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Making Tudor Canon Question

Poster: gregory.stapleton@funb.com

Got this off Rec.Crafts.Metalworking.  I was under the impression that this
would have been cast....Anyone know?  Can you supply sources?

Thank you,
Gawain Kilgore


Chris Topp wrote:
> We are a company of traditional blacksmiths in England who through our
> sister company 'The Real Wrought Iron Co.',are, as far as we know the only
> world supplier of real wrought iron.
> We recently constructed a replica wrought iron cannon for the Mary Rose
> Trust and the Royal Armouries using metal staves, hoops and bands which
> for the purposes of both firing to ascertain the effectiveness of tudor
> weaponary and for display puposes at the Artillery section of the Royal
> Armoury at Fort Nelson nr Portsmouth in England.
> We have now been asked to construct a replica of a ship borne swivel gun,
> again from the Mary Rose. The gun is a breach loader, some 6ft long with a
> 2" bore and will be made from Charcoal Iron. The original however does not
> appear from either visual examination or XRay to have any welds in the
> barrel.
> Does anyone have any information on how this may have been constructed as
> do not believe they had the ability to bore this size of material. We wish
> as far as is possible to use the manufacturing techniques of the period.
> Thanks
> Steve Suff
> Office Manager
>    -**** Posted from remarQ, Discussions Start Here(tm) ****-
> http://www.remarq.com/ - Host to the the World's Discussions & Usenet

Hi Chris,

You are to be commended for such an undertaking..Quite a task!!

So far as the swivel gun is concerned there is only one possible method that
comes to mind that would not involve forge welding..either logitudinally or
spiral welding'

This is to forge from a solid billet in the way that much later (and modern)
gunmakers did it.

The billet is heated and pierced part way through to form a fat "cup". It is
then forged out to length over a bore size mandrel, the outside diameter
progressively smaller the bore remaining constant and the length growing as
forging progresses.

In modern practice the proces is called "Drawn over Mandrel" and is used for
both pressure vessels and tubing.

First a cubic billet (actually the cross section is called "Gothic") is sawn
length, heated to forging temperature and subjected to a piercing/back
operation, that first produces a thick walled cup.  This cup is then placed
on a
long mandrel of the required bore diameter and pushed , horizontally, (on a
"Push Bench" no less) through a series of ring or roller dies, that reduce
O/D and elongate the length. This all takes place in ONE heat in about ONE

Interestingly a similar technique is used to make toothpaste tubes!!

You might want to contact TI CHESTERFIELD...(if they are still in
Chesterfield, Derbyshire.  They are the gas cylinder manufacturing arm of
Investments (Head Office in Birmingham) They may be able to show you how it
done...they may even be able to do the rough forging and drawing for you!

Robert Bastow

(Ex Export Sales Manager..TI Chesterfield)  ;^)

PS Where in N Yorks are you?  I am from the Huddersfield area..now in
Atlanta GA

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