Modern Chalkepope System

Types of Rifling sights, but they didn't go far enough, because they were merely adjuncts to ordinary metallic sights and also they were in some lights unsatisfactory because of disturbing light rays from the sides. The inventor may start with them and improve indefinitely

Devices for teaching the " rookie " to hold. In out army training camps an expert marksman stands beside the rookie wrho is trying to learn to aim right and by looking into a small mirror which is attached to the rifle is able to see the rookie's faults and explain and correct them. Before the war our militia was taught to hold by practicing with the sub-target rifle, and by actual shooting with a .22 calibre rifle (in Europe called miniature rifle) in a rifle range built in an armory. There is now on the market a device attachable to a rifle by which " the office of the cartridge is performed by a sensitive pointer which traces on a diminutive target every motion of the rifle while it is in the act of being aimed and when the trigger is pulled instantly punches a small hole in the dot target and thus indicates the exact spot where a bullet would have struck the real .target aimed at by the pupil."

Handwork by the Rifleman. If the amateur attempts to rifle a barrel on his screw cutting lathe he is free to choose any style of rifling ever devised, and apparently every style of boring, grooving and twisting that is possible has already been tried. The principal types or systems are shown on the adjoining page; they can be varied and combined almost without limit. In breech loading rifles, for a lead bullet it is not advisable to groove over four hundredths of an inch deep; for a jacketed bullet, not over four thousandths; for both, less may be better. For a lead bullet the ratchet, the Greene, and the Schalke-Pope systems,. with or without combinations and variations, will produce accurate shooting. For a jacketed bullet the two groove, the oval, and the Newrton may be preferable to any system which has sharp corners to its grooves. The interior of a barrel in process of cutting, or the interior of any barrel, may be reproduced in reverse for inspection or for accurate measurements by means of a sulphur cast. It is not best for a beginner to attempt varying the depth of the grooves from deep at breech to shallow at muzzle, as indicated on the Springfield (old) and segmental systems pictured; but the taper bore, before rifling, is easily within the ability of a careful beginner, and is obtained by lapping with a lead plug supplied with oil and flour of corundum. As the increase of diameter toward the breech should be gradual and not exceed two thousandths of an inch, considerable care is necessary, because corundum cuts very fast. The first few barrels better be cut in either iron or mild steel. The nearer to pure iron a barrel blank is, the easier to machine it accurately, and the harder the steel is the less is it likely to be either homogeneous or even in grain and the greater the difficulty to work it accurately. Chambering will have to be free enough to include the difference in diameter of shells of a kind, which will be about two thousandths of an inch. Very close chambering and throating may be desirable for special cartridges and usually will raise the velocity, but is worthless for commercial ammunition and raises the breech pressure tremendously and is unsafe for any other than an especially strong barrel.

Barrel renovating, internal. Many a barrel that looks to be badly rusted nevertheless is not pitted. Ordinary rust is removed by a gunsmith with a lead plug and either flour of emery or of pumice. Either one of them is a scouring medium that increases the size of the bore and partially obliterates the rifling: to a pitted barrel, which already therefore is a bad one, neither will do much damage. A rusted though not pitted barrel can be restored to about new condition by more gentle treatment. When the rust is tenacious enough to resist a wiping rag it can be dissolved with any one of the chemicals which has an affinity for iron oxide but not for iron; binoxalate of potassium is one; tctra oxalate of tin is another; crystals of these substances are soluble in hot water; the rusted barrel, filled with the hot solution, yields very quickly to the treatment. Another and generally better way is by scraping and then burnishing. The scraper, with a sharp but smooth edge, must be a bit softer than the barrel in order that it may not remove any metal but rust; the burnisher, of highly polished steel, must be exceedingly hard. Rust is of many varieties; one, seen under a microscope, may seem like a growth of toadstools springing from the pores of the steel; another may look like a bed of moss. Neither may have eaten away and lowered its bed from the original plane; hence a gentle scraping followed by burnishing will restore the smoothness of surface without increasing the size of the bore. Many barrels after such treatment show no sign, either visible or measurable with an internal micrometer, of ever having rusted a particle. When the scraping and burnishing cannot be done with a rifling machine but must be done by hand, the little tools should be bedded in a hard-solder plug cast in the barrel, and of course means must be provided for raising and lowering them by means of spring, wedge or screw.

