Thursday, October 22, 2009

Parts is Parts!

Most of you will probably remember that line from a chicken commercial a number of years ago.  Finally, here are the parts of the pistol case all laid out and ready for the first coat of Watco oil.  You'll notice that the panels for the top and bottom have already been finished which is what you should always do on panel and frame construction.  Should the panel shrink (as wood tends to do) you won't have a line unfinished wood showing at the edge.  Looks kind of like a jig saw puzzle doesn't it? Let me talk you through what you're seeing; the top and bottom of the box are pretty obvious.  At the sides, the long pieces are the dust check for the long edge of the box, the end pieces are laid out at the top.  The piece that looks white is the bottom of the "sandwich" I talked about in the last blog, that's where the foam and leather go.  Then the piece that has the pistol and powder horn cut out on it gets screwed from the bottom to complete that sandwhich.  The sandwich is placed in the box, the partitions are put down, the dust checks are screwed to the sides and you're almost done!  All that remains is to dye the leather for the straps that will hold things in place and screw the hinges on for the door that will cover the paraphernalia for the pistol.  Attach and fit the hinges, handle, and clasps and it's ready to be delivered.
I've been asked how long this project has taken so far, usually you don't want to know that but I keep track of these things anyway.  There is close to 22 actual work hours into this piece so far.  There is the final, hand rubbed coats for the exterior and wax only for the interior.  Lots of careful fitting, planing, chiseling, etc. -- the kind of work that machines can only replicate on the assemble line.  To me, theirs no satisfaction in that!

1 comment:

  1. Nice work John.
    I met you at Jamie's Woodisit meeting this week. It seems we have met before,kindred spirits in the love and preservation of hand technique, I presume.
    I have designed and produced presentation cases for several firearms, including George Washington's and Thomas Jefferson's pistols.The Jefferson cases were especially challenging due to the fact that the case was designed with eight sides. Each case was hand made , inlaid, finished with shellac and laquer, wood covered velvet interiors with gold tooled leather corner covers. As a result of these and other projects, the company that originaly made the box locks for the cases (based in England) pulled out their old molds, dies and forms and began to manufacture those lines after decdes of inactivity.
    Your appraoch to the project showed a lot of insight, especially if the firearm was to be used by its owner and actually fired. I enjoyed the blog and hope to hear more from you soon.