Author Topic: hickory patch box lid spring  (Read 1257 times)

Offline Dale Halterman

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2513
hickory patch box lid spring
« on: February 18, 2021, 02:46:54 PM »
Been amusing myself by rereading notes I took at various seminars at Dixon's over the years.

Came across a note from a seminar given by Brian LeMaster on patch boxes. In it he made the remark that he had seen lid springs made of hickory. That's it all I wrote. No other details.

Thinking about it, I could see a sliding cover with a hickory spring, but that's about it.

Has anyone here ever seen a rifle with such a spring? I have a plain rifle on the bench right now and the idea of installing a sliding wood cover with a wooden spring intrigues me. Looking for an historical precedent.

Thanks

Dale H

Offline BOB HILL

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1730
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2021, 04:47:13 PM »
I have a Jack Hubbard gun with a hickory spring. Jack may chime in with reference to where he saw it.
Bob
South Carolina Lowcountry

Offline homerifle

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 176
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2021, 06:38:44 PM »
Dale, I have heard of that too. I have seen it on early furniture drawers and hidden compartments. If your going to use that on your lid maybe consider using wooden keys. I have had a few rifles over the years using those. I thing they work well and they're pretty neat looking. 
« Last Edit: February 18, 2021, 07:23:01 PM by homerifle »

Offline Dale Halterman

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2513
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2021, 10:48:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies so far, guys.

Bob, does the rifle you are referring to have a sliding box lid?

Homey, are you referring to using wood keys to hold the barrel in place? If so, it is a neat idea but the barrel is already secured using steel pins. I am wondering if the wooden keys in the rifles you had were replacements.

Dale H

Offline bama

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1586
    • Calvary Longrifles
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2021, 03:07:03 PM »
I have come across a few original rifles that had wooden keys. At the time I thought they were replacements. Very difficult to remove without damaging them so I donít think that they were original work but field replacements. None off the wooden keys had a head and were driven in to hold tightly and be not easily removed.
Jim Parker

"An Honest Man is worth his weight in Gold"

Offline homerifle

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 176
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2021, 06:13:37 PM »
Over the years of handling and collecting, I won't say "you never see" this on a rifle or what ever gun you are observing.  In some cases wooden keys may have been used on the original build and in some cases maybe field replacements.

Offline BOB HILL

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1730
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2021, 07:07:32 AM »
Yes the rifle has a sliding wooden patchbox.
Bob
South Carolina Lowcountry

Offline thecapgunkid

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Matthew 25:40
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2021, 03:38:26 PM »
Can we get a picture of this?  Very interesting...

Offline BOB HILL

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1730
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2021, 04:07:23 PM »
My grandsons will send some pictures of the Hubbard spring.
Bob
South Carolina Lowcountry

Offline Robert Hill

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2021, 04:08:53 PM »
Iíve got the pictures of the Hubbard gun patch box right here.
-Robert









Offline Dale Halterman

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2513
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2021, 05:34:57 PM »
Thank you, guys.

I may just try that on my rifle. Not planning on a butt plate, but I can just square of the end of the cavity let the spring catch there.

Dale H

Offline t.caster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3339
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2021, 06:08:11 PM »
That's pretty neat and simple. I'll have to try that!
Tom C.

Offline homerifle

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 176
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2021, 06:41:32 PM »
Nice! Thanks for posting pictures!

Offline thecapgunkid

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Matthew 25:40
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2021, 06:27:16 PM »
Thanks.  this is really interesting.

Offline Levy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 640
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2021, 06:49:58 PM »
Some of the matchlock muskets that I worked on from shipwrecks had the barrels held in with round wooden pins.  James Levy
James Levy

Online flinchrocket

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1212
  • 2/14 ACR 69-71
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2021, 07:34:52 PM »
Some of the matchlock muskets that I worked on from shipwrecks had the barrels held in with round wooden pins.  James Levy
About what diameter were the pins? Thanks

Offline BOB HILL

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1730
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2021, 09:50:06 PM »
Jack Hubbard called me this morning and told me the wooden patchbox spring idea came from a gun Art Riser had that Eric Kettenburg made.
Bob
South Carolina Lowcountry

Offline Dale Halterman

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2513
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2021, 04:34:07 AM »
Thank you, Bob.

I just sent Eric a PM asking where he got the idea.

Dale H

Offline thecapgunkid

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Matthew 25:40
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2021, 12:45:03 PM »
If making one out of hickory, does it have to be green wood, or at least only dried so far?

Offline Marcruger

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2781
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2021, 04:27:22 PM »
That is a very clean design.  I liked it from the time you showed it to me Bob. 

Online rich pierce

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14947
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2021, 05:11:43 PM »
If making one out of hickory, does it have to be green wood, or at least only dried so far?
From a hobby bow making perspective, it needs to be seasoned. It just needs to be set up with some pre-load like any spring does.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Dale Halterman

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2513
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2021, 07:45:46 PM »
OK, so here are the relevant parts of the PM exchange I had with Eric over the last few days:

Me:
I asked a question a few days ago if anyone had seen original rifles with hickory patch box springs. Bob Hill says he saw a gun you had built with such a spring. I am considering one for a rifle I am building and I am wondering if there is an historical precedent. Can you tell me where you got the idea?

Eric:
Dale I'm going to have to go back and look through my pictures and notes because honestly I don't remember making one!  I do remember seeing an assumed southern gun (unsigned and somewhat generic) many years ago with a box that I believe was added later (it was not a particularly early gun, maybe 1790s) and the box had a sliver of wood believed to be hickory acting as a somewhat crude spring.  I don't think I was able to take pictures but I'll check.  I think the box was an 'owner add on' to what was originally not much more than a shimmel type gun and whether the wood spring was original to the add-on box or if it was an even later replacement for a broken/missing iron spring, I couldn't say.

Me:
I was wondering about the wisdom of a professional gunsmith using a wooden spring as opposed to steel. But I could see a backwoods tinker replacing a broken steel spring with hickory as you suggested. Do you recall if the gun you saw had a butt plate?

Eric:
The old gun I examined only had a piece of strap iron wrapped around the heel.  Like the box, that also may have been secondary.  The thing was so beat that it was very hard to determine what may have been original and what may have been added secondarily.

 I'm looking through my photo archives but so far I have not found the old rifle I mentioned.  But I've got a ways to go yet!  I think someone brought it to Dixons one year @ 2000 or 2001.

Offline Daryl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10021
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2021, 09:28:50 PM »
If making one out of hickory, does it have to be green wood, or at least only dried so far?

I've made a number of hickory bows out of adz handles and other implement handles from the hardware store.  These were all kiln dried, I assume.
Spliced at the handles, of course.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline BOB HILL

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1730
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2021, 03:06:40 AM »
Correction the gun I saw with wooden patchbox spring was a gun I own by Jack Hubbard. Jack said he got the idea from a gun he thought Eric had made.
Sorry if I caused any confusion. I also saw an antique wooden box one time with a sliding lid and a wooden catch much like the pictured spring on my gun.
Bob
South Carolina Lowcountry

Offline Mike New

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
Re: hickory patch box lid spring
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2021, 12:23:45 AM »
I also have a rifle made by Mr. Hubbard with a wooden spring. Itís much like Mr. Hills.