Author Topic: What Did You Do Today  (Read 15070 times)

Jake Parker

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #330 on: April 13, 2019, 11:02:21 PM »
A few months ago, while strolling through a garage sale, I saw a rough cut piece of brass that was 2.25"x8".
The tag stated "grandfather clock weight $15".
It still had saw marks on both ends!
I did some negotiating and walked out with my prise for a mere $5.
Fast foward to tonight where I started turning it into its finall shape.

Jake Parker

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #331 on: April 13, 2019, 11:06:05 PM »
A few months ago, while strolling through a garage sale, I saw a rough cut piece of brass that was 2.25"x8".
The tag stated "grandfather clock weight $15".
It still had saw marks on both ends!
I did some negotiating and walked out with my prise for a mere $5.
Fast foward to tonight where I started turning it into its finall shape.

Its going to be a scale replica of a 18# Howitzer naval cannon.
They were originally cast in bronze, but, im not nit-picking!
It will have a final bore of .500" so I could shoot readily available muskrt balls. At this point Im mot sure if I will fire anything out of it.

grumpygator

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #332 on: April 13, 2019, 11:18:37 PM »
Jake,
 You really should talk to Terry about loads for that. Memory serves he had a chart for cannon safe cannon loads.
  **G**

Jake Parker

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #333 on: April 13, 2019, 11:21:24 PM »
Thank you Gator!

Terrywerm

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Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #334 on: April 14, 2019, 03:13:37 AM »

I do have one, and will attach it before I post this. But, since I work with .50 caliber stuff all the time, I can tell you that you probably don't want to use any more than 20 grains of 3F black powder, or 40 grains of 2F black powder. When I say grains here, we are talking about grains as a measure of volume, not weight. Brass barrels won't be as strong as steel, so I wouldn't push it. Steel rifle barrels often go to 90 or 100 grains, but they make better use of the gases created by the extra powder because of the longer barrel. With that short barrel, you will probably find that you can cut the amounts listed above to 10 grains of 3F or 20 grains of 2F. Anything more will just be burning in mid-air and giving no advantage. Great fireworks effect at night, but really wasteful of the powder.


Something you need to know about powder: There are different grades that reference the granule size. Granule size is very important because within a given volume of powder, the smaller the particles are the more total surface area the powder has.  The greater the surface area, the faster it burns, and the greater the chamber pressures.  As a result, 3F powder has about double the force or perceived energy of 2F powder. ALWAYS use a powder measure to measure your powder charges. NEVER guess, and NEVER pour directly from a powder horn, can, or flask into the barrel. If there is an ember in the barrel when you add fresh powder, you'll wish that you will have had a very small amount of powder in your hand! If you pour from a one pound can and it ignites, well, it's been nice knowing you.


Make certain that any of your loading tools such as ramrods, powder measures, picks, etc., are non-sparking. They should be made from brass, aluminum, or wood. Some plastics are okay, while some can build up static electricity, so avoid them. Make sure that none of those tools are made from ferrous materials as they may cause a spark under proper conditions.


It should also be rather obvious that you should not smoke when handling powder, and keep smokers away too.


Here is a list of the powders that are commonly available, going from the largest granule size to the smallest.
  • Cannon powder is for bores of about 2" or greater.
  • The smaller bores use a smaller granule size, one of the "fine" grades, of which there are four. 1F is the coarsest of the fine powders, 4F is the finest.
  • 1F is for large shotguns and bores of about 1" up to 2"
  • 2F is used for .50 caliber on up to 1" or 1.5" bore
  • 3F is used for .50 caliber or less.
  • 4F is used ONLY as priming powder in the pan of flint lock rifles. It is NEVER used as the main charge.
  • Flash powder is finer yet, and is about as fine as flour. It is only used as a light source for old time photography and the like.
Please do not be tempted to use the wrong powder for your barrel size, and DO NOT use smokeless powder under any circumstances. The bang will not be any louder, and your projectile will not gain any more energy, but you could possibly kill or injure yourself or others. Err on the side of caution and you can fire your cannon many times, but if you err the other way, you will only fire it once because it will now be a grenade and not a cannon.


