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  1. #1
    Supporting Member frgood's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    Orlando, Florida, United States
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    frgood - Build #1 Continued

    I am copying my tdlr post of my experiences this past couple of weeks

    Wow what a ride this is. I am posting my first 1911 build. it is far from complete build this first phase has been a real eye opener. A lot of fun, but, also, very educational.

    Let us start with the initial core components. I opted for the list below as it would be the most challenging. This first Prototype, as it were, is all about learning. I opted for:
    This has been over the past four months as I order parts and tools as I go.

    Tactical Machining (Daytona, FL) 80% blemished Frame.
    Caspian Slide, Bald purchased from ebay
    KKM Barrel .45
    Kart NM Bushing
    Wilson Custom Bbl Link set

    The Frame cutting utilized Matrix Precision Rail cutter and Decking jig. (Side note: I will do one more 80%, then switched to full Caspian frames).

    1 - Measuring the slide and rail took some time as getting consistent measurements from the calipers turned into an education. I reached out to my Father-in-Law to assist with taking readings as he is a retired engineer. I found getting good accuracy (i.e. consistent and precise) with electronic and dial calipers to be challenging. I still do not fully trust them. I got a set of Pin Gauges to read the inside dimensions. That works out well. I also found the Everglades rail device to be helpful as it uses a micrometer and that is consistent. But what a chore. I read maybe 30 times before I cut once.
    The Rail cutter worked out surprisingly well and I got very consistent cut between the left and right rail. My only real problem is that I continue to get a 'feel' for the blade depth adjustment. this whole 1/4 turn back, 1/2 turn forward is too subjective for my taste. As a result, My final cuts were too deep and got choppy. The final cut is ugly and is a consistent wave.
    The upside was that fitting the slide was not too shabby. I used Everglade's tool which clamps the stone in a nice smooth block. I simply took 10 strokes per side (as the frame was centered) and checked. Within an hour, I found the slide had a very tight ride but could go on halfway. Using 800# lapping compound, It was surprising how few strokes to get the slide fully on. Maybe a dozen , if that.
    Clean up post lapping was a bear as I live in an apartment and I tried using Powder Blast. Sadly, the fumes got the better of me and I was ill for a day. So it was a bucket of diluted Simple Green and a toothbrush. Quite a tedious task. A quick dry in the oven and some oil to protect and the slide glides nicely. Well, Not perfect. The slide did stick in the most rearward position I stoned the front corners but found using a dry marker is the best solution. The marker shows the exact spot to stone and the issue cleared up quickly.

    This is a lot of writing for the first phase. I will follow up with the barrel exploits in the next post. Suffice to say, I thought cutting rails was going to be the challenge. Barrel fitting is amazing(?).


    At first I was confused about fitting the barrel to frame first. So I did a little poking around and understand your process. I will go into detail about what I have done. Mainly, to document the process (lest I forget), and to leave for discussion ways to improve.

    I used the following references;
    AGI (DVD) - Building the Ultimate 1911-Vol. 1
    Kuhnhausen's Shop Manual 3rd Edition
    Mosin Virus YouTube Videos
    ItsgoodSoup YouTube Videos (on what NOT to do).

    1. Barrel Bushing Fit.
    This step took some time as I hand to sand the OD to fit into the slide. I did use a Dremel Sanding drum to hold the bushing and spin on a drill press.
    with small strip of 320, I sanded until the businhg fit tightly to the notch. This required some force insert. I then switched to 600 grit to
    get the final fit. It still requires a little muscle to insert but it can be inserted by hand.
    MISTAKES: The OD is not perfectly round. If I spin the busing in the slide, it is tightest when in the final position But loosens up when rotated.
    Also, this process finds that the sandpaper rounded the edges of the notch as it is not a perfect science. The strips of sandpaper
    were tiny to work with when trying to sand the narrow gap aftre the notch.
    I sanded around the notch by hand with 120, 320, then 600. (talk about sore wrists). This made for a tight bushing that require a bushing wrench.
    I sanded the ID with 320 grit wrapped around a dowel. I found that the KKM barrel is a little wider near the crown. so I friction fit to that.
    Again it does require a little effort to install but, as I found out later, the barrel has room to angle downward when entering and exiting lock.
    2. Barrel Hood to slide.
    A small straight file on the right side of the hood (ejection side) was used to get the barrel fitted. The Barrel Alignment tool was used for every test
    to ensure proper guidance. I also used a permanent marker to make sure I was clear. there is a .002 gap on either side of the hood.
    I was having difficulty measuring the slide distance from the face to the first lug, so I had to forego that check. Instead, I did 10 strokes
    of medium flat file until the barrel locked up. Basically, 10 strokes, get the alignment tool, test, repeat and rinse.
    Once into a tight lock, I used permanent marker to flatten the high points. This got the final lock up moving easily. The lockup depth was .058 so I
    did not check the lockup lugs using clay.
    3. Barrel lower lug cut.
    Locking the barrel into the slide, I used Brownell's lug cutter to cut the feet. Once cut, using pin gauges, I measured the lug hole and the
    Slide stop opening. I also measured the distance from the lug hole to my newly cut lug feet. Taking the measurements
    1/2 lug hole dia. + 1/2 slide stop dia. + lug feet distance, I found the closest barrel link to that size.
    4. From there was the all afternoon task of insert link, test slide stop rotation, remove link, file lug feet (320 stone, 600 stone).
    I found that even after I though I had good movement, when test fitting the slide/barrel, when coming out of lockup the slide really got stuck.
    This took a bit for me to finally realize how much shaping was required of the lug feet to get it right. Basically, I had to ensure the slide stop
    pin swing all the way to the back of the feet (17(?) degrees off vertical). Once that finished (Late Saturday afternoon), the lock up was sweet
    In the end, I'm finding good strong lockup. when chambered there is no motion of the barrel hood and the barrel has no movement in the bushing. Yet
    it cycles quite easily.

    This was really time consuming which isn't too bad. Except, I need a better method for fitting the bushing. spinning on the drill press was too
    inaccurate. Although, I think a couple of custom sanding blocks would help immensely.
    It sounded a lot funnier in my head.

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  3. #2
    Moderator Rick McC.'s Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    Weeki Wachee, FL
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    Excellent, Fred!
    "Sights are for the unenlightened."


    IDPA Certified Safety Officer

  4. #3
    Supporting Member
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    Mar 2014
    Dade City
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    You are to be complimented for even attempting this!! Now you know what Browning went through 100 years ago coming up with the original design!



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