Carving — Wallace Gusler [The original plan was for Wallace
and John Bivins to team teach this class but John was not feeling well.]
Carve a machine shaped longrifle butt stock that will go home with you
as study piece and reference. (Because the students will be
experimenting with various tools and methods they should not work on a
real gun.) Chose any style of carving. Topics covered will include
setting up and lighting a work area, selecting and sharpening tools,
making specialized tools, various methods of backgrounding and
sculpting, etc. Although beginners are welcome, this class in
traditional carving techniques best serves those who have some
Longrifle Engraving — Mark Silver and Gary Brumfield
Learn engraving with hammer and chisel, in the styles found on American
Longrifle mounts, patchboxes, and inlays. Mark will stress learning the
basic process but will also include other techniques such as shading and
cutting borders. Much of the student's class time will be devoted to
repeating designs on practice plates which they will take home as study
Materials fee: none (Due to the generosity of Dixie Gun Works.)
Longrifle Stock Shaping and Period Architecture — Jack Brooks
One of the most difficult features of a longrifle to capture is the
architecture of its stock. Starting with a stock blank and pre-inlet
tapered and flared barrel, and using an original early wooden patchbox
rifle as a prototype, participants will learn both the techniques of
stock shaping and the subtle characteristics of period rifle
architecture that are hard to see in photographs. Materials fee also
includes a Ketland style flintlock made by Jim Chambers and butt plate
and trigger guard castings from the original.
Jack invites any previous rifle students to return and continue work on
their earlier class projects. (Please write “returning student, have
materials” on your registration form.)
Stocking the German Jaeger Rifle — Ron Ehlert
Students will be instructed in the unique architectural features of the
German hunting rifle. Attendees will start with a stock blank pre-inlet
for a Getz barrel and cast brass butt plate and trigger guard based on a
1720 example.. They will layout and shape the stock and inlet the butt
plate. Ron will provide original Jaegers and reproductions to guide
students through the process. Participants will need some experience
with rasps, files, chisels, and to have basic inletting skills.
Ron invites those who took this class in 1997 or 1998 to return and
continue work on their Jaeger from that class. (Please write “returning
student, have materials” on your registration form.) Class limited to
Stocking the Iron Mounted Southern Mountain Rifle — Frank &
Build a basic, practical, iron mounted, southern mountain rifle.
Variations include: Appalachian, East Tenn., North Carolina,
Southwestern Virginia, and early Virginia styles — flint or percussion,
straight or swamped barrel, stock of maple or walnut. With the desire to
send the student home with as close to a complete rifle as possible,
Hershel and Frank teach their efficient workman like methods to show how
to attain a quality product with a minimum of tools. Barrel will be
pre-inlet and the ramrod hole drilled. Class limited to eight.
Materials fee: Approximately $330 for a rifle with a percussion lock and
straight barrel. A swamped barrel, fine wood, flintlock, set triggers,
Two and Three-Day Classes
For the last four years we have had pre-workshop sessions and this will
be expanded in 1999. (And before you ask — No you can not take more than
one short course in a year — they overlap.)
Design for the American Longrifle — Wallace Gusler & Gary
This will be a hands-on drawing class. (Yes, the students are expected
to draw.) This class will focus on learning to create Baroque and Rococo
designs like those typically found in longrifle decoration. The class
will not be school specific, but general in the study and execution
(drawing) of eighteenth-century designs for carving, engraving, and
patchboxes. This class will help prepare those taking the carving,
engraving, or patchbox class. Class begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday (June
3) and ends by 3 p.m. Saturday.
Filing, Polishing, and Burnishing — Mark Silver
Many of Mark’s former students have requested additional instruction in
these fundamental skills. This demonstration/hands-on workshop will help
you master techniques that can be applied to any metal work. Class
begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday (June 3) and ends by 3 p.m. Saturday.
Students in either the longrifle or Jaeger stocking class may work on
preparing their mounts and/or lock for inletting.
Forging Iron Gun Mounts — Frank & Hershel House
This hands-on class will be taught at Hershel’s place (10 miles from
Bowling Green) where several forges will be set up. The class will be
limited to eight students with preference going to those in the House
brothers’ six-day stocking class. Forge the correct butt plate, trigger
guard, etc. for the style of southern mountain rifle you will build in
the stocking class. Tool list will be simple, stressing safety
equipment, and blacksmithing experience is not required. Class begins at
1 p.m. on Wednesday (June 2) and ends by 3 p.m. Saturday. Registration
is $250 for NMLRA members and $300 for non-members. Material fee: $20.
Hand Inletting the Swamped Rifle Barrel — Jack Brooks
For those who want to get away from using pre-inlet barrels this class
will give you the opportunity to learn the chisel inletting method that
Jack uses. The class will be limited to eight students with preference
going to those signed up for Jack’s six-day stocking class. This class
begins 7 a.m. Friday (June 4) and ends by 3 p.m. Saturday. Registration
is $150 for NMLRA members and $200 for non-members. Limited to 8
students. Material fee: Included in stocking class if registered — if
not, student can bring their own stock blank and swamped barrel.
Powder Horns — Ron Ehlert
Learn both the fundamentals of making a powder horn and the basic
techniques of scrimshaw and polychroming found on finer horns. Beginning
with a raw horn and a piece of wood, the student will make a horn in one
of the styles popular in the French and Indian through Revolutionary War
periods. This class will begin at 7 a.m. on Thursday June 3rd and end by
3 p.m. on Saturday June 5th.
Ron and Janie -- one of the three women who took the powder horn class
in 1999. (top)
Gary and Mark had 17 students for engraving.
Marjorie, and her husband Ron, came from California.
Students can ask some tough questions.
But the classes are usually great fun. (top)