Author Topic: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build  (Read 11027 times)

Offline Curtis

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #100 on: June 10, 2024, 08:07:50 AM »
Hi Curtis, I’m enjoying seeing your work. I’m a tool junkie and your screw driver brace looks cool and probably works as good as it looks. Thanks for the three square file tip.
Cheers Richard

You may have noticed I am a tool junkie myself!  I admit I "paid up" a premium for the torque driver brace, but once I saw it I just had to have it.  The good news is it works even better than it looks!

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 flatsguide

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #101 on: June 10, 2024, 02:06:47 PM »
I bet you did pay a “premium”, that ordnance mark looks like it was stamped yesterday.
Cheers Richard

Offline Curtis

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #102 on: June 16, 2024, 07:14:14 AM »
At this point in my build I decided to make a slight architectural modification to the rifle - mind you very slight however any architectural changes should be made as early as possible in a build, no matter how minor.  You can't really see it in this photo, but I could see it at a certain angle and could certainly feel it when I ran my hands across the wrist.  There was a slight raised area on both sides of the tang that I couldn't get to go away without getting into the tang itself.  It bothered me so much I had to do something about it whether it was a real problem or not.



My only solution at this stage of the game was to lower the back end of the tang slightly, in order to give me more wood to work with, but not significantly change the visual profile of the wrist. I started about halfway down the tang, and removed wood in a gentle slope to a depth of about a 16th of an inch just behind the rear tang bolt.





That doesn't sound like much, however after draw filing the wood back level with the tang you can see how much wood it gave me to work with in re-shaping the wrist.





While I was in the area I did some work on the comb transition area:



And here is a close-up of the re-shaped tang/wrist area.





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: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #103 on: June 16, 2024, 07:25:02 AM »
It's time now to finish cleanup on the cheek.  The cheek has been pretty well shaped except for the very edge and where it meets the buttstock.  I want a slight molding in this area so I mark the line with a pencil, then slide my roll-stabbing tool carefully along the line (the shape of the tool resists following the grain if used with care).









Next I use the same tool to carefully trim wood in the transition area:





I work back and forth some from the top and side until I achieve the desired results!







Thank for looking, Curtis

Next up....  I think I can see STARS!  8)
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 Steeltrap

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #104 on: June 16, 2024, 02:17:17 PM »
Nice work!  I had a similar hump on my last build & did exactly what you did to fix it. The work was worth it.

Online t.caster

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #105 on: June 17, 2024, 05:17:53 PM »
Great pics of your project! I am seeing many new/old ways to "skin the cat!" I always like to watch how other people use there chisels & etc.
Tom C.

Offline Curtis

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #106 on: June 23, 2024, 07:45:38 AM »
Thanks for your comments, Tom and Steeltrap! 

Now onward to the stars...
The Medina Hawken had I believe nine iron stars inlaid in the buttstock, five on the box side and four on the cheek side.  I like the looks of the stars on the Medina rifle,  but decided to use just three silver stars for this project.  I am using silver dimes to fashion the stars, and in order to facilitate filing the visible side of the coin flat I made a shallow inlet in a scrap of maple.  I filed the coin flat, then drew the star design on the silver.





Then the stars are cut using a jeweler's saw.







And then cleaned up in with a file in a hand vice, as well as filing a draft in the inlays.





I decided on the layout and position of the inlays, traced them with a pencil and began inletting the first star.







Next I center punch the inlay.  Then using a drill bit in a in vice, I drill a small hole through the inlay, then a smaller hole in the stock a third of an inch or so, then chamfer (or countersink) the hole deep enough that I won't file through it later.  (I jumped from one inlay the the next as I forgot to take a couple of photos in sequence on the first one):









Then I cut a sliver of coin silver to use as a nail, and using a punch I drive it down as far as it wants to go:









If the nail is too tall I will file it down a bit.  Next I wan to peen the nail so it spreads and fills the countersink.  One way to get it to mushroom quickly it to use a center punch.







Once the mushrooming process is started I use a rounded face punch to finish the job, and file the remaining hump flat.







Then proceed to the next inlay, then on to the last.









Whew!  Now I'm really seeing stars!!!  8)

Next I will finally install that neglected trigger guard...

Thanks for looking, 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 David Rase

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #107 on: June 23, 2024, 08:02:46 AM »
Curtis,
I appreciate the tutorial on inlaying the stars.  I have always used silver wire, melted a bead on the end and then formed it in metal plate with a wire size hole and countersink.  IIRC, that was a John Bivin's technique.  I like how you used a wedge of silver and were able to mushroom it out.  Looks to me to be a lot stronger fastening method.  I am going to give that a try on the wrist inlay on my Woodbury tribute rifle.

R/David

Offline Curtis

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #108 on: June 23, 2024, 08:22:17 AM »
Dave, I have done silver inlays both ways, and think I like the wedge method best.  It takes some practice getting the wedge sized correctly and a bit more effort to peen it down but it seems to make for a really solid fastening technique.  You can even file serrations on the wedge, however I feel if you cut the wedge with snips they leave some pretty decent serrations to facilitate grip.

