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Old 11-26-2009, 11:34 AM #1
broken_system
 
 
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Custom barrel from scratch

Hey guys, figured this would be the best place to post this question so here goes:

Suppose I had access to a drill press and some drill/grinding/polishing bits, is it possible/difficult to make a barrel? I've been considering this, and have come to a couple conclusions:

1) I will have to make the barrel either really short, or a two/three piece, or find some way to drill deep into a piece of choice material.

2) I will need to find a way to ensure precision when drilling/polishing the inside of the barrel. I have considered using a digital caliper however this might lead to many hours of work down the drain if I guess wrong (in terms of how much to drill/polish away).

I am attempting a marker from scratch and for my purposes, I need a different method of securing the barrel to the marker.

Anyone ever attempt this?
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Old 11-26-2009, 02:47 PM #2
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A drill press? Lol no, that's not going to work.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:59 PM #3
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A drill press? Lol no, that's not going to work.

That was in incredibly useless, and not helpful post.

As far as the drill press goes, you could do it, assuming you could mill the outer material to your desired shape. How well would it work? Not sure the cost and time would be worth it because it's not going to fly the first time around. With the right bits you could do some work though. Really depends on how much your willing to put in, because I see if failing many times before you have a useable products in your hands.
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:13 PM #4
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That was in incredibly useless, and not helpful post.

As far as the drill press goes, you could do it, assuming you could mill the outer material to your desired shape. How well would it work? Not sure the cost and time would be worth it because it's not going to fly the first time around. With the right bits you could do some work though. Really depends on how much your willing to put in, because I see if failing many times before you have a useable products in your hands.
Please explain how he could use a drill press to make a custom barrel. You have no clue what you're talking about. A drill press wouldn't even come close to working right. This is one of those "if you have to ask" situations. You can't just drill a hole through a tube of aluminum and have a barrel, especially not with a drill press. It's not a precise enough tool.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:29 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBurgundy View Post
That was in incredibly useless, and not helpful post.

As far as the drill press goes, you could do it, assuming you could mill the outer material to your desired shape. How well would it work? Not sure the cost and time would be worth it because it's not going to fly the first time around. With the right bits you could do some work though. Really depends on how much your willing to put in, because I see if failing many times before you have a useable products in your hands.
Actually, that told the OP the straight truth. Your post actually was rather useless. A drill press WILL NOT work to make a barrel. It's that SIMPLE.
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:47 AM #6
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I'm going to second that as well. I have a drill press. I have a small lathe and mill. I wouldn't even try to make a barrel on any of my equipment. Just not going to happen.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:29 AM #7
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at best you would need a decent sized lathe and plenty of stock, tooling, and time

drll press = no
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:06 PM #8
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Gotcha thanks guys, was always curious how one would go about attempting a barrel without having very big/expensive equipment.

I'm thinking that I will just buy a very long barrel, cut off the threads, then fit my own adapter over the cut end so that it would fit my custom marker.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:37 PM #9
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you all need to think outside the box! depending on the size of your drill press, you absolutely could make a barrel with it. you will need more than just drill bits though. if your drill press is large enough you can chuck the metal stock into the head, and hold your drill bits, boring bars, and reamers with a vice on the table. This effectively turns your drill press into a vertical lathe, BUT you will need a fairly large drill press as you will need enough room for your barrel and tooling. you will also need to make sure your tooling is aligned properly with the spindle. Weather or not it's worth it is up to you, as it certainly won't be an easy task.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:33 PM #10
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you all need to think outside the box! depending on the size of your drill press, you absolutely could make a barrel with it. you will need more than just drill bits though. if your drill press is large enough you can chuck the metal stock into the head, and hold your drill bits, boring bars, and reamers with a vice on the table. This effectively turns your drill press into a vertical lathe, BUT you will need a fairly large drill press as you will need enough room for your barrel and tooling. you will also need to make sure your tooling is aligned properly with the spindle. Weather or not it's worth it is up to you, as it certainly won't be an easy task.
you could make something that resembled a barrel but not a remotely accurate one. In fact I would take a cmi thunderpig barrel over anything you could make with a drill press and those are the crappiest production barrels i could think of. There is just to much slop in the bearings on the spindle of a drill press to make accurate cuts, not to mention the bearings are not designed to take lateral forces that mill or lathe work creates. Now lets talk about the vice. For you to be able to make any cuts you would need a machineist cross slide vice and not just a regular bench vice. And unless you spend hundreds on this cross slide vice the amount of backlash will be rediculous as well as the accurcy per foot on the acme threads making accurate cuts nearly impossible. There would also be very little rigidity in your setup as well and that would lead to all kinds of machining problems such as chatter or tool/workpeice deflection, ect... So you anwser is no.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:34 PM #11
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i disagree...
Yes, there is slop in the bearings, there is on a lathe too, that's the nature of bearings. However, there are no lateral forces when using the method I suggested. it's all axial. Yes, there will be a small moment created by the off center boring if a boring bar is used, and this could cause a poor surface finish, but I also suggested using reamers to finish the bore, so the surface finish from the boring bar is inconsequential.

