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All About Guns What's your weapon of choice, and why? Discuss the beloved speargun here!

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Old 01-05-2013, 06:48 PM   #1
PJfisho
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First build 120cm tassie oak/spotted gum

Well I took the plunge and have started to build my own speargun. Thanks to everyone who has given advice and who I'm sure will continue to give advice adn constructive critisism. My hope is this thread will encourage others to build their own spearguns as other peoples build threads have.

I decided to build a 120cm deep open rail gun using (as yet unsure, prob Neptonics reverse mech) and shark fin spears.

Sourcing wood: This took a while as none of the specialty wood mechants are open until late January, I didn't want to wait that long.
First I hunted around the usual online haunts such as Ebay and Gumtree for some nice wood, and they pretty much just listed floorboards and decking, so I started there as they seemed to be about the right size. At the time I was also looking for epoxy to use, and everyone seems to recommend West Systems, so after looking up West Systems suppliers here in Victoria, Connollys came up who do pretty much nothing but floorboards/decking.
So after travelling there, getting epoxy and some choice bits of Tallowwood and Karri, I went home and started measuring. Unfortunately I found all pieces were unsuitable as they were slightly warped/twisted/bowed when measured on my straight edge.

As was suggested by Ric.Fallu, I went to Bunnings and had a look at the interior Tasmanian Oak that they had on the shelves. After searching through stock of three different bunnings, I came back with three pieces of 12x65 and one of 19xsomething. I was going to use these three pieces of Tas Oak to make the gun but I really wanted the timber to contrast, so I persisted in finding another decent piece. After some mucking around I picked up some nice deep browny red spotted gum from another decking supplier around the corner from me. It was slightly bowed but was nice and flat and no twists.
I will propably end up using the Tallowwood and Karri for the handle.



Here is one of the lengths of Tallowwood that I'm about to attempt to straighten with the saw. It didn't turn out so well, I need to make a much longer saw guide.
Picked up a sweet featherguide too, its magnetic and just sticks to Triton beautifully. Didn't occur to me that I shouldnt have used it when straightening wood through the saw though, whoops.

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A new toy which Bunnings just got in stock, a digital angle gauge and a new skinny Diablo saw blade. Saw is now set at 90.3 degrees, pretty happy with that.
I'm using a Triton MK3 which me old man has had since they first originally came out. It has worked well ever since. Has a Hitatchi powerhouse driving the blade. I will have to modify some of the tools though that came with saw, as their guides have worn and are sloppy in the stamped saw deck.

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I came up with this temporary solution to cut the bow out of the wood. Worked suprisingly well. I am going to pick up a nice length of RHS aluminium and bolt it to the guide so I can do this in the future with little fuss.
I am going to have to make another blade guard too, the guide that came with the Triton many years ago was not made for skinny blades and the wood binds up on it.

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Mocking up the laminates on some very thick RHS that I was going to use to make up some towbar recievers with. Turned out to be perfect for laminating spearguns. I ended up using two pieces of 12mm thick Tasmanian Oak, and one piece of 19mm thick Spotted Gum. I was aiming for a gun of around 120cm length so I rough cut these lengths to 130cm for gluing.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
PJfisho
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Re: First build 120cm tassie oak/spotted gum



End grains of the three pieces of timber.

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Test clamping the stack of wood together. From top to bottom: Some scrap 90deg angle I had lying around, then some cheap pine 2x4 or whatever, the speargun itself, then the spare piece of Tas Oak I bought and finally the sturdy RHS. It should be rigid enough and distribute the clamping forces.



Suprisingly it was very nerve wrecking to actually start mixing the epoxy as in minutes it becomes rather final, you are always thinking to yourself if you have missed a step. I mixed way too much epoxy too, I guess you live and learn.
I followed the ratio's as listed on West Systems website, and also followed their advice on 'wetting' the laminates before applying the filler epoxy. So basically, I mixed the right ratio of epoxy, dabbed as little as possible onto all glue surfaces of timber, then mixed in the filler and liberally applied, then clamped. I found the filler was a little lumpy and wouldn't mix properly but it seemed to turn out alright.

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Everything clamped up nicely. Actually clamping everything was a pain as the timber kept trying to slide off each other when you clamped. I may have used too much epoxy. Came out alright in the end. I hope to hell that epoxy doesn't stick to aluminium foil, I just used it as this is what I have seen in other peoples threads.

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LESSONS LEARNT:
-Use scales that measure more than just 5gram increments, I reckon I poured in 20gram of hardener before the scales did anything, so my hardener ratio was a little haphazard.
-Lengths of aluminium box section or at least C section make fantastic straight edges.
-Use new saw blades, made a massive difference, I tried to use the original Triton blade from 15 years ago, it still cut but not very well.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:20 PM   #3
xpuddlepirate
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Re: First build 120cm tassie oak/spotted gum

Congratulations on taking your first step to your new addiction. It's great to be able to build your own guns.

