-
This is the second installment in my series on how to build a workbench for your airsoft custom gun upgrades.  Part I addressed the basics of tools needed and how to frame the tabletops.

Today, we'll be covering the attachment of the workbench legs, as well as my method for attaching the two 4'x8' framed tabletops together to form an "L" shaped surface area. 

X marks the spot in which I drill one of three holes along the 4' side of tabletop #1.  I will actually drill all the way through the 8' foot side of tabletop #2 as well so that I can insert a 5/8" diameter lag bolt to secure the two tabletops together.
See?  That's a 5/8" drill bit designed to bore holes in stuff. 
I used a standard drill and there you can see what the lag bolt with nut and washer look like. 
I actually had to drill through from the other side I had initially planned on going through first, so I missed my mark by a smidge, but luckily this procedure did not require precision craftsmanship. 
I'm sure the pros would tell you that you need a washer on this side of the wood, but I failed to buy enough washers when I was at the hardware store and after close examination, the head of that bolt has a circumference that is sufficiently larger than the circumference of the hole I just drilled in the wood, so chances are, since this table is stationary, I probably won't run into an issue with this. 
Below, I also bought the wrong length lag bolts, so I ended up cutting three spacers out of excess 2x4s that I've now accumulated from this project to use up the extra length of the lag bolt.  I attached each of the three new 2x4 spacers to the inside of the 8' side of tabletop #2.  This proved to be a relatively perfect solution to an otherwise annoying issue. 

I did have one washer left from the small batch I purchased, so this is probably closer to the textbook way to doing this. 
Pardon my shallow depth of field, but you can kind of make out the other two lag bolts that are helping to secure the two frames.

Attaching the Legs:

First I had to do some measuring while sitting in my chair to determine how tall I want this space.  I opted to go for a height in between the level at which most people would find comfortable while sitting, and the level at which most people might care to stand at the workbench.  Perfect for me because I can comfortably sit at this desk, but can also stand at it without having to bend very far over to deal with parts & tools.

Anyway, so I took my 4"x4" sticks and cut them up (after measuring, of course) and attached them to the framed tabletops.  In the photo below, you can see one of the corners where I have screws going all over the place.  The two screws on the very left are helping to secure the short side of the frame.  The two srews that are on the right are what's securing the leg to the inside of the table frame.  There are two more screws going into this leg, just like the side we're currently looking at.                                                                                                              
I also put one screw  down into the top of the 4x4 post where you see that super sweet black oval looking thing. 


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Airsoft tech tools, airsoft upgrade tools, airsoft gun tech tools, Rubber mallet, pin punch tool, miniature hammer, Airsoft upgrades, airsoft repair, how to upgrade airsoft guns, how to repair airsoft guns, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Tom Harris Media, Tominator, Airsoft tech tool tips,
Tominator's Airsoft Tech Tools - Rubber Mallet or Mini Hammer Thing and a Punch
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
I know that my little title there might make some of you tool geeks cringe because I'm not using the official name of that little hammer underneath the rubber mallet.  Well I'm sorry, but that's the hand you were dealt.

So for today's tech tool tip, I thought I'd highlight two tools that I find myself constantly using when I'm working on guns at my Airsoft Man Cave Workbench.


A perfect example of why having a rubber mallet or mini hammer and a punch tool is handy would be when you need to take down your Airsoft M4 AEG.  I recently featured a takedown tutorial for the Elite Force M4 Competition Series guns wherein I used the rubber mallet and punch tool to gently tap out several body pins in the lower receiver, like the one you see me pointing to in the picture below.
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Elite Force M4 Competition Series Receiver - Rubber Mallet & Punch Tool
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Check out more handy Airsoft tech tools for Airsoft gun upgrades and repairs.

 Check out some of my other Airsoft Tutorials on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog


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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Sup Airsoft Playas?  Today I'ma show y'all how to build a workbench for working on your Airsoft guns out in your Man Cave.  Oh, you don't have a Man Cave?  Well, you best get one right quick.  They are crucial for your sanity when you share your house with other humans.

Tools needed for this project:
Wood
Wood Screws, or Drywall Screws
Tools
Brain
Apple Rings Candy
Vitamin Water XXX flavor

Just kidding, I'll get more specific.

But before I do that I would like to point out that this was essentially my first official woodworking project in my entire life that I physically built completely on my own.  I had to seek the professional guidance of three different individuals during the planning phase, otherwise this project would have probably never gotten off the ground, and even if did, it would have likely gone to Hell in a handbasket.  So a special thanks goes out to my wonderful father, my good friend, Airsoft teammate & expert "woodworkerist," Ben Holley, of Lighting Resources in Clovis, CA, and lastly, to my mother-in-law, who is actually quite experienced in these types of personal home projects, plus she's a Marine (honorably discharged) so watch your mouth. 

