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I started to re-build traditional gun case insides in the 1960s after I became a victim of the laws of diminishing returns it always seemed to be that my latest gun purchase, its case was not as good in some ways as the one I already owned infuriatingly the guns would not swap cases for one reason or another. I have done case re-build’s many times over the years, looking back now the money saving must run into four figures.
The case I intend to re-fit is a 1960/70s Pig skin leather case I purchased because the price was very reasonable due to the previous owner having removed the innards then developed cold feet over the work needed to put things right. My intention was to re-fit the case to take my Webley & Scott 700 having two sets of barrels, in my part of Brit land a gun like this is sometimes called a one and a half. After a more detailed survey of my purchase buyer’s remorse set in with a vengeance so much so the case was quickly buried in my workshop and intentionally forgotten about.
Initially I wanted to fit both barrels front and back of the case with lumps down putting the action in between them using the toe under configuration but after measuring the case carefully, its internal measurements turned out to be 31Ľ” X 7ľ” X 3” deep so it was to think again! I will just say that a considerable number of years passed since then so it is now time for a more positive outlook at the whole matter. By changing each barrel orientation to a vertical position with lumps at the side this gave 3mm (1/8”) clearance to fit the action and stock in the case, though this is the most difficult orientation to cope with when fitting the Baize covering, because you need hands and fingers the size of a child.
Other problems with the case other than size then started become obvious it is not square in any direction plus case sides are made from flexible low quality plywood with all the rigidity of a trampoline also just butt jointed at the corners, the top and bottom are of a low grade hardboard just one step up from cardboard with a lot of rippling. The case does have some good points though, the Leather handle was serviceable the lock works and it has a key on a piece of string tied to the handle, best of all the general case leather and stitching is in good condition including the leather hinge line and it came with both external straps.
For my last project to be posted here, it will be one that I will always remember as the one that nearly caused me to throw in the towel before I started to do anything practical. With that said I did complete the project and was rather pleased with the end result though it did have its trials along the way.




The internal condition of the case as I purchased it.



The first thing I decided to do was to stabilise the case corners using brass Military corners, it was not possible to use the more traditional three screw fixing versions because the top and bottom hard board was so thin so nothing to screw in to.



This improved the situation making the case far more stable, also improved the cases chances of taking the 3 pounds 2 ounces of the extra barrel without falling apart at its joints. Next post firming up the gun layout and making the dividers, also further improving the case rigidity because the corners where not enough.





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Thanks damascus. I think I'm really going to find this series valuable because I recently picked up a nice case that I'd like to repurpose for my .450 BPE double rifle.


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Damascus,
Maybe you could use thin leather straps or ribbons to lift the barrels out with man size hands.
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Der Ami.
Removal of the barrels have been taken care of in this case design though I did use tapes in the Purdey case I refitted for the Forend and Hand protector removal you can see them in the photograph. I said it can be very problematical when applying the Baize in cases with vertical barrel orientation, what I did to overcome the problem will be made clear when we get to that part of the project



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Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to share your knowledge. It is very much appreciated!

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To improve case rigidity and looks I decided also to minimise the ripple effect that was very noticeable in the case top, the bottom of the case will start to improve when all the dividers are reinstated and other work is completed. I should say here that If you do remove the gun case internal dividers and other fittings a case can become dimensionally unstable so take care. Back to the case top, because it was made of hardboard the easiest way of flatting is to spray the hardboard board with water that has had a little detergent added to help it wet the surface and soak in. When the hardboard is sufficiently wet (but don’t overdo things) I l put the case top down on a flat surface I used house bricks as weights to flatten it, then left it to dry slowly do not apply heat, the effect of the water and weights caused a distinct improvement to the case top’s flatness with the ripple practically gone.
To arrive at where to start and finalise where you want to end up with the case layout my method is to put the gun inside the empty case and shuffle barrels action and for end about, though in the majority of refit’s it is usually put everything back in approximately the same place after a repair or new Baize, in this case it was just shoe horn the gun in the case the best way possible. Just to aid this important sizing up exercise you will see two divider pieces one with Baize the other without. The reason for this is the case was initially of simple design were the lid just closed on top of the bottom section leaving a small gap all round on three sides. Not good for gun storage by allowing free passage of air into and out of the case. So I intend to extend all four case sides internally into the case top, by adding extra wood to the four sides, this will also improve the case rigidity also creating a lip for the lid to close over hence not allowing the guns weight to pull the long side having the handle out of alignment so improving the case's overall stability. And keeping the Maritime damp air out.