Just one suggestion, why not use measuring cups for measuring/mixing the epoxy? I use medicine cups I get on eBay by the hundreds.
http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewi...id=38516121069

Good luck with your build and have fun.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:26 PM   #4
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Re: First build 120cm tassie oak/spotted gum

the strips will always slide you just have to take scrap pieces of wood that are the height of the blanks and clamp them on each side (but make sure you tape the pieces so they dont stick) and you want to see squeeze out coming out of every strip to ensure you wont have voids.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:56 PM   #5
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Re: First build 120cm tassie oak/spotted gum

I would of used that length of steel angle to set up and epoxy the blank in.
I have a piece of 100x100 3mm aluminium angle about 1.8 long that I use, but a nice piece of 6mm gal angle would be better.....if I had the $ I would buy a nice pice of stainless.....
The angle is also pressed into duty as a fence, and as a guide on the router.
Check out some of 'The Reef Geek's most excellent and innovative creations, very helpful.
Glad wrap can also be used instead of alfoil, and x 2 for the measuring cups, although I have used disposable syringes effectively also.
Got that Triton and the big Hitachi myself, hard to kill! Triton make a good router also.
Congrats on your progress so far, now the real fun begins! Enjoy!
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:42 AM   #6
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Re: First build 120cm tassie oak/spotted gum

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrasselin View Post
Congratulations on taking your first step to your new addiction. It's great to be able to build your own guns.

Just one suggestion, why not use measuring cups for measuring/mixing the epoxy? I use medicine cups I get on eBay by the hundreds.
http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewi...id=38516121069

Good luck with your build and have fun.
Yeh measuring cups are nice, but I have many jam jars, and a small set of scales that I can't find at the moment, so prob just stick with that. I don't do a lot of epoxying anyway. Reading the safety sheet on the epoxy, man they weren't wrong when they said it gets hot. I could not hold the jar when it was solidifying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndoelman View Post
the strips will always slide you just have to take scrap pieces of wood that are the height of the blanks and clamp them on each side (but make sure you tape the pieces so they dont stick) and you want to see squeeze out coming out of every strip to ensure you wont have voids.
Things you think about when the epoxy is setting hehe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelr View Post
I would of used that length of steel angle to set up and epoxy the blank in.
I have a piece of 100x100 3mm aluminium angle about 1.8 long that I use, but a nice piece of 6mm gal angle would be better.....if I had the $ I would buy a nice pice of stainless.....
The angle is also pressed into duty as a fence, and as a guide on the router.
Check out some of 'The Reef Geek's most excellent and innovative creations, very helpful.
Glad wrap can also be used instead of alfoil, and x 2 for the measuring cups, although I have used disposable syringes effectively also.
Got that Triton and the big Hitachi myself, hard to kill! Triton make a good router also.
Congrats on your progress so far, now the real fun begins! Enjoy!
I like that idea of using the aluminium angle to set them in, will do that next time.
Yeh the Triton is a good old unit, I found you just have to take extra care if you want high accuracy. The damn pressed channels are a pain but I can compensate when I machine up some Acetal bar.
I'm going to be buying the Triton router to mount under a custom bench.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:19 AM   #7
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Re: First build 120cm tassie oak/spotted gum

so you dont get the sliding, i cut my lams a little bit bigger than the dimentions i need them, then clamp like 2 clamps on the top (lams going up and down next to eachother) then then the rest on the sides, good luck, nice looking build!
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:40 AM   #8
PJfisho
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Re: First build 120cm tassie oak/spotted gum

Wow ok, so life got in the way and I completely forgot about my speargun build until I accidentally came across the trigger mech in a bag.
Even had to google search trigger mechs and match it up visually to remember what I bought (a Neptonics reverse trigger btw).
Time to continue the build, now need a handle, remote trigger and rod.

So anyway, is 6+ years long enough to rest the timbers after gluing?
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:49 AM   #9
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Re: First build 120cm tassie oak/spotted gum

Quote:
Originally Posted by PJfisho View Post
Wow ok, so life got in the way and I completely forgot about my speargun build until I accidentally came across the trigger mech in a bag.
Even had to google search trigger mechs and match it up visually to remember what I bought (a Neptonics reverse trigger btw).
Time to continue the build, now need a handle, remote trigger and rod.

So anyway, is 6+ years long enough to rest the timbers after gluing?
I try to let my blanks rest at least a decade, keep waiting.

Plus side is there's more information out there now and the american mid handles have been moving towards euro influence with sexy curves.
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