If you are interested in shooting blanks most of the time, you can do so by ramming three or four patches down the barrel on top of the powder and no projectile. Patches should be COTTON.  Don't use rayon, or any of the modern fabrics as they will melt and create a nasty charred plastic coating on the inside of the barrel. Not good.  If you want to fire some blanks, you can get away with using a newspaper wad on top of the powder, but newspaper will not work very well as patching behind a lead ball.


A word of caution: black powder and especially the black powder substitutes create a ring of residue in the barrel just above the point where the ball seats on the powder. After several shots, this ring of residue can build up enough that the ball and patch stop before touching the powder. This is a very dangerous situation because the air gap between the powder and the ball causes the gun to behave much like an obstructed gun barrel. Muzzleloading guns can become 'walnutted' (expanded) or even explode when this occurs. Because of this, you need to do a couple of things as listed here:
  • Mark your ramrod with two marks. One to show the muzzle when the rod is inserted into a known empty barrel, and another mark to indicate when the rod is sitting upon a ball and charge of powder that you have determined to be your standard load for the piece.
  • After a number of shots, it will be necessary to run a cleaning patch dampened with water down the barrel to remove the residue ring. This residue ring builds up faster with black powder substitutes than with real black powder because kaolin clay is used as a binder in black powder substitutes. This clay appears in the barrel as more residue than what is produced by true black powder. You will also need to run a dry patch after running a damp patch before you load again.
  • After taking a shot, full sized cannon barrels are swabbed with a wet sponge before loading again to ensure that all embers are extinguished. The moisture left behind does not significantly affect the new powder charge. With small cannon such as what we are discussing here, swabbing after each shot is not really practical, but you could run a damp patch and a dry patch after every shot if you wish. This would prevent the build up of a residue ring in the barrel, eliminating the possibility of an air gap between powder and ball.  If you choose not to swab the barrel, you should at least insert the ramrod in the barrel and move it up and down several times. This introduces enough fresh, cool air to extinguish any embers that may be left behind. Large powder charges also increase the likelihood of lingering embers, another reason to keep your charges down to a somewhat conservative volume. NEVER blow down the barrel.


Cleaning: ALWAYS clean the piece after you are done firing it and are ready to put it away. If you don't have to time to clean when you are done, then don't shoot. The residues left behind by black powder and black powder substitutes are corrosive, even on brass. For cleaning, just use cleaning patches and hot soapy water and lots of it. Once it is clean, dry it out and that's it. Since it's brass, you don't need to worry about rust or corrosion for the most part once it is clean and dry. Don't use any oil on it, at least not inside as it will contaminate your powder the next time you load it. Black powder is water soluble, in fact it is made using a wet, water based process. Modern powders are made differently and require a solvent to dissolve the petrochemical residue that is left, but that is not the case with black powder.  If you use Pyrodex or a similar black powder substitute, you only need water to remove its residue also, as they are sugar or molasses based. If you wish to coat the inside of the barrel with anything during storage, use a vegetable based bore butter. It is easily swabbed out before you load the piece the next time.


If you use Triple 7 black powder substitute, you need to use 10% less powder by volume than you would if you were using Pyrodex or black powder. No matter what you use, always read the manufacturer's information on the container before using it.


What if you end up with a misfire? Wait several minutes before putting in another fuse, as it may be a hang-fire, which is a delayed ignition of the powder due to some unseen problem. I've seen hang fires of several seconds up to nearly a minute. Be patient and stay away!  After waiting for an appropriate time, insert another fuse and try again. If you try it three times and it doesn't go off, put the whole piece into a bucket of water and leave it like that for at least 30 minutes, 60 would be better. This ensures that water gets into all of the powder through the vent hole. After that you will need to "pull the ball" using a tool for that purpose and clean the barrel out entirely.


Lastly, I hope I don't sound like the safety police or anything like that, and I don't wish to insult anyone's intelligence. I just want to make sure that you can enjoy your new cannon in a safe manner for many years to come. I am amazed by the number of people I meet each year that have lots of strange ideas and myths about muzzleloading guns and cannons, and I don't know why more people aren't killed or injured by them. As a result, I am condensing what would make a small book into this one post. There is much more that could be discussed, but what I've posted here should be enough to get you started in a safe manner.


