Author Topic: Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43- Photos Fixed  (Read 74898 times)

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #50 on: October 17, 2016, 08:57:54 PM »
Curtis:  I'm enjoying this thread too.  And if it is still available, I will be happy to have your extra Pfiel chisel (gouge).  Contact me at dtaylorsapergia@gmail.com please for confirmation.

Taylor
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Offline Curtis

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #51 on: October 18, 2016, 04:46:20 AM »
Thanks Taylor!  I sent you an email.....

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 T*O*F

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #52 on: October 18, 2016, 06:43:53 PM »
Quote
I should be back in the shop later this week and will continue to persevere.....
Been watching Josie Wales again, eh.   :D
Dave Kanger

A dedicated person with just a pocketknife can accomplish more than a lazy person with an entire toolbox.

Offline Curtis

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #53 on: October 18, 2016, 07:07:04 PM »
Lol you caught me TOF.  However I shall continue to endeavor to persevere......  8)
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 J. Talbert

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #54 on: October 19, 2016, 01:22:43 AM »
Hey I'm enjoying this too.
Hope I remember the wire trick on my next project.

Keep it up Curtis.

Jeff
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Offline Curtis

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #55 on: October 22, 2016, 07:48:02 AM »
Thanks Jeff, hope the wire helps you some!

Now it is time to make the trigger look a bit more like a trigger!  First it gets a little hacksaw treatment:



Then after cleaning it up some with a file I heat and bend the shoe:



Next I need to cut the shoe to length.  I don't have any scale dimensions for the trigger, so I decided to use the proportion method of determining the length.  In the photo the shoe looks like it is about the same height of the lock plate just behind the cock.  I use my dividers to determine this, then use my lock to guesstimate my trigger shoe size.  I mark it, cut it and file it up a bit.













Next a little filing on the trigger body to shape it up:



Looks like it might work.  I will continue to refine the shape of the trigger as I progress:



Now it's time to start work on the trigger plate.  I cut a piece of scrap plate and sketched it out, then sawed it out with a hack saw.



I bend the front of the plate double where the tang screw will thread into it, then braze it together using some brass filings and borax for flux.  Silver solder or even soft solder would work as well, I figured the old smiths would have probably brazed it.









Almost immediately I decided it was longer and wider than I wanted it to be so I adjusted the size, then filed a slight taper on the edges for inletting, and a reverse taper on the finial which will be held in place by the stock:





I use a mortising chisel made from a small warding file to start the trigger mortise.  Be careful not to get it to wide! 



Just about there!  I mark up the trigger and refine the shape a little more.





Now I need to cut a slot for the trigger in the plate.  I drilled a hole and cut it out with a Jeweler's saw, then filed the slot to size.  I was going to drill a series of holes but broke a bit off in the plate first off and decided just to saw it.  After I had broken the drill already, I remembered the easy way to cut a slot for the trigger.  Bend the plate almost double at the halfway mark of the slot, cut your slot with a hacksaw, then bend the plate back flat.  I should reference my notes more often!  ::)



I position the plate so the tang screw will hit it where it should, and the trigger slot lines up with the mortise:



I then scribe around it, stamp it in on my scribe lines, and inlet the plate.  I stop about an eight of an inch short of the end of the finial.









The next step is not for the timid, and if you use this method proceed with caution!  I heat the sharp end of the trigger plat and burn it into the wood.  I did this a little at a time, it took me probably at least ten re-heats to get it where I wanted it.  You don't want to over char the wood.  What can I say, I like to play with fire.....









Now it's time to drill and tap for the tang bolt.  I previously just had a wood screw in the tang.






Now to figure where to drill my trigger pin.  I like it high and in front of the sear.  If you calculate correctly it will come out the other side under your sideplate.  I put a mark where I wanted the pin on the trigger, drew a straight line down the trigger body for a reference for my dividers, put the trigger in the slot and marked the pin with my dividers.  Now how's that for scientifically calculating it's location!









And yes, it came out the other side under the side plate!  Just how lucky can a guy be....  Now time to do a little cleanup on my trigger guard.  This is a soft brass casting I got from Jack Brooks, the correct guard for #43.  I will clean up the finials and do a lot of the remaining cleanup after it is attached to the rifle.



Well that's it for a few days....

Curtis
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 05:15:15 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 SingleMalt

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #56 on: October 22, 2016, 11:50:14 AM »
I'm really enjoying this!   ;D
Never drink whisky that isn't old enough to vote.

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Offline davebozell

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2016, 02:18:05 PM »
Great stuff!  So many great tips, that I think this thread needs a permanent home in the tutorials section!

