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Want to get into Airsmithing/Modifications

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    Want to get into Airsmithing/Modifications

    After getting heavily into stock class/ mech I have really had the itch to start modifying or even building my own versions of some markers. I guess I am kinda asking some of the Air Gurus here and masters a few questions: "What do I need to get started with airsmithing/modifying?" Any resources I should read or look into? videos or files I should watch? any helpful advice?

    one of my goals is to be able to make Autococker blanks or Automag bodies at the shop I work at, Just dont really know how to even start from that. I do have access to a CNC lathe and Mill so I dont know if anyone on here as some experience with that for their projects. Thanks in advance, hoping to get the basics!

    #2
    If you already have access to machines and the knowledge to use them, that is a huge help. I started many years ago by basically copying parts I already had and modifying one or two attributes until I kind of figured out what I was doing. For example, I wanted a spring fed trracer so I copied every dimension from the stock trracer body and turned a new one with the only change being the feed location which was now on the top for the spring feed. From there I copied the valve body and made one that accepted 1/8npt on the side with no back bottle and just kept going.

    Once you do a few, you will realize what dimensions and air volumes are important you can start to modify other parts until you are making completely custom things. Just remember, just because a manufacture does it a certain way, doesn't mean it is the only way. Of course some caution should be taken with pressurized air and such if you start getting that deep in the weeds.

    So to sum up, start by copying something you already have and only make slight mods, learn, then go nuts.

    Comment


      #3
      Imitate and then innovate. Start simple and build up. Focus on one skill at a time. Meaning if you are going to copy a part - learn how to take all the measurements, identify the materials, and determine what tools/techniques you would need to learn to remake the part.

      Then begin recreating the part. Modify the design, if you want to try something. Have fun & stay safe.

      Like learning music. Learn parts. Practice sections. Play songs. Good luck!

      EDIT: This is just my opinion - I am not an airsmith. This is just how I approach learning new stuff. Start simple.

      Comment


        #4
        "Airsmithing" is not a monolithic skill, like mixing a martini or making a sundae.

        If you're just going to do general repairs, you have to have a pretty good feel for mechanical things- and that ranges from being able to tell where a leak is coming from, to how tight to tighten screws. You need to be able to take things apart, determine what's wrong (rust, broken O-ring, soft spring, galling or wear, loose fits, etc.) clean and lubricate the parts, and reassemble.

        In our little line, there's also skills like putting on LP hoses without buggering the tubing, timing an Autococker reliably, troubleshooting (too high a pressure, leaky valve, undersized O-ring, poorly fit parts, etc.) and being able to mix and match parts and still have the gun work when you're done.

        If you're going to do customizing, that is, more than just bolting on parts or swapping color parts with an identical gun, you have to know what you can do and not damage the gun. Or hurt it's performance. There's a lot you can do- and gt away with- to a 'Cocker, there's not as much you can do to a CS-1.

        And if you're wanting to get into custom-making parts with actual machine tools, you're looking at the entire separate skillset of "machinist". That's not something even an amateur home-shopper learns in a few months,m and starts being something I'd recommend touy actually start looking at proper lessons for. Like at a local Community College, or a MakerSpace or something.

        None of it comes overnight. I've been doing this as a day job for going into my 23rd year now, and I'm still learning a thing or two.

        Doc.
        Doc's Machine & Airsmith Services: Creating the Strange and Wonderful since 1998!
        The Whiteboard: Daily, occasionally paintball-related webcomic mayhem!
        Paintball in the Movies!

        Comment


          #5
          I feel like any airsmith should read Docs Whiteboard comic in its entirety lol. On a serious note the only way to learn is to push outside of your comfort zone

          Comment


            #6
            Having access to the equipment is great. How comfortable are you using them?
            is this you first machining project or are you using those machines on a daily basis?

            If this is your first go around, I would start by finding a cheap platform and picking up a few of the same gun, now you have room to screw up a few parts (it will happen) and still have a functional gun at the end.
            Start small, one thing at a time. See how you enjoy the whole process, from design to execution.

            I have a small CNC lathe at home, had it for years ... I'm starting to get comfortable with M/G code, but everything takes longer on a CNC if you're only doing 1 ...
            ​​​​​​
            Love my brass ... Love my SSR ... Hard choices ...

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              #7
              If your going to start out making parts either copying them or designing from scratch. Plan to make at least 3 of each. When I was starting out sure I could generally make whatever I put my mind to but along the way you will find a complication that would be much easier to tackle if you did just that one thing different on the last operation. Do that enough times and you will start to get a feel for it then the sky is the limit. Heck I have been machining and designing for nearly 20 years and I'm just now getting to the point where I only buy enough material to make just 1.

              Comment


                #8
                Fixing markers for friends (i.e. free) with simple replacement parts is actually helpful too. Get them to buy the seal kits if you need to. Cleaning, resealing, and re-springing a different marker helps you see what needs to be a tight tolerance, dynamic seal or just a squashed static seal. You start to appreciate the different kinds of seals and springs and which tolerances you need to keep track of. With that feel, you can start from the critical dimensions and work out, even with hand tools. Without it, you can get pretty parts that may not work so well.
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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Spider! View Post
                  you can get pretty parts that may not work so well.
                  That should be the moto for the month ... 😎
                  Love my brass ... Love my SSR ... Hard choices ...

                  Sheridan rebuild kit
                  Air Power Vector Screw Kit
                  ATS Screw Kit

                  Keep your ATS going: Project rATS 2.0
                  My Feedback

                  Comment

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