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"Building Blind" rifle is finished

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RB POWELL

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Hi,
Josh's rifle is done. It has a Getz 38" 54 caliber swamped barrel with the same profile of those sold with "Isaac Haines" kits. The lock is a Chambers Dale Johnson, the butt plate, trigger guard, and pipes are typical wax cast products. Josh and I made the muzzle cap, side plate, trigger plate, silver star, wrist plate, and patch box. The stock is sugar maple with a little curl and we started with a rough blank. Dave Keck inlet the barrel and ramrod groove and hole. The stain is ferric nitrate, however I tinted the Sutherland-Welles polymerized tung oil finish with LMF cherry stain. I also lightly glazed some edges with bone black. Josh did almost half of the stock shaping work and even worked on smoothing background around the carving. He inlet the breech plug and tang, lock plate and some internals, butt plate, toe plate, trigger plate, trigger guard, ramrod pipes, muzzle cap, and a lot of the patch box. He also made the ramrod. I often cleaned up and fixed accidental slips and wide cuts but left a lot alone because this is Josh's gun. You can see in the photos a few rough places and gaps but he did incredibly well for his first gun and being blind. The rifle is meant to represent a plausible rifle from Lancaster during the Rev War or shortly before. The patch box design was copied from one supposedly made by Dickert but perhaps engraved by somebody else. It has a tulip finial, which was the favorite flower of a teacher who helped Josh a great deal growing up. Her name was Nancy and I engraved her name on the side plate. This was a challenging project and now Josh just need to take it deer hunting, which he will very soon.

dave






































Beautiful! Congratulations.
 

BJHabermehl

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Can you say shock and awe! Great looking rifle, you should both be congratulated. Oh by the way congratulations on a job not only well done, and artistically well done as well. BJH
 

dave_person

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Hi,
Thanks to all of you for following Josh and I on the "Building Blind" thread and this finale. I appreciate the comments very much but they really inspire and motivate Josh. I copy all of them and e-mail them to his wife. His life is not easy and this was an outlet for him that was almost pure joy. I want to make clear that I did a lot of the work, particularly during the final stages. However, we found many ways to keep Josh active in the process. For example, when designing the carving and inlays, obviously he cannot see a design drawn on paper or the stock. So I would draw a design on card stock and cut it out. Josh could then feel the outline and place it on the stock to see if he liked it. Same with the style of star inlay. I was sure he would prefer my "Star of Bethlehem" design, which we used, over the Moravian and traditional hunter's stars but I gave him all three to feel. So he was involved in designing the carving as well as removing and smoothing the background surrounding it. He did a great job. I had him practicing with my Lindsay Airgraver cutting brass and steel and I am convinced that he might have been able to engrave the border lines on the patch box and inlays. We just ran out of time and opportunities for him to travel to my shop owing to the pandemic. Again, thank you all for your support and encouragement. Never look down or be condescending to someone with a disability, because you may be looking at someone with a very heroic soul.

dave
 

Flint62Smoothie

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Beautiful words ... and a GREAT idea of cutting out the templates for Josh to see! I look forward to visiting with both Josh and his wife at the southern Vermont biathlon, and please give them my best.

Tell his wife I miss her violin playing ... and that she still has to learn the songs from the ‘Last of the Mohicans’!
 

Flinty Scot

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Dave & Josh, That is an outstandingly beautiful rifle; a lasting tribute to you both.
Anyone, this century or two past, would be proud to carry such a piece.
I trust that Josh will go on to distinguish himself with it. I've a strong hunch that this story is only beginning.

Dave, you are a special craftsman, mentor, and human being. Thank you for sharing this saga.
 

Spikebuck

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"He loves historical re-enacting but that community was lukewarm to him because of his blindness. "

Everyone who followed the Building Blind thread probably remembers the above quote from Dave's very first post on the subject.

Dave, thank God that Dave Keck and you saw more in this extraordinary young man that just his "disability"...which by the looks of that rifle was less of one than I have trying to build them! While we all realize that you did work on the rifle, the amount and quality of work that Josh was able to accomplish is really something for him and you to be proud of. You guys worked together to find new ways to do the task that were not the way YOU did them, but a way that worked for Josh.

I am really looking forward to seeing some targets and am interested in how he shoots this rifle...I mean someone else is doing the aiming and I'm curious how that is done. I've seen it done with bow and arrow and special sighting setups, but not with a flintlock and ordinary open sights. I also cannot wait to see the pictures of his first game animal taken with it.

