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RustedFrog

Home made Slide racker help

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I have made my own slide racker out of a 3/8"x4" stainless steel bolt. I left a little over an inch on the bolt head end to make some sort of dove tail or T or something with to mount. But I have never done anything like this and am not sure what the easiest thing to do would be. What would be the best way to attach it to the slide for a clean look? I have found some press in ball and spring detent assemblies that are small enough. Does anything think that would work? How hard is it going to be to shape it to a dove tail shape being that right now it only has a bolt head to hold onto?

slide racker 1.jpg

slide racker 2.jpg

slide racker 3.jpg

slide racker bolt.jpg

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Is there a slot already on your slide? If not that will be tricky to do with files. If you have to have it milled, then have whoever is milling it for you also cut the racker in as well.

If the slide in already milled for one then get some files. the dovetail should be either 60 or 65 degrees I believe. 

 

As far as retaining it, A detent ball should be fine or a small set screw

 

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My buddy has a mill. We are going to be mounting my dot mount, lightening the slide, and possibly working on this tomorrow. He has a dove tail but but says it would be really hard to cut the bolt to the dove tail shape. I don’t know why so I was just looking for possible easier options. 

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hmmm, not sure why it would be difficult to cut the bolt. I would think you could mount the bolt in the vise with the end hanging off and run the dovetail cutter along it. (it would basically be cutting the bottom of the bolt to size.)

The other option would be to file it by hand. Start with an aggressive file to get it roughly to size and then walk it in with finer files. 

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I considered very strongly filing it. My thought was to have him cut a dovetail groove into a piece of scrap metal and then I could get the measurements off of that with my calipers and work my racker down until it fits tightly. I know it would take a good bit of time. I was just not sure about the risk of going just a hair to far and ruining the whole thing. I am not sure how tight dove tail slide rackers need to fit. Or would that depend on if I went with a set screw or detents?

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My initial thought was that the bolt head would be plenty big enough to grip the bolt with enough force to hold it as long as we move slow and make our cuts slow. this would allow us to first mill the bottom of the mounting area flat and to the thickness that we need. Then we could mark the sides to the thickness that we need them to be for the widest point of our dovetail and then slowly start cutting in each side until the dovetail is cut where it needs to be. Then I could grind, file, or sand the top to whatever shape I needed to blend it into the slide. But that all hinges on the fact that the bolt head would be enough surface to sufficiently hold the racker while cutting. Having never milled anything in my life that may be the problem that my buddy is seeing in doing it. If that is so then would it work to weld a block to the bolt head to give us a better place to grab ahold of?

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So, a couple of things. I would first try to understand why your buddy can't mill it. But none the less if that's the case then so be it. Next, if you are going the hand filing method go slow! Try a test piece of stock first so you get the feel of it. It's going to be tedious but for me that's where the satisfaction is. I would also consider making a jig of sorts and have some dykem or markers on hand. 

Remember; it's easier to take material off than to put it back on! ?  when you start to get closer to the size needed I usually would cut a little and test, cut a little and test and so on .. 

 

As far as how tight goes; you're not looking for an interference fitting, but you want it to be snug with either way you go: detent or set screw. 

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3 minutes ago, RustedFrog said:

My initial thought was that the bolt head would be plenty big enough to grip the bolt with enough force to hold it as long as we move slow and make our cuts slow. this would allow us to first mill the bottom of the mounting area flat and to the thickness that we need. Then we could mark the sides to the thickness that we need them to be for the widest point of our dovetail and then slowly start cutting in each side until the dovetail is cut where it needs to be. Then I could grind, file, or sand the top to whatever shape I needed to blend it into the slide. But that all hinges on the fact that the bolt head would be enough surface to sufficiently hold the racker while cutting. Having never milled anything in my life that may be the problem that my buddy is seeing in doing it. If that is so then would it work to weld a block to the bolt head to give us a better place to grab ahold of?

 

You should have enough there to grab. When milling it's all about the feeds and speeds. So for the cutter and material you're using make sure you have that right. Also, there is no rush here so take small cuts!! I'm talking .001" maybe smaller (just to clarify here as well; I'm not a machinist by vocation. I'm hobby guy myself with experience) 

 

You may want to look into the dovetail cutter if you don't have it already (Brownells, EGW etc carry them) This will give you the correct angle and make life easier. 

 

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Ok. He didn't say he could not do it. He said it would be very hard to do on the bolt. And I am not sure why that is. I am hoping we can simply mill it. He just seems hesitant. Thank you for your advice. If I do end up doing it by hand I might just go spend another $3 on another bolt and use that so I am working with the same material. 

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He has a dovetail cutter. Him and one of our other local guys have made two slide rackers from bar stock. But they cut the dovetail first then made the slide racker after. So everything was straight and nice and neat when they cut the dovetail.

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My dad and I have a mini mill/lathe combo that we have been wanting to get for years and just never have. We really need to. I greatly enjoy doing this stuff and there is only so much that I can do without one. 

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Even if your buddy is going to mill the racker, have him cut it a little oversize and finish it with a file.  As schaet said, go slow with the file and you'll do just fine.

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As of today we did not have enough time to work on the slide racker. We got my dot mount and gas peddle mounted. That was all we had time for today. When I get back from work mid november we will try to finish the rest. 

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Dovetails are notoriously hard to fit, because there is currently not  a good way to measure them. Cutting a dovetail in a test piece does not mean it will be the exact same size as the dovetail in the slide. Whether milling or filing, you DO need to sneak up on the final size about .001 at a time between test fits. If you cut it .003 or more undersize, it will be sloppy. You could get a new bolt and do the dovetail first, then make the rest of it. 

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