Author Topic: Old rifling machine - adjustable  (Read 20121 times)

Offline Canute Rex

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Old rifling machine - adjustable
« on: October 20, 2010, 03:41:30 AM »
This one doesn't exactly fit anywhere, so I'll put it in gun building. Some of you who are interested in rifling barrels might like to copy this machine.

I was down at the American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vermont last Sunday. It is in the old Robbins & Lawrence building where they first mass produced the 1841 musket with interchangeable parts. Some brilliant individual preserved a number of the old hand powered and water/overhead belt powered tools they used in the 19th century.

The one that caught my eye was a hand powered rifling machine.



This is a blank barrel in the holders. You can see by the pairs of bolts on the right side of the base that the holders are adjustable for various barrel lengths.



Here's the barrel from the other direction. The indexing disc and arm allow the operator to rotate the barrel to a specific number of positions. The rod for the cutter is poised in front of the barrel.



And here's the business end. The cutter rod is supported on two pillow blocks mounted to a sliding frame. The bar angling up and to the right is adjustable. There's a rack running through two guides on the frame that engages a pinion and rotates the cutter rod. The far end of the rack has a couple of pads that go either side of the angled bar. As the support frame gets shoved back and forth the rack moves side to side. Depending on the angle of the guide bar the rifling can be adjusted to an infinite number of twist ratios.

It's a brilliant design, beautifully executed. The Precision Museum also has a powered model that uses ratchets and pawls to index the barrel to a new groove. The cutter runs up against some kind of actuator when it comes out the end of the barrel, which adjusts the cutter deeper with each stroke.

I can imagine someone copying this with some angle iron and bearings. It wouldn't be as durable or elegant, but for low level production it would offer great flexibility and accuracy. Is anybody using anything like this?

Offline westerner

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2010, 04:11:03 AM »
It's known as a Brockway style rifling machine.  Dont know about current users. Ron Long used one for years. 

           Joe.
X

Offline b bogart

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2010, 04:29:44 AM »
Haven't used it yet, but here's my rifler. I gotta find some affordable bored barrels.


Offline Steve Bookout

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 04:40:30 AM »
Canute & Bruce:  As I have a little interest on the topic, the photos of the 2 rifling machines are appreciated.  They are always interesting to examine.   Thanks for sharing.   
To the rest of the folks who haunt this web site:  Got any more photos of other rifling benches out there?   Cheers, Bookie
Steve Bookout, PhD, CM, BSM
University of South Viet Nam
Class of 1969
Class of 1970
Class of 1971

jwh1947

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 04:45:30 AM »
Most cool!  Yes, Jacobsburg has one, and, believe it or not, Jacob Fordney's rifling bench is floating around USA somewhere.  Larry F. used to own it.  I turned it down for $350 one day...dumkopf idiot.  He pounded his name into it...Jacob, not Larry.  Someone in KRA probably has it.  Wayne

Offline b bogart

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 05:11:17 AM »
Well Bookie I just may pester you for advice when I have the time and/or resources to get this thing scratching steel!

Offline Shovelbuck

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 05:18:38 AM »
Here's a couple pics Bookie. It's not mine but it's the one I've used in the past. Pretty much the same set up as the top one in this post. Adjustable for ROT and by putting a "curved" guide on it, a person can do gain twist also. Sorry for the bad pics. I took them 30 years ago and when I scanned them, they came out in B/W.


I don't hunt the hard way, I hunt a simpler way.

FG1

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 06:55:12 AM »
Very cool stuff!!

Offline Canute Rex

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 07:24:44 AM »
I should note that the American Precision Museum has a number of other special gun making tools, including a stock lathe and a turret machine for inletting lock plates. They also have a handful of firearms made on the premises or in the vicinity.I saw some underhammer target rifles by somebody with the first name "Nicanor", a Volcanic "rocket ball" repeater, an early tape primed Sharps, an Enfield musket knockoff, and a few other military arms. Plus various historic machine tools, models, and a working machine shop.

It's not big, but the place is worth a visit if you are in the Connecticut River Valley.


Michael

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 02:19:19 PM »
Wayne,

I believe that Landas Valley Museum has a signed Jacob Fordney rifling machine in it's collection.

Michael

Offline Dale Campbell

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2010, 03:02:03 PM »
I still don't have a way to post pictures (Luddite).  But on our trip to Williamsburg a couple weeks ago I got a picture of the one in the gunsmith shop, made by George Suiter.  They had it in the back room that day with the intention of rifling a barrel. In the picture foreground is the rifling bench. To the left is the boring machine. In the back are George and Rich Sullivan arguing with a recalcitrant barrel.

If someone offers, I'll forward the picture to be posted.

Lurch and Rolf, if you've read down this thread, they were also working on a matched pair of brass barreled pistols.  I did not (kicking self) get pictures of them.
Best regards,
Dale

Offline David Veith

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2010, 07:07:17 PM »
Bruce Keep your eyes open at auctions & gun shows. If you can run a reamer through it you are good to go. The last Auction I pick up 5 or 6 for less than $35 for the bunch.
David
David Veith

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2010, 07:20:21 PM »

If someone offers, I'll forward the picture to be posted.


 I sent you an email, send them back and I will post them for you.


Tim C.

Offline Steve Bookout

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 08:15:31 PM »
Shovelbuck, that looks like the first rifler I built years ago.  It was O.K. in my opinion, but it just wasn't what was feeding my interest.  You apologized for the "bad pics."  My eyes are going a little fuzzy as of late, so your photos look pristine to me.  Thanks for sharing.  If you have time, drop by.  I got a couple more barrels to rifle when I get done with this last worm blank.  Cheers, Bookie
Steve Bookout, PhD, CM, BSM
University of South Viet Nam
Class of 1969
Class of 1970
Class of 1971

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2010, 10:43:31 PM »
 Here are Dale C's Pics.

George Suiter and Rich Sullivan



Rich with the boring machine and bits behind him


Offline John SMOthermon

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Re: Old rifling machine - adjustable
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2010, 03:58:30 AM »





Here's a couple from Dixie Gun Works museum. If you ever get a chance to stop by there it's well worth the time to check them out.
Smo

Good Luck & Good Shootin'