Hemo

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #58 on: October 22, 2016, 04:53:16 PM »
Great job on the trigger and plate, and some neat tricks! Bending the trigger plate to cut the slot is a great idea. I've broken a large number of jeweler's saw blades trying to do this through a drilled hole. Do you find your plate distorted or elongated after you bend it straight again?
Burning in the back tip of the plate is also a slick idea. Hard to do this even with very small chisels without breaking the wood!

Keep it up!

Gregg

Offline Curtis

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #59 on: October 22, 2016, 06:13:58 PM »
Thanks fellas.  I'll try to include the mistakes and problems I encounter along the way, as they are a great learning tool as well.

The back end of the trigger plate was probably sharp enough I could have just drove it in, but I am always afraid of splitting out the wood.

Gregg, there is always a bit of distortion at the site of the bend, but if you cut your slot and straighten the plate before your final filing it will disappear.  There is not enough lengthening to notice.  In fact, when I reduced the size of this trigger plate I had it too high up in my vice, and over muscled it with my hacksaw and bent it almost 90 degrees in the middle.  I pounded it back flat after saying a couple of choice words I can't type here, and you can't see it at all after filing it up to shape.  Try it on some scrap and you will know what to expect when you do if for real.

Curtis
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 06:40:19 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 Curtis

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #60 on: October 28, 2016, 08:30:43 AM »
Now it's time to start filing on my guard.  I'm including the photo with my sad, makeshift filing jig so perhaps someone will take mercy on me and get me a fancy one for Christmas!  ;D



When the front and rear finials are filed to shape, I mark my "wedding bands" with a Sharpie.



I like to start my file lines with a jewelers' saw, then begin with a small three cornered file and work my way up to larger three corner files.  A more confident and skilled person would go straight for the larger file.  I use files with one safe edge.





Next I start the concave "band" with a small round file.  I used my thumbnail as a guide to help keep my line straight bus since I only have two hands couldn't capture that in the photo.



Then finish the last file line.



Once I locate the lug on my guard, I mark the slot and get to work with a mortising chisel.  Before I acquired some mortising chisels, I used to drill a series of deep holes and dig it out and try to square it up with small chisels.  The mortising chisel makes a nice, squared edge hole.





When I think I'm close, I check the depth.






I put a screw in the rear finial, clamp the front of the guard in place and then scribe a line around the finials.  Some folks (such as Mike Brooks) are talented enough they draw a pencil line around an object and cut inside the line.  I always end up cutting the pencil line itself....  with a scribed line you can feel your stabbing tool set into the scribe line and then stab down with it. 



And here is the stabbed outline:



Once my finials are inlet, I use my trusty dividers to locate my trigger pin.  I want the pin hole to start in the lock mortise, travel through the guard lug, and end up under my sideplate on the back side.





Made it under the sideplate just by the skin of my teeth....  Shoulda left my lug just a smidge longer!



Now I put it all together and check for function.  It works!



Now I can finish filing up the trigger guard, and I will start to refine my lock panels.  One thing I like to avoid is having to notch my lock panel for the cock the clear it.  With a little work and planning this can often be avoided.  First I take some extra meat off the back of the cock, still leaving an ample shoulder where the cock will contact the lock plate. 



Then I will remove a bit of wood above the plate and behind the cock.  The whole lock panel needs to come down a bit for proper depth of the lock plate, but most of that will come off later.



I now have clearance without a notch.



That's all for now!
Curtis
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 07:44:49 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

Hemo

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #61 on: October 28, 2016, 05:56:44 PM »
Nice work and good photography, Curtis! I see on your previous post that you managed to drill the trigger pin hole through the lock mortise without the drill chuck tearing out your lock inlet...bravo!
You probably posted this earlier, but what kind of lock are your using?

Keep on keepin' on!

Gregg

Offline Daryl

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #62 on: October 29, 2016, 02:21:03 AM »
REALLY nice tutorial! Tks.
Daryl

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Offline Curtis

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #63 on: October 29, 2016, 06:35:39 AM »
Thanks Daryl!  You flatter me!  Glad to hear you are getting some good from this thread.  ...I gotta say I'm not really trying to make a tutorial, just sharing some methods that work for me.  Kind of a "one man's journey" kinda thing.  I welcome any comments or better ideas anyone reading along may have, since the purpose of this board is information sharing after all!  Also the order in which I am doing some things is not necessarily the preferred order, however since I did part of this build in a class, I concentrated on completing things first that would benefit from the input of the instructor while I had the chance.

