Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pistol Case Template

The first step for this particular project was to make a template of the pistol and the powder horn.  I suppose I could have done this on the project itself but since there is the possibility of two more boxes this seems like the wise thing to do.  This is simply on a piece of 1/4" MDF which I'll use to transfer to the mahogany.
Since the case I'm making will be a contemporary example instead of an authentic reproduction I've made some changes.  First of all, the pistol and powder horn will be secured with a leather strap and snaps.  This way they won't be able to move around as it's being carried  from one place to the next.  I used an article from an old Fine Woodworking magazine as a source and it suggested using leather placed over 1" upholstery foam.  Leather will stand up better than felt to gun powder and oil.  It'll also be constructed in such a way that it can be disassembled and replaced if needed.  I'll share the details as the box is built. Pretty straight forward process so far.  I used a scroll saw to cut out the template and then filed and sanded to get it to fit the piece.There will be compartments on the right side of the case to hold the cleaning equipment, balls, powder, and wads.  I've neglected to tell you what type of pistol this is, it's a .44 caliber, 1860 Army Revolver. 
I've also been making an improved version of a finger joint jig.  It was designed by Nick Engler and was in Popular Woodworking, June 2001.  What I found ingenious about this jig is that he used a #10-32 x 2" long, flathead machine screw for the fine adjustments.  Since there are 32 threads per inch, each complete turn of the screw will move the jig 1/32" -- one of those simple yet brilliant things where you scratch your head and say "why didn't I think of that?"  I'll take a photo of it when I get to cutting the finger joints on the project.

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