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Discussion Starter #1
While watching the daily feed on Youtube recently, a video came up on how to use a jewelers saw to cut pieces out of copper and brass for jewelry making. It was pretty interesting and got me to thinking.

I have a copy of Antique Ordnance Publishers Plan set No. 40 "Implement and Equipment Drawing for Civil War Field Artillery" This plan set has 8 pages of 8 different type sights for Civil War artillery. Two of the sights are breech sights, they do not mount or attach to the cannon but rather just sit or stand on the breech ring.

The sight for the Parrot rifle is 12 inches tall, the sight for the 12 PDR MT. Howitzer about 4 inches tall. I don't really see a need for me to have a 12 inch sight, even scaled down. I might shoot two ranges with my gun-maybe. 100 yards probably being the maximum range, with 25 yard more likely. The smaller 12 PDR sight seemed more useful.

I measured the breech ring of my 1" 1841 U.S.S. Cairo gun- 4" diameter, and started scaling. The original sight for the 12PDR was about 4 inch tall and 4 1/4 inches wide.

Cannon Sightdrawing
1841​
Scale
Breech Radius
3.8​
2​
1.9​
Sight width
4.12​
2.168​
Sight height
3.975​
2.092​


So this sight scaled down would be roughly 2" x 2" or the Cairo gun. Kind of small.

The AOP drawing is full scale so I copied it on my scanner, reducing the scan to 50% and the copy came out about the right size for this project.



Those of you who have followed my projects in the past know I do a bunch of brainstorming while doing these projects. So here is the first one. Is 2 inches too small? How about full size, is that too big?

So while you ponder that and offer me feed back...

Way back in the in the mid 80's when I went to college one of the items on the tool list was a jewelers saw. I bought one, but I can never remember ever using it. I do recall is one elective class on blackpowder rifle making, the instructor using one to cut out decorative inlays for the stock. The details about its use are long gone from my memory.

I looked in the bottom drawer of my tool box I found the remnants of a jewelers saw. Clamp screws and clamp pads long gone. I know I had a bundle of blades, but that was 35 years ago.

So I got on the internet and ordered a saw and blades. I also added a bench pin-that vee shaped piece of wood for support. I could have made one of these, but they are so cheap I just added it on.

Now for the brass. I looked at the drawing and saw the metal used is .100. The bottom is "L" shaped. I found some 1/8" brass plate/sheet for the sight and 1" x 1/4" strip for the base. I had to buy a minimum 12" x 12" piece for 1/8" plate. That almost stopped me right there. Brass ain't cheap.

So this is where am right now, waiting for orders to come in.

Stay tuned...
 

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I am looking forward to watching this project develope. I have tried a sight similar to this in wood, but the problem is that it is too delicate if the wood is thin and to make it stouter the sight becomes too thick and cumbersome.

are you thinking about cutting the entire sight out of the 1/8 inch and the adding the 1/4 base material to the back to form the base?
 

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Double D., First, I want to assure you that your basic idea is a fine one, indeed! It has the detail we love plus the fact that it can be made in the proper scale to fit the gun and be supremely functional as well. Because we are so versed in making all things related to cannons in various reduced scales, I think we can suggest a small change to your size which will make it easier to make and easier to use.

We will have only one suggestion and that is to make the sight you have chosen to display, 75% of the original size instead of 50%.

A reduction in scale by quarters is far, far more common than by thirds. Almost every reduced scale cannon we have seen is reduced to 3/4 full size, 1/2 full size, or 1/4 full size. The most outstanding example, by far, that we have seen close-up and at a distance is Little Seacoast's 3" Parrott cannon which looks spectacular in 3/4 full size. Up to 30 feet away, it looks like it is full size and when you get right up on it, it looks more "comfortable", easier to use and still having the crisp detail of the full-size tube. The carriage that he assembled looks very "correct" too, really, really nice.

In our experience, parallel lines look much better with a bit more separation between them and small hardware pieces such as the 4-40 thumbscrew are much easier to find in a slightly larger size like the 6-32 version of the same thumbscrew. This is because 6-32 screws, with .132" dia. threads are much more common than the smaller .110" dia. 4-40 thread size. Also, there is an advantage if you are going to do the lettering. 1/32" and 1/16" size letters work with the 3/4 size sight, the 1/2 scale one, not so much. We have both of those stamp sets if you want to borrow one.

