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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:28 am 
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I will tend to be a little stingey with "work in progress" pics..... an old gunsmith a long time ago cautioned me against it because even the very finest custom gun goes through some steps and phases where it can look alarmingly bad. But..... I'
m going to put up some carefully selected ones as I go along on this Colt.

The rails got welded and recut. There is a lot more to this than one would imagine, sometimes including significant work on the slide rails to get them right first. I have recut the rails here and am using all five potential bearing surfaces on each side. Not that I think that is a necessity or giant improvement, but with all that area and given the relative hardness of the weld, this fit will last a good long time. Yes, I would say that in theory it could diminish reliability. In theory. I think in practice it will actually improve it or have no effect either way. We;kk find out in short order as this guy shoots a lot.....
Image

One of my made-from-scratch magwells, pre-hard 4130 steel, TIG'd on. Lots and lots of work to this point, lots and lots more to go.
Image


Shield Driver sight installation under way. Dovetail cut tight: "No Loctite! Anti-sieze compound" tight. Slide in front of it is lowered to give more front surface. Sight is from the same pre-hard 4130. About as crash-proof a setup as can be had short of making the sight from heat treated S-7, TIG welded in. HMMmmmm now......
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:25 am 
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OK Ned, is my geometry so rusty....five bearing surfaces?

Lessee; Top deck, outboard rail, underside of rail, inside of rail slot.......holy cow, you aren't actually using the bottom of the rail slot as a bearing surface, are you?

Now that is impressive.

And when did J decide on a Commander?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:13 am 
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Not J., it's Rob D.

Yes, those five surfaces, for better or worse. I think everything or at least something to gain and nothing to lose...... first time I've done it but I'd be very surprised if it hasn't been done before, like thirty or seventy years ago.

The "inside" vertical surface only bears on the top 50%..... that's where the weld was. I didn't want my welder dude to weld the whole thing shut and solid, so when he wrapped around the bottom of the top rail there just naturally is a certain amount that gets on that surface...... I decided to use it instead of removing it.

I have more time into this slide/frame fit than any other before it..... turned out well though.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:32 am 
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A new level of 1911 OCD.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Ned, I hope you have good health insurance? I mean with all that blood on the rear sight I am sure you will need a transfusion soon. I knew you put blood sweat and tears into your work but oh my I didn't know it was that much. :lol:

Seriously I look forward to seeing more.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:48 pm 
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Hey, I don't mess around when I test stuff around here!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Nedly, I've told you before and now I'm telling you again - you are using the wrong color Dykem. It's called Dykem Blue for a reason... :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:13 pm 
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I thought it was Cherry Twizzler drool from someone who dropped by to see what Ned had been up to. I mean, you know, I was just putting myself in the crime scene, "what would I do/what would happen if I was there...."


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:16 pm 
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This one is over the hump and I'll be really making some progress on it in the coming weeks.

A few pics....... showing FRAG on the top of the Harrison slide stop. I like the swoopiness of these but it makes putting FRAG on there pretty complicated. Had to make a cutter.
Image


Magwell, welded, profiled, rewelded, reprofiled, color-matched, ready for some final blending and stoning. Trigger in the background has been FRAG'd. Lots of work doing that..... cutters, fixtures...... can't just go in the backyard and look under the FRAG tree.
Image....


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Fragtastic!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:50 am 
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Ned Christiansen wrote:
This one is over the hump and I'll be really making some progress on it in the coming weeks.

A few pics....... showing FRAG on the top of the Harrison slide stop. I like the swoopiness of these but it makes putting FRAG on there pretty complicated. Had to make a cutter.
Image


Magwell, welded, profiled, rewelded, reprofiled, color-matched, ready for some final blending and stoning. Trigger in the background has been FRAG'd. Lots of work doing that..... cutters, fixtures...... can't just go in the backyard and look under the FRAG tree.
Image....


I have a close friend who is a "frag freak". He's going to dig this one.

So enjoy progress pics. Tnx Ned

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:19 am 
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So, next thing starting Monday AM. me, some stones, some coffee to dip them in and some mineral spirits to drink. Or whatever :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Very Cool Ned. Love the Frag trigger! Cant wait to see the finished Pics!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:04 pm 
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All machined, ready for stoning.......
Image


Almost there.
Image


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:59 pm 
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Stoning? Stoning?

[more stunned silence.]


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:51 pm 
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It's just how I learned to take machined, irregular surfaces and make them smooth. In the moldmaking trade the apprentices ("apprenti" we were called :lol: ) got most of the polishing work because the journeymen didn't like doing it. Some shops had a polishing department with dedicated polishers, some shops farmed it out to places that did nothing but polish molds. I got pretty good at catching some Z's while polishing molds!

"Polish" is a little bit of a misnomer but that was the term in the trade. Some molds could get by with only a cursory, rough stoning of the surfaces. Depending on the material to be molded and the application of the part, it might need much more-- like a #1 diamond polish. This mirror finish would be imparted to the molded part, but varying degrees of polish (and draft) were also an aid and a necessity for getting the part to come out of the mold.

I didn't mind it even when I became a journeyman, I actually preferred to do my own polishing but it just wasn't always practical. It is a science with a fair dose of art, and the guys that polish a $250K mold aren't dummies. And they are patient, because it can be tedious!

So yep-- I do a lot of handwork with these stones of different types and grits. Not sure it's the most efficient! I look at the work of many other guys, and I know they aren't doing it my way, so I conclude they're doing it some other way that is probably easier, and the end result looks fine. Conclusion #2, maybe I should be doing it their way, but this is what I've been comfortable with over the years.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:14 pm 
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Ned Christiansen wrote:
A few pics....... showing FRAG on the top of the Harrison slide stop. I like the swoopiness of these but it makes putting FRAG on there pretty complicated. Had to make a cutter.
Image


Magwell, welded, profiled, rewelded, reprofiled, color-matched, ready for some final blending and stoning. Trigger in the background has been FRAG'd. Lots of work doing that..... cutters, fixtures...... can't just go in the backyard and look under the FRAG tree.
Image....


Mad skillz at work here! I can't believe what you were able to do with that slide stop!

I've always admired your abilities at both the work bench and the machine tool and stuff like this is why!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:47 am 
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Sweet! I for one always enjoy behind the scenes in the process pics. It really shows what goes on and how much time is put into these.

Ned hope you are a shot so I can finally meet you face to face.


Chris

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:19 pm 
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Ned - Your simply the Da Vinci of all "smiths"!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:43 am 
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Chris, sorry to say I won't be there this year..... takin' a year off. I'll be at the NRA Show in Indy though.....

TJ, thank you..... "Leo" was quite a guy, wasn't he? Would love to get over there and see some of his work.

He did dabble in guns ya know.....
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:14 pm 
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Yes I know....however I am pretty sure that ole Leo would be very impressed with your creativity and workmanship. I hope you one day take the time to cross the pond and see the sights, no pun intended!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:58 am 
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I love the sharing of the in process pics, really opens the eyes and gets the brain going. I have to say, when I see you pros putting these elaborate treatments on the slide stop, trigger, mag release, etc. it raises my level of appreciation even farher.

Quick question, I notice on the mag well you have a few welds on there, versus the entire seam. Is that to reduce heat to the frame? Make it easier to fit grips? Or just because it is all that is needed to hold it on there? Also, do you TIG the inside seam to the frame and finish machine that?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:02 am 
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I'm putting FRAG on the ambi safety today.

Things take soooo long sometimes..... it's actually discouraging at times..... I'll have maybe six or eight hours into the safeties. Time consuming setups, had to make another special tool, and risky procedures. I imagine some folks look at this stuff and think "yeah, they just throw it on a CNC and press the 'FRAG' button"...... sometimes I wish it were so.

But then when it's done, if I can look at it and start scheming on a way to keep it for myself instead of letting the customer have it, I know it was worth it!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:25 pm 
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Ned Christiansen wrote:
This one is over the hump and I'll be really making some progress on it in the coming weeks.

A few pics....... showing FRAG on the top of the Harrison slide stop. I like the swoopiness of these but it makes putting FRAG on there pretty complicated. Had to make a cutter.
Image...


O.M.G. Another HTHDNDT???!!!!



(HTHDNDTH- How The Hell Did Ned DO That???!!!)

I feel sorry for the aliens who come to take Ned- "His brain…it is not like the others. The shapes. The intricacies. So…strange."
:lol: :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:49 pm 
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FRAG'd safeties, the new (ish) Wilson ambi with the split shaft. Nicely made stuff, shaft is split and slot/bladed by wire EDM.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:21 am 
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Ned Christiansen wrote:
FRAG'd safeties, the new (ish) Wilson ambi with the split shaft. Nicely made stuff, shaft is split and slot/bladed by wire EDM.

Image


intricate

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:27 pm 
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Trigger with mid-FRAG. Did a crappy job of getting paint into the cuts, a re-do is in order. Original plunger tube put back in place.... temporarily. Soon it'll be an ESPT.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:26 pm 
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Ned,

I love these post. Seeing the work in progress can only serve to give everyone a better appreciation of what goes into these works of art and why it takes so long. When I read that you put 6 hours into a single small part I can only imagine how much time you spend on the frame and slide rails. Keep em coming, I love it.

Matt


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:42 pm 
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Ned, Hey thanks for a fun post (and many others too). I really enjoy the in process pics and I think it really helps the rest of us understand how much work you all put into these beautiful works of art!
Thanks again!
Quinn


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:01 am 
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I have mentioned this before and will again. Our little retail operation allows us to see some of the best craftsman doing incredible work. I may not own it, but can see, and possess for a few moments as the gun passes through our little retail to its owner.

Thanks again to the folks that contribute their work to this forum.

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