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Discussion Starter #1
Due to popular request, here is a forum for us to discuss home gunsmithing projects, tinkering and tuning, and related topics. I volunteered to moderate this forum because I like to tinker, not because I'm the be all end all of knowledge. Hopefully our resident smiths can help enlighten us as needed.

For our first post, I'll answer the question that seems to get asked about twice a week on a similar forum elsewhere: if you want to learn about the 1911, buy both of Jerry Kuhnhausen's books from Brownell's. The AGI and Wilson videos are also good. Buy tools from Brownell's.
 

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In order to dehorn a sidearm, what is the best way of softening the edges, without disrupting the original lines of the piece? Is this done with handfiles or a Fordham tool?
 

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You mean Foredom tool. It turns more slowly than the hand held tools. The flexible shaft allows holding at angles without strain.To answer your question, chuck up a hard stone of suitable diameter and grind in a suitable radius a bit back from the tip. Use a hardened steel tool or a carbide tool bit. You can then go at the edges without fear of the stone "tractioning" and ruining your work.
I know this is a radical suggestion, but it is wise to practice for several hours on cast-off or junk parts, only going to work on your gun when you have confidence in your ability to control the stone. (More amateur work is ruined by use of a hand grinder in untrained hands than any other reason.)
I remember going up a long flight of stairs to a shop I shared with another gunsmith and hearing the "Nyeeahhh" of the grinder, then a string of explatives. Practice with your tools on non-critical parts. Observe. Remember. Compare.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
John:
Welcome aboard! I hope you'll stop by often and share your knowledge and experience. For those who don't know, John was the Pistolsmithing editor for American Handgunner, and I for one am certainly excited to have so many professional smiths here on this site.

My motto for my home projects has been "go slow. you can always take more off, but you can't put it back on." That old adage has save me from ruining too much. I also refer frequently to my custom 1911's (built by pros) to see how it's supposed to be done.
 

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I'll second that welcome! John has been pistolsmithing since before most of us were toilet-trained. Over the years I've enjoyed his many magazine articles and more recently, on the web, John has continued to share his vast knowledge with his informed and gentlemanly posts. It is great to have him aboard.

Rosco
 

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Welcome John...

:wink:
 
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