Author Topic: Goof ups in building.  (Read 1579 times)

Offline oldtravler61

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Goof ups in building.
« on: May 14, 2022, 01:31:37 AM »
  Not sure where this should go.  BUT admit it What's the dumbest thing you ever did when building a gun ?  Kit or scratch build...
  Ok I'll go first: ( my idea so only fare )
 About twenty plus years ago I was doing a kit. The kit had the lock inlet an barrel pretty much done. Except the barrel wasn't tapped quite right. I had a half inch breach plug but the breach was tapped well over one inch long.
 Well that was an easy fix I thought. Just cut the barrel shorter to match the length of the breach plug.. Pure genius I thought .
Forgetting the fact that the barrel an lock already inlet.  Except for the fact that it put the touch hole way out of line with the pan on the lock inlet. It's called learning right...?
  Oldtravler
 

Offline Stoner creek

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2022, 02:02:32 AM »
 I made a gun one time for a feller who was a plumb “A-hole”..
 Was that a mistake???
Remember what got us here.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2022, 02:04:41 AM »
This is a great thread for those of us who wish to admit their mortality.
I've built a lot of rifles, cut my own barrel channels and drilled my own ramrod holes on most of them, all without a single problem - almost!  For my own personal Hawken build, I acquired a piece of the hardest maple God has produced to date, from Tom Curran in NY State.  It was so heavy that I thought it must not be dry, so I checked the SG with my meter and it showed ~ 10%.  Still thinking the wood would lose more moisture, I set it aside for several more months, weighing it every month end, and it didn't lose any weight.  So I inlet the barrel, tang and breech, triggers, lock, etc and shaped the stock.  When I drill rod holes in half stocked rifles, I use the barrel pipes on the under-rib to guide the drill, in this case, a 1/2" brad point drill that I've used successfully many times.  With everything set up perfectly, I started the bit into the end grain maple...I was amazed at how hard drilling it was.  No problem, just lean on the drill a little harder - right?  About two inches from home, I discovered the bit working it's way through the off side of the forestock just ahead of the lock panel.  Naturally I stopped drilling, and assessed my predicament.  As you might imagine, the temperature in the shop went to boiling, and the air was blue from the conversation I was having with myself.  So I carefully used chisels and scrapers at the entrance hole to move the drill in the direction I needed it to go, and started over.  Within minutes I drilled through the bottom of the stock only inches behind the entry pipe area.  I said, hmmmmmmm!
This time, I left the shop for several hours while I attempted to calm down.  Finally, I decided I didn't want to waste the stock - special from Tom, beautiful wood, etc., so I took a 1/2" hickory ramrod, slathered it with wood glue, and slid it into the hole.  When it had cured, I cut off the hickory, flattened the end where the drill must start, and set up my 1/2" TRACK OF THE WOLF RAMROD HOLE DRILL, and started over.  This drilling went smoothly and easily, and the bit stayed right down the centre of the forestock, ending directly under the forward extension of the trigger plate, just as it was supposed to the first time. Now I had two holes to plug, so I took wood that I'd cut from the stock during the bandsawing phase and checked grain and figure orientation, cutting two plugs with rounded ends.  I inlet these plugs into the holes I'd created, and finished the rifle like normal.  This rifle is a personal piece and I have no intention of selling it, so I get to live with these glaring mistakes for the rest of my life. 
I learned my lesson and admit that I'm a mere mortal.  I have my feet set firmly on the ground.  I do love the rifle though, just the same.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline Cory Joe Stewart

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2022, 02:54:45 AM »
I attached an underlug to the wrong flat once.  But just once.

Cory Joe

Offline David Rase

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2022, 03:10:43 AM »
I have the only percussion rifle featured in American Pioneer Video's Contemporary Kentucky Rifles, and it is a Bedford to boot!
David

Offline sdilts

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2022, 03:15:39 AM »
Was building a left hand percussion rifle and for whatever reason (force of habit I guess) drilled the hole for the drum on the right side of the barrel. Not one of my finer moments.

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2022, 03:19:06 AM »
I have never made a mistake.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Bill Raby

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2022, 03:22:41 AM »
   I get my screw ups on video. Figure out what I did wrong, what I should have done differently, then how to fix it. Hopefully it helps someone else.

