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Author Topic: Chamber fluting jig complete (pics)
FMJBT
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posted August 07, 2004 00:43      Profile for FMJBT   Email FMJBT   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, here it is. I still have to cut the chamber on the Mauser barrel to the correct depth before cutting the flutes. A few trial passes down an old FAL barrel looked promising, but it will be a time consuming process.






Mike

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MisterJG
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posted August 07, 2004 01:10      Profile for MisterJG   Email MisterJG   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Looks good. Nice welds. How do you plan on indexing the the flutes in the barrel? What are you using as a cutter (carbide)? Very smart jig design.

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FMJBT
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posted August 07, 2004 04:23      Profile for FMJBT   Email FMJBT   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The cutter is just a standard triangle profile needle file, anything with a more aggresive cutting surface would probably get hung up on the bottleneck area of the chamber. Indexing will be done manually until I find a better way to do it. I'd really like to have an indexing head mounted to it, but for now I'll have to mark the barrel exterior every 30 degrees, and line those marks up with an index mark on the jig before cutting. I should be able to start on the stainless barrel in the pictures sometine within the next few weeks. The only chamber reamer I have for 308 is a pull through type that needs to be inserted into a working action to cut properly. I may end up putting the barrel on my mauser just to cut the chamber.

Mike

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Vulcan Raven
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posted August 07, 2004 14:22      Profile for Vulcan Raven   Email Vulcan Raven   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Very cool design. Keep us posted on how it works out.

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FMJBT
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posted August 11, 2004 02:40      Profile for FMJBT   Email FMJBT   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I sat down and tried to flute an old FAL barrel tonight. Everything works the way it's supposed to, with the exception of the file. It's just not digging in enough. I get a perfectly straight scratch down the length of the chamber, and thats it. Looks like I'll have to find something else to use as a cutter. Probably a long rod with some kind of hardened cutter welded to the end of it, like a sharpened tool steel bit, or a section of hacksaw blade maybe. A freind of mine suggested using a dremel with a small burr attachment, but I don't think they make one long enough to flute all the way into the chamber. Any ideas?


Mike

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"Crush your enemies! See them flee before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!"

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Rustybolt
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posted August 11, 2004 11:31      Profile for Rustybolt   Email Rustybolt   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
See if you can find a coarse diamond file. That thing looks great! Put an eccebtric with a crank and a motor and go to town! And Yeah. Nice welding.
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derf
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posted August 11, 2004 12:18      Profile for derf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Try a spring loaded broach guide. I'll try to find some pics. I remember a similar setup used to make something with an Atlas lathe.
Cheers,
Derf

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FMJBTHP
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posted May 09, 2006 21:40      Profile for FMJBTHP     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Got side tracked on this one for a while, like a few years actually..... Anyway, had a friend of mine turn down the Mauser barrel on the lathe to fit into the HK trunion:

The fitup was almost perfect, but as a slip fit instead of a press fit. After a bit of knurling it should press in pretty tight now. The step at the back of the barrel is so I have something to press against when installing it in the trunion.
The chamber is cut a little short, but so is the chamber on the parts kit I'm using. The parts kit is short by .010", this barrel is short by about.007" . I extended the throat area of the chamber by .080" so that the flutes will extend past the case neck. The Manson throating reamer I ordered from Midway was not the right profile for doing this, so I improvised and ended up using an 11/32" cobalt drill bit centered through an empty 308 case. Using a tap wrench to turn the bit, it was actually pretty easy to do. I thought for sure I'd F@$! it up [050] Afterwards I used the Manson reamer to lightly clean up the edges of the throat and rifling lands. Now all that is left to do is file in the chamber flutes. I'll start on that tonight, but due to the slow nature of this process it may be a week or more before I have a finished chamber.

Mike

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derf
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posted May 10, 2006 00:49      Profile for derf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe you could try making a thing that would cut two flutes at the same time. You could start with an adjustable reamer. Grind two of the reamer cutters so that they will cut in a push-pull motion. Adjust the reamer, insert it a few times, adjust, insert, etc. You might be able to get 1-2 thous of cut with each pass. But, cutting two at a time will speed things up. Also, cutting two at a time would make the tool apply pressure in opposite directions simultaneously.

