Graybeard Outdoors banner
1 - 20 of 91 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A local machinist has quoted me a 13 inch, .75 cal Napolean, made from 2.5 inch 1080 steel. Bore is .75 for 11 inches, with a 1 inch long by 1/2 powder chamber. Is this safe to fire .735 patched balls?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,408 Posts
In addition to a safe barrel, you also need a properly built carriage. Without one, your safe barrel can cause recoil damage to your carriage.
Zulu
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In addition to a safe barrel, you also need a properly built carriage. Without one, your safe barrel can cause recoil damage to your carriage.
Zulu
Carriages are easy. My model is a 1793 French 6 pounder on display a few miles from me, scaled down to the barrel dimensions. Axle and trail will be made from 1 1/2 square solid oak, turned down to 1 inch for wheel hubs. 1 inch thick cheek pieces. Only issue will be wheels, as my bench top wood lathe only has 3 inch clearance, so looks like a lot of sanding and filing on 3/4 inch plywood for proper sized wheels
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,936 Posts
You don't need a powder chamber, bore the barrel .75 full length. The powder chamber as described has to much potential for an accident. Minimum standards call for the barrel to have a one caliber wall thickness over the breech. So .75 bore, .75 wall thickness, needs 2.25 minimum thickness over the breech. You barrel at 2.50 is just fine

MY Personal opinion here. I feel that these reduced chambers are unsafe and it is only a matter of time before we see an accident involving one. Barrel burst right at the end of the chamber. I also believe most cannon makers who build these long chambers in these guns have no idea haw to safely build a gun, let alone a cannon.

You can fire this small cannon with a patch ball, but there is no need. Cannon are not hand held and are free recoiling, reduced charges are called for. This caliber of cannon is right edges size wise and you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You don't need a powder chamber, bore the barrel .75 full length. The powder chamber as described has to much potential for an accident. Minimum standards call for the barrel to have a one caliber wall thickness over the breech. So .75 bore, .75 wall thickness, needs 2.25 minimum thickness over the breech. You barrel at 2.50 is just fine

MY Personal opinion here. I feel that these reduced chambers are unsafe and it is only a matter of time before we see an accident involving one. Barrel burst right at the end of the chamber. I also believe most cannon makers who build these long chambers in these guns have no idea haw to safely build a gun, let alone a cannon.

You can fire this small cannon with a patch ball, but there is no need. Cannon are not hand held and are free recoiling, reduced charges are called for. This caliber of cannon is right edges size wise and you
He originally offered me a 1 inch bore, l chose the .75 simply because .735 cal balls are widely available for live fire and patched wine/champagne corks work well for blank loads. I also have a friend who recycles computers, and has a bunch of the old style mice which have a .75 zinc ball inside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,408 Posts
Carriages are easy. My model is a 1793 French 6 pounder on display a few miles from me, scaled down to the barrel dimensions. Axle and trail will be made from 1 1/2 square solid oak, turned down to 1 inch for wheel hubs. 1 inch thick cheek pieces. Only issue will be wheels, as my bench top wood lathe only has 3 inch clearance, so looks like a lot of sanding and filing on 3/4 inch plywood for proper sized wheels
"Carriages are easy."

I've heard that before. Be sure to show us what you make.
Zulu
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"Carriages are easy."

I've heard that before. Be sure to show us what you make.
Zulu
251008
251009

Made this for an 8 inch long .56 cal barrel welded on a piece of steel made for me 40 years ago from a piece of die steel. I plugged the rear axle hole with bolts, and used the 1/2 inch steel front axle as trunions. Stands up fine to firing 40 grains of 2f pyrodex and .550 patched balls. The axle is 1 inch square turned down to 3/4 for the 1/2 inch thick by 6 inch high plywood wheels. Wheels arent to scale, but wood lathe only has 3 1/8 in clearance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,408 Posts
Here are plans for a Napoleon with carriage. F







