The Diary of A Gunner (or Madman up to you)

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Kynges
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The Diary of A Gunner (or Madman up to you)

Post by Kynges »

The Chronicle of the building of the new Kynges Ordynaunce field piece

I will update as we go along. Please don’t be surprised if there are long pauses. I will have to post photos over several posts due to the forum limits. I have not gone in to too much detail but just ask if you have any questions

5th May 2007: After a beer and several bottles of port at Eastnor Castle, our El Capitan announces that we really should use the piece of 2" seamless hydraulic pipe we have stored in our lockup. He says we should build a new field piece with a quadrant carriage.

The game is afoot!

14th July 2007: The seamless tube is bought out for inspection and measured. We didn’t want to have to put the new cannon on our FAC's but SGC's would be easier though TBH we don’t have a problem with the local constabulary - they love us to bits. It is 1250mm long and 51mm diameter with 12mm wall. Perfect

3rd November 2007: Concept drawings are produced. Rough sketches of what the cannon would look like. Slightly smaller than our breechloader but larger than our muzzle loader, she was looking to be from the tip of barrel to end of trail about 2550mm long. We then looked at the proportion of the rest of the carriage and that was hard to work out. By the time the barrel had been hoped we were running on lots of numbers which as our experience has taught us is not necessarily the best way. The actual size of the cannon would be dictated by the size of the barrel. We knew the rough dimensions and therefore the size of the wheels could be roughly calculated. These turned in at 800mm diameter. We decided a scale model would be the best way to get the rest of the gun in proportion with the barrel and wheels.

4th November 2007: Scale model made from balsa was started.

8th November 2007: Scale model was progressing so the wheels were ordered. Having talked with Robert Hurford, who had made 15th Century cannon wheels before he agreed to make them slightly canted with iron tyre running on a wooden axle. The cost of having dummy strakes was just too much but might be something we can add ourselves at a later date. The wheels were ordered with a delivery date mid February.

11th November 2007: Scale model completed. Wow! I wish we had done this with the other cannons. You really get an in depth reason to why certain bits were placed where and any potential problems. Makes the construction of the real thing a lot easier.

15th November 2007: CaD drawings made from the scale model.

16th November 2007: The Green Oak for the axle is ordered from the wood yard. This has to be at the wheelwrights before Xmas.

21st November 2007: Drawings are agreed on and finalised. I should point out that though we agreed, that it was what we wanted and they were as accurate as possible, some of the construction would have to be a "Lets wait and see" thing.

24th November 2007: The green oak for axle was delivered and the order for the bed and trail was placed.

5th December 2007: The green oak for bed and trail was delivered.
Attachments
CaD of the side
CaD of the side
CaD of the elevation
CaD of the elevation
Scale model
Scale model
Last edited by Kynges on Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

More pictures
Attachments
The axle before turning
The axle before turning
CaD of the barrel
CaD of the barrel
CaD of the quadrants
CaD of the quadrants

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

20th December 2007: The oak axle was delivered to Robert Hurford for turning.

11th February 2008: The hydraulic tube was taken to a local engineering shop that had a lathe big enough to take it. The work was started on the 2” threaded bung for the breech.

22nd February 2008: The barrel bung was completed and picked up from the engineering shop. They had done it perfectly. The bung was threaded, screwed it in and then welded it to the tubing. It looked great. (For those of you that are not familiar with the law regarding gun barrels, this still did not require a license: only when it has had the touchhole drilled)

1st March 2008 - 9th March 2008: 4 of us spent a week in Holland with Bas forging the barrel. This was very hard work.

We first slotted, heated and forged the end of the liner to make it look like the staves of the barrel construction.

The plan was to put 3 layers of authentic looking hoops on the liner. The hoops for the first layer were forged, which required 12 in total. We made a former the same as the outside diameter of the liner and made each hoop to fit. When these were complete we then made an extra hoop and forged that over the former. This gave us the former for the next sized hoop. This was then repeated for the third and final hoops.

The hoops for each layer were made of 12mm thick steel plate, forged over the former and welded up. It would have been nice to have forge welded them but we only had a week to do this so time was tight. We opted to MiG weld the seams and then reheat them in the forge and hammer out the modern welds.

Once we had made the hoops we set about heating them up and dropping them over the liner. We made up a jig, which fitted over the liner and sat on top of each hoop: to give us a surface to drive the heated hoop down onto the liner. This is so we would not damage the hoops with hammer blows. In hindsight we did this totally wrong. We should have not slotted and forged the barrel end first. The first layer of hoops should have been started in the middle of the liner and then the hoops placed on alternating ends of the liner, building the layer of hoops from the middle out. As we found out, it was a long way to drive a hot hoop and we were lucky: out of the 12 hoops we only got one stuck which had to be ground off and remade. At the breech end we heat fitted a forged ‘U’ shaped cap for extra strength.

