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  #1  
Old 12-09-2012, 5:25 PM
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Default Just bought a drill press for 80% AR lowers. What else do I need?

This is what I bought: http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-1...p-00921914000P

I don't know how to use it but I'm sure I can figure it out. I know I'll need a Dremel tooland jigs but what other suggestions do you experienced guys have for my setup. *ASSUMING MILLS NO LONGER EXIST ON THIS PLANET AND CANNOT BE MADE AGAIN*
It's only for 80% AR's.
Also, Ares is the only retailer that seems to have any 80%'s in stock.
I was told I should get a 5/8" cobalt (vs. steel or titanium) bit for metal work.

Last edited by RudyCakes; 12-09-2012 at 6:03 PM.. Reason: FML
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2012, 5:31 PM
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word of advice

I think its best if you get the 80's milled and not drill pressed. Your going to have problems with the bits walking out on you and wont like the end results. Drill pressing the lower is going make rough gouges and spots and wont be neat overall nasty looking. Youtube some vids to see what your getting yourself into before starting and judge for yourself.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2012, 5:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cpl_dan View Post
word of advice

I think its best if you get the 80's milled and not drill pressed. Your going to have problems with the bits walking out on you and wont like the end results. Drill pressing the lower is going make rough gouges and spots and wont be neat overall nasty looking. Youtube some vids to see what your getting yourself into before starting and judge for yourself.
Thanks, I did check some out and saw some garbage lowers but I definitely plan on doing some clean up with the dremel. Plus, its quite a bit more money for those. To me, it just doesn't justify the expense for the extra polishing effort. You're probably right but I'm pretty used to learning the hard way.
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Old 12-09-2012, 5:39 PM
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My thoughts exactly. I was even going to get me a mill and try and do it myself... the whole stealth DIY thing even wrote out a list to try and justify the cost.... hence I should be getting my appointment soon with one of the milling guys on the board who I have heard does a great job at showing you how to do it with his cnc machine. Now the money I would have spent can go into getting me an upper, internals and stock, magazines, custom paint job... oh and a little left over to afford to have my wife and kids go in and make theirs as well. Just my thoughts on it brother.... as I have spent some time trying to decide what to do.
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2012, 5:44 PM
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My thoughts exactly. I was even going to get me a mill and try and do it myself... the whole stealth DIY thing even wrote out a list to try and justify the cost.... hence I should be getting my appointment soon with one of the milling guys on the board who I have heard does a great job at showing you how to do it with his cnc machine. Now the money I would have spent can go into getting me an upper, internals and stock, magazines, custom paint job... oh and a little left over to afford to have my wife and kids go in and make theirs as well. Just my thoughts on it brother.... as I have spent some time trying to decide what to do.
Thanks. I understand that the drill press route won't be ideal but I'm up for the challenge and don't mind tinkering.
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Old 12-09-2012, 5:51 PM
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You can plunge with a drill press using end mills, just don't try to side load the chuck. You really need a mill to do it right.
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2012, 6:02 PM
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Alright, I was hoping it wouldn't have to come to this but I will rephrase the thread to include *ASSUMING MILLS NO LONGER EXIST ON THIS PLANET AND CANNOT BE MADE AGAIN*
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Old 12-09-2012, 6:14 PM
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Looks like nobody wants to answer your question. I wont start. You should return the press and buy this....

http://littlemachineshop.com/product...ory=1387807683

I was set on a drill press myself cuz im cheap. Then decided to get the above knowing ill be much more satisfied with the end result after seeing what a pressed lower looks like...
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2012, 6:20 PM
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I can only say that it's very clear that you want to learn the hard way. With that said, go for it you don't need any advise.
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Old 12-09-2012, 6:21 PM
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Why not save all this cash and spend 60.00 and hit a build party and have it done right with like minded people.. it can be a fun experience
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2012, 6:47 PM
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Maybe buy a dipper EDM machine if mills do not exist and never can be made again. Then use a file or something to shape your electrodes.
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Old 12-09-2012, 6:47 PM
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or craiglist for a cheap mill.. but thats not what hes asking.... so try geting a jig with the trigger group plate jig then get a X axis and y axis vice. drill the trigger holes first with drill bits (to the correct depth) then buy a end mill bit and plunge the rest on the aluminum. its gonna look like crap but like you said finish it up with a dremel. you also have the option to go to a build party. but its just alot more fun taking your time and making mistakes and fixing them.. 80% building is not becasue its cheaper but because the fun of making your own firearm..... the first one i milled i messed up and was not repairable but you learn from your mistakes
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2012, 7:07 PM
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Originally Posted by vw69turbobug View Post
or craiglist for a cheap mill.. but thats not what hes asking.... so try geting a jig with the trigger group plate jig then get a X axis and y axis vice. drill the trigger holes first with drill bits (to the correct depth) then buy a end mill bit and plunge the rest on the aluminum. its gonna look like crap but like you said finish it up with a dremel. you also have the option to go to a build party. but its just alot more fun taking your time and making mistakes and fixing them.. 80% building is not becasue its cheaper but because the fun of making your own firearm..... the first one i milled i messed up and was not repairable but you learn from your mistakes
Thank you. That was a helpful response and I can tell we understand each other. I plan on doing several lowers and build parties take forever with just ONE lower. I took my question to another forum and had many responses like yours and I feel fine about my decision. Apparently I'm the only one in CA that wants to use a drill press but there's plenty of guys in other states that are using them just fine. I did watch the video on youtube of the guy that built the ugliest lower ever but I think he had no guidance. I plan to make mistakes because thats how I get good at things. Thanks again.
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2012, 7:28 PM
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If any future CalGunners have a question similar to mine, feel free to message me and I'll give you the links to threads I've found useful. I even found one that uses the same drill press I purchased with really good results. I'll makes some videos to put on youtube once I get it down.
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2012, 7:31 PM
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I would love to have a mill myself, but they're a bit pricey and such. If you have your heart set on using a drill press, I would suggest investing in a cross-slide vise as well. You can get a serviceable one at Harbor Freight for $60 or so and once you disassemble it, clean it, lube it and reassemble it, it should serve you well, just take it very slow and don't overly cross-load the chuck on your drill press. Bear in mind, I'm far from a gunsmith or machinist, just a suggestion.
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Old 12-09-2012, 7:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RudyCakes View Post
If any future CalGunners have a question similar to mine, feel free to message me and I'll give you the links to threads I've found useful. I even found one that uses the same drill press I purchased with really good results. I'll makes some videos to put on youtube once I get it down.
Best advice I ever had from my father who is a machinest and electrical engineer... " If your going to use the wrong tool for the job, go slow and wear lots of safety gear".

