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Ced23Ric 03-08-2009 10:47 AM

My Karnivor-Project aka. "The Microherder"
This is taken from the TechPB Boards, which serves as a platform to show my project in English to the audience there. Someone told me to post it here, aswell, so ... I do. If any wording sounds wrong to you, my apologies, English isn't my mother tongue. :)

I do this thread, because it works like a reminder and maybe some of you is interested in what I do and how. It is no actual rocket science, just the overall process of a marker conversion to be truely unique. It is my first tourney marker - before this baby, I played an Tippmann A5, a Sherdian P-68 AT and my Delta .68. I sold a lot of MilSim parts and really cut down on my "war gear", and now I want this marker to be my new working horse - and a stylish one, at that. :)

PS: I still need a name for her. Any ideas? :)

project plan:
  • Ultra-Low Clamp Feed
    When I got her, she came with a standard Hybrid clamp feed, which I intend to cut by half. Overall, I want to lower the whole hopper by ~1.5 inches. To achieve that, the threading on the body, the threading of the clamp feed and the upper gills will be cut on the turning lathe or the mill. The overall gain would be a lower profile while retaining a tight grip and still a fitting look to the lines of the body.
  • Turtleing
    The first step towards a Micrococker is cutting away half of the back of the upper tube. It's no witchwork either, but I am lucky as a coworker agreed to do the milling for me. He is a professional precision engineer and has access to the tools need for this work.
  • Midgetizing
    Here, in step two, the body loses it's behind. - Or, roughly an inch, that is. You have to cut the IVG nuts threading on some cockers, with the Karnivor, it goes as far back as possible determined by the path of the hammer. But, as you will see later, there were other problems ...
  • Mini-ing
    And step three: Byebye, front nose. It will be done soon, pictures will follow. With the front nose on the lower tube gone, I need a new Mini front block, which sits flush with the body, but you see - that's part of my decisions anyway. :)
  • Anodizing
    Red's not really my colour - She'll get nice ano-job, all flat colours, with black dust highlights and the most part of it with a grey acid wash, from the German shop TX Tuning (Who did the Sledgehammer halfblock conversion back in '05, by the way). :)
  • Mini-Orracle frontblock
    Since I need a new frontblock anyway, I decided on the Orracle frontblock, as it angle the reg forward instead of backwards like the Karnivor one does, and it looks nice (at least to me). Being black dust, I don't need to have her anodized, too.
  • Flat Front Block Nut
    That's simple. I don't like the globe shaped front block bolt, so I use a flat one. This is mostly for looks, though I have a tad bit more room when mounting the front pneumatics.
  • EGO 05 frame
    The EGO 05 frame is the basis on which the Worrblade/E2 grip frames were built - and the board(s) sit flush in them and the trigger guard is a bit larger than the original Worrblade frame. It needs an MQ2 valve, though, as the sear tripper doesn't fit without major works into the frame - and converting the Karnivor to be fully electro-pneumatic seems interesting anyway. It reduces weight, for sure!
  • Hybrid Snow Camo Grips
    Just an after-thought, as the Worrblade grips will look strange on the EGO frame. :D
ToDo list:
  • shorten the clamp feed
  • hack away at the body
  • recut the threadings on the body
  • shorten the pump rod
  • cut the threading on the pump rod anew
  • make the EGO frame fit
  • assemble
  • work over any mistakes
  • send in the parts for anodizing
  • change the frontblock and decide, wether it will be further fixed by guiding screws
  • assemble again - and sent her in for timing
Here I go.

PS: That's how I got her. In angles not easy to look into, under the solenoid cover, in the whole front pneumatics, in the frame, on the trigger, well basically everywhere was old paint. Wheeee. :D
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The clamp feed

Well, we stripped the Karnivor of any parts attach to it and had the body with the Hybrid feed left over.
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Because the mill was occupied that day, we headed for the clamp feed. In its original configuration, the distance between hopper and body was roughly 2.8 inches - way to high. So, we decided to cut on the feed neck as hard as we could without sacrificing too much structural integrity - but at first, we couldn't even take it off. It's former owner had loctited the clamp feed to death - so we held it in vices and used a 450 celsius heat stream to soften the four year olf Loctite.