Use a piece of string across the case passing over the highest part of the guns action this is the easiest way to determine how much usable height you have in the case, I usually cut a length of card to this exact height to use as a go no go gauge. I put on gloves because this move things about in the case took place over several days it became a chore recleaning and oiling the gun all the time.



This picture if from later in the project it shows clearly how much the case can flex and my reason for putting extra wood on the case inside.


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this will be interesting! looking forward to the next posts!

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I always enjoy your posts. Keep it up.

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I often have a problem when it comes to brass corners - the corners of gun cases after a hundred years are rounder than they are square its hard to get brass corners big enough to make contact with the edges of the case and the sharp edges of the brass look too new on an old case for my liking, in the past i have stripped the clear coat, scuffed up the brass and knocked the sharp corners off. Generally i make up leather corner protectors and stitch and glue them on.

For anyone trying to restore a rotten old hard board topped case; remove the baize from the lid and soak liberally with a 50:50 PVA water mix, the card will soak this up and once dried will be substantially more rigid.

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this is as far as I need to go at present with the outside of the case, though will treat the leather at the end of the project. The two mats you will see regularly between the case and the table top are just there to stop the corners leaving marks.

From the initial placement of the gun it became apparent that the fore end cannot be stowed separately it will need to be fitted in its correct place on a barrel. Further thoughts on the fore end I decided that it must be able to be fitted on either barrel in the case. Well it did not make sense if you had to remove a perfectly clean barrel to stow the fore end when that barrel may not have been the one being used at the time. Given this requirement the case barrel partitions will have to be constructed accordingly, another requirement is a personal choice of mine that every gun case should store a set of cleaning rods and its fittings plus a pair of snap caps. What space there is in the case is now rapidly being taken up causing closer and closer fitting of the gun in the case.
With the decision made regarding the case layout a start can be made making the wood dividers and inner case wall, to simplify things both the dividers and wall will be made from the same size wood stock with just a rounded top rather than the usual chamfer with a reduced thickness of 6mm (1/ 4”). The timber used in the UK for traditional box cases is “White Deal” this is more often than not Spruce possessing good qualities for case work being light and strong can be purchased clear of knots and readily available, though far from the quality of Oak but lower in cost and a lot lighter.



I am using a standard wood size that is readily available which is 6mm X 7cm X 3Meters (1/4” X 2ľ” X 10’) two lengths were sufficient to complete the whole project at not a lot of money, added to this cost was one meter of Baize 39” X 47” leaving a considerable amount over.



Just a simple profile with no hard work needed looks fine. Rounding off the top of the wood was done by hand using an abrasive paper and eye only. because when covered by the Baize you are unable to detect any imperfections in your efforts.




Case inner sides all cut to length.



Inner sides fitted with no problems until you tried to close the case top, things became a little tight would be an understatement, this would make closing the lid when covered with Baize impossible. This in part was caused by the case being out of square between the case top and bottom also the differing thicknesses of the tops leather.




The cure was to move the inner sides towards the centre by a milometer using a hard card packing piece fixed in place with PVA Adhesive. This is the black section you can see in the photograph, the card used was photograph Matt card which is extremely strong stable and strong as the wood itself.
Looking just above were the planted on card finishes you will see a pencil line this marks the inside depth of the case, this is very important when it comes to fitting the Baize later.


