Barrel renovating, external. Before a barrel either old or new can be coated either brown or blue the metal must be absolutely bare and clean. After polishing the metal, freeing it of grease is accomplished by coating it with a paste of lime and wrater or by boiling it in an aqueous solution of caustic soda. When wiped clean it is ready for treatment. But, previously, in surfacing, no good workman will round the flats of an octagonal barrel by filing or polishing across them. In cutting the old, abraded surface, if the lathe bed is long enough bed the barrel on the lathe bed and grind its flats smooth, using the screw cutting attachment to move the grinder lengthwise, revolving lengthwise. If necessary to cut the barrel surfaces by hand, do it by draw filing. The same applies to polishing; polish lengthwise; if by hand, with successive applications of finer and finer emery cloth on a large, flat, medium file. Muzzle loading rifle barrels, either flint or cap, were browned. Modern barrels are finished blue-black. In either case the process is one of oxidizing, commonly called rusting. After each coat of the oxidizing chemicals has caused a coat of rust, the rust is removed, all but the stain of it, with a wire brush, which leaves the surface of the barrel dark and shining. Successive coatings and scratchings increase the depth of the protective coating and also the color and evenness of it. The speed of the rusting depends to a great extent upon the temperature and humidity of the air. In arms plants a specially heated and humidified room makes the process equally certain all the year around; the man who does this tinkering at home may have to confine his oxidizing to the summer time. The final coat (brown, various shades) can be darkened, and also considerably changed in color, by pouring over the barrel boiling water containing either alum, logwood, or copperas, according to the depth and shade of color desired. Old-time figured barrels, — twist and damascus, made of steel and iron twisted and welded together — require special chemicals which stain one of the two metals more than the other and so show the figure. The first coat of chemical on either a plain or a figured barrel should be applied sparingly using a cloth soaked in the chemicals and then squeezed so dry that not another drop will come out of it. The cloth should be applied with a rolling motion so that a fresh part of it will continually reach the metal. Succeeding coatings may be wetter but not wet enough to permit the gathering of drain-

ings at the bottom end of the barrel. The barrel must not be touched with the bare hands, because there is oil in the skin; custom has sanctioned the handling of it by wooden plugs driven into and projecting from each end. Good results were obtained in the days of long ago by very simple means: when nothing more rapid in effect was obtainable salt and water were used. Probably the majority of all early Kentuckies were colored with either formula No. 1, or No. 2; even these were slow.

No. 1, Sal ammoniac in hot water.

No. 2, Butter of antimony in hot olive oil.

No. J, For our military rifles, 1800 to 1865; for plain sporting rifles of the same period; quicker process than either No. 1 or No. 2 : —

\\ ounces alcohol

" tincture of iron

\\ " corrosive sublimate

\\ " sweet spirits of nitre

1 " blue vitriol

£ " nitric acid 1 quart pure water

No. 4, For figured barrels.

1 ounce spirits of nitre f " tincture of steel £ " sublimate of mercury | " bluestone | pint pure water

Some of the old figured barrels show the figure in slight relief. This etching was done before the browning by immersing the barrel (plugged at both ends) in a lead trough containing enough fluid to cover the barrel. The fluid was obtained by boiling down to £ of its bulk 1 pound of sulphate of copper in 1 gallon of soft water. The etching requires 15 to 30 minutes.

No. 5, To duplicate the blue-black finish of our present military and sporting rifles is really a chemist's task because of the varied alloys with which different steels are hardened and the fact that a chemical mixture which produces blue on one kind may produce only rust browrn on another. Process No. 5, however, usually produces blue-black; it is, in a way, an average of a number of formulae. If it works unsatisfactorily on cold metal try it with the metal heated to about 150 degrees. If still refractory increase the amount of sulphate of copper in both the second and third liquids. Without knowing exactly the cause of ensuing failure no further advice will be of use except to send the browned metal together with the written formulae to an arms plant with a request for analysis and advice. Following is the average formula: — first, get a coat of rust by using formula No. 3; second, immerse in, if possible (if not, apply with a sponge), a solution of the following ingredients and keep the metal wet with the solution for at least 15 minutes:

1 ounce tincture muriate of iron 1 " nitric ether 4 scruples sulphate of copper 3 grains oxymuriate of mercury 1 pint pure water

Dry the barrel and remove -the dark rust with a scratch brush; repeat the use of formula No. 3, and this second liquid at least three times, scratch brushing the barrel to a polish each time; third, apply the following:

1 ounce nitric acid, specific gravity 1.2 1 " nitric ether 1 J< alcohol 1 " muriate of iron 2. " copper sulphate

10 " pure water. In compounding this third liquid dissolve the copper sulphate in the water and add it to the mixture of the four other chemicals. When the coating of the barrel is sufficiently dark and even wash it clean with pure water, either hot or cold, and when dry finish once-more and for the last time with the scratch brush. In the near future this long and tedious process will be simplified and infinitely hastened by galvanic action.

