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Psst, (mechanical?) Engineers and other crafty, ingenious folk...


Coytee
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@CoyteeLooks like original lube was:    

 

The lubricant was a mixture of tallow and beeswax. They don’t dry very fast, in fact, beeswax can dry and still lube the rifling.

 

You might also try:

Cannonball Identification Help | Cannons / Artillery & Crew Served Weapons (civilwartalk.com)

 

Get a seasoned "old timer" to assist.  Last thing you want is an unexpected "boom", and an insurance claim by your wife!

 

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8 hours ago, Seadoc said:

 

 

Get a seasoned "old timer" to assist.  Last thing you want is an unexpected "boom", and an insurance claim by your wife!

 

Not many of those left. 😕 So often I wish I had paid better attention. 

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Just read the whole thread

As a mechanical engineer my advice is 

Use a curved carbide scraper on a long handle to scrape away as much calcification as possible from both the barrel and around the ball itself 

 

You can also grind the end to a knife edge for better reach into the surrounding contact surface 

 

 

s-l400.jpg
 

 

If you can’t buy one - then make one similar 

 

Then you get the strongest hot glue available 

Heat it up and apply a liberal amount to the end of a broom stick or metal rod and then attach it to the ball and let the glue set 

 

You can also use threaded rod - so you can make it into a make shift bolt and nut puller 

 

Then pull till you get it out even if you repeat it a few times 

 

If the ball is soft metal you may be able to grind a point onto the threaded rod and try to force it to thread into the ball and as mentioned above use a make shift puller with a piece of steel across the barrel entrance and a nut 

 

After the ball is out,  you can take the cannon down to a motor reconditioning shop and have the barrel honed out 

 

 

If you have access to a welder then I have other options 

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3 hours ago, CWOReilly said:

Not many of those left. 😕 So often I wish I had paid better attention. 

Oh, I think there are more than a few around:

 

https://www.armiesoftn.org

 

They may be able to put you in touch with an artillery squad in your area. I know there used to a fair contingent of re-enactors around Cookeville.

 

I'll wager Georgia has a gray army as well. Northern states, not so much...

 

 

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A bit of an update:

 

Yesterday, I spent about an hour on it.  Ball is still stuck so if you're short on time, you can now stop.

 

I filled barrel with water and used pressurized air down ignition hole to help "blow" the water out in hopes the ball would move some.  It DID move some.  Got stuck back at original point.  Pushed back, did again.

 

I did this a number of times.  I also have an oak "rod" with some cotton (or some material) on the end that is used to clean the bore of the cannon.  Think of it as a huge Q-tip!  I got that out with water in barrel and worked it back/forth.

 

Over repeated processes, the water that was coming out changed from dirty water to finally, pretty clean water.  I had bore full, pushed "Q-tip" into it and water would squirt maybe 10 feet in air out of the ignition hole.  Finally clean water was coming out of there.

 

So it's still stuck but am making progress at the margins.  I was wondering about soaking it (filling bore and leaving over night) with Vinegar.  Didn't have a handy gallon....  and remembered (if I remember correctly) that a can of Coke can sometimes dissolve things so when I left it last night, I wheeled it under cover, popped a Coke. Took a swig and dumped the rest of it down the barrel.

 

It's still soaking as of this moment.

 

Also, I noticed when the ball was (let's just say) 15" from the end, the air would compress and it would be a fairly tight seal.  When I tamp the ball down to (let's say) 25" down, now you can see an air gap and the air does NOT compress.

 

This has me beginning to think that the ball might be deformed (my first suspicion) or perhaps, the barrel is more round at 15" and maybe damaged/oblong at the 25" location.  Won't know for sure until ball is out.

 

If the barrel IS damaged at 25" depth, what I find interesting is the ball is currently STUCK there so if it was a bigger opening in there, I'd expect the ball to be more loose.  So I'm sliding to the side conclusion that the ball is probably deformed and that's part of my issues.

 

I'll try to get some pictures of the cleaned out bore.  Should look much nicer than the original pictures.

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13 hours ago, Full Range said:

You can also use threaded rod - so you can make it into a make shift bolt and nut puller 

 

I'll get a picture, but I have the cannon tools.  All are oak "rods", one has a metal pick on end, I'm guessing to clean out the ignition hole, one has some, for lack of knowing the truth, "cotton" flaps bolted to the end.  I'm guessing this is used to clean the bore between shots.  Another is a solid tamper to tamp things in.

 

So, back to the one with the swabs attached to it.....  got to thinking.

 

Get some kind of rod (all thread?) affix some nuts on the end and sandwiched between the nuts, buy a box of green scotch-bright pads or something like that.  Cut them to fit tightly into bore.  Attach to drill and use that as a scrubber.

 

Heck, maybe I could even use some Palmolive dish detergent so I can soften my hands like Madge while doing this!

 

(surely most of you remember that commercial)

 

 

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I did call them, though the conversation was weighted more towards the process of preparing to fire and those materials, rather than extracting the ball.

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16 minutes ago, Coytee said:

Also, I noticed when the ball was (let's just say) 15" from the end, the air would compress and it would be a fairly tight seal.  When I tamp the ball down to (let's say) 25" down, now you can see an air gap and the air does NOT compress.

 

 

 

Cannon might be slightly bigger at the ignition end from use.  Or like you said, the ball might be deformed.

 

If you can push the ball 25" down, can you get a hone in there at 15" (where it binds up) and clean it up?

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Coytee said:

 

(surely most of you remember that commercial)

Man , you're a patient guy ,   remove the cannon from it's rolling  base -   hang it upside down , and start grinding the surface of the cannon ball some  , grease the cannon ball and insides of the barrel  ,then turn it around ,  place the tip on wood  with a round cutout to match  , once it's all tight and solid   cover the rear of the cannon with a wood piece  , take a sledgehammer and pound until the cannon ball loosens , 

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I've had a need for a long hone (for use on my backhoe).  I was never able to find one at the stores but, never did any looking online since I needed it "now".  So I don't know if they're available.  

 

This is what I was thinking about the scotch-bright pad on the end of a drill.  

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2 minutes ago, 001 said:

Man , you're a patient guy ,   remove the cannon from it's rolling  base -   hang it upside down , and start grinding the surface of the cannon ball some  , grease the cannon ball and insides of the barrel  ,then turn it around ,  place the tip on wood  with a round cutout to match  , once it's all tight and solid   cover the rear of the cannon with a wood piece  , take a sledgehammer and pound until the cannon ball loosens , 

 

Yeah, I can shame a lot of people with my patience!  I've been told (many times actually) over my life, that "GEEZ man, you've got more patience than Job"...)

 

1.  Don't want to take it apart, don't INTEND on taking it apart

2.  Have nothing to grind the ball with, about the only thing along those lines that I'm dwelling on is a long drill bit

3.  Not going to pound on anything with a sledge....one reason being, I don't have one if I wanted to pound!

4.  Coming from Dad, my first priority is to preserve as much of this as I can.  It's been in family for a LONG time, I've no plans on getting rid of it so if this takes me 3 days or 3 years....  I'm ok with that.  Besides, between work and the wife's honey-do list, I only have blocks of time here & there to work on it (essentially a couple hours during weekends but I sneak other time in if I can)

 

 

 

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Besides....this gives everyone an ongoing saga to visit when they're bored....  much like the old "The Edge of Night" or other soap opera's.....  the stories never finished, they just went on and on and on....

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4 hours ago, Coytee said:

Have nothing to grind the ball with

Drilling could damage the walls of the cannon , grinding  and chiseling   ,over a few hours , can  loosen the cannon ball ,   the more material you remove , the looser it gets .

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