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Finally, my new horns...and possibles bag

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by gizamo, Jul 26, 2008.

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  1. gizamo

    gizamo Member

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    Been trying to add a few accoutrements to my other passion ~ Flintlocks. These three were very hard to get, and a long time coming. They arrived together yesterday...

    The Powder horn is truly a piece of artwork. You have to see it to appreciate it. It cost a bit more then a good N-Frame ~ and is worth every penny.

    The face is a eagle and a serpent. and inscribed in Latin E.Pluribus Unum ~ Novus Ordo Seclorum. The obverse side is of a running deer chased by hunting dogs...The primer horn is less ornate, yet perfect in form and function. And the Beavertail possibles bag is very well made with an interior that is well divided for the tools. And Jute strap has a mount for a short starter, that I carry....



    Horns001.jpg
    Horns.jpg

    Giz
     
  2. Artigas

    Artigas Member

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    Very nice! I'd almost be afraid to carry those into the woods!
     
  3. RoaringBull

    RoaringBull Member

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    Think I'd use a scrubbed up set for hunting and save that for showin' off with.

    Very nice set though, very nice indeed.
     
  4. scrat

    scrat Member

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    wow id be afraid to use those. those are truely a piece of art.
    Wow thanks for sharing. where did you get them
     
  5. PRM

    PRM Member

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    Possibles Bag and Horn

    Got a nice treasure there! Looks like they stepped right out of colonial history. Great carving design on the horn.
     
  6. Tom Krein

    Tom Krein Member

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    Those are REALLY nice! I say use them and let them get some "beauty" marks. They won't get those memories by being safe queens!

    Where did you get them?

    Thanks!

    Tom
     
  7. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I really like the look of that bag. Can you post an overall shot of it? I'm collecting designs to make my own and would love to see how they incorporated the short starter scabbard. Thanks!
     
  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Great stuff. Makes my possibles bag look like a leather hippie purse from the 60's.


    Which it is. :D
     
  9. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Mine too! But there's a fine line between mountainy man and hippy:

    Mountain Man:
    Long hair
    Unwashed
    Odd lingo
    Man purse
    Strange devices for making smoke
    Sleeps in tepee
    Arts and crafts gear

    Hippy:
    Long hair
    Unwashed
    Odd lingo
    Man purse
    Strange devices for making smoke
    Sleeps in tepee
    Arts & crafts gear
     
  10. gizamo

    gizamo Member

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    Cosmoline...

    +1:)

    It's been raining for about 3 weeks here in Maine ~ next nice day I will try to get some good outside pics of the bag and details...

    Thanks for all the compliments, folks....!

    Giz
     
  11. Omnivore

    Omnivore Member

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    Cosmo; Yeah, and the hippies think they invented all those things. But there are differences; Mountain men were strong individualists and hippies are weak collectivists. A mountain man was capable of making both love and war, whereas most hippies appear incapable of either. OK, I'll shut up.

    Nice gear there. A friend recently gave me a large, black, cleaned, bovine horn, so I figured I'd make a powder horn of it (what else was I going to do with it?). I went whole-hog on the details (fluted neck, carved strap rings, turned plug, turned moose-antler spout) so it's taking a LOT of time. I've worked on musical instruments for 30 years, and I have a new-found respect for some of those 18th century artisians, let me assure you.
     
  12. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Post some pics when it's finished. Also if you have the time I wouldn't mind seeing a thread showing how you're doing it. My own horn efforts have been rather feeble.
     
  13. DavidVanVorous

    DavidVanVorous Member

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    Elegant craftsmanship in the pics, my compliments.
    Are the straps hand woven perchance?

    D.
     
  14. gizamo

    gizamo Member

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    The straps are handwoven on the horn, and actually match the era. The straps on the Beavertail bag also have the look of being handwoven, but done on a modern loom...

    Giz
     
  15. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    ROFL :D
     
  16. Omnivore

    Omnivore Member

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    I shall, but It'll take a while. All of the rough carving is done (no pics of that) but there's still plenty to do.
     
  17. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Giz, that is a truly beautiful shootin' rig you have come up with. That will be a treasure to pass down through your family along with the wonderful guns you have gathered. Very nice indeed.

    I too have a beavertail bag. For years I had the tanned head of a wolf on it that fit perfectly. It is kind of visible in this pic.
    [​IMG]

    Then the tree huggers got wolves re-introduced into Wyoming and they were declared a protected species.

    It appeared that it would be unwise to be seen in public with the head of a wolf prominently displayed on my shootin' bag.

    So now it it ain't quite as unique as it use to was.
    The horn is a plain and crude buffalo but it works.

    Possbag.gif
     
  18. gizamo

    gizamo Member

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    Iggy,

    Great story and I like the perior pic in the frame...
    Post a pic of the Wolf's head possibles bag...no one here will howl;)

    Tell me about the gun!!

    Giz
     
  19. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Giz,

    Don't have any pictures of the wolf's head.. Too bad. It fit perfectly on the flap with the ears standing up above the bag.

    The rifle is a reproduction of the Mariano Medina Hawken.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=ro...hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result

    The original was built in 1833 and is in the Denver Historical Museum. Mariano put a steel belly plate in the bottom of the forestock when it wore through from carrying it across the pommel of his saddle. Then he carried it enough to wear the some of the heads off of the nails he used to attach it to the stock.

    MedinaHawken.jpg

    He added some rather crude stars made for Mexican coins.