No. 6, Dark blue finish with grayish lustre: 4 ounces sodium hyposulphite, dissolved in 1 quart soft water; mix with lj ounces lead acetate, dissolved in 1 quart soft water.

Boil this mixed solution in a porcelain dish until evaporation has reduced the total to one quart. Warm the barrel to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit; apply the boiling-hot solution to the barrel with a sponge tied on a stick as many times as necessary to obtain the desired color. Time will average about one hour.

Try the experiment of combining this process writh the copper-ammonium-disulphide process mentioned in Part V, alternating the applications.

diluted with 10 litres water. Immerse for several hours. These seven (eight with the salt and water one), with final wash coats of water containing alum or logwood or sulphate of iron, will produce as many shades of color as will satisfy the average man.

No. 8, In case a barrel coating is very necessary in the dry season an enamel which will give a fine appearance and which has good wearing qualities can be made and applied this way: — dissolve 1 part of borax in 4 parts of water. Macerate 5 parts of bleached shellac in 5 parts of alcohol, saving out, however, a small portion of the alcohol for dissolving methylene blue of sufficient amount to make the desired color. Heat the watery solution to boiling and, constantly stirring, add the alcoholic solution.

No. 7, Black finish:

57 cu. cm of strong phos-

65 grams of this mixture phoric acid 18 grams pulverized zinc 57 cu. cm pure water

Stir out all lumps and add the blue solution. Before applying clean the metal bright. Apply with a soft, broad brush.

Brown, blue and black for rifle barrels and metal in general. Three colors; only three; two of them conspicuous and inharmonious with conditions and surroundings. How absurd. When all the colors of the spectrum are possible for sporting arms why is the public content with only one color? And will some Chief of Ordnance please distinguish himself by having the soldier's weapon match his uniform! With military rifles as they are, an air plane observer can see them when the soldiers themselves are not distinguishable. A terrestrial observer, estimating the number of troops in a movement, doesn't hope to nor try to see the length of the line of men; he sees the line of rifles. Uniforms fade into a background, but rifles arc of first-class visibility. Khaki .'em. Olive drab 'em. Forest green 'em. Match 'em up.

Heal Bluing. Small parts, of rifles, such as butt plates, trigger guards, bands, etc., are oxidized to dark blue by the heat process. First give the metal the required degree of polish and then clean it thoroughly of grease. It may then be heated in the open air, as some workmen prefer to do; as the temperature rises the following colors will appear in succession: — straw, copper, purple, red, gray, and then the desired dark-blue. The color does not go deep enough to wear well without carbonizing; so the metal is then bedded in a heap of vegetable charcoal, which is hot just above the smoldering point, and left 20 to 25 minutes. Whether or not the metal shall have inspections, wipings, and coatings of oil during its hot charcoal treatment is a matter of opinion; skilled workmen obtain equally good results both ways. When the metal is fully and evenly colored it may be allowed to cool in the open air, in which case it will be soft; or it may be chilled in oil to be hard; or in water to be harder yet.

See also the Buffington process of heat bluing described on page 377.

Tempering. Tempering steel to make it springy or hard or both consists for the most part of rearranging the molecular or the crystalline structure by chilling the steel suddenly from a high heat. The degree of heat varies according to requirements from cherry red to glowing temperature; and the medium into which steel is plunged to chill it varies from different densities of oil, for spring temper, to hot and cold water for greater hardness, to mercury for extreme hardness. Generally speaking, the harder steel is, the more brittle it is.

