaps. Here's another look at where we're at!

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Not enough time to carve the side rails, so that will wait for next week. That might take the whole session; if not I'll get started on the back part of the overbarrel. Stay tuned!
 

JeffZugale

New Member
A lot lighter than a steel version would be! :D So far it's quite light, total weight not much more than 1 lb (0.6 kg). The muzzle block is balsa, it's barely there.
 

JeffZugale

New Member
More bonus time this weekend! Our kids were sheer terrors the whole weekend, so I needed some shop therapy. Let's carve those dang side rails already!

This is plywood, so it's not going to behave like a solid block. I decided to use my razor saw to cut a bunch of notches perpendicular along the part that's being removed; cutting them to marked lines on top and side means they go in with the bottom of the notch pretty much at the correct depth and angle. Then I use the saw to cut from one notch to the next, again using the marked lines to guide the cut. I made all the notches instead of making it all one cut because my cuts tend to wander. Having it in sections lets me re-orient the saw and get a more accurate overall cut. (If that damn combo saw hadn't been crap it would have made this faster.)

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Now I've got a rough cut, time to clean it up. Here's a trick: I have this angle sanding block I made from a chunk o' 2x4, one side at 30 degrees, the other at 45. The vise jaws are flat across the top, so if I clamp the piece in with lines parallel to it, I can flip over the block and sand exactly at the marked angle using the vise top as leveling guide. Works very well, more control than doing it on the belt/disc sander. I used it for both the large carve-out (30 deg) and the 45 deg beveled edges. As you can see, a couple of my cuts went too deep, so once again I'm saved by Plastic Wood.

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A bit of shaping on the disc sander, and what the hey, let's glue it together! A bit of Titebond, wipe off the squeezeout and flip her over to dry vertically on a flat surface.

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There it will rest until Thursday night. With a little more time left, I went back to the top block, whose repair plug was well-dried and solid. I very very carefully re-measured center (you can see how far off the 1/2" hole went) and equally carefully used a very sharp needle point and then a center punch to perfectly mark the drill point.

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I carefully made sure the piece was vertical, loaded up a 3/16" bit, and centered my power drill right on the bubble. Gently I started drillling, and...

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**SIIIGGGHHHH**... yeah, turns out that 3/16 drill bit is pretty much dull. I should have used the 1/8". Well, bleh. I'm not defeated yet, I can still make it work. Next time I need to be really precise I'll take the time to pull out the drill press!!!

Thursday: rout out the front of the top block, start on the back piece for it, figure out how to flatten the slide base, and maybe even start cutting the handgrips.
 

seeker01

New Member
that is a labor of love my friend...
if you can proceduralize your build I know a bunch of kids in our street (including mine) would love to have dads (that would be me) make them a few of these ;-)
looking really nice
 

JeffZugale

New Member
Thanks seeker! Unfortunately I didn't work last night, I was too wiped out from my day job. Hope to get a little time in this weekend.
 

JeffZugale

New Member
FINALLY I get back into the shop for a bit! Sorry I've been away, last couple weeks have been super-busy. OK here's the work:

First, routed out the front of the overbarrel. Took my time, still made mistakes. The red square is the area where the round part *should* sit properly; you can see how far off center the hole and pin are. So then I super-carefully measured where that off-center pin would go into the cylinder, super-carefully marked it up... and of course it messed up anyway. So I hacked out the drill hole until it sat where it's supposed to and just glued and clamped it. Sometimes it doesn't matter how careful one is, and one must just forge on ahead in crude but effective ways.

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Y'know what? I've been away from this for so long, I've gotten impatient. Let's just GLUE THE DANG THING TOGETHER.

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Hope it works out... I'm gonna be learning a lot about Bondo, for sure. Next session, gluing on the overbarrel and getting started on some grips!
 

JeffZugale

New Member
OOoooookay, hey sorry it's been a while! I have been doing some work, but haven't been able to make time to post. Here we go...

We last left our hero with clamps on, gluing the barrel block to the frame. That worked out fine! I then glued on the top of the overbarrel, but failed to take pictures of that. The first shot below is what that looked like. Not much time to work, so I quickly measured and marked 1/8" plywood for the rear sides and top of the overbarrel, then cut and glued them on using blue tape to hold them.

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Allowed that to dry, then glued some MDF chunks to form the transitional corners. Once they were on solidly, I sanded them down to shape.

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Here's side views, with the piece sitting on my iPad Pro and with my square so you can get a sense of scale. This is a very large pistol even scaled down to .40 cal!

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That was last week. This week, I fortunately happened to review the reference shots and realized there's a large rout out of the bottom of the underbarrel piece, so I got that sorted. You can see in the shot it's all carved out and I Plastic-Wood-ed some mistakes. Then I did a test fit, and realized that when I glued on the top of the overbarrel I'd overtightened the clamps and compressed the muzzle block a bit, which made the underbarrel not touch the frame. I cut a basswood shim and glued that into the slot - I don't want to glue the underbarrel to the balsa muzzle block at all, only to the frame for a solid bond. Also on test fit there was a gap at the back of the underbarrel where it meets the handguard, so I glued on a small block of scrap pine to help fill that out. I left these pieces to dry until next session.

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FINALLY I can start on the grips! This is as far as I got, just marking out the left side on a piece of 1/4" MDF. I'll super-glue an identical piece under that and then I'll cut both out at the same time with my coping saw.

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Mostly downhill from here, I think. I hope. :)
 

Dirtdives

Division Scheduler and Keeper of Con Lists
Division Staff
Community Staff
Wow, despite the lag in update, the workmanship......CRAFTSMANSHIP....is fantastic!!! You have such talent......I hate you........teach me please.......
 

JeffZugale

New Member
Eh, don't let the images fool you, it's sloppier than it shows. There's going to be a LOT of filling, scraping and sanding.

Best advice I can give is get good reference (easy in this case), draw out your plans as carefully as you can, and TAKE YOUR TIME.

Also, don't take it too seriously! It's just a space gun. :)
 

Dirtdives

Division Scheduler and Keeper of Con Lists
Division Staff
Community Staff
awww darn it......You just burst my bubble.......now I bet you're gona tell me the Easter Bunny isn't real!!!!
 

JeffZugale

New Member
Thanks again all - last week got busy with family stuff, wasn't able to make progress. I hope to be back in the shop this Thursday for more.

Of course, at work I started building an M6C SOCOM, so... yeah, I might have a problem. :)
 

JeffZugale

New Member
Thanks Huntress! Sadly, no progress last night because I got behind on other stuff this week because my kids don't like to sleep. I hope to get back in the shop on Sunday for a while.
 

JeffZugale

New Member
Hooray! back in the shop for regular Thursday night therapy!

Coping saw to cut out the left side grip I traced last time, then cleaned up on disc sander and with rasp, file, sanding block. First test fit: meh. Set up the Dremel table with a sanding drum for the fine shaping. Much better fit!

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Traced the left grip onto another bit of MDF, coping sawed out, fits very nicely. Got to use the round-off router bit for the first time, look at those nice clean edges.

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A bit of double-stick tape makes for a test-assembly. I think it's looking snazzy!

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Next time: the bottom block of the magazine, maybe some drilling for all the little screw holes. I want to checker the grips, but that should wait until after it's properly shaped for my hand. It's too flat and thick to hold comfortably.
 

JeffZugale

New Member
I've learned that there are actually dedicated special tools made for grip-checkering! Who knew?

I dunno as I'll be buying them, though. I might see if a friend with a laser or home CNC can help.
 
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