Author Topic: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case (PHOTOS FIXED)  (Read 54807 times)

Offline smart dog

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Hi,
In this final part, I will describe lining the pistol case.

Once the partitions were glued in place and thoroughly dry, I started on the lining.  English cases were mostly lined with green wool baize fabric.  However, some makers used other colors such as pink, blue, and crimson.  Some cases were lined with velvet and some with leather.  Nonetheless, the vast majority were lined with some sort of green wool baize.  Baize is NOT felt.  It is a woven, not compressed, fabric.  It does not unravel when cut and is very durable.  It also has a soft flat sheen rather that the hard shiny sheen of many felts, particularly those made with synthetics.  Another cloth that would work for lining material is wool Melton cloth.  I followed ALR member Larry Davidson's advice and bought baize fabric from Abimelech Hainsworth in West Yorkshire, England.  Larry was incredibly generous and helpful sending me photos of swatches so I could better examine the colors offered by Hainsworth.  Hainsworth is great to work with.  Their customer service is superb and no order is too small.  It was also a treat to do business with a company that has been owned and operated by the same family since 1783.  Who knows, Wogden or the Mantons may have purchased their cloth from Hainsworth.  I ordered the fabric by FAX on a Sunday and by Monday a week later it was delivered from the UK by FedEx. 

I enlisted my wife Gail to do the lining of the case.  Gail was a production artist for several graphic design firms.  For her, lining the pistol case was a piece of cake.  It was an education to watch her work and she imparted many extremely useful tips that will help any of you who attempt to make traditional gun cases.  Gail used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive for the glue.  Eighteenth century makers used pearl glue, which required heat to melt and stayed sticky until it cooled and dried.  Other tools and supplies recommended are an X-acto knife with new #11 blades, wide and narrow burnishers, a small flat bladed screw driver, a straight edge for cutting, paper for patterns, and a smooth cutting surface.

Gail started with the easiest part - lining the lid.  She made a paper pattern and then cut the fabric.  When cutting the fabric with the X-acto knife, lay the blade down low so most of the edge slices the fabric.  If you hold the knife up at too high an angle the point will catch the fabric and pull it, distorting the cut.


Photos above show Gail cutting baize fabric and the lining for the case lid.

After cutting the baize and trying it out in the space, she placed it on some plastic sheeting and sprayed it with the adhesive.  The overspray is very sticky so do this outside or in some well-ventilated area you don't mind getting messy.  It should be sprayed until the back is almost white with glue.  If using a spray glue like Super 77, you want to sand the partitions and edge trim fairly smooth because the glue will not fill in dips and gouges in a roughly cut surface.  With hide, pearl, or other thick contact cement, the viscous glue will fill the voids.

Photo above shows baize being sprayed with adhesive.  The fabric is a small piece that goes in one of the lidded compartments but it serves to show the proper thickness and coverage of the spray adhesive.

You want to install the fabric quickly after spraying while the glue is still wet.  She lifted it up carefully to avoid getting much glue on her hands and placed it in the compartment.  After pushing it in with her fingers, she burnished it down with the wide burnisher.

Photo above shows the fabric being burnished.
Gail lined the bottoms of the lidded compartments next and then the sides.  That made it much easier to measure the bottom pieces for accurate cutting.  First, she cut paper to match the rough outline of the bottom.  She cut slits in the edges so they would bend up easily as she forced the paper pattern into the compartment.  Using a screwdriver, she creased the paper into the corners creating a perfect outline of the bottom.  She then trimmed off the excess creating a pattern for the fabric.

Next, she cut the baize to the pattern and glued it in place, burnishing it down with the narrow burnisher.  After that, she placed paper along the sides and using a screw driver, creased the bottom edge to mark where she would cut the paper.  She also fitted the paper into the compartment cutting little ears on the top that fit into the corners over the shoulder. 




Photos above showing making paper pattern for walls of a lidded compartment.

Once the pattern was made, she cut the baize.