An EDM is the real way to do that sort of cut but not practical for just a few barrels.

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Turkish: "Protection from what, ze Germans?"


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derf
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posted May 10, 2006 00:55      Profile for derf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here are a couple of pics for clarification:

The HF 11 piece set is $60.

The first pic shows a cutaway. If you are not familiar with them they may seem weird. There are two collars and about 6 cutters. You loosen one collar and tighten the other and the cutters move along an angled area to make the tool cut a larger or smaller hole. You could take out all but two opposing cutters, grind the cutters with a cutting perpendicular cutting face and force it in and out to make the two cuts. HTH. LMK if this is helpful.
Enco, www.use-enco.com is also a good source for cutting tools of many types.

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Turkish: "What's that for?"
Tommy: "Protection."
Turkish: "Protection from what, ze Germans?"


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FMJBTHP
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posted May 10, 2006 03:25      Profile for FMJBTHP     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, the round needle file works awesome. It takes about 20 minutes per flute, I have 4 of them done so far. They look much better in person than in these pics. It's pretty hard to get a good focus on the inside of a chamber.

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Vulcan Raven
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posted May 10, 2006 12:09      Profile for Vulcan Raven   Email Vulcan Raven   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Looks good so far. I'm curious how you deal with the problem of the internal shoulder of the chamber. Have you shaped the end of the file to ride over this shoulder, so it rides along the case neck area? Or is that what the tensioner spring is for?

Looking at the fixture, it would appear that the tensioner spring keeps just enough pressure to actually make a cut...but it is still loose enough that it allows the file to ride over the shoulder, while still maintaining a cut.

If you absoloutely had to be precise, and make a cut at every 30 degrees...it could be done using a rotary table with a dividing head. I don't know that it would really matter that much if you weren't dead on....as long as the flutes are deep enough, and they are all the way around the internal circumference of the chamber.

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FMJBTHP
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posted May 10, 2006 19:07      Profile for FMJBTHP     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You're right, the spring puts on just enough pressure to make the cut, while allowing it to ride up the shoulder area. It seems to cut a bit deeper there because of the extra pressure, so the flutes gradually taper off as they get closer to the breach end of the chamber. As far as keeping with the precise depth of the standard HK flutes, that's pretty much gone out the window with this setup. They seem to be a little deep at the throat/neck area, and a little shallow in the chamber wall area. I'm not sure how this will effect function or accuracy yet. I think the most critical aspect of the fluted chamber design is that the flutes must extend past the edge of the case in the neck area to provide an egress route for gas to push out the spent case. My chamber has this feature, so it should work.....

For indexing, I've gone the simple route and have glued a cardbord circle indexed every 30 degrees to a 1" scope ring. The scope ring gets clamped to the barrel, and then the marks on the cardboard wheel get lined up with a straight edge along the side of the cutting jig. So far this is working really well, I have 7 flutes cut now and 1 and 7 appear to be exactly 180 degrees apart. I've discovered that the first few file strokes are critical to making it cut in a straight line. The first cuts have to be made very slowly and deliberately making sure not to flex the file to either side. There is a slight amount of play in the cutting jig that allows maybe 1/32" of side play at the file tip. Adjusting the play out makes the slde very difficult to move. Once a straight cut has been established though, you can go to town on itand cut very aggresively. I've been timing each cut at about 20 minutes, stopping every 5 minutes to inspect progress and clear filings from the chamber. I should have the chamber completely cut by tonight. All I need now is to source out the rest of the parts I'll need and schedule some time off so I can go to my friends house out of state to complete the build, either that or install a fixed mag to make it Kalifornia legal..... [whatever]

Mike

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Vulcan Raven
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posted May 10, 2006 19:56      Profile for Vulcan Raven   Email Vulcan Raven   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I kinda figured the file would want to cut a little deeper on the shoulder.

Before I knew about doing it with EDM, and Murray Urbach....I had made calls to all kinds of machine companies, trying to figure out how to do it.

Broaching appears to be the way to go....but again, problems arise, because the workpiece is not straight, nor straight tapered....that shoulder causes a nightmare.