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

Online Bob Roller

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #109 on: June 25, 2024, 02:50:51 AM »
That looks like the star inlays on the Modena Hawken,Tom Dawson's copy had the same drop in the stock as the original and when I shot it in the FIRST Hawken march on the primitive range at Friendship I got a fat lip from it.You have a good job going and I know I am not the only one waiting to see the finished rifle.
Bob Roller

Offline Curtis

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #110 on: June 25, 2024, 06:45:21 AM »
It's great to hear from you Bob!  The patchbox is the same and the stars are similar to the Modena Hawken, however the architecture (drop, comb height etc.) on this rifle is quite a bit different so I'm hoping it is not a jaw (or lip!) buster.

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 Curtis

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #111 on: June 25, 2024, 07:25:11 AM »
I was planning on posting the trigger guard next, however in vein of Dave thinking about trying the inlay inlay technique I posted for the silver stars, I thought I would post another silver inlay and expand on the technique just a tad, adding another tip or two that may be helpful.

First I pounded a quarter out enough to thin it quite a bit, cut it to match a paper pattern I made ti fit the stock, and bent it around a pipe using a hose clamp and a little pounding.



After filing a draft on the inlay (excepting the flat part that butts up to the buttplate) I lay it in place, added some location indicator marks, then scribe around it.  Notice the inlay is bent a little tighter than the curve of the comb, as the surface of the comb will become smaller as I cut away wood.



I stab in the scribe lines and then start the wood removal.





Once the inlay is down to the proper level, I prep the holes as shown in my previous post, and partially drive in one wedge, then start the other.  The one it the front is off center to help avoid engraving through it later. I alternate back and forth between the two wedges until they are down.  A broken firing pin from a trapdoor rifle is shaped just right and works great for peening out the wedge!







Next I prep two more holes and start driving in the wedges.



I find that while a wedge is still tall, it holding it firmly loosely with needle-nose pliers can help keep it from bending.  As the wedge goes down, slide the pliers back so more wedge is exposed.  When the wedge no longer wants to drive down, I cut the wedge off leaving an eighth to 3/16" or so, file the top flat and drive it a bit more with a punch, leaving enough to peen out and fill the countersink.











Then I start filing the excess silver off, file the inlay smooth and hit it with some sandpaper.











Thanks for looking! 
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 Curtis

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #112 on: July 02, 2024, 08:15:55 AM »
It's time to get that trigger guard installed now!  The guard could have (and perhaps should have) been installed long ago, however I find I have a lot more options for holding a rifle in a vice when the guard is off the rifle and the triggers removed while working on the wrist or lock panel area - and sometimes hold off before I install it, or remove it temporarily once it is installed.

The trigger plate is already installed, so I hold the trigger guard on the rifle in the desired position and mark where the guard lug will be threaded into the trigger plate, then center punch the mark. 



Then I drill and tap the hole for the 1/4"-28 lug.  (I had previously threaded the lug) I start the tapping process in the drill press, and after a couple of threads are cut I finish the tap it by hand.







Then the guard is screwed into the plate, and the rear screw for the guard tang is located, a clearance hole drilled in the plate, and a tap drill size hole drilled into the tang curl.  The hole is then tapped to fit whatever screw you will be using.





Once the screw is in place a clearance hole for the screw head must be made in the trigger plate inlet.





And the assembly can be test fit.



Next I start in filing the guard - I had done some preliminary filing already.  I often save a lot of the file work until after the guard is installed on the rifle, as the rifle makes for an excellent trigger guard holder.   ;)   You can't get to all of it while it is on the gun, but a heck of a lot if it is accessible to a file.  You may notice a spring clamp in some of the photos.  If you get an annoying whine or squeal while filing a piece of metal, and repositioning won't make the noise quit, a spring clamp properly placed on the object will absorb the vibrations and kill the noise. No, I wasn't smart enough to figure that out on my own, I learned it from someone else.  8)  So if you find it works for you too, pass it on!









Next up will be a short post on installing the sights, then on to the engraving!

Thanks for looking,
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 Steeltrap

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #113 on: July 02, 2024, 02:45:17 PM »
Nice work!  I've always thought the Hawken trigger guard was an interesting way to attach a TG.

Offline Curtis

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #114 on: July 03, 2024, 06:48:17 AM »
Thanks Steeltrap.  The TG attachment arrangement certainly makes a strong setup.

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 Joe Stein

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #115 on: July 03, 2024, 08:38:34 PM »
My wife will thank you for the spring clamp when filing and sawing tip 😊

Offline J. Talbert

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #116 on: July 04, 2024, 12:43:07 AM »
I love the stars Curtis. Is that copied from an original?  Either way they look like they belong there?
The whole project is looking great.

Jeff
« Last Edit: July 04, 2024, 12:49:19 AM by J. Talbert »
There are no solutions.  There are only trade-offs.”
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Offline Curtis

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Re: Hawken-esque Plains Rifle Build
« Reply #117 on: July 04, 2024, 07:02:24 AM »
Joe, your wife will never have to put her fingers in her ears again!  While you are filing, anyways.  :)

Glad you like the stars, Jeff.  The original Modena Hawken (which the patchbox on my rifle is patterned after) features nine iron stars - five on the box side and four on the cheek side.  I liked the stars but thought that many would be overbearing on this rifle and settled on using 3 silver stars instead.  Here are some photos of a repro of the Modena by Steve Lodding:





And some (harder to see) photos of the original Medena gun, from Jim Gordon's book:



The stars and to P-box are the only two features my rifle shares with the Medena rifle, as the architecture on my rifle is a bit different... partially by styling choices and partially due to the much smaller barrel on my rifle, which by nature changes a LOT of things.
 
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