Honestly though, just dont try and side load that bit, go really slow, minimal pressure, and spend some extra time with the dremel to make it function correctly!
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Old 12-09-2012, 7:45 PM
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Best advice I ever had from my father who is a machinest and electrical engineer... " If your going to use the wrong tool for the job, go slow and wear lots of safety gear".

Honestly though, just dont try and side load that bit, go really slow, minimal pressure, and spend some extra time with the dremel to make it function correctly!
I'll wear a plate carrier, a motorcycle helmet and a condom. Promise.
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Old 12-09-2012, 7:47 PM
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I'll wear a plate carrier, a motorcycle helmet and a condom. Promise.
Probably wont need a helmet...
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Old 12-09-2012, 7:52 PM
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Iv'e finished a few on my drill press and it isn't too hard. The first one came out so-so but it shoots ok and the rest came out pretty good as I learned from my mistakes that I made on the first one. Here is a link to some info that I followed on CNC Gunsmithing: http://www.cncguns.com/projects/ar15...utorial-1.html Just take your time and double check all of your measurements often. Oh yeah be sure to wipe your feet before you go back in the house so you keep the wife happy as it can get a little messy with all of the shavings that seem to go everywhere and get into everything.
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Old 12-09-2012, 7:55 PM
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you need an x and y drill press vice and a few end mill bits then you can use the drill like a mill .....
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Old 12-09-2012, 7:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RudyCakes View Post
Thank you. That was a helpful response and I can tell we understand each other. I plan on doing several lowers and build parties take forever with just ONE lower. I took my question to another forum and had many responses like yours and I feel fine about my decision. Apparently I'm the only one in CA that wants to use a drill press but there's plenty of guys in other states that are using them just fine. I did watch the video on youtube of the guy that built the ugliest lower ever but I think he had no guidance. I plan to make mistakes because thats how I get good at things. Thanks again.
no problem man i used a drill press once but didnt like how it was coming out so i found a enco mill for 300-400$ on craigslist and finish messing it up on that ( cant remeber the price on the mill but scored on that deal) but ive seen plenty of forms with ppl building 80% on drill press and one guy with just a cordless drill once might have been cord lol..
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Old 12-09-2012, 8:20 PM
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I say go for it my friend. You will learn some hard lessons but mistakes are the best teacher. I have milled lowers out perfectly without jigs and layed them out off a blueprint after I was laughed at when I said I was going to do it jigless. My first AK took me a month because I just went for it and learned many lessons doing it. If the heart is big enough and the mind is strong we can tackle ANYTHING. I support your drive to do it your way. The lower may not be pretty inside, but if it works, who cares. Regardless thats a decent press to have around the shop!
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Old 12-09-2012, 8:31 PM
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I say go for it my friend. You will learn some hard lessons but mistakes are the best teacher. I have milled lowers out perfectly without jigs and layed them out off a blueprint after I was laughed at when I said I was going to do it jigless. My first AK took me a month because I just went for it and learned many lessons doing it. If the heart is big enough and the mind is strong we can tackle ANYTHING. I support your drive to do it your way. The lower may not be pretty inside, but if it works, who cares. Regardless thats a decent press to have around the shop!
I'll drink to that!
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:58 PM
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Good luck man.. You can do it for sure. On a drill press its a fair bit more work than doing it on a mill.
Either way your gonna have fun doing it and it will shoot ok.

