Fredstaple Quote: "When you roll the lead balls to finish, how many do you do at once or is it only one? About how long does it take for a soft lead ball to get to a smooth finished state?"
Tom, we only tried 3 or 4 balls with heavy parting lines indicating they were cast off-center. The steel plate rolling method worked fine on them, then I tried a small cube of soft lead that someone else at the gunsmithing school made. After a very up and down start, the action of the swirling top plate settled down in 30 seconds or so and 15 seconds later a truly round ball resulted. Even doing it myself, I found it hard to believe, but that is exactly what happened. We measured it all over with a micrometer and could not find any ovality at all, no out-of-round condition existed.
We only tried one at a time, so I cannot say with certainty that more than one would work, but it is logical that it would actually work and probably make the job easier, because multiple balls with visible parting lines and slight sprue removal nubs would help support the heavy top plate and keep it level upon start-up. They probably should not touch each other, so a limited number would most likely work better.
VA Rifleman Quote: "Thanks for the finishing idea. Nuggets of wisdom such as that is one reason I really like this place.
The thumbstall thought was a suggestion for the intrepid gunner, not an item for Sea Coast Artillery to supply.
Apologies, as I should have been more clear.
I'm glad that I remembered that actual experiment in roundness. BTW, I did not take the thumbstall suggestion that way at all; I thought it was a safety suggestion for us which is much appreciated. We would never consider selling such an item, because that type of sale sets you up for instant liability if that type of product was in use during an accident sequence, even though incorrect use could definitely be a possibility.
Double D., Nice videos with a good comparative lesson. In cannons weighing similar poundages, I would definitely use solid shot, NOT cylindrical bolts! Even in our initail product in our seacoast line, the 1/6 scale 100 pounder Parrott, we found a 45 pound Tube not sufficient to tame recoil. Our most accurate load was 400 grs. BP with velocity at 1,250 fps just like the original gun, but the recoil was NOT slow like the original at all. It was vicious and tilted our heavy 85 pound bench back at a 30 degree angle. It was scary!! The bolt was a 7 oz. less than your yours.
It would certainly be an interesting project to place a rifled sleave in your tube, but we don't do any cannon gunsmithing such as your project would be. The cost would really pile up quickly with a very large, special, one-time-use, deep hole drill to be purchased for the oversized hole to accept the liner and the epoxy. Then you have the method of insertion and epoxy overflow to figure out. Is the tube rotated as you push the sleave in, probably, but we have never done that so it's best to have the whole thing done by someone who does this on a regular basis. What you really need to do is have two tubes for your 1/8 scale, 10" 18 Ton Mk II RML Woolwich Gun, one smooth for competition and one rifled for a high order of FUN! The 94 pound tube would Tame all but the most powerful powder with heavy bolt combinations.
Just think of all the firing range experiments you could do with such a cannon! What's another $3,000 in the over-all scheme of things, anyway? By comparison, if we ever decide to make 3 or 4 of these smoothbore, 10" 18 ton Guns for internet sale with everything, the price will be $4,994, Just add $1,500 for a rifled version, $ 6,494.00. You already said, "I guess one cruise next year will have to be enough." I will try to get some pics posted this evening to show you what a Firing Chassis Fixture looks like with some dimensions as well.
That's it, for now,
Tracy and Mike
Smokin my pipe on the mountings, sniffin the mornin cool,
I walks in my old brown gaiters along o my old brown mule,
With seventy gunners beind me, an never a beggar forgets
Its only the pick of the Army that handles the dear little pets - Tss! Tss!
From the poem Screw-Guns by Rudyard Kipling
Last edited by seacoastartillery; 10-03-2018 at 05:11 PM.
Reason: Context and spelling.