Craft Gunmaking, No compromises, No corners cut, EVER

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Another Victim of Home Gunsmithing

Here is a Francotte Sideplated Boxlock Ejector imported by Abercrombie & Fitch, a very nice BLE with intercepting sears.  Unfortunately some hobby "gunsmith" with Sears Craftsman screwdrivers and a claw hammer saw fit to work on it at some point.

The photos will detail making and engraving new screws to replace the damaged originals.

Here are the floorplate and triggerplate screws as the gun came to me.  I had to machine the floorplate screw out because the slot was far too mangled to use any sort of screwdriver.

 The screws are removed.

The new screw blanks have been machined and installed with the slave heads.  The slot locations and rough height are then marked and the screws are removed and cut to their approximate height.

Once the heads are cut down, the slots are cut.

The screws are then reinstalled and filed flush to the surrounding metal.

Then they are engraved to match the originals.

The finished floorplate and triggerplate screws.  I use a 20X Amscope microscope and push gravers for the engraving.

Here is the breechscrew.  The toplever screws were made the same way.

The screw blank machined from barstock.

Slot cut and filed up.

The finished breechscrew

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Yet another Dougall......

...with a broken hammer spur.   This time some "gunsmith" repaired it, but not very well.  Apparently he welded the broken part of the spur back on, problem is that it ended up a bit shorter than it started and the checkering, welding and finish were, to be charitable, sub par.
Just like last time, cut off the offending appendage, fixture and weld on new material sufficient for a proper repair.

Here are the photos.


The new spur, welded, shaped and the checkering started

During shaping the little wedge of engraving at the root of the spur got a bit light so needed some touch-up

Shaped, checkered and polished to match its mate on the port side

Case-hardened and finished

Monday, March 9, 2015

Parker DHE Chew Toy

The owner's dog apparently has a taste for shellacked Claro.   Just a dog doing what they do, but obviously her taste can't be faulted.

Here is how it looked when the (quite) upset owner brought it to me.  Those tooth marks were deep.

Here is the same area after the finish has been removed and lightly sanded.   The dents were steamed up as far as they would come.   With so many broken fibers, I'm surprised that they raised as far as they did.

While I was working on the stock anyway,  It was decided to inlet it for a spurred recoil pad like it would have had originally.

The finished job - If you didn't know better, the toothmarks could be mistaken for pin knots.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

J.D. Dougall Repair

This mid-1870s Dougall Lock-Fast suffered a broken hammer spur at some point.   If that weren't bad enough, a previous owner decided to purposely cut the spur from the other hammer, so that they'd match!  It also suffered a failed mainspring in the left lock.  The locks are by Stanton and are best quality, as is the rest of the gun, so the repair work must also be best quality.
First we'll cover the hammer repairs.

The hammers as "modified"

The hammers fixtured with new material for welding.  They were previously annealed in an oxygen-free environment to prevent scaling (they were case-hardened and will be again when finished).

The hammers after welding, the hammer on the right has been roughly shaped

The left hammer, shaped, checkered and polished

Both hammers finished, hardened and the finish artificially aged to match the rest of the gun

Now I'll detail making the left mainspring.

The broken spring and the raw stock (1095) that the new one will be made from

First the material is heated and forged over then the excess width is machined off, leaving enough material to file up the pivot stud

After the pivot stud is filed up then the rebound leg is roughly filed

Then the spring is heated and formed into its approximate final bend and the swivel end and both legs are filed to shape

The finished spring, heat-treated, polished and ready to install