    Medinapatchbox.gif Mine is 54 cal as was Medina's when he had it built. He shot his enough that he had it freshed out to .58 caliber. Before he died, he gave it to some Colorado Militia General and his family gave it to the CO museum of history years later.

    The guy that made my gun made pencil rubbings of the belly plate and stars so that they are the same shape as the originals.

    If a nail head is worn off of the original, it's gone on mine too.

    I got an antelope and an elk with this ol beater.

    Mariano called his rifle "Ol Lady Hawkens"

    I call mine "Ol Belcher" cuz it belches smoke and lead and makes meat if I do my part.

    There is another guy on THR that posted pictures of the Medina he made.

    He did an outstanding job on his.

    Maybe he will see this and post again.


    Link to my web page and at the bottom are some yarns about cowboys and mountain men.

    Remember Ol Iggy would tell you a story three differn't ways afore he'd tell you a lie.

    http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pines/5005/
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
  20. Omnivore

    Omnivore Member

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    Here's the build in progress

    Gizamo; Here's the current state of the project. I have to fool with mixing stains. I want the fir base plug to match the beautiful ivory color of the moose antler spout. In the photo the red fir base plug has been stained "pickled white" but it's too different from the moose spout.

    Though based on 18th century styles, it's not a copy of anything, as I took stylistic license of my own. Most paneled necks had eight flat panels. This neck has eight fluted (concave) "panels". The fluting was done with a 6" grind stone, turning at 1100 RMP on a buffing lathe (a regular 3600 rev grinder will burn the horn very quickly). The fluted neck has increased the complexity of the carving process several times over. If I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't. Getting the flat panels to line up on either side of the strap rings is hard enough. Getting these flute points to line up in 3-D, all free hand, is maddening. A hard foam abrasive wheel was used to clean up the flutes after using the grind stone, and there's still work to be done.

    The fir base plug is hollowed slightly to increase powder capacity. You can see in the close-up that it's made of two pieces, laminated. I had a VG 2 x 4, but it wasn't thick enough for this buttoned plug design. It was turned on a metal lathe, with a form cutter plunged straight in to make the button groove for a strap. In keeping with the inward radius theme, the main curve of the plug was done by using an old-fashioned tool post, partially tightened, rotating the whole tool holder with a wrench. Anyone skilled at a wood lathe could do it just as easily by hand, of course.

    I do not recommend red fir. The hardness difference between the winter rings and the summer rings is something akin to layers of styrofoam between layers of steel. Not fun to work and finish. If I had it do over I'd use something like pine or willow (hardwood on this already heavy beast would add too much weight for my tastes).

    The moose antler was turned cylindrical on a metal lathe between centers using a dog and faceplate, then hand-carved on a small wood lathe. I left waste at one end so I could put it back on the metal lathe for threading the tenon and drilling the center hole. A T-handle violin peg box reamer was used to put a taper in the center hole for the stopper.

    At that point I could have cut an ebony or rosewood fiddle peg to length, shoved it in and had a finished stopper. We are warned not to use hardwoods however, as they're more likely to break the spout if they get wet and swell. The white pine I used is soft enough to give way under pressure. It's also pretty easy to carve and fit to the spout. I hand carved the stopper from a split block of close-grained pine. Splitting your blank gives you grain lines that run parallel to the stopper, making it stronger than if you'd used a saw-cut blank.

    Threading the end of the horn is generally not done. Usually if the horn is fitted with a removable spout like this, there is a separate collar that is threaded and then heat-applied to the horn's neck. That's the way to do it. Instead I drilled for the 5/8" threads by hand, and threaded by hand using a tap and T-handle. I drilled the hole incrementally to final diameter, one 64th at a time, so I could make small adjustments in the drilling angle as necessary to give a convincing, natural angle to the spout. That was a treMENdous pain in the neck, and I do not recommend it-- thread a separate collar on the lathe, and thread your spout on the lathe. Better yet, don't make a separate spout. Most original horns were one-piece.

    You can see the three scrimshaw radii near the horn base, between each pair of pin holes. For that I used a compass, with a wood sizer plug to give the compass a center point. Draw the lines with graphite and then scribe the lines with an Exacto knife. I suppose an experienced engraver would simply have free-handed the lines after the horn was assembled.

    I still have to play around with stains for the base plug, install the base plug and secure it with wooden pins, do clean-up work on the strap ring and neck shoulders, trim down the strap ring a bit, do some engrailing at the base of the neck, and a bunch of scrimshaw work. Most original scrimshawed horns were white with darkened scribe lines. Since this one is mostly black it'll have the lines dyed white. It's a negative.

    Otherwise, the techniques used were mostly from Scott Sibley's book, "Recreating the 18th Century Powder Horn" available at Track of the Wolf. If you're interested in making your own horn, get the book for sure.

    The finished horn will measure 17 inches along the outside (the "bottom") curve, from spout to button, so it's a biggy. I think it'll hold over a pound of powder when it's done. I guess I'll call it an "expedition horn".
     

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  21. gizamo

    gizamo Member

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    Omnivore,

    Words escape me. To say that I am impressed is a gross understatement. I'm basically floored by your work. You Sir, have produce an amazing work. Let me be the first to say ~ well done....

    Very Impressive,

    Giz
     
  22. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    That is gonna be one fine looking horn.. OUTSTANDING WORK!!
     
  23. Omnivore

    Omnivore Member

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    Wow. Thanks. You know, when you're building something and you're so intimately familiar with it, you tend to focus on and fuss over all the flaws. Thanks for the fresh look and kind words.
     
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