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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Epoxied the Rail to the Frame tonight, takes 24 hours to fully cure...
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JB Steel Weld, the only time I've had JB Weld fail was using it on plastic and then not really prepping the plastic with roughing up the surface...
This is metal to metal...
In addition, I sand blasted the frame and rail where the epoxy will go, with aluminum oxide, and cleaned it with xylene, couldn't find my acetone. Wore latex gloves and rubbed in the epoxy into the surface on both frame and rail, so it get forced down in the crevices of the blasting, then clamped them together....
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Ok, finished up some of the details....
Blended the back of the slide, to what the production M45A1 looks like, close but not perfectly flush
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Cut and shaped the Ambi Safeties to closer to what the Colt Safety looks like on the M45A1, on the above photo you can tell I took a little too much off the rear of the right thumb safety.

Textile Automotive design Dishware Tableware Wood


Added the Series 80 Firing Pin Stop Plunger and Spring (the M45A1 is series 80 and so is my frame, the closest slide to the M45A1 in SS is series 70).
BUT, some may notice, I used an old heavy duty drill press at my base Auto Hobby Shop, and shame on me for not checking, but the thing was so abused the table is no longer true to the drill, its off about 5°, I should have checked. This resulted in the journal for the plunger being at an angle. Thing is, it is working perfectly fine, although I had to widen the notch for the plunger in the extractor a bit to accommodate the plunger being tilted a bit to the outside. Fingers crossed this does not cause extractor problems, breakage.

Rectangle Auto part Plastic Automotive exterior Automotive wheel system


Filed the sight cut in the optics cap plate I designed and had 3d printed to finally get it big enough to fit....
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Metal

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Office equipment


Off to the Laser Engraver for the Slides this week.
The Frames I plan on Cerakoting first, then cover them with masking tape before taking them to the Laser Engraver, the tape should remain after the engraving and allowing me to neatly fill the engraving with a constrasting Cerakote Color.

Still debating on filing the slide serrations to narrow them down, closer to the M45A1 slide serrations. I might leave good enough alone, anyone know a file jig that could be used to assure the filing would be straight?
 

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Moving along. Nice work on the thumb safety, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Degreasing the parts....
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After the bath in simple green, they went in a bath of acetone. I have used epoxy on the frame and filled the lettering on the barrel bushing, so the parts with the epoxy only a got a momentary dip in acetone. I was worried the acetone over an hour would eat away at the epoxy.

Will be blasting the parts soon to prep them for cerakoting.

I did pick up a 4oz bottle of Elite Series E-150 Sand.
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Not sure on this color. The Cerakote website describes it as "Cerakote Elite Sand is an earthy green/brown." Some of the photos of pistols coated in it, some look exactly like the Desert Sand of the M45A1 and other photos look like Green/Grey color, sorta a FDE tinted a bit green. That is true of a lot of the earth tones, especially the elite earth tones. Not sure why the tone and shade of the color will change from pistol to pistol, perhaps the color of the substrate has something to do with it, or the way its applied? or it could simply be the lighting of the photos?

We'll have to see, I'll probably use the Elite Sand and if it turns out way off the desert sand color, then I might blast it off and redo it in Elite FDE.
The three Elite Colors I have for my two projects.
Moss (close to OD Green), FDE, Sand
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Not sure on this color. The Cerakote website describes it as "Cerakote Elite Sand is an earthy green/brown." Some of the photos of pistols coated in it, some look exactly like the Desert Sand of the M45A1 and other photos look like Green/Grey color, sorta a FDE tinted a bit green. That is true of a lot of the earth tones, especially the elite earth tones. Not sure why the tone and shade of the color will change from pistol to pistol, perhaps the color of the substrate has something to do with it, or the way its applied? or it could simply be the lighting of the photos?

We'll have to see, I'll probably use the Elite Sand and if it turns out way off the desert sand color, then I might blast it off and redo it in Elite FDE.
The three Elite Colors I have for my two projects.
Moss (close to OD Green), FDE, Sand
Different: lighting, cameras, photograph fidelity/resolution, filters/editing, software that it was transferred through...there are an infinite list of possibilities there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
A little blasting today....
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I blasted the WarHawk Double Stack first, I'm so low on media now. Another 12 lbs should be arriving tomorrow from Amazon.

The Cerakote tutorials, manuals and videos make the masking look far easier than it really is, the blasting lifted some of the tape.

Blasted the barrel at 40PSI for the profile for Ultra Slick, when I get more media I will blast the rest either 40PSI for ultra Slick or 100PSI for color Cerakote.
Wood Office supplies Cylinder Rectangle Metal


Did the inside of the frame and rails at 40 PSI for ultra slick still have to do the outside of the frame and the rest of the parts.
Wood Automotive exterior Tool Bumper Rectangle


Plan is too finish blasting, Cerakote everything except the outside color on the Slide. Because the markings on the M45A1 have the slide engraving the same color as the slide, but the markings on the frame are filled with black color.