NOTE: The attached chart is assuming a steel barrel and using 2F black powder. I see now that the maximum powder charge for a .50 caliber cannon is about 45 grains on the chart. Once again, for brass I wouldn't use anything near that much.


If you have any questions, please contact me and I will be extremely happy to assist you in any way that I can. I have a deep passion for muzzleloaders and cannons, and if I can spread it to others in a safe manner, it makes my day.
Terry

Making chips with old machines!

Jake Parker

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #335 on: April 14, 2019, 07:56:45 AM »
Thank you Terry!!!
Im building this as a birthday present for my best friend, whom is a gun enthusiast. I dont know if a projectile will actually ever be fired from it.

woodchucker

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #336 on: April 14, 2019, 10:01:01 AM »
You can always fire paper wads, like a starter cannon for yaht racing. A friend had one, and would bring it out to make some noise. Quite impressive the amount of concussion that puts out. I think his barrel was 12 inches.. it's been a long time so I'm a little sketchy.
Jeff
Clausing 8520   SB Model 9a - power hacksaw, Milwaukee band saw in a table.  Delta Rockwell Surface Grinder (not online yet .. being rebuilt where am I going to stick this)
For pics: https://imgur.com/user/woodchucker/posts

RayH

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #337 on: April 14, 2019, 10:08:27 AM »
Terry,
I appreciated your black powder post a great deal because I knew essentially on the subject.

Other than the obvious danger of pointing a muzzle at one's face, is there another reason for "NEVER blow down the barrel"?
Ray

Terrywerm

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Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #338 on: April 14, 2019, 06:17:42 PM »

Jake, you are most welcome!  Anytime I can get somebody pointed in the right direction with black powder stuff, I do it. I just don't like to think of people getting hurt. Following a few simple protocols are all that are really required. One of these days I will write a Black Powder Primer that I can post up here as a PDF or something, free to any that wish to download it and share it.  If he only ever uses it to make noise, chances are that 10 grains of either 3F or 2F is all he will ever need. Just impress on him how important it is to never use smokeless powder.


My very first cannon was built many years ago when I was in high school. It had a 7/16" bore 7" deep. My brother snuck it away to his friends place without me knowing it and they loaded up about 200 grains of Hercules Red Dot and lit it off. Luckily, it did not explode, but the trunnion pins were both shot out the sides and never found again. They were lucky they weren't killed! I still have the cannon, and will post a photo of it one of these days if I remember to dig it out.

So, who wants to learn about tomahawk throwing??  ;D


Ray, the reason we never blow down the barrel is in case there is unburned powder remaining in the bottom of the barrel. The atmosphere down there is depleted of oxygen, and if there happens to be a hot ember down there, a puff a air may be all it takes to get it to flare up and ignite the remaining powder that has now dried out from the heat of the recently completed shot. Unburned powder can occur if it gets damp from running a damp patch down the barrel and not getting it swabbed completely dry. The heat of the shot then dries it out. Black powder, as I previously mentioned, is made using a wet process. Modern smokeless powders are permanently rendered useless by water, but not so with black powder. Once it dries out, it's ready to go. So, blowing down the barrel could possibly result in a flare up in the face. 


The safe way to clear the barrel of smoke and embers is to drop the ramrod in the barrel just after the shot, then stroke it up and down a few times. This brings both oxygen and cool air into the barrel, which quickly extinguishes any hot embers that may be in there. A second advantage is that leaving the ramrod in the barrel until you add powder is a reminder that you have not yet added powder. If there are people around asking questions, it is very easy to forget where you are in the reloading process. Remember:  Powder - Patch - Ball or it won't shoot at all!  Of course if you are shooting blanks, all you need is powder and a plug of newspaper wadding to a depth that about equals the diameter of the bore.


