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   Once again I have been out in my shop trying to save a buck. I needed a linker, but didn't feel like spending $200.00 for one. I made this for .308 ammo, but made certain that the loading bar had sufficient travel to accommodate 3006.
   I didn't take photos as I built the linker like I did with the spadegrips - I didn't really think there would be much interest
- but when I posted a link to some photos on the 1919a4.com forum, I got some positive feedback. So here is a more in depth look at the process.
   I'll have to make do with some photos of the completed linker and a few drawings. It's really not that difficult a project.

Click on images for larger views.
Linker has maple bed and loading bar. The frame is steel & the handle is oak. The 1/8" X 3/4" aluminum faceplate
on loading bar is not required. I had a piece, so I used it. I used wood scraps. Cost - under $20.00.


Linker will do 20 rounds at a time. There are 21 holes and 23 channels. Note 21st hole holding previously linked ammo in place.


Countersunk 10-24 button head screws & nuts
attach handle to bar.

   It would be a good idea to look over the plans provided before starting. There is information on them you will need. I know, reading the directions is a pain - what can I say? In the process of tweaking my design, I trashed a fair bit of material so you won't have to.

Drawing of channel plate showing rabbet for end plate and
and location of screws. More details on drawings.

   I started with the channel plate. Using a router table I chucked up a 1/2" round end bit (above),
and set it for a depth of 1/8". I then set the router table up as shown below, seen from above.

    I added a wooden extension to the router fence (1.) so I would have something to bar-clamp the wood to. I tried holding the wood against the fence tightly with my hands, but the slightest movement results in a crooked channel. If you want straight channels I recommend clamping in position for each pass.
  Also, make certain the fence is tight in the guide slot in the table. If it is not, you can use foil duct tape to wrap the guide rod (2.) on one or both sides. The less play there is in the components, the neater the job will be. Silicone spray will give smooth action.
    I printed the centerline guide (below) actual size on my printer, then used two sided tape to attach it to the router table. It ran off the table to the right, but that was fine - it still worked well for aligning for the next cut.


   Centerline guide. Click on this image to bring up the full size version. It will fit on a sheet of legal paper. The actual length of the image is 12.4". The centers are 9/16", so it's easy to check the printout. I cover templates with clear packing tape before cutting them out. It makes them more durable.
   However you decide to do it, you should end up with a plate 13 1/8" long, 5 1/8" wide, with 23 1/2" channels cut 9/16" on center, 1/8" deep. Hole locations for attaching the plate to the frame are shown above. Holes in wood are 3/16", but in the frame they are 5/32" and threaded for a 10-24 buttonhead screw. You could make all holes 3/16" and use nuts if you don't have a tap set.
   Make the rear plate. It should be 13 1/8" long by 4 1/8" wide. I rabbeted the plates along the bottom front and sides so they would sit down into the metal frame. It's not necessary, if you weld the joints (more on this in a moment, below), but it keeps things from moving around while drilling holes through both wood and metal frame.
   The loading bar is 2 1/4" X 13 1/8".
   I have scaled the drawing for 3/4" stock on both the bed and loading bar, since that is what is readily available. I used 5/8" maple from an old cabinet. The loading bar could be as thin as 1/2", but be sure to make adjustments to the height of the hinge brackets.

   This is all there is to the frame, and the only parts I needed to weld. If you do not have a welder, you could probably just use bolts (at least two each on the hinge brackets so they won't rotate). The front and rear rails could be cut long and bent and bolted to the angle stock. If you decide to use bolts, it would be a good idea to go ahead and rabbet the plates (shown in drawings) so the recessed plates keep things square. I used polyurethane on the wood, and OD paint on the metal, except for the business side of the end plate, which I blued (see below).

   Once you have the frame and plates made it's just a matter making the other pieces and bolting the thing together.

Here are some detail shots so you can see how the pieces fit.

   One important note here: I would advise completing only one of the linkage pieces and leave the second one a bit long, and finish one end only. Once you assemble the pieces you will have to "tune" the loading bar, that is, make whatever adjustment is needed to assure that the face of the loading bar is perfectly parallel to the end plate when in the fully forward position. Otherwise, you may have cartridges pressed all of the way into the links at one end, but not the other.


Linkage detail.

Loading bar guide. Held in place with two course thread sheet metal screws.

Loading bar bracket. 10-24 buttonhead screws,
countersunk, come up through bottom of loading bar. 5/32" holes are threaded on bracket. Use nuts instead, if you wish.


Detail showing bolt/washers/lock nut.
Bolts are 5/16" allen head. I chose a length sufficient to have a shoulder, then cut to a 1" shank.


I wanted the lever to be bent from a single 1" bar for rigidity. The handle is oak. I turned it to 1 1/8", then remove the center leaving two slabs. You could probably cut a broom handle in half and it would work as well.
   Right and left ends of end plate. I put a heavy bevel on the holes to protect the ends of the casings from getting nicked. The end plate should bear on the links between the cartridges. The face of the end plate is blued, as the links would take off any paint.


You definitely do NOT want to link
ammo after 14 cups of coffee!
(Actually a PhotoShop composite.)


Here are some photos of some shop
made linkers. You may get some good
ideas here.

If you have any questions, or see a mistake in the dimensions or the process, contact me. Best to put "1919" in the subject line so it will catch my eye.

Good luck!

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