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  #1  
Old 05-24-2017, 02:06 PM
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donato donato is offline
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WARNING: Very Detailed Caspian Build Thread with Lots of Pics!

All images were taking with iPhone 7+.

My recent purchase of my new Wilson Supergrade Compact inspired me for a new Caspian build. My goal is to produce a pistol that is on par with a Supergrade or better. My last build was inspired by my first Supergrade purchase a few years back and IMHO is pretty dam close to my Wilson SG as far as how the pistol feels and functions but I don’t have any heavy equipment like a CNC or Lathe so I’m kind of limited in that respect, ha! talent and experience is probably my biggest limiting factor..

MY FIRST BUILD

https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=240962

Well anyway here we go, this thread will cover the finer details of the several months it will take me to build this pistol and be very image intensive. First off I started with a Caspian frame and the only part I have right now is a Wilson Bulletproof magazine release so that is where I will start. I have all the other parts on order from Wilson and Harrison Engineering and the Caspian slide should arrive this week.




SANDPAPER FILES







I’m quite familiar with Wilson and have examined images of Cabot so the contrast is pure machine to human refinement. Like I said I don’t have a CNC or a Mill and I’m not quite as skilled with a file so I'm slowing it down with what I call sandpaper files. I know that hand finishing with sandpaper kind of dulls all the edges of a 1911 and makes the gun look soft vs. the sharp edges with a file from Wilson. So my approach on this build will be with sandpaper and wooden dowels for a look somewhere in the middle of sharp file edges and sandpaper by hand.

CABOT



WILSON



SANDPAPER AND WOODEN DOWLES





Obviously this is just an example of what’s to come and time is no object. I plan to break down all the edges and file/polish out all machine and tool markings from the frame/slide and all the parts. I will start with 80, 150, 250, 400, 600, and in some cases 1000 grit sandpaper. The final finish will be 170/320 glass beads at 80psi.

Everything is stainless steel, frame and slide are Caspian and all the parts are the best I could find from Wilson Bulletproof and Harrison Engineering.

I plan to capture all the work that's involved on the finer points of 1911 building the best I can at my experience level. I have all the tools from my first build in addition to a bunch more purchased from Brownells and Matrix Precision. I will be using a pretty good 1911 reference library in addition to the AIG 1911 Build Series videos, and a host of other 1911 build videos on YouTube, and of course all the wealth of information on the 1911Forum.



I’m excited and time is no object to get this completed so it should be fun and an experience for me at least...

BTW my wife thinks I’m a very special person when I sit and watch guys on YouTube filing down steel for hours, she really enjoys the sound, LOL, Enjoy!
Attached Thumbnails
frame 6.jpg   sandpaper file 2.jpg   sandpaper file 3.jpg   sandpaper file 4.jpg   cabot front of slide 1.jpg   wilson front of slide 1.jpg  

frame 10.jpg   frame 12.jpg   frame 15.jpg   1911 library 1.JPG  
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Last edited by donato; 05-24-2017 at 08:56 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2017, 02:38 PM
jwperry jwperry is offline
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Tagged for interested; I've been collecting some 1911 parts and have been thinking more and more lately about sending the kit to someone and having them assemble everything. I lack machines to do any work(like you) so I'm excited to see how you get it all done with good ol' fashion "arm strong" tools.
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:17 PM
Hopknockious Hopknockious is online now
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Very nice. I will keep tabs on this. As noted above, nice to see someone try this with hand tools. I just did something similar, but your skill surpasses mine by a wide margin.
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  #4  
Old 05-24-2017, 07:37 PM
DT Guy DT Guy is offline
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I'll be honest; I'm more jealous of your copy of Nonte's "Pistolsmithing" than anything else!!

Great project; look forward to seeing your progress.


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  #5  
Old 05-24-2017, 07:49 PM
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donato donato is offline
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Ok, so the only other part I have currently for this build is a Wilson Bulletproof magazine release which is easy enough to install right from Wilson but it has some machine markings and doesnít appear to have a 600 grit finish minimum I want on this build.