Offline oldtravler61

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2022, 03:32:35 AM »
  Just remember this is for mortals who do make mistakes...lol
  Oldtravler

Offline smoke and flames

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2022, 04:56:35 AM »
A very talented engraver once said."I never make a mistake,...I do however have lapses of better judgement"

Offline HighUintas

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2022, 07:16:19 AM »
This is a great thread for those of us who wish to admit their mortality.
I've built a lot of rifles, cut my own barrel channels and drilled my own ramrod holes on most of them, all without a single problem - almost!  For my own personal Hawken build, I acquired a piece of the hardest maple God has produced to date, from Tom Curran in NY State.  It was so heavy that I thought it must not be dry, so I checked the SG with my meter and it showed ~ 10%.  Still thinking the wood would lose more moisture, I set it aside for several more months, weighing it every month end, and it didn't lose any weight.  So I inlet the barrel, tang and breech, triggers, lock, etc and shaped the stock.  When I drill rod holes in half stocked rifles, I use the barrel pipes on the under-rib to guide the drill, in this case, a 1/2" brad point drill that I've used successfully many times.  With everything set up perfectly, I started the bit into the end grain maple...I was amazed at how hard drilling it was.  No problem, just lean on the drill a little harder - right?  About two inches from home, I discovered the bit working it's way through the off side of the forestock just ahead of the lock panel.  Naturally I stopped drilling, and assessed my predicament.  As you might imagine, the temperature in the shop went to boiling, and the air was blue from the conversation I was having with myself.  So I carefully used chisels and scrapers at the entrance hole to move the drill in the direction I needed it to go, and started over.  Within minutes I drilled through the bottom of the stock only inches behind the entry pipe area.  I said, hmmmmmmm!
This time, I left the shop for several hours while I attempted to calm down.  Finally, I decided I didn't want to waste the stock - special from Tom, beautiful wood, etc., so I took a 1/2" hickory ramrod, slathered it with wood glue, and slid it into the hole.  When it had cured, I cut off the hickory, flattened the end where the drill must start, and set up my 1/2" TRACK OF THE WOLF RAMROD HOLE DRILL, and started over.  This drilling went smoothly and easily, and the bit stayed right down the centre of the forestock, ending directly under the forward extension of the trigger plate, just as it was supposed to the first time. Now I had two holes to plug, so I took wood that I'd cut from the stock during the bandsawing phase and checked grain and figure orientation, cutting two plugs with rounded ends.  I inlet these plugs into the holes I'd created, and finished the rifle like normal.  This rifle is a personal piece and I have no intention of selling it, so I get to live with these glaring mistakes for the rest of my life. 
I learned my lesson and admit that I'm a mere mortal.  I have my feet set firmly on the ground.  I do love the rifle though, just the same.

I'm curious Taylor, what would you say is the major mistake you made? I'm extraordinarily green, so your mistake isn't as obvious to me as the result of the mistake.

Offline Tacitus

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2022, 07:55:04 AM »
I never make mistakes. I thought I had once, but I was mistaken.

Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2022, 11:04:39 AM »
On my first rifle from a blank, some 20 years ago, I placed the rear lock bolt through the locks left upper bridal screw hole.  I had to drill and tap the bridal and lock plate to facilitate my 8-32 lock bolt.  Using a large Siler lock, that rifle still performs very well all these years later.

On the same piece, I bedded the barrel using Acra-glass gel.  Darn thing locked up and the barrel stayed in place for 10 years before I left it out in my hunting shack in sub zero Michigan weather during hunting season. At seasons end while cleaning I removed the barrel pins and gave it another try to release it. WA LA!! Out it came!

I had been planning to write a bucket list article titled "Confessions of a Wayward Gunstocker" but with this post I can now just move on with the remaining time ahead!  Thanks for this golden opportunity!    ;D
Joel Hall

Offline smart dog

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2022, 01:30:58 PM »
Hi,
My worst mistake was inletting a barrel in a fine piece of curly, but brittle, maple really tightly.  When I tried to remove the barrel, which I had tapped in with a mallet, I could not get it to drop out by tapping the bottom of the stock.  In desperation, I pried it out from the muzzle and snapped the stock in two at the step for the rear ramrod pipe.  The stock was salvaged for a half stocked gun.  I don't inlet barrels that tightly anymore because there is no need.

dave
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Offline L. Akers

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2022, 02:38:44 PM »
I had a pair of locks I was planning to use on a double flint shotgun and a different lock for a flint flint rifle I was working on.  I spent a Saturday inletting the lock on the rifle, congratulating myself on a good job when I finished.  That night while showering I came to the sudden realization I had put the wrong lock on the rifle.  I had inlet one of the shotgun locks instead of the one intended for the rifle.  Had to buy another lock for the shotgun.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2022, 06:47:24 PM »
I never make mistakes. I thought I had once, but I was mistaken.