The flutes do not have to extend all the way back to the rim of the chamber, as you already surmised. They can gradually diminish at the breech end. In fact, I think this is probably important that they do. Otherwise, the layer of gas would simply 'blow by' the case head, and the shell would fail to extract correctly.

And, as you stated, the flutes have to extend into the throat of the chamber (but not so far as to extend into the leading edges of the lands or grooves of the rifling!)

This is a very difficult balance to acheive.....and I'd be most interested to see it done with a needle file, and not 50 thousand dollar EDM equipment.

What would REALLY kick ass at this operation would be if you made a tool that was the exact dimension and shape of the chamber....just like a seven sixer two casing.

Mounted in this tool, at 30 degree angles, would be longitudinal broaches....adjustable for depth by turning a setscrew in the case mouth. This screw would operate all 12 broaches at the same time, kinda like a chuck on a drill or a lathe, only, instead of tightening against each other, you are driving them outward.

In other words, you would begin by having the broaches fully retracted. Then, after each cut, you would turn the setscrew, and adjust it to take a little more material on the next pass.

I don't know how the actual broaching could be done. I guess by lightly tapping the rear end of the tool with a small hammer....kinda like cutting with a chisel. Only, this is 12 small chisels cutting at one time. Anyhow, that was a thought I had at one time, on a non-EDM way to do the operation.

It would require a skilled machinist and designer to make such a tool, with access to both a mill and a lathe. And making a 12 jaw broach mechanism with adjustable depth would certainly prove challenging.

But hey, I saw the pics of that needle file jig, and I gotta tell you....that was a damn good design. If you can come up with something like that, you might be able to also figure out a way to make the broach I mentioned.

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derf
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posted May 10, 2006 20:19      Profile for derf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You could also oversize the chamber and insert a mandrel and hammer forge the fluted chamber. I imagine that HK barrels chambers are fluted during the hammer forging process anyway, right?

I used to have a video of a machine making an HK barrel. I wonder what happened to it.

--------------------

Turkish: "What's that for?"
Tommy: "Protection."
Turkish: "Protection from what, ze Germans?"


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FMJBTHP
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posted May 10, 2006 20:37      Profile for FMJBTHP     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought about a lot of alternatives to EDM once I decided that I din't feel like shelling out the money to have it done. Most of these centered around trying to broach the flutes, but as you noted the chamber neck makes this very difficult to do. Your idea for a 7.62 shaped broaching tool is one I hadn't thought of. It seems like it could work, but I think it would still have to be spring loaded somehow to let the cutters follow up the bottleneck of the chamber. The tapered shape of the chaber makes it really difficult to broach when the tool is being inserted in a straight line parralel to the bore.

Another idea I had was to cut them by electrolosis. The theory is a lot like a lead acid battery in a car. When you have two dissimilar metals suspended in a conductive liquid and pass a DC current through them, electrons will flow from one metal to another. If you had a rubber plug the same shape as a 308/7.62 chamber, and cut longitudinal lines down it's length, it could be used to isolate the areas you want fluted. A brass or copper rod could be run through the center of the plug, and then the voids left in the plug from the longitudinal lines cut in it could be filled with salt water or some other conductive liquid. Attach leads to the barrel and the brass rod and put on the juice. In theory, the metal from the barrel should slowly erode and begin plating the brass rod, depending on polarity. If the polarity is wrong, you would be building up ridges of brass instead of flutes. Having the rubber plug seal tightly to the chamber walls would be critical in making sure the chamber walls dont erode also.

Yet another option would be to coat the inside of the chamber with wax, ensuring the bore is sealed off from the chamber. Scribe lines through the wax coating down the length of the chamber walls where you want the flutes, and then fill up the chamber with acid to etch them out.

In the end, I decided on filing them in due to the increased control over the operation. I have a tendancy to screw things up. Badly. It took me a long time to realize this, but now that I have, I normally only let myself do stuff like this in the slowest and most controlled manner possible [050]

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FMJBTHP
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posted May 10, 2006 20:45      Profile for FMJBTHP     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by derf:
You could also oversize the chamber and insert a mandrel and hammer forge the fluted chamber. I imagine that HK barrels chambers are fluted during the hammer forging process anyway, right?

I used to have a video of a machine making an HK barrel. I wonder what happened to it.



