Author Topic: Lehigh Patchbox and release  (Read 12814 times)

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Lehigh Patchbox and release
« on: May 10, 2012, 04:22:44 AM »
My first Lehigh. Gotta have a patchbox.

Basic patchbox laid over stock for best position. At this point, the box needs to be curved to fit the contours of the stock. The hinge itself is curved. Thank goodness the lid has one knuckle. More than that, and the hinge may not swivel. The box is screwed down to the stock and stabbed around the finial only. The finial is inlet fully, as well as the hinge. But not the door. yet.




Once the finial is fixed, the door is laid down, and inlet up near the hinge. As I can lay more and more down, I mark the door, and inlet it. Once it's inlet, I can mark out for the cavity. Drill the holes deep enough for a Snickers bar.




Square up the drilled holes. Clean out the cavity walls and bottom.




The inlet for the spring must be made. This spring is a bugger. Just wait and see. Note that the spring inlet is off to the top edge of the box, where there is a rabbet for it, curving out of the cavity as you get closer to the end of the cavity near the buttplate.



Bend a piece of wire to see if you can worm it in thru the spring passage to the far end of the rabbet. This is a trick I made up just now for this problem of fitting a spring to a pre-existing inlet.




Make the spring to replicate the wire in size, but add a bit of length to the spring to plunge into the far end of the cavity.




Make a tool to burn a recess for the end of the spring to be buried in. You need a recess of some kind for the end of the spring. Burn it, or drill it, or gnaw it, you need a retainer pocket for the spring. You cannot drive this kind of spring into hard maple without dire consequences to the spring or chipping out the maple.




After many expletives and 'ah-ha' moments, I managed to get the spring into place without busting out the thin little wooden bridge over the spring entry hole. Note there is no button on the end of the spring. This is commonly known as cheating. I plan to braze the button on afterwards.




Here is a trick that I developed just today, but probably Jacob Kuntz had already thought of this and whispered into my subconscious what a fool I am for thinking that I thought this up myself.
Make yourself a little sheet metal 'catch' to see what you need for the iron one you will be putting on the door.




When you have your little sheet metal catch so it works, use it as a pattern for the real deal. Scribe it along the buttplate edge when in position in the gun. Thank you, Jacob.




Catch installed in door. Rectangular shank on the catch piece that gets riveted onto the door. It will never spin.




In the closed position. Not the easiest patchbox release, but a fun challenge.













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« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 07:56:21 PM by Acer Saccharum »
Tom Curran's web site : http://tcurran.com/

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Lehigh Patchbox and release
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 04:33:57 AM »
Tom, I have seen a few examples of Lehigh patchbox release springs without the button, was this the way they were made or did the button just fall off at some point?    Smylee       Nice looking gun by the way.

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Lehigh Patchbox and release
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 04:38:20 AM »
If I may add a speculative theory of evolution:

It appears as though some of the earliest of these boxes were cast, and these earliest I have seen were either signed John Moll or largely attributable to him.  Given that he had quite the foundry in Allentown following the War, if not during the War, he possibly was the progenitor of the style and possibly was selling them.  Possibly.

ANYWAY, I digress.  The cast boxes are all three knuckle and the central area is darn near flat.  I would guess it was the use of a cast box that required a relatively flat three knuckle hinge.  One I have seen is drilled through from either side, but not through the middle all the way.  How do we know this?  Well yes, I took it apart gosh darn it.  With the aid of a neodymium magnet the size of a snickers bar, since we are also discussing snickers bars.  I might add, having done this, it vastly simplifies things!  The partial drilling, not playing with a snickers bar-sized magnet that could take off a finger if an errant piece of steel intrudes upon the scene.  When you get to later boxes that show curvature through the hinge, and multiple lid knuckles, these are all formed from sheet.

OK everyone wake up now and carry on.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Lehigh Patchbox and release
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 04:38:43 AM »
Some buttons were forged, some were brazed on.  Brazed, not soldered.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Lehigh Patchbox and release
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 04:47:39 AM »
Are Neuhart and Neihart the same family?
Tom Curran's web site : http://tcurran.com/

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Lehigh Patchbox and release
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 06:06:47 PM »
Nice tutorial, Tom.  And well photographed.  That'll be a sweet little rifle.  A lot, if not most, of the Lehigh/Allentown rifles I've had the privilege to study, did not have the external lump on the spring...just a rectangular end protruding a little past the butt plate.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline MScott

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Re: Lehigh Patchbox and release
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 07:57:49 PM »
Beck and Beyer used a similar type arrangment. There should be photos in the archives. The spring steps down a bit just before it enters the wood and offers a place to put your punch thereby driving in your spring. On one Beyer the mortise ( cut out) made for your spring actually slopes down a bit offering you more meat where your spring enters the wood.  Just a few things I discovered studying these pictures and doing my one  Beck.