Last edited by damascus; 11/09/18 06:15 AM. Reason: More Info.

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Now that the inner case sides are temporary fitted into place this is now giving the exact size of the case we have to work in, it is the barrel section dividers that are next to be made. Though as well as the dividers we have also to construct the barrel mounts that hold the barrels level in the case, also limiting that barrel movement that causes an annoying rattle when the case is carried. The next two photographs show how to fit the barrels vertically in their compartments, it may look a little crude but it is the best way I have found how to get it right first time when you come to make the barrel mounting blocks. The mounting blocks are to set the barrel level in the case along its length, they also make the difference between the barrel looking as if it has just been dropped in and the case fitting it.




Once you are satisfied that the barrels are sitting level and at the correct height we can now make the two sets of mounting blocks using the total height of the temporary height adjusters we have used. Now because both barrels are the same bore and the only difference is the length all the blocks can be made at the same time, though the shorter barrel muzzle block is quite different from the longer barrel.






The mounting blocks on the left of the photograph are for the breach end of the barrels, the muzzle mounting blocks are extreme right and lower centre.




The two upper centre blocks are also barrel mounting blocks but these are only needed for this design of barrel fitting, they are needed to stabilise the crooked barrel partition.




I hope this makes the use of the barrel mounting blocks more clear. At this point I should mention that there is very little difference between the mounting blocks if you wish to mount a barrel horizontally, obviously they are wider and the block at the barrel breach has two small blocks with the gap between them to allow the lumps to pass between so they support the barrel on its flats. Their height etc. is adjusted accordingly to have the barrel sitting level in the case.






This is one of the major reasons that vertical mounting of barrels in cases is not seen all that often, because of the need to use of bent dividers. They look that they can be problematical to make but using my method rather than separate pieces, it will be far easier than you may think. Now because the layout of barrel and fore ends seem never to be the same I can not give any measurements for their construction but as you will see that will not matter.







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I think I would have used three screw corners, which would not sit as proud, and put the third screw into the barrel mounting blocks in each corner.


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Hmmm oldstarfire you would screw in to the barrel mounting blocks on each corner? Now I feel that I should point out that the case has eight corners. So far so good! But only four of them have barrel blocks. The other four are the lid agreed! So why would it have blocks to screw into there I am sure it would pose a problem when you tried to close the case with four blocks of wood in the way dont you think?

In the photograph is a vintage leather and oak gun case with original proud fitting military corners, so I have done nothing ground breakingly new. Though that case I restored did have a rather thick wooden lid able to take a centre screw which is a far cry from the case I am working on at the moment with just hardboard. So let's keep to I will do the thinking and doing and you will carry on with the reading!!!




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Damascus,

Thanks for this. I wanted on several occasions to take on such a project but hesitated because I had no idea where to begin. You have provided a road map.

John

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I suppose a better description for the type of dividers used in this case should be cranked rather than bent but I suppose it is how you look at them. The principal of making them is very simple though can be disconcerting at the same time you are making them, it is a method called cut and crack. Firstly, you decide where each bend should emanate from and draw a line at each change of direction point. This line must be at a right angle to the divider bottom, failure to keep to this will result in a case divider that will not sit level on a flat surface. Now just some important does to remember, the one I have just mentioned mark at a right angle and the other is you always with no exception cut along the line on the opposite side of the divider to the direction of the bend lastly cut should be no deeper than half the woods thickness.




For the cut I use a rather old dovetail saw because I have one and I find it comfortable to use and it produces the correct width cut though a standard hacksaw will work just as well, do not use a standard tenon saw because width of the cut I find is far too wide. The one piece of advice on measurement I can give you is the first bend is always started a little way past the barrel breach block end.






