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 Post subject: Civil War limber chest
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:45 pm 
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Location: Cypress, TX
I just sold this Civil War limber chest that I made. It is going to New Hampshire. I have made four of them at this point. I end up with about 125 hours in one. I use Governmental drarings from 1862 and make them as exact as I can. I make all the metal work myself. The copper top is sloped two ways to shed water.
These were used to haul ammunition for cannons and were installed on a "limber" which was pulled by a horse team. The rear of the limber had a hitch that also pulled the field cannon.
Here are a few pictures of the chests I have made.
I get a good price for one but because they take so long, my hourly wage is not so great. :confused:

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My customer wanted this one unpainted.

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This is the first one I sold.

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I modified the plans and made this as a hope chest for a niece. It is made of Jatoba and has a leather top.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Location: Kerrville, Texas USA
Wow.

Wonderful work.

Did you make the jig for the box/dovetail joint's ?

Duan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Duan,
This is the jig I use for dovetails.
Zulu

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:41 am 
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Location: Williamstown, WV
Fantastic work, as always, Zulu!

My artillery unit just recently acquired our limber and carriage. We got a deal from another unit who had purchased limber components with the intention of building their own, but never got the project off the ground. In our case, the wheels and the chest were complete (or mostly so), and the package deal included the wheels, chest, and all remaining metal components. We got the entire lot for $2,000. The original plan was for me to do most of the construction work in my spare time, which I expected to take many, many months since that "spare time" stuff is pretty much a myth, I think.

However, since our group is county-sponsored (they actually own our 10-lb Parrott rifle), someone suggested we propose it as a project for the county technical school, which has a building and construction department. This was a win-win situation all around for us -- we got a dirt cheap limber and carriage, and the tech students got one of the most interesting projects they've ever made. They fabricated all the wooden components, and once the carriage was done rolled it on down to the tech school's automotive department and they did the painting. While they were at it, they repainted our cannon carriage with the same paint for an exact match.

Below are two photos, taken just before painting, of what a limber chest looks like once mounted on the carriage. In use, the carriage is hooked up to the back of the cannon to create a hefty two-part four-wheeled vehicle that can be pulled in a single unit. Embarrassingly, I haven't yet taken a photo of the two together.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:42 am 
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AJ,
Sounds like you got a great deal! Building a limber is actually quite involved. Especially if done properly as per the 1862 blueprints. That's why they cost about $9000. And that doesn't include the chest! I have built two of them.
Here they are.
Zulu

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:27 am 
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Very nice work.

What are the bucket-like objects for?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:35 am 
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JohnT,
The bucket on the gun holds water for sponging out the barrel after firing. The bucket on the limber holds grease for lubricating the wheels.
Zulu


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:19 pm 
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I was kind of curious how this all worked together and found this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD2OQ-Sv-OQ

Pretty cool.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Beautiful work. I suspect you need to raise your price.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Very interesting stuff. Nothing better than combining history and woodworking.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:37 am 
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that (those) are simply beautiful... wonderful job.

Out of curiousity, if the edges are to be covered, wouldn't it be easier to do full dovetails rather than half? This is certainly not a critique, I was just curious-

Beautiful and so skillfully done, thank you for sharing it with us

Lawrence


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:17 am 
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So, AJ, does this mean you're not including one of these in your next book on Civil War Woodworking? :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:19 am 
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Interior layout is sort of puzzling. The pigeonholes would make access to the balls extremely slow, so I assume they were for powder bags, with balls loose in the right? Slider up top held what? wads for the swab?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:12 am 
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Absolutely outstanding work! Attention to detail and very high level of craftsmanship is just terrific. Thanks for sharing it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:58 am 
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Super Stuff! I love it! :-D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:23 am 
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To get these kind of comments from you guys is very flattering. I consider my own level of talent fairly limited compared to some of the stuff I see here on this forum.
Thanks a lot!
NB
George,
The 3" square compartments held powder charges with the round attached. Of course, in reenacting it's just a powder charge. Authorities frown on us Southerners slaughtering Yankees for the viewing pleasure of the public. :twisted: :twisted:
The sliding trays hold accessories; vent pick, thumb stall, gloves, lanyard, friction primers, pliers, etc.

Lawrence,
I don't even know how to make a full dovetail. :confused: :-? :oops:
Zulu


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:50 am 
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Zulu, with all the fine work you do, I can't believe you don't know how to make thru DT's. Especially with a first class jig like that. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:10 am 
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George, to follow up a bit on what Zulu said, not all cannonballs were ball-shaped. Others, like the 10-lb round below that's typical for what would have been used in a 10-lb Parrot rifle, have the shape of a more traditional shell (or "bolt"). The one shown below would have been about 9" long, and 3" wide.

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This was a particularly nasty round and was filled with marble-sized lead balls. Timed to go off over the enemies' heads (these had adjustable timer fuses built in), they'd shower the lead balls at high velocity down through the troops.

As Zulu noted, they usually don't allow us reenacting types to mow down opposing reenactors. However, sometimes when the event worked out right and we were in the right position for it, the Infantry unit I was with in Connecticut would give the audience a show. After the Greybacks fired one of their pieces, we'd wait several seconds (shell travel time), and a half-dozen or more of us would go down simultaneously.

A.J.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:17 am 
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Well, Zulu, I might be able to out do ya on dovetails, but the wheels on your limber leave me baffeled! I'd love to know how you go about that. I suspect there are plenty of books on the art of the wheelright which is where I'd start.

Is it something that you can gig up and just pump 'em out or are they done one spoke at a time?

Beautiful work, BTW. You're finger joint are perfect and accomplish what the piece requires.

Thanks for positing.....love all the pics.

Joe T

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Olepeddler,
I did not make the wheels. They were made by the Amish somewhere up North. The wheels are dished. That means each end of the spoke has a 6 degree angle cut in it. They are hard to make. That's why they cost $2500 a pair. :shock:
I think the makers have some kind of spoke machine that cuts them.
Zulu


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