On install the operation feels a little gritty and the force to insert the magazine is to great. I wanted it to function like my new 2017 Wilson SG so I got out the micrometer and measured the difference between the Supergrade mag release and the one to install on my new Caspian and it was about a little over a thousandths of an inch off so I had to take off some material. I was real careful not to take away from the original dimensions of the angles so I took off material only from exactly where needed, that's one thing I learned from my first build where I just started filing off material indiscriminately and all my internal parts ended up with that melted look which is fine for operation but looks amateurish compared to the masters.



I got the magazine insert to feel almost like I wanted to so next was the smoothness of operation, I sanded down with 400 grit, 600 grit the machine markings, and then topped it off with 170/320 glass beads at 80psi to get the finish I wanted. I then sanded with 600 grit on the end of a Dremel bit the inside of the magazine release channel on the frame and the magazine lock channel on the mag release too.





Here is the mag release from my 2017 Wilson SG (left) compared to the mag release for my new build (right). You can see the dimensions of the angles is almost exact but the mag release for my new Caspian build looks a little more refined and polished which will be the theme for my whole Caspian build.



Here it is installed and I can honestly say with a blind fold on, you wouldnít be able to tell the difference between the Wilson SG and my new Caspian on inserting and releasing the magazine. You can see from the images I also started smoothing out the curves inside and out of the trigger guard and surround areas. Of course the frame still needs a little refinement if Iím going to compare it to a Wilson SG.





Chamfering on the back of frame with my new sandpaper files, before and after.






Well thatís my 10 images for this post, and more parts just arrived, more to comeÖ
Attached Thumbnails
magazine release 4.jpg   magazine release 5.jpg   magazine release 2.jpg   magazine release 8.jpg   magazine release 3.jpg   frame 16.jpg  

frame 17.jpg   frame 20.jpg   frame 21.jpg   magazine release 20.jpg  
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Last edited by donato; 05-24-2017 at 09:42 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2017, 09:08 PM
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  #7  
Old 05-25-2017, 09:47 PM
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New parts just in; Caspian Slide and Wilson Bull Barrel, I decided to go with a flat-top, serrations, Novak front and rear sight cut, Caspian bevel cut, and a bull barrel this time. On order I have a 90 and 45 degree cutters from Brownells for flush barrel fit to the slide and a reverse crown. After I fit the barrel to the slide/frame assembly I will send it back to Wilson for fluting on the chamber and barrel.











The muzzle of the barrel was a few thousands off to fit the bushing less slide so with a makeshift lathe using a Ryobi cordless drill and masking tape to the end of a drill bit, I inserted the barrel, then spin with 80, 220, 400, 600 grit sandpaper I trimmed a bit of material off for a tight fit. Iím sure Iíll have to trim off a bit more once I get the barrel seated at angle to the top lugs of the slide.





The hood and lugs will need to be fit next but I'm still waiting on my slide to frame fitting tools from Matrix Precision before I can start really fitting the barrel to the whole assembly.







Iíll probably end up softening up the edges front, rear, bottom of the slide, and the ejection port with my sandpaper files so it matches the edges of the frame. I want the whole pistol to feel soft and smooth to the touch with no sharp edges, kind of like a soft stick of butter in your hand, but still keep overall angle geometry of the 1911 design, well thatís the plan anyway, I hope I donít @#%$ the whole thing upÖ
Attached Thumbnails
slide 1.jpg   slide 4.jpg   slide 6.jpg   barrel 2.jpg   barrel 5.jpg   makeshift lathe 1.JPG  

barrel 3.jpg   barrel-slide fit 1.jpg   barrel-slide fit 2.jpg   barrel-slide fit 3.jpg  
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2017, 04:55 PM
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Excited to see the finished product, although I know it's a few months off. I did a project similar to this when I built my Caspian longslide a few years ago (with a lot of help from the late great Dave Berryhill with inspiration from the late great Stephen Camp). The best friend you can have with this project is patience. Lots of it.

Keep on truckin' donato !!
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:50 AM
Retired AF CE Retired AF CE is offline
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Any updates?
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:24 AM
AlchemyCustom AlchemyCustom is offline
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FYI, the Cabot photographed in your first post has a bushing and barrel crown done by yours truly. It's not really indicative of the standard look of their guns.
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  #11  
Old 06-30-2018, 08:44 AM
kma! kma! is offline
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Curious whether you've made progress.

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