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Thread: Jim Chambers kits

  1. #1
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    Jim Chambers kits

    Anyone here ever used one of these kits?
    http://www.flintlocks.com/rifles.htm
    They are supposedly top of the line and I do know his locks are considered the best.

    Michael

  2. #2
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    His kits are highly thought of in the blackpowder community. Some feel they are the best for taking to a kit assembly class.
    TFL Aluminium. Molon Labe!

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    Putting together a Chambers Isaac Haines right now. Had the barrel, needed a stock and hardware and wanted an easy project to tide me over this winter...

    No surprises and other than wishing they left more material on the fore stock I have no complaints.

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    Putting together a Chambers Isaac Haines right now. Had the barrel, needed a stock and hardware and wanted an easy project to tide me over this winter...

    No surprises and other than wishing they left more material on the fore stock I have no complaints.
    Care to elaborate? Is this a kit someone with no experience could handle if he were to take it slow? Any tips or warnings you might have for a beginner?

    Michael

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    I've built a "few" flintlocks with components from various places and with stocks in various stages of shaping from blank to pre-carve. This is probably the "easiest" one I've done and the only Chambers "kit" I've put together.

    You are going to need, at a minimum, the following hand tools. I may very well miss something in this list too...

    0. A book or reference to read to understand the process and aid in understanding architecture and shaping.
    1. Drill of some sort and various small numbered and lettered drill bits
    2. Straight chisels, I find that the handiest I have is a Pfiel 1/8 inch wide, followed closely by a 1/4.
    3. Xacto knife
    4. Some way to sharpen chisels and knives and a strop to polish them PAST razor sharp
    5. Sandpaper and or scrapers
    6. Files of various shapes, sizes and grades of courseness ( I prefer rasps and micro planes for roughing).
    7. Ball peen hammer
    8 Tap and tap handle as well as tapping fluid.
    9. Straight screw driver with a hollow ground end.
    10. Center punch and a small drift.

    If you have no wood working and or metal working experience you aren't going to make an embellished finished product with relief carving, moldings, inlays, patch box, so on and so forth... To do so will also require additional tools and some significant skill. A simple plain rifle is achievable.

    I found that Chambers' stocks don't come with an abundance of extra wood allowing for shaping to deviate from the intended finished design. There is quite a bit of wood to remove though, especially in certain areas.

    One of the mistakes many beginners make is leaving too much wood on the stock as well as not having a good understanding of shaping. Early rifles were a lot more stout than the 1770 on rifles and especially the "Golden Age" rifles... That was a pretty vague and general generalization of time periods and form though.

    You are going to have to file and sand and shape brass, though the castings are pretty clean. You are going to have to square inlets and open inlets to fit parts. You are going to have to shape components and bend the tang and bed the breech. Drill and tap holes to hold the tang to trigger plate and to hold the lock in. You will have to drill and pin components in place (most parts were not held by screws but by cross pins). You will have to drill and countersink for screws in places such as the butt plate as well as the tang.

    If you buy a barrel from chambers I believe they cut the sight and underlug dovetails for you but don't take that as gospel. Call them and talk to them, they are very helpful, honest folk.

    Here is a link to one of my past projects. This was a Pecatonica pre-carve that I had them rough to from and add barrel channel and ram rod channel to. All of the components were various pieces that I chose from various suppliers. Barrel is a Green Mountain 42" B weight 50 caliber swamped profile. You can expect roughly the same from a Chamers kit except the lock mortise will be 95% finished as well as the side plate mortise, butt profile, so on and so forth whereas I had to begin with none of it on this project.

    http://s108.photobucket.com/albums/n...tlock%20Album/

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    Thanks very much for the write up and the link. I sent off my order today for the Chambers Lancaster kit in 54 cal.

    Michael

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    Recieved my kit today. The underlugs, browning solution and lock were back ordered though.

    Michael

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    m1r1m - well, you can start by inletting the barrel and the tang. Where the barrel is determines the end of the breechplug and that determines the position of your lock.

    Where the lock goes determines the position of the trigger. Where the trigger goes determines the position of the trigger guard and more importantly, the buttplate (for your length of pull).
    TFL Aluminium. Molon Labe!

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    Yep, begin with the barrel. Leave the breech plug out and get the barrel inlet at the breech tight against the vertical wall (which is a radius at the moment). Then make sure you have even contact down the channel using some sort of color transfer medium (lipstick works, so does candle soot - if you don't have commercial blacking).

    Once that is done, screw in and tighten the breech plug. It is going to take some muscle to get the index marks on the bottom of the barrel to line up. Apply a good anti-seize to the threads first. You'll take it back out a time or two before this is all said and done.

    The breech plug / tang can be a challenge. Begin by filing draft (a taper) on it, all the way around, vertically. What this does is allows you to open the mortise up gradually and seat the component without gaps resulting. You are going to have to open the bolster channel up to get it to start going down. The tang will remain straight until this is finished. Then you can tweak it into shape and inlet it the rest of the way. Make sure you have color transfer on the bottom of the barrel when doing this to see when the barrel touches the channel. This keeps you from going too deeply with the tang.

    Also helps to scribe a mark on the barrel where the front of the breech plug falls. This is a reference to tell you if it needs to go backward once the lock is in place. A difficult task on a swamped barrel.

    This should keep you busy for a week or so if you take your time. Unless you have a feel for it and know what you are doing, then just a couple of hours.

    This tutorial by Mike Brooks should help you out where my wording may seem confusing.

    http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/tu...s/Brooks1.html

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    Fspitzdorf; That's a fine looking rifle. How did you get that beautiful gray finish on the ironwork?

  11. #11
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    The gray patina is simply oxphoblue applied a few times and rubbed back with 4/0 steel wool soaked in oil.

  12. #12
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    mlr1m,

    How is that Lancaster coming along? It has been a long summer of farming + my day job and my project sat untouched for about the last 6 months... I finally buckled down the past couple of weeks and finished it off. I still need to add a few more applications of finish to the stock.

    It came out pretty well I reckon. Not perfect but I improve with each one. Excuse any blur, I have yet to take official photos with a good neutral background...




















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