Soooo...since I'm not an expert here, you're going to see some "discrepancies" in my methods and execution and consequently desire to troll me for it, but unless you'd like to offer constructive criticism on ways to do this better, I probably won't be approving your comments for posting.  Just sayin'. 

For this project, I used:

- Two (2) 4'x8' sheets of big-ass plywood for my table top surfaces.  I used two of those beasts because I wanted a workbench made for a beast.  Yup.   

64 SQUARE FEET OF WORKSPACE for bossin' it hard.

However, this tutorial will also apply to more reasonably sized workbenches as well.

- 8 foot 2"x4" sticks, quantity of about 16 or so.  Probably more than I needed.  This stuff was used to frame the table tops and to provide bracing for the legs. 

- 8 foot 4"x4" sticks, quantity of three.  For the table legs.

- Three 6" long, 5/8" diameter lag bolts to attach my two table tops together to form a big "L" shape.  Don't forget the corresponding washers and nuts to go with these guys.

- Box of 3" drywall screws (aka wood screws)
- Box of 2" drywall screws

- Tape measure

- Pencil for marking measurements

- I had to use a hand-held circular SAW to cut the 2x4s & 4x4s because it was all I had at the time, but a Mitre saw would be a much better choice.  That circular saw made it tough to make clean cuts on the wood without making clean cuts in my flesh.  Exercise caution when using saws.  I hear they can cut through bone.

- Black & Decker FireStorm cordless power drill - This thing is a torque-boss.  I didn't have any other option for a drill either and was skeptical whether or not it would have enough balls to drive those 3" screws all the way into the wood, but the FireStorm pwned those screws.  Pwned 'em hard.

- 3M Peltor Hearing protection for working with the circular saw.  That thing gets really loud and even louder when you start cutting the wood.

- Apple Rings chewy candy.  Cuz it was right by the checkout stand at the hardware store.  (See photo up top)

- Vitamin Water XXX Flavor.  Also right by the checkout stand.  Also delicious.

First step that I took.  Framing the big table top.  Framing, I learned is pretty handy for creating a super sturdy, super beast, Airsoft workbench.  It will allow you to place a lot of weight on that table and not have to lose any sleep over the table breaking.  So start with your blank sheet of plywood.
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
I chose to add the long-side rails first since both the plywood and the 2x4s were already cut in 8-foot lengths.  So I just attached them with the 2-inch screws from the top of the table.  I spread the screws out about 8" apart from each other going down the line.

Pictured below is a view of the bottom side of the table, with the two 8' 2x4s mounted. Some of you might notice that I didn't place the top 2x4 flush with the edge of the plywood.
How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
That's because I wanted to add a reinforced lip to the front of the tabletop so that I could attach things like vices & stuff that need to be able to clamp down on the side of the table.  Some of the stuff I have doesn't open more than 4 inches, so I couldn't just use the framed edge.  So to reinforce the lip, I just added a third 2x4 in the 8-foot length and just laid it flat, using the 2" wood screws again, spaced 8" apart, driven through the top of the table (the side opposite to the one visible in the photo below).
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
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Here's a shot from different POV so that you can see that I also attached the frame to the lip reinforcement to help keep that lip solid.  Whether or not this was necessary is unknown to me because I'm not a master woodsmith.  But at the time it made sense and I was having fun driving those screws in with my cordless power drill, so I said,  "What the hell? Why not?"
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
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Not the greatest shot, but if you look closely, you can see the two screws (black dots) where I attached the inner frame bars to the side rails.
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
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Here's what the frame looks like without the plywood tabletop attached.  I spaced the short 2x4s about 13 inches apart, measuring from the center of each piece.  
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
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Here it is finished, standing on its side.  8 feet, my friends.  My camera lens wasn't actually wide enough to get the whole thing in frame, but you get the idea.   
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How to Build a Workbench for Your Airsoft Man Cave
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So obviously, while the tabletop is finished, it's only one of the two that I made and it also needs the legs and bracing.  But we'll get to that next week.

If you'd like to build your own workbench for working on your Airsoft guns, but you don't have a big enough room for 64 square feet of workbench space, fret not.  This model can be scaled down, if you didn't already come to that realization.  Total cost for all the wood & materials was mind-blowingly cheaper than I expect.  I think the total for everything only came out to roughly about $70.  Those 2x4s are only like 2 bucks a piece and the plywood might have only been about $15 or so.  So pretty reasonable for a massive setup like this.  So stay tuned for the next installment. 
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Today I'm going to show you how to upgrade your Airsoft AEG for quite possibly only a fraction of a cent (one penny). Two words:

Teflon Tape


Also known as Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, Teflon Tape ain't just for plumbers. It's great for anyone who loves air-sealing stuff and/or materials with a low coefficient of friction.  For the purposes of this little Airsoft upgrade mod, it's nice to work with something having both of those characteristics.  A roll of Teflon or PTFE tape or "Thread-Seal Tape" will run you between $1 - $2 at your local hardware store.  This mod only require a very small percentage of that entire roll, hence my assertion that this may only cost you a fraction of a penny.  I could be underestimating by a cent or two, but my point is, IT'S FREAKIN' CHEAP!!!

