Pouring pewter on Wood/Rifle

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
DQ
Today I have just poured pewter on the rifle end. This is a blackpowder rifle-- a half-stock built for a left handed shooter. I am right handed so its always a challenge as I go thru the steps of building the rifle for the other side.

The curly stock was a mistake another builder made and gave up after his "fateful error" happened. The nose cap was done incorrectly and he just gave it to me and wished me the best. If there is interest, I will show the stock further but for now I am going to show the muzzle cap/entry point with poured pewter.
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This is the biggest cavity I have ever tried to do but again, its a mistaken stock being used. In the end I might have to sell it for the price of parts to some lefty.

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How it looks minutes after the pour is cooled. Lots of file work to be done.
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The end of the rifle stock is covered with cardboard to make a rough mold for the pewter to pour from top to bottom but not leak in to the ramrod hole or down thru any openings. Mind you its very hot when you pour.


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The shaping work is done with files. Pewter will really shine when polished and I tend to like a more satin sheen so I add some plumber's babbit to the cook to dull it a little. If the person that will own it will use it to hunt, the dull finish is a wise choice. If its a paper buster or wall hanger, the shine works.

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Here is the nose of a longrifle with angled chevrons.

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Right side of the muzzle.

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This is a "pierced patchbox" with a domed lid. Lots of time cutting this out of a door kick. Then to the install.

Will post more as time goes on today or tomorrow.

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Here is a shot of the patchbox on the left hander. This is such a "hodge podge" of ideas and design I don't know where to stop really. Once the nose cap is done, I'll do some carving on the cheek side.

Well here what was under the pour. I have some bubbles to fix as you can see. Why? One of 2 things can create this surface: pewter too hot or not enough graphite to help the flow. In my case I poured without using the graphite powder and now I have some work to do.

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Oh well you can get em' all the time. I'll post some repair shots when I get this right.

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nn4jw

Jim
Corporate Member
DQ
Dan, was that kind of thing for just decoration or did it add strength and/or maybe protection for the nose end of the stock?
 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
DQ
OK I'll try to answer Mark and Jim in one reply. The pewter turns to liquid around 400 degrees. The trick is to let it cool down cause its so hard to get it to be as close to say 400 as you would like. If you pour it too hot it bubbles as it "gases out" and this is a pain to fix.

In all of the dozens of pours I have attempted the cardboard has never burned. A bigger worry is the delicate edges of the maple getting charred from the hot liquid. Its a balancing act to some degree but after a couple tries it comes.

The biggest frustration is sealing the bottom of the casting so the hot liquid does not come out during the pour.

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Here you see the method of creating an entree pipe with a fit iron cap. This will take an average to good builder 3 hours to fit and get it just right. The poured nose cap takes less time and the fitting is just file work. The pewter is for protection and wear on the muzzle of a long rifle and the half stock styles. When done carefully it offers lots of design options that the formed iron does not. Sadly, this is another skill that has fallen by the side as industrial techniques just could not do this anymore.

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Here is a simple "plains rifle" made for my nephew in walnut. To my surprise he likes the walnut stock more than the figured maple. This nose cap was done with plumber's lead. It doesn't shine like the pewter but it behaves about the same. A little softer but not to worry about it.

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Here's another skill lost over time. This is wire inlay work. You are looking at a knife handle with silver and some copper and silver nails for a nice touch. The hard part here is where you see four lines converge into one line. This has to be hammered to a very thin thickness then set in. Notice the pewter on the bolster? A little engraving and it fits right in. How's that for line and berry Phil?

Note: I did not do this handle its from a friend's bench.
 
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