Making Springs. To make a flat spring of any shape: — select a bit of spring steel of sufficient size; anneal it; cut, file and bend it to the required form; heat to cherry red and plunge instantly into oil; return to the fire just long enough to burn off the oil that adheres to it but not long enough to heat the spring red. To make a coiled spring: — attach one end of a piece of piano wire to a mandrel somewhat smaller in diameter than the inside diameter of the coiled spring required; put the mandrel into the chuck and dead center of the lathe; pull the wire taut; start the lathe on low; as the wire winds on the mandrel guide the coil which is forming by means of any small tool which is as wide as the coils of the spring are to be far apart.

Casehardening. To produce the hard surface with mottled colors common to some arms of both the past and the present:—1 quart of powdered animal charcoal, 1 tablespoonful of cyanide of potassium, 1 teaspoonful of prussiate of potass; stir well over a fire until the mixture nearly ceases smoking; put a layer in an iron box, set the metal article on it, cover and pack tight with the rest of the charcoal mixture, close the cover, heat in a clear fire until the contents become red, usually requiring 15 to 30 minutes; dump the entire contents of the box in water. Remove, dry, and clean with whiting. This treatment produces soft, blended tones. To get mottled colors in small, rain-drop-like patches of brilliant hues, dump the red-hot contents of the box into water which is being aerated either by means of a powerful stream of water squirted from a distance or by means of a blow pipe through which a stream of air agitates the water with bubbles. To get colors in specific places, mix a portion of the charcoal with the cyanide and cover one part of the steel with it; cover another part with prussiate mixture and a third with straight charcoal, etc.

Stock Renovating

Removal of Dents. A shallow dent, caused by compression or by a blow, can, as no wood has been lost, be removed by swelling the compressed wood until it is oncc more flush with the surrounding surface. First bare the surface of the wood in the dent with a liquid grease killer if the stock was oil finished; a hot saturated solution of sal soda is good; if the stock was finished with shellac or varnish use a commercial varnish remover. Then cover the dent with water-soaked blotting paper and apply to it a hot iron, or, better yet, the point of a soldering copper. The resulting steam will, by repetition, swell out the dent. But a deep hole, say an eighth of an inch, can be corrected only by filling. If of small diameter use melted stick shellac mixed with color to match the wood. If large, bore out the place and plug with wood identical to the surroundings. In this case select a piece of wood of just the right kind, grain and color to match exactly, and turn it, across the grain, in the lathe, into a slightly tapered plug. Apply glue to the hole and the plug, set into place by driving lightly, cut off and finish. A piece broken from the stock or fore end can be replaced so as not to be noticeable, by a patient worker. If the stock has a curly grain, increase the regularity of the edges of the break by trimming with a chisel and when cutting in the direction the grain runs be careful to follow a grain line regardless of regularity. The next step, finding a bit of wood to match exactly, is often difficult but it is absolutely essential to making the repair a success. The matching piece must then be trimmed slowly, watchfully and patiently, with repeated trials of its fit, and when fitted it must be slightly tapering so that it will wedge into place. The last stages of fitting can be made faultless by smoking the edges of the plug each time before trying the fit; the points of its contact with the hole will then be marked on the edges of the hole and these places can be lowered until the entire surfaces meet. When the plug is satisfactory fit it into place and drill through it into the adjacent wood with drills made by breaking and sharpening needles. Remove and apply glue. Replace and drive the needle pins home.

To refinish a stock. First remove the old finish, making the wood bare and clean. If the wood shows signs in places of having absorbed lubricating oil, and particularly if such oil-soaked places occur where small pieces of wood must be glued in to replace chips broken out, the oil must be killed and removed by soaking the stock — all of it or part of it — in a boiling-hot saturated solution of sal soda in water. When dry, sandpaper smooth and then raise the grain by brushing with hot water; dry and repeat several times.

In all this abrading of the surface take pains not to injure the modeling, but improve it if possible. Turn the stock constantly, watching the ever-chang-ing outline, and see that you are maintaining true curves. Hold one end toward the light frequently and observe if the reflections along the surface are true straight and curved lines. Modeling is as important in a fine stock as in a statue.

Then, as nearly all sporting rifle stocks arc artificially enriched with color, stain it. For red, a rich, satisfying and unobtrusive red, use alkanet root in linseed oil; for brown, a mixture of Venetian red, or Indian red, with either Van Dyke brown or burnt ochre or burnt umber, or two of them or all three, will give rich color. These are but a few of many good combinations with average black walnut color; lampblack can be added to darken them; but always care must be taken that the stain and the natural color of the wood do not produce an unpleasant combination with each other, and that the resulting effect combines agreeably with the other colors of the rifle — the colors of the metal parts. Instead of using lampblack to darken the color of the stock the effect can sometimes be gained by heating it while moving it rapidly over a clear flame; and by the heat method the shading can be graded and blended.