a cross slide can be had from harbor freight for cheap. they lock into place and would be just fine for the task. Yes they have a LOT of backlash, but any machinist worth anything will tell you to work in one direction and you won't need to worry about the backlash as you never change directions. this also is really inconsequential as your just trying to get the bore large enough to use the reamers anyways, so as long as you don't overbore the barrel, backlash doesn't really matter. this all doesn't matter anyways as you don't NEED a cross slide vice. it certainly would make things faster, but it's in no way needed. small adjustments to a regular vice could be made to achieve the desired "pre-drill" size for the reamer. it's obviously not the most efficient way of doing it, but it certainly would give you your desired result.

the rigidity of the set-up is also semi-inconsequential. any drill press large enough to handle the depth of the barrel and tooling is going to be quite large, and while you won't be able to drill it all out in one shot, you certainly could take small cuts. yeah, it would take forever, but that wasn't a restriction set down by the OP.

the answer is yes it CAN be done. it is physically possible, but yes, it would take quite a bit of time and a good tooling selection, which in turn could make it very expensive if you don't have the tools already. Like I said before, I don't think it would be worth it, but that may not hold true for the OP.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:53 PM #12
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I understand the method you're suggesting, I have in fact done that. Before I got my lathe I attempted several cuts, chucking my workpiece into the drill chuck and turning it vertically. It is damn near impossible to center your tooling below the drill head, to align it perfectly vertically, and to hold it there. And consider, there is not just slop in the bearing of the drill press, as it rotates, but to make your cut you will need to lower the drill head down to your cutting tool. Most drill presses also allow a huge amount of side-to-side slop with the head lowered.

Also figure that, to cut a barrel, you're going to want to start with 7/8" or 1" round stock. I've never seen a drill press with a 1" drill chuck before. Add to that the vertical clearance you will need, as well as the necessary vertical travel of the headstock. You're going to need a serious professional machine shop size drill press to accomplish this; it's just not something that going to happen with a household sized tool.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:09 PM #13
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indeed it would be a very large drill press. The OP, never said it was a common household one. depending on the method of attachment to the paintball body, he could probable get away with 3/4" round stock, which is not unheard of for large drill presses.

But again, finishing the bore with a reamer, and maybe I should clarify I'm talking about a hand reamer, not a chuck reamer, the head need not be down to ream it, and any slop in the bearings won't matter as your hand will just move with it once the reamer has started to the point where it is axially collinear.

I agree this is NOT the ideal way to do this, but people can't just say it can't be done.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:02 PM #14
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i disagree...
Yes, there is slop in the bearings, there is on a lathe too, that's the nature of bearings. However, there are no lateral forces when using the method I suggested. it's all axial. Yes, there will be a small moment created by the off center boring if a boring bar is used, and this could cause a poor surface finish, but I also suggested using reamers to finish the bore, so the surface finish from the boring bar is inconsequential.

a cross slide can be had from harbor freight for cheap. they lock into place and would be just fine for the task. Yes they have a LOT of backlash, but any machinist worth anything will tell you to work in one direction and you won't need to worry about the backlash as you never change directions. this also is really inconsequential as your just trying to get the bore large enough to use the reamers anyways, so as long as you don't overbore the barrel, backlash doesn't really matter. this all doesn't matter anyways as you don't NEED a cross slide vice. it certainly would make things faster, but it's in no way needed. small adjustments to a regular vice could be made to achieve the desired "pre-drill" size for the reamer. it's obviously not the most efficient way of doing it, but it certainly would give you your desired result.

the rigidity of the set-up is also semi-inconsequential. any drill press large enough to handle the depth of the barrel and tooling is going to be quite large, and while you won't be able to drill it all out in one shot, you certainly could take small cuts. yeah, it would take forever, but that wasn't a restriction set down by the OP.

