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2 Bore Jones Underlever B/P Cartridge Rifle

CowboyCS

Well-known member
The last of the metal work before I start inletting this rifle to wood; as I said I had to drill and tap for a few screws and finish up the sights.

The first part was making the bolt that holds the Underlever in, this bolt is shouldered just behind the threads so that it seat to depth in the action and is also shoulder just a few thousands long at the head to allow the Underlever to rotate freely, but still hold it close to the action.

You're probably wondering what keeps it from backing out when you rotate the handle, there is a threaded plug on the opposite side that is partially engaging the threads so it can't back out.

You might also be wondering what keeps it from rotating all the way around when not engaged to the monoblock; there is a hidden spring loaded detent that engages the side of the underlever.

And this picture here is of the set screw that prevents the extractor from coming completely out of the action.


The rear sight; this is one of the few purchased parts of this rifle, it is an NECG multi-leaf express sight. I can make these from scratch if need be, but it takes a considerable amount of time and the NECG is a good quality product for a decent price. This was simply a matter of machining out the bulk of the material in the mill and then hand filing to dovetails to fit.



The front sight is one of mine, made from scratch, it is a Silver bead partial caterpillar that is fit into a machined slot in the sight base and retained with a set screw. Similar to the English style front sights. NECG makes sights similar to this but theirs use a detent to hold the sight in and I prefer the more solid hold of a set screw.



After all these months of metal work it's finally ready to go to wood, when I'm building from scratch like this I don't usually take them past a file finish because I like to work my wood and metal together and it would mean that I would have to polish it twice if I went any further with the finish now.

Colin
 

CowboyCS

Well-known member
I've been contacted by several people in the last week on various forums, moaning and begging and crying(just kidding) for another update, mostly they just wanted to see the wood I found for this project.

I'm gonna start by saying that finding the right piece of wood for this project took several months to track down and I think I know most of the hardwood suppliers in this country by first name now. Ultimately it was Steve Zihn who finally found what I was looking for. The criteria for this was a piece 3"minimum x 12" x minimum 24"and it had to be very tight grained, very dense Sugar(Rock) Maple, figure and character of the wood was a secondary consideration for this project. The reason I wanted the hardest densest tightest grained piece of Maple I could get was because unlike the 2 Bore Boxlock were I was able to run a through rod to a steel buttspacer to "channel" the recoil and allow the wood to basically act a holding device, this buttstock won't have that rod arrangement, so the stock has to take all the recoil. The hardest part of finding a piece of wood was the 3" wide requirement, most of the hardwood suppliers I talked to were willing to reset there saws and cut me a piece any width I wanted, but it would be a new piece. Since I didn't really have the time to wait a couple years for it to stabilize,(I don't care for kiln dried stock blanks) that limited me to finding a piece that was ready to go. Apparently most of the stock suppliers in this country cut 2-1/2" wide or narrower stock blanks, which is great unless your action is 2" wide to start with and you have to have enough wood for cast off and a cheeckpiece.

The way I lay these out is fairly simple, I trace the pattern right off of the original drawings of the rifle, since all the critical dimension were drawn 1:1 on the originals I know that it is correct for length of pull, drop at comb, and drop at heel, etc... I then examined the blank and found what I considered to be the correct lay of the grain and transferred the pattern for the buttstock and forearm.


Then I cut them out on my bandsaws, I start at my rough cut saw and get the blank down to a more manageable size and then I go to my smaller bandsaw and cut pretty exact to the lines. The line thickness usually ends up leaving me about 1/8" over-sized all the way around, the extra allows me to make corrections as I'm inletting if need be.


Then I cut off a piece of Ebony for the forearm tip, and use small dowels and 2 part epoxy to secure it to the forearm.


Then I mark all of my layout lines, I started a bit off center with the action to allow for the cheekpiece and the cast off. Then the inletting process begins, for light colored wood I like to use Prussian Blueand it's just a matter of getting in there with Chisels, Gouges, Scrapers and Files and removing wood. All of the edges of the tang and most of the other parts are beveled, so that as it goes down into the wood it gets wider, as long as I don't make any major mistakes, the bevels basically make the inletting process self correcting. The rest is just patience and time, I just keep removing the high spots and widening out as it gets deeper into the wood.




