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  #1  
Old 10-10-2012, 9:30 PM
kylix.rd kylix.rd is offline
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Default DIY Brass Catcher

Life sometimes has a way of interfering with plans; I had hoped to be done with the brass catcher project by now. I lieu of waiting until then, I thought I'd post the progress so far.

I'm basing the design on this commercially available brass catcher. I used one at Reeds indoor range in Santa Clara, and it is nice because it can be set on the table in the shooting lane, or it can be attached to a tripod if a table isn't available. The height is adjustable and it collapses to a reasonable size. Yes, there are other table top catchers, but since I was able to closely examine this one I used it as the basis for my design.

I knew I wanted it to have a telescoping central support, so I headed to the hardware store to look at their metal bar, tube, and rod stock. I discovered that a 3/8" solid steel zinc coated rod nested nicely into a 1/2" square steel tube stock. I also got 3/16" zinc coated rod stock for the hoop. Here's the metal materials:


I started with the central support. The commercial product uses a cam-lock for the telescoping central support. I opted for a very simple thumb screw lock. The central support is 16" cut from the square tube stock. I then drilled a 1/4" hole about about 1" from one end. I then welded a 1/4-20 nut over that hold into which the thumb screw is placed.


Yes, folks the welds suck... I'm using this project to learn the welder at the same time. In later photos, I'd already used an angle-grinder and smoothed out the welds, so they look much better.

On the opposite open end of the tube, I welded on another 1/4-20 nut over the open end. This end will screw onto the base or can even be attached to a tripod since most use 1/4-20 screws.


Next I worked on the base. The base is a 10"x7" rectangle constructed from the same 1/2" tube stock as the central support. I cut two 10" pieces and three 6" pieces. Using simple butt-welds, I made the rectangle. In the center cross-member, I drilled a 1/4" hole all the way through. Then inserted a large, pan-headed screw and welded the head to the cross member. This is the raw result.


For the extension rod, I cut a peice of the solid 3/8" stock 20" long. To one end I welded a small steel tube crosswise. I used a rolled steel spacer with a 1/4" center. I tried to find one 3/16", but it wasn't available. The 3/16" rod will fit in here with thumb screws to keep them in place. Here it is in all its welded ugliness.


I drilled and tapped two 10-24 holes into the steel spacer. In went two thumb screws. Here's the bottom support, the central support and telescoping insert assembled.


Next is the support hoop for the catch net. I used 3/16" solid zinc coated steel rod. The hoop will be 15"x12". Since the rods only came in 3' sections, I had to make two separate halves. I took another spacer and just drilled and tapped two 10-24 holes similar to the one forming the central "T". In this case I used smaller set-screws with an Allen wrench. Here's the two halves bent that were just bent.


Here's the top coupler for the two halves.


Here's the hoop inserted into the central support "T"


And here's the full project so far.


Since these photos were taken, I've smoothed out most of the welds and am fitting little rubber feet on the bottom support. The bottom and center support will be painted black. For the net, I'll use and modify a mesh bag such as a laundry bag or lingerie bag and attach it to the hoop. I'm also looking at adding another hoop that attaches to the main hoop that will swing out perpendicularly and support the mesh netting out from the bottom of the vertical hoop. This will form an angled back stop that should deflect the flying brass shell casing down and into the net. This is similar to the commercial one I referenced above.

Once I make more progress I'll make another post with more photos.

Last edited by kylix.rd; 10-10-2012 at 9:40 PM..
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2012, 9:34 PM
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looks very nice
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2012, 11:06 PM
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Pretty nice!

Here's mine! LOL

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  #4  
Old 10-10-2012, 11:55 PM
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great work, ill stick with mine though:




Quote:
Originally Posted by AlliedArmory View Post
Pretty nice!

Here's mine! LOL


OMG i cant stop laughing, its not even that funny but..........
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:13 AM
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Looks good
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:54 AM
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^^^^WOW, UPS huh? Lol
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2012, 11:04 AM
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^^^^WOW, UPS huh? Lol
yeah we mock him mercilessly, fortunately hes a good sport
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:13 PM
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It is becoming increasingly clear that I've over-engineered this thing .
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kylix.rd View Post
It is becoming increasingly clear that I've over-engineered this thing .
LOL still its beautiful
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Old 10-11-2012, 2:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylix.rd View Post
It is becoming increasingly clear that I've over-engineered this thing .
meh....... to each his own.
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Old 10-11-2012, 3:31 PM
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yeah we mock him mercilessly, fortunately hes a good sport
LOL!! oh man, I didn't know that was you in the video, and you know the guy!

That just raised the comedic level for me!
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Old 10-11-2012, 5:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylix.rd View Post
And here's the full project so far.
Nice job, looks familiar ;-)

If I had the tools and metal fab skills, I would have done mine in a material other than PVC.

