Sunday, 6 July 2014

More Info On Making Powder Horns.

Many of you will remember the post and video that I made on gunpowder horn safety http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/a-powder-horn-safety-test-in-belgium.html . That post prompted a powder horn maker to contact me and tell me that he and many of his powder horn maker friends were not at all pleased with me. They you see seal the butt plug on their horns they make for sale with modern epoxy glues!!!  They do not want to admit that they are wrong, because (a) they have been using epoxy for years, and (b) I suspect they are concerned that if they admit they are wrong, then they leave themselves open to liability if one of their horns blows up and injures or kills someone.
Now by not using glue, I am not saying that the horn will not split on the sides, but what I am saying is that if the butt plug is not glued, and it blows out if the horn explodes, then this will release a lot of the pressure and you are more likely to survive with minor injuries or no injuries at all. Anyway, I have been doing some research and contacting some professional horners, and below are their comments on this issue.
You decide, which you think is safer, to glue the butt plug in, or just to make sure it seals well without using glue. To me this is just plain common sense, also they did not have epoxy glues back in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Two original powder horns with the butt plug not present in the horn. There appears to be no sign of anything having been used to secure the butt plug except pegs or nails. Many it seems were just a very close fit and nothing was used to seal around the butt plug. Others have reportedly had beeswax, beeswax and tallow, tallow and even hemp was used to cork the seam if it leaked.

No comments: