Build Questions

Discussion in 'The Gun Builder's Bench' started by Bucky182, Jul 16, 2019.

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  1. Jul 16, 2019 #1

    Bucky182

    Bucky182

    Bucky182

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    OK I want to build a Flintlock rifle. And as a newbie to building have several questions.

    1. What is a good kit for a newbie to start with to get some experience building a rifle. (I am not new to muzzle loaders or flintlocks.) I want a kit I can learn the basics of building but that does not require every tool in the world or is too far beyond a new guys learning curve. I guess I am looking for some recommendations to cut my teeth on and not get too discouraged.

    2. What tools would be considered the required tools to build or start building kits.

    3. Are there any books or videos you would recommend for a newbie to read or watch.
    that cover building and or carving on black powder rifles.

    4. I am sure there is a lot more that I have to learn and know so any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You,
    New this site and building
     
  2. Jul 16, 2019 #2

    Phil Coffins

    Phil Coffins

    Phil Coffins

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    You’ll get a lot of recommendations soon but the one that I think will allow you to do a good job on any build is get some very good stones and a few very good chisels. Learn to get them scary sharp befor you make your first chip. This will allow you to do clean controlled inlets.
     
  3. Jul 16, 2019 #3

    Eric Krewson

    Eric Krewson

    Eric Krewson

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    Kibler kit, a big notch above a traditions or CVA, historically correct, minimal tools needed and lots of videos from the Kibler's telling you how to complete the kit.

    You get to practice precise inletting and final fitting of the buttplate, lock, trigger guard and ramrod pipes, fitting the underlugs and putting the final finish on cast metal furniture. Of course there is stock staining and finishing as well bluing or browning the barrel and whatever other parts you want to work on.

    You could probably do all the work with a 1/8" chisel, a small gouge, a wood file, several small metal files plus a larger one to draw file the barrel and plenty of sandpaper. You will need a hacksaw as well to cut the stub off the touch hole liner after you install it.
     
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  4. Jul 16, 2019 #4

    Pukka Bundook

    Pukka Bundook

    Pukka Bundook

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    As Eric says, but also look at Jim Chambers offerings.
    You can make a rifle/gun anyone would be proud to carry with his kits.
    Tools you need are not so many as expected, it all depends how handy you are! I find I use the same chisels and gouges for all kinds of shaping and inletting.

    Good luck in your endeavour!

    R.
     
  5. Jul 16, 2019 #5

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    Listen to Eric. The Kibler kits will require the lease amount of tools to complete. In fact if you have none of the needed chisels, sharpening stones, files and machinery, then a cheap production CVA kit will have more final expense than a Kibler kit. Watch the Kibler videos. Get the book, "The Gunsmith of Grenville County". Watch the Bill Raby videos that he has posted on the forum.

    Find a mentor to help you build your rifle. Where are you located?

    The plain Kibler Southern Mountain Rifle (SMR) will be the easiest of his kits.

    Learn how to sharpen your cutting tools. Get a good set of gunsmithing screwdrivers. Go to Woodcraft or Rockler and get a set of scrapers (https://www.woodcraft.com/products/...21f469702d06760016cd,57641b8969702d65930008c9). These give you a very smooth surface.
     
  6. Jul 16, 2019 #6

    Bucky182

    Bucky182

    Bucky182

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    I have some Dewalt chisels but I realize they are not the top quality required. what would be some recommended chisel sizes, and other tools. What are some recommended brands?
    Thank You!! This is a gold mine!!!
     
  7. Jul 16, 2019 #7

    Pete G

    Pete G

    Pete G

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    Look at the online "Track of the Wolf" catalog for chisels. Better yet, get print editon. You will find all kind of stuff that you didn't even know you needed.;)
     
  8. Jul 16, 2019 #8

    billraby

    billraby

    billraby

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    Go with the Pfeil chisels. They are probably the best ones that you can get. You can get them from Woodcraft.
     
  9. Jul 16, 2019 #9

    Kansas Jake

    Kansas Jake

    Kansas Jake

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    As a newbie to building, read through a bunch of the other threads here on building. Spend a few evenings or spare time perusing stuff. You will get a great overview.