BEST WISHES, Josh. Please....stay in touch and be a permanent part of the Muzzleloading Forum! We are all interested in hearing more about your amazing journey with this rifle! :thumb:
 

LRSmoker

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Hi,
Josh's rifle is done. It has a Getz 38" 54 caliber swamped barrel with the same profile of those sold with "Isaac Haines" kits. The lock is a Chambers Dale Johnson, the butt plate, trigger guard, and pipes are typical wax cast products. Josh and I made the muzzle cap, side plate, trigger plate, silver star, wrist plate, and patch box. The stock is sugar maple with a little curl and we started with a rough blank. Dave Keck inlet the barrel and ramrod groove and hole. The stain is ferric nitrate, however I tinted the Sutherland-Welles polymerized tung oil finish with LMF cherry stain. I also lightly glazed some edges with bone black. Josh did almost half of the stock shaping work and even worked on smoothing background around the carving. He inlet the breech plug and tang, lock plate and some internals, butt plate, toe plate, trigger plate, trigger guard, ramrod pipes, muzzle cap, and a lot of the patch box. He also made the ramrod. I often cleaned up and fixed accidental slips and wide cuts but left a lot alone because this is Josh's gun. You can see in the photos a few rough places and gaps but he did incredibly well for his first gun and being blind. The rifle is meant to represent a plausible rifle from Lancaster during the Rev War or shortly before. The patch box design was copied from one supposedly made by Dickert but perhaps engraved by somebody else. It has a tulip finial, which was the favorite flower of a teacher who helped Josh a great deal growing up. Her name was Nancy and I engraved her name on the side plate. This was a challenging project and now Josh just need to take it deer hunting, which he will very soon.

dave






































Hi,
Thanks to all of you for following Josh and I on the "Building Blind" thread and this finale. I appreciate the comments very much but they really inspire and motivate Josh. I copy all of them and e-mail them to his wife. His life is not easy and this was an outlet for him that was almost pure joy. I want to make clear that I did a lot of the work, particularly during the final stages. However, we found many ways to keep Josh active in the process. For example, when designing the carving and inlays, obviously he cannot see a design drawn on paper or the stock. So I would draw a design on card stock and cut it out. Josh could then feel the outline and place it on the stock to see if he liked it. Same with the style of star inlay. I was sure he would prefer my "Star of Bethlehem" design, which we used, over the Moravian and traditional hunter's stars but I gave him all three to feel. So he was involved in designing the carving as well as removing and smoothing the background surrounding it. He did a great job. I had him practicing with my Lindsay Airgraver cutting brass and steel and I am convinced that he might have been able to engrave the border lines on the patch box and inlays. We just ran out of time and opportunities for him to travel to my shop owing to the pandemic. Again, thank you all for your support and encouragement. Never look down or be condescending to someone with a disability, because you may be looking at someone with a very heroic soul.

dave
I’m absolutely stunned by the Beaty that you and Josh have created. This should indeed be a family heirloom that he should proudly pass on when the time comes. I am so looking forward to meeting up with Josh on a woods walk and to be able to compliment him personally. A truly fine bit of craftsmanship from a master craftsman and an individual that has no limits for a work of art.
 

Grenadier1758

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I'm sighted and I'm not sure that I could make rifle as nice as that.

Kudos to you and Josh.

A quick question. When Josh takes his rifle to the deer woods, how will it be aimed?
 

Yewbender

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Now that is one very nice piece of art work you guys created! That flinter is beautiful, awesome, out of this world!!! Congrats to both of you on this build and looks like Josh is on his way to becoming a very fine flintlock builder :thumb: :thumb::thumb:
 

tnlonghunter

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I cannot say how impressed I am. As many have already said, Josh has some impressive talent that clearly is being refined by a good teacher. I learned a lot just reading through the build thread. It's a beautiful rifle, but just seeing seeing the pictures of the build process was the most inspiring.
 

pooch156

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Absolutely gorgeous rifle. Noticed that you used a Getz barrel. Is it one that you have had for a while? Or are they being produced again?
 

Mulebrain

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I can only dream of building such a beautiful rifle. The lines and carving are just the way I like it!
To the right of me, is a blank build project. I pray I can make a gun of it.

I will be saving the pics of this build for reference
 

dave_person

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Hi,
Thanks everyone! I pass on your comments to Josh and it motivates him greatly. We shot the gun and sighted it in. I don't know when the Getz barrel was made but it was one given to Josh by a friend. I am not a huge fan of Getz rifle barrels and this one was no surprise. They often have lands so sharp that patches are shredded and they have to be lapped. That was the case with this barrel. The first shots were terrible because the patches shredded and burned up. I lapped the bore with steel wool and aluminum oxide powder dipped in oil. It took a while but I finally smoothed the bore and dulled the edges of the lands sufficient to load patched ball without tearing up the patches. After lapping the gun started to shoot well. It likes powder and groups were good with 85-95 grains 2F, 0.020" patches lubed with Ballistol and water, and 0.530 caliber round balls. Josh now has a good hunting load and should be out pursuing deer any day now. He has to go with a friend who aims the rifle for him. It is a bit awkward peering over Josh's shoulder and down the sights but it works. If Josh can rest the gun on a limb or shooting sticks, he can maintain a 4" group out to about 80 yards. Again, thanks for following our thread and supporting Josh!

dave
 

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