Here she goes.
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That got it done - we removed the clamp feed and headed for the gills. The feedneck was attached to a guiding cylinder, which he cutted before the actual gills, so the feed would keep its diameter, then we halved them. You see, no rest for the wicked - this feed had to suffer. But the final result will justify this, believe me.

Turn, you unwieldy beast of a clamp feed!
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Then, we decided to cut on it's base, it's thread so it will fit over the lower ring an the feed nack thread on the body - leaving about three rows of threading to attach the feed to the body.

planing stage for the lower end.
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In the end, the plan is to hold the feedneck fixed again by using ultra-hard loctite on the remaining threadings - and will hold up just fine.

So, this is what we got.
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After that, when the mill was free to use, we put the body in there, and shortened the feed neck, down to three rows of threading, too.

Work in progress, before, and after:
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This section was way easier than I thought - but meh, that's my first project like this, so what was I supposed to think anyway? We took 3.2 inches from the breech, and milled everything else off of the upper tube. There is no threading to be redone, just one clean swift milling process. It is still lacking the slit for the pin which connects bolt and hammer, but that'll be done, soon. There didn't happen much, so it doesn't look too crazy. :D

*mills* *nods*
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That section posed more of a challenge. At first, I scratched the body to indicate, where the gripframe would end, then I drew a line where the hammers path ends, so I know in which area the IVG nut (which holds the main spring and is a way to control the fps mechanically, as oppsed to the pneumatic way via the regulator) will be according to this. Well, it would be outside of the marker by half of its length, so we took the IVG nut and clamped here into the turning lathe, shortening her a good deal. Nothing is saf,e nothing is holy.

Drawn, checked, milled, rethreaded by two rows, fits.
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And then, the body lost its backside. We milled it according to the Worrblade gripframes dimension, which might seem a bit silly now, but I decided later on to go for an EGO 05 frame, so we are innocent. And since that grip frame will be milled, too, everything is fine. :)

Bye bye, backside!
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How far we have gotten

The pictures speak for themselves, I guess.
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Now I am waiting for the grip frame from Switzerland, so I can finish all the milling - when this step is done, she'll be sent in for anodizing while I wait for the parts from the US of A.


Meanwhile, as I don't play with a bottle attach but with a remote line, I decided to attach this stockj, without any macroline or fittings, so I can do these parts on my own. The fittings will be black, the macroline will be grey - that's the colour scheme here, and I want my stock to resemble this, too, so I chose the version without silver/black air lines. :)

Here she is, lying in her parts. I will sell everything that I don't use in this project.
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And these are the parts that remain. :D
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This step means cutting of the "nose" of the lower tube, with about 0.100" left until the breech begins. It's important to have a really flat surface, as it has to sit flush with the frontblock, so we moved the mill really slow and took the last parts of in small slices. Before we did these cuts, though, I rethreaded the front block threads up to the end of the volume chamber, so it is straight and positioned like the original - you see, I need exactly the same angle, so the front block sits as flush as possible. :-)

And that's how the body is looking right now.
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Dye UL Frame!

Well, after a very good talk with my friend at work here, we decided to go for a PMR UL frame instead of the EGO one. We're going to throw away the DM board (maybe selling it, I'll see for that) and pinch the frame into the mill until the Zero B board fits in there. After that, we'll drill holes for the buttons and a window for the display, make it all waterproof (rubber seals and a plexi screen) and rework the trigger with a screw mod so it turns from mechanical (microswitch) to optical (sensor on the Zero B board) again.

Yupp, that's going to be fun. :)

Sources / inspiration:

Imagine that plus what I mentioned here. ;)


Had another talk - we'll use the Zero B board to take the measurements, mill the grip frame according to it, sell the Zero B board, install a Yakuza board (which has better optins for MQ valves, besides being kick ***), and, as a signature, will shave off some material on the lower end of the grip frame and add a small brass plate, which will shimmer through between grip frame and stock mounting rail.

That's my coworkers signature - a golden plate on a otherwise silver or black piece of work. No name, no stamp, no sign or symbol - just a golden plate. It will be a one of a kind marker indeed - and I have a name for her now. In respect to his help and expert craftsmanship, it will be called ...

... the Microherder. (Herder is his last name. :D)

Anodizing Quote!

