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All About Guns What's your weapon of choice, and why? Discuss the beloved speargun here!

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Old 12-14-2010, 07:11 PM   #1
Schnibbz
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My first gun build

I've amassed quite the garage full of tools and figured why not put them to a use other than remodeling my home, so I decided i should build my own speargun.

I have a half a dozen pieces of teak that measure 1/2" x 1 7/8" x 48" that I bought on ebay. (They are pretty nice pieces, but I have since found a local supplier in chicago that I picked up some 5/4 from)

Now that I spent the last week reading through 30-some pages of threads here, I have a pretty good handle on the build and the only questions I have are regarding the size of the blank I'm going to laminate. Living in Chicagoland, most of my spearing is for perch on Lake Michigan, so I was thinking of building a gun 32" long. My question is what width and height should my blank be? If i were to use 4 - 1/2" pieces for the vertical lam, and one 1/2" piece for a horizontal lam, i would end up with something like this:



My only concern is that 2 3/8" tall seems excessive. Would 2" tall be better? Shorter?

Secondary question: one of the pieces I'm going to use in my laminate has a 1/16" crown in the middle. I put weight in the center to flatten it out, but my thought was that as long as i use them in the vertical lam, the horizontal piece would prevent future warping. Thoughts?
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:53 PM   #2
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Re: My first gun build

I would leave the blank a little wider and taller than you intend to have for the finished dimension. You will be surprised how much wood disappears as the build progresses.

The height of the blank is not a big deal, you can always remove the excess material. I left these a little tall and just trimmed them after the blank was done. I think these are around 2-1/8"x 1-5/8".



You may want to use the crowned piece for the horizonal lam? If you will be tapering the vertical dimension of the blank, then the reduced thickness of the lam with a crown will have very little if any effect on the vertical lams.

Here is something to think about. If you intend to use a Tin Man or Neptonics handle frame and you want to have it recessed into the bottom of the blank, then you might want to leave the blank wide so that you can round over the edge of the blank at the recess and not have it show the edge of the handle frame. I believe this one is 2-1/16" wide.



Good luck with the build.

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Old 12-16-2010, 08:33 PM   #3
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Re: My first gun build

Ok, so I've decided on making my gun 2 1/4" wide by 1 3/4" tall. Definitely probably over sized, but none the less, what I'm going for. Thanks, Mike. I've decided to use alternating species of wood for my gun based on yours. This is the new google sketchup rendering:



I've got enough teak, padauk and purpleheart to make a few blanks, but due to cost, I think I'm going to sub padauk for teak the first go around.



I started to make a practice blank out of some white oak flooring that is left over from the living room/kitchen project. I glued up the verticals and will add the horizantal laminate on saturday. At least this will give me something to practice on with the router (a tool which I've owned long enough, but not had the occasion to use in the way which I will have to during the gun build).



More pics to come...planning on glueing up the padauk and purpleheart this weekend after I replace the knives on my jointer.

Update - 12/18
Replaced my jointer knives and got a new table saw from craigslist...whew, life is so much easier now...especially after putting a 40T blade on the new table saw! Here is a picture of the vertical laminate components before glue up.



And after...


Last edited by Schnibbz; 12-18-2010 at 11:00 PM. Reason: update
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:37 PM   #4
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Re: My first gun build

You are awesome for posting the whole process.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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Re: My first gun build

Besides being cut down to size lengthwise, my vertical laminate is completed. I made it slightly wider than I had planned, 2 3/8" x 1 3/8"; I'm going to seriously consider taking some material off both sides. Tomorrow after work I plan on gluing on the horizontal piece. Besides that, this week won't see much work. I'm getting all of my components for Christmas, so next weekend should be productive (I'm not going to let the blank cure up for a month partially due to size and partially because there is only going to be about $20 in wood in the blank)

Glued up and out of the bar clamps:



After being squared up on the jointer and table saw:



Update 12/20


I ended up cutting the horizontal piece and epoxying it last night. Here is the finished blank all squared up (except for the little chip out on the top right corner of the end of the blank).


Last edited by Schnibbz; 12-20-2010 at 07:49 PM. Reason: update
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: My first gun build

Got some more work done today; thanks to my father, for the Xmas presents!

1/2" x 1/2" track cut on my new Bench Dog Router Table Extension.



Trigger mechanism dropped in, but not pinned yet. Waiting for the installation jig from Neptonics to arrive. I installed this using the mortise jig I built from thereefgeek's post. You can notice a small gap between the track cutout and the trigger mech where I cut out about 1/8 too much. I plan to place a 1/2" dowel where the front of the trigger will be so I can fill this small gap with epoxy when I pour the track. The over-cut is only about 3/16" below the bottom of the track, not all of the way to the bottom of the trigger slot.



Side view of trigger mechanism.



Trying to decide how far forward I should place the handle.



Nevermind the garden hose in the last picture, I was working on the gun during the downtime while brewing a Chocolate Hazelnut Porter. The hose is for my wort chiller.

Last edited by Schnibbz; 12-29-2010 at 08:23 PM. Reason: update
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:44 PM   #7
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Re: My first gun build

Got a lot done yesterday. Made a few mistakes, learned from them all. Having done remodeling on several houses I have owned over the past 10 years, I'm well aware of the old saying "Measure twice, cut once." That being said, I did, but I was measuring the wrong thing.

The first picture shows where I began to make the pocket for the handle on my router table. My issue was that I measured, twice, to the wrong side of the router bit. I made a 1/4" wide cut perfectly on my line, but on the wrong side.



After a few hours playing around with different round over bits and depths on a practice blank that I had made, but didn't use before cutting the actual gun blank, I decided my only option was to recess the handle so that it was flush with the bottom of the "oops" cut that I had made. So I cut a dado in the blank 3/16" deep the length of the handle.



Still not happy with what I had, I decided to do some shaping to the bottom of the gun, behind the handle. I didn't want to have to do this, but I was thinking that if I couldn't get a shape that I liked, the blank would get scrapped and work would start on another blank that is already laminated. I knew that the finished product would ended up getting tapered towards the muzzle, but now wasn't the time I had planned to start scrambling for a backup plan. Here's what I ended up with:



OK, now I'm back to being very happy. I really like the way it turned out. I'll just run it across the table saw to thin up the bottom side of the gun to match the depth of the handle area.

Cut the track for the push rod and mortised for the trigger which is not pinned yet. You can also see in this picture where I ran past my line while cutting the handle pocket. This is going to get filled with epoxy/purpleheart dust.



This morning, I poured the epoxy track. Here are a few pictures:





Update 1/2/11

Ran the gun over the jointer a few times, taking almost 1/32" per pass


Last edited by Schnibbz; 01-02-2011 at 12:16 PM. Reason: update
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:45 PM   #8
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Re: My first gun build

The shaft came in a few days ago, and I immediately recommenced work on this gun. I took pictures along the way, but waited a bit to get more done before updating the post.

After a bit of fussing around with the cheap ball end mill I bought, I got the track routed out



Got the tapering figured out



And here are a few pictures after shaping. I was back and forth between 1/2" roundover on the top/bottom or whether to do the 1/4" on the bottom. I ended up doing 1/4" on the bottom of the gun, but am still unsure if this is how it will end up. More likely than not it will. I plan to start epoxy in the next few days...have a few hundred square feet of hardwood flooring that needs to go down in the spare bedroom and hallway first.








Last edited by Schnibbz; 01-28-2011 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:46 PM   #9
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Re: My first gun build

Handle is done


Last edited by Schnibbz; 01-29-2011 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:50 PM   #10
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Re: My first gun build

You might want to have your blank a little taller. I found 1 3/4" about minimum to cut your trigger for a mid handle... You are making a mid right? I just epoxied a blank and its 2" tall so I'll have about 1/4" to lose. you could go taller, but I like the low profile. Bryan
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:22 PM   #11
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Re: My first gun build

2'' is low profile?! I just made a 30'' single rubber gun for a mate and he specifically wanted it LOW profile. At 1 1/5" it is very sleek. Even with a tight 5/8'' band there is not flex.

What band and shaft combination are you plannig on using schnibbz?

Last edited by DEPOL; 01-28-2011 at 11:07 PM. Reason: accidently put now instead of no flex.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:50 PM   #12
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Re: My first gun build

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEPOL View Post
2'' is low profile?! I just made a 30'' single rubber gun for a mate and he specifically wanted it LOW profile. At 1 1/5" it is very sleek. Even with a tight 5/8'' band there is now flex.

What band and shaft combination are you plannig on using schnibbz?
I was referring to where the trigger pocket will be. After cutting the trigger short, you need about 1 3/4" to bury the trigger...nub?
After that you can go as low as you want.
At least thats what I found
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:46 PM   #13
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Re: My first gun build

2.25" X 1.75" does seem a little on the chunky side for a 32" gun. My bamboo mid-handle, and also the rear-handle blank I'm currently working on are both about 32" long, and they're each about 1.5" X 1.5".

My 58" (mid-handle) white seabass gun is only 2.25" wide by 1.95" at the butt, tapering down after the handle to 1.65 wide by 1.5" tall at the muzzle. My 48" (mid-handle) measures 2.00" wide, 1.70" tall at the butt, tapering down (after the handle) to 1.30" X 1.30" at the muzzle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toptuna View Post
You are awesome for posting the whole process.
Yeah, no one's ever done that before.....
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Last edited by thereefgeek; 12-18-2010 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:04 PM   #14
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Re: My first gun build

Whats with the 1/10ths? I'm in construction and my tape reads 1/8ths
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:18 PM   #15
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Re: My first gun build

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Plumber View Post
Whats with the 1/10ths? I'm in construction and my tape reads 1/8ths
Oops, sorry. I meant to say 1-45/64", not 1.7"
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