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LRSmoker

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Hi,
We got more done last Saturday. It was time to make and install a side plate. I modeled one from a 1770s vintage Lancaster gun and used an old cast English plate as the raw material. I cut out and filed the outline and then had Josh clean up the edges and file the bevel. He did a great job with the task.



I decided to let Josh outline the mortice for the side plate because the thick brass gave him a nice edge to feel. So Josh screwed the plate in place and used a razor sharp knife with a pointed tip to trace the plate.


He did OK but he tended to put too much pressure on the knife such that it cut deep and caught wood grain that led the tip astray. He did not grasp my direction to use a light touch because all he was doing was scribing the outline. We deepened it by stabbing in after marking it. Anyway, the stock will have a few scratches around the plate after finish but they won't show very much. I corrected and cut the outline and back cut to create an edge to the mortice that Josh could feel. He removed the background.


The inlet came out great. There are a few tiny gaps but they will disappear when the wood is stained and finished. I want to emphasize how difficult this is. When using a chisel, he has to have his hand on the tool but low enough near the blade so he can use his pinky to feel where it is going. Then he has to tap the chisel with his other hand. He tends to position the chisel at the right angle but when he gets ready to tap it, he unconsciously lowers the angle of the chisel so it skips over the wood. He has to consciously raise the end of the tool before every tap. Acer had an idea that Josh may do better if, rather than a mallet, he hits the chisel with a flat weight in his hand. It may give him one less thing to think about.


The rest of the day was shaping the stock further. Josh did well but as we get closer to the finished product it is clear that I have to do more of the work. There are subtle details that he cannot perceive but we will try to push his capabilities as far as we can. Here is where we are and you can see minor gaps in the inletting and some imprecision in shaping, but most of that will disappear in the final form and Josh has done a remarkable job.





I communicate all your responses to Josh and he appreciates the support a great deal. Thank you all for looking and commenting.

dave
I’m always impressed by your abilities and dedication to creating works of art Dave however this time I believe you have proven that you also have a heart of gold. Josh is most certainly an individual that is capable of almost anything and I for one am absolutely amazed at his dedication , passion and abilities. I am convinced that his being coached by a master of the art is a fantastic gift.
Josh you are doing an absolutely fantastic job and I hope to meet you some day at a woods walk along with Dave so that I can convey to you my compliments personally.
Stay healthy.
 

wiksmo

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Josh, I've no doubt this is great adventure for you. @dave_person has summed up your work beautifully: "Josh has done a remarkable job." Yeah, and you are making Dave's work with you come out extra special, too.

Well done both of you gentlemen! :thumb:
~wiksmo
 

Flinty Scot

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Dave,
Your generosity and creative mentoring are as inspiring as your skill. I'd no idea you were a Vermonter, but that just makes this old expat extra proud to claim a wee connection.
 

Flinty Scot

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Josh's joy, concentration, and pride are clear in the pictures.
He's turning out a fine rifle.
It's been a real pleasure to watch. As others have noted, he shames me for the times I've let my fear of failure keep me from trying. You are both inspiring giants.
 
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Hi Guys,
Thanks for looking and commenting. We got more done. A very special tool came from the mind and generosity of Tom Curran. He suggested that Josh might have an easier time tapping a chisel if he used a flat weight in his hand rather than a mallet. It might make it easier for him to concentrate on the tip of the chisel rather than connecting the mallet and the chisel handle. Instead of just making the suggestion, Tom sent a thick steel disk that he turned. It worked like magic with results you can see below. Tom, it was a brilliant idea and it made a difference immediately. We got the trigger guard inlet and Josh did most of that and we installed a toe plate, which Josh inlet. The toe plate was one I made for my first rifle back in 1978. It was simple but appropriate so we used it. We installed the trigger and adjusted it to about 2.5 pounds for now. After tuning and polishing the lock it will get lighter but we have to consider safety. Josh has to feel for the trigger so we may not want it too light. Here is where we are. We need to do the final finish shaping, carving, and inlet a patch box and star in the cheek piece. The patch box will be the famous "tulip" box by Dickert shown in RCA 1. I think you can see what a handsome rifle this will be. More to come.

