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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was sitting around last night dreading the final exams that I had to administer today at school. When one of my former students sent me a message that someone was selling a cannon on Facebook. Of course I went to see. Yep, the local "yard sale" section had this 2/3 scale CW 6 pounder. $300. I sent the dude a message figuring it was already sold since it had been up for almost 11 hours.
I talked with the gentleman for a few minutes, and we hit it right off. Kindred spirits so to speak. He said he found it in an old tobacco barn years ago while metal detecting an old farm. He asked the farmer about it, and he bought it from him.
After meeting him today we came to a mutual agreement and I came home with it.



 

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Final exams in North Carolina? Sounds like a grueling 45 minutes. :tongue:

All kidding aside....great find. Can that actually fire a projectile (safely)? I used to see 'lawn cannons' like that YEARS ago but figured they were all just pot metal...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This one is cast iron over a 1/2 inch wall seamless steel tube. It has a 2.25 inch bore. The touch hole is standard 1/4 inch.
The previous owner said he used shoot cans filled with quick Crete that were painted fluorescent orange. His neighbor's tried to sue him saying he had a destructive device. The carriage he made rotted about 20 years ago.
 

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My Dad has a nice one up by his flag pole on his bluff. He used to blast it off a few times a week.
That's how he ended up meeting the town Sheriff :D
He turned some wooden projo's down for it but just normally use's about 3 slices of white bread from the day old bakery as wadding.
Feeds the quail and makes some noise all at the same time.
You will love it. Neighbors might not.
I'm heading up in July if you want me to take a few pictures and some dimension's of his carriage for you.
GW
 

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Nice. I have some 3" bar stock in 24" lengths I've been meaning to turn on the lathe and attempt to make one of these things.

Of course I've been meaning to do it for 10 years now.......:rofl::rofl:

Not much hope it will ever get done. :(
 

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Great score Andy :thumbup: I have no doubts that you will have that thing up and running in no time.
 

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Cool!!!! BUT, be carefull... If the liner was cast in place, that's NOT a good thing.. They did that a lot back in the day..PLEASE do research on that!!!!! VERY IMPORTANT!!!!! From the looks of it and as long as it has been sitting around, it was made in a time when Safety wasn't a big issue....Lou
 

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Very nice!!! Now you have another shop project the school kids can help with. :D
I WANT ONE TOO!! ;)
 

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As Lou said, if cast around steel sleeve it can have bubbles in the casting that you might not find out about till it comes apart as you are touching off your pipe bomb...I mean shooting your cannon.

Proper way these were done is cast solid, bored then steel sleeved.

Do a careful inpection of the liner, if pitting it could hold embers while firing, another bad.
Freind had one similar. I tried buying off him, he wanted to sell but couldnt make up his mind, one day inspecting bore felt part of the sleeve had spalled away from the inside, not a little peice, section about size of a silver dollar hanging loose. That ended that venture. Told him to fill it with concrete and makeca lawn ornament. Now if i could only get that pretty bronze 1 inch coehorn off him:D


I took another look, examine the crown around the muzzle, some of that is not pitting but air gaps in the casting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great points all around. I took a wire cup brush on a side grinder to it. It cleaned up ok. Lots of rough casting marks.

It does look like the tube was cast around the sleeve. I cleaned the bore and it was pretty rusty, seemed mostly like surface rust, I am sure it is pitted.

May end up just firing big blanks out of it. I like the day old bread wadding idea. Much less to clean up afterwards.

Either was it's gonna look cool sitting on a carriage in my garage with the 8 gazillion tons of other crap that I think looks cool, but my wife definitely doesn't.
 

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Just go slow, guy in next town over had a home made cannon fired for several years no problem, then one day it exploded and he is missing an arm.
 

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We are talking to a guy that fabbed a 1917 and tripod out of thin air. Shove that thing on the 4 foot gap bed lathe and bore a hole for a new sleeve with threaded end cap. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not sure my work if worthy of such statements. Especially with the huge amount of talent that lurks on this forum.
Then again that may have been sarcasm...hmmmmm... "thin air"...
 

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Sorry if I cam across as sarcastic. It was intended as a true compliment of your ability to repair things that are very far gone with material you have laying around. The tripod you restored was pretty far gone you have to admit and you cranked out a replacement water jacket without too much trouble. These are skills I do not have.

There are true master of metal on this site, you should count yourself in their ranks. By the way, Im on the other end of the scale nearer to the hack barely able to make it go boom crew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I wasn't offended....flattered was my honest emotion. I was just trying to add a little tongue and cheek humor.
Thanks for your compliments. I still feel like a novice, but really enjoy trying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I took all of your collective advice and ran through a check list. I have some contacts with the local community college machine and die /welding programs and I am waiting to hear back from them on some xray or scanning. We have concluded that the bore was cast straight. It is dead center. The breech is steel as well.

So, I really do understand all of your concerns about safety and have taken that to heart. Still...I couldn't stand it. I have fired this from a great distance with light loads, but that is not what this post is about.

I figured I would show ya'll what has been done with this "pipe bomb" so far.

I made a carriage out of scrap lumber from a mobile classroom build at school. The wheels are some cast iron implement wheels from the farm. My father in law says he doesn't know how old they are or where they came from. They've just always been there. I do plan on making wooden wheels for it eventually.

I made a sponge rammer and worm, a brass priming wire. The elevation mechanism is parts from an old broken carpenters bench vise. I don't throw anything away. Right now I have a lot of temporary phillips head screws in the metal work that will be replaced with 1/4 lag bolts...purely for looks.

I let my kids paint it, so it's far from perfect. We'll put a pretty paint job on it when I am done tinkering.

I forged the lunette ring out of 1" cold rolled. One of my students actually made the pointing rings so I added a pic of those, just to highlight that this is a learning project...he was a freshman by the way!





This had no sights so I machined a front sight post, made a rear sight bracket/saddle. Then I decided to see if I could make a scale pendulum hausse sight from scratch. I know the originals were brass....don't judge me.....Mine is made of steel. More on graduation of the sight later.



Now for setting the sights....you know...just in case I ever get to lob a 2.25 inch ball down range. I made a period(ish) gunners quadrant and pendulum weight with the pole that ran down the bore. 0 degrees should mean that the bore is perfectly horizontal. Just to be sure I put my 1917 MG clinometer on a square tube to make sure that it was level. I then pulled a string from the top of the front sight through the rear sight. I put a line level on the line and raised the rear sight bar until it touched the string. I marked that as zero. If my hypothesis is correct this should make the bore and the zero mark parallel to one another. Once zero was marked, I was able to elevate using the quadrant and string method to mark 1-5 degrees elevation. I know that this is a VERY imprecise but better than no sights at all. My question is....was this even a plausible method of setting sights to zero? I know the cap squares are not ground or painted, but this is a work in progress.







I have also made a leather vent cover with the copper rivet that goes into the vent. Muzzle plug/tompion is next.



Ok....let the comments, concerns, nasty remarks, rotten fruit etc fly.

Andy
 

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I like the pendulum hausse sight. Yes on wheels with wooden fellies/spokes and a solid hub. We had two sections (4) of rifled guns at one time and I must admit it was a very rewarding if not super expensive hobby. If done safely, artillery is the next step. Looks fun. There is no substitute for safety, never ever forgo safe practice. J
 
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