These shoes will now be placed into the press and are designed to "U" shape the chopped pieces.
You can see the shoes (with red edges) in place in the press to chop the long strips into correct lengths.
These are the chopped pieces which are ready for a second forming operation. There are some high ribbed trade gun thimbles at the left.
After the "U" shaped pieces are formed, they are placed into this forming tool to complete the round form.
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Here are some iron and brass strips with ribs formed, ready to be chopped and bent on the press. The items in lower part of picture are breech plug waxes to be cast for manufacturing in-shop.
This is a shop built forming and slitting tool. The first step is to take broad sheets of brass or iron and slit them to the correct width, which has already been done to the strip in the picture. That allows it to go through the forming rollers and raise ribs on each end and also form ribs across the entire surface on trade gun thimbles,
These tools are press shoes which will be put in the press to chop to length and shape the individual ramrod pieces. The top piece fits into the grooved bottom piece and puts ears on the pieces which will become the tabs to drill the pin holes through.
Here are the final formed thimble pieces. Some of them will be made into entry thimbles by soldering the tailpiece onto them. Although these operations are pretty laborious, they insure quality control for the best components to be put into your new gun! And I tend to make a lot of thimbles once I set up to manufacture them, enough in quantity so they last for years.