    Dave Person’s stuff is great for aspirations to be great but most of us will be much more average in our work.
     
  10. Jul 16, 2019 #10

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

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    I'll tell you, and this may sound silly but IMO the best tools you can own are 1. A good quality exacto type knife and 2.several lights. I can't tell you how indispensible those two items can be. I couldn't build a birdhouse without either.
     
  11. Jul 16, 2019 #11

    rich pierce

    rich pierce

    rich pierce

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    If you are a newbie then unless you have wood and metal working experience you can turn a $1000 kit into a $300 Gun in a hurry.

    Skills you need depending on the kit

    Knowledge of original longrifles
    Precision chiseling and inletting so it looks like the parts grew there
    Precision drilling and tapping
    Precision fitting of parts in relationship to each other for proper function (barrel/lock/trigger)
    Fine finishing skills

    I hate to see great parts cobbled together. You might be the exception depending. If you build guitars and are a machinist, get a high dollar kit sand you’ll do fine, IF you study original longrifles.

    Kibler kits are an exception with the architecture established but can still be messed up.

    For these reasons I recommend a “factory kit” build like a Lyman Great Plains or similar for a first build.
     
  12. Jul 16, 2019 #12

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

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    A first gun doesn't have to be perfect. With experience comes skills. You learn from mistakes. Expecting someone to build a masterpiece on the first try is a surefire setup for failure.

    If the builder is satisfied with his creation whether a $300 gun from $1000 worth of parts or a $3000 gun from $300 worth of parts, it's not the us to say.
     
  13. Jul 16, 2019 #13

    sawyer04

    sawyer04

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    Time and patience. A first build one tends to get anxious. Think of it as a stress reliever and use the old noggin. As far as tools, I really have no preference as long as I know how to use them. Not all are as fortunate as I am, I just crank the forge and fabricate what I need, sometimes that doesn't work so good either. I would say for chisels to make sure there is a flat back on the flat chisels. I have purchased what I considered fairly expensive tools only to be disappointed. A fair knowledge of metallurgy is a help.
    As far as a kit, I have no recommendation, probably best to start off with at least 95% finished except for the wood and metal finish.
    Have fun with your endeavor, it is worth it, no matter what comes of it. Better believe it will not be the last one.
     
  14. Jul 17, 2019 #14

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

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    There are a bunch of things we need to know before giving you advice;
    Do you NEED the gun for a specific purpose, and in a specific time frame, or just WANT it, and have more time to complete it? It will be done when it is, rather than "I need it for this year's deer season." Be totally honest with yourself along these lines.
    Do you know what style of gun you want to build yet? Is there a caliber consideration in play?
    Do you have wood working experience using hand tools? Many guys do a lot of wood working, but all they ever use is machines. ML'er builds are mostly a hand tool operation.
    Do you have a well lit comfortable space in which to work? A bench with 2 vices on it to grab these very long stocks?

    However you decide to proceed, the most important thing for you to acquire at this stage is knowledge. This, and the ALR forum are both good resources, as are the 2 building books; "The Gunsmith of Grenville County", and, "Recreating the American Long Rifle". Both are good, and either will give you enough knowledge to build a gun, but both contain enough different stuff in them that makes acquiring both of them a worthwhile thing to do.

    There are the sand and assemble "kits" out there that take 30-40 hours and all you really need to do is follow the instructions. The other end of the spectrum is building the whole thing from scratch, including the lock and the barrel, and casting or forging your own BP and TG, like they do in Williamsburg. That's probably a 600+ hour build, and requires a ton of equipment and specialized tools. Then there is that in between, which most builders on this forum do, which is buying parts, or parts sets, and either starting with a raw blank, or, a pre-carved stock.
     
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  15. Jul 17, 2019 #15

    Kansas Jake

    Kansas Jake

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    I also would suggest a cheaper kit for a first build unless it is a Kibler. A build can be daunting and you may lose interest due to frustration. Another option is to find an orphan kit gun second hand that was only done so so. Especially if it can be had cheap. Try to rescue it and improve on the mistakes. That will give experience and maybe a gun to sell for more an money to put to a better one.
     
