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Converting an R/T Automag Body to Center Feed
Now the hard part. Again, I didn't want to use power tools, beyond the initial bulk grinding. It's far too easy
to gouge the body, and the stainless is far too hard to sand anything more than fairly fine markes out of.
So it was a matter of careful file work...
Followed by a medium-coarse sandpaper, with a rigid backing...
And finally, tedious hand-sanding to bring it back to a light shine. Most of the marks
shown were low spots in the weld, and got covered up by the feed neck.
The new feed neck fits like so- you can see there was just the one tiny mark below the 'point'
that didn't get filled in, and was too deep to file or sand out.
And the messy part. I used a 10-32 screw to bolt a flat chunk of scrap aluminum to the normal front grip-frame
bolt boss, fluxed and tinned both parts, slipped 'em together and piled on the low-silver solder. I didn't get
any pictures, as it's hard enough to juggle temperatures without stopping to grab the camera. :)
Why the aluminum plate? For this: It gave me a reasonable reference surface to compare with a small
machinists' square, in order to help assure the neck is mounted as close to straight and vertical as possible.
Once cooled, I trimmed off the excess solder with a razor blade, rather than a file- again, to
keep from nicking or gouging the body, marks which would show up when it gets polished.
The rest of the solder was removed with another run at the wet-sanding bucket,
and all the corners and edges smoothed down in preparation for polish.
But before we do that, one last bit: The feed neck is precisely located, and finally drilled through and
bored out to size, making sure the passage and neck are perfectly aligned.
And finally, a trip through the buffer to give it a good shine. It's not quite mirror polished,
bit it's still quite presentable- and 'mirror' polishing would have taken another 3-4 hours.
And, just in case you're wondering, yes, a polished, vertical feed R/T Automag body
look a whole lot like a lightsaber handle. :)
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