First attempt at a Powder Horn

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You set a mighty high bar for every one making their first horn! Very nice job!
Well I didn't mean to do that but my only claim to fame is what I can do on a work bench with a few tools. Just wish I could figure out how to make it pay a billion bucks. Lol.
 

Fortescu

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Took a few minutes off of the rifle build and did a horn for it. Never carved or etched a horn before, but did my research and dove in with both feet. One picture is what I started with from Buffalo Arms, second pic is just now after cooking an hour in a hot british black tea and onion skin soup.

No ryme or reason or meaning to the engrailing, just sort of copied some stuff I thought looked good from some other horns. The wrap around scrimshaw is Betsy Ross's 13 stars, Ben Franklin's "Join, or Die", five Bible verses that are important to me, my name in "military scribe" font and the date the horn was made, the last couple sentences of Patrick Henry's famous 2nd Virginia Convention "Liberty or Death" speech in "Boston Font", and a very crude map of Virginia, northern Carolina, and the Shawnee territory just to the west, as known in the 1770ish time periodView attachment 138093 View attachment 138094 .
Ok. That’s some WOW factor. If you would, will you tell how you carved the details and what was used to color the details? This is exactly what I’ll be attempting ti do in the next couple of months. Very nice. Truly.
 
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Ok. That’s some WOW factor. If you would, will you tell how you carved the details and what was used to color the details? This is exactly what I’ll be attempting ti do in the next couple of months. Very nice. Truly.
I used files, wood chisels, and a 60 degree veiner tool to do the spout carvings.

The scrimshaw I free hand penciled on. I used font generators on my phone screen to get the lettering to look just right. Then I lightly scratched it in with the point of an exacto craft knife. I need to figure out something else because I broke a lot of blade tips. Once that little point snapped off it made the blade useless. I'm going to look into a carbide scribe if I can find one that has a sharp enough point.

I learned if I made mistakes or had an over run or just didn't like how it looked I could lightly sand it down and do it over as long as the first attempt wasn't too deep. It didn't take long to learn how deep was best. It's mostly just a light scratch in the surface. To make things look bolder don't go deeper, use double lines or fill something in with light scratch lines to make it stand out. That's how the period pieces are done.

As far as tools the biggest thing that helped me though was the illuminated magnifying lamp I bought. Can't do fine detail if you can't see what you're doing. I highly recommend using one to do this. Mine has a 5X magnifier lens and several settings of light. It was like $26 on Amazon.

The etchings are colored with Dr Ph Martin's Bombay Black India ink I got off Amazon. I just swabbed it over the etchings with a q-tip, let it dry completely, then steel wooled it down so just the etching lines showed crisp and clean. That left a blackish tinge stained all around everything that I left shadows of it there, and I think that adds to the aged look after I dyed it yellow.

I was afraid the hot dye bath would hurt the black ink, but it didn't bother it at all. Everything stayed put very nicely.

Hope that helps.....
 
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This is exactly what I’ll be attempting ti do in the next couple of months. Very nice. Truly.

I'll add this too. Google as many 18th century horns as you can find on the internet and study how the etchings look. Very few are "perfectly" done with most looking rough and crude. Pictures done back then are also very "cartoon" looking if you notice.
 

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