Then fill the pores with a purchased wood filler; rub with the grain. It is a safe rule to use transparent filler for dark wood and colored filler for light colored wood, but some people prefer the reverse. Let the stock dry and harden for a day or two, and then sandpaper again until the surface is glassy smooth. If the surface is a bit sticky, instead of sandpaper use steel wool — the finest grade, soft, like hair.

Next comes the final surface finish. Some people prefer varnish. In this case apply successive coats of the best waterproof coach varnish with a wide, soft brush; allow at least 24 hours between each coat; smooth and polish each coat with pumice and water on wash leather. The last coat of all can be left this way, having what is popularly called an egg-shell finish, or it can be made a bit shinier by using oil instead of water w7ith the pumice; or it can be brought to a high lustre by rubbing with dry whiting and wash leather.

Some people prefer a wax finish and others an oil finish. A wax finish can be obtained easily and quickly by using a commercial furniture wax and following the directions on the can. Or a stock can be wax finished with tan or ox blood shoe paste.

The admirers of oil finish claim that there is no other finish so satisfactory in the long run. But it takes lots of time to get it. Put a cupful of raw linseed oil and a pint of water in a large bottle and shake long and thoroughly, then stand the bottle in the sun for a couple of days. Decant the oil without the water and add to the oil a teaspoonful of drier (Japan). Once a day for a couple of weeks or perhaps a month anoint the wood with the oil and rub long and briskly with the palm of the hand so that the film of oil disappears and a soft lustre comes to the surface. In the beginning this lustre will disappear over night, but towards the end of the process it becomes lasting. There is a transparency and soft smoothness to this finish that brings out better than any other the richness of the color and figure in beautiful wood and makes a gunstock a delight to hand and eye.

Checkering. Checkering, on the grip and fore end of a rifle, serves the double purpose of utility and ornament; and because its object and its function is to make firm the grasp of the hand it should never be used for ornament alone and never placed in any other position than where the hand naturally holds the weapon. When done in the best manner it is fine-cut, shallow, crisp, perfectly regular, and bordered with pleasing outlines.

In laying out checkering the outline may be sketched with pencil for appropriate size and shape of area; the points of the angles of the outline ought then to be located accurately and symmetrically; then, if the lines connecting them are to be straight lines, they may be marked in the wood by stretching between the points a thin, hard string and hammering the string lightly to leave definite, true lines in the wood. If, however, the boundar}7 of the checkering is to be curved, it is preferable to cut a thin card to the correct shape and tie it to the wood and then mark around it.

The intersecting incused lines which form the lozengers of the checkering are cut with checkering saws and finished with files. A checkering saw has two or more rows of parallel teeth. The exquisitely accurate work done on old-time high-grade European arms—Purdcy double barrel rifle, for instance — was performed very slowly and carefully with a two-row saw; after the first cut was made one row of teeth on the saw ran in the last groove already cut, that groove serving to guide the other row of teeth to make an exactly parallel cut. Later, the number of rows of teeth became three or four in order to save time; but on sharply curved surfaces the quality of the work was lessened. Still later the Germans improved the checkering saw by adding to two rows of cutting teeth a steel blank guide actuated by a spring which caused the guiding blank to set fully down into a groove and act as a firmer guide for the two rows of teeth which did the cutting.

In modern American factories hand checkering is done far more rapidly than in olden times — and very much poorer — using a saw with many rows of parallel teeth and force enough to make them cut fast. Nowadays checkering a grip or fore end takes perhaps an hour and a half, while in former days a day and a half would be required for results of the highest grade. In addition to hand checkering there is machine checkering, in which the lozengers, of large size, are cut with a variety of circular saw.

Putting the final finish on new checkering, or cleaning out old, is done with a fine file, the blank space at the tip of which has first been broken off. If the rows of checkering arc very close together it may be necessary to grind one face of the triangular file smooth in order to produce a sharper edge on the file so that it will reach to the bottom of the grooves. The shallow lines and flutes forming a border are cut with gravers and small gouging chisels. When the work with tools is done the checkering may advantageously be brushed with diluted varnish or shellac.

