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Thread: cutting rails in 1911 80% frame

  1. #1
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    Default cutting rails in 1911 80% frame

    hey guys just saw 80% frames for sale for $105. i got a GI surplus parts kit thats been collecting dust and was wondering if there is a low tech way to cut the rails.
    ive heard of using several hack saw blades welded toghether along with a straight edge, and some even say it can be done with a caliper and files.
    i do have access to a drillpress that been modified for use as a mill, but i would need to order the proper bit from the same seller as the frame, and build some sort of jig to hold the frame in place. but the drill press being what it is worries me, id much rather do the job slowly by hand then with a jury rigged mill. since i got the parts at a show for $100 i dont want to go spending huge amount of money on tools im only gunna use once.
    any ideas would be appriciated.
    thanks
    Vasha 91/30

  2. #2
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    Default

    http://www.diyguns.com/product_info.php?products_id=55

    That's as far as I'm going because I don't consider myself competent to build a 1911.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  3. #3
    Clyde's Avatar
    Clyde is offline Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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    Default

    I know damn well I'm not competent to. Besides not having the tools (seriously recommend NOT trying it with a bundle of hacksaw blades or files - get or get access to a milling machine and learn how to use it), been too long since I did any machining. Not that i ever learned enough to build a gun.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    Default

    Milling the rails is the way to go. Check out www.KBCTools.com ,they have the mills to do it at fair prices.Who did you find with a 80% frame ? DIYguns 80% looks a lot like a 60% from the ad.The hard part is drilling frame holes.Does yours have them pre done?If not getting them in the correct relation to each other with the holes even on each side may be the real trick.

  5. #5
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    Default

    DIY has 80% frames too.

  6. #6
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    Default Accuracy is the ONLY way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by irishsteve View Post
    Milling the rails is the way to go. Check out www.KBCTools.com ,they have the mills to do it at fair prices.Who did you find with a 80% frame ? DIYguns 80% looks a lot like a 60% from the ad.The hard part is drilling frame holes.Does yours have them pre done?If not getting them in the correct relation to each other with the holes even on each side may be the real trick.

    You must have the slots cut on a milling machine and done to the closest 0.001". The slots have to be parallel to the frame and located exactly opposite of each other. Slide binding will occurr it not done accurately.

    If the holes are not drilled in the correct location, the internal parts will not work. I have in my shop right now a commercially produced M1911 frame in which one hole was drilled 0.004" off from the correct location and this was the reason the grip safety would permit the hammer to fall when it was not depressed! Major safety concern.

    Bill

  7. #7
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    Default

    yeah, the more i thought about i said i would just get a finished frame, then i saw the only reasonably priced ones i saw were Essex and ive heard some things about them. there also cast steel like most. i really wish i cold get a forged one, but no dice. the more i thought about it, with all the trouble of fitting the parts. i took a look at my parts kit, and i missing some things, and id still need a slide. the fact that the sarco parts kit is kinda a hit or miss deal why should i go through all that trouble and still spend atleast $350. dealer price on a Sarco Rock Island is still $320 that plus transfer feees from my dealer and ill be damn close to the $350 mark of building one, with everything all toghether and working. final tuning and fitting i can do easily, and any small MIM part can be swapped out with GI parts. if i really got picking i could swap the slide too to get rid of the ugly RIA marks.
    so i got GI small parts and grips. spend $350 on the new gun and replace the cheap small parts with my good ones, minus the time and headache of fitting and dealing with crap due to bad tolerances of the sarco slide and parts, and a essex frame. i blast everything, and re-park it, and i got what i want, a bone stock no frills quality GI type 1911 for about the same money with less time and headache.
    why would anyone build a 1911? for the same price as the parts kit, slide, and frame, you could just start with a working gun and upgrade and customize from there. i guess that why there aint alot of people doing it.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2008
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    Default Milling Frame

    I have 2 of the G.I parts kits, all original stuff. from SportsMansGuide. I bought a milling machine and screwed up one frame, the slide slots were a bit too low. My second frame ended up perfect! The holes are a different subject, I will try on my messed up frame first but not today. Sure wish someone had a hole drilling jig available.

  9. #9
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    Default Drill press

    Vasha,
    When you say you have a drill press modified for use as a mill, how was this done? The reason I ask is that one big problem in trying to use a drill press as a mill is the attachment of the drill chuck to the spindle. The drill chuck on a drill press is only held on by friction, no mechanical locking device. The holders on a milling machine are held on by a drawbar or other mechanical lock that can withstand the side load generated by the milling process. If you try to chuck up a milling cutter in a drill chuck, the chuck will come loose at some point while using it. It's not a good situation to have a rotating cutter and chuck coming loose and going where they may choose.
    Just trying to make sure you are staying safe.
    Pat

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