You might be familiar with what we use to make our custom handguards, but have you ever wondered how we make them?
Drafting & Design
The first step with any of our handguards is design! Inspiration for designs can come from just about anywhere – custom design projects are probably the most influential for our stock products, but custom designs are the ideas of customers all their own. After finding the right “theme” for a stock product, our designer will work out multiple renderings of a design until we’re all pretty happy with it. As of right now, we’re up to 36 stock designs with plans to keeping adding to our collection. And as for custom designs, our designer will keep drafting until the customer is completely satisfied.
Our designer not only has to make something “look pretty” but also work with our machinist to ensure that a design is realistic enough to be cut, drilled & tapped for tac rail, and that we have the tools to cut whatever design or pattern might be on the handguard.
After a design has been approved, it’s up to the machinist to make the piece come to life. All of our handguards are milled from 6061 T6 Aluminum on a four-axis CNC mill. Our machinist will cut the aluminum tubing to length (whatever length the handguard is to be), insert said tubing into one of the mills, and from there the programming takes over.
The time taken to cut a handguard varies by design – the more intricate the design, the longer it takes for the machine to cut out the pieces.
After a handguard is done being “cut” it gets sandblasted.
Cerakote is the only coating we use (for the moment), specifically the H-Series. It needs a porous surface that only sandblasting can provide. Our Cerakote artist will take the sandblasted, or “raw” part, and coat it as requested by the customer. Cerakote doesn’t air dry, but rather it is oven cured, or “baked”, onto the piece, so each color of paint that is added needs to be baked on before the next layer can be applied. Our Cerakote artist has been able to coat handguards in 5 different colors before, although most projects are less ambitious and are just as beautiful.
After the piece has been finished, it will go to shipping where it is inspected, photographed, and packaged. On average, a single-color stock part will be shipped within 1-4 days of the order rolling in (more time is needed for more colors). Custom handguards are usually shipped anywhere from 4-6 weeks after the design has been approved.