Author Topic: Questions on a blank build  (Read 1324 times)

Offline Wingshot

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Questions on a blank build
« on: February 02, 2023, 02:20:43 AM »
So Iím at a point now with my SMR build where the swamped barrel, breech and tang are inletted. Iíve no drilled the ramrod hole yet and Iím asking, should I trim the sides of the barrel from the blank which is still at full width (2-3/4Ē? Maybe) down to within say 3/16 of finished surface? Should I then install the lugs and pin the barrel before moving on to the ramrod hole and lock? Appreciate any tips.

Offline davebozell

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2023, 02:38:22 AM »
Drill your ramrod hole while you have plenty of wood to support your drill.  Itís easy to thin the wood after it is drilled.  I drill ramrod holes as soon as the barrel is inletted.

Online brushyspoons

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2023, 02:59:47 AM »
I have only drilled one ramrod hole so take this advice as you may, but I would wait to trim the sides of the stock. It's good to have plenty of surface area for the wooden bearing blocks used to keep the ramrod drill in its channel. I put the barrel in its channel while drilling, I figured it could help prevent the thin upper forearm from flexing while I was turning my hand brace.
Phil

Offline Wingshot

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2023, 03:16:23 AM »
Leaving the wood makes sense especially now that Iím visualizing the bearing blocks. Thanks!

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2023, 03:23:20 AM »
Wingshot you can actually do it in about any sequence. I've even drilled the ramrod hole before inletting the barrel and it worked fine. Take a look at your layout available tools workspace and plan a path forward.

Be as precise as possible on the ramrod groove because drill bits go in the direction they're pointed!
Dan

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Offline Wingshot

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2023, 04:07:35 AM »
High value advice given here, no question. While I have your ears, Iím using a 40Ē .50 cal. Rice Southern Classic barrel. Iíve been questioning cutting dovetail slots for the lugs and my own opinion is to dovetail the one closest to the muzzle and the one closest to the breech. Silver solder the lug in the near center?

Offline oldtravler61

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2023, 05:11:56 PM »
  Only thing I will add is go slow with your drill.  Cut a couple inches or less back the drill out and drill again. That way your drill will not wander on you.
Well usually....lol

Offline c deperro

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2023, 06:12:43 PM »
Leave your as thick as you can. Its less likely to run off. I've put ram rod holes in after the barrel is in and before the barrel goes in. I now do the ramrod hole first. It's easier to get the web thickness that you want.

Offline J. Talbert

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2023, 06:56:30 PM »
High value advice given here, no question. While I have your ears, Iím using a 40Ē .50 cal. Rice Southern Classic barrel. Iíve been questioning cutting dovetail slots for the lugs and my own opinion is to dovetail the one closest to the muzzle and the one closest to the breech. Silver solder the lug in the near center?
Your dovetails only need to be .030Ē thick.  If you keep them that thin youíll have no problem dovetailing all the lugs. 
If soldering the lugs I would agree they should be soft soldered at lower temps rather than silver soldered.
Jeff
« Last Edit: February 03, 2023, 01:40:35 AM by J. Talbert »
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Offline mgbruch

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2023, 09:17:07 PM »
My two cents.  Iím currently on gun number ten from a blank; so I feel like I might actually know what Iím doing one of these days.

Leave all the wood while you drill.

I keep my drill bit lightly lubed with beeswax.  And I only drill about Ĺ inch before withdrawing the bit to clear out the chips.  Itís important to keep the bit from wandering.  Once I get 3 inches drilled, I drill 1/16Ē feeler holes in the bottom center of the barrel channel (about every inch and a half) as I progress.  They allow me to monitor the web thickness and any wandering.  In ten guns from a blank, I've only had to finish the ramrod groove from the barrel channel on one of my early guns.  All other ramrod holes have ended up within 1/16" of where they're supposed to... if they're off at all.

You didnít mention your ramrod groove.  For me, the key to a successful ramrod hole is a precise ramrod groove.  Centered, straight (no high or low spots), with precise web dimensions all along the groove.

