Author Topic: Building a Chunk Gun  (Read 128983 times)

Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #75 on: April 06, 2011, 05:03:17 AM »
 Contouring is considerably harder to "explain" to someone, because it is mostly hand and eye and at the end of it a lot of the judging is through finger tip feel, but I will try to make it as unmysterious as possible. Please ask questions if I am not being clear enough.
 I think of contouring as similar to peeling an onion layer by layer to get to the size and shape that you want. The first layers are rough and thick, but each proceeding layer gets smoother and thinner. This is where handling originals is really helpful, but as an alternate, I will show how to draw cross-sections to help guide our work. First though, we will just start removing some of the waste wood.
 I have started by using gouges to start following the guide lines that I drew earlier. You can see that there are various sizes of gouges and so different sizes of mallets to drive them. The mallets are all homemade because I like square or rectangular mallets and I can vary the size to my tastes. Note that I am not cutting on the guide line, but cutting up to it.


« Last Edit: April 24, 2021, 11:07:31 PM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #76 on: April 12, 2011, 05:48:53 AM »
  I am continuing to roughly remove material on the lock side of the gun. It has been somewhat difficult to take photos that show the work as clearly as I would like as the flash removes all shadow, but I think you can see that I am gouging out the area where the comb will join the wrist. I am rasping away the butt in a roughly curved surface. And, I am rasping the side of the forearm down to 1/8" from the side of the barrel. 
 Guns built specifically for chunk shooting generally carry a little more wood than their Pennsylvania cousins, more like a plains rifle. Sometimes they are considerably thicker especially the ones with a diamond character to their cross section. If you were to examine "Old Scaley", you would find that the fore stock is about 1/4" to the side beyond the barrel; that is, with a 1-1/8" barrel, the fore stock is close to 1-5/8" thick.
 I am using a Sureform for a lot of the rasping and switching to my old and beloved pattern rasp as I want to smooth out a little. This is the first time that I have used a Sureform and I like it. It removes wood rapidly, but not too rapidly and leaves a better surface than my coarse aggressive rasps.
 You will also notice that the stock is getting repositioned a lot to get the right angles to work on different areas.









« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 11:57:09 PM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #77 on: April 15, 2011, 04:55:39 AM »
 Now that we have some of the wood off of the right (lock) side, we are going to rough some wood off the left side,
 I had already drawn a check piece in freehand, but I want to mark the rough outline of the panel, to keep our initial roughing back from it.
 We will do this by transferring a rubbing. First we get apiece of card stock and a punch set that was made for leather working, but is generally handy. We choose the smallest punch that will slip over our lock screw and punch a hole. Then we usethe screw to position the paper over our roughly defined lock panel. Yes, I clamped it, it moves around a lot less that way. I rubbed the paper with my fingertips (slightly dirty) to start some rub marks and then darkened and sharpened these by rubbing with a carpenter pencil.
 We then lay the paper on our cutting mat, improve the lines with a sharp pencil, and then make a series of cuts through the paper with an Exacto knife.
 We position the paper on the left side using the lock screw and the clamps, and transfer through the cuts with a sharp pencil. You may be able to see in the last photo that I was careful to color outside the lines this time.
 When the lock panel is finished, we will repeat this process.












« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 12:05:41 AM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #78 on: April 16, 2011, 11:08:40 PM »
  We are taking rough wood off the left side of the stock. Lets look at the forestock first, because it is straight forward and I want to show you a minor trick.
 We have guide lines on the top and bottom of the stock to help us get to 1.250" total thickness. As we rasp this wood off it is difficult to keep square, so we work a little out of square till we get down to the line on top. Next we reposition the stock to work from the bottom side. At this point we draw a line along the top edge from lock to muzzle with a soft dull pencil.  As we rasp from the bottom, we try to not cut this pencil line.
 After we have rasped down to the line on the bottom of the stock, we try to remove any crowning by "aiming" our rasp flat at the area halfway between top and bottom. When the rasp starts leaving teeth marks in the limiting line that we drew, we stop and call it good.
 Now this won't be "perfect", but it will be what Lee Good used to call "Close enough for folk music."
 Square as it is the forearm is starting to remind one of a gunstock. I also am posting a picture to show that even though I like an organized benchtop, it does get covered in chips and dust during the work.





« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 12:15:00 AM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #79 on: April 23, 2011, 07:52:16 PM »
 We continue removing wood from the areas outside of the cheek piece. The first picture shows removing wood by making a series of cuts side by side with carving gouge that is about 3/8" wide, but has only a slight curvature to it. This shows up well here, but will be more important in trickier areas as we get closer to finishing, because it gives good sculptural control.
 The next picture is just of chips and coarse rasp dust to show that this is rough, fairly rapid work.
 As we are getting closer to our belly guide lines, we take the time to file the toe plate at the point that it meets the butt plate until the file shines the butt plate. We then redraw our belly guide lines more accurately than they were before. First we draw with the toe plate on, using a carbide scribe for the steel toe plate, then we pull the toe plate off and pencil the lines on the wood. We use a flexible rule or straightedge to draw the lines, with the front of the lines connecting to marks about .100" outside of the trigger guard's back mortise. They are more evenly spaced than it looks in the photo.











« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 12:26:48 AM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #80 on: April 24, 2011, 07:16:33 PM »
 This is a good time to discuss drawing cross sections. I will start with the grip portion of the forearm, but the process for other areas is very similar.
 We start by laying out in the square what is already there. The dimensions were determined in our original plan. I took a short cut by tracing the octagon from a spare piece of barrel. Pretty obviously, our profile has to fit inside of this layout, but that still leaves room for lots of possibilities. A main resource for me is a group of 11 rifle drawings of southern rifles. These are Southern Originals 1 (5 prints), Southern Originals 2 (5 prints) and the Hershel House Foxfire Rifle (not an original, but I like it and it has seven cross sections). These are available from the Log Cabin Shop. I refer to them repetitively; it is nice to have one drawing, but with several you can compare different ways of doing the same feature. For chunk gun fans Originals 1 has a drawing of the best known old chunk gun, Old Scaley.
 In keeping with the spirit of this project, the cross sections are going to be kept towards the plain and simple. We are going to generate the curves with drafting templates, so even the drawing impaired should have no trouble. The first curve is a goodly(1/16" radius) radius to the side of the barrel. We do not want the wood tapered to a thin point on a chunk gun as this area provides the base for our shader. I actually thought about leaving a flat at the top of the stock, but decided that was just going overboard.
 One of the things that I notice about longrifle contures is that there are few true radii, but many of the curves seem to be segments of ellipses. An ellipse is a curved line in which every point is equally the sum of the distances from two points. The common method for schoolboys and craftsmen to generate an ellipse is to  drive to brads, make a loop of string  to go around them and hang a pencil in the loop. By varying the length of the loop and the distance between the pins limitless variations may be produced. Fortunately for me, I have three different ellipse templates which handle most of my needs.  The specific ellipse that I am using here is 1.750" from a 45 degree template (I honestly do not know what degrees have to do with describing ellipses).  I think you can see that we skew the template to get a pleasing line that contacts the 1/16" radius and the bottom center point of the stock.
 A couple of things to point out, we are drawing on card stock and we do NOT draw on our original layout, we make copies of our original layout (also on card stock) and work on them. Not only does this allow us to make more than one variation, but the same layout will be used for the cross section of the forward forearm and the stock nose area.
 The cross sections have two purposes, they help us envision where we want our conturing to end up and they provide templates for us to make form scrapers if we like. For the scraper templates, we make a copy of our cross section and cut it out with an Exacto knife. I will show you the scrapers that I make out of junk hand saw blade when they are done.











« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 12:33:48 AM by okieboy »
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wetzel

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #81 on: April 27, 2011, 01:47:05 AM »
How do you transfer that cross section to the stock now?  Is it just for looks to compare to?

Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #82 on: April 28, 2011, 04:18:29 AM »
 Wetzel, as I am designing my rifle, not copying it specifically from another gun, drawing the cross section allows me (or forces me) to decide what that profile will look like. The shape that I chose is about as simple as you could get and not unusual, but there are plenty of other contours that could have been chosen. The cross section is mostly to give me a sense of where I am going as I remove wood.
 I did however use the cross section to grind and file a couple of form scrapers, which you see pictured here. The scrapers won't actually do much wood removal. They will help indicate where high spots are as wood is rasped and then filed down and at the end of shaping may help keep the conture the same along its length.
 I would not be surprised to hear that more experienced builders than me plan and draw cross sections. As to form scrapers, it would be interesting to hear what other people do, but I don't think that finding a scratchstock on a workbench would be anything unusual.
 Scrapers which you DON"T see pictured here. There seems to be a problem at TinyPic. I will try loading the picture later.
Okieboy

Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #83 on: April 29, 2011, 03:08:51 AM »
 Here are the scrapers.


« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 12:38:59 AM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #84 on: April 30, 2011, 09:08:39 PM »
 Although I will make some more scrapers as I go, I should show you one more That I'm using now. This is a simple .625" radius (1.250" diameter) scraper. 1.250" is the approximate final width of the forearm. It is also a bigger radius than the bottom of the ellipse that we are working toward in shaping the forearm, so it could be thought of as a roughing radius scraper.


« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 12:38:29 AM by okieboy »
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welafong1

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #85 on: May 01, 2011, 06:55:20 AM »
hi
   can you tell me how you put the radius cut in the steel scraper blade ? is it cut with a grounding wheel or a barrle  shaped sanding wheel ?
thank you
Richard Westerfield
« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 10:07:34 PM by Richard Westerfield »

Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #86 on: May 02, 2011, 01:39:48 AM »
  I do most of the work with my 1" belt sander. There are two tricks to this. One: You work on the sides of the belt, often above the the steel guide that is behind the belt. Two: you have to do a little work and then let it cool, then do a little more. I usually work on something like this when I am doing some other task. I also have my marble tile that I use with sandpaper for flattening right beside the belt sander, so I lay my hot pieces on the tile and it works as a heat-sorb to cool pieces quickly.
 I ran up this .750" radius scraper to photograph the process. The belt is not running in the photos, so that the lens would not be exposed to the grinding dust.
 If a scraper needs a little touching up, I do this with a needle file, but they cut hard. It does work fairly well to smooth the radius however, to take a halfround needle file, turn the scraper crosswise to you, and draw file the cutting edge.














« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 10:03:09 PM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #87 on: May 04, 2011, 06:07:08 AM »
 Right now my shaping efforts are concentrated on the forearm. My layout of the front forearm is done right on top of a copy of the layout of the forearm grip area, so everything flows together.
 Documenting what you are doing makes you think more about what and how you are doing things. Although I don't have a set order as to how I shape, it is apparent to me that I am working from the ends towards the lock/wrist area and that the last part will be blending the wrist to the lock panels and the wrist to the comb.
 Not only am I concentrating on the forearm, but on the bottom of the forearm. you can see in the second photo the line that I drew to let me know when my rasping is getting to the high point of the profile.
 The rasp moves in an arcing motion on every stroke. I will work the top of the curve rasping up, and work the bottom of the curve rasping down. After some wood removal, I turn the stock to the other side and repeat, trying to keep everything reasonably even. This happens multiple times, always getting closer to the layout profile. Occasionally I may smooth out an area so that I can see better how it is coming.
 The last two pics show where the work is presently. The last pic is the area by the cant block, which is taped off to keep me from getting into it.














« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 10:16:14 PM by okieboy »
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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #88 on: May 07, 2011, 08:43:43 PM »
 I continue rounding the forestock. I "scratch" the high spots with a profile scraper, draw line from the stock edge and then round till I "erase" the mark. Then turn the gun over, do the same thing to the other side, then start the process over again. I am not fast at profiling and my process is not fast, but it is steady, sure and well controlled.
 I forgot to show the simple little gages that I use to mark the lines along the stock. These work much better than a combination square and are much handier. The reason that there are two is that when I started rounding I worked "lower" and now that that the profile is becoming more defined, I am working "higher".
 Although there is still wood to be removed, I have started making the "blends" into the ramrod entry area and the front and back of the integral cant block. I want a quick transition at the entry hole, so I am blending with a round file. I am blending the cant block with a curved rasp, but I am not sure that yet that that I will leave the transition so gradual. I may decide to sharpen it up similar to the ramrod entry area.
 Back to my onion analogy, I hope you can see that we are slowly removing layers down to a curvier final shape and that one set of curves are starting to transition into others, rather like the old "Connect the Dots", except in three dimensions.











« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 10:26:23 PM by okieboy »
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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #89 on: May 13, 2011, 04:50:38 AM »
 The forestock is getting close to final form, not done, but close. I removed the bulk of wood from the nosecap area. I started by cutting a groove with a round file and then rasping flat everything in front of the groove down till the bottom of the ramrod channel almost disappears. Now I know that I am going to get some head shakes if not out loud laughter for my little wooden file guide and stop, but it works quite well for me.
 I decided on a medium transition to the cant block and used a half round file that I have that has parallel sides, rather than tapering along its length. The transitions look a little austere now, but I think that with sanding they are going to be about what I want.
 The last photo is just to show a new scraper handle that I found at Woodcraft. It comes with 5 blades of various shapes, but the photo has one of my homemade ones installed. A handle really makes the scrapers more effective and easier to use, I like this one real well.












« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 10:36:40 PM by okieboy »
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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #90 on: May 15, 2011, 01:03:36 AM »
  With the forestock so far along, I've started back to work on the butt and with starting to push both ends up to the panels. Here are a few photos to show where I am at. I am bringing the wood off along the butt plate, working down towards the bottom flat, starting to flatten between the tang/trigger plate and the panels, and roughly starting the curves that will define the ends of the panels. The wrist still needs to get thinner from side to side and I have not started rounding the very top of the comb. Your comments are welcome.









« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 10:46:15 PM by okieboy »
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welafong1

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #91 on: May 15, 2011, 05:45:19 AM »
HI
please tell me where you got the templates from and what size are they
thank you
Richard Westerfield

Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #92 on: May 15, 2011, 07:34:03 AM »
 Hi Richard. You want a Timely T-92-B set of four for $20.00 plus $2.00 shipping direct from Timely, www.timelytemplates.com.
Okieboy

Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #93 on: May 19, 2011, 05:12:31 AM »
  I'm working on the butt stock right now, but took a small photo set of one of the scrapers to show you how it functions. I crosshatched the stock with a pencil to make things clearer in the photos. As you can see the scraper is not cutting a full profile, though it will at the very end. What it is doing, is showing me the high spot of the profile, so that I can easily guide my rasp work. I penciled the scraped groove, also for photo clarity. Notice how the groove starts drifting to the bottom of the stock as it gets closer to the panel. That is telling that the stock is thicker than the straight portion and needs thinning. I will rasp down until the groove disappears and then draw the scraper along again. This directing of the rasp work (rather like using a stain transfer) is the main job of the scraper. This is still rough work, though its getting fairly close.
 There is also a photo of the current state of my butt stock.