Checkering should not be soaked with oil nor even greased at all at any time, because of the obliterating and filling effects which detract both from the utility and the charm of this kind of surfacing.


Those of us who spent precious years of our young lives learning to draw and educating what natural perceptions we had of good form and color stoutly maintain that arms ornamentation should be left to an artist. Some of us whose youth was spent in pursuits more immediately lucrative and who now aspire to model and draw and color, to carve, engrave, inlay and gild, are inclined after viewing the results to say the same in even stronger language. There remain those of us who haven't, but would, and those who arc keenly curious as to how the other fellow does it. And lest we go astray in our attempts to beautify and, instead, produce effects weird and disturbing; and also lest we fail to appreciate a good thing when we see it, perhaps a bit of preaching may not be taken amiss.

Before attempting any handiwork intended to express sentiments or aspirations a technician learns during his period of training what the masters have done in all ages, because culture of the present has for its base the sum of all that has ever been done. In the days of old sculptors lent to arms their superior skill in creating forms that were beautiful; painters, their cultivated taste in color harmony and contrast; goldsmiths, their best knowledge of inlaying, enameling, engraving and encrusting. We are not equipped to invade the realm of art until we know what already has been done, and, if possible, the reasons why.

Excellent specimens of richly ornamented ancient arms exist in many public and private collections in America; we can turn to these sources for understanding and perhaps for inspiration for producing modern arms with grace of form, appropriateness of shape to purpose, glamour of color and symbolism. .

Such specimens conform to the general rules of art. In mass there is a principal part, a secondary, and subordinates, all merged into a whole. They are not, like a modern rifle, divided into constructive units by a butt and fore end separated by a receiver of alien form and topped by a slender rod that appears to serve merely as a spout to the receiver with no apparent other relation to the whole. In the ancient arm the lines of the whole form are free and flowing, without grotesque lumps, or hollows that suggest weakness; and they have " movement" progressively and without apparent interruption in one direction, from breech to muzzle.

Next consider color. The ancient weapon has composition and balance of color masses, harmony of tone, emphasis in the right places by contrast of minor effects, variety in abundance, yet all subordinate to the effect as a whole. The modern arm is liable to have a butt of one color and graining, a fore end so different that it appears not to belong, and these and the monochrome metals are usually inharmonious. It is as if the designer — if there is such, nowadays — said, " The gun may be used for fighting, therefore have its parts fight to keep it nerved-up." We are the ones that the hideous instrument keeps nerved-up. We must abandon illiteracy, so to speak, in form and color of our sporting arms. Wc are on the verge of a change in rifles as great as between muzzle loaders and metallic cartridge magazine repeaters. A few years more and a new era will be on; our new arms must embody the rules of good taste that the sculptor and the architect, the painter and the decorator know to be the fundamentals of beauty. Our expressions represent us. Today we are expressing ourselves as mere machines.

Next consider applied form as pertaining to arms ornamentation. Applied form includes any shapes added to the original mass solely for the purpose of adornment, and includes carving, embossing, engraving, inlaying, and such. The applied ornaments of a beautiful antique weapon were chosen for shape or pictorial meaning appropriate to a firearm. We never find a first-class old gun decorated with representations of holy subjects, or cupids, Vcnuscs, hothouse flowrers or lap dogs, because of lack of connection. But we do find shooting and sylvan scenes represented in the flat — that is, without much perspective — and spirited representations of the fauna and the flora that belong to the out-of-doors where the arm itself belongs, not strongly realistic, however, but correctly conventionalized; and we find abundant geometrical work designed for beauty of line, and often serving at the same time to tie together the more important ornamentation.

In ancient Japanese arms applied ornament was not only ornament but also symbolism, and conveyed to the owner of the gun suggestive topics of pleasurable, moral, philosophical, or patriotic musing in periods of rest. Thus the gold, silver and copper inlays on stock and barrel coulcl be read in procession from breech to muzzle and suggest one train of thought, and, reversing, another; and by a wealth of variety in the details of picturing, read and understood more commonly than the alphabet, wide variety was given to the meaning. To illustrate, consider what could be done with such simple means as these:— a carp surmounting a waterfall or. rapids signified agility, perseverance, success; a lion, strength, valor, chivalry; a cherry blossom, beauty, poetry, patriotism; a pacjony, prosperity, wealth; a pine tree (evergreen), long life, immortality. Dragons, clouds, volcanoes had such wealth of meaning according to their kind and the varied methods of picturing that they in themselves told whole stories. In ornamentation of this kind, using subjects not themselves pertinent to arms or feats of arms, the Oriental mind nevertheless worked by the same rules of art as the Occidental because of the meaning of the symbols.