Now place the wood over the edge of a table with the saw cut uppermost and push down on the free end, it will make some cracking noises but only aim to form half of the desired bend only this is to let the wood fibres get comfortable in their new position after about a quarter of an hour push down again to your chosen angle. If you take your time and don’t over work the bend you will be surprised how stable this bend will be after you finish, though it is on the fragile side until we make the bend in the wood permanent.



My preferred method is to fill the saw cut with an Epoxy Resin Adhesive with an inert filler I use slate dust only because I have some, failing making your own adhesive filler motor vehicle body filler works well. When the filler is set, I use an abrasive paper on a flat block to smooth it to shape. After the divider is covered with Baize the bends give that look of a smooth transition of direction.



I did the first shaping around the fore end using the divider for the shorter barrel because it was easier to move around in the case, when I was happy with the shape, I transferred the first foot or so of the breach end shape to a piece of card as a template so it could be re set if things were accidently moved. Also this template shape is the same for both barrel dividers because they are Identical at the breach, just their length is different.

















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Last edited by oldstarfire; 11/10/18 07:00 PM. Reason: NWTA

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Ernie,
This is the best thing I have found on this BBS in some time!! thank you for doing this.

PML

Last edited by PL; 11/10/18 11:16 PM.
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Brilliant tutorial. Thanks

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It is now time to fit the case new inner sides, now because of the design constraints the Baize must be fitted first to the short section of the new side that will be next to the original case walls. It must also cover the pencil line I mentioned earlier and butt up to the card. Now for strength I used a Contact Adhesive to fit the Baize to this narrow section, there is a good reason for this because once the sides are fitted to the case the Baize appears between the original and new case sides. Once the sides are permanently glued to the original case using PVA Adhesive and this Baize pulls out for whatever reason it will be some disaster, I do trust the grip of a contact Adhesive over PVA in the short term better safe than sorry.



I fitted the new case rear wood first because it is difficult to clamp things together while the glue dries, I used propping pieces from the case front to keep things held together.



The case front was next, because the original case plywood was so flexible, I did not use traditional carpenters G clamps to hold things together because of their weight also they have quite an overhang that is liable to pull the case front out of line. I used instead clamps that are more at home in metal working with a distinct advantage that the weight of the clamp is near vertical when using them so no danger pf pulling things out of line. Fixing the two sides into pace finished things off, making quite a difference in the cases unwanted flexibility. When the Adhesive has dried holding all the internal side pieces starting with the two long sides brush a generous amount of PVA on the wood, then fold down the baize making sure you rub firmly to make sure it in in contact with the Adhesive. It helps in corners to snip the Baize in the direction of the corner to help relive tension and fit correctly. I use the handle end of a desert spoon to push the Baize into the long corners. When the Adhesive had dried sufficiently repeat for the short sides.



Things should look like this!! Nearly forgot to mention I do prefer to use a disposable craft knife with a snap off blade and also scissors with sharp points. for trimming the Baize.









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Damascus,

Whats your source for the baize? i have found some nice stuff not bad priced in the past but more recently having been able to find anything reasonable? Feel free to PM me! I have a few jobs where i could do with some shortly!

Also how are you attaching the baize to wood? Ive used spray on contact adhesive, but you either seem to get too much stuff stuck or not enough and once you get it on your fingers you mark up all the baize...

Thoughts and wisdom appreciated!

