Author Topic: Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.  (Read 8631 times)

Offline Rolf

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Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.
« on: July 07, 2008, 12:15:00 AM »
I've got a chunk of walrus tusk left over after several knife making projects.
It's the lower hollow part of the tusk and measures about 4" x 2.5" x 1.75".

Where can I find info on how to make ivory powder flasks?

Best regards

Rolfkt

Online Tim Crosby

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Re: Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2008, 04:56:33 PM »
 Wish I could help you but I've never seen one in the flesh. Is it hollow like a cow horn? If it is you could turn a plug for the base and one like you see on an applied tip powders for the tip. I don't know if it would help but do you have a picture of it? Like end views.

 Tim C.


 

Offline Robby

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Re: Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2008, 08:14:11 PM »
Rolfkt, I was going to post some pictures from the Jaeger book sold by Jim Chambers to help spur your imagination, but then thought it might be some kind of copyright violation. Anyway you could make it into a very elegant flask. If you have access to a lathe you can true it up and turn a cap for it. If you don't, the same things can be done with files, scrapers and patience.
molon labe
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Offline Rolf

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Re: Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2008, 11:11:08 PM »
Tim, heres a picture of  the walrus tusk before I started using it.

It was about 30 " long and weighed  3lbs. The lower part of the tusk isn't really hollow. It's filled a hard dense root canal structure which contains blood vessels and nerves. The Ivory is layered around this core.
 
The core is waste material. The ivory around the core is usually cut up into scales. The best part of the tusk is in front of the core and is solid ivory. It's used for hidden tang knife handels and is very expensive.  A  4" x 2"x 0.8" piece cost  200 -250 $ depending on the quality. In comparison a pair of knife scales cost 60 -70 $.

What I'd like to do, is make some similar to this flask, minus the carving.

It seems to be a low oval cylinder of sheet metal, sandwiched between two large ivory scales.

Best regards

Rolfkt

Online Tim Crosby

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Re: Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 02:08:30 AM »
 Wow I am still at a loss....what is the diameter of that flask?

Tim C.

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008, 03:10:44 AM »
Rolf,
You have two alternatives.  The first is to treat it as though it were staghorn.  This is the conventional method.  Cut a piece as long as you want the flask to be and hollow out the center.  Then make a banded cap for the bottom and a banded cap with a spout for the top.  The band and cap can either be made in two pieces and soldered together or formed from a single piece by pressing it into a die.  Probably a two piece to maintain the irregularities of the ivory piece.

The second method involves cutting a slab and adding sidepanels, a spout, and rings to the piece.  This would be closer to your picture, except you would probably have to make it egg shaped rather than round, because of the shape of your ivory.  It would look something like this in it's most basic form.  Your imagination would provide the fodder for embelishments.

Dave Kanger

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Offline Rolf

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Re: Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2008, 09:03:34 AM »
Tim+ TOF, I havn't been able to find the dimensions on the flask. Thats part of the problem.
I'd like to know:
1.How big should a powder flask for a pair of cased pistols be?
2. How thick should the scales be?
3.How are they attached to the metal?
4.Whats the size of the spout and how is the stopper constructed?

Best regards

Rolfkt

Online Tim Crosby

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Re: Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2008, 12:41:18 AM »
Unfortunately I cannot answer any of those questions. Any info I have would be a guess.

 Tim C.

Offline LRB

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Re: Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2008, 12:52:18 AM »
  Be careful. In my experience walrus ivory can be a tad brittle, and can develope cracks for no apparent reason. More so than elephant.

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Looking for info on how to make powder flasks.
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2008, 05:56:51 PM »
Rolf,
Several years back a flask like the one you have illustrated was offered for sale on Ebay as a powder flask.  Much discussion ensued and several knowledgeable antique dealers confirmed that these were not powder flasks, but rather were commonly carried by women, suspended from their chatelaines.  I disremember what the contents carried in them were.

On the other hand, I have seen a picture of one in a book on the history of guns illustrated as a "powder flask."  Whether this is fact or poor research on the author's part, I have no idea.

>1.How big should a powder flask for a pair of cased pistols be?
Most would be in the range of this one....4.5" long and 1" thick.


>2. How thick should the scales be?
I guess it depends on your design and construction.

>3.How are they attached to the metal?
Doing the one you illustrate, think of the rim on a pair of eyeglasses.  The metal band retains the scales in a similar manner, however the joint would be soldered rather than screwed.  In doing other designs, such as the ovular one I illustrated the metal could be attached to the ivory with screws or pins.

>4.Whats the size of the spout and how is the stopper constructed?
The spout size is proportional to the body size for aesthetic purposes.  This is the standard construction for a common flask.

The one you illustrate would pivot on tabs soldered to the spout and would have a captured spring mounted under the pivot.

This is all pretty generic, but you should easily be able to adapt any of the methods to your design, whichever direction you choose to go.

Dave Kanger

If religion is opium for the masses, the internet is a crack, pixel-huffing orgy that deafens the brain, numbs the senses and scrambles our peer list to include every anonymous loser, twisted deviant, and freak as well as people we normally wouldn't give the time of day.
-S.M. Tomlinson