dave













 
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Hi,
Thinking about the toe plate from my first gun, let me entertain you all with a little story. I was very close to my Dad. We made things in his shop since I was 8 or 9 years old. Pop could make anything and had extensive knowledge of basic wood and metal work. When he retired in 1977, he took up wood carving with a passion. He was very skilled with the tools and techniques but he was never an artist. He was a craftsman. His carving was the typical work of old retired guys, the "cowboy boot", the "grumpy face in the walking stick", carousel horses (although dad did do a great carousel pig with wings), and wildlife. Since I worked with canids, including foxes, coyotes, and wolves, Dad carved lots of them. I loved them but they all kind of looked like chubby labs with erect ears. No matter, they were great. I got into making muzzleloaders because a friend took Dad and I out to shoot his TC Hawken. This was 1976. We had great fun but both of us looked at the rifle and concluded that we could build a better gun. So I went to the library looking up books about old guns and decided flintlocks long rifles were for me. My guiding book was Kaufmann's "Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle", which I bought and devoured. With Pop's support I ordered parts from a newly discovered Dixie Gun Works, which included a Siler flintlock kit, rough stock blank, Douglas barrel, a few parts and McCory's little book on Kentucky rifle building. We went from there making all the other parts like ramrod pipes, patch box, sights, barrel lugs, muzzle cap, side plate, cheek star, barrel pin escutcheon plates, and toe plate all from scratch. I learned a lot about locks from building that kit. It was also the perfect vehicle for Dad to remember his technical training in metal work and teach me all of those pre-World War 2 secrets. Well, we built the gun together and it came out well but with many of the pitfalls of those who have not handled originals. Regardless, when it came to designing carving and inlays, the only really inspiration from my Dad was the rounded arrow head, which you see in the toe plate on Josh's rifle. If I ever asked Dad for ideas, that was the only thing he would suggest. It was safe, symmetrical, easy to make, and bland. I was bored by it and wanted more but that ability came later. Pop sent me on the road in many ways and using that toe plate on Josh's rifle is very appropriate. Dad would approve.

dave
 

Sam squanch

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Since I own 2 mobile homes, 9 cats, and have a shopping cart collection, it must have been pre ordained......
 
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I have had an extremely busy spring and summer so unfortunately have not been on this forum for many months. It has been a GREAT pleasure this evening to get back to this thread and catch up on the amazing work that Josh is doing under your tutoring, Dave. Pass my congratulations on to Josh for a job VERY well done. I hope he knows just how lucky he is to be learning from a true master of the craft. I cannot wait to see the finished gun!

Mike
 
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Hi,
We got more done. Josh helped me make and install a brass patch box with spring catch mechanism. To be honest, I did most of the work but he helped file and shape the patch box finial and side plates as well as prepare the surface of the stock to receive the box.
Q2AgsLp.jpg

MpWm2dJ.jpg

xIReX6R.jpg

The design is a copy of one attributed to Jacob Dickert. Only the box survived from that gun and it is one of the best Dickert made or used. The finial is a tulip and the whole box will be engraved folk art. Josh had a very special teacher who helped him a great deal and loved tulips. I mentioned that many Lancaster guns had daisy patch boxes so one shaped as a tulip would not be out of place. Lo and behold, we found the Dickert "tulip" box and chose that. We still need to clean it up a bit as well as the hinge but it came out really nice and is one of the most charming patch boxes I've seen. Josh will eventually cut and clean out the rest of the patch box cavity. Next up is carving.

dave
 
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Hi,
It has been a while since I posted on Josh's rifle. It is almost done. At the finishing stages I have to do most of the work but Josh helped polish the lock and brass and clean up the stock getting ready for stain. I'll be posting the finished rifle soon but I wanted to share the patch box engraving. The rifle is partly a tribute to one of Josh's teachers who helped him a lot growing up. She died recently but her family is still connected to the project. I'll engrave her first name on the side plate. She loved tulips so when I found the patch box below attributed to a gun by Jacob Dickert, we had a very appropriate original design to work with. I do not believe Dickert engraved the box. Both Rich Pierce and I think it may have been engraved by George Frederick Fainot. It still may be from a Dickert rifle but perhaps he had Fainot engrave the box. he original design is rustic and charming.
8d60KrK.jpg

However, I wanted to make the tulip look a little more like a real tulip and clean up the lid so it was not so busy but not lose the folk art charm of the original. Here is what I came up with:
rvXlwj8.jpg

T2lvOzp.jpg

More to come.
dave
 

Pete G

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Hi,
It has been a while since I posted on Josh's rifle. It is almost done. At the finishing stages I have to do most of the work but Josh helped polish the lock and brass and clean up the stock getting ready for stain. I'll be posting the finished rifle soon but I wanted to share the patch box engraving. The rifle is partly a tribute to one of Josh's teachers who helped him a lot growing up. She died recently but her family is still connected to the project. I'll engrave her first name on the side plate. She loved tulips so when I found the patch box below attributed to a gun by Jacob Dickert, we had a very appropriate original design to work with. I do not believe Dickert engraved the box. Both Rich Pierce and I think it may have been engraved by George Frederick Fainot. It still may be from a Dickert rifle but perhaps he had Fainot engrave the box. he original design is rustic and charming.
8d60KrK.jpg

However, I wanted to make the tulip look a little more like a real tulip and clean up the lid so it was not so busy but not lose the folk art charm of the original. Here is what I came up with:
rvXlwj8.jpg

T2lvOzp.jpg

More to come.
dave
Excellent!!
 
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As i read this thread the only words that come to me is AWESOME!!! This just goes to show you...anyone can do anything if you put your mind to it, it also shows that no matter what physical challanges people have...if they want to do something they can and will!!! Dave, you are a great person for taking time to help someone achive a dream to build a flintlock. I got to say we need more people like you in this world! AND Josh...your are the man! You are taking this challange head on and not letting any of you physical abilities hold you back!!! I can tell you are a strong willed man and you don’t make excusses that you can’t but you say...i can do this! Josh, i wish we also had more people in this world like you!!! I’m looking forward to more as the build goes on! This is truely awesome, thats all i got to say!!!
 
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