Before spraying the fabric for the wall, she put tape over the front edge of the top.  That prevents glue from splattering on that edge which will be exposed along the baize line.

Photo above shows taping the edge to prevent glue from splattering on the front of the lining.

After spraying, Gail also uses her finger to stroke down and toward the back, the feathery edges covered with glue.  That prevents any of the glue from showing.  She pressed the top edge of the fabric down first using the X-acto knife to firmly push it in place, and then work down the wall pushing the fabric in all the way to the bottom.  Finally, she burnishes the fabric down.  She repeated that process for the entire compartment and then lined the other lidded compartment.             




Photos above show installing the lining .

Lining the bottom of the main compartment is the hardest part of this process.  Clearly, making an accurate pattern is the key.  Gail cut a piece of heavyweight paper or light card stock into a rectangle of the dimensions of the inside of the case.  She positioned the paper over the partitions and creased it with her finger nail on the inside and outside of each partition.


Photo shows Gail creasing the paper to mark the positions of the partitions.

The result is an embossed image of the tops of the partitions.  She sliced along the outside creases for each partition to cut out the shapes of the partitions from the pattern.  It is important to remember that some of the partition walls are tapered, getting wider at the base.  To accommodate that, Gail cut slits at 45 degree angles from each corner of a partition.  That allowed the paper to bend up as she pushed the pattern down into the case.



Photos above - cutting out the pattern for the bottom of the main compartment and slitting the corners to fit the pattern into the case.

Once the pattern was all the way down, she simply creased the paper with a screw driver to mark the exact location of the edges around each partition and trimmed off the excess paper.  The result was a perfect pattern.


Photos above - marking the exact locations of the partitions and trimming off the excess.  A perfect pattern.

After cutting out the fabric, she sprayed and glued it in.  Baize has some stretch so it is pretty easy to tug and push it into position as long as the glue is still wet.

Photo above shows installed bottom lining.

Gail then proceeded to line the rest of the case using the methods shown previously.  She did not overlap fabric on the outside corners.  She simply butted the pieces together and anchored them down firmly with the glue.  The corners where the walls taper, such as on the center compartment and compartment for the mold, are a little fussy.  Gail cut the end pieces with flared wings that wrap around the corner forming a straight butted seam with the lining on the long sides. Gail also dipped a toothpick into lampshade glue and dabbed it on the corners (along with the Super 77 already on the fabric) to give the glue bond extra strength.  Lampshade glue is like Elmers but it dries faster and is very strong.  You can get it at lamp parts suppliers (The Lamp Shop www.lampshop.com).




Photos above show ends cut to accommodate corners of tapered compartments.

After the lining was complete, I fitted the compartment lids and chamfered the underside of the edges so that the lids fit a little lower on top of the baize shoulder.  I then finished the lids and the case was done.











Photos above show finished case and finished case with pistols and accessories in place.

Well, that was my little journey of discovery into the world of case making (and dueling pistols).  I hope this tutorial (essay) was helpful and please don't hesitate to add to it if you have alternative methods that work for you.

dave
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 02:32:42 AM by smart dog »
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Offline Rolf

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2009, 11:51:19 AM »
That was a very impressiv pice of work! Thanks for taking time to do this tutorial.
It will be a big help when I finish the two pistols I'm working on (a pair of kentucky pistols) .

Best regards

Rolfkt

Offline sydney

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2009, 07:56:25 PM »
Hi Thanks for all the work -I enjoyed all 5 parts very much
        Sydney

Offline Don Getz

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 05:44:46 AM »
Wow...a lot of work, and beutifully done.   That case would compliment any pair of pistols.........Don

Offline Brian Jordan

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 01:10:14 PM »
What a beautiful case!!
Formerly known as Melsdad

Elizabeth, PA

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Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 03:33:37 PM »
 Thanks for taking the time to do the 5 tutorials. GREAT looking case.

 Tim C.