Scale up to enlarge the measurement by multiplying the measurements by 1.5. This should make up into a pretty nice looking gun.
DD,
The capsquare bolts in that drawing are screwed in. That will never work for very long with a "firing model". They must go vertically through the cheeks and the front one also through the axle.
Zulu
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here are plans for a Napoleon with carriage. F







Scale up to enlarge the measurement by multiplying the measurements by 1.5. This should make up into a pretty nice looking gun.
Plans are phenomenal - thank you so much! Only change for me will be axle. I dont have the equipment to make an axle tree, instead l will just go with wood turned to 3/4 inches.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,936 Posts
Axle tree would be easy to make. Glue and pin two sides on a heavier base board to make a "trough" axle tree,

Using the numbers in the drawing above as an example. (Your gun you would of course be scaled up and slightly larger.) The base board would be .5" wide by .3" thick by 6.3" long. To this glue and pin on each side a strip .125" thick by .8" by 6.3" long.

These are the numbers for the drawing above.. Yours would be slightly larger scaled up.

You could also make this on a table saw fairly simply from a solid piece of wood. A router could be used also. You could even build a holding fixture and do this groove with a hand held circular saw-bunch of work, but can be dine..

I strongly urge you reconsider the idea of a wooden axle for the is project. Recoil with a .75 will put a lot of stress on the wood and break it. Take the time to make the axle tree and make a steel axle.



In fact take your time on this whole project. Think things out, go slow, don't be in a big hurry. There is no race to get this done. When you a finished you want something that you can be proud of, something you will want to display. That is how your gun will spend most of its life, on display.

As to Michael's comment about wood screw caps square bolts. He is spot on! Listen to the man.

I have had two guns done this way- screw cap squares..

The very first real cannon I built was a model of the 1841 42PDR on the USS Cairo. I built this 1 inch gun in 1984 by upscaling the plans for a .59 caliber firing model. I used locally acquired Honey Locust wood for the carriage. It is the gun in the picture above of the gun in recoil. The cap square bolts are screw threads.



In 2009 I decided to refurbish this gun. I had planned on replacing the capsquare screws with through bolts. When I disassembled the gun I expected to find loose screws. This gun had been fired a lot in the 15 years since it was built. The screws were rock solid. I did not try to remove them. I left them in place and refurbished the gun. This gun still has screw in capsquare screws . I credit this to using dense honey locust wood and following the advice of an old gun smith about only screwing wood screws in, never screwing the out.

The second gun that had screw in caps square screws was the Lapan Cannon. This gun is a 2-1/8 inch bore, and the carriage was fir or pine, not sure which. It was a total disaster. The capsquare screws, actually lag screws, were loose and useless. They had long ago pulled loose The carriage cheeks them selves were all cracked and being held together by the iron cheek banding. What a mess.



I started to rebuild the carriage myself but lacked tooling and skill and sent the whole thing to Zulu for restoration. Michael redid the the entire gun carriage for me and built me through bolt caps square bolts. Everything is nice and solid now.



I will look around, I believe I can find a drawings for the Napoleon carriage with through bolts.

I don't care how large or small a carriage I might build in the future, I would never build another carriage with wood or lag screws, through bolts only.

Wood, do it right get a hardwood. Red oak is available at Lowe's and Home Depot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Cannon project will be on hiatus until next fall - with April around the corner and the returning striped bass its fly tying time, herring patterns for April, then sea worm patterns for the May worm hatches, then streamers for June bluefish, followed by bay anchovy patterns for July, August, September and October bonito and little tunny.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Little tunny are insane! The smallest member of the tuna family, they swim 40 mph and literally take all the fly line and 250 yards of backing in 30 seconds. Further challenge is they feed on such small baitfish you cant use above 10 pound monoflouro fly leader for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Axle tree would be easy to make. Glue and pin two sides on a heavier base board to make a "trough" axle tree,

Using the numbers in the drawing above as an example. (Your gun you would of course be scaled up and slightly larger.) The base board would be .5" wide by .3" thick by 6.3" long. To this glue and pin on each side a strip .125" thick by .8" by 6.3" long.