Once the first layer was on we repeated the process for the second layer, only this time we started out in the middle. The lifting rings and sighting point were then forged and placed on the barrel in the same way.

And hey presto weighing in at approximately 18st (115kg) a completed replica 15thC barrel!

I apologise for the quality of some of the images but the were taken from the 10+ hours of video footage we shot of the forging process. This also is a verbose description of the process and if anyone has any question then please don’t hesitate to ask.
Attachments
The end of the liner in the forge after slotting
The end of the liner in the forge after slotting
The liner being made to look like staves
The liner being made to look like staves
A hoop being forged
A hoop being forged

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

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Driving the first layer of hoops onto the liner
Driving the first layer of hoops onto the liner
Driving the second layer of hoops onto the first layer
Driving the second layer of hoops onto the first layer
Welding the hoops
Welding the hoops

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

More pictures
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Driving the third layer on
Driving the third layer on
The finished barrel
The finished barrel
Bas and his work
Bas and his work

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

21st March 2008 - 24th March 2008: Work on the bed was started. We were going to make a perfect groove in the bed the same size as the largest ring on the barrel but in the end we decided to cut the barrel in totally, carving the oak to fit each ring of the barrel. Holes were also drilled through the bed in the bottom of the grooves to allow water to drain and not collect under the barrel.

30th March 2008: The bed width was carved down to less then the trail. This was to allow the bed to move freely between the quadrants and its overall size reduced slightly to save weight. We had a big discussion about the quadrants and decided more research is required.
Attachments
The barrel carved into the bed
The barrel carved into the bed
The bed on the trail
The bed on the trail

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

5th April 2008: The completed wheels and axle were collected from Robert Hurford and boy did they look great.
Attachments
The new wheels
The new wheels
The wheels on the axle
The wheels on the axle
The turned axle
The turned axle

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

13th April 2008: The bed and trail were married to the axel and wheels for a scale check. Everything looked good. The back of the bed was carved in to allow for the quadrants and its length trimmed. The barrel was going to protrude over trail so we messed around with the positioning a bit. We also wanted to get the CoG (centre of gravity) correct as well as this would make moving it a lot easier, so the axle was moved forward and backwards until you could lift her at the trail by one person and with one hand.
Attachments
The bed and trial on the axle
The bed and trial on the axle
The bed and trial on the axle
The bed and trial on the axle

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

3rd May 2008 - 5th May 2008: The axle pin, axle brackets, barrel brackets, recoil plate, rope rings and associated metal fixings were all forged.

6th May 2008: The pre shaped quadrants, made of seasoned oak were picked up from Robert Hurford.

11th May 2008: The quadrants were cut to length and the mortise and tenon cut. They extended into the trail by about 75% of the trail thickness. We didn’t want to weaken the trail by removing too much wood. They were then glued into the trail. The bed was checked for free movement and the quadrant supports forged.
Attachments
The barrel and associated metalwork
The barrel and associated metalwork
The quadrant plates and hot pins
The quadrant plates and hot pins
The quadrants and supports
The quadrants and supports

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

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The quadrants and supports
The quadrants and supports

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

13th May 2008: After lots of communications with the local police the touchhole was finally drilled. With a slow speed drill and several sharp 4mm bits it was done. The end result was the touchhole entered the breech about 5mm forward from the breech plug. Perfect!

14th May 2008: A visit from our local police firearms liaison officer who took the serial number and signed the piece onto my SGC. The gun was legal in that aspect. All we needed now was to proof it.

17th May 2008: The axle pins, plates and quadrant support pins were made.
Attachments
Drilling the touchhole
Drilling the touchhole
The finished touchhole
The finished touchhole

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

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The axle pins
The axle pins
Quadrant support pins
Quadrant support pins

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

19th May 2008: A drive up to Birmingham proof house. The stated service charge was 5oz (125g) so they shoved 10oz (250g) down it. This was a horrendous moment. I had to wait for 2 hours while they did this and I must admit I was shaking when I returned to pick it up. If it had not passed then all the months previous hard work would have been in vain. It passed with flying colours. To say I was relieved would be an understatement. I haven’t got any photos, as it was not allowed but it has the official stamps on it now :D
Attachments
The proof marks
The proof marks

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

21st May 2008: A last few things needed doing. The elevation holes in the quadrants were drilled and the pin forged, but basically it was finished. It was off to Eastnor the weekend coming so we would see then if any remedial work needed doing. All she needed was a coat of linseed oil and the quadrant pins hot driven into the trail.


Epilogue

The gun design was changed several times during construction. More research was done into different areas especially on the quadrants. We were originally going to use metal but we found no actual reference to that. They all seemed to be made of wood.

As for the actual gun itself. Reading the surviving information and seeing the existing guns that are surviving (Swiss, Dutch, Belgium museums) every gun was different. There was no two the same. What we have tried to recreate is a period piece that is true to what would have been constructed. Taking references from Shilling, Burgundian artillery, surviving pieces and lots of other bits of information, we have tried to reproduce something that our medieval counterparts would have been capable of within the realms of modern safety.