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Now I think is a good time to talk about Baize and what Adhesives to use, for large areas PVA is perfect but it does take time to set though it is far cheaper to use with practically no odour. Next is impact Adhesive this works very well if it is used in its non-impact mode by just applying it with a brush to one part then applying the Baize right away without waiting for the Adhesive to dry first, not so good in poor ventilated areas as my wife will confirm “it makes the whole house smell of the dam stuff.” I will just add here about the low odour versions usually Latex. the few I have tried I have found them to be expensive and not up to the standard of the petroleum based solvent versions and finally Aerosol types not a fan they have a tendency to spray the item yourself the table and the Cat. Finally, Pearl/Animal Adhesive this adhesive I do use on vintage case restoration because it was the Adhesive used right up to the 1950s. It does have a lot going for it too, it can work as an impact Adhesive it grips well does not take long to set can be reversed with hot water or steam and extremely stable with only one drawback it has to be used hot. Finally Baize just a couple of things firstly putting it on is exactly the same principal as wallpapering after a number of gun cases you will be very proficient at hanging wall paper perfectly, oh! did I forget to say the walls of dolls houses. Cut and trim using a sharp knife and scissors it is a true woven material and will stretch more one way than the other so don’t pull it too tight then cut to length because it will end up springing back then being short.
Now why is this case problematical, because I need to save every inch of space from front to back of the case so everything is cut to the bare minimum unlike a single barrel case lay out, that has enough room to fit all the wood dividers then apply the Baize. The barrel compartments past the fore end space towards the muzzle are so narrow that it is imposable to fit the Baize after assembly because you cannot get your fingers in to the barrel compartments to manipulate the Baize to cut or keep the glue brush from spreading its contents on Baize that has already fitted. At the muzzle end of the shorter barrel there is only 1/8” 3mm clearance at the pinch point when the Baize is fitted and the stock and action are lying flat in the case.



Final check of the breach mounting



same for the muzzle blocks. Just to answer a question from a member if you look at both barrel mizzles you will dee the stop block only rises to cover the lower barrel, and in doing so allows finger access to the upper barrel for lifting the barrel out of its compartment. The shorter of the two barrels its block is also designed for finger access, also this block also has to terminate the divider short of the case side. Another part of the block deign even though tapered there is a substantial connection to the case side. I know members are all like me and do not drop gun cases do we? So for the rest who do this configuration will transfer any shock to the case side, if the barrel compartment was to end in mid air and the case dropped the impact would cause the barrel to break out and take a gouge out of the stock.



Final check on the short divider before I fix its end block on and shape its taper. the long divider does not have its block fitted it is fitted to the case.


because of the narrowness of the barrel dividers the bottom Baize is fitted now before any further work. I hope this photograph makes things clear. the clamps are holding the divider and the middle block is in place so I can cut the Baize flush with the wood.




Blocks and divider removed showing the fitted Baize. the other barrel position final fitting before it is fitted, it looks in the photograph that the Baize is fitted to the divider but it isn't it is just folded on so I could take some measurements.














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Now there is some light at the end of the tunnel as long as it is not turned off by a large problem. The next photograph is actually showing the amount of clearance between the stock and the shorter barrel divider, this will be further reduced when the Baize is fitted.



This photograph is after I have fitted the short barrel divider to the muzzle mounting block. the longer barrel the block will be mounted to the case first and the divider fitted to it. And so far after shaping everything looks good to go.





The next step is one of the most IMPORTANT steps in the refurbishment of a traditional gun case, if you forget to do it at least an hour of tears and struggle will follow, The reason for doing it will follow but I will make this a "cliff hanger." In the photograph you can see a piece of cardboard kindly supplied by the Kellogg's corporation and it is situated under the dividers and covers the space where the stock and action will be situated, this making a template of the space is necessary and do this for any gun case you work on if you can.







It fitted!



Now it is time to put the Baize on the divider's but only on one side, the side that will be in contact with the barrel the other side the Baize will be fitted later.
















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The only thing i cant fathom is why you haven't covered the bottom of the case in one piece. I have stripped out many a case and not found a single one that didn't have the bottom covered with one piece? your making a cracking job of it, just wondered what your thoughts are? doing the bottom in one piece certainly saves making the templates up?

