This page is for members of the club to show some of the projects they've been working on. Please feed free to leave feedback/comments at the bottom,
If you are a member and would like to display a project of your own, please use the contact form in the link below.
This project involved the restoration of a small percussion pistol, which was found in a garden after many years of hibernation underground. All that existed of this little treasure was the ironwork, all quite pitted and rusty (adds to the charm!)
The first job for this resto was to acquire a spring, and make it fit. instead of making a new spring from scratch, it was decided to take an old spring, and modify it to fit this pistol. Fitting the spring was not as easy task, as each arm of the spring serves its purpose - the top arm provides the elastic force for the hammer, and the bottom arm provides the trigger pull force. There is some elegance of V-springs that they can be used in this way, essentially providing the function of two springs in one.
In order to hold the spring securely, the spring hook on the tang had to be replaced. The old hook was small and weak, looking like it held a very heavy spring in the past!
The next job was to begin shaping a grip for this pistol, a lump of English walnut was used for this, as it would have originally have been. First the tang of the pistol was inlet, into what appeared like a square block of wood, and then the grip was shaped into a 'bag' shape, leaving enough thickness on the top for the brass top strap to be inlet. One particular point to note is that the spring needed to be entirely enclosed by the grip, so a lot of wood needed to be removed to allow this!
The next job was to make the top strap, which was shaped, filed and sanded from a flat piece of brass bar. The top strap also needed a hole and screw to secure it to the grip. It was essential that the screw did not intercept the spring within the grip, or the top strap may find itself flying off to a chorus of great upset.
Once the top strap had been inlet flush to the grip, this little gem started to look like the pistol that it was originally made as. It could have been stopped there, but it was decided to give this antique a little something extra that other pistols of this era would not have.... Make it stand out from the crowd, as it were....
The carving was done in an old scroll style pattern with a stippled background, drawn up and designed by me, so this is now a one-of-a-kind object. Next stage was to make a brass hammer screw, and start finishing of the grip!
A good couple of coats of oil to finish and there you have it! One fancy restored English Pocket pistol, circa ~1840.
This Winchester originally had a plastic heel plate that did not fit the stock properly. In order to resolve this, a new heel pad was made from African Blackwood, which was then carved with the iconic 'Winchester' Logo, in an original style. The Letters in the logo were relief carved and the background was stippled.
First the heel plate was shaped to allow fitting to the curved end of the stock.
Woodcarving begins! slowly each letter emerged, cutting away the background around them.
Heel plate after stippling, ready for fitting.
Woodcarving reaching its end, the heel plate is nearly ready to be fitted and ground back to the stock shape. Only stippling of the background remains.
Shining stock after heel plate fitting and refinishing.
This 20 Bore Hammergun was made in Germany, by Fluggstahl, possibly even made before the outbreak of WW2, and is a good example of a mid century hammer shotgun.
The stock on this gun was far too short for comfortable use, it may have once have been cut down for a lady or a child to use, but either way it required lengthening. Lengthening a stock without having a piece of the original wood used during manufacture is not an easy task - One has to find a similar piece of wood with a similar grain direction and curl.
For a gun made over half a century ago this may prove very difficult, as the wood used then was likely to be of far better quality than anything grown today.
It was then suggested that if a break in the wood could be determined, such as a line through the stock, this would separate the two pieces of wood - the original stock and the extension piece.
An old scrap stock was chosen to sacrifice for the extension piece, mainly due to the nature of the wood having similar grain to the hammergun stock, but also for ease of shaping, as the extension piece then had a rough profile that would make it easy to sculpt and shape.
After fixing the extension piece on, it was decided to make a feature of the extension, and a German inspired Rococo scroll pattern was relief carved on each side of the stock.
The heel plate is a peice of African blackwood, finished on the heel with a shield border and skip-line chequered pattern.
The chequering on the forend was also replenished, but the original lines were used as guide lines. In order to do this, a scalpel knife was used to mark out all the original faded lines. See picture above left to see the worn forend before re-chequering.
This project involved making a new pair of grips for a Pietta Colt Navy 1851 model. This black powder revolver originally had a plain set of grips, and it was decided that the new set should be carved to reflect the original design of this firearm. Please see the pictures below and a description of the scenes.
These grips have been made from scratch out of a piece of American Curly Maple, in the spirit of the old American longrifles.
The border is a rope style pattern, shaped in a bell like fashion with a well known ‘reef knot’ which I imagine was used commonly at the time of these vessels.
The Wooden masted ship on the left hand side is the famous ship USS Constitution, and although she did not fight in the American civil war where the colt navy was primarily used, she was used as a US training ship throughout.
The steam ship on the right hand side is CSS Nashville, which was originally launched in 1853 and was later commandeered by the Confederates in 1861. This ship in particular is quite an interesting one, as she was the first Confederate warship ship to run the blockade and cross the Atlantic to reach Southampton! Quite a fitting vessel to be carved on this colt navy that is currently situated in England!
I chose to put two different ships used by each different side of the civil war, as the Colt Navy itself was a firearm used by both Unionists and Confederates. This goes to show that back in its day it was the Quintessential caplock revolver of the time, and this carving serves as a testament to the magnificent but deadly piece of craftsmanship and engineering that is the 1851 Colt Navy.
One of our members has recently undertaken a restoration of a HW77K air rifle. It was in very poor condition with badly corroded metal parts, and rotting woodwork. The pictures below tell the restoration story of this air rifle.
As these photos show, Cliff may have opened up a can of worms in attempting to restore this air rifle, for in the state it was in, it was worthy only of the scrap heap...
The first stage of restoration involved stripping the metalwork down into individual parts, and removing the rust and corrosion.
The metalwork was all rubbed down to a bright shiny steel, ready for a new finish. Some internal parts had to be replaced and refurbished due to the harsh internal corrosion that had also prevented the rifle from functioning properly.
The individual metal parts of the rifle were refurbished, refinished and re-assembled.
The woodwork started to look better after some sanding, the rotten wood was removed, and there was hope for the stock yet! As the stock needed an entire refinish, it was decided that the stock should be carved. Pictures above show before and after carving, staining and final finish.
Some pictures of the restored rifle are shown above and below, showing the shiny new metalwork and the leaf carving on the stock.
"Cant make a silk purse out of a pig's ear" - Well in the case of this air rifle, you can! All members who worked on this HW77K project hope that it inspires others to take on some other challenging projects.
If you are a SDRPC member and would like to post a project here, or you have any questions regarding the projects above, please use one of the contact forms to notify us.