I donít know what others do; but I donít install barrel lugs and pins until my trigger plate is in and the tang bolt installed.  So, for my sequence, thereís a lot of work between the barrel and tang and the barrel lugs.

Offline heinz

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2023, 12:20:03 AM »
Wingshot,  I would not silver solder the middle lug.  Applying high heat to a short section of the barrel  can do things to the barrel that will make your barrel maker flinch.  You should have no trouble with a shallow dovetail.  If you are really worried want you are in a thin spot restrict your soldering to sort solder, using a soldering iron.

Good barrel makers are very careful not to introduce any stresses into those long whippy barrels when they are drilling and cutting rifling. Bringing a small section up to red heat is potentially a way to put new stresses in.
kind regards, heinz

Offline Wingshot

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2023, 12:52:22 AM »
Iím really glad I consulted you all and Iím grateful for the sage wisdom being shared. Iím really glad to hear that dovetailing can be done safely because I wasnít keen on putting a torch to the barrel. (I wouldíve called Jason first, either way). Iím going to focus on getting that ramrod groove dead nuts and then follow the drilling advice. Iíll be sure to post progress and hopefully pics as I move along. Right now Iím just thrilled I got the barrel and tang done and it honestly went and looks good.

Offline L. Akers

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2023, 07:43:54 PM »
Wingshot, I noticed no one answered your first question so here is my advice.  Do not do any dimensional changes to the plank until all parts inletting and hole drilling is done.  It is a lot easier to drill holes while the plank is still "in the square" and surfaces are in the same plane.

Offline Wingshot

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2023, 11:12:07 PM »
Wingshot, I noticed no one answered your first question so here is my advice.  Do not do any dimensional changes to the plank until all parts inletting and hole drilling is done.  It is a lot easier to drill holes while the plank is still "in the square" and surfaces are in the same plane.

Thanks for mentioning and fortunately Iím mindful of that. My Journey began by watching Bill Rabyís video series on the Tennessee rifle he built and it became clear to me that working from flat, squared surfaces allows for precision (or as close as one can get with anything wood) as well as wiggle room getting components in proper orientation.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2023, 10:54:47 PM by Wingshot »

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2023, 04:51:32 PM »
Straying a little off course from the topic (the thread is interesting and got my curiosity up) but I had seen rifles where the ramrod hole was milled out from the bottom of the barrel channel. (Probably on a factory made product, but I believe one example was where the drilled hole was going way off course).  Was this approach done in earlier times? I am even wondering if the top of routed hole could be patched over with a glued spline to strengthen it.
Just conjecture, but interested in any pros and cons.

Offline Clark Badgett

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2023, 10:16:20 PM »
Straying a little off course from the topic (the thread is interesting and got my curiosity up) but I had seen rifles where the ramrod hole was milled out from the bottom of the barrel channel. (Probably on a factory made product, but I believe one example was where the drilled hole was going way off course).  Was this approach done in earlier times? I am even wondering if the top of routed hole could be patched over with a glued spline to strengthen it.
Just conjecture, but interested in any pros and cons.
There is really nothing new under the sun. If we have thought of it, someone way in the past probably did as well. At least within basic problem solving anyway.
Psalms 144

Offline Wingshot

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2023, 11:35:05 PM »
I used a straight chisel to cut in just inside my layout lines and used a gouge to hog out the bulk of the wood. I then stoned a scraper blade that came with a $20 set I got from HD and went to work with it. Worked surprisingly well. Still got a little ways to go yet




Offline rich pierce

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2023, 06:06:09 PM »
Wingshot , that scraper gives me ideas. Thanks.
Andover, Vermont

Offline mgbruch

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Re: Questions on a blank build
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2023, 09:21:50 PM »
Here's my ramrod groove scraper, that I made out of an old screwdriver.  The scraper is just under 3/8" and I use it in conjunction with a 3/8" round rasp.  I also have a 3/8: round rasp that I broke the taper off; which allows me to rasp right up to where the groove runs into the stock.