It would make sense for them to do it as part of the hammer forging process. From a production standpoint that would definitely be the way to go. At some point during the prototype phase of the HK's developement, someone had to have fluted a chamber, or several by hand before settling on a final design to be forged in. I wonder how they did it? I would love to be able to pick the brains of the HK-91's designers for a few hours.

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Vulcan Raven
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posted May 10, 2006 21:36      Profile for Vulcan Raven   Email Vulcan Raven   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by FMJBTHP:
I thought about a lot of alternatives to EDM once I decided that I din't feel like shelling out the money to have it done. Most of these centered around trying to broach the flutes, but as you noted the chamber neck makes this very difficult to do. Your idea for a 7.62 shaped broaching tool is one I hadn't thought of. It seems like it could work, but I think it would still have to be spring loaded somehow to let the cutters follow up the bottleneck of the chamber. The tapered shape of the chaber makes it really difficult to broach when the tool is being inserted in a straight line parralel to the bore.


Yep, I still think that bottleneck would pose problems in broaching. If that obstacle could be dealt with...I know the rest of the idea is definitely feasible, and not cost prohibitive.

Another idea I had was to cut them by electrolosis. The theory is a lot like a lead acid battery in a car. When you have two dissimilar metals suspended in a conductive liquid and pass a DC current through them, electrons will flow from one metal to another. If you had a rubber plug the same shape as a 308/7.62 chamber, and cut longitudinal lines down it's length, it could be used to isolate the areas you want fluted. A brass or copper rod could be run through the center of the plug, and then the voids left in the plug from the longitudinal lines cut in it could be filled with salt water or some other conductive liquid. Attach leads to the barrel and the brass rod and put on the juice. In theory, the metal from the barrel should slowly erode and begin plating the brass rod, depending on polarity. If the polarity is wrong, you would be building up ridges of brass instead of flutes. Having the rubber plug seal tightly to the chamber walls would be critical in making sure the chamber walls dont erode also.

That's kinda how EDM works, by electrical erosion of the material. I think doing it with acids used as an electrolyte would also pose problems, such as removing material where you don't want to, not to mention setting up early stages of corrosion, something you do not want to do in a chamber, or any part of the barrel, for that matter.

Now, if you could find an electrode made from carbon, in the form of .030" diameter wire....now you're getting there. Still, you have to have the means of generating the electricity to run through the electrode, to do the actual burning.

Observing 'arc burn' of material while welding....I would say that current would have to be DC straight polarity (which means the electrode is negative, and the workpiece is positive) as this gives the best penetration into material, while maintaining a cool electrode....being that 70% of the heat is in the workpiece on DC- polarity.

I would also guesstimate that current would also have to be superimposed with high frequency (set for continuous, like a TIG for welding aluminum)

And finally. I would also surmise that your electrode would require a minute amount of 'standoff' from the workpiece, to establish the gap necessary for the 'arc spark' to do the actual cutting. This would require some sort of non-conductive material, shaped like a shell casing, with longitudinal grooves cut in it that were the same diameter of the wire, but twice that depth, to make the standoff.

This is all in theory, of course....but maybe it will prove useful.


Yet another option would be to coat the inside of the chamber with wax, ensuring the bore is sealed off from the chamber. Scribe lines through the wax coating down the length of the chamber walls where you want the flutes, and then fill up the chamber with acid to etch them out.

Again, I beleive the acid will not simply follow those lines, unfortunately. I think it would etch through the lines, and because metal is porous, it would find its way into other areas, especially if heat or current (particularly current) are used.


In the end, I decided on filing them in due to the increased control over the operation. I have a tendancy to screw things up. Badly. It took me a long time to realize this, but now that I have, I normally only let myself do stuff like this in the slowest and most controlled manner possible [050]


Sounds about like me! [050] [spin]

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FMJBTHP
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posted May 10, 2006 23:01      Profile for FMJBTHP     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Doing a lot of TIG work myself, I thought about the possibility of using a process similar to that also. Again, the potential for me to totally FUBAR the entire project was just to great, but I still think the idea has merit

