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Ball Blocks

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:12 pm
by Joolz
A little 'mini-project' that I thought you F&I / Trapper / Frontiersmen types might appreciate:

This morning I made up a few blocks for patched balls, a kind of 'speedloader' for the flintlock rifle, seen hanging around the necks of frontiersmen back in the early days of the West. They would have been placed over the muzzle of the long rifle (after powder had been poured down it from a horn, of course) and pushed down into the rifling with a ball starter, then the 'rod. Faster than fiddling with a separate patch and a ball.

An easy bit of foofaraw for you to make, to tart up your possibles bag, using nice grained off-cuts (these are burr-wood, walnut and mahogany). Just drill the holes slightly under-sized and ream them out to suit your usual load using a dowel wrapped 'round with sandpaper. Should be a tight fit so the patched balls don't knock out easily, obviously.

Happy hunting!

Re: Ball Blocks

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:11 pm
by cannontickler
Hello mate, they are more commonly known as bullet boards,
see an original at top of this link.


http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.co.uk ... tools.html

the more elaborate looking ones are probably 19th century fakes, although there are
18th century double board examples .
Steve is usually the knower of anything worth knowing on this sort of thing .

Re: Ball Blocks

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:59 pm
by Joolz
Yes, but 'bullet boards' doesn't look like a rude word when you read it fast.......

Here's a couple of 'gorget' style ones, in limewood, one plain and the other a little more sculpted. I think I'll try some more elaborate, decorated ones, until I get bored with the whole thing.

Re: Ball Blocks

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:10 pm
by cannontickler
Joolz wrote:Yes, but 'bullet boards' doesn't look like a rude word when you read it fast.......
.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Ball Blocks

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:44 pm
by Joolz
And here's a few more, this time I went a little bit more decorative. The four-leafed-clover and the rose design are limewood, and the others are English brown oak (oak leaf included). I think I've gone as far as I can with this one, time to move on to the next project.....

Re: Ball Blocks

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:57 am
by Le Loup
Nice looking boards, I have seen originals that look similar but the tie goes through a hole on the board. Nice looking French style knife.
Do bear in mind though that gunpowder was NOT poured down the barrel directly from the powder horn as you suggest. A very dangerous thing to do!

As for the other bullet boards on this page, I can't say that I have ever seen any originals that looked like this.
Regards, Keith.

Re: Ball Blocks

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:59 am
by Le Loup
Joolz wrote:Yes, but 'bullet boards' doesn't look like a rude word when you read it fast.......

Here's a couple of 'gorget' style ones, in limewood, one plain and the other a little more sculpted. I think I'll try some more elaborate, decorated ones, until I get bored with the whole thing.


Do you have any documentation for bullet boards that look like this?
Regards, Keith.

Re: Ball Blocks

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:00 pm
by Joolz
Keith,

I tend to get inspiration from stuff I've seen on the Contemporary Makers blogspot and the Traditional Muzzleloading Forum in the States. Although some of the designs are commonly seen (usually the simpler ones, after all, it's just a piece of wood with some holes bored in) I like to experiment a little with designs. When you see the highly decorated and carved stocks on Americal Long Guns of this period, as well as the decorative work of trade jewellery, you would expect a man with time on his hands and a penknife in his hand to whittle something 'individual' and decorative to go with his gun.

Unfortunately, nowadays, the 'decorated' esthetic is not popular and most mistakenly associate the plain and austere with the truly old......

Joolz (the woodcarver)

Re: Ball Blocks

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:54 am
by princeron
your very creative Joolz with your boards, its really good for hunting...

Re: Ball Blocks

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:39 pm
by PoD
They are cool. I made myself a simple one a couple of years ago to hold my 9mm blanks. It was very handy when reloading during a skirmish on the Golden Hind.

Image

Re: Ball Blocks

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:37 pm
by Mark Griffin
very cool, off to make some!