 









« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 10:54:53 PM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #94 on: May 21, 2011, 07:06:31 PM »
 As I have been working on the back end of the gun, it became apparent that the wrist was too thick from top to bottom, it measured about 1.800". Although I wasn't happy about changing it this late in the build, it just wasn't satisfactory. So, I pulled the barrel, bent the tang a little from the front screw hole back. Then I deepened the tang mortise on a taper starting at Zero at the front screw hole and going to an additional .150" at the end of the tang. Reinstalled the barrel and with rasp and file re profiled the top of the wrist. It now measures 1.650" top to bottom. That's still plenty heavy but considerable wood came off and even without it rounded, it is much more comfortable to grip.
 I did a quick cross section drawing to see what would contour to. This drawing won't be used for templates or scrapers, I just wanted an idea of how much roundness I could get from the new dimensions.







« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 02:36:31 AM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #95 on: May 21, 2011, 09:43:25 PM »
 One of the difficulties with trying to photograph and explainshaping is that you mostly don't do a lot of one thing as much as you do a little of several things together. I will try to show this on the lock side of the butt.
 First, flattening between tang and panel with a rasp.
 Then improving the flattening with a scraper.
 Then general rounding of the main butt, hand and eye being guided by lines that mark the belly and the butt plate.
 Next removing wood from the transition area between the comb and wrist with a round microplane. Note that the clunky moulded handle that comes on the tool has been sawed off and replaced with a hardwood dowel handle the same diameter as the rasp.
 Now checking the side for "hills and valleys" with a rasp with the handle removed. The next picture shows the high/low results.
 And finally pushing the wrist into the lock panel with a halfround file.
 All of this integrated together in one relatively short work session. It is pretty much more work to describe this than it is to do it.













« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 02:44:39 AM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #96 on: May 22, 2011, 08:51:14 PM »
 Coming at the butt from the top rather than bottom, I am thinning the combdown towards the center line. Later it will be rounded starting by picking up the radius of the butt plate and the radius getting smaller as it moves forward toward the wrist.
 The last picture shows gently removing wood behind the cheek piece with a scraper. This area seems one of the harder places to work in for me. There is not enough wood left to use gouges any more and rasps can't get at a lot of this area. I have some midsize rifflers arriving next week, maybe they will be helpful. Suggestions for your favorite tool for this area are welcome.










« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 02:50:27 AM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #97 on: May 28, 2011, 10:41:17 PM »
 I am currently going up and down the gun with smooth rasps and second cut files continuing to remove wood and starting to smooth surfaces. I am transitioning from rough work to finish work in some areas. The stock is actually becoming trimmer than I ever imagined for this type of gun.
 Here are a couple of pictures showing the butt stock losing wood in curves that originate with the butt plate profile and reduce in radius size as they proceed to the wrist area. You can also see that the panels are starting to form, but both panels are still high by around 3/32"(.090").
 Keep safe.







« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 02:55:23 AM by okieboy »
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #98 on: May 29, 2011, 02:55:09 AM »
 I decided to go ahead an cut the "line" in the cheek piece. It seems a little early, but there is not much wood left in this area, I was happy with my penciled line and decided to make it permanent to mark the upper cheek piece from the lower cheek piece. I went down my line with a small V-tool (kinda roughly) chasing it with a very small mallet. I then niced it up with the edge of a small crossing file.










« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 03:00:02 AM by okieboy »
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Re: Building a Chunk Gun
« Reply #99 on: May 29, 2011, 08:34:43 PM »
 I had purposely left the cant bar area long, because I wasn't sure where I wanted the front of it to end. I had looked at it in relationship to the front thimble, because I use the front thimble to locate my gun on the chunk. I hook the chunk with the thimble and then move the gun an inch forward (York rules are that the gun must be able to move on the chunk, left or right, forwards or backwards). As things proceeded I decided to leave the cant bar capturing the front thimble, the long look appeals to me. The area ahead of the cant bar seemed too busy with the step between "ramrod half-shrouded and ramrod un-shrouded". I decided to just take the step out so that all of the transition is at the front of the cant block. I think this looks much cleaner.





« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 03:05:18 AM by okieboy »
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