Friday, May 28, 2010

The Jefferson County Sportsmen's Club

My son Justin took these pictures while we were shooting black powder at the Jefferson County Sportsmen's Club. It's a picturesque place...

Remington and Flinter

My son Justin, his friend Trey, and I went to the range today to try out Trey's new Remington revolver. It's a black powder pistol of 44 caliber. While he was loading it, Justin and I were trading off on his flintlock pistol.

We decided it was high time to get the pistol properly sighted in so we benched the flinter and started filing the front site. The pistol is shooting about 12" low at 25 yards. Justin took the following frame captures from a movie he shot.

Here's a sequence showing Trey firing the Remington. Note the primer 's blast.

The Remington was pretty accurate out of the box. I hit 3 'bottles' in 3 shots at 25 yards. Apparently, I'm delighted ;-)

Going to the club was a spur-of-the-moment decision. What a nice way to finish up the afternoon!


Edit - We have been duly chastised for our lack of safety glasses.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My son took this picture of a bee last year. I ran across it and thought I'd post it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Compound

While installing the toolpost on the lathe, I took the compound apart for the first time.

The compound is a part of the lathe that the tool holder sits on. It can swivel to allow a tool to present a more suitable cutting edge to the work. A screw mechanism allows the compound to be advanced and short tapers turned.

The compound is pretty simple. When the compound is swiveled, it is locked in place by 2 bolts. When tightened, they drive 2 angled steel pins into the hub on which the compound rotates. The pins lock the position by friction and draw the compound down against the carriage by their geometry.

Much to my horror, a previous owner had made an exciting enhancement. He had apparently lost the angled pins. Instead of making more, he turned points on two steel bolts. The points dug into the hub, gouging divots. The divots will prevent the compound from locking up at the right position, or may cause the compound to move unexpectedly. Horrible. I find it extra frustrating since it took only a few minutes to make replacement pins.

Here are the bolts that damaged the hub and the proper replacement pins I made.

I replaced these bolts with common hardware store bolts and turned a 'dog point' on each as per the originals.

Now a couple of pics of the hub showing the damage.

After getting a lot of good advice from the HSM on how to fix the hub, I won a far better casting on ebay for a very good price. That's good because I'm getting pretty tired of fixing abuse.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More Coopers Hawk

The son got a new camera and this Coopers hawk posed.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Sheath

A few days ago I finished a patch knife for black powder shooting. A knife without a sheath isn't a knife. So I got some leather, a needle, and some artificial sinew from Leatherhead, read this webpage, and got down to it.

I can't claim any real innovation. I used Gorilla glue to attach the welt to the side of the sheath instead of Duco or some other contact cement. It worked well.

I don't have one of those cool tools that mark the stitch holes and my leather was too thin to gouge a stitch channel. I filed a rounded conic on the end of a steel rod. I used this to emboss a channel in the leather 1/8" from the edge of the welt. I decided quite arbitrarily that the stitch holes should be 3/16" apart and fashioned a suitable spacer. I worked my way down the embossed channel using my spacer, a very pointy awl, and some authority to leave a hole every 3/16". Don't do this on your dining room table without a backing board.

As per the instructions, I used a two-needle system to lace the sheath together then shaped the sheath using acetone.

I decided to waterproof the sheath by dipping it in paraffin wax. You can find Gulf brand wax in the canning section of the grocery. I melted 8 ounces of the wax using a low-rent double boiler made by floating a sufficiently sized microwave-save disposable food container in a pot of boiling water. It took about 15 minutes to melt 8 ounces of wax. Easy pease. When the wax was melted I just dropped the sheath in the container and rolled it around to get even coverage. Then I fished it out with a wire, let the wax drain, and set it aside to cool. I did this twice. When I was done I snapped the lid on the container and let it cool. The wax is ready for storage until next time.

The wax bath turned the sheath nearly black. It looks nice but was surprising to see it happen. Unfortunately the wax scratches very easily showing the natural leather underneath. Next time perhaps I'll stain the sheath first. In any event I can dip it again when the opportunity presents itself.

Here's a barrage of pictures.