Civil War re-enactors never pour loose powder into their rifles from a powder measure or a powder horn. Doing so was a Hollywood thing because it looked cool. Instead, they make up paper cartridges which you see them tear open, then pour the powder down the barrel. After that they stuff the paper down the barrel as a wad, and finally they drive the mini-ball (a type of bullet) home. The bullets did not need a patch to help them establish a seal on the barrel because they were hollow in the back. The expanding gasses of the shot pushed the sides of the bullet out to create a seal. If you watch re-enactors closely, they will usually run the ramrod in and out of the barrel to make sure it is empty and to extinguish embers before they pour in the powder charge for the next shot. In a real war, soldiers did not take the time to make sure that the barrel was clear before loading the next shot, as that was the least of their worries. We are not under that kind of pressure so we try to do things in a safer fashion.
Terry

Making chips with old machines!

f350ca

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #339 on: April 14, 2019, 11:16:22 PM »
Finished the Nixie clock up tonight. Took a couple of evenings. My soldering is getting a little rusty but the old 1500 watt Weller soldering gun pulled through.

f350ca

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #340 on: April 14, 2019, 11:21:54 PM »
Got to figure out how to enter photos between type.
Anyway today hoping spring will someday arrive I decided to make a filter for the garden water. I water from a small pond, debris plays havoc with the sprinklers. Milled slots in the center 1 1/2 ABS pipe then wrapped and soldered a super fine brass screen around it. Was pleasantly surprised how well it soldered with a bit of soldering paste. The water will enter through the T go through the screen and out through the end. All threads apart for cleaning.

savarin

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #341 on: April 15, 2019, 03:55:15 AM »
I needed some thin brass shims.
 Drilled a 6mm dole in some mild steel, turned a 6mm spigot to fit, inserted the spigot in the drill, set it in the hole, clamped the die to the drill table.Punched a bunch of holes.
I was amazed at how easy this was.
 Cut the holes from the sheet and tightened then between 2 washers and turned them round.

Carpenter84

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #342 on: April 15, 2019, 06:29:51 AM »
Got to figure out how to enter photos between type.
Anyway today hoping spring will someday arrive I decided to make a filter for the garden water. I water from a small pond, debris plays havoc with the sprinklers. Milled slots in the center 1 1/2 ABS pipe then wrapped and soldered a super fine brass screen around it. Was pleasantly surprised how well it soldered with a bit of soldering paste. The water will enter through the T go through the screen and out through the end. All threads apart for cleaning.

Only way to insert pictures between text here is using a third party hosting and posting the link.

That brass screen was probably more expensive than an actual water filter! No? I had done something similar before but used a standard under the sink 10” water filter housing I found free. The 5 micron filters are $10.
I like cobbling plumbing parts together. Something about searching for all the fittings then once it’s all assembled, it feels good to be completed and functioning.
Shawn

First 9x42 column mill,
Enterprise 10x28 lathe,
Ko Lee 6x12 surface grinder,
Airco dip/stick 160 welder,
Fully stocked wood shop.

Carpenter84

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #343 on: April 15, 2019, 06:30:56 AM »
I needed some thin brass shims.
 Drilled a 6mm dole in some mild steel, turned a 6mm spigot to fit, inserted the spigot in the drill, set it in the hole, clamped the die to the drill table.Punched a bunch of holes.
I was amazed at how easy this was.
 Cut the holes from the sheet and tightened then between 2 washers and turned them round.

Niiiice idea with the clamping washers. That’s going in the “good idea” brain bank for sure.
Shawn

First 9x42 column mill,
Enterprise 10x28 lathe,
Ko Lee 6x12 surface grinder,
Airco dip/stick 160 welder,
Fully stocked wood shop.

woodchucker

Re: What Did You Do Today
« Reply #344 on: April 15, 2019, 08:10:17 AM »
Got to figure out how to enter photos between type.


If you use an image server like imgur or photobucket, you can put the text in and put image links in between the text.


Disadvantage clicking on the image will not enlarge it.  If the service (like photobucket) decides to go premium and pay for links, all the links are lost.
Jeff
Clausing 8520   SB Model 9a - power hacksaw, Milwaukee band saw in a table.  Delta Rockwell Surface Grinder (not online yet .. being rebuilt where am I going to stick this)
For pics: https://imgur.com/user/woodchucker/posts