Special note, the beauty of this Airsoft upgrade mod is that it doesn't matter what type of Airsoft AEG that you are wanting to work on.  This trick will work for most of the AEGs you're going to find at a MilSim-type game.  Technically, although usually a different configuration, this will similarly on many gas blowback guns (rifles and pistols) out there as well.  

So let's get right to it.  First, you'll need to disassemble your Airsoft AEG to the point that you have your tight-bore inner barrel and rubber hop-up bucking separated from the rest of the gun.  There is no reason I can think of that you would need to open up your gearbox for this particular mod, so if you've gone that far, STOP.  The inner barrel and hop-up assembly is located inside the upper receiver and handguard for the average AEG like the M4/M16 models, as well as the AK47s.  This should cover most everyone.

Once you have the inner barrel and hop-up bucking by themselves, (IMPORTANT) you'll want to verify that your hop-up bucking is seated properly over the the inner barrel so that the ridge inside the hop-up window on the barrel looks to be perpendicular with the vertical axis.  Below is an example of what I'm referring to.  Ignore the A&K M60VN Hop-up Assembly, just look inside the barrel at how the hop-up bucking is situated.  The inside of your inner barrel should look like this when the hop-up bucking is no matter what hop-up assembly you have. 
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  You don't need to have the hop-up assembled to press down on the bucking.  You can just use your finger, or what I do is use the shaft of a screw driver.

The importance of that little maneuver is almost unfathomable.  Without your hop-up bucking being seated in the most up-right positions, your Airsoft gun will not be as accurate as it could (all other things being perfect).  

Anyway, once you've established that your hop-up bucking seated properly.  Carefully wrap your Teflon Tape around the point where your inner barrel meets the end of the bucking.  Three to four circumnavigations is all you'll need.  Anymore than that and you're going increase the already difficult process of getting the hop-up assembly back over the bucking without pulling the bucking off axis. 
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 You'll want to wrap it firmly, but I said "carefully wrap" because when you first start the wrap, if you're NOT careful, you can disorient the bucking and you'll have to reset it.

Once you've got the bucking wrapped, you're ready to slide that hop-up unit back on.  I personally add one or two droplets to the outside of the bucking to make this process quite a bit easier.  I've seen that some assemblies just slide right on, while others are extremely snug even with a bit of lubrication. 
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Here again, you'll need to exercise patience and care in sliding that hop-up unit back on as you may mess up the alignment of the bucking.  Once you get your hop-up unit back on and reassembled, you are probably OK to put the gun back together and get the Airsoft party started. 

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However, in the same exact manner that we wrapped the rubber bucking, I like to wrap the hop-up assembly three or four times as well.  This does a couple things:

1) Helps to keep the inner barrel from sliding around too much inside the bucking and hop-up assembly, especially if you've got a hop-up unit that slides over the bucking fairly easily.

2) Adds a 2nd line of defense against any possible air leaks out of that end of the hop-up.  Some of my engineering buddies tell me that this is sort of pointless for this purpose, but what the hell do engineers know about anything?  Plus, I'm a creature of habit and I'm used to doing it this way.  It makes me feel better.


3) In some of the M4/M16 AEGs that I've dealt with, it actually helps seat the assembly more snugly inside the outer barrel and enhances the seal between the Air Nozzle's entrance into the assembly and the gearbox, which is another potential point of leakage inherent in most AEGs.

In fairness, there are more ways to skin this metaphorical cat (don't actually skin your cat or anyone else's).  This is just my preferred method, which has netted some very consistent results on the chronograph.  

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Allen Wrench Tool Set - How to Upgrade Your Airsoft Guns - Tominator's Tech Tool Tips
Tom Harris for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog
Today's post on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog is gonna keep it real.  Real simple, that is.  There are many Airsoft players out there who not only love to play, but love to upgrade the performance of their beloved Airsoft Guns, which requires certain tools in order to do so.  So today I thought I would highlight one particularly important set of tools that you really can't do without if you want to handle your own Airsoft upgrades.  That set would be the Allen wrenches you see above.  Some people call them "hex tools"or "hex keys" as well.  Whether or not that is correct is beyond me, but it does make sense because these Allen wrenches have six sides, hence the name hex being relevant.

