Author Topic: Barrel Key Installation  (Read 12239 times)

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Barrel Key Installation
« on: April 29, 2010, 06:58:55 PM »
This is a next logical step from having made the underlugs., and happens to be on the same rifle.  This little rook rifle has two barrels - a .32 and a .40 cal.  naturally, the lugs have to be the same and in the same place on the barrels.  The drawing I made prior to lifting a file or chisel is the key...from it I can see that every part will work with its neighbour.
So, you've made your underlug(s) and have inlet them down into the barrel channel.  Measure from the top flat of the barrel to the top of the opening in the lug, for the key, and mark it on the side of the stock.  That's easy to say, and it may require a tutorial all of its own.  Mark it on both sides of the stock.  Now draw a fine line under the first to indicate the thickness of the key.  Also mark the 'fore and aft' vertical lines indicating the width of the key, on both sides.


Prick punch three locations within the rectangle, and drill with an undersized drill bit half way through the stock.  You may feel the bit touch the lug, as the barrel is firmly in the channel, in the drill press vise.  Don't be tempted to go all the way through and out the other side, because I can almost guarantee you, you won't be in the rectangle you've drawn on the other side.  Turn the stock over and repeat with three holes on the other side. (for each key)

Now a little something about tools.  I made my chisels for this job by grinding down an old file or two.  In this case, I have used a file for sharpening spade drills.  It is already thin, and once shaped like the middle one, cuts these rectangular holes very easily.  The one on the far right is about 3/32 thick, and I use it for fat keys, trigger slots, and barrel tennon inlets.


This skinny little chisel is inserted into one of the outside holes, bevel to the middle as in the photo, and is used to break out the webs between the holes.  Keeping the long side of the chisel to the outside of the rectangular hole prevents enlarging the hole by not crushing wood you want to keep.  Do the same on the other side of the stock.




This shot shows a piece of steel I've filed to the same dimensions as the key, but about three inches or so long.  This I heat to a dull red on the last 1/2" of the tip, and push it into the wood to burn the slot to exactly the size of the keys.  Smoke will billow out of the hole, and the heated tool will come to a stop as it cools.  Reheat, and go again.  Continue right on through the stock.  in the direction from which you intend to have your keys go into the stock.  The hole on the entrance will be a little looser than the exit hole, and that's good for the key.   When you do this on a stock that still has wood to remove, that charred entrance is cut away, and you are left with a clean sharp perfect inlet.  Even on a precarve, a little filing and scraping will clean it up nicely.  I took these pictures after I have shaped the forend, just to show the process.  You can see that this system will work even without the use of escutcheon plates, as the keys fit without gaps or chips.


Here's a picture of the key in the new hole.  Piece of cake.

The next few shots just show the finishing stages of the forend...the fun part.  When you compare the profile shot of the unfinished rifle to the drawing in the second picture, you can see I didn't deviate to far from my original concept.







« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 02:17:12 AM by D. Taylor Sapergia »
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

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

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010, 07:47:13 PM »
Thanks Taylor: you have made many of my mistakes openly clear to me so my next key job will be better looking. I had always gone all the way through the stock with drill bit but now see why that isnt satisfactory. I will also be making a few more tools.   Thanks again.    Flintlocks Forever    Gary

Offline omark west cen colo

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2010, 06:52:47 AM »
thank you very much, a lot of good info.   mark
on the 4th of julypeople should fire their guns into the air to show the government who does have the power,,,b franklin!   on these walks make your gun your constant companion,,,t jefferson!   those that will give up freedom for security deserve neither freedom or security,,,b franklin!   west colo

Online Tim Crosby

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2010, 12:10:08 AM »
Two great tutorials, I especially like the burning in the key idea.

 Thanks, Tim C,

California Kid

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2010, 12:13:33 AM »
So Taylor, how do you measure from the top flat and lay out the stock? What tools do you use?
Always like to learn something new, or a different method.
Thanks.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2010, 12:49:40 AM »
Yes, you are right.  I was certain I'd get that question.  I'll do a little tutorial on this particular lay-out thing.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

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

California Kid

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2010, 12:51:32 AM »
cool!

g.pennell

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2010, 03:35:20 AM »
This is a most timely topic...I'm working on a Virginia rifle, inspired by the Adam Haymaker in RCA Vol. II, and will be ready to fit the barrel keys soon.  Thanks!

Greg

California Kid

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2010, 04:11:01 AM »
Taylor, how wide are the keys on this Rook rifle. My keys are 5/16" wide. I'm trying to figure out how many holes to drill. Keys are 1/16" thick. I was thinking of laying out the rectangle for the holes 1/4". Does that sound right or should I lay them out the full 5/16"?

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2010, 05:29:26 PM »
Perfect timing taylor. Thanks!!
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Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2010, 09:09:59 PM »
CK...lay out the rectangle full size, centre punch (gently) or prick punch the hole locations...one 1/32" inside each end, and one in the middle.  Drill the holes half way through with a drill smaller than the thickness of the key, for example, #55 for a 1/16" thick key.  I still haven't taken the time to make up a tutorial for this lay out thing.  But I will.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

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

Offline KNeilson

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2010, 03:36:55 AM »
Two great tutorials, thx Taylor. I can now see how to rectify the mistakes I have made .

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2010, 07:42:47 AM »
Thanks Taylor: you have made many of my mistakes openly clear to me so my next key job will be better looking. I had always gone all the way through the stock with drill bit but now see why that isnt satisfactory. I will also be making a few more tools.   Thanks again.    Flintlocks Forever    Gary

While I have had some that came out a little "off" and a few that were disappointing. I just installed a key in a pistol and drilled them straight through with no problem.
I set the barrel up in a mill vise with the top flat on the stationary jaw. Set it up so than the drill passes though the key. Mark the barrel, then put the barrel in the stock and put the assembly in the vise aligning the marks. Mark the hole with a centerdrill, drill then move the the next one.
Use a SHARP drill at HIGH SPEED and it will run remarkably well IF the set up misses any metal parts. Clear the chips many times 10 maybe or more.
Stock must be square too.

But this said I may have to try Taylor's way. When making a key slot for one that will not have any escutcheon it makes it harder to hide any Boo Boo's

Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

westbj2

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Re: Barrel Key Installation
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2010, 01:58:39 PM »
This is a simple swedge die that allows you to form the head of a barrel key so that the inside of the key head matches the curvature of the forend.  Most importantly, there is virtually no clean-up on the inside of the head which is hard to get at otherwise.  Just heat  the head of the key blank and form up the head.  
This one has a curvature for a double gun.   Suggestion:  If you make one of these, when set up in the mill it is just as easy to use longer stock and make a "double" ...one on each end for different shapes.   Don't forget to put the vise shoulders on as they help rigidity when striking the key head.
Jim Westberg


« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 02:00:51 PM by westbj2 »