View Full Version : Installing a patch box in a GPR
January 24, 2013, 10:33 PM
Is it possible to do this? I think that'd be a cool feature on the Lyman. But I was looking at the stock and its not that wide. How deep is a patch box?
January 24, 2013, 10:58 PM
I think they look neat. I have seen them made of sliding wood, sliding brass, or some that are just a round hole covered by a little hinged flip-top brass cap and the inside of the box looks like it was drilled out with a doorknob holesaw blade. I wouldn't want to install one myself without testing my technique out on a few 2x4s though. ;)
Sure Shot Mc Gee
January 24, 2013, 11:34 PM
If wanting a shallow Rd. hole similar to a T/Cs patch box. The proper drill bit for the job is called: Forstner Bit. But it's best used in a drill press with a jig set-up to help center your stock under the bit. Or someone with a awfully steady but strong arm & hand perhaps can get by in drilling free handed. (not the prefered way) I think their available for purchase from Lowe's, Home Depot or perhaps Harbor Freight.
January 25, 2013, 06:18 AM
Has the best price. About 30.00. If there is a store close to you, print out the 20% off coupon.
I have the set, use it a lot and it is still good and sharp. Sizes are accurate and the bits don't wander in the wood.
As SSM says, a drill bress is almost mandatory, because you will be using a relatively large bit. Takes a lot of strength to fight the bit with any drill you can hold in your hand. You will need a way to back up the stock so that it can't move and is supported by something soft so as not to mark the opposite side of the stock. The patch box hole does not need to be more than about 5/8 inch deep. Maybe 3/4.
Get the patch box cover you want to use.
Lay the cover on the stock in the right place.
Draw the outline of the patchbox so you know where to carve out the stock to accept the patch box cover. The is a pivotal part of the process since any visible gap between the patchbox and the wood of the stock will make the job look bad in a hurry.
If you are inletting with a chisel it needs to be razor sharp. To get the fine detail, you will need a tool that is small. Small chisel or a carving gouge.
Choose the bit size so the hole will remain within the outline of the patch box cover. Don't drill the hole until the stock has been completly inletted for the cover.
It must read like I am trying to discourage you. But that is not the case. I am not craftsman enough to tackle the job but I am at the low end of the spectrum when it comes to this kind of skill.
Best of luck.
January 25, 2013, 06:44 AM
For a Great Plains style rifle the round patch box would be the most appropriate. Go with iron to be more consistent with the existing hardware.
Figure out the centerline on the stock. The centerline of the patchbox will be placed over it. Keeping the box in place, scribe the outline of the patchbox. Inlet the box and then drill out the hole afterwards.
January 25, 2013, 09:44 AM
Pretty well answered already. Yes, you can. It is your gun, do with it what you want. Do check muzzle loading dealers for styles available. Yes, the round iron is probably more correct but, as I said, it is your gun, do with it what you wish. Except for the round, I would use chisles to do the inlay.
January 25, 2013, 11:49 AM
No reason you couldn't - Doc gives good instructions. For an appropriate iron "plains style" matchbox, you might check out Track of the Wolf - they have several that would work well. You can also get Forstner bits at Lowes, etc. individually - you'd need your matchbox first to determine the size of bit you'd need. Flat head slotted iron screws are the appropriate screw to use for attachment. If you do it - post some photos so we can see it - if you are going to be doing a lot of inlay work - check Track of the Wolf for inletting chisels as well - I believe they usually carry some that are made out of flat stock. I have a number of them that I bought from the guy at Friendship one time that made them - very handy - can easily be altered to do inside curves, etc. Good luck! :)
January 25, 2013, 12:09 PM
Thank you guys for all the instructions. I am going to install one. And yeah I thought of the iron one too. Not only is it appropriate as ya'll say, but my stock is a dull finish and a shiny brass patchbox would be too much. I'll finish fixing up the "womans scorn Glenfield" (<< as I call it) (see smithy for the thread) and I'll work on the patchbox for the GPR. I think it will look so good in there. This will be my first run at inlaying anything, but I have a few pieces of solid birch in the basement that I'm going to practice on first.
January 25, 2013, 12:21 PM
You said the magic word.
I was going to recommend practicing on a piece of scrap but you beat me to it.
January 25, 2013, 03:36 PM
Thanks Doc for covering all the bases for me. Even though I will practice on the birch I have, I'm still going to be REAL gun shy when it comes to taking a chisel to the stock. I'll probably have a Sam Adams, stare at it for a while, then have another Sam, then stare some more, then probably come back up stairs to think about it :D
January 25, 2013, 03:43 PM
You may want to make a paper trace of the patchbox. That will lay on the wood easier (flatter) than the actual metal parts and will give you a start. It will make layout easier too.
A sharp tool is used to trace around the paper. If you're uncomfortable, use a pencil and draw your line. Then you use a sharp tool or chisel and stamp the outline. On the curves, if you don't have a chisel that conforms with the curve, use a sharp knife (or Xacto blade). Once your outline is cut down to the width of your metal so if the metal is 3/32, try to stamp down that deep. If you can't go that deep, it's OK as you can always go back to that spot after some wood has been removed. Don't go too deep but if you do, that can be filled in. Stop short of the ideal depth and use a scraper to make the inletted surface level. You may have to make your own scraper (a small piece of metal that is sharp) but that's easy.
Be sure the stock is mounted in a padded vise so it won't shift.
Have plenty of light.
January 25, 2013, 04:37 PM
It will be easier to inlet and look better if the underside of the metal is beveled a little bit.
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