I don't know who this Allen guy was, but he sure invented a handy tool.  I highly recommend a set like you see above, where there are different sizes.  I hate to sound like a treasonous traitor, but I also recommend you get the Metric (SI) sizes, which come in millimeters (mm) rather the U.S. Imperial sizes, which come in fractions of an inch.  Most Airsoft guns that I've worked on have been more compatible with the metric-sized allen keys.  

I feel the need to specify that these allen keys will not only be compatible with your Airsoft AEGs,
but also your spring-powered Airsoft Sniper Rifles, CO2 & Green Gas Blowback Airsoft Rifles & SMGs, Gas Blowback Pistols as well.  So yes, they ooze versatility and they're very inexpensive for a nice little set.  You can get them at pretty much any local hardware store. 
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Airsoft Guns, AEG Maintenance, Soldering tips, helping hands soldering tool,rapid fire review videos, pyramyd airsoft youtube channel,Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog, I'll be honest, I'm no Shakespeare when it comes to wrenching on my Airsoft guns.  Wait...What?

Well, what I mean is, I've made some bad choices in the past when attempting to repair, tune, and/or otherwise "improve" the performance of the various Airsoft guns I've owned over the years. My biggest "tragic flaw" when it comes to working on my guns has been not having the right tool for the task I was attempting to accomplish.

So...today, I thought I might give you a brief tip or two on a tool that I have found to not only get the job done right, but often times, they have made my life as a non-professional (as opposed to "unprofessional") Airsoft tech SUBSTANTIALLY easier as a sort of bi-product.

Today, in fact, marked a new milestone in my Airsoft journey. Finally, after years of soldering the hard way, I snagged a contraption from my local electronics store that holds all your stuff in place when you're in the process of soldering wires or other connections for your AEG. It's called a "Helping Hands with Magnifying Glass" (that's literally the name on the package) and rather than try to fumble through an explanation in words about what it is or does, I'll just show you the photo, you can pretty much figure it all out based on that, and then you & I can move on to the next item. Does this sound reasonable? Well, I hope so, cuz I'm gonna drop it like it's hot anyway:

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Soldering a connection between two items, like the one above, generally requires two sets of hands (one set equals two hands), for a total of four hands.  One hand to hold the wire in place.  A second hand to hold the connector securely in place, touching the wire.  A third hand to holder the solder (the stuff that you're melting the two pieces together with) and of course, the fourth hand to hold your your heat source, which is generally going to be a soldering iron.  Obviously, humans having only two hands to work with are at a disadvantage when it comes to this procedure, thus, the contraption I'm discussing today was born. 

The icing on the cake here is the magnifying glass.  While not a necessity, certainly enhances the convenience factor for viewing what you're doing when soldering small connections like an AEG wire to a Deans connector. 
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While not the absolute cleanest soldering job out there, compared to what my old Tamiya-to-Deans adapters look like, this is a substantial improvement.
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In the past, I've had to use a ton of solder and a lot of shrink tube plus electrical tape because somewhere in the equation, I didn't have the right tools for what I was doing.

The helping hands tool is just one example of really helpful tool that doesn't cost very much to acquire (around $17 plus tax for the one I got) but gives you a huge value in terms of making it easier to modify or upgrade your AEG the right way. There are a multitude of other super-handy tools out there that can make your life a lot easier when tinkering around with your Airsoft guns and I will probably mention a few more key items at some point as well. If you were wondering about what tool would be best to accomplish a certain task on your Airsoft guns, just ask. I might know the answer. But I might not. I make no promises. I still love you though.

If you're starving for more Airsoft AEG mods & maintenance tips than what I've provided you thus far on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, hop on over to the Pyramyd Airsoft YouTube Channel and check out some pretty informative videos from the Rapid Fire Review guys.  Here is their latest video on some basic maintenance & upkeep tips to help you keep your arsenal in tip-top shape.

Regarding the segment on cleaning inner barrels, viewers of the video above should note that for the most thorough and effective cleaning, you'll want to take your inner barrel completely out of the your gun (whether it be a rifle or pistol) and take down everything necessary to get the inner barrel by itself (with no hop-up bucking attached). While I've certainly cleaned my barrels like they've done it in the video when I was in a hurry, you could potentially end up just pushing dirt and debris farther back into the barrel or even into the hop-up or air nozzle of your gearbox if you don't know what you're doing. Aside from the inner barrel itself, the hop-up and/or air nozzle are two places that you absolutely do not want ANY dirt or debris. Thus the basis for my view that the best way to clean the inner barrel is to take it completely out of the gun and remove the hop-up bucking prior to cleaning. Their actual technique for cleaning using the cleaning rod and cloth are spot-on, as far as I'm concerned. Repeat until you pull out a clean paper towel.

Airsoft