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National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association Gunsmithing Seminar at Western Kentucky University Class Descriptions and Instructor Listings for 2017


9 Day Seminar Classes – Begin on Wednesday May 31st at 1:00 p.m. CST and end on Friday, June 9th at 1:00 p.m.


Stocking an 1800’s English Flintlock Sporting Rifle – Ron Scott

A Staudenmayer ½ stock rifle will serve as the model for this nine day class. In addition to the basic inletting and shaping techniques to stock this rifle, we will address skill sets such as soldering sheet metal under ribs, fitting a horn forend, fitting a hook breech, and checkering the wrist. Discussion of English forms of stock finish and metal treatment will be part of the stylistic studies for this project. Since the project features a hook breech and barrel wedges, it is possible to create a flintlock with multiple barrels, One distinct option would be a 12 gage shotgun barrel, straight bore or choked. The standard barrel will be a tapered and flared octagon barrel rifled and in 58, 60 or 62 caliber. The anticipated material fee is to be $750 using a standard grade European walnut blank. Ron has a large inventory of blanks in various grades if students wish to upgrade. Options for extra barrels can be discussed. Feel free to call Ron at 541-941-0395 with any questions.

Woodbury School of Gunmaking and Forging Related Accoutrements – Hershel, Frank and John House

As in the past, seminar activities will take place at the home of Hershel House located in Woodbury, Kentucky. His home is located 20 miles from Western Kentucky University. Participants will engage in projects of their own choosing which ranges from knife making to forging iron rifle mounts and related lock parts into a completed rifle project. The major focus of the class is to develop forging and finishing skills of iron related artifacts associated with the 18th century gun trade. Once registration is completed, individuals may need to contact one of the House brothers regarding their specific project for the seminar. A suggested listing of tools and materials will be sent to all participants. A class fee of $50 will be collected from each participant on the first day of class to cover the cost of coal, and related incidental items such as screws and iron for forging. 


Advanced 18th Century Porcupine Quill Work – Lally House

The nine day class is specifically designed to enhance the quill working abilities of participants with prior experience at Western Kentucky University or another related seminar class. Attention will be given to advanced period designs developed by participants along with specialized techniques associated with moose hair embroidery and other related techniques. Emphasis will focus on period correct processes and materials. A demonstration of dyeing quills will be presented using period dye materials. Students will leave with a finished product and/or a work in progress with sufficient materials to finish their project at home. All tools and 
materials will be provided at the time of the seminar with an appropriate course fee for materials based on the scope of each participant’s project. 


Making Tools for the Gun Maker – George Suiter

Students will make several useful tools for period gun making including a scratch stock for shaping fore stock moldings, wire inlay tools, barrel key in-letting tools, ramrod pipe mandrels, golden mean proportional dividers, square reamers, counter bores, a scribe, scrapers, and a patch box hinge bending  jig. The class will also observe and use other 18th century hand tools. Students will learn how efficient 18th century hand tools can be. A $45 material fee will be collected the first day of class. A listing of additional materials needed to complete the class will be sent out once registration is complete. This is a completely new class for 2017!


Christian Springs Rifle Making and Rifle Design and Construction – Jack Brooks

For the Christian Springs rifle making class, castings for the guard and butt plate will be supplied while participants will be responsible for forming, filing, and fitting remaining mounts. Specifications for the lock, stock and barrel will be sent to participants in advance so that they can be ordered and supplied on time for the seminar. Participants have the option of having the barrel inlet and ramrod channel cut prior to class or actually performing the process by hand in class. The specific stock profile pattern with supporting original photos will be made available to all participants. Jack Brooks will contact individuals prior to the seminar to help with purchasing necessary materials for the class along with a suggested tool list. Cost of materials will be sent to participants once registration has been finished. The class is open to individuals who have participated in the past who were unable to complete their rifle and newcomers who wish to craft a rifle in the Christian Springs style. The class is also open to individuals who need to finish an arm that was started and never completed, or individuals who wish to craft a period correct arm in a style not offered in any of the other seminar classes. In either case, you will need to contact Jack to discuss your options for the seminar and his class in particular. Jack’s email address is jsbrookslongrifles@gmail.com.

