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Building an Alexander Henry Target Rifle from a Rod England Kit

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Cent540

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Feb 25, 2020
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110
Fellows, your comments are greatly appreciated! Thanks.

I originally engraved my grip cap with a sunburst design:



Then I engraved the screw and it broke on me when I was tightening it down. Got a new screw from Rod, and decided that the grip cap engraving might not flow well with the rest of the rifle, so I filed it all off and came up with a different design.





Then I started to work on the lock plate and the cock. Found the compound curves on the cock to be a bit challenging:













Having some internet issues tonight so that's it for now.

Thanks for looking!
Curtis
Wow, really beautiful stuff.
 

Curtis

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Jun 18, 2019
Messages
151
Thanks for those flattering comments folks! 😉 I haven't been able to capture to level of shading I would like to see, but I am hampered by both my skill level and my equipment. I will work on improving things as I go along - if I feel I can pull it off without screwing up what I got so far! But for now, onto the next thing in line, the standing breech and tang.

Curtis
 

Curtis

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Jun 18, 2019
Messages
151
....And so next I moved on to engrave the standing breech and tang, here are a couple of photos of where I'm at:





The tang screw slot is quite narrow and deep so I filed a large screw driver to fit:





Curtis
 

Curtis

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Jun 18, 2019
Messages
151
I just felt sick!
:-[


In the process of starting to engrave my last major part on my rifle, I somehow managed to let my barrel take a tumble from my vice - I thought it was locked in but alas it was not. It fell about four feet, bounced on my rubber floor mat and flipped breech first into the concrete floor for a double hit. I was hoping I might save the breech but was afraid it will need to be replaced. One top corner got crushed and behind the snail it got pretty mangled.

Here is the damage:







Of course the standing breech is already engraved which will make fitting a new plug a delicate operation....

Curtis
 

Curtis

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Jun 18, 2019
Messages
151
I had posted pictures of the damage on the American Longrifles gun builder forum fishing for ideas on what could be done to fix things. I got several good suggestions, ideas and encouragement from the responses.

I took advantage of a cool spell here and spent the night doing a little primitive camping on the back of my place last night. Enjoyed a nice fire and came back to the house with a clear head and a better attitude!

After returning from my overnight camp with a clear head I took another look at the damage behind the nipple and decided to see if I could move some of that metal back in place. First I used a section of steel rod that fit the area (I held it in place with my fingers but needed one hand to hold the camera):



And a slightly smaller screwdriver shaft for more control on the curve:



Then a slightly rounded punch:





And a graver handle to flatten the plug face again:



It now looks considerably better, I think I a little careful file work will take care of the rest.





Curtis
 

Curtis

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Jun 18, 2019
Messages
151
Now for a little experimentation! I found a solution that worked, which turned out to be the exact method posted on ALR by Jerry Huddleston while I was working and experimenting in the shop.

I started out with a barrel cutoff I had in the shop by putting a ding on two corners. The first ding I was able to lift an repair by lots of hammering with rounded punches, I had to move a lot of metal and it took a great deal of time and care to keep from damaging the edge.

While I was doing all of that hammering, I got well acquainted with the shape of the dent I was attempting to raise, basically just a triangle. So I thought, what is a triangle but a flat profile of a cone? So I used a couple different sizes of center punches and one that I ground with a more tapered cone and within a few minutes (and with MUCH less labor) I had enough metal raised to start peening into shape. Here are some photos of the second phase of my experiment:











I used a black sharpie followed by a couple of strokes of 600 grit paper backed by a file to identify high and low spots:



When finished the ding was ready for final sanding. In the lower left corner on the end view photo you can see black markings left from my first experiment:





I then felt ready to start working on the breech ding on my Alexander Henry barrel.







Once I was happy with that phase I went over to the nipple side, did a little more peening, some filing and polishing. I was happy with the results considering the original damage! All I have left to do is inlay an iron plug as Jerry H. described in his post on ALR. Here are some photos:









It has been a positive learning experience for certain! Now back to engraving.....



Curtis
 

wildcat2

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Jan 15, 2015
Messages
177
Nice work,Curtis ,some fine low heat tig welding would of been what I would of done but will definitely try your metal moving for sure if needed . Be looking forward to see this work in person. Thanks for all your imput.
 

jims

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May 18, 2005
Messages
1,599
Since the metal was not lost but displaced I think you have a good chance of correcting it. The tig welding could be a back up. Good luck and keep posting the results. Interested in the outcome, hope it goes well.
 

Curtis

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Jun 18, 2019
Messages
151
Wildcat2 - I seriously contemplated going the welding route, I need to practice my tig welding so I will be more prepared for "delicate" future needs.

Jims - I was able to move the metal back in place finally, take a closer look at the last few photos in my previous posting. I will add some more photos as I progress with the engraving.

Thanks - Curtis!
 

Curtis

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Jun 18, 2019
Messages
151
After all that fun I finally got back to engraving, here are a couple of buttplate photos:





And some border work on the breech:





Thanks for looking,
Curtis
 

wildcat2

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Jan 15, 2015
Messages
177
Beautiful work ,do you free hand your layout ? If so I am in trouble I can't even draw a stick person very well.
 

Curtis

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Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
151
Beautiful work ,do you free hand your layout ? If so I am in trouble I can't even draw a stick person very well.
Wildcat2, Unlike a professional engraver would likely do, I draw most all my work freehand directly on the surface to be engraved. For a busy area such as a lockplate I usually apply a light coat of white spray paint and let it cure. It makes for a durable surface that will stand up to considerable erasing. Otherwise I just pencil a sketch on the metal and start cutting. If I am having trouble with a curve or circle sometimes I use a circle or ellipse template to help define my lines. For straight lines I usually scribe a light line with a scribe that has the tip polished into a tiny "ball" as that doesn't really scratch the metal but leaves a fine line that disapears with a little fine sanding.

If you have trouble drawing you can print a design and trasnfer it to the metal, if you google the process you can find lots of info and some commercial products to help with tranfers.

Curtis
 

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