The NMLRA Gunsmithing Workshop and Seminar
May 29 through June 7, 2002
Forging Iron Gun Mounts and Stocking the Southern Mountain Rifle — Hershel & John House (9-day class 5/29-6/7)
This hands-on class will begin on Wednesday afternoon at Hershel’s shop (10 miles from Bowling Green) where several forges will be set up. Forge and file the correct butt plate, trigger guard, etc. for the style of southern mountain rifle you will build. Blacksmithing experience is not required. The mount making portion of the class will end at mid-day on Saturday the 1st.
On Sunday morning the class will resume at Western Kentucky University where students will begin to 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.
Materials fee: Approximately $495 for a rifle with a flintlock, set triggers, and swamped barrel. With a straight barrel, single trigger and percussion lock approximately $340.
Longrifle Engraving — Mark Silver (6-day class 6/2-6/7)
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 $25.
Modifying and Tuning the Flintlock— Jim Chambers (6 day class 6/2-6/7)
Students in this class will start with one of his "Generic" lock kits, the one with the square plate, and go completely through the assembly process, then move on the fine tuning both the form and function of the lock. A lot of the quality can be built in during the basic assembly process if the correct drills, reamers, etc. are used. Some students may also want to modify the lock to be more appropriate for a particular gun they plan to build. The materials fee will cover both the lock parts and a proper set of drills, taps and reamers. Class limited to eight.
Material fee: Approximately $90.
Stocking the 18th-century American Fowling Piece—Ron Ehlert (9-day class 5/29-6/7)
Beginning with a maple, cherry or walnut blank (with a pre-inlet Getz barrel), the students will fit the butt plate, layout and shape the stock for a fowler style made ca. 1780. 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 such as length of pull and gauge. 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 $450.
Stocking the Germanic Pistol — Jack Brooks (9-day class 5/29-6/7)
New for 2002! American made pistols from the 18th-century are very rare and one reason is the ready availability, during that period, of imported pistols. They came from both England and Germany. This stocking class will study and work from two original import grade German made pistols from the 1760-70 period. The walnut stocks are brass mounted with cast grip caps in the form of a dog or bear. They have octagon to round barrels. The locks have a faceted pan in the German style and the class will use a new lock that Jack has made the patterns for. (These pistols are similar to the pistol on plate 159 of Sam Dyke’s book Thoughts on the American Flintlock Pistol.) Class limited to eight.
Materials fee: Approximately $300.
Stock Shaping and Relief Carving — Wallace Gusler (9-day class 5/29-6/7)
New for 2002! This new offering combines the often-requested fundamentals of stock shaping with Wallace’s popular carving class. In the first part of this class, students will layout and shape a rifle stock. Beginning with a half-stock length blank and a cast butt plate will allow students to learn the fundamentals of stocking a rifle from a blank—centerlines, cast off, drop, fitting the butt plate, and shaping a stock from the butt plate up to about the rear sight. In the second part they will learn to relief carve the “Quaker gun” they have shaped. Class limited to eight.
Material fee: Approximately $45.
Drawing and Design for the Longrifle— Gary Brumfield (3-day class 5/29-6/1)
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 drawing of eighteenth-century designs for carving, engraving, and patchboxes. This class will help prepare those taking the engraving or patchbox class. Class size will be limited to 12.
Materials fee: None. Bring a notebook, sketchbook, several pencils, and a good eraser.
Traditional Stock Architecture, Preparation and Finishing — Mark Silver (3-day class 5/29-6/1)
Learn about scrapers, planes, files, burnishers, staining and finishing.
Using a practice stock learn the basics of 18th-century longrifle stock architecture, final shaping, preparation for staining and finishing. 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 Quaker stock, $15 small pieces and stains).