 

6 Day Seminar Classes Begin on Sunday, June 4th at 8:00 a.m. CST and end on Friday June 9th at 1:00 p.m.

Assembling an Iron Mounted Mountain Rifle – Jim Kibler - “A 6 day / 9 day Combination” see below!

Students will build a newly developed kit rifle produced by Jim Kibler. This will be an iron mounted small caliber mountain rifle in the style of McBee or Whitson. This kit features superb styling coupled with a highly refined and precise manufacturing process, resulting in a product that can be assembled in a pain free manner. This class is perfect for the beginning student wanting to familiarize themselves with longrifle construction. Likewise, the more experienced student can enjoy a relatively relaxing time creating a beautiful rifle. In six days, students will be able to completely assemble and start the staining and finishing process. Students’ will be able to leave class with a rifle ready to take to the woods! This class was a huge success in 2016 and now you will have the option of adding three more days to the class to add a traditional iron patch box, muzzle cap and toe plate to your rifle. The kit price for the class is $950 and the kit 
will be available in 32, 36, 40 and 45  caliber.  There will be an additional charge for individuals wanting a wood upgrade for their rifle. There will be no charge for materials to make the patch box, toe plate and muzzle cap. Jim will contact participants regarding needed tools and materials once enrollment is complete. The 6 day class begins on Wednesday, May 31st at 1:00 p.m. and ends on Tuesday, June 6th at 1:00. If you add the 3 day extension to make the patchbox, muzzle cap, and toe plate for your rifle, the class will end on Friday, June 9th at 1:00 p.m.


Powder Horn Construction, Engraving and Decoration – New for 2017 – Art DeCamp

This class will focus on making an authentic, powder horn and application of period correct decoration including engraving, polychrome, and coloring of the horn. While constructing their horn, participants will receive instruction, demonstrations and hands-on experience in making, engraving and decorating an authentic powder horn. Techniques used will include heating to shape the horn, how to scrape for an authentic surface finish, horn engraving, and the application of polychrome coloring through the use of traditional horn work methods. Original examples of horn items will be available for study during the class, and related reference materials will be presented for study. The class participants will be provided with related handout materials, appropriate references, and a list of tools and supplies needed for the course. The cost of materials and supplies provided by the instructor will be sent to participants once registration is complete. Information presented in this class and techniques implemented by students are unlike any other class offering on horning – new for 2017!


Carving the American Longrifle – Mark Silver

Our class focus will be the relief and incised carving done on 18th and early 19th century longrifles. Topics covered include: design, tool selection, and carving technique. While our focus will be the American longrifle, we will survey and discuss the important influence of Germanic and British sources. Participants will work on pre-shaped “Quaker” practice stocks, including refining proper stock architecture, surface preparation techniques, such as scraping and sanding, and drawing the design. Participants with significant previous carving experience can design a project in consultation with the instructor. These stocks will be a valuable reference for participants’ future carving projects. The class size is limited to nine and material cost will be approximately $80.

 
Assembling a Chambers Customized Lock Kit and Related Tuning Techniques – Jim Chambers

Students in this class will start with one of Jim’s “Gunmakers” Lock Kits, the one with the oversize plate, and go completely through the assembly process, then move on to the fine tuning the lock from both its form and function. Considerable quality can be built in during the basic assembly process if the correct drills, reamers, and related tooling are used. Some students may also want to modify the lock to be more appropriate for a particular gun they plan to build. A material fee of $90.00 covers the lock parts. A kit that includes all the needed drills, taps and reamers will be available for a separate fee for those wanting these tools, but it is not necessary for the class. The class is limited to eight individuals. 


Intermediate and Advanced Longrifle Engraving – Wallace Gusler

This class is designed for rifle makers who have had some experience with layout, engraving and sharpening engravers. The focus will be on design and techniques of the revolutionary period long rifles through the early Federal period. Some schools will be studied in detail, i.e. the kinds of gravers used and the design and execution of foliage and borders. The students will need to bring their gravers, hammers, sharpening equipment, sheet brass, mounting blocks, sketch books and goose necked lamp to class. 