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Just to remind me I am human and make mistakes this happened, after saying that the Baize on the dividers should be fitted on the divider side next to the barrel, I applied it to the wrong side of the longest barrel divider and this is very noticeable because of the Adhesive and Baize flecks left on the wood after I removed it.
It is now time to fit the barrel blocks permanently to the case I use a gap filling PVA Adhesive just to make sure that that the blocks are well adhered to the case and any gaps between the case and the block are filled with adhesive. I did give this adhesive 12 hours to set because fitting the dividers with so much Baize everywhere I don’t want a problem to arise when fitting them. I fitted the longest divider first with the same gap filling Adhesive though you must first remove the Baize on the barrel side of the divider where it buts up to the blocks so you have a wood to wood joint. Next day I fitted the other divider also making sure that I had the same wood to wood Joins. Just to keep every thing tight as the Adhesive set, I used propping pieces in the same manner as fitting the inner case sides with metal clamps at each end.



One short divider to fit this divides the gun action and stock storage compartment from Accessory storage. It is the smallest divider but it made up its mind to join the enemy making things as difficult as it could, it may be small but it is extremely important that it is rigid and firmly fitted even though each of the end joints are angled. It spans a continuous widening space between the barrel dividers, causing it to move each time it was glued and clamped. To get around this problem I glued a small strip of wood to the case bottom using a couple of drops of super glue to stop it slipping while the Adhesive dried then removed it.



This divider must be a solid fit because it would take the full impact of the action and stock weight if the case where dropped, on many vintage cases this divider was very often pinned at the top using veneer pins. My examples are now rusty because they have sat in a tin for some fifty years with very little use, so I have no intention of purchasing some new bright and shiny replacements. If you decide to pin this divider do not be tempted to use standard panel pins with wood so thin it would be more or less guaranteed to split, if you do use veneer pins you must use a very light pinning hammer because they will bend if you look at them the wrong way.



It is time to explain why it is a necessary to make that template of the gun action and stock compartment in this refit. If you take a look at one of the early photographs there is one with string passing over the guns action giving an aid to measure how much usable height the gun case has. And what I was looking for was could I raise the floor in the action and stock compartment by 3or 4 Milometers without making a noticeable difference to how the gun in the case would look after completion. I Can confidently say that in the number of cases I have repurposed I have only had two that it was not possible to do this.
From the template I will make a false bottom from a suitable piece of material, in this case 3mm MDF, this will enable me to put in the Anchor fitting for an action retaining strap rather than putting it through the case outer leather, though there are other methods though this extra bottom will also support the rather flimsy case bottom too. Using the template, you can mark a line either side of the stock’s wrist giving you the exact position for the action retaining strap anchor. From my template you should be able to get the picture, also I did have to add more card to the template because of some last-minute changes.





A further reason for putting a false bottom in this position is nearly every case I adjusted to take another gun the action retaining strap anchor seemed always in the wrong place, I have marked where the “Pop rivet” was it also was very unsuccessful the strap being so narrow the rivet cut through the strap.
For the action strap anchor I like to use a 5mm Coach Bolt because this size has a lot going for it especially the head size and the short square under the head to stop it turning when epoxied in place. I file the head thickness to milometer so making it easy to recess.











Sandwich of Baize and Leather to determine where to cut the bolt before fitting the new compartment base into the case permanently.
Deamonwolf I hope this will help you to understand now why the case bottom is not one piece of Baize? Also I will have a look at fitting replacement action strap anchors.






Last edited by damascus; 11/17/18 11:08 AM.

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I did neglect to say that because the barrel dividers are thinner than normal this made the glue foot print along their length rather small, the addition of the false base gives another glued support for the dividers providing much improved rigidity. I have covered the strap anchor bolt threads with tape to keep the Baize adhesive out of the threads when fitting, also the use of a couple of clothes pegs to keep the Baize out of the way really helps the gun was just to add weight while the new base glue dried.







The Taylors chalk lines on the Baize are to provide the correct cut lines for fitting the Baize for the action and accessories side of the barrel dividers, if anyone was wondering what the tooth brush was for in one of the other photographs they are brilliant for removing Taylors chalk marks from Baize. The other pieces of Baize to be fitted are quite straight forward, one piece on the false base others on the accessory base and the short divider.