I'm actually a little farther along than these pictures, but I haven't had time to get them on my computer and uploaded. But you can see from these that if it's done right the inletting should look like the tree grew around the metal. You'll notice in this last picture there is a little check right there at the grip that extends forward to the edge of the action, that will go away once I start shaping the stock down, it doesn't extend into the wood, when I inlet for the shoulder on the action it wasn't visible inside.

As a side note, this is quite possibly the hardest piece of Maple I have ever laid my hands on, when I run a farriers rasp across it, it peels up these tight little tiny curls instead of actually cutting in like a rasp does on most pieces of wood. It going to be fun to shape, but it should hold nice sharp, crisp edges around everything though.

Colin
 

BelchFire

I speak fluent Vise-Grip
Admin
I've been speechless for weeks now. This is one of the coolest things I've ever watched; an action being built from scratch. Better 'n butter.
 

CowboyCS

Well-known member
I finished up inletting the action and the bottom tang/trigger plate, drilled and tapped for all the screws to hold the action into the stock, I attached the Gripcap and did all the layout for the recoil pad. Then I started thinning down the left side of the stock so I could get closer to the final shape and start inletting for the back-action lock and as I was working the wood down, a little gray line appeared in the wood, no big deal I thought, it's just a dark streak, there's one up by the action left from the check that got removed, but as I got deeper into the wood that little gray streak turned into a fairly large knot that leaves a pretty good blemish. I did some thorough examining and I can't find anywhere that it comes out any other place on the stock, and since it is solid and not a core type Knot that would have a loose center, I think what it is, was a branch that got snapped off when the tree was young and then grew over as the tree aged. It's not in an area that will effect the structure or strength of the rifle and it will be backed up with epoxy and steel on the inside when I put the counterweights in the buttstock, so really it is just a visual issue. With that in mind I took a couple pictures and emailed my customer and explained the situation, and that I would start over if he wanted or we could proceed from here and when I start shaping the other side, we would be able to see if it runs through or if it is just a shallow blemish, unfortunately I can't go deeper on this side since I am about a 1/16" proud of finished dimension at the butt. I got his email back this morning and he isn't concerned with the blemish so I'll proceed as planned and with a little nod to God for his creation, hopefully this stock will work out just fine from here and have an interesting bit of character. The wood does have some nice figure in a few areas, so it might blend in fairly well after it is stained.



It is starting to take on the shape of a rifle now though, and I think after it is stained it won't look to bad.



Colin
 

myfriendis410

Well-known member
I'm with Belch: this is what this forum is for, plain and simple.

Have you thought about fuming? You might find it gives you a better finished look and more "chatoiance" (??) not sure of the spelling there.

One suggestion for you to consider too: look into the use of cyanoacrylate (super glue) for some of your wood related joings. I did in depth testing and found it is superior to almost every epoxy for bond strength and hold. The only issue is that it penetrates and will not allow the wood to accept stains or dyes. I'm not talking about the stuff at the drug store: the commercial stuff along with a good accelerator is a wonderful tool.
 

CowboyCS

Well-known member
I have done some fuming of maple in the past with good results, but in this case stain is the customers choice so that's what it will be getting.

I don't mind using the Super glue type adhesives on walnut, because they almost never get stained and the oil finish I use blends the glue in if need be, but on maple I prefer commercial marine grade two part epoxy. It tends to be thicker and stay were I put it and gives me a longer set time to work with things. Beside the cyanoacrylates give me a horrible headache, even when I'm outside in open air....I think I might be allergic to the chemicals in them, nasty stuff.

Colin
 

myfriendis410

Well-known member
I can agree with you on the noxious nature of cyano and the aromatic amines required to accelerate it. I used to buy the stuff by the case about once a month. Saved my a$$ in my wood shop, let me tell you. The other wonderful attribute to the low viscosity stuff is that if you are working with a ring-porous hardwood (think oak), a wipe down with cyano after sanding and before finish will stabilize the pores, seal them and allow you to build up a "sheet of glass" type finish. Works with your favorite oil finish recipe too. I'm not a big fan of sanding in my oil finish as it tends to muddy the finished product like stains do.