So  you have made at least one mistake. You admitted it.
Daryl

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Offline BarryE

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2022, 06:54:47 PM »
I used the wrong stock profile template to saw out the lovely blank for a fine rifle Thankfully, it was close enough so that with a bit of manipulation it will be ok but I almost had a stroke when I realized what I had done.  And yes, there was lightning and thunder with a blue haze in the shop.

Offline ed lundquist

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2022, 07:10:37 PM »
Had a router bit get loose and ruin a barrel channel, stupid mistake. Won't use a router anymore. Never let a bit bottom out in the collet.

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2022, 07:19:02 PM »
 Back in the mid '80s I just had to try a Dremel to inlet a lock. In the blink of an eye the stock was ruined. The Dremel...is probably still about 60 feet up in a Loblolly pine in Chesterfield Co. Va.

    Tim C.
     

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2022, 08:33:02 PM »
HigUnitas:  My mistake was assuming the brad point drill would cut in a straight line, not flex and drill in an unknown direction.  Frankly, I'm still amazed that that 1/2" steel drill bit bent out of true by so much, but it sure did.
The TOW deep hole drill is a solid 1/2" shaft with a milled cutting flute that is much less susceptible to flexing.

And I've got another one:

Years ago, I was commissioned by the wife of a good friend to build a rifle for her husband as an anniversary gift.  I had the specs that my friend was interested in having had conversations around this rifle many times previous.  He wanted a J. Henry trade rifle in flint with good wood.  So I built the rifle, took payment and presented my work.  It was perfect, except for the fact that he wanted it in left hand.  I refunded their cash and luckily for me, found a new buyer for my rifle right away.  The couple cancelled their order for the left hand Henry rifle.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline ed lundquist

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2022, 08:48:23 PM »
Ouch, at least it wasn't for the President.

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2022, 09:09:59 PM »
I got too much in a hurry and too cocky using a rip cut to narrow the forestock and i got a little bit inside my line--too far to shape it back out completely.  Almost did, but not completely.  It serves as a reminder to measure twice, and ALSO keep an eye on both sides of the work when things are not squared/plumb. Most of the other mistakes I've been able to cover over without much fuss.

If I were to face that situation again, I'd slab it off flat and glue in another bit of wood, then reshape properly.
Hold to the Wind

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2022, 09:34:49 PM »
I was going to cut the blank for a 13 &1/4 inch pull so marked the blank 1/4 inch off the13 inch mark on the ruler, after cutting I realized there are two places on the ruler 1/4 inch away from the 13 inch mark, before and after. I ended up with a 12 & 3/4 inch pull. - >:(

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2022, 09:55:07 PM »
The few ,maybe 10 that I have made were all  a series of interlocking mistakes but they all worked and shot well.Like Taylor,my hardest one was a walnut half stock and the walnut supposedly came out of Russia.It was beautiful and about as hard as the barrrel I used from Bill Large but I got it done and was pleased with the results.I got that walnut from a man who made modern rifles and decided on no more made from planks and got some from maker of semi finished ones. Bishop?? This was in 1959 and I think the gun might still be in Lexington,Ky. I am not a good builder and all of them were far from what I had hope for but all were useful.One was semi finished, a tiger
striped maple half stock 50 caliber that was shootable but the man that got it was Bob Hunt who did make a good looking gun from it.
Bob was  teacher in Tn.or maybe NC and passed away years ago from cancer.Now there is another 50 callber walnut half stock and I have parts for a lock from L&R,the externals for their Late English lock that I was going to make with the same parts as the Twigg from years ago.
This has been laying around for about 12 years.My best rifle was a long range 451 and I used a precarve from Don Brown that was about 80%done and it made a good looking rifle.I sold it in 2003 or 04.
Bob Roller
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 10:32:07 PM by Bob Roller »

Offline Berksrifle

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Re: Goof ups in building.
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2022, 02:55:41 AM »
Remember, gun builders don't make mistakes, they make changes!

Ken