Author Topic: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Schuler Finished  (Read 21092 times)

Online Curtis

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Gentlemen,  I present to you for critique and comments a Bucks County rifle gun based on an unsigned original.  I made the rifle as a gift for my brother, who has been curiously following the building process but has no idea the gun is his.  The stock was a blank purchased from Mark Wheland who also inlet the barrel and drilled the ramrod channel. 

The gun was built using one of Jack Brook's drawings and about 150 photographs of the original.  The barrel is from Ed Rayl and duplicates the original.  The lock is an extensively modified Davis Colonial, the tail and front of the lock were raised to lessen the banana shape, and an Astragal arch or "thumbnail" was added to the nose as well as the file-work on the tail and pan.  The trigger guard, sideplate and buttplate are Jack Brooks castings made from the original rifle.    All the remaining parts were hand made, excepting the screws and bolts.  The trigger is cold forged and the rear sight is cut from a railroad spike.

The stock is scraped and stained with some of Darrin Mcdonal's aqua fortis.  For the finish I warmed the stock with a heat gun and applied as much bee's wax as it would absorb, then followed it with eight or nine thin coats of tung oil.  The barrel is charcoal blued, as well as the trigger, trigger plate and most of the screws.  The screws on the cock were fire blued.

Now on to the photos:






















































Thanks for looking!

Curtis

« Last Edit: November 02, 2022, 08:57:21 AM by Curtis »
Curtis Allinson
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Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing

Offline David R. Pennington

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 05:31:26 AM »
 Very nice, looks very "Shuler" to me. I fell in love with an original John Shuler rifle I saw at one of the CLA shows a few years ago and drew up a set of plans and gathered some parts but haven't got up the nerve to start on it yet. What are the barrel dimensions, length, bore etc.,..? How does it shoot? Looks like it should balance well and shoulder like a fine fowler!
VITA BREVIS- ARS LONGA

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 06:13:14 AM »
Nice work Curtis.  Your incised carving looks flawless, and adds a lot of charm to the rifle.  I like the colour you achieved with the wood and metal.  I'd be proud to own such a fine rifle, and prouder yet to have built it.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline Lucky R A

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 01:47:58 PM »
Hi Curtis,
      Seems that I have seen that rifle somewhere before...You did a real nice job on it.  A classic Bucks Co. gun is a joy to behold, and the rifle you based your work on was about as good as it gets.   Your work is very nice indeed and is enhanced by your attention to detail.   You can be proud of the rifle and your efforts.

Ron
"The highest reward that God gives us for good work is the ability to do better work."  - Elbert Hubbard

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 02:17:08 PM »
Very nice rifle. A very clean job of inletting and carving. Your brother should be very happy.

Offline smart dog

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 02:18:02 PM »
Hi Curtis,
Beautiful!!  Well done.  The architecture and carving are bang on and very appealing.  My only critique is the color seems to obscure the incised carving.  I wonder if it was lighter or less medium-dark brown if the carving would stand out more.  Regardless, you did a great job and should be proud to pass it on to your brother.  What a wonderful gift.

dave
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Offline Tom Currie

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 02:29:09 PM »
Curtis, Your attention to detail is evident and your carving and design are exceuted very well. One thing I would mention is that the full sized lock looks sort of blank like an empty canvas. With all the detailed incised carving a little engraving on the lock would balance things out for me a bit. I really like your gun.

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 02:56:03 PM »
Lovely workmanship, great job. Your attention to detail and the overall scope of your rifle is outstanding. This is a rifle to be proud of.


On Tom Currie's comment:
One thing I would mention is that the full sized lock looks sort of blank like an empty canvas.
That 'blank look' can be helped by replacing the tiny(as supplied) cock retaining screw with a larger one.  Below is same lock, with screw replaced with a larger diameter.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 02:57:31 PM by Acer Saccharum »
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Ramrod scrapers are all sold out.

Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 03:39:36 PM »
Curtis,

That is truly a beautiful rifle.  From someone like me that wants to build Bucks County style rifles, and is going through the school of hard knocks now with one, I can really appreciate how nice that rifle turned out.

Mole Eyes
Don Richards
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Online Curtis

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 03:44:36 PM »
I greatly appreciate all your comments guys!  They mean a great deal coming from such a talented lot!  Taylor, the incised carving on your Verner rifle was a source of inspiration for me.  I very much enjoyed building this rifle and even though I had a fair share of struggles with it, those issues certainly helped with my learning process.

Dave, The barrel is 42" long, 54 caliber, 1-66 twist, full octagon, and 1.00" at the breech with taper and flare profile.  I have not sighted the rifle in yet, hopefully this weekend I will have the opportunity.  The balance of the gun is quite nice.

Smart Dog, the carving shows better in person, I struggled with lighting, color and resolution on the photos, mostly because I was rushing the photo session.  Here are a couple of more detailed shots:







Acer, did you make that replacement screw? If not, where did you purchase it?

Thanks again, Curtis
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 08:24:19 PM by Curtis »
Curtis Allinson
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Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing

Offline Long John

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 04:20:19 PM »
That's a real fine looking riflegun!  Be very proud of what you have achieved.

Best Regards,

JMC

Offline KLMoors

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2014, 05:12:08 PM »
Gorgeous work! I love everything about it. I like the idea of the bigger screw, but she sure is nice as is.

Thanks for all the pictures.

Offline Algae

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2014, 05:41:39 PM »
Leaves me drooling, absolutely beautiful rifle!!!

