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  1. #1
    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    M16A1 Handguards

    I pick up two sets of M16A1 (Vietnam Era) furniture to play around with, I don't own an AR of any type. I figured that it would be a fun project to restore them. One set really just needs a good cleaning and finish. The other set needs some work.

    I have an idea on how I can reconstruct broken off handguard vent tangs but am wondering how these are normally reconstructed, if at all.

    *** YES I KNOW ITS A WASTE OF TIME, but so is watching TV and reruns of Archie Bunker and the Waltons. But this is the kind of crap I like to do, its fun, way more fun than 1. stamp collecting, 2. booger collections and 3. watching Mellinals trying to find a safe space, well maybe not funner then #3. SO ya' don't need to tell me I can buy a clean set for less than it costs to fix them, that's not the point.... especially since I don't have an AR or M16icon.
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    Last edited by usabaker; 06-28-2018 at 01:36 AM. Reason: Forgot to add pictures
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    Really Senior Member HOOKED ON HISTORY's Avatar
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    A man after my own heart.
    I just came in from 95 deg. F 100% humidity heat building a set of light brackets for a truck that I could have bought for $40.
    Sometimes you just need a challenge.
    I have contemplated your mission although never tried it. Perhaps build a supporting form with cardboard or something like it to the rough shape of the "tooth". Coat it with some type of release agent and build up with bedding compound or HB weld? File /dremmel to final shape?
    That's as far as I got with my brainstorming.
    P.S.
    I should have bought the brackets.

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    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOOKED ON HISTORY View Post
    Perhaps build a supporting form with cardboard or something like it to the rough shape of the "tooth". Coat it with some type of release agent and build up with bedding compound or HB weld? File /dremmel to final shape?
    Mississippi, I remember those days even sort of miss them. I was stationed in Gulfport in 1977 ~ 1979 almost moved back, might of too except for a crazy woman that kept stalking me. Anyhow, Didn't think of Acraglas bedding, did think if the JB Weld. I have some silicone molding material I was thinking about making a mold off the good set and then set the mold in place in the set that needs restoration and use fiberglass, JB weld, or now Acraglas; not sure which will adhere better to the A1 plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by HOOKED ON HISTORY View Post
    I just came in from 95 deg. F 100% humidity heat building a set of light brackets for a truck that I could have bought for $40
    Why buy when you can make, there is something about making and fixing that overrides fast, easy and cost. So how did the brackets come out since you say ya should have bought them?
    Last edited by usabaker; 06-28-2018 at 01:37 AM.
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    Member ArizonaBeagle's Avatar
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    Thumbs up M16A1 Handguards.......

    I also have a couple of hand guard sets that need a tooth or two replaced.
    I was planning on using fiberglass cloth somewhat oversize and file/dremel to fit.
    Just haven't gotten around to it yet.
    I'll be curious to see what you end up doing with yours.

    AZB

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    Really Senior Member HOOKED ON HISTORY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usabaker View Post
    Why buy when you can make, there is something about making and fixing that overrides fast, easy and cost. So how did the brackets come out since you say ya should have bought them?
    Feeling better about the fabrication project now that I have cooled off. I really enjoy making / repairing things.
    Keep us posted on what works as I have a couple of sets that could use some orthodontic repairs.
    P.S.
    Building a retro AR is great fun as well.


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