Then I'll take it to the Laser Engraver, that will mask off the area on the frame to be engraved and burn through the tape, leaving it behind. Then I will cerakote it again in black to fill the engraving as well as cerakote the slide to be all one color filling the engraving the same color as the slide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 · (Edited)
A quick update....
I had hoped to have the frame and slide to the engraver a week ago...
What is dragging this out?
I've been over ambitious with my Cerakoting plans....
I wanted to do this in Elite Sand, Titanium for the barrel bushing and recoil spring plug and Micro-Slick on all interior and friction surfaces....

And Cerakote instructions, after degreasing you have to wear latex gloves when touching for everything...

I have to do a ton of masking with and a lot on small parts to do all these things, with gloves on, it is kicking my a$$.

I still haven't finished the parts for the Warhawk double stack project, let alone get into the meat of the M45A1 clone....
The barrel and trigger are ready for coating
Office supplies Font Writing implement Ball pen Wood


So I'm punting on these ambitious plans to do all the parts in multiple colors, which for this pistol, the unseen friction or interior surfaces would be in the micro-slick and exterior in the Elite Sande or FDE...

Just doing each part in one color, maybe a few exceptions...
But simply coat the interior/friction surfaces the same color as the exterior surfaces.

The micro-slick is going to be a minimal enhancement, at this point its just not worth it to do all of this masking and re-masking of every tiny part.

Still going back and fourth between using Cerakote E-150 Elite Sand or E-210 Flat Dark Earth for the main color.
The Elite FDE would be a little darker than Desert Tan of the original M45A1 (BTW, using earlier less durable versions of Cerakote) the E-150 Sand is lighter than FDE but darker than Desert Sand. Thing is, it has some green in it, some examples look pretty darn close to desert sand, and others look like a lighter and greener FDE. Anyone have any experience with these color in the Elite series?
 

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My suggestion with respect to the colors is find some small metal thing you wouldn't care if it got painted, mix up the smallest batch of cerakote feasible, and spray a test patch of each color. Then bake it and see how it comes out. Then you'll have the best idea possible which color you prefer. Honestly a mix of 12 ML:1 was enough to completely coat the slide and frame with some left over, the only reason I end up using so much of the small bottles is my propensity for doing things that make me have to mix up another little bit so I can re-spray this or touch up that. So there's plenty of cerakote in there to play with if you're less scatterbrained than I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 · (Edited)
So got to some Cerakoting tonight...
Wood Gas Tints and shades Space Metal


This is Cerakote Micro Slick P-109 being oven cured. ...
This is suppose to be a friction reducing coating, that can burnish back to the appearance of bare metal, but still remains in the grain of the surface to reduce friction and reduce corrosion...

Also Did the items I want in black in Cerakote Elite Midnight E-110, but ran out of daylight, and I suffered mistakes because of that....
BTW, the only part in black on the M45A1 is the trigger shoe...
White Blue Recreation Font Bicycle part


A couple lessons learned from Cerakote....

Not much guidance on Micro-Slick, I had to search to find the suggested spray pressure was 30 psi, so I set up the spray gun the same for Cerakote Elite at the 30 psi.
I was suspicious because the Micro-Slick is clearly half the mass of Cerakote Elite. And I end up running out with more than enough that I loaded the spray gun with. I turned down the fluid volume to half as much and reloaded the gun, and it worked perfectly. Micro-Slick is suppose to be strained with the 325 mesh strainer, like Elite, and the Micro-Slick drained through it rather quickly.

Elite Series, as well as H-Series, takes time to mix, make sure to manage you time.

You need good lighting, and if you're an amateur like me, you need to spray outside for ventilation and avoid the mess the mess that will happen from spills and overspray and it will happen.

So do NOT run out of Daylight, which I did, and ended up with missing total coverage and then as I catch some of the missed areas and going back and spraying to cover them, I over sprayed and ran and had a few runs. So I have several pieces with bare spots and then some with runs. I should have waited till the next day and done it in daylight.

The Elite Series needs to be strained with a 325 mesh strainer and it will take forever for it to strain. Like 30 minutes for 2 oz to strain through. So set up to do the straining and don't think you can just pour it in and start spraying in a few minutes.

If you are going to do multiple color on one part, thus have the part masked off and then remask, you can blast the new area to be coated makes for cleaner break line, as well assure better adherence of the coating. One part I did no do this, I got some orange peeling, it may have been some adhesive residue from the tape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
And its raining, drizzling all day through tomorrow...
There goes getting the slides and frames to the Engraver tomorrow...
The Cerakoting has become the most difficult part of this project....

I did polish the Micro-Slick Coated Barrel so the exposed portions look like bare SS, like the M45A1...
Office supplies Cylinder Bicycle part Composite material Metal

The Micro-Slick is suppose to be still be there reducing friction even after its worn down to look like exposed metal, I had to use some ruse to get it to bare SS, so I may have taken off all the micro-slick. We'll have to see....
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
My suggestion with respect to the colors is find some small metal thing you wouldn't care if it got painted, mix up the smallest batch of cerakote feasible, and spray a test patch of each color. Then bake it and see how it comes out. Then you'll have the best idea possible which color you prefer. Honestly a mix of 12 ML:1 was enough to completely coat the slide and frame with some left over, the only reason I end up using so much of the small bottles is my propensity for doing things that make me have to mix up another little bit so I can re-spray this or touch up that. So there's plenty of cerakote in there to play with if you're less scatterbrained than I am.
Indoor Artificial Light
Facial expression Handwriting Font Material property Circle

Outdoor brighter Natural Light
Facial expression Handwriting Eyelash Font Material property


I think I'm going with the FDE, the Sand has too much of the Green showing in the color....

