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2002-03-03 - 9:56 p.m.

Ooooh...metally goodness. Finally returned from a long weekend of metal geeking by professionals. Learning to forge, carve and decorate period firearms from the Gunsmiths and other metal workers of Colonial Williamsburg. OK, so they were focusing on the American Long Rifle, but the skills are all translatable and the only spurious information was the style of that particular type of firearm.... Chris and I now have a bug to forge our own barrels now. muwahaha

They had some great instruction on the metalworking techniques for forging the various parts. Also learned a great deal about repousse (relief work on metal), engraving and inlay. Also got to play with a bunch of neat toys they built to manufacture their arms. I can imagine the barrel reamer gets mighty tedious over time. spin...spin...spin....

Got to examine some period pieces up close. There were some interesting English lock pieces from the early 17th Century. I originally thought the lock may have been refit from an older snaphance, but closer examination suggests it was originally constructed the way it is now. A number of the parts are identical in apprearance to a snaphance, which is a form of early flint lock where the pan cover and the steel are separate. It appears to be a transitional piece. Also had wooden pins to hold on the barrel. Rather strange that.... At least I remembered the digital camera.

It was also neat to examine some of the period tools used in the manufacture of firearms.... Screw mills and breach reamers.... woohoo. (OK, so maybe Jeremy can appreciate my excitement)

Maybe I'll work on my engraving ideas.....


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