English Sporting Rifle
— Jim Chambers
New for 2006—Students in this class will start with an English walnut
stock blank that has had the swamped barrel inlet and the ramrod hole
drilled. Following the design of a mid-eighteenth century rifle by
William Turvey students will fit the butt piece, shape the stock, inlet
the lock, sideplate, ramrod pipes, and guard. Basic gun making skills
such as filing, rasping and inletting will be helpful in making maximum
progress in this class. A finished rifle will be available for
Materials fee: $700.
Engraving — Beginning and Intermediate — Mark Silver
(6-day class, $600 plus materials)
This course is meant for the student with little or no engraving
experience who wants to improve their understanding of and ability to
execute, the styles of engraving used on American longrifles and
fowlers. It is also for those who have already had at least one course
in engraving and wish to work with British or continental styles.
The class will explore the elements used on patchboxes, side plates and
mounts, including types of borders, scrolls, volutes, and leafage. Most
of the class time will be spent in intensive practice repeating the
basic elements of these types of engraving. Intermediate students will
be introduced to and practice lettering of various styles, and the
engraving forms found on sporting arms from Britain and Europe,
including, if they wish, relief chiseling of sculpted foliage and
borders. Class limited to eight.
Materials fee: Approximately $20
Forging Mounts and Stocking the Southern Mountain Rifle — Hershel
& John House
This hands-on class will begin on Wednesday at Hershel’s shop (10 miles
from Bowling Green) where several forges will be set up. Forge and file
the correct iron 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 about mid-day
On Sunday morning the class will resume at W.K.U. where students will
begin stocking the 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
Materials fee: Approximately $500.
Learning How to Look — Wallace Gusler & Gary Brumfield
Focusing primarily on flint period rifles, this class will introduce
students to the process of studying longrifles for the purpose of dating
them and attributing them to a particular “school” or regional style.
About a dozen original rifles will be available for study in the class
including five early ones pictured in Rifles of Colonial America by
George Shumway (#42, 92, 103, 109, and 142). Construction and artist
elements will be discussed along with how to detect repairs and
alterations to old guns. Students will need a sketchbook and drawing
implements. Class limited to 16.
Pipe Tomahawk — Jack Brooks
Jack will make a pattern and have custom steel heads cast for a pipe
tomahawk based on one plowed up on a farm along the Cumberland Trace
just minutes from the seminar site in Bowling Green. Finishing the
tomahawk will give students an opportunity to learn and practice many
skills fundamental to rifle making such as filing, polishing, engraving,
metal in metal inlay, wood scraping, inlay in wood, staining and
finishing. Most students will, hopefully, leave the class with a
finished tomahawk. Class limited to eight.
Materials fee: Approximately $90
Relief Carving —Gary Brumfield
Learn to carve by working on 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 be allowed to work on an actual rifle.) Pick any style of carving.
Topics covered will include selecting and sharpening 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 in wood working. Class limited to eight.
Material fee: Approximately $100.
Spur-Pommel Pistol—Ron Ehlert
This class will work on stocking a long-barreled bulbous-butt pistol in
the style of the early 18th century. The fourteen-inch octagon-to-round
barrels will come from Ed Rayle and will be inlet into a European Walnut
stock blank in class. The student can pick either a flat or convex face
lock. The butt cap and trigger guard will be commercial castings. The
other brass mounts and the trigger will be made in the class. An
original German pistol will be on hand for reference but students can
chose to do their pistol in the English style if they wish.
Material fee: $ 350
Wire and Sheet Metal Inlay for the Longrifle — Wallace Gusler
DID NOT FILL
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. Students may
bring a “Quaker gun” practice stock from an earlier carving or patchbox
class. (Do not expect to work on an actual rifle.) Class limited to
Material fee: Approximately $20. An additional $95 if the student needs
a pre-turned stock to work on.
Whenever weather permits, the Saturday afternoon of the nine day
seminar becomes a time to relax with an informal shoot and picnic where
students and instructors share two common interests, shooting and
eating, and get to know each other.
Hank brought his recently finished snaphaunce musket to share.
Pat and Vickie return fro setting up the targets.
The Learning to Look class gave students a chance handle, measure,
photograph over a dozen original rifles and trade guns. (top)
After the background is smooth, the raised carving is brought to life
by sculpting the leaves and scrolls.
Jeff compares his work to the photo of the original.
Ed uses one of the music wire stamping chisels to accent the carving.
Mark's engraving class.
It is hard to get a picture of an engraver that doesn't include the
top of his head!
Perry is moving right along in Ron's pistol class.
John is making the shavings fly in the Iron Mounted Rifle class.
Jack lending a hand in engraving on of the tomahawks.
Vickie staining the haft of her hawk.
A finished project to be proud of, unfortunately I forgot who made
If you know, email me and I will add the name here.