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Thread: Building the BP trade rifle from a TOTW kit

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  1. #61
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    Found some time today to make the ramrod. You can make this out of almost anything, but supposedly the best woods for this that are unlikely to break or splinter are ramin or hickory. Historically, I believe birch was also sometimes used. Find a piece with as little grain runout as possible with straight grain throughout to make it less likely to splinter in use. I ended up using ramin which I think is an asian hardwood. Most modern gun making kits use ramin as it is supposedly more flexible and less prone to breakage than hickory. It's my first ramin ramrod though, so I'll let you know if it breaks! lol... I sand the rod lightly to 150, then a very light going over with 400 grit to smooth it out.

    Obviously, it needs to be small enough to fit into the ramrod pipes. Not too tightly. No matter how nice the ramrod, it will be a little warped and this warpage is more or less what keeps it in place coupled with a reasonably snug fir to the area that fits inside the forestock.

    Original trade rifles had plain wood rods, but I like a brass tipped rod for practical reasons and it allows me to thread in accessories just in case. Steel tips can also be had, but I've often worried about scratching the bore. To fit the tip, I use a file to remove just enough wood to get a press fit. Original brass tipped rods would have been riveted in place, but this weakens the ramrod, so I cheat and pour cyano-acrylate glue into the threaded hole and allow it to cure to lock the tip to the rod itself. I know... I'm such a cheater.

    There are lots of ways to finish the rod. You can decorate it, stain it, leave it as-sanded, etc. Many original long rifles had spiral-charred rods, so I went that route. You carefully play a flame in a spiral around the shaft. You want to char the wood, not burn it. go slowly and be careful. I use a propane plumbing torch for this. When done, rub BLOicon into the rod and then use a piece of steel wool soaked in steel wool to lightly burnish the exterior. This will take any black ash off the spiral and leave it a char-brown color. Put on a few more BLOicon coats and you're done.





    That finished, I started browning a few of the iron fittings for the stock. You really only need to sand to 180, but I prefer the look if you go to 400. I like Laurel Mountain Forge for a browning solution, but there are a lot of different formulas out there, use whatever works for you. Worst case you can remove the finish and start over with a quick buff of 400 grit paper.

    Solution applied 5 minutes ago. Will wait 3 hours and re-coat, then 3 hours later scale. Might need another 2-3 coats after that.

    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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  4. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claven2 View Post
    ................... Not bad IMHO.

    Your humble opinion is exactly right, the stock stain and finish are very nice. Excellent work.

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  7. #63
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    Thanks - I'm very happy with how it has turned out thus far. Next step is to get all the stock furniture properly browned and waxed or oiled, particularly the butt and toe plates to protect that very breakable area
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    ok, well fast forward passed all the browning of parts and I've re-assembled the completed rifle. Very happy with the result.

    I did remember to take a couple pics of some of the browned parts prior to assembly:



    And here is the barrel after the last round of browning but prior to scaling:



    I won't bother going into the browning details - there are lots of references on how to brown steel parts. Just buy the solution of your choice and follow the directions. I prefer to leave my browning solution on longer, 12 hours at a time, as I prefer the older stippled look like a true older rifle.







    And here you can see where I positioned the touchole. Some guy put it right at the bottom of the bowl. IMHO this is wrong. You want it up a bit so that the flash from the primer goes instantly into the touchole. If you put it too low, you have to wait for the primer charge to combust to get over to the hole.

    You can just make out, I got the lock plate engraved "R Cormier Ottawa" - kind of a vanity marking



    I think the matchbox turned out particularly well.



    I haven't test fired it yet (just finished it about an hour ago), but it is throwing good sparks

    I will probably put one more coat of oil on the stock as well. The last few coats have been "Original Wood Finish" from Lee Valley. It's polymerized (by boiling) pure linseed oilicon mixed with natural beeswax. No driers or heavy metals added - it's fantastic stuff that gives a nice satin sheen.

    Hope you all liked my build thread/"how to" post, and that it helps someone else to take the plunge and do their own build
    Last edited by Claven2; 08-14-2011 at 09:05 PM.
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    Thumbs up

    Claven2:

    A wholeheartedly .

    You've done a wonderful job on your new Flintlock. I hope she shoots straight when you take her out!
    Black Powder Forever!
    Teleoceras

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    Darn that's a beautiful piece of restoration work ....

    This old girl will live on for years now ....

    Thanks for breathing new life into her ...

    Regards,
    Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Darn that's a beautiful piece of restoration work ....

    This old girl will live on for years now ....

    Thanks for breathing new life into her ...

    Regards,
    Doug
    This one isn't a restoration Doug - It's a completely new build.
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claven2 View Post
    This one isn't a restoration Doug - It's a completely new build.
    Holy crap ...

    Even more amazing ...

    I can't even use a hammer without hurting myself, so I'm impressed ...

    Regards,
    Doug

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    Claven.... oh, my...... *sigh* I hate to be the one to tell you but...... you put the lock on the wrong side.

    I guess it is back to the ole drawing board but the experience will help you do it right this time.



    JUST KIDDING!

    You did an excellent job building this one and, having built a few myself completely from scratch, I must give you a hearty "Atta Boy". And thanks for the excellent posts giving everyone a step by step explanation and demonstration of the process. Again, good job, you can be proud of your work and the results.

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