Just a quick look at things before moving on to the to the action support blocks, what is very clear in this photograph are the finger lifting access points at the muzzles for removing the barrels from the case. Just a couple of things to fit now, Action retaining strap to make and fit case lid Baize and finally print up a Webley & Scott case Label.


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Makes perfect sense thanks for the explanation - I'm currently working on an old case, requiring repairs, reinforcement, refitting and relining for a beautiful Damascus Charles Hellis BLE

The case requires a new end panel as at some point the barrels have burst out the end of their compartment through the perished leather and cardboard.

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The Action support blocks were probably the less troublesome things to put together, I prefer to use built up blocks if they are going to be some size as you will see, I have noticed over the years that large blocks that are made from one single piece of wood do have a tendency to twist and can come loose. Also, I changed my mind regarding one of the blocks caused by lack of storage space in the case.


Not sitting very straight.



I will admit to having a pet hate and that is in some cases there is no effort to mount the action and stock level, just letting the action sit on the lower fence and tilt and in doing so eventually cutting the Baize where the gun rests on the case bottom. On a well fitting case the action Bar should sit on a spacing piece, doing this makes the action sit level also putting a slight gap between the lower fence and the case bottom. To keep things overall level and true a spacing piece will also be required fitted under the butt section.









The blocks can now be fitted but remember to remove the Baize so you have a woo to wood glue joints. It will be making the action retaining strap and fitting next, but with a little diversion into what I do if the strap has removed its self from the case or the case was not initially fitted with one.




Snap cap storage taken care of, Anchor stud for fixing action retaining strap very noticeable.














Last edited by damascus; 11/19/18 08:21 PM.

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The Action strap not a difficult thing to make well if you work in leather, this is the way it works for me in a word unconventional. After a lot of looking for leather to make straps it always seemed that I would have to buy Meters of the stuff in brown or black, until a chance walk around a Pet store what a revelation. Dog and Cat Collars any length any width any colour, that was quite a number of years ago and I can say I have not bettered that for a one off leather strap with a good quality buckle that is a perfect fit. One word of caution here a good number of the collars have the buckle fitted to the strap with a large rivet, it will be a wise move to remove this and re fit with stitching because in some circumstances this rivet can eat its way into the wrist chequering.





I skive the buckle end of the strap using cause abrasive paper I have tried the knife method and I am not very successful at it, usually cutting straight through the leather on my first attempt so abrasive paper works first time every time for me. This thinning out of the leather on the buckle fold makes the strap a little more flexible making it easier for the strap to buckle up in the confines of the case. Using an impact adhesive, I close the leather around the buckle use a ruler to mark the stitch spacing and drill the holes though you could use a leather awl for the holes.









My straps are only fitted with two holes one for the anchor in the case and the other for the buckle pin, by using a quality leather I have never needed any more holes for the buckle pin because the leather does not stretch.




Because the strap is Anchored to the case with a bolt there is no hiding the fact it requires a nut to seal the whole deal. There is no way to hide that fact my answer is make a flat hand made nut from a piece of Brass the width of the strap and being a clockmaker, I have a lot of off cuts though you can us any metal you have at hand, then cover said nut with Baize so it blends in rather than making it a feature.





Just as an addition to this internal case rebuild, I have had a number of enquiries about fitting and refitting action straps in cases. This is sort of a perennial problem especially in a regularly used gun and case, I have tried a number of ways to repair this is and finally ended up with a method that works for me. There I am sure other methods out there but this method seems to be very reliable and by the way it is constructed replacing a worn or damaged strap is simplicity itself.





This is my universal kit of parts all based around a 5MM Coach bolt and the flat nut previously described the bolt’s head is filed down to approximately 1MM thick the 5mm nut filed to a square matching the bolt leaving a 1MM flange all round plus two pieces of metal approximately 1mm thick with square holes to suit the squares on either the nut or bolt to stop any turning.






