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Author Topic: Building a ramrod  (Read 460 times)

Offline dhillebrand

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Building a ramrod
« on: July 29, 2020, 06:42:10 PM »
What tools do I need to build a ramrod for my flintlock?

Online BEAVERMAN

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Re: Building a ramrod
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 08:25:54 PM »
Are you using a dowel rod to start with and your looking for what you need to attach brass ends or are you starting with a square piece of wood?
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Offline dhillebrand

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Re: Building a ramrod
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2020, 06:33:42 PM »
I have te hickory dowels.  I thought I read about a tool to shave/taper the dowel so it fits thru the thimble.

Online PetahW

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Re: Building a ramrod
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2020, 07:40:50 PM »
.

The Gold Standard for ramrods is split Hickory, not a dowel - a dowel can split during loading and spear the loader's hand.

This is because dowels are turned down from whatever is available, split Hickory has no cross grain, aka: grain that runs out of the side of the RR.

(google "split hickory ramrod for sale")

RR ends can be either boughten or made from a brass metallic pistol ammo casing, then epoxied & pinned to the end of the RR.

A rustic RR would, of course, not necessarily have metallic ends.

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Online PetahW

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Re: Building a ramrod
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 07:42:38 PM »
operator error   :Doh!
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Online ridjrunr

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Re: Building a ramrod
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2020, 08:14:59 PM »
What tools do I need to build a ramrod for my flintlock?

Did you buy blank dowels from a muzzleloader supplier?
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Online Bigsmoke

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Re: Building a ramrod
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2020, 10:50:34 PM »
This is the way I always made ram rods.  For sure, I was working in mass production, not onesies and twosies.

I would measure the distance from the tip to the end of the rod tip.  When I had that distance, I would take a tubing cutter and cut a line around the rod.  Then, having it chucked up in a metal lathe, I would trim down the rod to the point where it would just fit the rod tip.

Next I would put some epoxy on the rod and tap the rod end onto the rod.  When the epoxy dried, I would drill a appropriate sized hole through the rod tip and the rod.  Tap the piece of brass rod through the wooden rod and cut it off.  Then peen the ends of the brass rod into the reliefs on the rod tip and you are good to go.

That's it for me.

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Online RobD

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Re: Building a ramrod
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2020, 09:05:36 PM »
Making ramrods is kinda easy for me, once I built an electric drill "lathe jig".  It holds the rod at three wood block locations, where each is a piece of 2x3 or 2x4 set on a hefty plywood platform.  The platform is clamped to a table at two points to stabilize it.  One end of the rod is chucked into an electric drill and a small clamp locks the trigger to spin the rod.  The other end of the rod pokes out of the jig's wood end block and as the rod spins, its end is attacked by a series of files to make a tenon.  Keep trialing the fit of a brass ferrule 'til it fits just right and that end is done.  The ferrule is epoxied onto the rod, and then cross drilled with a 1/16" drill right through the ferrule and wood.  Use a 3/16" or so diameter drill bit to slightly countersink the brass holes on either side.  Tap in a brass or iron brad, nip it close the ferrule, but not flush.  Place the ferrule over something hard (a bench vice, etc) with the brad pointed up and tap it so that it mushrooms to fill the countersink on either side.  Finish up by filing the brad ends flush with the sides of the ferrule - they'll almost disappear.  Do the other end if yer so inclined.

As to the rod itself, it's hard to beat a long and straight hickory rod, but I've also used dowels of oak and aspen, right from the big box stores.  If yer careful with selection of grain, they can be almost as good and serviceable as good pignut hickory rods.  I stain 'em and then clear coat them with Tru-Oil or any kinda wipe-on polyU.  To stiffen 'em up a bit, I might wick in, rub in, some water thin quality CYA after staining and before clear coating.

For the most part, most of the long guns I've had employed tapered rods, where one end is 3/8" and t'other is 5/16".  I like brass ferrules at either end, for sundry functional reasons such as using jags, ball worms and pholdatch worms, and also to add an extension at one end to lengthen the rod for both cleaning and to attach a cord to use with the ball worm for added pulling out a dry or stuck ball safely,

First, I fully install the smaller 5/16" ferrule onto the rod.  It's clearly smaller than the rod, so I use the drill lathe jig to hold the rod while I taper it with rasps, files and sandpaper.  This taper is usually about a foot in length, depending on the gun and its pipes.  I keep tapering and testing the rod into the gun's pipes, for a perfect fit that's a tad snug.  Once the fit is perfect, I'll mark the rod at the muzzle for its final length, cut it, tenon it on the drill lathe jig, install a 3/8" brass ferrule.  If I had a buck for every rod I've made I'd have at least two pounds of Swiss 3F black powder.  :)  Images to follow tomorrow ....

   

Online RobD

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Re: Building a ramrod
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2020, 08:36:42 AM »
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3/8" brass ferrule epoxied and pinned to the rod's tenon ...
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5/16" brass ferrule epoxied and pinned to the rod's tenon at the other tapered end ...
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preparing to tenon one end of the rod ...
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Online Doc Nock

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Re: Building a ramrod
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2020, 08:58:03 AM »
Nicely done, Rob...  :bigsmile:

Online PetahW

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Re: Building a ramrod
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2020, 02:27:51 PM »
.

If a picture's worth a thousand words, Rob, you've posted a mouthful !   :applaud

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