In ancient European arms symbolism was con fined closely to forms adopted by armorers, artists, guilds, towns, and leaders of noble birth. The kind ' and arrangement of the ornamentation told a tale -to those skilled in its reading, always pertinent to arms, war, the chase, or somebody or something correlated. Quite subordinate to the general principles of design come the mechanics of art-handicraft.

Wood carving. Cover the part, flat or curved, with paper and mark on the paper the outline of the space to be carved; on the wood locate accurately the angles of the outline drawn upon the paper. Remove the paper to a drawing board and draw the design with care, and it is well to indicate with shade lines, or by blocked-in background, the high and low surfaces. To the back of the paper secure carbon paper and once more attach the paper to the wood, the carbon side being against it, and the corners located by their positions previously marked. With a hard pencil go over the lines of the drawing. Upon removing the paper the drawing will be found transferred to the wood. Lay the drawing where it will be in view for reference while carving. Fasten the wood to be carved so that moderate force will not move it but so that it can be turned completely around a circle; for this a swivel vise is almost a necessity. Use regular carving tools and keep them constantly very sharp. Cut with the grain and across it but never against it; turn the wood as often as necessary so that every cut will be made away from you or across, not toward your body. Other than data so obvious to every mechanical mind as these, little worth-while written instruction can be given; carving depends for pictorial effect entirely upon light and shade and shadow; nothing but practice and experience, taste and judgment will differentiate bad from good results.

Inlaying. Whether wood is inlaid with . other wrood or with ivory, mother-of-pearl, metal or whatnot, the method is the same. First the generalities will be considered, then the principal details that cause the amateur trouble. The inlay must first be cut to the correct outline. Then, if necessary, convex or concave the under side to conform to the surface into which it is to be set. Bevel the edge all around slightly, the purpose being to cause a final tight fit by wedging. Fasten the inlay in position with adhesive or with string and cut a light line around it^into the wrood, slanting the cutting tool to agree with the bevel.' Remove the inlay and cut out the wood within the outline, beginning in the middle and wrorking towards the edges, gaining the necessary depth and width with many light cuts, never with deep forcible ones. Deepen the outline before excavating quite up to it, using for the cut a pointed, narrow, and thin blade. When the depth of the excavation equals within a hair's breadth the thickness of the inlay, set the latter in place and squeeze it partly in, noting whether upon removal corrections in the outline or depth of the cut are necessary.

The means to secure the inlay when it is finally seated are screws, pins, blind pins, adhesive. Moles for the two former are bored through the inlay after it is finally seated. When an inlay is already provided with blind pins the difficulty, in the very beginning, of locating it exactly right is greatly increased. The custom is to locate it with one hand, the eyes being directly above it, and with a small hammer in the other hand tap it lightly so that the points of the pins dent the wood. Convert the dents into holes, drive the inlay down to the wood, mark around it, and proceed as before. In the rare event of needing to set a new inlay into an old excavation already provided with blind pin holes, cut the inlay first to fit the excavation; drive pins into the holes, not quite flush; touch their projecting tops with paint; press down the inlay to receive the paint marks; remove the inlay and the pins; prick-punch the inlay in the centers of the paint marks; clean inlay and pins of paint; brush punch marks and pin tops with soldering flux; heat inlay; apply a tiny drop of solder to each punch mark; touch the pin top to the melted solder and it will stick. Before setting a blind pin inlay finally in place a good workman will make sure of the holding quality of the pins by barbing each pin in several places. The adhesives commonly used are melted shellac, iron glue, and rubber cement. When using rubber cement — the identical article used in fastening rubber heels to shoes — coat both the surfaces that are to be together and let the cement become almost hard before driving the inlay into place; if the surfaces are united while the cement is liquid the adhesion will be weak and imperfect. The last step in the fitting of an inlay is filing and sandpapering its surface projections to conform to the shape in which it is set.

