Friday, October 2, 2009

Replica Circa 1884 Springfield 45-70 Trapdoor Rifle

It is really gratifying to know that when I put something out there on the web that someone, at least occasionally, stumbles into it and decides to look at it. Thank you! I feel honored. However, as with any other "honor", it comes with a responsibility. I *now* have to be a little more consistent with my posts. :-) These photos are of a Circa 1884 Springfield 45-70 Trapdoor Rifle that I carved a year or so ago. Regrettably, it is so long -- nearly 52" -- that the photos don't (in my *humble* opinion) do it justice. I was fortunate enough to be permitted to borrow a rifle from a relative for almost an entire year to do the work. I had a first thought that I would only need it long enough to take some photos. NOT SO! It sat next to me whenever I carved so that I could go back and forth with calipers to make measurements. I was glad to return it at the end. By that time I have found out what the thing was worth. I'm glad the original owner has it back now. Before anything could happen to it.:-) The rifle is made almost exclusively of Basswood with the exception of the barrel that I turned from a piece of Maple. In order to keep the work as close to the original as I could, all of the various pieces, the hammer, lock, trigger and guard -- even the screw heads -- were all carved separately and inset into the stock as they would have been on the real rifle. Painting was a real trip. The "metal" parts are much darker than the original. Getting the proper color and sheen to the metal was virtually impossible -- it might have been easier with oil based paint. In the end, I *did* achieve my goal: To make a realistic, extremely old-looking rifle -- as viewed from ~3 feet away -- to hang in the Family Room. Several people have been taken by surprise when I handed them the rifle. They were expecting to grab something weighting ~10 (very heavy) pounds. But the carving only weighs a bit over 1 pound! I hope you like it. 'til Next time...Keep makin' chips!

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