Author Topic: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool  (Read 9091 times)

Offline davec2

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New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« on: January 07, 2020, 07:09:09 AM »
Anyone who has looked at several of the gun builds I have posted here over the years know that I have a penchant for slightly more elaborate moldings along the ram rod channel. I have tried many methods, scratch stocks, files, scrapers, molding planes, etc., etc.  All worked, to one degree or another, but none were as easy or as consistent as I would have liked. Troubles materialize with grain direction changes, the angle a scraper or scratch stock needs to be held at, the tedium of trying to hand carve a consistent cove radius full length on both sides of the channel and then smooth it all up, etc.  Then I discovered a very complicated, very expensive tool for laying out the long straight lines on the fore stock.....back in March I posted the following:

A while back, one of the members here (sorry I can't remember who) posted a link to a British fellow who had a woodworking tip on how to make a quick, inexpensive "beading tool".  I clicked on these two links:





So today, working on a stock molding, I used the above simple tool to cut in the first molding line.





After putting in this first line, which will be the bottom line on a bead, I wanted a nice smooth concave cove below the bead and up to near the edge of the ram rod channel.  I decided to make a tool to try.  It is a 3/8" diameter piece of brass rod with a dove tail groove cut in perpendicular.  A cross piece of brass was cut with a matching dove tail and drilled to hold a 3/32" shank burr that I use for making dentures.  The burr has a ball end about 3/16 inch in diameter.  The position of the burr can be adjusted in two directions, the distance off the centerline of the 3/8" rod and how far it protrudes from the tool.  The burr is course enough to cut swiftly but fine enough so the the resulting surface is clean and smooth.  The tool is just run up and down the ram rod groove by hand.  It takes very few strokes to cut the concave cove mold shape all along the fore stock.  The burrs come in many sizes, is easily replaced and, if it gets dull in use, it is simply rotated to use fresh teeth on the burr.

I'm going to make a more sophisticated version of the wood block with the screw that will also use a burr rather than a screw.

To finish this molding, I will add a second line above the first and shape the space between the two into a rounded bead.







"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline Greg Pennell

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2020, 08:01:30 AM »
Great idea!  I like that better than any variation of scratch stock I’ve ever seen. Now where’s my box of scrap brass....

Greg

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Offline rennikselum

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2020, 02:03:34 PM »
Very cool, will start building one for my use soon. I believe I have some Dremel bits already that might work.

Thanks for sharing.

Jeff

Offline SBachner

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2020, 03:25:58 PM »
What is the dovetail slot in the round bar used for?

Offline flinchrocket

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2020, 04:39:15 PM »
There is a tool similar to that in the book Recreating the American Longrifle by Buckley.

Offline Greg Pennell

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2020, 09:35:35 PM »
There is a tool similar to that in the book Recreating the American Longrifle by Buckley.

Yes, I made one similar out of scrap brass, and it works well to scribe the initial line for a relief molding. This one will actually profile the molding as well.

Greg
“Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks” Thomas Jefferson

Offline davec2

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2020, 11:50:05 PM »
rennikselum - I think any similar burr would work.  I use a lot of various size and shape burrs for dental and jewelry work.  These are just some of the round ones.  The larger ones are the burrs I would use with this tool.



SBachner - The dovetail slot in the round bar holds the cross bar.  I put two slots in the round guide bar so that I can get the cutting tool closer to the end for the molding at the rear pipe and at the muzzle cap.  I can move the tool holding cross bar to either position.



By the way, if you intend to make one of these, make the round guide bar at least 6 inches long.  I made this one 3 inches and it is really too short as it does not glide over the ram rod pipe inlets without a wobble.  It works fine, but you need to be careful around the pipe inlets.  A longer guide bar would just make the tool that much easier to use.  I will update this one and show it when I get it done.  And also, I made the first version of this out of wood.  I cut a 6 inch piece of 3/8" hickory ram rod, filed the dovetail slot in it, and made a hardwood dovetail cross bar out of scrap maple.  I drilled and tapped the 6-32 holes for the clamp screws right into the maple.  If you didn't want to make one out of metal (brass or aluminum or steel), it would be better to do this out of hard plastic.  The threaded holes for the clamp screws would last much longer than they will in maple.
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2020, 05:05:24 PM »
Dave, anytime you might consider making some of these, consider me a buyer.