The foregoing deals with thick inlay. If thin material cut from sheet metal, ivory, ebony, etc., is to be set in a curved surface, cut a sizable piece from the sheet and bend it to conform to the curve of the surface before cutting it to shape. Bending may be troublesome. Dry ivory or wood will have to be softened first, the latter with boiling water, the former by immersion in hot wreak acetic acid, unless a yellow tinge is desired, in which case hot cider vinegar is used.

No means have yet been found for softening mother-of-pearl without dimming its iridescence, hence for curved surfaces use thick pieces. Soft sheet metal causes trouble in bending only when it has to be fitted to compound curves, in which case outer and inner forms may be necessary. For instance, make a hard solder cast of the curved surface, using solder cool almost to the stiffening point and removing it from the wood before it causes discoloration. Electroplate it with copper to get a hard surface. Line it with paper of the thickness of the metal. Using the paper lining for a surface, make another hard solder cast. Bend the sheet metal with the fingers to an approximate curve, first if necessary drawing its temper with heat, and press it between the forms. Then, if its outline already marked upon it cannot be cut with scissors, use a jeweler's saw.

If the outline is made up of delicate parts, such as leaves, tendrils or other nearly detached shapes, before these can be cut the material may need a backing; melted sulphur spread an eighth of an inch thick on the under side and allowed to cool there sometimes serves excellently as a stiffener. Cut through it with the saw.

Silver wire scrolls and diaper pattern inlay in wood, now a lost art, has a charm of its own unrivalled by any other ornamentation of its class, and should be revived.

Metal carving, embossing and inlaying. For elegance of design in cut steel and iron refer to Italian and Spanish arms of the 17th and 18th centuries. For admirable perforated work in brass refer to the patch box plates of the best Kentucky rifles. Perforated work, foreign or American, classifies under two heads, that in which the fanciful metal outlines form the ornament, and that in which the perforations are the shapes for which the metal work serves as a frame. Only a designer of great ability should attempt to combine the two in one design.

Before attempting work upon steel or iron anneal it. Cutting is done with saws, punches, drills, chisels and files. The chisels employed are usually driven with light taps of a small hammer instead of by the strength and skill of the wrist and arm as in wood carving. Files, coarse and fine, are needed in great variety of size and shape: rat tail, half round and segmental, flat, square, and triangular of many shapes.

Metal coloring and inlaying. Steel and iron can be surfaced with any color or colors through the mediums of heat and chemicals. Small spots brilliantly polished and then colored red, blue or yellow give the effect of jewels. Larger areas of strong color may be gained by inlays and by plating. To inlay gold, silver or platinum undercut the sides of the excavation, or drill a number of small, shallow, slanting holes, to serve as fasteners. If molten metal cannot be used for a filler, build up the excavation with sponge metal as a dentist fills a tooth, and with a dental hammer. Electroplating with gold, silver, copper, etc., requires too bulky and expensive an outfit for one not in the business, but the amateur can secure as good results by applying to the surface a coating of the powdered metal mixed with mercury and then evaporating the mercury with heat; this was the method used by gilders up to about 1840, when the cheaper and quicker electroplating process caused its disuse. The amateur metal worker and plater would best avoid attempting to represent animated forms and instead utilize the decorative conventionalizations of Solomon's-seal, holly, hawthorn and laurel.

Engraving and etching. As the engravers' art comprises in addition to artistic ability a high degree" of manual dexterity attained only after long practice, the beginner, in ornamenting with incised lines, would better do the cutting with acid. After the design is drawn on the metal, the wrork with acid is under good control, while hand work would not only be crude in line but also full of imperfections due to slips and runovers. Only brief directions for engraving with acid need be given here because they can be supplemented with entire books on the subject from public libraries and better yet by personal observation of the materials and methods of professionals, who may be visited in any city. Clean and polish the metal to be engraved; heat it to about 100 degrees and brush 011 a smooth, thin coat of dragon's blood dissolved in alcohol. Smoke the coat. Lay on it, and fasten, a tracing of the design previously blackened with pencil on the back. Go over the tracing with a hard pencil and remove; on the smoked surface the design will show in silvery lines; draw the design through them to the metal with a sharp point. Build a dam around the design with wax to form the sides for a pool of acid, or, if the metal is a small piece, coat all of it but the design with dragon's blood and immerse in acid. Nitric acid and water, half and half, will do, although etching fluid would be better. As soon as the light lines of the design arc cut by the acid, coat them to stop further action and re-immerse; repeat until the broad and deep lines are satisfactory.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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