Nice work and good photography, Curtis! I see on your previous post that you managed to drill the trigger pin hole through the lock mortise without the drill chuck tearing out your lock inlet...bravo!
You probably posted this earlier, but what kind of lock are your using?

Gregg

Gregg, I have to confess I cheated a bit on drilling the trigger pin hole and the guard lug hole, in an effort to preserve my precious lock inlet and lock panels.  I used a hand crank drill with a smaller chuck for the trigger pin.  For the last third of the guard lug pin hole I put the drill bit in a pin vise - after it became apparent that my lock panel was in grave danger of being wrecked by the drill chuck!

I don't believe I ever mentioned what lock I am using, so good catch.  The lock is a Davis Colonial American one screw.  This lock is patterned after some early locks and is versatile because if has enough metal on it that it's a great candidate for modification. 

Here is a picture of the unmodified lock from an ad in a magazine:



And some pics of the lock as I have modified it in an attempt to make it closer resemble the lock on RCA#43.  I took some of the banana shape out of it, and changed the shape of the front and the tail considerably. I still need to work on the pan a bit, as well as the cock.  If I get brave I will use a graver and sculpt the edge of the lock plate like the one on #43. 







Now moving on.....

This lock and others that share the same mainspring has some definite "loading" as it is placed on full cock, or you could say it gets noticeably harder to pull as you get closer to full cock.  The lower leaf of the spring bends very straight as it compresses. 

One of the guys in our class, Walt Framski, did some extensive experimenting with the spring, changing the shape of the lower leaf by filing it.  (Randy W., you will have to forgive me if you deserve some credit here as well )  After he was done his lock cocked incredibly smoothly, and during cocking the lower leaf gently curved into full compression.  I was so impressed that I did the enterprising thing, and took several photos of his modification so I could replicate it when I got home.  :D

Here is the mainspring, the lower leaf with a little decorative filing on it, before filing it similar to Walt's mod.  I have drawn some reference marks in blue Sharpie:





And after filing it, the file cuts highlighted in blue:





The last pic isn't the best.  I can take a better photo if someone would like to see the mod a bit clearer.  After the mod the lock operated noticeably smoother without any "loading".

Curtis
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 07:52:21 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 Curtis

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #64 on: October 29, 2016, 06:58:06 AM »
I got to do some cleanup filing on the trigger guard today as well, here is what I came up with so far:





I also started to refine my locks panels, wrist  and tang areas now that I have all the major pieces in place.  With luck I'll be able to post some more progress in a few days.

Thanks for looking!

Curtis
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 07:54:45 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 runastav

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #65 on: October 29, 2016, 10:38:13 AM »
Very nice!
Runar

Hemo

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #66 on: October 30, 2016, 04:43:02 AM »
Looking mighty slick, Curtis! That big faceted trigger guard is very attractive. Was that design taken from RCA #43?

Gregg

Offline Ed Wenger

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #67 on: October 30, 2016, 06:10:08 AM »
Lookin' great, Curtis!  Excellent thread.....


        Ed

Offline SingleMalt

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #68 on: October 30, 2016, 04:17:35 PM »
Good work, Curtis!  I'm enjoying seeing different techniques.  There's always a room to learn something new.
Never drink whisky that isn't old enough to vote.

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Offline Curtis

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #69 on: November 01, 2016, 07:14:32 AM »
Thanks Fellas!  Gregg, the only direct on bottom view picture I have just shows the back third of the guard, the rest are pretty much side views.  Most of the raised elements were roughly cast on the guard but present.  The bottom line is, I think you could call it a reasonably accurate guesstimation of what #43 has....  So to answer your question I would say yes, sort of!  That's just another reason to use the phrase "inspired by" instead of "copy of".

I haven't had much time in the shop the past few days, and the next few days don't look very promising either.  However, when I had a few minutes to study over my lock panels and wrist area, I took a few pics that are a good example of how raking light is a useful tool.  So I thought I would share them with you all.











At this point in a build I do a lot of scraping, as I like the finish it leaves on the wood as well as the precision it allows.  It can make the curl in maple really pop! I never even heard of scraping wood before I started building guns.  I generally prefer scraping over sanding for a final finish.  One concern with scraping is you have to carefully read your grain as you go, and vary your angle and direction of scraping.  Only a small amount of wood is removed with each pass, however with repetitive scraping you can remove significant material fairly rapidly.  If you have never tried it I recommend you give scraping a chance.  A sharp scraper produces the pest results by far.