the answer is yes it CAN be done. it is physically possible, but yes, it would take quite a bit of time and a good tooling selection, which in turn could make it very expensive if you don't have the tools already. Like I said before, I don't think it would be worth it, but that may not hold true for the OP.
My anwser saying no was intended to mean "no you won't make a barrel remotely tight in tolerance compaired to any production barrel. Yeah lathes have slop it their bearings but much less than a drill press so that was a bad compairson. I thought it was assumed that the op didn't have access to an industrial drill press just by the way he posed the question. And to use a 3/4 peice of stock would leave less than .05 inch sidewall for a barrel and if the barrel was any length it would snap quickly. Also the od of the threads on the barrel would be larger that 3/4 so you would have a very poor thread engagement % if any at all. Plus how would you cut those threads? I've never seen any one selling dies to cut threads on a barrel for any barrel threading type and a dill press cant cut threads because there is no timed cairage(sp?) So thats brings us back to 7/8 inch stock or 1 inch stock and as hansolo pointed out, I too have never seen a drill press with a 1" chuck capacity or even a 7/8 inch capicity. 3/4 inch is the biggest drill press chuck I have ever seen because once drill bits reach more that about 3/4 inch in size the shank simply steps down to 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:19 PM #15
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who said the barrel needed to thread on? he's attaching this to a custom made marker, he can make it mount any way he wants. he could hold it on with chewing gum for all we know.

actually, given a standard .689 bore, he would have a .0305 sidewall near the inlet (assuming the stock is actually .750, which it's almost always over sized slightly) and if made like every other barrel out there would taper in to be even thinner near the end. I never said it was ideal, but it would hold up just fine as long as he don't go shoving his barrel into the ground doing a superman over a bunker.

I get the point you guys are trying to make, but I have a problem with people telling other people things can't be done when in reality they could be. it stifles people's creativity, and without creativity technology will never advance, and life is just plain boring. You never know, he could stumble upon the next greatest manufacturing method for making barrels, or for making something completely different all together. Or he could fail miserably, and waist his time and money, but that's a choice he should have the option of making.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:17 AM #16
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I get the point you guys are trying to make, but I have a problem with people telling other people things can't be done when in reality they could be. it stifles people's creativity, and without creativity technology will never advance, and life is just plain boring. You never know, he could stumble upon the next greatest manufacturing method for making barrels, or for making something completely different all together. Or he could fail miserably, and waist his time and money, but that's a choice he should have the option of making.
I'll agree with you there. How does the saying go, "necessity is the mother of invention"? But, I don't feel I am blowing hot air when I advised against it; as I said, I gave this method a shot, with very small parts, and achieved very unsatisfactory results. Even assuming he had access to the theoretical drill press large enough to do this job, as well as the necessary tooling, attempting to make a machine do something that it wasn't designed to is a good way to lead to personal injury.

I'll also agree that it's more helpful to explain the possible pro's and con's of an idea, rather then just rejecting it out of hand. Sadly, I must admit that I was guilty of this in my first post in this thread. Instead, by discussing the idea, the OP can get a better understanding of the problem, and either modify his plans, or decide for himself to reject them. Rather then us rejecting them for him.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:29 AM #17
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Thanks again for all the input guys, I think I am best off just buying an after market barrel and cutting the threads off and fitting my own on the end, that shouldn't be hard to do.

To answer one of the previous questions no I don't have access to an industrial lathe, just a regular home-shop vanilla press. The reason I was aiming to make my own was because of the marker that I am making (which I am making all the parts for myself), my biggest obstacle was the barrel since I wanted to keep it all custom made, however this just doesn't seem feasible/worth the time and money. Maybe some day when I can afford a bigger lathe or even a mill *dreams*...

It probably won't be done for a while but when I do I'll resurrect this thread and post pics in case anyone was interested. Thanks again for all your input guys!!
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:42 AM #18
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why dont you just buy a barrel with the proper threading?
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:38 PM #19
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because then I would have to use a tap/die set and make the female end of the threads for my marker's body (which I am making myself), or I would have to buy a body and put it on mine, but I wanna keep it custom.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:52 PM #20
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FYI, air solder products has a cheap autococker barrel tap, that might help you out.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:22 PM #21
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Nice! Thanks cs900 . In fear of sparking another debate I will simply ask the question of which machine would best suit using the tap?
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