Author Topic: RE: SAPFM ORV - Extra Spring Meeting - Mar 4-5, 2017 - Long Rifles  (Read 1995 times)

David Conley

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Topics from the 18th Century Gun Shop
Presentation for Society of American Period Furniture Makers
Spring Meeting, March 4 & 5, 2017 Lancaster, Ohio

SATURDAY:  Begin meeting at 10:00 AM with abbreviated “Show and Tell.”
                        Start 18th C Gunsmithing discussions by 11:00 with overall meeting 

Overall Meeting Plan:
Saturday:  18th C. Gunsmithing as outlined below with demonstrations and class participation.
Sunday:  Discussion of gun barrel manufacturing and use of a reproduction 18th C rifling machine.
1.  Historical Notes and Background:           30 Minutes
•   Schools of Gun Making:  Grouping of guns with similar construction details, i.e. Shape of Butt Stock, Furniture, Carving Style, and Engraving.  Normally named after county or town where these gunsmiths are known to have worked, i.e. Lebanon School, Lancaster School, Lehigh Valley School, Bucks County School and Womelsdorf School.
•   Location:  Southeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania
•   Gunsmiths:  John Philip Beck, Jacob Dickert, Herman Rupp, Leonard Reedy and Andrew Verner.
•   Relationship:  Master and apprentice, 7 year apprenticeship.  Style of master is apparent in work of apprentice, even after apprentice works as a master.  By observing tax records master/apprentice relationships can be determined.
For Example: Simon Lauck, John Philip Beck, and Nicholas Beyer.

“An understanding of the American quality of these objects is only understood through close scrutiny and a careful dissection of technology, processes and aesthetics, all of which are tightly interrelated.”  JHAT, Vol. II, Page 26.
Technology:  What was done.
Processes:  How it was done.
Aesthetics:  How it looked. 

2.  Fundamentals:           30 to 45 Minutes
           Lock:  Flint or Cap:  Ignition Mechanism.
           Stock: Wood, Chosen for beauty and strength.  Curly Maple, Walnut, 
           Cherry.  Curly Maple most common.
           Barrel and Breech Plug:  Hand Forged, Rifled for accuracy.
           Butt Plate, Trigger Guard, and Side Plate:  Made by using sand casting.   
           Brass, silver or iron.  Brass most common for Pennsylvania guns.
           Ram rod Thimbles, Patch Box, Nose Cap:  Formed from sheet stock.
           Trigger and Plate:  Hand forged from iron.
           Screws and Bolts:  Hand made.
•   Relationship of parts to make a functioning longrifle.
•   Assembly: How it goes together, and what holds it together.  Screws, Bolts (Nails) Rivets, Cross Keys or Wedges, Pins, Undercuts in the stock.
•   Layout:  Use of 5:3 proportion, (Golden Mean).  Use of proportional dividers.
Used in unique manner by individual gunsmiths.  Demonstrate layout of Jacob Dicket, Pat Hallam’s study and book.
•   Fitting vs. Measuring


3. Construction:   Overall 3.5 – 4 Hours
•   Inletting
•   Dove Tails in Barrel:  Demonstration, 45 Minutes
•   Drilling
•   Tapping Threads
•   Making Wood Screws
•   Finishing:  Wood:  Aqua Fortis (Nitric Acid) Stain with varnish or oil finish.
                 Metal: Blueing using heat.  Browning using chemical, “Controlled 
•   Patch Box Releases
•   Sheet Metal Parts:  Annealing brass and forming parts using mandrels or forming “dies.”  Demonstration, 45 Minutes making an entry thimble.
•   Use of the Jeweler’s Frame Saw:  Class participation.  Using a Jeweler’s Saw to make a Keyhole escutcheon plate or Drawer Pull Plate.  See Tool List below for required tools and suppliers.


SUNDAY:  Start approximately 10:00.
                   Address any questions or discussion from Saturday
4.  Barrel Making:          45 Minutes – 1 Hour
•   Hand forging:  Skelp twisted around a mandrel and welded by hammering at correct temperature.
•   Rifling:  Spiral grooves that impart spin and thus gyroscopic stability to round ball.
•   Rifling Machine: Function and operation.  Hands-On demonstration with SAPFM members “operating” the rifling machine.

5. Operation of Flintlock Rifle with Firing Demonstration     30 - 45 Minutes
•   Equipment required
•   Loading
•   Cleaning
•   Sayings that come from Muzzle Loading Firearms:  “Lock, Stock and Barrel: Flash in the Pan: Go off halfcocked.”

•   Q&A and open discussion


Recommended Tool List:
•   Jeweler’s Frame Saw: Price Range: $17.00 - $25.00
•   Blades:  Price Range: $4.00 – $10.00 /Dozen.  Bring 2 Doz.
•   C-Clamp:  To hold “V” Block to work bench.
•   “V” Block:  Make from 5” (Approx. width) X 9” Long X
        ¾” thick.  Will cut V in class.
•   Brass Sheet:  To be supplied

SUPPLIERS:  (All have Web-sites)
Log Cabin Shop, Lodi, OH
Track of the Wolf, Elk River, MN
R. E. Davis & Co., Perrysburg, OH

« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 02:20:24 PM by David Conley »

David Conley

  • Regional Chapter Coordinator
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  • Posts: 380
  • Ohio River Valley Chapter Leader
Re: RE: SAPFM ORV - Extra Spring Meeting - Mar 4-5, 2017 - Long Rifles
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2017, 12:48:04 PM »

Hotel arrangements were unpredictably difficult on this weekend.  Instead of staying in Lancaster, Ohio,  we will be staying in nearby Logan, Ohio.  We have reserved rooms at the Baymont Inn with a group rate under the name of “SAPFM”. Please make your reservation by February 17, 2017.

12819 STATE RTE 664 LOGAN, OH  43138 US Phone: (740) 385-1700
@$109 a night plus taxes