However, the customer is the last word.
 

CowboyCS

Well-known member
This week went very well, I didn't have to many interruptions and the work progressed nicely. I started by shaping down the right side of the stock and the rest of the grip area. I really wanted to find out if that blemish ran through or if it was shallow like I thought it was, it turns out it doesn't run out anywhere, so it should be good to go. I'll know for sure when I drill the buttstock for the counterweights, but I don't foresee any problems at this point.


Then I inlet for the forearm and shaped it down a bit, nothing really fancy here, I guess you would call it a splinter type forearm, not that it resembles a splinter being as wide as it is... I used a piece of 1-3/4" roundstock as a scraper to get the final passes contoured to the barrel(nobody makes inletting tools large enough for this type of work).


For as big as this thing is, 3" from top to bottom and 2" wide it really is shaping out to be a very graceful rifle looking rifle, of course looks are deceiving, it weighs 19 pounds and I haven't add the counterweights to the butt to get the balance right on it yet. The desired weight is 22 pounds but it might end up just a little heavier to get the balance correct, 28" is a lot of barrel hanging out there...


And now I am down to inletting the last few parts, off-side plate, lock plate, and forearm key eschuteons. Then the rest will be finish work, sanding polishing, engraving, etc... I still need to make the chamber reamer and cut the chamber, but that is a fairly easy job.


I would have gotten a little farther yesterday, but as I was inletting the off-side lock plate, my son called from the barn...(kids and cell phones) and said he needed help moving the livestock around. One of our Pygmy Nannies decided yesterday in the rain storm would be a good time to have her kids. By the time I was done messing with the goats and had everything sorted out, I pretty much gave up for the day and went in the house.


Yesterday was the beginning of Spring Break though so hopefully most of the kids will be born this coming week while both my boys have nothing better to do. I guess I really didn't do nothing the rest of the evening, I did spend a couple hours working on the drawings for the engraving.

Colin
 

CowboyCS

Well-known member
I finally got the last of the inletting done this week. The Lock Plate, the Off-side plate, the escheutons and the trigger are all in now. With the lock in place it was simply a matter of reshaping the hammer and making a few adjustments to get it striking the firing pin properly. I reshaped the hammer to give it the more flowing look that the original has, it will never have the deep "S" curve shape that the original has because of the difference in the length due to the bigger action, but I think it worked out fairly nice and compliments this action well.



The three pictures above show the hammer in the firing position, half cock and full cock position.




By the end of today I should have the Chamber reamer made and the Chamber cut, at that point this will basically be a working rifle. What remains to be done is the counterweights in the buttstock to add a little more weight and balance the rifle properly, some stoning and refinement to the trigger and then on to the finish work, sanding, polishing, engraving, Color Case hardening, Rust bluing, stock finish and sighting in.I know that doesn't sound like a very short list, but this project really is heading into the final stretch.

Colin
 

slanttop357

Well-known member
Man that is going to be one nice rifle when your finished, Do you ever video your self when you take that first shot that would be so cool to see, And you know Belch would just comeonglued :lol bashing sign:
 

BelchFire

I speak fluent Vise-Grip
Admin
Ya beat me to it, inchr. I love the way he has to re-seat his glasses after every shot. Hee hee hee.
 

inchr48

Moderator
Moderator
Lashing the action to the railroad tie and double charging it was cool too.

Aren't you glad we are easily entertained, CowboyCS?

That rifle is looking mighty fine. I just may have to order my BP shotgun.
 

CowboyCS

Well-known member
Ohh yeah easily entertained....just months of blood, sweat and on rare occasions tears.... Just kidding I'm glad you all are enjoying my builds.