Curtis
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 07:59:56 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 Curtis

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #70 on: November 07, 2016, 08:54:11 AM »
Well I decided it was high time to put a nose cap on the rifle, and it will be a two piece nose cap.   I chose .050 brass for the cap, and decided to form the cap directly on the rifle.  I used this technique recently on an old rifle that I did some conservation work on, where an oversized commercial cap had been epoxied to the barrel.  After removing the cap, I had to replace the missing wood underneath and create a new cap to match the contours of the upper forearm.  In order to form a cap in this manner, your brass needs to remain dead soft throughout the process, so if it starts to get springy, anneal it again. 

I must prepare the stock for the nosecap, and I decided to treat this like any other inlet and stab in the cut line.  I have always cut this line with a saw in the past and have had trouble keeping the cut clean and straight.  First I mark my line with some tape, checking it for squareness with my gauge.



I then gently mark the line by stabbing with a sharp chisel, followed by stabbing in the cut with a wire inlay tool, then making a clearance cut.







Rasp and file the inlet to shape:



A little side note, I recently started using Velcro strips to retain a barrel whenever I am doing something that necessitates frequently taking the barrel in an out. They hold the barrel tightly in place and are rapid to deploy or remove - much better than taking pins in and out.  The strips I am using are for bundling computer wires, but any self stick Velcro strip works.



Make sure you cut the ramrod grove a little larger to match your brass thickness.



I made a template from a bit of cardboard from the back of a notepad, then transferred it's outline to my brass stock.





I cut the brass with a hacksaw, then annealed it thoroughly.





Mark the center and bend over a mandrel that fits your ramrod groove.



Carefully but firmly clamp it in place, which will help finish the initial radial bend, then start bending the sides down around the forestock using your hands.  Anneal as necessary.



When I have if formed as much as I can with my fingers, I then start working it down with a flat faced punch and a hammer, working it towards the barrel.  The pictures show the general direction of movement:















I made a block of scrap to fit my barrel channel to support the fragile stock while the barrel was out for the next step.  The raised portion of the block is for putting in a vice, or clamping in place with a two screw wooden clamp.  The round piece in the groove is just a scrap of ramrod with a section rasped flat.  The hose clamps help to draw the cap down around the top of the stock.  I also used a punch and small ball peen to work the brass down.  Move the hose clamps around as necessary.





It's now pretty well formed.



Sizing up my last scrap of .050 brass for the end piece.



I float the front of the cap on a file to flatten it for a nice, tight solder joint.  If you make the joint a good fit, it will be stronger and no one will ever be able to see it.  Then wire the pieces together and silver solder.  I used brass colored silver solder.





Put the cap back on the rifle and mark for your barrel cutout.  If your barrel to channel fit is good this will get you very close.





Now start sawing!







Ready to file and fit:









Once it is filed up, polish with some emery cloth.  This is as far as I will go with it for now:









I am told by Jack Brooks that the original cap on #43 was screwed directly to the barrel with a #8 screw.  I don't know if I am brave enough to do that on this rifle, since that would interfere with any barrel or wood movement leading to all sorts of possible issues.  Any thoughts on that?   :o

Thanks for looking, Curtis.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 08:30:26 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

Offline SingleMalt

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #71 on: November 07, 2016, 03:23:14 PM »
I think the gunsmith who built #43 used a screw on the nose cap simply because it was expedient.  If you wanted the same look, you could inlet a square nut into the barrel channel and run a screw into it, eliminating drilling into the bottom of the barrel and any fears about expansion or contraction of the stock causing damage.
Never drink whisky that isn't old enough to vote.

"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."- Plato

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Offline bama

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #72 on: November 07, 2016, 06:25:58 PM »
Curtis I do not know about rifle #43 but rifle #42 is screwed into barrel. The stock is notched in the nose cap inlet from the lug to the end of the stock, this allows the nose cap to float so to speak and changes in the wood or barrel are not affected due to the notch. I have pictures of this on my web site if you want to view them. The pictures are in the rifle 42 folder under the Naked Longrifles tab. Go to www.calvarylongrifles.com


Jim Parker

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Offline Curtis

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #73 on: November 07, 2016, 06:45:21 PM »
Singlemalt, that is a great option to think about.

Bama, thanks for sharing that awesome resource and the information!  It gives me more confidence in the consideration the screw method of attachment.  Those photos are invaluable... what an awesome site this is!  ;D


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 Ed Wenger

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Re: Current project by Curtis - Christian's Spring rifle inspired by RCA #43
« Reply #74 on: November 08, 2016, 05:17:04 AM »
Good stuff, Curtis, well done!  Good idea about the Velcro....



           Ed