A Tale of Two Little Rifles

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MattU,

I don't do anything unusual and there are better places than me to watch how to do engraving. I mostly use a 30 year old Gravermeister to engrave but also do push engraving and some hammer & chisel work. As you can see from the above photos, I often use layout dye on the parts I am going to engrave and then sketch / scribe (lightly) the design and then start cutting. There are many, many excellent videos on line that show the techniques of engraving as well as several great books on techniques and design. Here is a link to some you can watch on YouTube.......https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hand+engraving

I hope this helps.

Dave C2
 
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Got the muzzle cap installed with a copper rivet.....



Carved and cast a miniature sterling silver thumb piece......



This is where it will go....



Machined a 4-40 threaded attachment and silver soldered it to the thumb piece (sorry these photos came out fuzzy.....I just got a new iPhone 13 mini and it takes lousy close up pictures !! My old SE did MUCH better :mad: :mad:



 
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Made a set of form blocks and contoured the brass pieces of the patch box to conform to the stock shape.






Making a patch box hinge for a normal size box is, if done in the traditional way, fairly time consuming and a little complicated. Several years ago I made a hinge by a different method and silver brazed it to the box parts. Although not formed from the parent material of the box lid and finial, it looks to me a lot like some box hinges that were separate and then riveted to the box parts on some original rifles. Be that as it all may, I decided to do the brazed method on this little box.

The lid is 1 inch wide and I had a small brass hinge just that wide as well. To insure that the lid and the finial are just as strong as if made from the parent material, I elected to hard silver braze the pieces and also make sure that there was an excellent fit between the hinge halves and their respective box pieces. Since both the box lid and finial had been contoured to fit the shape of the stock, the hinge had to be shaped to match the curve in order to get a tight braze joint. Here is a shaped half of the hinge and a photo showing the tight fit up to the box lid......(When I have to shape small parts like this with a file, I usually super glue the part to a small block of wood to do the work as in the picture here. Once the file work is finished, heating gently with a torch easily releases the part. I do the same thing for a lot of my engraving.)





Then the hinge halves are silver brazed to their respective parts.....







The box lid and finial are reassembled with the hinge pin.......



The box parts are drilled for the attaching screws and mounted in place for the start of the inletting......

Remember when Ralph Kramden would sort of drool and go, "homanah, homanah, " this is just like that. You, sir, are an Artist and Craftsman of the Highest Order. Thank you for posting.
 
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First, here are some better pictures of the lock engraving.....Even though I can't use it as a phone, my old iPhone still works better as a camera than my new phone !.....I just have to plug the old one into my computer to off load the photos.





Then I got the engraved patch box back in place and the catch / release mechanism fine tuned....



And then one of those unexpected things happened that adds a lot of unexpected work to the project. While I was putting the tumbler back in place through the lock plate, I felt something in my hand that I thought was bench debris. But when I looked, it was a piece of metal that looked remarkably like a piece of the tumbler half cock notch !!! Sure enough, the tumbler had a piece broken off. :mad: :( :-\ I have no idea how that happened ??



I will attempt to TIG weld repair it, but I don't hold out much hope. The fall back is to machine a new tumbler from 1144 stress proof steel. One of those things that happens and needs to be repaired, but certainly will slow down the completion....che sera, sera !
 
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Although I have plenty of other parts of this little rifle to keep me busy, the broken tumbler sitting on the bench kept silently mocking me. I wanted to at least get as far as trying to add back enough steel by welding to see if the original tumbler was salvageable or if I had to plan on making a new one from scratch. I set up to TIG weld the missing steel back in place and it went very well indeed. I was afraid that the weld would need to fill in some or all of the fly notch, which on this lock is on the plate side of the tumbler, and would complicate the the final reshaping of the tumbler. I was able to add plenty of steel and not distort the fly notch at all.

 
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Work, medical issues, house repairs, and an opportunity to actually go see the little guy I am building this rifle for have all encroached on the time I have had to work on it. But I will have the time to finish fitting the weld repair on this tumbler today and will then re-heat treat the tumbler and the sear.

Here is an updated photo of the recipient ......he is twice the size he was when I started this rifle for him. The race is on !!!

 

Bassdog1

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That rifle will be something that he can treasure for the rest of his life. This week I had an uncle who passed away leave me and other family members nearly 100 explosives boxes that my grandfather carried home from work in the coal mines of Virginia. He lived in Harlan County Kentucky and walked over the Mountain into Virginia to work and back every day. Knowing that he physically carried each one gives me some connection with a Grandfather that passed away long before I was born. That rifle will be a strong reminder to your Grandson throughout his life of how much you cared for him.
 

Capt. Jas.

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Thank you all for the kind comments. There are much better builders, engravers, and carvers than I am and it is due to their kindness and generosity with their time and talent that I have learned as much as I have.
Your genuine humility is is such a great accent to your obvious talent.
It is truly helpful to have talented people who share their technique with others. The recipient however, must also be gifted and equipped (as well as motivated) to utilize that information to the fullest.
What you brought to the table is evident in execution.
 

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