I think the acid etching holds the most promise for the do-it-yourselfer type of rifle builder, after filing of course. I've seen custom knife makers do some really intricate and detailed designs on blades using acid etching. I think they must use a special wax that has really good adhesion characteristics to prevent the acid from etching under it. The wax method could probably be used for electrolosis as well, instead of the rubber plug. I used to experiment with an old battery charger when I was a kid. I'd plug the leads from it into a brass and an aluminum rod, and then suspend those in a jar of salt water. I think the output on that charger was only about 8 to 12 volts, not enough to even feel. The aluminum rod would start to bubble after current was applied, and within an hour would lose about 1/16" off of it's outer diameter. The brass rod would gain about an equal amount of black crud on the outside, leftovers from the aluminum rod. The cool thing about this was how even the erosion was on the aluminum rod, it looked like it had been turned in a lathe and then sand blasted, the diameter was very consistant but the finish was somewhat rough. If you could get it to work in a similar fashion inside the chamber of a rifle, it might be a worthwhile alternative.

As for filing, I just finished up the last flute, and it looks F-ing awesome. The spacing came out perfect, at least as far as my eye can tell. Comparing the FMP parts kit barrel and the one I just fluted, they look really close. I'm positive these will work. If this rifle fails to function when completed, it won't be because of the flutes (Of course, with all of the things left that I can F up before this thing is done, I'm not making any promises that it will function or even fire at all [050] ). I tried taking more pics of the finished product, but it's damn near impossible to get enough light inside the chamber while pointing a camera at it too. I'll keep trying until I get some better shots.

Mike

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rommel_1891
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posted May 10, 2006 23:55      Profile for rommel_1891   Email rommel_1891   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Your jig reflects some good craftsmanship. I'd like to see it in action.

I am curious though, if there are broaches available for making the cuts for the fluting.


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FMJBTHP
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posted May 11, 2006 00:03      Profile for FMJBTHP     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rommel_1891:
Your jig reflects some good craftsmanship. I'd like to see it in action.

I am curious though, if there are broaches available for making the cuts for the fluting.


The action part is pretty dull really. Figure 20 minutes per flute, roughly 1 stroke per second = about 1200 strokes per flute. It's more like a Snickers commercial: "Not going anywhere for a while, grab a Snickers." My arm hasn't been this tired since my teenage years and the discovery of Playboy magazine....

I'm sure there are broaching tools available, probably just not to the general public, and not cheaply. If I remember correctly, the JLD barrels are button rifled, so the flutes are probably not hammer forged in like the HK versions probably are. My guess is that they are broached somehow.

Mike

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FMJBTHP
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posted May 11, 2006 01:37      Profile for FMJBTHP     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another crappy picture:

I guess photography isn't my thing. Either that or the chamber of a 308 is about the hardest thing in the world (Or at least my house) to take a picture of.

Mike

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Vulcan Raven
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posted May 11, 2006 11:50      Profile for Vulcan Raven   Email Vulcan Raven   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From what I can see in the picture, it looks like the flutes are about right. They diminish toward the case head, as they are supposed to. They appear to be the right profile and depth, too.

I'm surprised you didn't rig some kind of small motor with a cam and push rod, to do the movement of the file. I guess it's probably better to have full control of the cut by doing it manually, though.

LMAO @ snickers commercial and the playboy magazine comments. Too funny, dude.

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FMJBTHP
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posted May 11, 2006 23:00      Profile for FMJBTHP     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Now that I know it works, I might set up a motor drive for it as well as a better indexing method. In hind sight, I think a triangle profile diamond file would have been a better choice, as it would have cut deeper and thinner flutes. This would mean more chamber wall surface area to support the case. I'm thinking with the flutes I have now, I might experience some case deformation (More than a standard HK) I'm not sure how or if this will affect accuracy. I should be able to finish the rifle and test fire it within the next 6 months or so. Pending a successful test fire, I will be drawing up plans of the jig for general release to whoever wants to build one. I'm also going to try to find a junk 308 barrel to flute so I can section it and take a better look at how well this cuts, and what improvements/changes could be made. At this point I'm pretty confident that this is a viable and cost effective alternative to EDM.

Mike

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harlikwin
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posted May 11, 2006 23:19      Profile for harlikwin   Email harlikwin   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So do the barrels actually work? Have you tried to shoot one?
Posts: 78 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

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