These are the numbers for the drawing above.. Yours would be slightly larger scaled up.

You could also make this on a table saw fairly simply from a solid piece of wood. A router could be used also. You could even build a holding fixture and do this groove with a hand held circular saw-bunch of work, but can be dine..

I strongly urge you reconsider the idea of a wooden axle for the is project. Recoil with a .75 will put a lot of stress on the wood and break it. Take the time to make the axle tree and make a steel axle.



In fact take your time on this whole project. Think things out, go slow, don't be in a big hurry. There is no race to get this done. When you a finished you want something that you can be proud of, something you will want to display. That is how your gun will spend most of its life, on display.

As to Michael's comment about wood screw caps square bolts. He is spot on! Listen to the man.

I have had two guns done this way- screw cap squares..

The very first real cannon I built was a model of the 1841 42PDR on the USS Cairo. I built this 1 inch gun in 1984 by upscaling the plans for a .59 caliber firing model. I used locally acquired Honey Locust wood for the carriage. It is the gun in the picture above of the gun in recoil. The cap square bolts are screw threads.



In 2009 I decided to refurbish this gun. I had planned on replacing the capsquare screws with through bolts. When I disassembled the gun I expected to find loose screws. This gun had been fired a lot in the 15 years since it was built. The screws were rock solid. I did not try to remove them. I left them in place and refurbished the gun. This gun still has screw in capsquare screws . I credit this to using dense honey locust wood and following the advice of an old gun smith about only screwing wood screws in, never screwing the out.

The second gun that had screw in caps square screws was the Lapan Cannon. This gun is a 2-1/8 inch bore, and the carriage was fir or pine, not sure which. It was a total disaster. The capsquare screws, actually lag screws, were loose and useless. They had long ago pulled loose The carriage cheeks them selves were all cracked and being held together by the iron cheek banding. What a mess.



I started to rebuild the carriage myself but lacked tooling and skill and sent the whole thing to Zulu for restoration. Michael redid the the entire gun carriage for me and built me through bolt caps square bolts. Everything is nice and solid now.



I will look around, I believe I can find a drawings for the Napoleon carriage with through bolts.

I don't care how large or small a carriage I might build in the future, I would never build another carriage with wood or lag screws, through bolts only.

Wood, do it right get a hardwood. Red oak is available at Lowe's and Home Depot.
Can I send you a donation for the plans?

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A good Scotch does wonders. On a trip to Liverpool, they had brought me to Odd bins, a Scotch specialist wanting to buy a bottle for my father. They asked what type he preferred, as in peaty or other flavors. I pointed to a bottle of J&B in one rack, and asked for something in that line that you couldn't find in the US. The store owner pulled a bottle from a small family distillery that only produces 3500 bottles a year. Needless to say it was about $200 for the bottle, but Dad still talks about it being the best scotch he has ever had.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,936 Posts
Tell me what plans you are looking for and if I have a copy I will share.

Here is what I have in Green plans:

1.3-inch Ordnance rifle
2. 3 inch Parrot field rifle
3. 9 inch Dahlgren Seacoast rifle
4. 9 inch Dalhgren shell gun
5. 10 inch Rodman cannon
6. 12 PDR Field Howitzer
7. 12 PDR Mountain Howitzer
8. 13 inc Seacoast mortar
9. 24 PDR Field howitzer
10. 32 PDR Seacoast cannon
11. 42 PDR from USS CAIRO
12. 100 PDR Parrot Seacoast
13. Widow Blakely
14 6 PDR field Cannon
15. Napoleon Field Cannon
16. Wheel Plans

Donation not required....
 
1 - 20 of 91 Posts
Top