  16. Jul 17, 2019 #16

    Bucky182

    Bucky182

    Bucky182

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    Thanks Guys.
    Col Batguano I have three hunting Muzzleloaders. I just want to build one. As I like hunting with stuff I make myself. I am leaning towards a simpler Kit gun first. I doubt the wife would let me drop a grand on a kit since I never built one before. I have refinished several rifles and shotguns and rebuild a flintlock, adding a new aftermarket lock and white lightning touch hole.
    I want to read some books and gather the correct tools before doing a high dollar kit. Also want to learn to do some carving or at least see how horrible I am at it. LOL
     
  17. Jul 17, 2019 #17

    Eric Krewson

    Eric Krewson

    Eric Krewson

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    View attachment 12259 Another thing; don't use a dremel unless you are very experienced with one, they can get away from you in a heartbeat and do a lot of damage.

    On chisels, mine are cheaper ones, they work, I strop them every ten minutes or so while I am working. If you buy a set you will seldom or never use half of them. I bought a Flex Cut set of carving chisels and gouges for $175, I use two or three of them regularly.

    If you have a few concrete nails and a propane torch you can make anything you need, kinda' fun too.

    concerete nail.jpg

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    concrete nail 6.jpg

    concrete nail 7.jpg
     
  18. Jul 17, 2019 #18

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

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    A lot of folks underestimate what can be done with an X-acto knife and a good assortment of blades. I would like to ad a couple pair of reading glasses of different strengths for close work.

    "If you have a few concrete nails and a propane torch you can make anything you need, kinda' fun too."

    I've made a lot of punches and chisels from cut nails, often by just grinding. Use as is and throw them in the scrap can when I was done. It only takes a couple of minutes to make something.
     
  19. Jul 17, 2019 #19

    Buckskinn

    Buckskinn

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    I was in your position about 8 months ago. Wife was looking for Christmas present for me and I thought of a flintlock kit and naturally was looking at the cheap kits. Did a bunch of research and got lots of good advice and decided to bump up to a Chambers. More of an investment, but well worth it IMO. I had zero experience and got lots of help from guys who know what they are talking about on this site. I got frustrated plenty, but in the end I was extremely happy with the choice and results. A Kibler would be a great choice as well and much less needed effort to complete it as the CNC stocks are really close to finished. Pics below of what I did and I'm sure you could as well...

    https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/first-build-competed.114279/
     
  20. Jul 17, 2019 #20

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

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    Ok, so you've established that you don't have a pressing time constraint for NEEDING the gun done by a certain time. That's a good thing, because that will allow you to take all the time it actually takes to allow you to do a good job. If it takes 30 hours or 300, you have that luxury.

    That also will allow you the time it takes to shop for parts if you are on some kind of a monetary budget. There are places you can pick up parts cheaper than the well-known retail mail-order places, such as Pecatonica, MBS, or TotW. Flea Bay, Craig's List, yard and estate sales for instance. The selection and timing is rather haphazard at best though.

    Some times you can pick up an abandoned project for mere pennies on the dollar. I think that happens a LOT more than people really know. A college buddy of mine picked up a very nice partially completed Lancaster parts set for $50 that way. It had probably 60 hours or so worth of work done on it, (BP, lock, and trigger inletted, keys, estrucheons, MC, and pipes installed) and the previous owner just lost interest. Unfortunately, despite my urgings and sending him progress reports on my recent build, my college buddy himself hasn't been overly motivated to do much work on it either. I may wind up just buying it from him and doing it myself, or, if I'm in a generous mood, just asking him to ship it to me and doing it all FOR him.

    The trick there is to know what you're looking at. Some times the original "craftsman" has made such a mess of it that it's beyond recovery, so the best thing to do is to get the parts, salvage what you can, and start over.

    Do you have a well lit shop space that will allow you to make a mess on the floor? A bench with 2 vices on it?

    The "specialized tools you will need and how to get them" topic is already being addressed by others here.
     

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