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mounting a pistol in a shadow box

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Forum topic by flowchart_jockey posted 07-13-2010 09:50 PM 13518 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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flowchart_jockey

37 posts in 2543 days


07-13-2010 09:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question mounting gun shadow box

I am helping a friend build a shadow box for his captain’s retirement. He will be using the box to display two flags and a (replica) Civil War naval pistol. We are trying to figure out an attractive way to hold the gun in place. This box may be placed flat on a table or upright, so it will need to be held in snugly. It will also occasionally be taken out of the box to shoot. Any ideas?

-- Why make it easy when you can make it difficult?


15 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2656 posts in 2993 days


#1 posted 07-13-2010 11:21 PM

Just a thought… Set the gun on the wood and shine a bringht light down on top of it. Draw around the shadow of the gun. Remove enough wood of the drawn gun outline so the gun will sit deep into it. Wrap the gun in Sarran (sp) wrap (the food wrap stuff). Fill the cutout area in the wood with a wood filler or something simular and let dry. Remove gun, clean up impression, fill if needed and the flock. Just a thought…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View DomingoRB6's profile

DomingoRB6

4 posts in 2367 days


#2 posted 07-13-2010 11:59 PM

Leather shoe string might go with the theme or maybe some old bent squares nails

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2438 days


#3 posted 07-14-2010 01:47 AM

A bit of foam cut to shape, then flocked and a rare earth magnet or two beneath the flocking to hold the gun more securely???

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View BTKS's profile

BTKS

1984 posts in 2931 days


#4 posted 07-14-2010 01:51 AM

A felt lined wood horseshoe shaped bracket just behind the front sight and a tight fitting shelf with a border up on the grip may take care of most of the work. Like DomingoR86 said, a leather tie, possibly at the trigger guard would finish it off.
Best of luck,
BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

8260 posts in 2895 days


#5 posted 07-14-2010 02:16 AM

Kindlingmaker has the idea. I French fit gun boxes and the light and shadow tracing is my method to get a cut pattern in 1/4” ply or MDF. Then cut it out with a scroll saw. I usually spend a couple hours just filing and sanding the cut out to get that “perfect” fit. Wrap the ply in velvet or flock. I use a 1” thick soft foam under the ply to cushion the gun. That can also be covered in velvet, but I tried to flock it….didn’t work.
If you figure the depth correctly, The gun will stay in place if the box is hung on a wall. The magnets are a good idea, too. Better safe than sorry.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#6 posted 07-14-2010 03:51 AM

Guns are usually mounted on pegs. The rare earth magnet buried just below the surface in the area of the cylinder is a great idea, usually the pegs are at a bit of an angle to keep it leaning towards the back. Good luck :-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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flowchart_jockey

37 posts in 2543 days


#7 posted 07-14-2010 11:43 PM

Thanks for the ideas, everyone! The final decision will be up to my buddy, but if we can find the materials, I think we may use old square-headed nails wrapped with leather straps to prevent the metal from touching metal. Thanks, DomingoRB6! We may also put in a magnet for some extra safety. We are going with a thin back plate (bottom) so we won’t be able to do a French fit.

-- Why make it easy when you can make it difficult?

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#8 posted 07-15-2010 12:22 AM

Leather has salts in it, felt would be better. Ever seen brass cartridiges that have been in a belt of a year or 2?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

8260 posts in 2895 days


#9 posted 07-15-2010 02:27 AM

Survivor is correct….mostly. Vegetable tanned leather will not affect metals. Chemically tanned leather will definitely erode any blueing and probably worse!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3199 days


#10 posted 07-15-2010 03:21 AM

With the leather, it depends on whether it is acid tanned or vegetable tanned. Acid tanned leather will definitely corrode metal; vegetable tanned is not supposed to do so. Or you can line the leather so that there is no contact between the leather and the metal of the pistol.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Dano46's profile

Dano46

80 posts in 2636 days


#11 posted 07-16-2010 12:03 AM

How about a dowel rod? Insert barrel into the rod, and it looks like it is floating. Needless to say though, the dowel rod needs to be fastened securely.

-- You can't trust a dog to guard your food.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#12 posted 07-16-2010 11:03 AM

It is not a good idea to leave any foriegn material in a firearm barrel for any lenght of time other than oil and other protectants unless it is a wall hanger only.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dano46's profile

Dano46

80 posts in 2636 days


#13 posted 07-16-2010 09:51 PM

TopamaxSurvivor, you are correct, but it is a replica, right. Will it even fire, and if it does, will the owner ever shoot it? I figured it was for display only.

-- You can't trust a dog to guard your food.

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 2450 days


#14 posted 07-17-2010 04:30 AM

Of all the Gun Rooms I have been privileged to visit, the pistols (and not replicas) rested on pegs on wall mounted cabinets. Some of the pegs were made of Ivory, Wood and plastic. I would make it as if it would all ways hang on the wall using the pegs. Then for laying it on the table for display just remove the pegs and place buttons in place of the pegs. After all we are talking about displaying a firearm not transporting a firearm. I would also refrain from the use of magnets in holding it in place if you intend to fire this firearm. Once the firearm becomes magnetic it can attract metal shavings and bits and affect the discharging of the firearm properly. Authentic or Replica if a firearm is going to be subject to being moved or bumped around while on display then it shouldn’t be displayed. Sorry if I sound hardcore about this, but I’d rather you shoot my wife than disrespect my firearms.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View MrRon's profile (online now)

MrRon

3926 posts in 2710 days


#15 posted 07-19-2010 12:55 AM

I personally would design it as a “presentation” case with a hinged lid. It can still be displayed with the lid open and the case resting flat on a table.

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