1. bigboom338

    bigboom338 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Pop's those are some right fancy horns you are making. I have a question for ya though,are they threaded so a fella can put a measuring tube on the end? And what about the big end how do you hold the plug in ?
  2. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    The spout is threaded into a bushing epoxied into the small end of the horn. You can get valve spouts for them and I can furnish one for the next larger charge than you want, so you can cut and file to get a proper load.

    The base plug is hardwood, hand cut to the natural contour of the horn, not lathed round and then the horn steamed to fit it. I epoxy the base plug in place and then pin it with brass pins. The base carries a filler plug threaded bushing, which is epoxied into the proper place in the base plug and the filler plug threads into that. There are two sizes of filler plugs and I use the one that fits the esthetics of that particular horn, in my eye.

    I buy raw horns and sand and polish them. That takes about 10 hours per horn. I then "dip" them to see where the interior cavity goes and cut them. I let them sit for awhile until the contents of my "pretties box" starts to talk to me. Each horn will take a particular set of pretties to set off its own figure and coloring. I scour estate sales, flea markets and second-hand stores for old jewelry, broaches, pins, etc to put on horns. I keep a look-out for hardwood scraps that would look good on horns as base plugs. (I have 3 pieces of Manzanita left, waiting for horns to "call" to them. I have one piece of birds-eye maple left.) It generally takes me 20 to 30 hours to make a horn. I try to sell them at gun shows and shoots, but my personal collection grows steadily. :D I'll hit a show with 6 horns, marked $165 each and sell them over a couple of days, the most-dickered one going for not less than $100. Lessee, at 30 hours and about $30 for material, that means I make, what $2.33 per hour? :D

    I guarantee them for 100 years. The warranty reads, "Bring this horn back in 100 years and I will rebuild it."

    I'm sure that is more information than you expected, but you should see my response when you ask about my .45 Calibre Flashlights. :D:D:D

    Pops
  3. Old Scout

    Old Scout New Member

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    Aug 12, 2003
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    western PA
    armedandsafe, your warranty is much more liberal than mine, I require that they be accompanied by a natural parent.
  4. bigboom338

    bigboom338 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
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    Location:
    South Dakota
    Pops, that was the exact amount of info I wanted however I could have read even more. That stuff intrigues me to no end.
    I pesronally do not have the "touch" to make something like that but do enjoy the detail that goes into them.
    Thanks
  5. Old Scout

    Old Scout New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
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    Location:
    western PA
    I also enjoy doing horn work in my spare time. I find it to be a very relaxing diversion. A few years ago, I purchased a video of The American Pioneer Craft Series entitled "Making Powder Horns" featuring Ron Ehlert. I don't know if this video is still available, but, I'm sure there are others. Horn work, like any other mechanical skill is a learned process, in other words, practice, practice,practice. To date, I have made a few dozen horns, and every one is a little better than the one before. I have pretty well mastered the mechanics of constructing the horn itself, and am now concentrating on the scrimshaw. Primarily, I am focusing on French and Indian War period horns (map horns, personna, theme, etc.). Has anyone done any experimenting on dying or creating a "patina" on their horns? I have tried all manner of vegetable dyes, including RIT dyes and leather dyes, but have not yet really found a satisfactory media, I have had success with some chemical processes such as silver nitrate, but, by and large, I have been unable to duplicate most of the original hues. The problem I am having is not so much with color, but, with durability. Most of the processes I have tried look good initially, but are "skin deep" and are subject to abrasion or scratching.