I now had three tasks before me:
Cut the slot in the left side of the barrel shroud so the revolver's cylinder can swing open
Drill a hole in the top of the shroud so that a 1/16" roll pin can pas through the Kimber's front side post slot, locking the shroud in place
Attaching and shaping the steel cap on the front of the shroud
Let's get to it.
Up First: the cylinder slot
Cutting this slot was one of the many "go slow because you only get once shot and if you screw it up, the whole thing is ruined" activities in this project.
Below are some shots of the process. I used a combination of forstner bits for my hand drill, chisels, and sandpaper to cut the slot just large enough so the cylinder's arm can swing in and out.
I started by marking the arm against the outside of the mounted shroud.
Then I put the shroud in the vice with a block of wood on the left side that would support the shroud as I remove material and started opening the slot.
I stopped frequently to make sure that I was inching up to the final size.
After a few hours of slow work, I had a cut that allowed the cylinder to open and close. You can see in the shot below that it's a bit rough. I'll clean up the edges with sand paper and nail files later.
Next Up: hole for the front sight roll pin
This was one of those "measure 15 times, drill once" jobs.
I needed to drill a 1/16" hole through the front of the shroud that aligned perfectly with the hole in the top of the revolver's barrel meant to lock in the front sight post. Below you can see the shot I was aiming for with the roll pin in place. This was super important to get right because drilling a second hole would look bad on the outside of the shroud, and because this is one of the most critical elements that will hold the shroud in place.
I measured and drilled and got it (mostly) right. Below you can see the left side with the roll pin in the hole and holding the barrel shroud in place. It looks great.
Unfortunately, the drill bit wondered a bit when exiting the right side of the shroud. You can see this in the images at the bottom of this post. It's OK because I was able to drill a second hole that didn't wandered and the first hole will be covered with the .357 Mag Quiver. Just a personally disappointing mistake.
Finally: attaching and shaping the shroud cap
Adding the steel shroud cap to the front of the shroud required:
Drilling a pilot hole for the screw I planned to use to anchor the cap, which is actually a steel motor shaft coupler
Adding said screw coated in JB weld to improve the hold with the head removed
Sanding off the screw head so that it was flush with the cap
Sanding the excess off the sides of the cap, so that it's flush with the rest of the shroud
Screw inserted and head removed...
The shroud cap was now locked in place so I used a variety of sanding tools/grits to get it shaped to be one with the rest of the shroud. Below are some glamor shots. Notice the two roll pin holes in the first image below. Not so glamorous.
In the next post I'll cover mounting the quiver on the right side of the shroud and adding some set screws that will both lock the shroud to the revolver and serve as the steel that will lock the gun into the magnetic holster.
I'm really pleased with how this is coming together. Please put in a good work with the big man that I don't screw it up before it's complete.