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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I hope you can stand just one more build thread. Now that grass cutting season is over and the nights are longer I am going to restart a project I picked up this spring in TN.
A .54 cal smoothie in the early Dickert style. 42” straight barrel, L&R lock
I picked up the stock at Tips in March to go with a Rice barrel I had made after the 2018 Lewisburg show so I guess you can say I am taking my time:grin2:

I will post pics along the way so you can observe a novice at work.
Here is the inspiration piece
906EB50B-7653-471A-9454-4F60B0DC3266.png
B61FD7C3-775B-4484-85E9-375514361531.png

The stock I picked has some nice figure, the lock and barrel are in place. Underlugs are done and the front sight dove tail is cut. It is ready for pins and a touchhole next.
EB442646-F6F9-4BF2-8EB6-468E97C69954.jpg
4EBE415D-DDDC-4BA6-8CA5-8FE4E340042E.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Starting back into the project after hunting season and holidays are finished. Took a couple nights this week to get reacquainted with the gun and make sure I am headed where I want this to go. Guess what, I am changing the trigger guard to better fit a single trigger, the one I bought was more for a double set. I may also change the buttplate - but need to think about this more first. Will move on to other items, fit the trigger in tonight so at last there is movement.
Want to get some more inspiration in Lewisburg next week - that always gets the juices flowing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
41FE020D-FC5B-4038-859B-D6B931C09239.jpg
After much discussion in Lewisburg and comparing originals to the copy, the trigger guard on the original is so very close to the repro I am calling it good.
I have the trigger and guard roughed in but not secured until I get the fit and cleanup completed.
 

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Hi all, I hope you can stand just one more build thread. Now that grass cutting season is over and the nights are longer I am going to restart a project I picked up this spring in TN.
A .54 cal smoothie in the early Dickert style. 42” straight barrel, L&R lock
I picked up the stock at Tips in March to go with a Rice barrel I had made after the 2018 Lewisburg show so I guess you can say I am taking my time:grin2:

I will post pics along the way so you can observe a novice at work.
Here is the inspiration piece
View attachment 141465
View attachment 141463

The stock I picked has some nice figure, the lock and barrel are in place. Underlugs are done and the front sight dove tail is cut. It is ready for pins and a touchhole next.
View attachment 141459
View attachment 141461
Never too many Threads like this!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Still plugging away a little at a time.
Filed and cleaned up the trigger guard and reset the trigger in the stock, made an error when inletting the trigger so I had to stretch:grin2: the trigger plate a bit but all worked out well.
Next was the butt plate. This one piece is in my opinion, the hardest and most time consuming step, next to the lock and tang. I take my time and lay it out, erase it because it never works the first time, and lay it out again. Set it aside and come back later with fresh eyes. If you go too fast mistakes happen.
Tomorrow I’ll continue inletting the plate and hopefully have it done this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It has been a bit of a struggle with this butt plate because it did not fit the contour of the stock but I really wanted a straighter/flatter profile so I swapped to this plate and after many evenings and a Saturday it is nearly there. Final shaping will happen later however it is temporarily secured to the stock.
The trigger and trigger guard are inlet and I think suit the look I am after.
The new lock has arrived (I used one off another gun to inlet this stock) so back to that this weekend, just trim the sear length and final touch ups on the main spring inletting.

More progress this weekend, I hope.
 

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Love these and thanks for sharing.

BTW - As a builder, I guess you have a very good understanding of the history that goes along with these guns. So with that in mind here is a question that I hope is not unfair and that you can respond to.

Back-in-the-day when these rifles were the state of the art and a must have, how long did it take gun smiths (black smiths?) to produce a rifle (smooth bore) piece? The demand must have been high for them and I have often wondered how much time it took for a gun to from being ordered to being delivered.
As I understand it, there were cottage industries that produced some parts (springs, frizzens and such) that were assembled by smiths into the finished product but the stock work, barrel making and all the fit and finish was done by a craftsman.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Disclaimer: I am not an true historian, just a interested student so these views are open to rebuttal by those more knowledgeable.
My views:
As an example Jacob Dickert (the gunsmith this piece is fashioned after) learned his trade in the east of Pa (Christian Springs maybe??) and then moved to Lancaster area and hung his shingle. In his later days he made rifles for the Army in mass so there must have been a real focused effort building these types of guns with men doing one or two jobs over and over and the next guy doing the next step or two... until finished, again speculation but that makes sense to me. I would also expect that early in his career (did they call it that back then?!) he was a one man show or maybe had one helper/apprentice and gunsmithing was his sole focus and how he supported himself. I cannot speculate how long it would take to build a rifle in the 1700’s with primitive tools and limited resources but he would have been efficient and not goofed around like I do 40+ hours a week for someone else and then spend an hour or two at night, three times a week to build one. Time was money and if he didn’t produce, he didn’t eat...
that said, if he could get barrels (very time consuming to make) and had helpers, two to three guns a month would not be unreasonable, maybe more.
Perhaps someone knowledgeable can chime in here and dispel any inaccuracies I have stated.
Thanks for the question and I am sure this will bring a lot of discussion/opinion to the surface.
 

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I won't dispute anything you said, but will add to it. The rifles I build are built the way they would have been back in the day , with hand tools. The exception would be my small drill press. I have a drill press like they would have used and I am moving toward using it and I don't see it really being any difference accuracy wise or time wise. I would think a man with all the proper hand tools for each task and using them every day would have been able to complete a gun in a week. That would be buying a barrel and lock, which would have been available back then. Add in a helper or 2 and I would suspect they could turn out a decent rifle in no time. JMO. Nice rifle by the way!!!
 
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