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Old 10-11-2012, 6:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkphibr View Post
Nice job, looks familiar ;-)

If I had the tools and metal fab skills, I would have done mine in a material other than PVC.
That's spooky...

Yours looks really nice. Very similar, even down to the height adjustment.

As far as the metal fab skills... I'm not sure I'd call what I have a "skill" ;-). I know enough to be dangerous.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:10 PM
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Make sure you get some some pics and vids of it in action!
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Old 10-12-2012, 7:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylix.rd View Post
That's spooky...

Yours looks really nice. Very similar, even down to the height adjustment.

As far as the metal fab skills... I'm not sure I'd call what I have a "skill" ;-). I know enough to be dangerous.
I had the same thought (spooky!).

We also put the "T-bar" (adjustable [non cemented extension] at the top of the frame so when then net hangs, it won't hang flat (brass bouncing back at you) and will give the net some depth (like a tent pole) so there is space/volume for the brass to pop into to and not meet any resistance.
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Old 10-12-2012, 8:55 PM
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I have been thinking about making a net like this for my mini 14 target rifle. Let us know what you find as far as nets go. I could whip this up pretty quick. I will just have to decide whether to weld it with mig, tig, smaw, or gas.

What welder and helmet are you using? Auto darkening is the only way to go. It looks as if you are trying to mig weld and you don't have the voltage high enough for the wire speed, and you also can't see the puddle very well. Nubes often don't run the welder hot enough and they don't move fast enough. You should at least be able to run some straight beads that are 1-3 inches long. Try overlapping two pieces of flat stock and then weld the lap joint. This will give you a straight edge to follow. You will have to angle your gun or electrode a little bit. Miller welding has some great videos on their web site. I learned some TIG by watching videos and then a month or two later, I took a college tig class and already could put down a basic bead when I started.

If you are mig welding, you can also hold the gun near the nozzle with your weak hand to help guide it. If you only hold the gun on the opposite end of the nozzle, a small movement with your hand will make a big movement with the tip and that isn't great when you are just starting out. Welding can be quite fun once you get the hang of it.

Here is a bracket to hold an extra akro bin to my 550 dillon. I welded a piece of 1/8" aluminum sheet to a piece of 14 or 16 guage aluminum. It was tig welded with an old school sine wave machine (Miller 330abp from 1965). I did this a few years ago, and have progressed a little. Your mig welds will look similar, but will have more of a convex shape. You can get somewhat of a stacked dime look with mig, if you use certain patterns when you move your gun, such as a weave or circular motion.

Happy welding and nice project!

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  #17  
Old 10-12-2012, 9:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNunez23 View Post
LOL!! oh man, I didn't know that was you in the video, and you know the guy!

That just raised the comedic level for me!
yeah that was me shooting, (before i lost 30 lbs, god i was so fat), and our buddy, he's a lot of fun, makes an *** out of himself all the time, and we mock him so badly, but like i said he's a good sport about it, and you'll never meet a nicer guy.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:21 PM
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The welds look like they were made with cheap harbor freight mig welder. I know because I have one and my welds tend to look like that too. I have welded with a nice Lincoln at work and it was sooo easy. Good equipment makes all the difference, but it is just too much for the garage once-in-a-while project.

By the way, what are you going to use for the net?
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Old 10-13-2012, 9:38 AM
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CGT80, Many thanks for the pointers! I'll certainly admit that cheap wins the day here. I'm using a flux-core wire welder. I'd certainly like a nice MIG machine with argon/Co2 shielding gas. The flux spits and spatters like crazy. I do understand the fundementals and science behind the whole process. Now it is down to technique and practice. I think I understand your two-handed technique, which is how I was guiding the nozzle. My later welds got much better when I started doing that. I also make sure I work where there is little air flow because even with the flux core the idea is to out-gas it and it forms a shield bubble... at least that is theory
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:19 AM
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bumpo628, I'm using one of those draw-string duffle-bag style polyester net laundry-bags from k-mart, target, or drug store. It's a bit large so I plan on cutting it down and re-sewing it to make more of a cone. This way I can tie off the "tip" of the code and just catch in the net, or leave it open and have the brass drop into a container.

And about the welder; I'm in your position where I cannot justify the cost of a nicer/better welder for the once-in-a-while project. I already blew my budget on the reloading equipment, which is really why were here
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2012, 7:23 PM
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Default DIY Brass Catcher

It's done! (mostly). Here's some photos of the final product. I ground down and smoothed the welds and painted the base and center mast. I installed rubber feet on the base to stabilize it.




Using a duffle-style draw-string laundry bag, I attached to the upper frame. In order to form a backstop from the netting of the bag, I took an 1/8" steel rod and bent it into a large "U" shape. I cut two 1" sections of 3/8" rod, drilled a 1/8" hold about halfway down one end of each rod. Then a 3/16" hole across on the other end of the 1" rod. This allowed the "U" shape rod to swing out toward the back of the opening.


