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A while back we brought you news of DIY tablet that was created using a Raspberry Pi (a Linux computer the size of a credit card). The creators of the Novena Project set out to do just that and managed to design a notebook with open source hardware (meaning hardware whose specs are available to just everyone). Inside the laptop, the duo has packed a whole range of wonders and surprises, like a FPGA on the motherboard, dual Ethernet sockes, a USB OTG port plus a Freescale iMX6 quad-core ARM CPU. Furthermore, the laptop bundles Vivante GC2000GPU, micro SD card slot, mini PCle-slot, 4GB of RAM, a header for Wi-Fi module, HDMI socket, and USB 2.0. The two inventors are planning a crowdfunding campaign that will allow them to finance a more user-friendly version of their laptop. While you wait on that, the specs are available on the project’s Wiki page, if you want to take a chance at building your own.
I thought this would be a fun tutorial and project to do since this is basically the centerpiece to our main living area. If you’ve got the time, a little money, and some know-how you should build this survival vehicle. There is some debate regarding the details, but it is indisputable that the United States was the breeding ground for powered flight. The BATFE has as its very mandate the supervision of guns, and the regulations regarding the manufacture and transfer of firearms are labyrinthine to say the least. While there are no federal restrictions on building one of these guns up at home for personal use, local laws are another story.
You still cannot build a machine gun or violate the arcane regulations regarding barrel length, nor could you legally contrive a grenade launcher or similar destructive device.
A 1911 frame that is four-fifths completed is tough to quantify, but if the sear and hammer pin holes are not drilled, the barrel seat not cut and the frame rails have not been machined, then the otherwise incomplete component is uncontrolled. The limitations of language preclude my adequately describing how cool the 1911 Phantom Jig is. It is theoretically possible to cut stainless steel frames with this device, though we opted for aluminum. The intricacies of assembling this iconic pistol are well documented and explored in detail both online and in print.
The Present Arms fixtures are milled from a robust, non-marring polymer and are purpose designed to keep everything in place and provide that third hand you need to get through some of the sticky bits. The internal mechanism goes together fairly smoothly so long as you have some modicum of familiarity with it. The resulting pistol is remarkably light and accepts any standard accessory on its railed dustcover.
It takes a little mechanical aptitude to pull off this project, but it really requires more patience than skill.
At the end of the day, it is incredibly satisfying to carry a gun for personal protection that I built with my own hands.
My point is, that even though the above items were donated, they were salvaged items that were going to be thrown out anyway. But let’s go further on imagining and ask what if we could build a laptop from scratch? From the Wright brothers’ adventures in 1903 to the present day, no other nation has so embraced the concept of slipping the surly bonds of Earth.
However, what is not so well known is that if you build a gun yourself, solely for personal use and have no intent to transfer it, the legal landscape changes fundamentally.
It is the responsibility of the user to research local restrictions before embarking on such a project. However, so long as the basic design is otherwise compliant with federal guidelines, the typical home hobbyist can build a rifle, shotgun or pistol at home and there remains no federal requirement for registration.
A proper milling machine can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and the skills to program and operate it effectively take years of training and practice. When factory-made, this component carries the serial number and must be transferred through a licensed gun dealer. The holes are easy enough to drill with a jig that bolts to the side of the frame and guides the drill bits. This is a patent-pending device that affixes to the unfinished 1911 frame and guides a manually driven carbide cutter to cut the slide rails and barrel seat precisely.
There is a sliding shuttle that holds the cutter and an adjustment knob that controls the depth. You’ll need a punch (or three), a small non-marring hammer and some basic tools to go along with a smidgeon of institutional knowledge.
TFX stands for “Tritium Fiber-Optic Xtreme,” and these reasonably priced aftermarket sights offer everything you could want in tactical gun sights. The slide-to-frame fit feels like greased glass and the crisp single-action trigger is simply divine. So long as you don’t rush anything, the build is within reach of anyone even reasonably handy with tools. Truth be known, anybody really serious about guns should build one of these just for the novelty of the thing; legally building a sterile firearm that has no markings or serial number adds mystique to any collection. This log cabin build would be great for any deer camp, lake lot or just anywhere you might have room for a little awesome log cabin. As a result, despite countless reams of regulations and an entire robust government agency devoted to the management of aircraft, if you can bodge together an airplane on your own, the government will graciously allow you to fly it yourself with minimal interference. However, if you live in a free state, as I do, there is little more satisfying than building, shooting and carrying a tack-driving 1911 that you conjured up yourself at home.
The barrel, slide, internal components and so forth are just fluff and may be bought and sold freely through the mail. It was the rail cuts and barrel seat that previously kept the homebuilt 1911 out of reach of anyone not blessed with a $50,000 milling machine. First you bolt the jig in place and use it to carefully drill the two requisite holes from the side. Take the handle and slide it along its track such that the cutter removes a sliver of material about half the thickness of aluminum foil. The entire investment in time finishing out our aluminum 1911 frame was maybe an afternoon. I had to tweak the safety a smidge with my Dremel tool to loosen it up, but I left everything else as it came.
The end result is utterly professional and the extraordinary sense of personal satisfaction is tough to describe.
Because I was able to take other people’s garbage, and make them into something useful.
Compressing the hammer spring into its housing is a chore but you can use your vise to hold it in place.
Reliability was 100 percent with three different brands of ammunition and maintenance is awfully straightforward once you literally know every piece of the gun, inside and out. The gun actually shoots as well as the high-end commercial 1911s in my personal collection. That means the donated items were worth $0, and they only took on value when I was able to make use of them. In a fairly brief period you’ll have the rails cut as precisely as though they were cut on a mill.
We placed a small ball bearing over the top when compressing it to push the plunger low enough to get the cross-pin started.
These steel sights are simply superb, and they are available for most any handgun whether you built it at home or bought it in a store. Additionally, the overall price, even with the Phantom Jig, is comparable to a mid-range commercial 1911 pistol.
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