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How to do CNC milling, without a CNC. Or, how sausage is made. :)
A client had an unusual request; to replicate a rare custom Angel, one that had been hand-made by a player in Germany.
Only a few photos of the marker existed, and all were fairly low resolution. I said yes, I could duplicate it, and further,
improve it a little, and the original had issues like an exposed bolt and cuts that weakened the barrel threads.
(Part One of Three.)
The client sent me this as a starting point- a stock WDP Angel LCD body, and an aftermarket DYE solenoid cover.
I took one of the few photos of the original, and enlarged to to the point where when I printed it out, it was as close to
1:1 size as I could get it. I cut out the sculptured part, and taped it into place on the actual body.
Using a sharp, fine scribe, I lightly scratched through the paper to make a mark on the body,
and using those marks, highlighted them with a Sharpie. These will just be rough guidelines.
Putting the body in the mill, I used a ball-end cutter to rough out what were to become the grooves.
It's a manual mill, so of course I'm basically freehand milling similar to using an Etch-a-Sketch. :)
And repeat on the driver's side.
Now, the rest is largely handwork. I smoothed some of the roughness out with a ball rasp in an air die grinder...
And finished much of the fine detail work with tiny burrs in several Dremels,
regularly referring back to the original photos for style and shape.
However, there was a limit to how smooth and even I could get features with power tools, and after a certain point,
even tiny cutters in Dremels cut too fast. So at this point I switched to hand files, of which I have drawers full.
Files, however, are not generally made for concave surfaces, so I was obligated to modify several,
simply by a gentle heating with an oxyacetylene torch and bending them while hot.
Those, and others, allowed me to carefully dress the swoopy features, and gently adjust uneven lines.
The sharper points I dressed carefully with a series of fancy Swiss detail files
And, after altogether too many hours, I had the features smooth, even, and as symmetrical as possible.
Click 'Next" to see Part Two!
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