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Going Bigger! Step-by-step Fabricating a .75 cal Black Powder Cannon *FINISHED*

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Are you doing this all dry?

I sure am! I used cutting oil during some sections but I've found that as long as my chips turn blue, most of the heat is transferring to the chips and not the tool. I also hate the smoke caused by cutting oil and 1018 is pretty soft in the big picture.
 

warwickben

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Going Bigger! Step-by-step Fabricating a .75 cal Black Powder Cannon

I mainly machine stainless 90% of the time.
If you ever wanna try a oil that doesn't smell bad tapfree 2 is pretty good it's water based so its easy to clean off .
 
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Okay back in action!

I managed a few hours in the shop today and made great progress. Lots of pics in this update!

I started today on the ball end, working out the deep lines left by the initial cutting:
47.jpg


This was the last chance i'd get to put a final polish/finish on this end and I think it came out great:
48.jpg


In order to reduce the marring on this finished end, I made a tin can sleeve in hopes this would help. In the end I believe it did as I was later able to hake out the marks by hand.
49.jpg


I decided this should have some kind of rounded flare at the muzzle so began filing it in with a hand file:
50.jpg


I finally got it down to the shape I wanted after about 30 minutes with the files:
51.jpg


Here she is spinning as I lay down the final smoothing across everything with a scotchbrite pad:
52.jpg


I put in a fee more little rings around the fuse:
53.jpg


Muzzle looking much smoother now. Filing marks were a bitch to get out.
54.jpg


Ready to come off!
55.jpg


Now its time to take this badboy off the lathe for the first time in days! Next post continues...
 
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Here she is laying in my hand. Still pretty heavy at over ten pounds but I havent weighed it.

57.jpg


I then spun up the trunnions to give them a polish that would match the finish on the main cannon body:
59.jpg


Lookin good! Everything lines up even and tightly!
60.jpg


ANother shot
61.jpg


The cannon balances perfectly at the trunnions without any assistance:
62.jpg


Next up I move onto the carriage!
 
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I begin by designing a carriage and getting my rough shape sawed out. I'm using some extremely dense striped sapele hardwood for this. Its about 1" thick.

My trunnions will sit in a 3/4" slot so I drill this out from each side:
64.jpg


I then spin up a 2" dowel in the lathe to cut my wheels:
65.jpg


I add some style to the outside edges:
66.jpg


Done! I now replicate this for a matched set:
68.jpg


Eventually I make another, slightly smaller set for the rear and my wheels are done:
69.jpg


I next cut two axles through which a 1/2 dowel will be glued. The wheels will turn on these axles and be held with a pin at a later stage. These dont need to be perfect.
70.jpg


Here is a rough mockup. The axle parts will be inlayed into the bottom side of the walls so it wont sit quite this high in then end. Its really starting to look like a cannon now!
71.jpg


72.jpg


73.jpg


74.jpg


Whats next:
-Need to inlay axles and sand axles so wheels spin freely.
-Fabricate top to go over trunnion and hold it down
-Fabricate wedge to go under cannon for elevation
-Threaded rods through carriage for stability
-Staining/wood finish
-Extra hardware

I might get a bit more time in a few days!
 
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What a great thread. Excellent work, thanks for the play by play.

Ever think about machining the wagon & wheels out of stainless as well?
 
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Going Bigger! Step-by-step Fabricating a .75 cal Black Powder Cannon

What an cool project.

It's up there with "Shovel AK" in terms of awesomeness.
 
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What a great thread. Excellent work, thanks for the play by play.

Ever think about machining the wagon & wheels out of stainless as well?

I sure did! This is still an option. I've never made a naval-style carriage before so i'm going to figure it out with wood and then if I want I can just do it from metal by copying. I actually considered doing it from 1" thick aluminum with steel wheels. I'm worried i'll never get the carriage looking as good as the cannon.
 

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Incredible!! This is beautiful work. I keep telling my wife I want to get into wood/metal working of some sort, this is inspiring!
 
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Going Bigger! Step-by-step Fabricating a .75 cal Black Powder Cannon

Incredible work!

Do you have any plans for some sort of elevation adjustment?

Yes. On the carriage there will be a slanted board where a wedge will ride a rail and slip under the rear of the cannon for elevation.
 
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Going Bigger! Step-by-step Fabricating a .75 cal Black Powder Cannon

When do you fire it? :)

No idea! I won't be firing this one in my residential neighborhood as it will be far too loud. I'll find some remote place to shoot it but will ask my local gun club if firing a blank charge from a signal cannon is within the rules. They don't expressly forbid it but I also don't want to upset the club.
 
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I don't know how I didn't find this thread until today but I'm glad I did. That was awesome, you do some nice work!

Any future projects you are thinking of?
 
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Going Bigger! Step-by-step Fabricating a .75 cal Black Powder Cannon

This thread isn't over by a long shot. The carriage will still take a substantial amount of work to do all the hardware and finishing! Stay tuned!

My next project might be a bit delayed as I have 8 knives to make and some pistol grips before I do another "fun" project but I'd love to do a more traditional cannon design with a wheeled carriage. I'm just figuring out what I'm capable of with the lathe now....the sky is the limit...scaled down railroad cannon with tracks? Who knows....
 
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Going Bigger! Step-by-step Fabricating a .75 cal Black Powder Cannon

What does something like this cost start to finish if you don't mind me asking?

You mean cost to make? 15$ in steel and a few carbide inserts so far...

I don't sell cannons yet....I fear liability, honestly....even though many sell them on ebay. I shudder when I think of what would happen if some fool put smokeless or flash powder in one.

I see people sell ones in this size for a pretty penny, though....a few hundred bucks at least.
 
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