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Blog

CNCCookbook Customer Spotlight Extended Cut

My friend Bob Warfield at CNCCookbook has a series where he is shinning spotlights on customers of his GWizard Calculator and GWizard Editor software products.  A very cool idea! Along with my buddy Brad Martin of TacticalKeychains getting the spotlight I was fortunate enough to be one of the ones to be featured in a Q&A style write up about War Machine LLC and how it got its start. You can check it out here by...
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The WarBlock High T-4 Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block is now in stock!

  The WarBlock High T-4 is now in stock and orders are open! They are available as a stand-alone unit to pin yourself (highly ill-advised unless you know what you are doing) primarily for gunsmiths, armorers, manufacturers, and highly technically proficient DIY with the tools and the know how. They are also available already professionally pinned to the CMMG line of barrels using standard taper pins. In addition there is also an option to send...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (17): soft jaws II squaring stock and barrel pinning

Here we are with the second installment of the soft jaw series within a series. In this episode we explore the other two primary functions that the soft jaws were engineered to serve. The first being the final machining off of the back tab. We start with a problem encountered when using the traditional vise jaws, actually a two-fold dilemma. The first being that the standard jaws only had a length of 6″ so the...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (16): soft jaws and milling off back tab

After the excitement of the first production run we need to float back down to earth for a little bit and face the reality that these gasblocks still aren’t done. We need to remove the back tab that has been securing into the fixtures up to this point. While it sounds easy enough it was actually quite a complicated little thing to tackle. First off I had to design a set of “soft” jaws to...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (15): first test production run

Finally after many months of work preparing for an actual production run we are now here. Before that we first knock out a little side project that I had done some work on months ago for a customer. I had worked closely with this customer on a prior successful project so I thought this would be an easy “reproduction” run. With the previous part there was a problem that required some further machining but it...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (14): finalizing side ops

In this installment I just wanted to finish up cut testing on the side ops mainly to eliminate chatter and to improve surface finish. There is not a lot to comment on here so this will be a short blog post. However here are some things I found useful to know when troubleshooting and developing tool paths. Raise your 3D toolpaths above the model: This has the benefit of tailoring the 3D tool path to...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (13): double down and fixture fixing

After I machined fixture plate 1 to have the correct sized bosses I decided to jump right in and machine two blanks simultaneously, the first time I’ve done more than one on the fixture. The only problem was the the gastube hole was drilled slightly off location in reference to the main 14mm bore hole (slightly too far away). This caused the blanks to require way too much force to seat to the fixture, much...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (12): 3D machining side ops revisited

Welcome back. I’ve been having a difficult time keeping up with getting my blog posts out on time but rest assured I have been machining every second I can to get this process down and ready for production. I have a bit of a back log of video and writing so while the power is down for the day I get to step away from the machine and work on catching up on my laptop....
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (11): 3D machining lightening pocket and sling swivel socket

As hoped I was able to get some machining done this week. In this episode I wanted to begin operations on the lightening pocket which always seemed somewhat daunting to me. When I first bought my CAM software a few years ago the first thing I did was try to figure out how to do this feature using 3D milling and it left me feeling a bit intimidated. However it is one of the few...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (10): chatter and interpolation

It’s been awhile since my last video or blog post due to too many extenuating circumstances to mention but I’m back with another one. This one will be yet again of particular interest to my machinist friends and perhaps no one else. From the last installment I was playing around with trying to plunge mill the bore to save time and tooling. While that might still yet pan out to be a viable option in...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (9): reaming vs plunge milling main bore

My need for more tooling is outpacing my lack of time. I need to put a large tooling order together and am waiting on Glacern to have a 4th of July sale so I can save some money. In the mean time Brian L from the CNCzone forums made a suggestion. Plunge milling the main bore. This is where you pre-drill a hole then plunge an endmill straight down to bring its location and dimension...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (8): roughing, finishing, and bayonet test cuts

While I’m waiting on some more tooling I decided to go back and revisit some of the operations that I wasn’t completely happy with. My goal here was to massage the programs a little to optimize tool life, surface finish, cut down on chatter, and minimize cycle time. First I decided to make things more aggressive across the board beginning with 0.375″ endmill facing. That endmill amazes me, it does whatever I tell it and...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (7): side gutting and 3D profiling

Things are really starting to take shape and the new fixture plate is working out great. The setup seemed very rigid to withstand some relatively heavy cuts and also very accurate and repeatable. We are finally to point of making the horizontal cuts which involve primarily gutting the side profile out and 3D contouring. The main challenges in my mind were the rigidity of the setup with regards to heavy roughing and secondly the the...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (6): machining fixture plate 2

In this episode I machine the 2nd fixture plate alluded to in the last post. It is a similar concept to fixture plate 1 with a few variations as well as improvements that I thought of after machining the first one.  This fixture plate is needed to orient the in-process gasblocks into a horizontal position so that I can access the side features; primarily the lightening window, some contours, and the main profile. The similarities...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (5): top side Picatinny rail and bottom features

We start out this entry addressing the backlash issue that came up in the X-axis. It turned out a collar came loose and wasn’t captivating the ballscrew bearings securely. I double checked the X and then the Y since they are the easiest to access right now. The Z will require taking off the way cover and way cover plate that I had previous caulked up to prevent coolant from leaking under the mill. The...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (4): test cuts revisited and profiling

In this episode I simultaneously take a step back and a step forward. After destroying my last 0.5 roughing endmill I got some help from Carl at Lakeshorecarbide. I received a few of his 0.5 roughing endmills and was immediately impressed. He had also suggested some cutting parameters to use with these that has worked well in his experience. Much of this video is going back and making some test cuts to determine more optimum...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (3): machining ops on front side of fixture 1

After spending some time CAM’ing a profile machining operation to cut out the general profile of the gasblock I took it to the mill a cut it out while on the fixture plate. It was great…but you can’t see it. Why? I don’t know why. I recorded about 30min or so of great footage from different angles, went to edited it and it simply wasn’t on the camera. Perplexed I ventured on with the intention...
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AR15 High Rail Gas Block CNC Machining (2): fixture plate process redo

In this post I am revisiting the process of preparing the stock material for the fixture plate. The previous operation had a fatal flaw; because the part was flipped in between drilling and milling and re-indexed, the main bore hole was not guaranteed to be concentric to the drilled hole. This is only a problem because the index point for all future operations are based on the accurate location of the main bore hole. If...
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WarBlock Receiver Height AR15 Gas Block CNC Machining (1): stock prep for fixture plate

Here is the first installment in the AR15 High Rail Gasblock machining series. In this episode I am machining the main bore and the gas tube hole while simultaneously creating the mating interface to the fixture plate. I came up with the idea of using pre-existing features on the gasblock that needed to be machined anyway to serve double duty. In this case the fixture plate I made from 4140 HT includes a 14mm boss...
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Website is Launched!

Hi everybody, In the darkness when everyone is sound asleep in their beds and without much notice a website is launched. It’s been a long few weeks for me trying to go from zero to website but it is officially here and ready for business. Special thanks to Eric at Cando for the immense help in getting me here, and Pottinger Photo for the excellent photography. I am still quite the novice so there may...
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