(Who has a copy of the group picture?)


Seminar 2011
Seminar 2010
Seminar 2008
Seminar 2007
Seminar 2006
Seminar 2005
Seminar 2004
Seminar 2003
Seminar 2002
Seminar 2001
Seminar 2000
Seminar 1999
Seminar 1993
Seminar 1992
Seminar 1989
Seminar 1988
Seminar 1986
Seminar 1984
Seminar 1982
2001 Courses:

The NMLRA Gunsmithing Workshop and Seminar
MAY 30-June 8, 2001

Longrifle Engraving — Mark Silver
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 pieces. Class limited to eight.
Materials fee: Approximately $20.

Making and Inletting the Brass Patchbox — Gary Brumfield
This session will cover making a patchbox from sheet; inletting the buttplate, toeplate, and patchbox; and installing the push button, catch, and kick-open spring mechanism. Sheet brass, a buttplate, and a rough turned maple blank (a "Quaker Gun" with no barrel or lock) will be provided, along with a cast-steel springs and push button. Class limited to eight.
Material fee: Approximately $100 for the stock, brass, springs and mechanical components. Students who provide their own “Quaker gun” from a previous class will pay $25.

Relief Carving for the Longrifle — Instructor to be determined [Jim Chambers]
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 will not work on a real gun.) Pick 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 experience. Class limited to eight.
Materials fee: Approximately $75 for a pre-turned maple butt stock to carve. Students may provide their own “Quaker gun” from a previous class.

Stocking the 18th-century American Fowling Piece — Ron Ehlert
New for 2001! Beginning with a maple, cherry or walnut blank the students will fit the butt plate, layout and shape the stock for a fowler ca. 1790. Depending on their experience students may get the lock and trigger guard inlet, trigger and sideplate made, etc. Ron will provide an original fowler of the period for use as a prototype in stock shaping, but the students will be encouraged to adapt this design somewhat to customize the gun to their personal needs. Students should have some experience with files, rasps, chisels, and basic inletting skills. Barrel will be pre-inlet and the ramrod hole drilled. Class limited to eight.
Materials fee: Approximately $400 depending on wood selection.

Stocking the Iron Mounted Southern Mountain Rifle — Hershel & John House
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 John 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. FULL for 2001 through pre-registration of former students.
Materials fee: Approximately $450 for a rifle with a flintlock, set triggers, and swamped barrel. With a straight barrel, single trigger and percussion lock approximately $300.

Stocking the Kentucky Pistol — Jack Brooks
New for 2001! American sporting pistols were frequently made by gunsmiths who were primarily rifle makers. They are generally called “Kentucky Pistols” and since few were make the originals are actually rarer than period rifles. In this class the students will have the opportunity to work from photographs, measured drawings and a prototype to stock a pistol like those made in Eastern Pennsylvania around 1800-1810. The inletting and stock shaping skills learned are basic and can be applied to rifle stocking projects as well.
Materials fee: Approximately $250.

Wire and Sheet metal inlay for the Longrifle — Wallace Gusler
Back by popular demand! Learn the techniques for designing, making, and installing cheek piece inlays, thumb pieces, and escutcheons. You will also learn to do the types of silver and brass wire inlay found on longrifles. And finally, as an often-requested demonstration, learn how to inlet the silver signature plate in a rifle barrel. Students may bring a “Quaker gun” butt stock from an earlier carving or patchbox class. (Do not expect to work on an actual rifle.)
Material fee: Approximately $20 for wire and sheet. An additional $75 they if need a stock to work on.


All the short courses for 2001 are three days long. They begin at 1 p.m. on Wednesday (May 30) and end Saturday in time for a group picnic. Registration is $300 for NMLRA members and $350 for non-members.

Drawing and Design for the Longrifle — Wallace Gusler & Gary Brumfield
This will be a hands-on drawing class. 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 drawing of eighteenth-century designs for carving, engraving, and patchboxes. Limited to 20 students.
Materials fee: None. Bring a notebook, sketchbook, several pencils, and a good eraser.

Forging and Filing Iron Gun Mounts — Hershel & John 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 six-day iron mounted rifle 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. Material fee: $20.

Lock filing and engraving — Jack Brooks
In this course a lock will be modified, polished, and engraved to reproduce a typical English export lock circa 1800. Jack will bring some antique locks to study. The class will be limited to eight students with preference going to those signed up for Jack’s six-day Kentucky pistol stocking class.
Material fee: Included in pistol stocking class if registered — if not, student can bring their own lock.

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.
Materials fee: Approximately $40 for the first horn. Additional horns in various sizes will be available for purchase.

Traditional stock Architecture, preparation and finishing — Mark Silver
Topics include: scrapers, planes, files, and burnishers, staining and finishing.
Using a practice stock, learn the basics of 18th-century longrifle stock architecture, final shaping, preparation for staining and finishing; and have a stock correctly prepared for the Carving, Wire Inlay, or Patchbox courses. Through the use of 18th century tools and techniques learn to achieve the coveted warmth and aesthetics of true authenticity. Experiment on smaller practice pieces of maple, American, and English walnut preparing (planing, scraping), staining, and finishing with both traditional and modern formulas. Limited to 10.
Materials fee $90 ($75 for a new Quaker stock (required) & $15 for small pieces and stains).


(If you have photos from the 2001 Seminar, and would like to share them, I can post some here.)

Ron and ? scrutinizing a front sight. [Vickie Swank photo].

Vickie practically lifting herself off the ground while ramming
the ball in my .50 caliber rifle. Mark seems to be saying the target is going down! [Vickie Swank photo].

Vickie and Jack in the Kentucky pistol stocking class. [Vickie Swank photo].

Party at John House's place was well attended. [Vickie Swank photo].