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 Post subject: Remember The Alamo!!!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:07 pm 
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The Alamo fell to Santa Anna's Mexican Army on March 6, 1836.

There were quite a few Texas artillery pieces there. The biggest one was a 16 pounder.
After capture, the cascable and trunnions were knocked off that barrel to make it non-serviceable.

That barrel and several others were dug up on the Alamo grounds in the 1930's I believe. Don't fact check me on that one.

I have been asked by the Alamo to build a field carriage for that big barrel. It is 8' 9" long and weighs 2240 lbs.
The barrel was conserved at Texas A&M over a number of years along with several others.

As a born and raised Texan, this is the Holy Grail for me.
The only thing I would rather build is Saint Peter's Gates but I'm not ready to deliver them yet.

This will be the biggest thing I have ever built in my little shop. It has challenges I have not quite figured out yet. The biggest of which is the wood I need.
In a perfect world, I need to find kiln dried oak 4" X 10" X 12' long. I need four of those and some other shorter pieces.

I will be manufacturing a collar with trunnions that will clamp on the barrel and allow it to be mounted on a carriage.

These pictures are of the original barrel as well as the replica cannon that was used in the 2004 movie "The Alamo".
The replica cannon carriage is the size and design I need to replicate.

I intend to post build pictures of the entire project.

Wish me luck!
Zulu The Intimidated


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:23 pm 
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Wow!! What a project and what an honor!! :-D :-D You're gonna get your name in a history book for this one!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:02 pm 
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Hey Zulu,

Congratulations! I'm sure that your efforts will to you credit.

I once went on a boar hunt in the scrub area outside San Antonio, and not being a Texan, I was unsure of why anyone would fight to own the place. It seemed as though every living thing down there want to stab me, sting me or bite me.

All kidding aside, I know that the sacrifices at the Alamo were part of Texas' struggle for independence.

Best of luck with the project, I'll be looking forward to your posts.

Cheers,
Tom

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:21 pm 
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Tom,
Everything down there does stab, sting, or bite. But if you dig a hole in the ground, oil comes out. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:48 pm 
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I am proud of you as a WWA guy and happy for you since I know this is your passion. I'm sure you will do a great job!

Several years ago I restored an 1830's Spring House at my Father in laws. Masonry + Cedar Shake Roof + Cedar vents. It made me feel like I helped keep history alive. I am sure you will feel the same way when you are done.

Good Luck Zulu!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:11 pm 
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Wow! Fascinating project. Here's wishing you luck on finding the timbers you need. Look forward to the progress pix.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:35 pm 
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It looks like I'm going to have to use maple. I found some the right size kiln dried.
Anyone see any problem with that?

I can get oak but there is at least a 12 week wait in the kiln.
Can't do that.
Zulu

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:00 pm 
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Hey Zulu,

You can't wait 12 weeks to start something that will last 100 years or more? If oak is the authentic wood then I think that you should use it. Perhaps start on the metal parts while you wait. Although not a consideration for a non shooter, maple is less shock resistant than oak. Most diffuse porous woods like cherry and maple are less shock resistant than ring porous woods like oak.

Just my 2¢,
Tom

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:08 am 
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tms wrote:
Hey Zulu,

You can't wait 12 weeks to start something that will last 100 years or more? If oak is the authentic wood then I think that you should use it. Perhaps start on the metal parts while you wait. Although not a consideration for a non shooter, maple is less shock resistant than oak. Most diffuse porous woods like cherry and maple are less shock resistant than ring porous woods like oak.

Just my 2¢,
Tom


Hey Tom,
My biggest issue is my time frame. I have 5 months from when I receive my down payment which is in process now I think.
I already will have to wait about 12 weeks for the wheels. It was my hope to be well along with the carriage frame by the time the wheels showed up. They are not ordered yet.

If I also wait 12 weeks for the wood (probably more since the tree would have to be cut down and slabbed out before kiln drying) I will likely have less than 2 months to do this. Not enough time.
The iron work has to be custom fitted to the wood so there is very little to do there in the meantime.
Is it wise to cut and use wood fresh out of the kiln?

The cannon and carriage will likely sit in the same place for a very long time. I can't see it being moved more than 100' ever.

As far as authenticity goes, That's all I have heard from the Conservator whom I am working with.
But, there will not be too much authentic about what I'm getting ready to do.

This is my opinion only and can't be backed up with any historical fact.

The lady I am dealing with wants a field carriage. I have never heard of a 2240 lb. barrel mounted on a field carriage. Way, way too big. My guess is that it was mounted on some type of garrison carriage.

She wants it stained and varnished. I do not think, whatever carriage it was mounted on, that it was stained and varnished.
There were 20 or 21 cannons at the Alamo that no doubt, were hastily thrown together in a short period of time. All were mounted on something. Probably not stained and varnished!

Any carriage that had to be made was most likely hammered together by a carpenter using Cottonwood trees from the river side close by.
Probably not even painted.

A Texas historian friend of mine told me I was best served to keep my opinions to myself and just do what I am told to do. He said there will be a hundred critical experts with differing opinions and it would be best if I was left out of the argument. Probably sound advice.

This will be the largest field carriage I have personally laid eyes on. I'm not saying that one never existed. Just that I don't think one was at the Alamo.

It looks like I will be using maple so far. Still looking.

