|Project by Nick_R||posted 01-29-2014 12:11 AM||2284 views||5 times favorited||16 comments|
This is a very special project for me since it was requested by a local artist/engraver for a pair of Colt 1911 Series 70 pistols. I know nothing about guns, but apparently these are pretty special.
He wanted the case to be made from a black walnut tree he has on his property in Georgia. He had a large limb cut down several years ago and it has been “aging” in his barn. He brought them to me (1000 mile round trip) bark and all and said do what you can.
His only request was that the box be all wood and look like an old time box and no hardware showing. He also wanted a false bottom so the gun tray could lift out and have some storage underneath.
With no promises made because of warping, rotting, twisting etc I started into the log.
The wood is very hard. The chainsaw blade actually sparked when cutting. No nails or screws were found. It burned up a brand new Timber Wolf resaw blade after I made all the cuts.
Lots of rot and cracks.. not much twisting but I was thinking we are good to go.
After the boards were cut – varying lengths about 3/4” think, I sent them through my planer. Little bits at a time and it cleaned up nice. Several pieces were too brittle and did not make it to the final cut. :)
I planed all the pieces I could to a 1/2” thickness. Then to the table saw to even out the widths. I ended up buying a new blade for my saw because the old one just did not want to work that hard.
The initial though was to dovetail the ends, but the wood is very sensitive and split on the end. So I went with 45’s and rounded the corners with a router and sander. I think the look was good.
Mortised lock, lid stop and hinges! This was more than just nerve wracking. i would do the mortise work differently next time but I managed to pull it off.
The gun tray is all walnut with cutouts for the guns to sit. I did not want them sitting to low because it hides the engraving.. (which is by far the real star here).
Also.. In the middle of the gun tray is an oval inlay for a metal Colt plaque. It is not shown because it was not finished.. :)
I added more pictures below to show the process.. I hope you jocks like it…
Oh yea.. about 20 coats of spray lacquer too..
-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.