After seeing the Rikku's BM 62 and 51 Ti handles I wanted to give it a go myself. I ordered a sheet of 6"x6"x1/8" off ebay for $75 with shipping. I only needed a 2"x6" piece but am going to do a set for my beat up B200 as well. I
I'm in Kandahar right now and tooling is in very short supply. I haven't been even able to locate a available drill press yet. So everything done on these handles is free hand. I'm a aircraft mechanic and have lots of available tooling for sheet metal work so I had to improvise. I decided to cheat a little and use a old CCC as a templet as the hole layout is exactly the same as a 42.
The first step is to layout the 51's Ti handle liner on the blank Ti by marking the outline with a fine sharpie. This will give you a idea of where to place the templet (CCC handle).photo-1.jpg
Second carefully drill the pivot hole so you can start to secure the templet down. I used a cleco to locate the pivot hole. A bolt of the exact diameter may also be used.
Now that the templet is halfway secured line it up over the sharpie marks and drill one of the small holes in the bottom of the handle now (a #34 bit works best). Cleco this hole as well. Now the handle is locked in place and the rest of the holes may be made. It is best to do all the small holes first before drilling the large holes. More clecos may be put in as you progress to aid in the alignment.
After all the small holes are drilled move on to the larger ones. For the larger holes you only want to locate them using a bit of the correct size. All the large holes have different sizes, so a few bits have to be used. Find a drill bit that fits snug in one of the larger holes and only drill it to dimple the Ti.Do not drill all the way through!!! The reason behind this is that the holes need be opened up to the correct size for the countersink.
Also, because using channel made CCC as a templet there was a small amount of rock in it that was impossible to remove because of the rounded surfaces. So while drilling freehand if the angle was off a few degree the hole would not be centered. All this can be avoided if using a drill press.
Now, I want to make sure my holes are all in line so I use a straightedge and mark a centerline between all the small holes. This tells me if any of the larger holes are off centered.
You can see in the pic that the handle second from the bottom has a misaligned hole on it's right side. To correct this, simply take a smaller bit and start to drill a hole at a severe angle in the direction the hole needs to be. As soon as the drill bit gets started straighten the drill out and drill all the way through. Now the hole is aligned. I then used a #21 drill bit to drill all the way through the large holes. This is the size needed for the countersink.
I then used a caged countersink to bevel the holes (this is a aircraft tool to adjust the depth of the holes).photo-5.jpg
More pics in next post...