Random Jottings

Winter Project 2020......part two

It's gone quite well really, or at least I think that it has so read on!

And here it is, so feast your eyes and then read on about the last bits of jobs that I had to complete before the job was finished.

Before I could do anymore 'little jobs' it was time to drop off at Deco for a little engraving, I had decided to mark the piece, around the very end of the first containment with the date of manufacture and the makers name....that's me by the way, and to be honest they only charged me £10 for a lovely job with the text in-filled with black paint. It's one of those jobs that just finishes the project off nicely.

I had just about finished the barrel but those extras can be a bit of a pig, so firstly the cascabel. Now most of the time you can see two options, the later cast versions had a ring as part of the casting which was used to aid traversing the cannon and securing it by means of ropes and pulleys, earlier cannon had rounded cascabels where roped could be fastened behind for the same purpose....guess which I decided?

Yup that's right, I set the barrel up in the lathe so that the cascabel was barley in the jaws of the chuck and did a bit of machining, so that was one job done.

Next was the trunions, I had considered using some silver steel and even bought a short piece but it simply didn't look right so I turned a couple of bits of brass which I then scored to assist in the flow of soft solder and pushed into place with solder and flux on the inside.....it took an awful lot of heat until the metal started flowing but eventually I managed to solder in place the trunions and dremel them clean, oh at the same time as drilling the holes for the trunions I also drilled a touch hole and bowl to fire the damn thing, that was a tad harder as the hole wasn't round so I had to attack it with a round grinding stone to make everything round, it took some time but ended up a nice job.

With all of the tasks completed it was time to clean it up again and the first line of attack was to remove the excess solder with a dremel, not too difficult and with the crud removed the barrel went back into the lathe to be dusted down with some very fine emery cloth, once cleaned and out it was obvioulsy a very nice job!

I was a little conflicted over any treatment of the barrel, keeping it clean when secured to the carriage would be difficult and it would take some serious time for the shine to go and it would be uneven if touched as human body grease would alter the corrosion rate. Reading up on the best way to age brass there were three options, I could purchase a proprietry spray, use bicarbonate of soda or set up a vinegar bath where the barrel would be enveloped in vinegar fumes and I was told would turn the colour of an 'old penny' in short order. Well having attempted to use the soda on the carriage mounts and finding it fiddly I went down the vinegar route and it worked out very well, I mean ok the house smelt like a fish n chip shop but that was a small price to pay.

To secure the barrel to the carriage I used some small cast brass shaft holders, easier and more robust than drilling holes in the wood and I know its out of charachter but I secured these to the wooden carriage with stainless allen head machine screws, I can always colour them with brass paint if they start to grate on me but at the moment they look ok.

The last activity was to trail with a wad of kitchen roll and it was impressive when I tested in the dark to see sparks belch out of the end and the flaming wad go flying!

A really interesting winter project and I am not even in 2020 yet so what next?

Dive safe


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