Ron Scott – Building a 1760’s European Rifle from the Czech Region
Ron has acquired a period rifle from which the investment molds are under construction for the mounts and lock. Ed Rayl will be reproducing the 42-inch barrel. If a long-barreled European rifle is appealing, this model is authentic. This firearm is noteworthy in that it features very sophisticated mounts and lock incorporated with provincial carving. As with past projects, students will have the option of adjusting their project for fit. The mounts will be shipped to students to be straightened and filed prior to the first class session. The barrel needs to be inlet before class commences. The course goal is to inlet the parts and shape the stock, concentrating on learning the specific architecture of the model. Discussions on decorative art, finish, and history are always a fascinating element of this class, which has historically featured a wide variety of projects. Students who have special requests or projects from Ron’s previous classes are encouraged to contact him regarding enrollment. Cost of materials will be sent to participants once registration has been determined.
Ian Pratt – Building a Colonial Period Rifle from Repurposed Parts
Utilizing a light weight barrel copied from an original mid-18th Century Trade Fusil, and choosing from several lock and hardware combinations, participants will learn an approach to design for building a visually balanced and appealing gun based on the premise of a Colonial gun stocked up with repurposed parts common to the period. Options such as the addition of a patch box and suitable carved and engraved decoration will be discussed and implemented as time allows. Enrolled participants will have the option of discussing and determining their choice of lock and hardware combinations prior to the beginning of the class. Cost of materials will be sent to participants once registration has been determined.
Jack Brooks – Building a Christian’s Spring Style Longrifle
Castings for the guard and butt plate will be supplied, while participants will be responsible for forming, filing and fitting the 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 processes 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 determined. The class is open to individuals who participated in the 2015 course who were unable to complete their rifle and newcomers for 2016.
House Brothers (Herschel, Frank, and John) – Woodbury School
As in the past, seminar activities will take place at the home of Herschel 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. Cost of materials will be sent to participants once registration has been determined.
Lally House – 18th Century Porcupine Quill Work - Advanced
The nine day class is specifically designed to enhance the quill working abilities of participants with prior experience at Western 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 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.
Six Day Seminar Classes – Sunday, June 5th at 8:00 a.m. CST Until Friday, June 10th at 1:00 p.m.
Wallace Gusler – Longrifle Relief and Incised Carving
Participants taking this class will be introduced to the process and techniques used in creating traditional longrifle carving. Subjects include tool selection and sharpening, carving design and execution. The various techniques used in producing both incised and relief carving will be the focus of the course for both beginners to advanced carvers. The class begins with refining a “Quaker” pre-shaped stock. Only a triangular straight comb stock will be used. No inletting is covered in this process. A faux butt piece is shaped on the solid breech stock and the panels for the lock and side plate are shaped and blended into the wrist and forearm. A machined “barrel” is integral, and the breech pin tang will be a cut outline in the wood. Design is the first half of the second day of the class. This begins with classroom examination of the basic elements of Baroque and Rococo styles found on American long rifles. Each student will need a notebook suitable to make drawings. The care and sharpening of carving tools and related stones and ones will be discussed and demonstrated. A suggested tool and material list will be sent to students once registration has been completed.
Richard Sullivan – Pattern Making, Casting Brass Gun Mounts, and Making a Hinged Patch Box
Students will make a trigger guard and butt plate patterns of wood. The patterns will be used to prepare sand molds to cast a brass trigger guard and butt plate. Students will also form a hinge from sheet brass and cut out a patch box of their own design. A list of tools and materials for the course will be sent to the registered participants. Cost of materials supplied by the instructor will be sent to participants once registration has been determined. Richard is a new addition to the seminar instructional team. He currently works in the gun shop of Colonial Williamsburg with George Suiter.
Jim Kibler – Building and Finishing a Mountain Rifle from a Kibler Kit
Students will build a newly developed kit 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 complete assembly and start the staining and finishing process. Have fun assembling a rifle and leave the class with a rifle ready to take to the woods! Kit price is $950.00, and the kit will be available in 32 or 36 calibers. Jim will contact participants regarding needed tools and materials once enrollment is complete.
Lally House – 18th Century Porcupine Quill Work - Intermediate
The 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 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 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). Participants have the option of taking the intermediate quill class for a six day period, over the course of the nine day seminar, however participants must be present on Friday, the ½ day Saturday, and Sunday to participate in the demonstration for dyeing quills and student distribution. The dyeing demonstration will only be shown once during the seminar.