Can Cerakote Elite be mixed for new colors?
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 · (Edited)
So I went with FDE, a little darker than I had hoped, but it looks good IMO....
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Everyday carry


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Only the Trigger Shoe is coated in E-110 Midnite Black, every where else that is black is actually Micro-Slick (P-109) or the original black oxide for the threads on some of the screws and rear sight on the RMR mount.

The Elite Series after mixing with the catalyst, has to be strained through a 325 mesh strainer, 150 mesh for H-series. It takes forever to strain. I learned to setup the spray gun on the corner of a box to let it drain through the filter while I busied myself with other things prepping to coat. Instead of standing there holding the spray gun for 20-30 minutes. I also found taking a small screwdriver and scrapped it across the mesh screen, to brush aside a lot of the residue and clear the screen up and speed up the filtering. Did this very 5 minutes or so, it doesn't seem like it does much at first, but when you come back 5 minutes later you see it really helps.

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
So now I'm worried if I keep go back and fourth over if I should have just went with H-Series Desert Sand, I do like FDE, so I think once its all together I will like it more, even if the color is off. Elite Series is suppose to be so much tougher than H-Series...

Epoxy does not stand up to sand blasting nearly as well as metal, the few flaws you can see in the rail block attachment to the frame is the result of filled epoxy blended, but after blasting was cut away.

Trial fitting a few parts, the Cerakote does make a difference some parts are way to tight or won't go together at all without rubbing down the coating. This may be a result of my amateur job and spraying on the coating too thick, or it may just be that is all part of cerakoting parts not originally taking a coating into account when machined to final dimensions.

So what's left;
Take the frame and slide (the slide is not coated) to the Engraver
Do the exterior surfaces of the Barrel Bushing and Recoil Spring Plug in E-Series Titanium
After getting the frame and slide back from the Engraver
Fill the engraving in the Frame in E-Series Midnight black
Still going back and fourth over filing the slide serrations to better match the M45A1
Cerakote the slide that is now stenciled
Put it all together
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
So waiting for the Laser Engraver to come available....
I fitted the slide (again) basically wore down and sanded down the cerakote on the frame rails a bit.
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Everyday carry

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Everyday carry


I trial fitted all the parts, the Cerakote is thin, there was no problem with the hammer, grip safety, grips or main spring housing fitting at all. Magazines drop out of the well like they should. Only frame rails and pin holes had a little interference that required a few passes with sand paper to knock down the coating enough for the pin or slide to fit.

So everything is coated except the Slide (waiting till after engraving to coat it), all the sub-assemblies that can pre-assembled, assembled and kitted out in little plastic bags.
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Just waiting on the engraver......
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Just got back from the Laser Engraver....
Unfortunately, he was not able to perfectly recreate the engraving from the actual M45A1, but boy it does look cool... ...so I'm happy with it...
Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Air gun Metal

Trigger Air gun Gun barrel Gun accessory Composite material


So I have to Cerakote the Frame Engraving in Black, then file the slide serrations closer to the actual M45A1's serrations, then Cerakote it FDE as well.

Then just have to put it all together!
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
A local guy that does it as a part time gig. You can only find him on Facebook under "Devil Dog Laser Engraving".

Maryland's new law about Personal Manufactured Firearms that was just passed, requires an FFL to put the first 3 and last 5 of their FFL license number on the pistol as part of the serial number, the FFL has to keep track of the hyphen number that can be assigned at random, just as long as he does not duplicate it. (This assures you get an unique Serial Number that is not repeated anywhere else). None of the FFL's are willing to do this, the state can't make them do this, and they don't want their license number on a firearm they have absolutely no control over. I had to search around before I finally found a guy willing to do it. A laser engraver who specializes in firearms that is also an FFL, as well, he is planning on getting into Cerakoting and starting to read up on it.

Because he is looking into adding Cerakoting to his business, he had a special carbon fiber masking tape, that he put over the frame, knowing I was planning on Cerakoting to backfill the engraving. So the laser burns through tape and metal, then when I spray it, the cerakote perfectly backfills the engraving, with the same crisp lines of the laser engraving. He told me that he got the advice to flash the cerakote backfill, i.e. bake for 15 minutes, then pull it out and remove the tape and put it back in the overn to bake it a full hour to harden the coat. Made sense to me, if you wait till coat fully bakes and hardens, it will be stronger than the tape, and you could end up with uneven edges. So I did that, the only draw back was removing the tape hot left a lot of the tape adhesive behind. I found scrubbing it with a rag and WD-40, removed the adhesive.
 
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