CP SW1200RS build part 4 – Milling the frame

Given the fact that I decided to use the Proto 2000 frame for my SW1200RS build, I had to do some fairly extensive (for me, at least) milling to the frame to get everything fitting together properly.

The instructions from the Point 1 kit have a diagram showing the necessary changes to the frame.  These changes amount to narrowing the frame width by taking about .020 off of both sides, shortening the frame by removing material from the coupler pads (I didn’t measure how much came off, but it was far more than the instructions suggested), narrowing all parts of the frame that will eventually slide up into the carbody, and entirely reshaping the rectangular prism shaped block at the front of the frame so that it fits inside the shell.  I would characterize this as a pretty extensive amount of shaping.

I shaped the first frame with a sharp mill file.  For the second frame I used a Unimat belonging to my friend Chris.  He set me up, gave me some quick lessons, and then ran away.  It took about about two evenings of milling where I followed the kit’s instructions and then adhered to a process of test-fit, mill a bit, repeat as necessary until both frames were nicely fitted to their respective bodies.  Once the second frame was finished, I put the first frame (the one that was done with a hand file) onto the Unimat and squared things up more cleanly.

Both frames are now finished and ready to be painted.

These are probably not the most engaging photos, but here you go…

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2 thoughts on “CP SW1200RS build part 4 – Milling the frame

  1. Dear Hunter,

    …So, do we interpret from this that
    A – The P2k body is wider (possibly out-of-scale) over the hood
    or
    B – The wall-thickness of the Point-1 hood casting is thicker than the P2K hood?

    Hmmm, who do I know that has a milling-capable lathe…
    (or, with patience, is a Dremel enough to do the job?)

    Happy Modelling,
    Aim to Improve,
    Prof Klyzlr

    • The hood on the Point 1 kit is marginally thicker than the P2K shell. The external dimensions on both shells seem to be good.

      I don’t have the skill to do the milling work freehand with a dremel, if that’s what you mean. I foresee making a wavy mess out of surfaces that need to be smooth and true, unless there is some kind of fixture that keeps the cutting tool in place and the workpiece aligned to it.

      I used a mill file to get the first frame 99% of the way there. I went slow, checked often with a precision straightedge and machinist’s square. It was usable, but after I milled the second frame on Chis’s Unimat, I went back to the first frame and squared up the coupler pads by a very small amount.

      Sent from my iPhone

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