Offline smart dog

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2009, 05:46:14 PM »
Hi Guys,
Thanks.  It was a challenge but a lot of fun.  I hope you find it useful.  I apologize for the length and 5 parts but I wanted it to be detailed and comprehensive because I cannot find information on case building online, in books, or anywhere.  Neal and Back's book on trade cards, cases, and equipment is the only reference work that has any details about dimensions and materials.  It does not describe how they are built however, so I had to deduce a process from examining the few cases I handled over the years.  Hopefully my tutorials will help fill a need.  I would love it if folks more knowledgeable than me would comment on the tutorials and offer more information on historical designs and methods to round out anything I missed or did incorrectly. 

take care,

dave 
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Offline Blacksmoke

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2009, 06:38:27 PM »
Hi Dave:  Good stuff!!!    It is good to see someone take the time to recreate a decent and authentic case for an equally decent and authentic set of pistols!    My congratulations on a job well done!   I've done 3 cased sets now ,through the yrs., and know what kind of dedication and patience goes into them esp. if you want to come close to being authentic!  I was ,also, glad to see that you did not "antique" the case as some gun makers do their guns that are new made.  "Old man time" will do that quick enough!       Thanks for the tutorial,      Hugh Toenjes
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Offline brokenflint

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2009, 01:34:19 AM »
Way to go Dave and Gail!!!  I really enjoyed this one.  So what's next  ;)
Good Journeys
Brokenflint

Offline smart dog

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2009, 07:49:25 AM »
Thanks Hugh,
I appreciate your comments.  You are certainly one who should know if I did OK or not.  I agree with you about aging guns and cases.  However, I am not doing this as a business so I don't have to satisfy the desires of clients.  I just do what I want when I want.

Thanks Brokenflint and thanks for acknowledging Gail.  I need to make sure I do that in my responses.  I think folks on this bulletin board would mostly be intimidated by the lining part.  I am sure many of you looked at my decriptions of the construction of the cases and thought "Yeah, I can do that easily.  It is the lining part I am not sure about."  Well Gail showed me how easy it was if you have a plan and some skills.  She thought it was trivial compared to building the box.  Go figure? 

Dave
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Offline Ken G

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2009, 02:28:34 PM »
Great tutorial and great job on the case also.  Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures. 
Ken
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eagle24

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2009, 10:53:47 PM »
Too Cool!  Now that's the real deal. ;)

seesbirds

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2009, 07:29:36 AM »
That is simply fabulous work.  Meticulous in every detail.  The tutorial was outstanding.  Thank you for sharing your talent.

regards,

Mark Preston
www.shinintimespowderhorns.com

Offline smart dog

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 05:32:45 AM »
Hi Ken, GHall, and Mark,
Thank you very much.  Mark, I visited your web site.  You create fabulous horns.  Your scrimshaw work is suberb. 

I hope others who have built authentic cases (like those folks that worked at Williamsburg) would chime in with information.  That would round out my tutorial and provide a great service to others.  There simply is no other place to turn to for information about these great old cases.

dave
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Campchair

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2009, 06:56:45 AM »
Hey Dave, I make and restore cases, mostly for modern double guns but I do a few fitted pistol cases for a couple of engravers I know. I have a suggestion if you ever do any more. Try Hide Glue on the lining. (You can actually use it on all the parts; that's what held the beveled edge Colt-type cases together (and still is) That's the old "gluepot" type glue the violin and other stringed instrument makers still use today. It's very easy to work with and very forgiving. In fact, on the original cases, it is very easy to steam out using a kettle on a hot plate with a homemade steam wand (1/4" hose arrangement with a piece of brass tubing stuck in the end.)  It'll turn right loose. That's why the stringed instrument makers use it - quality violins have to be steamed apart at intervals for resetting. Anyway, it works really well. I believe Peter Dyson sells it, too. It's also called pearl glue. I'll put together a little case lining photo lesson if I can ever get over this course I'm taking... and if I can ever get the hang of posting pictures. BTW - You did a truly magnificent job. I've seen maybe 100 or more original cases and yours is the equal of some of the finest I've ever seen. Campchair