But truly the mill is the only way to go. If you were closer I'd help you out. (if you wanted the help that is)
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:13 PM
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the link in my sig
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  #26  
Old 12-09-2012, 11:17 PM
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Alright, I was hoping it wouldn't have to come to this but I will rephrase the thread to include *ASSUMING MILLS NO LONGER EXIST ON THIS PLANET AND CANNOT BE MADE AGAIN*
No Mills? no problem. AKs don't need no stinky mills.
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Old 12-10-2012, 4:51 PM
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A lot of people here know what they are doing and a lot of people on other forums spend all winter frozen inside their home with a drill press, waiting for things to thaw.

I have a drill press, I have access to a manual mill but when I want to finish an AR lower I spend the $65 and go to a CNC build party. It's not because I couldn't do it on the mill or that I'm afraid of doing it on a drill press, it's because it's worth $65 to get a perfect FCG pocket.

Buying jigs, drill bits, XY vises and band-aids will never get fully amortized because the result will always be sub-standard.

If you want to fool around on a manual mill, that's one thing but using a drill press is just a bad way to complete an 80% AR.
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  #28  
Old 12-10-2012, 5:09 PM
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Drill press will work. I just finish my 4 ar lower with it. Not the best looking lower but it work after putting everything together. It turn out much better than what people are saying. I'm not a collector so small scratch here n there wouldn't matter. Either way it's gonna get dirty when i take it out.
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Old 12-10-2012, 8:36 PM
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Quote:
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I'll wear a plate carrier, a motorcycle helmet and a condom. Promise.
I have a mill, not used it yet
used was $500...........new the one I got is $1600 or so
but vice cost me more then that, + tooling
but did my 1st ar lower on a drill, with a moveable vise, X Y I guess
it turned out ok, it shoots, not pretty inside
no condom was needed

you can do it, it just takes some time
get a good jig like TM sells
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Old 12-10-2012, 8:39 PM
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i wonder if there is some way to bolt down a plunge router and use a carbide bit and some kind of traversing vice
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Old 12-10-2012, 8:45 PM
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i wonder if there is some way to bolt down a plunge router and use a carbide bit and some kind of traversing vice
I've read people using round over bit on aluminum, worked great there
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Old 12-10-2012, 9:04 PM
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Take a trip to sac and meet Seesm. He's an awesome CG brother! Don't waste money on a questionable build. You can F-up your lower and you will not be happy spending all that money on press, bits, jigs and lower if the build goes wrong. Can't say it can't be done on a drill press, but good to have a mentor by your side just in case and a nice Bridgeport that does the job right. Further more there's plenty of nice shops near the area to check out near auburn. Bottom line is you'll take more pride in your work knowing you done it yourself by hand. I've only seen one drill build that actually looked nice and that was a green pistol build. Others were very questionable. Get it done right the first time.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:08 PM
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good luck... and come back with results!
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Old 12-11-2012, 5:14 AM
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Don't forget the WD40, you're gonna need alot of it...
good luck.
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Old 12-11-2012, 5:45 AM
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TM loves all the drill press builders, they buy 2-3 times more 80s. Until they go to a Cnc BP. I tried to do it once, bought a mini mill after, now looking to buy a haas vf-3. Im guesing this guy will become a Cnc programer someday.
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Old 12-11-2012, 6:04 AM
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Ok what else do you need, get a 6 inch caliper. Forget an xy vise, drill presses arent designed to take a side load. Lots of drill bits and even more dremel tools. Jb weld! And patience.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:37 AM
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Ok what else do you need, get a 6 inch caliper. Forget an xy vise, drill presses arent designed to take a side load. Lots of drill bits and even more dremel tools. Jb weld! And patience.
the cross slide vise is not for side load but it makes it easy to just mount it once and slide it over when you need too punge the next part.. but yeah a 6in and 4in caliper is a must
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Old 12-11-2012, 2:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yari View Post
Ok what else do you need, get a 6 inch caliper. Forget an xy vise, drill presses arent designed to take a side load. Lots of drill bits and even more dremel tools. Jb weld! And patience.
the cross slide vise is not for side load but it makes it easy to just mount it once and slide it over when you need too plunge the next part.. but yeah a 6in and 4in caliper is a must
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Old 12-12-2012, 6:01 AM
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I did mine on a drill press. I did not use an X Y table I just used the TM jig and an endmill. I side loaded it, I probably got ambitious and went harder than I should have - but it worked.

If you want to do it with a press go for it. Just make sure you go slow and you will be fine.

My next one I will use a mill so I can compare the experience...
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Old 12-12-2012, 6:33 AM
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I have a shop with a heavy duty drill press correct vise and table, dermal and two 80% lowers. I love to DIY,build cars, port polish heads, work on all my own stuff... But unless I knew my lowers would turn out as good as my factory ones, I'm not going to use the drill. I wouldn't waste $600-1000 in additional parts including a quality trigger only to put them on an imperfect lower.

I'm waiting for local CNC access.

I would like to see pictures of a Drill press vs CNC lower. Maybe that would encourage me if they looked the same.

In any-case, good luck with the build.
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