Mark Silver – Period Style Lock Assembly
Using investment cast parts – cast from original 18th century locks – students may choose to assemble either a c. 1700 Continental style round face lock, or a flat faced lock appropriate for Revolutionary period American Long rifles. Mastering the techniques required for this process gives students a good understanding of the functional geometry, form, and heat treating of 18th century style locks. We will be working in a fully equipped machine shop, but will utilize as much 18th century tool technology as practical. We will also cover file work and finishing techniques that are useful in all of the metal work, both functional and decorative, used in 18th century style gun making. This will include, as time permits, working with die sinking chisels, files, and gravers, to execute the detailing and decoration found on locks typical of many American long rifles and European arms. Fees will be in the $125 to $150 range.
9 Day Seminar Classes – Beginning Wednesday, June 1st at 1:00 p.m. CST Until Friday, June 10th at 1:00 p.m.
George Suiter – Building a 1750’s Pipe Ax
Building a pipe ax involves all the same elements as building a long rifle, but takes less time and requires fewer materials. Students will learn to file and polish the head, file decorative moldings, engrave and execute a silver inlay in the head, harden and temper and niter blue the tomahawk head. For the handle students will drill the hole in the handle, shape and fit the handle and decorate it with wire or sheet metal inlay or other forms of decoration such as incised carving and then stain and finish. Students will leave the class with a finished pipe tomahawk. Students will be supplied with a list to needed tools and materials once registration is complete. Cost of materials will be sent to participants once registration has been determined.
Class Descriptions and Instructor Listings
Three day Seminar Classes Beginning June 1st at 1:00 p.m. CST Until June 4th at 1:00 p.m. CST
Jim Kibler – Drawing and Design for Carving and Engraving
This is a hands-on drawing class with the goal of helping all individuals, even those who say they cannot draw to improve their design work. This class will focus on learning to create Baroque and Rococo designs like those typically found in longrifle decoration. The class will not be school specific, but general in the study and drawing of 18th Century designs for carving, engraving and patch boxes. This class will provide excellent preparation for students taking the engraving or carving classes offered in the seminar. Bring a notebook, a sketchbook, several pencils, and a good eraser.
Mark Silver – Wire and Sheet Inlay – New approach for 2016
This class will explore a variety of types of silver and brass wire inlay, as well as sheet inlay, appropriate for American Long rifles and European arms. While the main focus of the class will be the execution of wire and sheet inlay, participants will also gain a clear understanding of the types of design and techniques appropriate to both American and European styles. Students will be supplied a set of two tools for inlaying the wire, at minimal cost (these tools also work well for inletting and setting in relief carving). Stock preparation, scraping, and finishing issues will be covered. This class is intended for both beginning and more advanced makers. Those with prior experience will, in consultation with the instructor, create a project suited to their interests. Participants will have the choice of using a “Quaker Stock”, perhaps from a previous class, or inexpensive practice pieces of maple. The cost of sheet and wire inlay materials will be minimal.
Maryellen Pratt – Creating a Leather Hunting Pouch
This class will focus on the design and construction of a leather hunting pouch. Using a variety of examples as a guide, students will learn how to lay out and create their own patterns for a pouch. During the construction of pouches, students will learn a variety of stitching techniques, various leather working applications, and methods for dyeing and finishing. Discussions about using period appropriate materials including leather types will be included as part of the class. Examples of original pouches plus several of Maryellen’s designs will be available at the class as a reference. No leather working experience is required for the course, and the level of participant experience will be taken into consideration when choosing the pouch pattern students wish to complete. Participants will leave with a completed hunting pouch. A listing of tools and materials will be sent to participants once registration is complete. The cost of materials supplied by the instructor will be sent to participants.
Lally House – Beginning 18th Century Quill Work
This class covers all the steps in making a traditional quill work neck pouch. Period correct colorants for quills and their formulation, 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. Students have the option of selecting their three days of attendance over the duration of the seminar. However it is recommended that attendance cover at least the Friday, 1/2 day Saturday, and Sunday of the seminar to participate in the dyeing of quills and their distribution for future student projects. The Dyeing demonstration will only be shown once during the seminar.
Wallace Gusler – Intermediate and Advance Longrifle Engraving Techniques
This class is designed for rifle makers who have 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 lamps.
Evening Activities – Times and Dated to be Announced Later
Demonstration of making a makers stamp
Lecture by Wallace Gusler
Open lab visitation