Simple method first, on older canvas or leather cases that are let’s say past their best I polish the bolt head, this will now be either painted blued or brass plated. Drill through the case in the appropriate place then fit he bolt measure and cut to length having a square under the head it will not turn when the internal nut is tightened. With the bolt head being flat and thin it is a good external low cost time saving compromise.
Hidden methods 1. As a repair my preferred method is to use one of the plates depending on space. Mark around the plate making sure it is in the correct position for the strap position then cut the case Baize approximately a quarter of an inch larger all around, I prefer to use steam to soften the Adhesive holding the patch of Baize though water can sometimes work. After removing the Baize patch, you can go two ways just remove enough material to allow the bolt head to be below the surface with the plate on top or recess both head and plate. Usually case bottoms are thicker than 2MM and will accommodate bolt head and plate, decide on the bolt length you require then using an Epoxy Adhesive fit bolt and plate into the recess. Remove excess Epoxy level with the surface best dome when just setting, make a hole in the patch to clear the bolt and refit with the appropriate adhesive I prefer PVA because it is easily removed from the patch surface.





2 . Using just a nut and a plate. This I used always on a complete re Baize to a case with no fitted Action strap requirement. You would be surprised how many times after I had done the re Baize work the owner would turn up all apologetic wanting a strap fitted. It is the same method as with the bolt put it in the correct position but make sure that no adhesive can enter the nut, I used cork screwed in. My main reason for using Brass plate for this other than I had a lot was it made it far easier to find the nut under the Baize with a magnet, using a standard nut I found that I would get about two and a half turns fitting the length of threaded rod using thread lock to see it does not undo.


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The projects end, it did in places become a little like banging your head on a wall “nice to stop”!! Like all undertakings there are a number of good and bad points about the whole project. Bad points first, the action and stock did not mount in the case horizontal to the case front and back a little painful to my eye, the accessory section is not long enough to store a standard triple wooden cleaning rod set. That being the case I will have to make a set of rods that will fit, so this project has spawned another project thankfully a lot smaller.





The good points, rather than by design the case is very well balanced with regard to carrying, more by good luck than by good judgement. The overall case weight with gun barrels and accessories came to a little over twenty pounds. The Leather did improve in looks better than I expected after dying the scuffs and marks and a good couple of treatments with a coloured Leather conditioner. The case label I made did turn out far better than I could have hoped for. To find a genuine Webley & Scott label the correct era turned out much too difficult, well they where never too common in the 700 shotgun days when they were new.
I have made three lengths of Oak dowel to make the bespoke cleaning rods, though I will now have to look through a lot of storage boxes in my workshop for that special BSB tap for the rod end thread used by Parker hale on their rod accessories. Will make the effort after Christmas to find it.





I hope you did at least find this project interesting enough to encourage you to try your hand at repurposing a gun case.

damascus

Last edited by damascus; 12/09/18 07:39 AM.

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Well done! And interesting to boot!

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Damascus, I want to thank you for a very interesting, easy to follow and informative tutorial. Just fantastic. And, I did my best to be patient, as you recommended in your PM, and my question was answered perfectly and brilliantly, if I may say so.

Refering to a comment in a previous thread by you, I do hope this is not your last foray into instructional threads and that your vision does not degrade as quickly as had been forecast.

James


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Putting all of the many great posts together here, this one stands as a highlight. Thank you, damascus

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Thank you Damascus. Now I won't be so hesitant to buy a case that needs relining.

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Very strange to see this post again, I do wonder has it encouraged anyone to try their hand at a case refit.


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Originally Posted by damascus
Very strange to see this post again, I do wonder has it encouraged anyone to try their hand at a case refit.

I can say, yes your posts have, at least for me. I am currently refitting an oak and leather. Lots of trial an error, learning along the way. I would
post photos but I have no hosting site. Thanks again for all of your posts.

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This is one of the most instructive posts I have seen. And yes, I read through the entire thread. Very well done!


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