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 Post subject: A naval carriage build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:43 am 
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I know I have posted a lot of naval carriage builds. Here is another one for your entertainment.

This carriage is for a 41" long Hern carronade. The owner has no intention of firing it and will display it in his yard. It will be subject to harsh winter conditions and salt air so he opted to have me make it out of fir.

When I build a naval carriage I don't need the barrel in my possession if I can get accurate measurements from my customer. Several of the measurements are critical. A mistake can be costly and the blame falls solely on the one holding the tape measure.
It has happened before several times and the barrel didn't fit properly.
It astounds me how many folks can't read a tape measure or don't know the difference between diameter and circumference.

I send this drawing for them to fill out. With this, I can build a carriage.

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This is what I'm trying to replicate.

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Here are some progress pictures of what I have done so far.

The barrel

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The wood. Fir 12" X 2 1/2" X 12' long.
And rough cut outs.

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Boring the capsquare pockets. Because the carriage is narrower in the front and wider in the back, all holes drilled in the cheeks must be done at a 2 1/2 degree angle.

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Boring the wheels and turning the axles on the lathe.

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The cheek to axle insets must also be cut at 2 1/2 degrees to mate properly.

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Together with the leveling wedge platform.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:57 am 
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Drilling the capsquare bolt holes. The front bolt has to go vertically through the cheek at an angle so it also can go through the axle.
Note the pencil line that I am matching up to a straight bit by tilting the drill press table.

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Then I start the hole with a paddle bit and then switch to a regular bit to prevent drift.
I drill as deep as I can which is the full length of the bit.


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Then flip the cheek and repeat. The goal is to make the two holes meet in the middle but the bits are not long enough.

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The hole is then completed with a hand drill. They meet perfectly.
After they are drilled through, the cheeks are placed on the axles and the hole is continued through the axles.

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Everything fits together.

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Chiseling out the capsquare washer insets.

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This is where I stand now.
While this is not a complete tutorial, it still shows the basic processes needed to do one of these.
Capsquares are next in line.
More pictures as I progress.
Zulu

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:19 pm 
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Another nice one Zulu.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:36 pm 
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Making capsquare half rounds.

My homemade hydraulic press with the bending jig.
Note the 2 1/2" round bar in position over the piece of flat bar to be bent.

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Heating the metal in my propane forge.

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The next three pictures were from another project. I didn't have anyone to help with pictures on this one.
Transferring the hot iron to the press.
Cranking on the jack handle to push the 2 1/2" mandrel into the flat bar thus bending it.

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Back to real time.
The bent half round in the press.

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Next, I bored a 3" hole. These are two pieces of wood clamped together.

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The 3" hole equals the 2 1/2" diameter round plus two sides of the 1/4" flat bar.
The half rounds sit in the cavity. I scribe a line flush with the top of the wood thus marking a perfect half circle.

I cut the scribe marks a little proud to make sure I don't cut too much off. Then take them to the 12" disc sander and grind them to a perfect fit.


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All these pieces will be sized to fit to make the capsquare.
I need to get the front capsquare bolt made before I weld these pieces together.

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Bending the rear capsquare bolt. I had help for these pictures.

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That's all for now.
Thanks for looking!
Zulu

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:34 pm 
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Got it finished!
Zulu

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:05 pm 
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I so enjoy your posts of carriage building and the way you do it, for a while I wondered if you did all the iron work too, as it turns out you do and you do it so well. Perhaps one day you could regale us with the tale of how you got into building such fine carriages for cannons.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:19 am 
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Paul Gauthier wrote:
I so enjoy your posts of carriage building and the way you do it, for a while I wondered if you did all the iron work too, as it turns out you do and you do it so well. Perhaps one day you could regale us with the tale of how you got into building such fine carriages for cannons.




Paul,
Thanks for the kind comments.

My story is a pretty easy one.
I have always had a gun interest. That said, I always wanted a cannon.
I was not a woodworker but I always wanted to try.
A good friend had a Shop Smith lathe and he turned a fantasy cannon barrel about 30" long out of wood, mounted it on a fantasy naval carriage and gave it to his Nephew.

I was so jealous.

I had started collecting books and drawings on cannons. I asked my friend if he would teach me to turn a barrel on his lathe. He did and I turned a 30" long 1841 six pounder that was pretty accurately detailed.

I was hooked.
It now needed a field carriage to mount it on.
I only owned a Skil saw so I went to Sears and bought a Craftsman 14" band saw and put it in a tiny shed I had in the back yard.
Following my drawings as best I could, I built a 1/2 scale carriage for the barrel.

I found I actually had a bit of a knack for woodworking.

This is it.

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I decided to pull the plug and purchase a full scale 10 Pounder Parrott Rifle.
I also ordered a 36" long barrel that I intended to build a carriage for.

Since I was on a spending spree, I had a 12' X 24' sheet metal building built in the back yard and started filling it with equipment so I could pursue this hobby.

Here is the Parrott Rifle. I did Civil War re-enacting with it for 12 years.

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Here is the 3/4 scale Revolutionary War carriage I made for the smaller barrel. I actually made the wheels. I also started metal working at this time.

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I had friends that wanted me to make carriages for their guns. I found I could make some money doing it.
Around that time, my lovely assistant set up a website for me. That was about 15 years ago.
I now have 350,000 hits on the site.
I have completed 121 carriages.

This is my website. There are over 100 pages of cool things to see there.

http://www.jmelledge.com

I have made a lot of wooden guns. They are museum quality replicas and command a premium price.
Carriages that will support a real barrel and also withstand the tremendous forces of recoil have to be made to specifications from the 1700's and 1800's.
They also command a premium price.

The rest is history. :D
Zulu

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:39 pm 
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Zulu, I have a question. A lot of older (and some new reproduction) rifle barrels were octagonal, but I've never seen a octagonal cannon barrel. Did anyone ever make one?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:04 pm 
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Gene wrote:
Zulu, I have a question. A lot of older (and some new reproduction) rifle barrels were octagonal, but I've never seen a octagonal cannon barrel. Did anyone ever make one?



Gene,
I recall some hexagon thunder mugs and Lantakas.

Google Images hexagon Lantakas and you will see a couple of them.
Zulu

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:42 pm 
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Zulu,

Man you do nice work.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:39 pm 
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Thanks for that reply Zulu, one other thing are you retired or do you work a real job as well as making cannon carriages?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:55 pm 
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Paul,
I have been retired for 8 years.
I retired at 58 after being laid off after 25 years of building communication towers.
Building cannon carriages, while lucrative, wouldn't support me but makes a fair alternative to spending savings.
Besides, I only make cannon carriages when I'm not fishing. :razz:
Zulu

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:58 am 
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Zulu wrote:
Gene wrote:
Zulu, I have a question. A lot of older (and some new reproduction) rifle barrels were octagonal, but I've never seen a octagonal cannon barrel. Did anyone ever make one?



Gene,
I recall some hexagon thunder mugs and Lantakas.

Google Images hexagon Lantakas and you will see a couple of them.
Zulu


Thanks, I found a couple highly decorated ones, but not any just plain barrels hex or oct. except for hand cannons.

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