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best way to go about an eighty percent


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I thought I was the only one up this late.


I'm still ignorant.  I've use a router jig to rough out a bolt rifle stock's barrel channel, but I've never heard of an 80% lower.  I got out of the match game before AR's got popular and never heard of that in relation to the M-16's I'm familiar with.  I have built a HB 16" upper and put it on a Bushmaster lower, but I guess I'm still new to the terminology that's come with the popularity of the platform.

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Did my research. Now I think I know what you were asking,  I think at a minimum, you'd need a 1/2" drive bit and a carbide cutter and a heavy-duty router with speed control.  I've never tried milling aluminum with a router, but it might work.  Probably need a bit extension to go deep enough too.  My biggest concern would be bit chatter.

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There are plenty of YouTube videos of people using drill presses with regular HSS bits completing the 80% lowers. Just look them up.


Could be - just outside my experience.  It's a lot easier, in my experience, it's a lot easier to control rate of feed with a drill press.  I always tend to get ahead of the router when I try to plunge it into tough woods like Teak or Koko.  I've never tried to route aluminum. 

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Yeah.  I tend to push it. Don't have the patience i did when I was younger - not as steady freehand either for some darn reason.  I also like the better visibility I get on a press.  I spent less on my benchtop press than I did my Craftsman heavy duty plunge router too.  I got it on the cheap at Harbor Freight but it's worked well for me.

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If you get your hands on a CNC there are files you can use (someone on this site has them I'm sure) where it will drill it out perfectly. Also, there is a couple places around San Diego that do "Machine Rentals" where you take your 80% and they walk you through how to do it. I'm still looking for the right people to do this with. Actually I have access to a CNC but I don't have the files.

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