At Tewkesbury she was blessed and named ‘Belle‘ and used in earnest against the Lancastrians and was a pretty sight to behold.

As I said throughout the post it’s very hard to describe what you are trying to do and achieve. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions or if you want more photos I will try to dig them out.

Thanks

A huge thanks to Sebastian and Barbara for putting up with the KO for a week in Holland. It was fun and a huge learning curve for everyone. This man is an excellent blacksmith and I would recommend everyone checks out his work

To Robert Hurford for making another set of excellent period wheels.

To Mick: for putting up with my stress levels and tantrums during the build and for keeping me going.

And an especially huge thanks to my fiancé: who allowed this to be done in our back garden.
Attachments
The finished item without barrel
The finished item without barrel
The finished quadrants without the plates on
The finished quadrants without the plates on
Last edited by Kynges on Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

Here she is at Eastnor after the quadrant plates have been fitted and a coat of linseed has been applied.

Bad weather stop play though :(
Attachments
belle1.jpg
belle2.jpg

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gregory23b
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Post by gregory23b »

You deserve some pats on the back, superb work mate.
middle english dictionary

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

Thanks

BTW she will be going to Berkley :D

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Post by Dave Key »

:D

Have to agree with Jorge ... nice job!

Makes me all reminiscent of 'Thomas'. Very similar and a lovely gun she was.

Now all you need is the limber and horses to go with it. :-)

the real lord duvet

Post by the real lord duvet »

it was beautiful.

we had a similar story - whilst drunk remmeber that there was a tube and 2 wheels in bloke down the road's shed.

3 weeks later it went boom

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Post by Stephen Dobson / Rab »

That is an absolute work of art - and it goes BANG! 8)

I give you official permission to make me one.

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Post by Dave B »

Could you afford it. Never running the van to transport it, if the crew are on the ball that gun is burning 1/6th of a kilo a bang. at three shots every 5 minutes that could be about £50 - £100 in a battle depending where you buy your powder.

You'd be better with a drug habit!
Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'

Kurt's uncle Bob.

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Post by gregory23b »

There is something very sweet about a well made gonne and Bell certainly meets the mark, you could see the pride in Scotty's face and Mick was all aglow, as if he had just had another kid ;-)

I have a soft spot for the Ornaments due to long time association in olden days and they kindly let us try Thomas out for the first time at one of their gigs in Bristol, once the first shot had misfired (by me, thanks Dave key, who said he expected it to happen ;-)) the crack and boom and echo down the canal was fabulous. A great moment and many others and the KO are top chaps, even Ced who tried to do nasty things to my bottom once.

It would be nice to get ole Thomas out, as Mick M rightly said at Tweks, to banish some ghosts, the two of them together would make schweet music, maybe even produce little muskets.

That little view from the rear on Sunday brought back some really nice warm fuzziness.
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Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

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Kynges
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Post by Kynges »

I remember that show, on Castle Green. :D
Just before I became an offical Ornament!

Observing from the MoP's side at the time there were quite a few expletives flying around: especially when the windows of the brewery on the other side of the river started rattling and shaking!

Also at the time the local cops had a warning of a potential bank job in the city and when they gonnes started firing they all jumped into the cars and were running around like lunatics :twisted:

Hmmm now theres a thought....Thomas and Belle together. Maybe I should talk to a few people about it!

the real lord duvet

Post by the real lord duvet »

given ach gun has a distinct sound i reckon we could line all the schilling guns up in order of size and try to play a tune!

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Post by Soggybiker »

Could you afford it. Never running the van to transport it, if the crew are on the ball that gun is burning 1/6th of a kilo a bang. at three shots every 5 minutes that could be about £50 - £100 in a battle depending where you buy your powder.

You'd be better with a drug habit!
In 25 years of reenacting and 15 years of having the honour to be a member of The Kynges Ordynaunce I have never been able to afford any of it, but thats never been the point.

If we ever have an "on the ball crew" I can assure you we would not fire 3 shots in 5 minutes unless we were asked very nicely to. You get a powder allocation you shoot it. Powder is there until it isn't, then you have to make do with polearms and Lancastrians or Frenchmen to hit.

Nah can't afford drugs Dave I spend too much on my hobby

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Post by gregory23b »

Similar to arrows, you use them, they sometimes break, get lost, they get replaced, but at the time of the use and they run out, you are left with whatever other tools to use. Powder, like arrows are consumables, and boy are they impressive consumables.
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Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

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Post by James The Archer »

I saw it in the raw at Tweks and the photos do not refect it's true lovelyness, I want one!!!!!
Duck the arrows are coming!

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gregory23b
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Post by gregory23b »

Agreed, the smell of linseed oil on oak, the gentle hum of spent powder, ahhh perfume.
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Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

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