T&M
 

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Look forward to watching the progress on the sight. I need to make a better one myself. This one is something I just winged for my Hughes a couple years back. It is just a simple sight and no graduation marks, I would like to improve on it..Maybe your thread will give the inspiration to do it this Winter. The box I made too, from from some Walnut I found in the woods,LOL Also made a little scale version for my Hughes 1/3 scale I built. Small scale one is in the top first photo.
248670


248669
248668
 

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Discussion Starter #5
M&T exactly the type of feedback I am looking for, brainstorming. Thank you. Here is the latest scan.



If you copy this picture and print it out 11 inches wide you will have a full scale, 75% and 50% view of the sights. I like the looks of 3/4 scale.

Full size for a sight would be far to big. Scaling the radius of the 12PDR breech 3.8 to the breech of the Cairo Gun 2 inch radius is how came up with the 50% sight. 75% looks a little big.

Bruce, your sight is basically what my sight will be. Rudimentary and functional. I will tell you the first time I saw your isight I was impressed. I don't know that my box making skills are on the par with yours. But I will try measure up.

I do have in mind to make some reference marks for adjustment in the staff. But detail like the Museum guns of SeaCoast Artillery are beyond the ability of my arthritic hands. I would need to buy some dinky marking stamps.

Right now to mount the sight on the gun I will place it on the breech and align it with witness marks.

I plan on using a brass set screw drilled through like Bruce has for hold down and aperture.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This morning I got out some pieces foam board and glued a 50% copy of the sight to the board and cut it out. (that is an operation unto itself) I started with the 1/2 scale version.

After gluing it up I put it on the breech ring.



I followed this up by cutting the 3/4 scale sight and just taping it to the back of the barrel.



The 3/4 is too big.

Now where is the metal I ordered?
 

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Thanks for the scale drawings Douglas! Those are nice to have for future reference. cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I knew there was a good reason for not getting in a hurry to clean up my mess. Over night brain storm had me digging through the pile of trimmings and sight printouts when I got up this morning. I do some of my best thinking with my head against the pillow trying to go back to sleep at 3 am after letting the dog out.

I cut out a full scale copy of the sight and taped it to the breech ring of the Lapan. I had to make one small adjustment in that the full scale sight base radius for the Mt. Howitzer is 3.8". The Lapan radius is 3.125" A slight but barely perceptible difference.



I have to drop a hint of complaint about Zulu's work here. His work so good, so nice, so perfect that one feels guilty even contemplating taking the finished product to the range and shooting it. It might get dirty or scratched.

Naw, I going to shoot it, it has to be done.
 

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Congratulations on the new sight, pretty sure that Zulu will understand. Thank you Seacoast for the very kind remarks on the Parrots but I have to say that Dominic designed and made the sights. They do work well.
 

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M&T

would be interested in knowing if you thought a sight like this might work on the Hundred Ton Gun/Rockbuster (for those not familiar with this gun, it is a scale model of the Armstrong 100 ton RML gun in Gibraltar). If you could match the arch of the gun tube and then have it rest on top while sighting the gun and then gently lift it off before firing as there would not be a way to secure it to the gun. There would need to front sight as well.

Double D, sorry to highjack this thread, but this seemed like a logical place to ask this question.

On a related note, when you shot the SAMCC gun at the range, did you just rough sight it along the top of the tube or did you fix some type of sight for that event? [For those not familiar with the SAMCC gun, this was a project Double D and Michael Brooks worked on together and I believe is based on a 32 pounder naval cannon design.]

thanks and cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #12
M&T what will the finished diameter of the Breech of the Gun you are building for us be?

This sight could very easily be adapted to fit and work with the gun M&T are building.

The bigger issue is the front sight. I have a couple of ideas.

My Cairo gun has a screw in post front. So that is not a problem.



The drawing for this rear sight has a front sight drawing, but I am not sure how it mounts.

When I visited the U.S.S. Cairo in 2011 I saw these sights.



There was also a tube sight that I would like to learn more.

