Milling for moon clip, what about the ejector?

milktree

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I'm fixing to mill my Security-Six cylinder for moon clips. I've got all the dimensions (I think) and I'm putting together the fixturing.

One thing I'm unsure about is how to hold the ejector star in place so it doesn't get yanked out or around by the end mill.

Given that end mills are all "up cutting" (is that the right term?) it seems like there's a possibility that the end mill could grab on and lift the ejector.

What, if anything do people do to keep the ejector star from moving around and getting chowdered up? Clamp on top? Screw into it from the front/bottom? Nothing? Videos I've seen of moon clip milling don't show a clamp on top, so I expect it's not that.


Before you ask:

1) I'm doing this because I think it'll be fun. I'm doing this myself because it'll be a challenge that I think I can do, and I'll have pride in the project. I've already got speed-loaders which work fine, I don't need another solution to my not-a-problem of loading. It's a 6 shot revolver, I'm never going to win any contests with this.

2) four jaw lathe chuck mounted on a rotary table mounted on the X-Y table of a milling machine with a DRO. That should give me all the rotational and axial and radial control/precision I need.
 

Sweeney

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Do you leave the ejector in place when doing this? If so, toe clamp the ejector down while milling. You will need to reposition the clamp, of course, while doing this.

I would be inclined to remove the ejector and machine it separately.
 

milktree

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I would be inclined to remove the ejector and machine it separately.

I agree. Remove the ejector.

Removing the ejector makes milling the cylinder easy, but milling the ejector separately seems hard. It's not at all obvious how to fixture it for milling. And getting the depth of cut the same for the cylinder and ejector is more prone to error if you do them separately.

The videos I've seen seem to leave the ejector in place:

e.g.:


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVfHKkAAE50



View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHinii-8fdQ&t=300



View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsyBBnfW_3g


Which means it's held in place from the ejector rod, it doesn't need anything special to hold it in place, or the speed/style of the end mill is such that it cuts without lifting.

I can easily imagine there being some secret sauce that places like TK custom use to make sure their work is top notch that they don't want to share.
 

milktree

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Can you machine the ejector on a lathe with a tool post grinder? Seems the safest way in my mind...

Maybe? I don't have a lathe, so that's a limitation for me. :)

In the case of the Security-Six, the ejector gets milled in a circle, so that's a little easier than on the S&W revolvers where the inside of the moon-clip isn't a circle. That means you need to mill something with lobes into the outside circumference of the ejector (to avoid hitting the star)
 
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Can you chuck the extractor up in the mill and jig up a rotary tool with a grinding stone onto your table? Also, not all end mills cut upwards. Some cut with a downward spiral and some are actually compression cutters that move chips both up and down simultaneously. (Think CNC woodworking machines.)
 

milktree

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Can you chuck the extractor up in the mill and jig up a rotary tool with a grinding stone onto your table?

I'm reluctant to use abrasives on the mill just because I don't want all that super-hard dust over all the bits that need to stay flat and straight. (e.g. the ways)

I've got a rotary table, so I guess I could put it in a three or four jaw chuck on the rotary table and mill it separately. But... man, it seems like that's a great way to mill the cylinder and extractor to different depths.

... and nobody else seems to do them separately, which makes me think either something is holding the extractor down, or it doesn't lift.

Also, not all end mills cut upwards. Some cut with a downward spiral and some are actually compression cutters that move chips both up and down simultaneously. (Think CNC woodworking machines.)

I think an up cutting mill is necessary here, because it's removing the top surface, not edging. I don't see how any mill could be down cutting *and* be able to remove material from the top surface. The mill has to dig in to get at the material.
 
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You have brought up an interesting question. Is there room to put a long screw through the extractor with a nut and large washer on the bottom that would hold it down? Would those pieces get in the way of the cutters or the fixture that holds the cylinder? It seems like there might be room to just hold it in place with a long bolt.

I also wonder if the shops that do this regularly may have made pieces with the same thread as the ejector rod that would screw in from the bottom and lock the extractor star in place.

I am also wondering what keeps the extractor from rotating a little bit during this process. On old S&W revolvers, there were tight fitted pins that kept the extractor from rotating, but on newer guns there is a bit of tolerance there. On a newer Smith, you need to have brass in the cylinders to check the timing, because the brass keeps the extractor from rotating very much, and sometimes that is enough to matter. If the extractor was not held very tightly, I feel like this rotational play might cause problems for machining.
 
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When I did mine I did the extractor separately, the smith was simple since it has a flat on the ejector rod, no idea on the Ruger.
If you indicate properly I don't think you will see any difference in your cut depth.

If you do both the cylinder and the extractor at the same time I would make sure you have the extractor secured somehow, I don't believe Ruger will sell you that part, you'd have to send the gun back to them for the fix if you bugger it up.
 

milktree

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You have brought up an interesting question. Is there room to put a long screw through the extractor with a nut and large washer on the bottom that would hold it down?

*through* the extractor? nope. There's stuff going on at the breach end of it that gets in the way.


I also wonder if the shops that do this regularly may have made pieces with the same thread as the ejector rod that would screw in from the bottom and lock the extractor star in place.

That's my thought, and was hoping for confirmation from anyone who had done it, or who knew the inside scoop. :)


I am also wondering what keeps the extractor from rotating a little bit during this process.

The rod is "D" shaped, and there's matching pins/holes:

IMG_5951.JPG
IMG_5952.JPG


I'm definitely going to document the process when I finally get the confidence to do it.
 
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