Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to make brass cannons without a metal lathe

Sadly the photos for this post were lost when the original Model Ship World forum went down.  You can still follow these directions and make fine cannon...

Start off with round stock of appropriate diameter and mark off the locations of the rings, steps and cascabell. Chuck up the stock and use the bed of the drill press as a guide for cutting slots of the appropriate depth with a file. Use a wrap of paper to protect the drill press bed from the file and check frequently with a calipers till the exact depth is reached.


Cut all of the blanks at one time and resist the temptation to finish a cannon off first. This will help ensure maximal uniformity between cannon.


Once all of the depth cuts are made, connect the cuts to form the appropriate inclines for the various steps. Leave the rings at full diameter.


With the rings at full diameter the cannon can be set into a "V-block" to drill out the trunnion holes as per the plans.


Finish off the rings, cascabell and muzzle of the cannon before making an almost complete parting cut with a razor saw while on the drill press. I did this because I didn't want to take any chances in messing up the muzzle.


Complete the cut off of the drill press and mark the center of the muzzle with an awl. Carefully drill the bore of the cannon paying strict attention to keeping the bore centered on the muzzle.


Here is the final product. It took about three to four hours to make these nine pounders (1:48 scale) by this method. These cannon will not be exact duplicates but turned out well. If you don't have a metal lathe but do have a drill press and some time, this technique can be used in a pinch.



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