18th Century Porcupine Quill Work at the Intermediate Level – Lally House

This six day class is specifically designed to enhance the quill working abilities of participants with prior experience at the beginning level at Western or another related seminar class. Attention will be given to period design developed by participants along with specialized techniques associated with Moose hair embroidery and other related techniques. Emphasis will focus on period correct processes and materials. A demonstration of dyeing quills will be presented using period dye materials. Students will leave with a finished product and/or a work in progress with sufficient materials to finish their project at home. All tools and materials will be provided at the time of the seminar with an appropriate course fee based on the scope of each participant’s project(s). Because Lally will be demonstrating dyeing quills only once during the seminar, participants for the 6 day class will need to be at Western on Saturday, June 3rd from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. to witness the demonstration. Otherwise the 6 day class begins on Sunday the 4th at 8:00 a.m.

 

3 Day Seminar Classes Begin on Wednesday, May 31st at 1:00 p.m. CST and End on Saturday, June 3rd at 1:00 p.m.


Beginning 18th Century Quill Work – Lally House

This class covers all the basic steps in making a traditional quill work neck pouch. Period correct colorants for quills and their formation, stitching, and assembly of the neck pouch will be demonstrated with appropriate lectures. No previous skill is required for the class, and participants will leave with a finished neck pouch. A demonstration of dyeing quills and the distribution of quills for future student projects will take place on Saturday, June 3rd from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. A minimal fee will be charged for materials consumed during class. 


A Study of the evolution of the American Longrifle and its Design – Wallace Gusler and Mark Silver

This class will be a combination of illustrated lectures of longrifle development and the study of Baroque and Rococo designs. These elements that form the basis of 18th century American rifles’ decoration will be drawn by each student. The instructors will give PowerPoint lectures starting with the rifles European background and the evolving Longrifle tracing the stages of development that define the new American rifle. Students will receive instruction in the drawing and designing longrifles and /or Jaeger art and participate in the study of a few original examples of rifles and fowling pieces. The only materials the student needs to bring are: a sketch book or pad, pencils and erasers. Enrollment limited to eighteen participants.


Important Dates and Information

  • Seminar Cost is $120 per/day or $360, $720 and $1,080 respectively

  • Seminar Begins on Wednesday, May 31st at 1:00 p.m. CST and Ends on Friday, June 9th, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. CST.

  • Official Registration Begins on October 31st and runs through Friday, February 3rd, 2017 on a first come first served basis. All participants will need to contact Brenda Hooton at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association to make a minimum down payment equivalent to half the cost of the seminar class or at a minimum of $200 for 3 day classes. Brenda can be contacted at 812-667-5131. Her email address is nmlra@nmlra.org. Individuals who are not members of the NMLRA will be charged an additional $50 fee at the time of registration.

  • Full payment for all classes is due by February 3rd, 2017.

  • Cancellation of a class needs to be made before February 3rd, at which time individuals will receive a payment minus the down payment of $200 or $250 for nonmembers of the NMLRA.

  • Failure to make full payment by February 3rd will result in being dropped from the official enrollment.

  • While there is no official cancellation policy once full payment is made, consideration will be made on a case by case basis given the extreme nature for such a request. Please keep in mind that financial commitments have been made to the instructional team along with obligations to the NMLRA based on enrollment numbers and the overall income from the seminar. Late cancellations can cause major problems with the success of the seminar.

  • Enrollments in nearly all classes is limited to eight or nine participants with the exception of the House Brothers class (13 individuals) and the Evolution of the American Long Rifle (18 individuals). Early registration is the best way to make sure you are registered for the class of choice. During the registration process you will be asked to list your first, second, and third choice of classes. Based on the date of registration and specific choice(s) class enrollments will be assigned by February 10th and official notification sent to participants for 2017.  

  • There will be a picnic at the Leeper farm on Saturday, June 3rd at 4:30 p.m. which is included in the registration cost of the seminar.

  • There will be a picnic at the home of Hershel House on Wednesday June 7th at 5:00 p.m. which is included in the registration cost of the seminar.