I didn't get near as much done as I wanted to this week, I was out of town several days and had to many thing to mention get in the way of me being in my shop as much as I wanted to be. Next week isn't looking much better.....such is life. In any case I did manage to get the Chamber Reamer made and the chamber cut. I used the cases I had in hand to take dimensions off of and then turned a piece of O-1in my lathe to make the Reamer, I then put it in my mill and roughed out most of the material for a single flute, then made a few precision cuts to gut the cutting edge and the relief behind it. Then I spent the better part of last Saturday putting new bricks, elements and a new digital controller in my heat treat furnace. By the time I was done conditioning the new equipment and had the reamer cooking, I didn't get done until 1am Sunday morning. Monday I was out of town, Tuesday I finished reaming the chamber, this was a long process, with only a single flute reamer, I was only able to advance about .020" per cut....it takes a while to cut 3.5" of chamber at .020" per cut. It mostly went well, the reamer makes a nice cut, but I did have one little problem, about 3/4 of the way finished a chip must have slipped by the cutting edge because I ended up with a scratch ring, by the time the chamber was cut fully to depth it is nearly gone, but there is still just a slight shadow of it in the chamber, I can barely feel it by dragging a dental pick across it, so I would say it is probably less than .001", but I will have to come in and polish the chamber to get rid of it. Not a huge deal, but kind of frustrating, it's just one of those things that has to be dealt with and I've had it happen with a commercial reamer, so it's just one of those things.

Nothing really fancy in this reamer, just a single flute with a flat relief under the cutting edge, and then hand sharpened. I don't know if you can see it in the picture or not, but this was taken after I did a test cut on the barrel scrap that was cut off earlier in the project, you can see the shavings at the leading edge of the reamer. You can probably see the weird coloration ring(oval shaped) from the quench, I don't know why it discolored like that , but it cut just fine even along the discolored area so it doesn't really matter.



It chambers smoothly and the head spacing is great, and the extractor works very well with a nice positive engagement to the rim. Once I get the Chamber polished to get rid of the scratch it should be perfect.

I primed a couple cartridges to snap the hammer and test out the firing pin, the firing pin is striking off center, I should have figured that given the extreme angle that it passes through the action and I should have drilled it slightly past center to compensate for the angle. It will still work fine it just looks off....this is just part of prototyping unfortunately, you run into things that could have easily been compensated for if you had thought of it sooner. The only other issue is the hammer isn't hitting quite hard enough, it's taking two hits to set off the primer, but that is something that I was aware might happen, because of the angle of the firing pin and the fact that arsenal primers(50bmg) are harder anyways I figured I might have to do some polishing to the lock internals and increase the tension on the main spring. If increasing the tension on the main spring doesn't give it enough force, I will just replace it with a heavier one.

As you can see the firing pin works, it just looks a little off. On the next one I will compensate for the angle when I drill the firing pin hole so that it strikes center. I could bush the breech face and re-drill this one but since it is hitting partially on center and setting the primer off fine when it gets enough force from the hammer, I don't think I will change it.

I ended up re-crowning the muzzle...as I was taking it out of the lathe(with my oily hands from the cutting oil used during chambering) the barrel slipped and I managed to nick the crown on one of the ways on my lathe, so I had to face it back a little bit and re-crown it. These things happen even to the masters(of which I'm not one).....such is life.

The next update may be a few weeks from now because I am basically down to sanding and polishing, prepping for finish work. Until things are all polished out and all the sanding is done, the pictures really don't change enough to tell the difference, so no real point in posting anything. I have been working on the engraving drawings in the evenings so I might post those soon.

Colin
 

CowboyCS

Well-known member
It's been a few weeks since I updated this, but as I said in the last update, polishing and sanding doesn't really make for good pictures because the changes are hardly noticeable until things are in the white and ready to start the fine detailed finish work.

So after quite a bit of sanding and polishing I have finally arrived at the stage were I am ready to start finishing the wood and engraving metal. I still have a little bit of polishing to do to a couple spots in the metal, but I have already applied several coats of stain to get the color, sanding in between each application.



I've also been working on the engraving drawings and think I've settled on the final revision for this project.




