Yeah, more of a grip slash trigger assembly, but I’m labelling the build more by traditional rifle geography than by actual mechanical purpose.
I’m also not doing a step-by-step, day by day build. I more or less did that on the make-it-up-as-I-went-along Scifi Pistol build, and ultimately other than some new toys, the process is largely the same. Here I just have dimensional plans to stick to.
So with the frame done, I worked on the trigger assembly section first, because I was procrastinating on the grip, which looked horrible in terms of symmetrical compound curves to carve freehand.
This is where we left off in the last post…
And now I can fast forward through the boring stick-cut-sand-stick-cut-sand process, with the magic of technology:
There isn’t a whole lot to tell, it’s fairly self explanatory. Having a set of various size files and rasps is invaluable, though the winner at everything ever for all time is the table sander. Not even necessarily the belt sander part on top, since that doesn’t have much of a precision guide on it and results aren’t a whole lot better than a hand held belt sander. Just the disc sander. 1/3HP, 6″, 80 grit. Magical! If you’re yet to splash the cash on a bench sander, I’d recommend ignoring the combos and just going for a separate pair of disc sanders, one small and low powered like mine, and then a bigger 10-12″, 1-1.5HP one.
Oh, and a band saw would be crazy useful, but I don’t have one… yet.
Anyway, the single-sided contact cemented paper was peeled off and I started creating some semblance of an assembly, and it looked rather nice:
At this point I couldn’t really ignore the grip any more, so I started wrapping my head around its geometry. I could scratch the centre line in around it with the calipers, and then from there I added spot measurements and joined them together with the pen.
The first part to do was the heel of the grip, where it has an indent for the heel of your hand. It looks bullet-shaped on the bottom, and then it has a fairly established simple curvature on the face, and then up the back it ‘s convex as it gets ready to morph into the wider grip curves.
Like the rest of this process, it was a combination of careful bench sanding, resin bonded sandpaper and filing. Because the forms were already drawn on as guides, symmetry only really came into it at the very end to finish up.
I added the side scales to bring it out to around 26mm thick. That’s about 4mm short of its actual thickness, but having to use imperial sized materials whilst working in metric occasionally brings some limitations… And I don’t think being a little easier to handle is a bad thing so I’m not rushing out to find 2mm craft foam!
The back side of the grip I did all in one single go, so there are no progress pics there. I think, unless a model is huge, it’s best to do organic shapes in a single session… Kind of a “mindset” thing to do with the visualisation, it’s hard to describe.
The end result was fairly promising, next to the on-screen model. The right angle gap at the heel will be filled with Bondo to form the curve rather than cutting the scales oversized and sculpting them down. That should give me a more defined edge at the bottom, and let me blend it better at the top.
I considered chopping the bottom off and creating a DIY-Pepakura replacement using UV unwraps, but that didn’t work so well.
Next up was the “rear grip”, the section behind the thumb which blends into the stock and meets the mag well.
I like to notate my templates so I don’t have to keep going back upstairs and referencing each part while I’m building.
It came out quite nicely, considering I shaped it entirely separately from the grip without any checking. Only very minor filling should be needed:
Then, once it was all put together, the grip fell off! The contact cement hadn’t cured for some reason and the superglue hadn’t seeped in to grip as much as I’d like- I must need less viscous superglue.
This wasn’t a bad thing though, since I’d previously decided I wanted to remove the grip in order to get at the trigger mechanism area that I’ll have to cut into it, in order to install a switch and spring and all that good stuff. common sense would have indicated that I’d have cut the recess out of the central slab before attaching the scales, but live and learn.
A couple of additions and details and cleanups here and there, and it’s finally ready for Bondo and sanding.
And, adding it back into the original structure gives us this:
Next up, the upper reciever. That’s what I’m calling the middle black bit below the carry rail, encompassing the barrel cooling area and all that good stuff.
Not having easy access to a large format printer = Tetris.
All for now.