The above is my personal opinion and I have nothing too back it up with.
Just thinking out loud.

Zulu

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:54 am 
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Hey Zulu,

Yikes! I thought that you were working off of some military specs. I would definitely stay away from any debate on historical accuracy in this case.

Good luck,
Tom

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:39 am 
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Zulu
I agree with your Texas historian friend and tms, let the customer determine how it will be built. You will sleep better in the future without the would have, could have, should have. I'm sure it will be better built than anyone else would have done.
Norm


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:45 pm 
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I have been told that it could be 4 weeks before I receive my down payment check so there is really not much I can do until then.

I did get my template made for the cheeks.
This is what will be made out of 4" thick material.
It's pretty big!
Zulu

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:57 pm 
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Zulu, have you ever heard of the "Wind of Ball" theory? I ran across a recent article that explained it in some depth, including a couple historical references to the phenomena. Thought you might be interested. :-D

Excerpt:

Quote:

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/201 ... ll-theory/

Wind Of Ball Theory, Could A Near Miss Of A Cannonball Kill You?

In the book “Gunshot Injuries, Their History, Characteristic Features,…” (1895, pages 132-136) by surgeon Sir Thomas Longmore, there are several pages dedicated to this topic, which were reprinted from his 1862 publication “A Treatise on Gunshot Wounds” (starting at page 32). In the segment “Subcutaneous contusions without external marks” the author mentions that despite the victim showing no external marks, their internal organs have become “viscus” or “lacerated” and that “a strong tendon like the tendo-Achillis has been ruptured, without any mark having been left by the shot on the skin; symptoms of cerebral concussion have shown themselves, or rupture of a sinus and fatal effusion of the blood has occurred, yet no lesion to the scalp has been detected.”

The author also states that most campaigns contained records of such wounds, including broken bones with no external damage visible. According to Sir Thomas, “These accidents have usually resulted from the grape or round shot in former use, but occasionally follow the stroke of a large fragment of shell having a smooth and convex surface.” He also concluded that it was not just small or large round shot that could cause such injuries, but odd-shaped fragments as well. I recommend looking at the link for the specific examples he gives that support the concept. Although he also states that “proof against the supposed force exerted indirectly through pressure of air by a passing shot has been obtained by experimental trial” (see appendix note on that trial below).

Another frequent observer of such injuries, Baron Larrey, argued that the ball had actually come into contact with the person, but somehow “rolled over” the affected area and changed the course of the projectile. This belief still concluded that the elastic skin would not have been affected, but that the organs under it would have been crushed.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:05 pm 
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Gene,
I have heard about it but have never read anything about it, Interesting.
Did you watch the video link at the end of the article with the guy shooting a .50 BMG?
Zulu

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:37 pm 
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Zulu wrote:
Gene,
I have heard about it but have never read anything about it, Interesting.
Did you watch the video link at the end of the article with the guy shooting a .50 BMG?
Zulu


Saw that a couple years ago. Demo Ranch makes a lot of videos. Mostly just for entertainment. :)

I'm pretty familiar with overpressure, which is what the theory is basically about, and if it's high enough, it can certainly kill. But, I doubt that even a 36pounder ball would create enough to do serious damage. Ruptured ear drum or similar maybe, if it was within a couple inches.

I once was in the flight path of a attack jet (A4-M Skyhawk) which went by about 100ft above me at around Mach .95 ( a bit over 700mph, about the same speed as any common handgun mv) during a Red Flag exercise in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Didn't hear or see him coming, and he was there and gone before I had a chance to cover my ears. It will definitely get your attention, but no injuries. :shock: :)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:48 am 
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And so it begins.
It started last week with a trip to San Antonio to visit The Alamo and take measurements of the 16 pounder barrel.
I took the trail cheek template I made to compare barrel to cheek ratio. I was pleased with it.
The trail cheeks will be 11' long.

Next was a trip to the lumber yard. The 4" thick oak I needed was not to be found in the lengths I needed. Plus what they had was really poor. Almost all boards were warped and they wanted almost $12 a board foot for it.

I decided to buy 2" thick boards and laminate them to get the 4" thickness I need.
I have now managed to get all the wood cut to size but not laminated yet.

This project will be the hardest thing I have ever done in my little shop.

It will take a while and I'll keep posting pictures.
I need a bigger shop!!

The template
Measuring the barrel
Wood cut to size

Zulu

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:26 pm 
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WoW, ZULU! Makes your shop look like 'Hernia Haven'. No One can say you aren't ambitious. Truly, though, I really admire you for this undertaking. It IS going to be epic.....may be a good time to consider employing an apprentice! I see a situation where an extra body would make an immense difference.
THANK YOU for sharing this with us! I'll be checking in daily!!

Don


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:49 pm 
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Don,
An extra body would make a huge difference. But only part of the time. I only need help when something has to be moved.
Not sure what to do about it.
Taking it one step at a time and figure it out as I go.

Zulu

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:58 pm 
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6" round X 10" long for the trunnions. :shock:
2" round X 8' long for the axle to be cut to size when I get the 5' 6" tall wheels. :shock:
Zulu

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:43 pm 
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Wow Zulu,

That is quite a honor. what a bit of History....

The Alamo is my favorite piece of American history. jim Bowie, Davie Crocket, Wow they could of helped with that cannon.


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