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Today while sorting through some old images on my webspace, I came across this somewhat forgotten project.

This is a copper powder ladle that I built when I was first getting my cannon carriage and its accessories assembled. I ended up never using this implement, even though it's fully functional, because I decided early on to only shoot pre-packaged powder charges. And besides, it doesn't really fit in to the CW field cannon direction that I ultimately took.

It was a fun and interesting little project, though, so I decided to share it in case someone else might want to give it a go.


The material for this came from Lowe's, it's an "air chamber" plumbing fitting. I stumbled across it purely by accident, but it turned out to be just about perfect. Here is a photo of the fitting:




The chamber I bought was the 12", but the 6" would be long enough.

The chamber inlet is 1/2" ID x 5/8" OD, perfect for the 5/8" oak dowels that I used for my other implements.

The chamber itself has an OD of 1". My measurements showed a max of .998" at the head (where the copper is thickest), so it might take a little sanding in this area to get a slip fit in a true one-inch bore. Since my bore is 1.156", this was not a problem. I was actually going to flare the body of the ladle out a bit for more capacity, since I have the room, but I never did.

The first thing to do was to decide on the size and shape of the ladle. I decided on an overall length of four inches, with a depth of roughly 5/8" (inside). I laid out the shape of the fitting and started working until I had a design that I was happy with:




Then I began working the metal. The first thing I needed was a copper disk to form the back of the ladle. This would also be the anchor point, a brass screw goes through a hole in the center and into the end of the oak dowel. Not having an abundance of copper disks lying around, I resorted to something I did have, a copper penny. The penny was a perfect size to fit inside the chamber, so I sanded one side smooth, drilled the hole in the center, and set it aside.

Then I marked out and cut the copper chamber into the shape of the ladle using a dremel and cutoff wheels. The walls of the chamber are only about .040" thick, so this was a slow, careful process. Then it was to smooth all the cut edges and give the piece a good cleaning. The ladle head was stood upright and the penny-disk was soldered into place. The whole assembly was then buffed inside and out with progressively finer grades of steel wool, ending with 0000, for a nice shiny finish.

Finally, a section of the 5/8" wooden dowel was cut to the desired length and one end was reduced in diameter to fit inside the inlet end of the chamber. The screw hole in the center was chamfered so that the #6 brass wood screw head fits flush, and this screw pulls the ladle head back tight against the shoulder on the dowel. The OD of the brass and the dowel are an almost perfect match.




Since this is as far as I took this, the wood was never given any sort of finish. It would look great with a light stain on the oak.


As I said in the beginning, this is not just a showpiece. I designed and built it to be a functional implement. I don't use it because I pre-package my charges in aluminum foil.

I don't advocate the loading of loose powder, but as an accessory to a gun that was historically charged with a ladle, this would be a nice addition to your rack (if only for show).

While it won't hold the 500 grains that I load for blanks, this ladle will easily load the 225-250 grains that I shoot behind a ball, and will even load 300 grains but that's harder to do without some spillage. I have fired as much as 300 grains behind the 1.125" ball, but I don't do it anymore as recoil is downright nasty and I don't want to damage my carriage.
 

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Terry,

VERY nice! :) That's extremely authentic looking and quite period correct for early guns. The full sized powder ladle for the 6-pounder at St. Augustine looks almost identical to yours except it isn't all bright and shiny. We use it in the gun drill but not for loading powder since, like you, we fire pre-packaged blank charges. Much safer that way.
 

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That's a cool ladle - all the curves in the right places.

It would be greatly usefull for putting a foil wrapped charge into the powder chamber of a cannon! Not an easy chore without it.
 

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Terry said:
Today while sorting through some old images on my webspace, I came across this somewhat forgotten project.

This is a copper powder ladle that I built when I was first getting my cannon carriage and its accessories assembled. I ended up never using this implement, even though it's fully functional, because I decided early on to only shoot pre-packaged powder charges. And besides, it doesn't really fit in to the CW field cannon direction that I ultimately took.

It was a fun and interesting little project, though, so I decided to share it in case someone else might want to give it a go.


The material for this came from Lowe's, it's an "air chamber" plumbing fitting. I stumbled across it purely by accident, but it turned out to be just about perfect. Here is a photo of the fitting:




The chamber I bought was the 12", but the 6" would be long enough.

The chamber inlet is 1/2" ID x 5/8" OD, perfect for the 5/8" oak dowels that I used for my other implements.

The chamber itself has an OD of 1". My measurements showed a max of .998" at the head (where the copper is thickest), so it might take a little sanding in this area to get a slip fit in a true one-inch bore. Since my bore is 1.156", this was not a problem. I was actually going to flare the body of the ladle out a bit for more capacity, since I have the room, but I never did.

The first thing to do was to decide on the size and shape of the ladle. I decided on an overall length of four inches, with a depth of roughly 5/8" (inside). I laid out the shape of the fitting and started working until I had a design that I was happy with:

[img]


Then I began working the metal. The first thing I needed was a copper disk to form the back of the ladle. This would also be the anchor point, a brass screw goes through a hole in the center and into the end of the oak dowel. Not having an abundance of copper disks lying around, I resorted to something I did have, a copper penny. The penny was a perfect size to fit inside the chamber, so I sanded one side smooth, drilled the hole in the center, and set it aside.

Then I marked out and cut the copper chamber into the shape of the ladle using a dremel and cutoff wheels. The walls of the chamber are only about .040" thick, so this was a slow, careful process. Then it was to smooth all the cut edges and give the piece a good cleaning. The ladle head was stood upright and the penny-disk was soldered into place. The whole assembly was then buffed inside and out with progressively finer grades of steel wool, ending with 0000, for a nice shiny finish.

Finally, a section of the 5/8" wooden dowel was cut to the desired length and one end was reduced in diameter to fit inside the inlet end of the chamber. The screw hole in the center was chamfered so that the #6 brass wood screw head fits flush, and this screw pulls the ladle head back tight against the shoulder on the dowel. The OD of the brass and the dowel are an almost perfect match.

[img]


Since this is as far as I took this, the wood was never given any sort of finish. It would look great with a light stain on the oak.


As I said in the beginning, this is not just a showpiece. I designed and built it to be a functional implement. I don't use it because I pre-package my charges in aluminum foil.

I don't advocate the loading of loose powder, but as an accessory to a gun that was historically charged with a ladle, this would be a nice addition to your rack (if only for show).

While it won't hold the 500 grains that I load for blanks, this ladle will easily load the 225-250 grains that I shoot behind a ball, and will even load 300 grains but that's harder to do without some spillage. I have fired as much as 300 grains behind the 1.125" ball, but I don't do it anymore as recoil is downright nasty and I don't want to damage my carriage.
[/quote]

I know this is an old post and the pictures are gone! Can you please repost the pics?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I created this thread, the photos were on a different server that is has since gone belly-up. I copied them over to the hosting site that I use now and edited the links in the first post.

A lot of my older threads have broken image links. If there's something you need to see, let me know and I'll repost the photos (if I still have them, I lost some when the old server went down).
 
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