Just called my anodizer for a quote - she'll be done for ~ US$ 145, which is a fair deal, considering the work put into it. Will send the parts this week, turnaround time is two weeks. When the parts are back, you will be presented the results. Other than that, I am pretty much sure, we will finish the UL conversion by that time - and rest assured, I will keep you guys updated on every step. Will weigh it at the end, too. :)

Disassemble & Clean

By now, she is really in pieces, except for the valve, which is still in the body but will be removed by the anodizer (I don't have the removal tool, yet. :(). The pieces were put into small plastic bags, so the anodizers know which should have which colour. Before that, they were ultrasonic cleaned, with 36 kHz in warm water. Damnit, it was dirty - can someone explain to me how its former owner got paint inside the LPR? :D

Puzzle time!
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And when we are not working on paintball markers, we do the obvious: cleaning world war two era bajonets bought on a flea market. :D
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The Farewell :(

Like in any other good Photo-Love-Story, this project also comes to the point of the separation of two lovers, with unknown outcome. Here she goes, my love, on her journey to the anodizer. Mad props to my man Topper from TX Tuning. All that's left of her are the innards of the regulators, some screws, o-rings and a lonely Zero B board. My heart feels torn apart.

Farewell, my love. I will miss you.
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There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Today the mailman rang four times, and several packages arrived - one of them carried the heart of the future-to-be Microherder. Collect on delivery is sure a nice way of receiving parts, and since the shop I ordered it from pays for the shipping when you go CoD, it wasn't even more expensive than regular shipping. So ... here it is. Alive and ready to rock.

"Sir, it's the Yakuza. They come for the protection money."
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The content you can see hear is the story of roughly 19 days of consideration, work and so on. Will continue to update when new things happen. :)

t3rd_hugg3r 03-08-2009 10:59 AM

Excellent thread! Looks like you put a lot of thought into this project, and I can't wait to see it finished. Thanks for sharing!

Goat 03-08-2009 12:35 PM

Please keep us updated...Very cool.

souz4402 03-08-2009 12:45 PM

cant wait to see the finished product!

desertT1 03-08-2009 01:03 PM

Very nicely documented. The finished project is sure to be nice.

Ced23Ric 03-11-2009 06:19 AM

This is a serious case.

So, here is the case the beauty will down to rest in. The inlays in there at the moment will be removed and several layers of foam will provide a tight fit for Everything™: Marker, stock and on/off (I couldn't stand the tears rising in several eyes when I first told of the stock, so now it's going to be modular, both with an archaic WGP on/off and the stock. ;)), three barrels + backs, toolset, spare parts, oil & lube and maybe even the hopper - I'll see about that last part.

"Murder is the case that they gave me."
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Ced23Ric 03-17-2009 02:08 PM

The happy end!

Finally. "Sweet cheeks ... waiting for you was terrible. I could only think about you, every day, hour and minute. As the mail man ringed the bell, my hands were shaking. Come 'ere. Lemme kiss you." Much earliers than I thought, Topper from TX Tuning finished this amazing anodizing job. The mail's been a bit bitchy, and took an extra two dys to get it delivered, but in the ned, she came back to me. It turned out just like I wanted it - and I can't wait to get this beast growling.

"That's how she rolls..."
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Stock? Nah, it's custom.

I took the parts out of the box and freed them from their pretty safe and cushioned packaging, screwed in the barb fittings, put LPR and HPR* together again. At the moment, I only need some small o-rings to seal the QEVs on the ram, but I know a source for that. This is the most exciting puzzle I ever played with and patience is getting harder each day. It's kinda hard to not lick on the body, it looks so awesome. :D

The babe in her new dress goes for Prom Queen.
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* NEED HELP! Somehow, I am sure I ****ed up putting the HPR together again. I still have a blue O-Ring left, which doesn't seem to fit anywhere. Is anyone in here capable of taking a stock Karnivor inline regulator apart and show me how to put it together properply? Pics appreciated. I am quite sure I did everything else right, but now I am a bit insecure about it. Thanks in advance!

Edit: Found out about the o-ring - it belongs into the LPR.
A file that might be helpful for other Karnivor owners:

O'Lane 03-17-2009 03:02 PM

Looks sick mate...

Kanadian-Kaos 03-17-2009 04:47 PM

Love the workmanship, and definately love that anno. Looks like "antiqued" metal. Nice. Now just forgo any sleep and start putting it back together!

Ced23Ric 03-17-2009 05:09 PM

Thanks for the feedback and the support. Will go on in ~1 week! :)

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