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Old 10-15-2012, 8:52 AM
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have you used it at the range yet?
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:23 AM
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drkphibr, Yes! I took it to the range for the first time yesterday. It worked fantastic. I was able to adjust the net at a nice angle to catch nearly all the flung brass. I think it caught nearly 90% of what was thrown. I was then able to troll around for brass in place of the ones that were tossed downrange. I haven't counted the total, but of the >200rds fired, I'm sure I got most of it back. It certainly worked better than the one I've borrowed at the range a couple times. Mainly because I could adjust mine for better catching accuracy.
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Old 10-16-2012, 3:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylix.rd View Post
drkphibr, Yes! I took it to the range for the first time yesterday. It worked fantastic. I was able to adjust the net at a nice angle to catch nearly all the flung brass. I think it caught nearly 90% of what was thrown. I was then able to troll around for brass in place of the ones that were tossed downrange. I haven't counted the total, but of the >200rds fired, I'm sure I got most of it back. It certainly worked better than the one I've borrowed at the range a couple times. Mainly because I could adjust mine for better catching accuracy.
Nice!
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Old 05-02-2013, 8:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylix.rd View Post
Life sometimes has a way of interfering with plans; I had hoped to be done with the brass catcher project by now. I lieu of waiting until then, I thought I'd post the progress so far.

I'm basing the design on this commercially I used one at Reeds indoor range in Santa Clara, and it is nice because it can be set on the table in the shooting lane, or it can be attached to a tripod if a table isn't available. The height is adjustable and it collapses to a reasonable size. Yes, there are other table top catchers, but since I was able to closely examine this one I used it as the basis for my design.

I knew I wanted it to have a telescoping central support, so I headed to the hardware store to look at their metal bar, tube, and rod stock. I discovered that a 3/8" solid steel zinc coated rod nested nicely into a 1/2" square steel tube stock. I also got 3/16" zinc coated rod stock for the hoop. Here's the metal materials:


I started with the central support. The commercial product uses a cam-lock for the telescoping central support. I opted for a very simple thumb screw lock. The central support is 16" cut from the square tube stock. I then drilled a 1/4" hole about about 1" from one end. I then welded a 1/4-20 nut over that hold into which the thumb screw is placed.

Yes, folks the welds suck... I'm using this project to learn the welder at the same time. In later photos, I'd already used an angle-grinder and smoothed out the welds, so they look much better.

On the opposite open end of the tube, I welded on another 1/4-20 nut over the open end. This end will screw onto the base or can even be attached to a tripod since most use 1/4-20 screws.

Next I worked on the base. The base is a 10"x7" rectangle constructed from the same 1/2" tube stock as the central support. I cut two 10" pieces and three 6" pieces. Using simple butt-welds, I made the rectangle. In the center cross-member, I drilled a 1/4" hole all the way through. Then inserted a large, pan-headed screw and welded the head to the cross member. This is the raw result.


For the extension rod, I cut a peice of the solid 3/8" stock 20" long. To one end I welded a small steel tube crosswise. I used a rolled steel spacer with a 1/4" center. I tried to find one 3/16", but it wasn't available. The 3/16" rod will fit in here with thumb screws to keep them in place. Here it is in all its welded ugliness.

I drilled and tapped two 10-24 holes into the steel spacer. In went two thumb screws. Here's the bottom support, the central support and telescoping insert assembled.

Next is the support hoop for the catch net. I used 3/16" solid zinc coated steel rod. The hoop will be 15"x12". Since the rods only came in 3' sections, I had to make two separate halves. I took another spacer and just drilled and tapped two 10-24 holes similar to the one forming the central "T". In this case I used smaller set-screws with an Allen wrench. Here's the two halves bent that were just bent.


Since these photos were taken, I've smoothed out most of the welds and am fitting little rubber feet on the bottom support. The bottom and center support will be painted black. For the net, I'll use and modify a mesh bag such as a laundry bag or cheap lingerie bag and attach it to the hoop. I'm also looking at adding another hoop that attaches to the main hoop that will swing out perpendicularly and support the mesh netting out from the bottom of the vertical hoop. This will form an angled back stop that should deflect the flying brass shell casing down and into the net. This is similar to the commercial one I referenced above.

Once I make more progress I'll make another post with more photos.
Surely great work. i am searching some way to design brass catcher at home and you gave exactly the perfect information. I will try and post results very soon

Last edited by CarltonWard; 05-03-2013 at 3:13 AM..
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  #26  
Old 05-02-2013, 9:55 AM
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Looks good flux core is a good set up, no problems with gas coverage. Your set up would be good for beer cans too!
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Old 05-02-2013, 5:58 PM
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Any updates on your home made chronograph?
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