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Inletting The Thimbles:

The first thing I did was take the thimbles I bought and modify they by filing wedding bands into the thimbles. This gave them a little more character than being flat. 2006-02-05 003.JPG (192518 bytes)

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I then laid out the thimbles on the rifle.  The front thimble was 4" from the end of the barrel muzzle, the rear thimble was at the end of the ramrod channel. The middle thimble was positioned in between the two, but about 1/4" toward the muzzle. By doing so, this gives the illusion the barrel is slightly longer than it is.


I draw a pencil mark where the face of thimble will be. Then draw a pencil mark down the center. Then with a "V" gouge I cut out 2006-02-05 029.JPG (240838 bytes)a groove. Drill a 3/32" hole at either end.  Now a s2006-02-05 030.JPG (238597 bytes)eries of holes are drilled between the two holes.

Using my knife and small chisels, I remove the wood between the holes to clean out the slot for the thimble. Blacken the thimble with candle black and place the thimble into the slot. Remove the thimble and remove the black marks on the wood.  Repeat this process until the lower rim of the thimble is flush with the bottom of the ramrod channel.

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Repeat this for all three thimbles.

After each thimble is inletted, drilled (drill just above the barrel of the thimble; the

2006-02-05 023.JPG (240900 bytes)same distance from the bottom of the rifle to keep them aligned.) and pinned, I mark the tail of each thimble with a notch. One notch for the forward thimble, and two for the middle thimble.





Note: In the case of the rear thimble.  You need to remove the surrounding wood along the tail of the thimble. This allows you a better chance not to have a gap between the brass and the wood. 2006-02-05 032.JPG (232805 bytes)

When finished, the thimble will be flush with the 2006-02-05 033.JPG (225874 bytes)surrounding wood and the tail will be parallel with the top flat of the barrel. Do not let it taper downward, which is easy to do and a mistake made by many beginning gunmakers.