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2014, 05:46:21 PM »
Large tumbler screw made in own shop. Big material, lots of waste. :D
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Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2014, 06:51:33 PM »
I think the colour of the wood is just fine, and I don't think it takes away from the carving.  Everything in a rifle should blend and have a wonderful flavour without one thing or another taking over, just as in a good dish of food.  I have come to accept whatever colour Ferric Nitrate imparts on maple, without trying to gild the lily.  I have been so disappointed for the past three decades with the transient nature of any stain/dye I've tried, that it is such joy to use AF.  Curtis has got his curl to pop nicely without the stock having a muddy look, so kudos are required.  Again, great rifle.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline hortonstn

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2014, 07:57:05 PM »
Curtis,
that is a beautiful rifle, I can imagine the hours and thought that went into it
no one can appreciate how much work it is until they build one
congrates again
paul

Offline Pete G.

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2014, 08:40:53 PM »
A beautiful well done piece. Only criticism I have is in the write up.

Tongue oil is whiskey, in that it lubricates the tongue and gets it moving.....

Tung oil is wood finish derived from tung nuts. ;)

Online Curtis

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2014, 08:41:18 PM »
Thanks for the comments guys!  Taylor, you mentioned the color of the metal, I forgot to give any details on that.  Basically I used Jerry Huddleston's method of charcoal bluing in an iron pipe, adapted to my situation.  The primary difference is I placed the iron pipe in a fire pit dug in my garden instead of a large oven.

Paul, I hear you recently completed another rifle, is that true?

Curtis
Curtis Allinson
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Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing

Online Curtis

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2014, 08:47:11 PM »
A beautiful well done piece. Only criticism I have is in the write up.

Tongue oil is whiskey, in that it lubricates the tongue and gets it moving.....

Tung oil is wood finish derived from tung nuts. ;)


Excellent point, Pete!

Curtis
Curtis Allinson
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing

Offline E.vonAschwege

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2014, 11:10:36 PM »
Curtis - that is a beautiful Bucks county rifle.  Crisp inletting and carving as well.  Good job NOT filling the carving with your finish - too often I see guns where the carving gets filled up with the oil, this one you kept nice and clean.   Way to go, you should be quite happy with it!
-Eric
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Offline Ed Wenger

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2014, 11:30:40 PM »
Hey Curtis, 'bout time you got around to posting some photos!  I had the pleasure of handling this rifle at the Bowling Green Seminars, and along with everyone else, was very impressed.  You did a superb job in all respects, looks even better in person.  Thanks for posting the photos, and again, really well done!


     Ed
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Offline James Rogers

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2014, 11:43:12 PM »
Got.to.see the gun and meet the maker at Bowling Green.
Curtis, very nice work. I like your workmanship and detail. I can't cmment on the specific styling as I am ignorant in that area.
again, super job and thanks for sharing.
James

Offline David R. Pennington

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2014, 03:28:23 AM »
Curtis, could you share some more detail about the barrel finishing process with the iron pipe?
VITA BREVIS- ARS LONGA

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2014, 04:12:49 AM »
What an Outstanding piece of work!  Simply Beautiful.  I only hope my Fantasy Bucks Swivel Breech turns out half as nice. That's one lucky Brother you have there.  Wish I could see the look on his face when you hand it to him!

Online Curtis

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Re: Bucks County Rifle Built in the Style of Verner or Shuler
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2014, 06:53:20 AM »
I appreciate everyone's comments, good to hear from you again Ed and James!

Curtis, could you share some more detail about the barrel finishing process with the iron pipe?

Dave, there is a wealth of information in this set of postings from the tutorial section that Acer copied over from the old board: http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=918.0

Here is what I did in a nutshell.  First I draw filed and polished the barrel to 600 grit. Then I took an old scrap pipe that I dug up on my place, which may have been an old drive shaft or a makeshift drain pipe.  (there was once an old log house here long gone before I bought the property)  After cleaning the dirt out of it I tack welded a cap on one end with a rod protruding into the center of the pipe about eight inches.  I then welded on a couple of lugs and attached some scrap heavy guage wire for a handle.  I stood the pipe on the capped end and poured about 5 inches if granulated charcoal in the tube.  I then filled the breached barrel with within 2" of the muzzle using granulated charcoal, and stuffed a small wad of paper in the barrel to hold the charcoal in place.



I placed a cardboard tube in the pipe centered on the rod, the type of tube a barrel is shipped in.  This was done to prevent scratching the barrel as it was lowered inside.  Charcoal was poured into the tube a plastic cupful at a time, and I slowly raised the tube as I went, keeping the barrel centered.  By the time the barrel was half covered it became obvious the barrel would hold it's position as long as the charcoal was packed around it.  I wired a plate over the other end, utilizing lugs I had welded near the end of the pipe.



A fire was built in a pit, a couple of feet longer than the pipe assembly and about 18 inches deep.  When a nice bed of coals was ready, I spread the coals across the bottom of the pit and lowered the assembly onto the coals, then began building the fire to surround and cover the tube, and kept the fire going for a couple of hours.



In this photo you can see a small Altoids tin with granulated charcoal and some small screws in it, as well as an end of the pipe assembly.



Staring to cover with more wood:



After the fire burned down a bit I removed the tube and let it cool for an hour or two and carefully removed the barrel and gave the still warm barrel a coat of linseed oil.  The next day I applied several coats of paste wax.



There has to be a dozen better methods to achieve the same thing, but this way the only expense I had was the charcoal and some labor.   ;D

Curtis



« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 04:13:18 AM by Curtis »
Curtis Allinson
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing