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The Case of the Proper Case ...
Well ... it just didn't seem right
to make "Hoss" live in some blow-molded plastic egg
crate case .... makes me shiver just to think about it... ;?)
So ... being sick last week anyway
(one of those head/chest/achy/weak/cough/sniff nasty things that
drag on and on), I couldn't do too much duty standing at the milling
machine and lathe. If you have a normal job, you call in sick.
If you are self employed ... you work. I needed some safe bench
work. Here's what I did.
I used to do some fine cabinet work.
I accumulated a store of antique wood from various projects. This
is first growth pine - it was made into furniture during the 19th
century. It was the practice of the period to harvest pine and
chestnut from the USA - then ship it to Scotland, where alot of
furniture was made. This wood came out of Scotland back to the
USA and to me.
I've hand dovetailed the corners in
the traditional manner and with the traditional techniques.
Inside as well. This partition required
joining (and on an angle too), so these dovetails are cut to make
The bottom and partitions are joined
with square chestnut pegs (traditional method once again).
I guess you could just order up some
brass hardware ... but I didn't. This is all handmade from sheet
copper. An accelerated patina was developed to duplicate that
found of 19th century chests. That's a section of white tail stag
for the carrying handle. Forged bows in handmade keepers make
up the full handle. The hasp with it's keeper and hinge was all
hand made. There's Stamp Art details on all of the hardware. "Barnes"
and "New Windsor, Md. USA" are stamped in small letters
About now, some will be wondering ...
I've learned that many people group
the "parts" of a project such as this into rather broad
groups ... such as ... "lock, stock, barrel ... and case".
In other words ... 4 parts. When I look at a project, it seems
to involve alot more parts than that. They start going more like
"trigger, trigger stop, sear bar, sear bar spring, secondary
lever, secondary lever adjustment screw, primary lever, primary
lever spring, primary lever adjustment screw, trigger housing,
trigger housing pins, etc. ... up to about 100 or so parts.
This entire business is one of "attitude".
You can't know the number of people that ask me ... and then look
at me like I have two heads ... "WHY ON EARTH would you MAKE
your own BARRELS?!!!" Then they patiently explain to me that
you can purchase barrels. I patiently explain back, that you can
purchase complete airguns ... by the tens of thousands in fact.
I stuck in this interlude to explain
why I went to the trouble with this case.
"Stamp Art". You take a tool
steel rod ... you carve the end into the negative of what you
want. Then, you heat treat it (before or after carving ... depends)
without degrading your detail. When placed on annealed metal,
you strike it and leave an impression. Do you see the Man in the
Moon above the branch of grapes?
If you went to the trouble to use two
hundred year old wood, to hand dovetail the joints, and to make
handmade hardware, would you attach them with modern machine made
wire brads? Well ... Me either.
I have a special heading die set which
I made years ago, and I forged all of the brads I needed for the
project from solid copper wire.
And all the "stuff" fits
in there very nicely for carry.
Note the pistol must be secured into
position for carry. It rests in cradles contoured to fit and then
covered with leather.
Leather covered contoured "keepers"
nest into place when the lid is closed and locked.
This sort of attention to detail deserves a
Case includes a "slug box", goat
skin round ball pouch, bronze cleaning rod, ramrod, false muzzle
loading kit for slugs, 4X scope and mounts, and cleaning cloth.
And, we certainly need a proper label.
NOW we've done it. And we have to price
it. More so ... people would like it to be "cataloged".
Actually, how much for the old wood, how much for a new wood version?
How about no handmade hinges? Or ... maybe handmade hinges ...
but no stag handle? Then again, I don't really need the ramrod
... do I ... ;?)
No, I'm not making fun of anyone's
questions. Just showing you what a tangled web we weave when first
we practice to ... be creative. ;?)
I have no idea. You don't sell this
type of work strictly by the hour. When it's all done, you toss
a blanket price over the whole thing, and hope it covers the effort.
Hope you enjoyed seeing something unique.