Offline ohidan

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2020, 05:42:44 PM »
Very interesting tool I would be interested in purchasing one myself.
ohidan

Offline BOB HILL

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2020, 07:12:25 PM »
Put me on your list if you decide to make some to sell.
Bob
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Offline davec2

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2020, 09:52:40 AM »
Longer version works much more smoothly as it passes over the ram rod pipe inlets.......









I really don't have the time to make any of these for sale, but if I do get time later I will let you guys know.  Making a certain number of these and similar tools is sometimes fun but, on average, I end up working for for darn little per hour of effort.  I'd probably be better off trading this stuff for a chicken....or a bushel of apples.... :o ;) :)
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline J. Talbert

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2020, 06:14:40 PM »
Dave,
Slick little tool,... As are all your tools.

Do you turn the little knurled stop screws yourself?

Jeff
There are no solutions.  There are only trade-offs.”
Thomas Sowell

smokepole45cal

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2020, 08:31:02 PM »
The dovetailing looks perfect unlike mine that always seems to have dips in bottom flats. Did you machine cut those dovetails in the round bar and the perpendicular bar?

I can dovetail the round bar by hand but need to figure out how to cut the flat bar dovetail.

Offline davec2

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2020, 08:53:39 PM »
J. Talbert - I sometimes make specialized stop screws but these little knurled screws I bought from McMaster Carr.

Smokepole - Yes, I machined the dovetails on both parts on a mill.  As I noted in another post, both parts could be made out of hard plastic and you could use a "T" slot arrangement rather than a dovetail.  If you have access to a table saw, the "T" shape on the cross bar would be easy to do and then you could cut the side slots in the round piece with a hand file or saw blade.  Or you could make up the "T" shaped cross bar by gluing two pieces together, one wider than the other.
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline J. Talbert

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2020, 05:32:49 AM »
Dave,
Thanks for the info.

Jeff
There are no solutions.  There are only trade-offs.”
Thomas Sowell

smokepole45cal

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2020, 05:54:27 PM »
 you could use a "T" slot arrangement rather than a dovetail.  If you have access to a table saw, the "T" shape on the cross bar would be easy to do and then you could cut the side slots in the round piece with a hand file or saw blade.  Or you could make up the "T" shaped cross bar by gluing two pieces together, one wider than the other.
[/quote]

Trying to translate this into a visual of the hard plastic T-shape crossbar concept you describe. Do you mean a flat piece of hard plastic dovetailed perpendicular and fitted into the round piece?

Offline davec2

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2020, 08:33:05 PM »
Smokepole - here are a couple of sketches that might help.  The tool I made has a dovetail slot milled perpendicular to the axis of the 3/8" brass rod and a matching male dovetail cross bar.  You could do this with a hand file, but it might take a while.  The "T" slot option would be easier to make by hand in hard plastic.  Rather than the dovetail slot, you could cut out a straight sided cut out in the 3/8 rod and then, with a file or piece of a saw blade, make two horizontal slots at the bottom of that cut out.  To make a matching cross bar, you could cut two flat pieces of plastic, one wider than the other, and carefully glue them together.  Hope this helps... :)




"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

smokepole45cal

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2020, 10:02:48 PM »
Thank you sir. Yes it is worth a try!

Offline gumboman

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2020, 03:30:24 PM »
Great tool Dave. I would like to buy one also if you can make them for sale.

Offline flehto

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2020, 04:11:31 PM »
Now that's a handy  tool that not only cuts the edge of the molding but also contours the face of the  molding. Years ago I made a similar tool that's pictured in Buchele's book and have used in on all but one of my builds.....only use it to outline the molding and shape the molding's contour w/ chisels.  The arm that holds the cutter {set screw} has to be installed on the other end to completely cut the molding's outline on both sides.   Your tool makes this a lot easier.

Was wondering if using a rod dia that would fit into the RR hole would  eliminate any changeover of the cutting head and still track accurately in the RR groove?

Your tool not only does an excellent job but the tool itself looks "professional"......Fred




Offline bowkill

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2020, 10:33:36 PM »
Got me one started in aluminum. Have some of the bits but they are the larger 1\4 shank size.. May look around for a smaller size before I drill the holes.

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Offline davec2

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2020, 02:45:16 AM »
Bowkill,

You can get the standard 3/32" shank burrs that I use at places like Rio Grande and Gesswein.  Ron is using 1/8" shank burrs that are also available from many sources.  Either would be easier to use than the 1/4" shank type.
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline bowkill

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Re: New Ram Rod Channel Molding Tool
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2020, 02:55:55 AM »
Yes I think I will look for some 1\8 ones. Thanks
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