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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
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
Topics include: scrapers, planes, files, and burnishers, staining and
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
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