An idea I have for the Lapan is to simply paint a white dot or line on the major diameter reinforcing rings. This become my front sight. Use this white mark as the front sight.

My brass order came in. That 1/8" plate is pretty heavy. Placing the jewelers saw blades up next to the plate is pretty intimidating. I also ordered a 1/2" x 1/4" strip for the base, but that is way too heavy. I only need a piece roughly 2 1/8" long by 1/2" wide. I am going to try and cut it out of the 1/8" plate.

I'm think I need order blades buy the dozen, not 3 pack. Did I mention I am intimidated.
 

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Excellent idea, Tom. I have filled the screw holes for the modern sights that we used at the Victorian Cannon Shoot in Kentucky with set screws and filed them flush and one of my wintertime tasks is to re-paint the entire gun so I can display it in a prominent location because it is so good looking with our Tube and Dom's Carriage and Chassis. I just need to find the time to do that. The sight of that type will have to be as small as possible, but still useable because the scale of that gun is 1/20, IIRC. The original was, of course, super huge. I want to use an airbrush, but I will need some equipment and some practice first. I really want all those marvelous details to show through the paint job and I believe that airbrushed paint will allow that to happen.

Double D., Thank you for posting the photo of the USS Cairo sights and sight cover. These are not, however, the type used on the big British 10 In. 18 Ton Woolwich Gun that we are building. The drawings for the correct sights that were used on the 9 and 10-inch guns can be found in one of those large referene books that we purchased to obtain the details of the gun structure and associated equipment used on them. These sights are correctly identified as implements or gun equipment, not accoutrements which are items other than uniforms or weapons which are normally carried on one's person. The 10" 18 Ton Gun thread has a complete section on these sights, their drawings and making and installing them. Thanks for calling me on this topic. We are on the same page here and you were able to get a pic of excellent quality and Mike and I could not, through that thick glass they had surrounding those beautiful sights. I enjoyed talking with you as usual. We remember as you do that the USS Cairo's stewards in Mississippi told us the pronunciation of the ships' name is KAY-ROW, Not, K-EYE-ROW.

Tracy
 

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Discussion Starter #14
After writing the above I got to thinking some more. With the muzzle ring smaller than the breech ring it is most likely that the gun will shoot to high to be corrected the rear sight.

So another Idea. I am going to cut a strip of brass and anneal it. Then I will bend it around the muzzle swell to fit. Then drill and tap or drill and solder post in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tracy,

Always a pleasure to talk to you and Mike on the phone and thanks for the feed back on the Breech diameter on the Gun you are building for us. 5.625" diameter is about 74% of the diameter of the 12 PDR Mt. Howitzer. So the 75% reduce sight I posted up stream should work just fine.

For this of you thinking scale here, this sight scaled to the gun that M&T are building-1/20th scale, would be roughly .20 high by .20 wide. For those of us who relate in fraction roughly 13/64" by 13/64".

What I am doing is scaling an existing sight down so we have a sight we can use. Not making scale model of the sight.
 

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One thought for a more 'universal' sight would be to make the base a shallow triangle instead of curved to match the breech ring. Then it would center on different radii. You could have swappable curved skirts to make it look more authentic.
 

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Have you checked your scaled sight to see how closely the markings will match degrees of elevation? Lots of variables, probably going to have to plot your own set of markings.
 

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One thought for a more 'universal' sight would be to make the base a shallow triangle instead of curved to match the breech ring. Then it would center on different radii. You could have swappable curved skirts to make it look more authentic.
That of course would work. But I intend to make a witness mark TDC on the barrel and align it with a mark on center on the base of the sight. For now I have plans to make three of these sights, specific to each gun.


Have you checked your scaled sight to see how closely the markings will match degrees of elevation? Lots of variables, probably going to have to plot your own set of markings.
I will copy the marking from the drawing as they are and use them only as reference marks. Most firing with these three guns will be at 25, 50 and 100 yards. I am not looking at these sight as as anything more than rudimentary aiming device.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I got the brass plate and a jewelers saw with 3/0 blades. I started cutting and quickly learned I need a courser blade. I have 7/0 and 8/0 blades on order now.

But I have other projects to work on.
 
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