Offline smart dog

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2009, 07:42:22 PM »
Campchair,
Thank you for the compliment.  I appreciate it.  The information you provided is exactly what I was hoping folks would contribute.  I would be very interested in a tutorial on lining using those traditional methods.  I can readily see one advantage to using hide or pearl glue; it is viscous.  The spray adhesive covers in a thin coat, which requires the surface below to be smooth for maximum adhesion.  The pearl glue should fill voids and scratches requiring less work finishing the surfaces of the inside of the case. Thanks again Campchair.

dave
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Lloyd

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2009, 07:20:24 AM »
I am new on the list, so if this is inappropriate here, just let me know.

A collector in Washington State contracted me to make him a case to hold a set of original overcoat pistols.

Here is what I came up with... 

Offline smart dog

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2009, 07:37:46 AM »
Hi Lloyd,
Welcome to our cyber world.  Well done.  Nice case.  It looks appropriate and a nice match for the guns.  Thanks for posting it.  I wish 20 or 30 more folks would post pictures of cases they made.

dave
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highlander

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2010, 07:11:51 AM »
Hello, I started a year ago and built a "proto-type" box from one I saw online for original Charles Moore Dueling Pistols.  I built the proto-type out of pine, just to get the sizing.  I am now working on the walnut one (made from some 100 year old walnut in my Dad's hayloft.  Here is the "semi-finished" prototype.

I have the walnut box glued (and since cut the top off) and am installing the half mortise lock, and hinges, then finishing the wood, then lastly I'll install the partitions and the velvet lining.

Thinking I'll most likely use tung oil or lacquer to finish the wood.

Offline Rolf

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2010, 10:57:27 AM »
Highlander, great looking box. Could you post some pictures of the pistols and tell us a bit about them?

Best regards

Rolfkt

highlander

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2010, 03:05:28 PM »
Good Morning Rolfkt, yes, they are "reproductions", Pedersoli, Flintlock Charles Moore Dueling Pistols, I haven't shot them yet... :)  No duels at dawn, but am looking forward to shooting them.

Sorry, there isn't "real history" on them a duel etc. 

Steve

highlander

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2010, 03:18:43 PM »
Here's a photo of the original Charles Moore Box I found on the net.  Because I was new at this, my box is apparently bigger, at least wider, but close in style. 

highlander

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2010, 03:23:09 PM »
one more of the outside of the original box (which appears to be Mahogany).  But I had the air dried walnut, that had been in the barn even since my grandfather could remember (we've used it for several wood projects, this just being my current one).  Again, my box is a little wider than this one, I tried to interpolate the dimensions by looking at it.


Offline smart dog

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2010, 07:31:35 AM »
Hi Highlander,
I think you will have a great case when done.  That Charles Moore case was almost assuredly made of mahagony (although a few could be rosewood). The wood is not really important but the hardware is if you want it to be authentic looking.  Try to use hooks or just rely on the mortice lock (no hooks)  but avoid clasps, latches, or hasps.  Velvet was used but wool baize is much more common.  Some of the modern cloths made of cotton such as velveteen would work but avoid synthetics because they usually have a hard shiny sheen.  Also, I urge you to look at my tutorial about building the partitions.  There are a few tricks and details that make the product look right and work correctly.  Good luck and please post a picture of the finished product with your comments about making it.  I think they will help others very much.

dave 
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highlander

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Re: Making an 18th century pistol case: part 5 lining the case
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2010, 03:19:10 PM »
Hi Dave:

Yes, I've looked close at your partitions, and plan to work toward putting them in like the ones you did.  Great job, and thanks for commenting...The hasps I used were just to hold the proto-type, I wouldn't use something on this box as crass as those :)  I have a good half mortise lock that I have installed in the front of the box, and may put the hooks on the ends (I saw that the original had those also)...  For now it may just have the mortise lock.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 03:23:04 PM by highlander »