The wood will get many coats of finish, hand rubbed in over the next week or two, with the humidity being what it is were I live it's a slow process, I can only apply about one coat of finish a day, sometimes two if I'm lucky but it takes at least half a day for a single coat to dry and usually a full day. In the in between time though I will be working on the metal, finishing up that last little bit of polish and then onto the engraving.

Colin
 

CowboyCS

Well-known member
This is going to be kind of a long post with a lot of pictures, I've gotten quite a bit done in the last 2 weeks. I apologize for some of the pictures in this update being a little grainy, my camera and I were not getting along very well today, and I couldn't get the lighting to work for me either. So if you'll just suffer through I'll make sure and get better pictures of the finished rifle when the time comes.

I guess I'll start with the wood, I can't honestly tell you how many coats of oil it has on it since I didn't keep track, but it is nearly ready to be checkered now. The blemish on the left side butt stock didn't turn out to bad.






On to the Engraving, this is what took the bulk of the last couple weeks to get done. I quit watching the clock at 100 hours of engraving, this thing is a monstrous canvas to engrave.










I thought I was never going to finish the engraving. It just seemed to go on forever, but I am glad that I did this much coverage, I think it came out very proportional to the rifle.

The other thing I managed to get made in the last few days is the reloading tools. In the next couple of pictures I'll give a brief run down of how they work, since most people are used to a reloading press, not manual hand tools.This is basically a version of a shotgun shell reloading set from around the 1880's, I use a similar set for my 12 Bore Side by Side that I shoot black powder round ball loads in, it's slow but it works very well.


This is the basic set of tools, minus the ball mould, powder measure, and wad cutter(These will need some wadding since 700gr FFg is probably more than anyone wants to shoulder and shoot). I know you are probably thinking that doesn't look like any set of reloading tools I've ever seen, but it will make sense by the time you get to the end of the process.

The Process starts by placing the case upright on the "die", this is assuming you are knocking a primer out and not loading a brand new case, this step can be skipped if it's a new case.

You take the tool with the small punch end and tap the spent primer out.

Then you can clean the pocket and case if you like, then you flip it over and drop it into the "die", this isn't a normal die though, it won't re-size the brass, it is cut with the same reamer as the chamber, so it is a matched set with the rifle.

Put the priming end over the die, and set a primer in the hole. The hole is only a few thousands over sized and acts as a guide to seat the primers. This is a lot easier than trying to seat a primer by hand with no way to line it up and keep it square to the pocket.

Then use the primer seating tool and mallet to seat the primer. The seating tool is shouldered at the proper length to seat the primer, so once it hits the end of the die it can't go any further, no deep seated primers this way.


Flip the whole thing over and set the top of the die aside for a moment while you load your powder, wad(filler) and ball. You'll notice the brass sticks out of this end of the die body just a little ways.

One side of the top of the die, is recessed and square so that when you are seating the primer the case mouth doesn't touch anything, flip it over though and you will notice that this side has a crimp ring machined in it.

Place the crimp side over the ball and give it a couple whacks(technical term) with the mallet and you get a nicely crimped case.

It's a little hard to see, but if you look closely you can see the ring running around just below the mouth were the edge rolls in just a little. Doesn't take much, just enough to keep everything seated.

So that's the jist of what I have been doing for the past couple weeks, I did get side tracked for a few days remodeling the laundry room in our house because our Drier died and the new set my wife picked out didn't fit, so I had to tear the laundry room apart and put it back together. But she is happy now, and as most married men can tell you, if the wife isn't happy the rest of the house isn't going to be happy either.

Next week I will be Color Case Hardening the various part, if all goes well later in the week I will be test firing the action, and then on to checkering the stock.

Colin
 

CowboyCS

Well-known member
How about a little video update this time. I color case hardened most of the small parts this morning and made a short video with the brief details of my equipment and process. I'm certainly no Doug Turnbull, but I think my Color Case looks pretty good.



Tomorrow morning I will try to get the action body and the forearm iron done.

Just in case the video doesn't show up here's the link to it:
YouTube - Color Case Hardening 2 Bore Parts.wmv

Colin
 


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