Saturday, February 4, 2023

From note pad to concept Part 1


I have often been excused of glacial movement in everything I do. So true to character it took 43 years of pushing a boulder uphill to finally evolve enough and design a bolt action receiver that would be a cut above what I'd been using most of my career.

I knew what I wanted from the basic skeleton. I pushed around some rough sketches in my mind and when time permitted I began working on some prototypes parts. All this R&D was pretty random at first. Without trying to reinvent the basic bolt action design my goal was to incorporate subtle features I liked about a number of receivers such as the Brno ZG-47, Winchester Model 70, and even some of the DNA from the Remington 700. 

All of these previous receivers were being made with the current technology of their time but one thing was for sure there were no 5 and 7 axis mills and lathes available in the earlier eras. 

Bret Wursten and I trolling ideas

In this fantasy atmosphere I wondered what it would be like not to be constrained within a budget that cut corners where you actually needed those damned corners. I've been reattaching those corners for decades, Working within this imagined "no bottom line" framework some ideas began to come together. 

For the next couple years every operation I preformed on the lathe or mill I imagined how I could eliminate these modifications or corrections if they were already built into a new platform. 

Bret Wursten, the owner of Central Valley Machine would prod me ever so often and ask me when I wanted to put these ideas into motion? Then one day while we sat on a ridge line glassing for mule deer he poked me with a stick and said the following "Starting next week I want you to give me a half a day per week with our Solid Works Engineers and put whatever concepts you have rattling around in that thick skull of yours at least into a digital file". I'd run out of excuses. 

We didn't miss very many of those meetings over the next 10 months. I would arrive with a few notes, maybe a sketch drawn on a napkin and we'd go to work. James would be called in to assisted when we needed to know how or if we were going to be even able to hold and machine a certain part. The weeks rolled by. Neal would drive the mouse I would look at the image and say, "We need more Cow Bell right there"


Neal sent these images over before the machine work was to begin and made following comment. "Enclosed are some of the figures you've been carrying around in your head for quite a few years". 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.