making a horn powder measure

For all of you making your own gear! i.e. Possible bags, powder horns and measures, etc.

making a horn powder measure

Postby Captchee » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:57 pm

Ok . Thought some of you might find this helpful .
Thought I would show you all how I make a horn powder measure in just a few minutes .
Materials
1) length of horn , the one in the photo is a elk tine
2) ½ drill “ is should match the gradient measure you will use for a guide. IE if yours is a 3/8 tube . Then you need a 3/8 drill bit
3) roll of tape
4) wood dowel , basically anything to mark depth will work
5) an existing gradient powder measure .
6) a rat tail file

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First set you gradient measure to the charge your wanting . In this case I want 60 grains
Now take your wood dowel and slide it into the measure and mark the edge at the top of the measure .

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Now on this one im going to have a pour lip so I come back ¼ inch and make another mark . This will be the total depth I will need to drill . Laying this up along side the drill bit , I mark the bit . Then taking tape , wrap around the bit so as to have a depth reference

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Now drill your horn to the edge of the tape . Once you have the hole drilled . Use your marks on you dowel to double check the depth
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Now take the dowel and align the marks on the outside of the horn . Transfer those marks over to the horn . This will aloow me to sand back for the pour lip .

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Now taking the file I cup the inside of the lip just alittle . This will help the measure pour nice and smooth

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Now I fill the measure with powder and pour it into the gradient measure to check for proper volume

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and there you have it , a horn powder measure . took less then 15min to make

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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby robert n leeper » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:05 am

thanks cap...who knew it was as easy as that..nice measurer
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Charlie Sometimes » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:32 am

I was just getting ready to make one of these! 8-)

Here is what I was going to do also-
If you want to use a drill of different size than your gradient measure- drill you a test hole in the edge of a wood block until you get the proper volume of measure from your gradient measure, and go from there as Captchee advises. I was going to make a series of holes for the different volumes/depths, so I could make additonal powder measurers later, if desired. It might take a few test pours, but it will eventually be on the money.

I suppose that you could also drill holes of various depths and if they were too deep, trim the edge of the board off with a miter saw until it was back to where you want it to be. But who makes mistakes, huh? :lol:
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Captchee » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:52 am

your welcome Robert

Charlie .
your other option is to do the math on Volume. Speaking for myself though I don’t do so well when I try to do that LOL

I have a couple different sized gradient measures this bigger one that’s a ½ bore and I have a smaller one that’s probably 3/8 or 5/16 ?? Ill check when I get home .
Ill post the increment measurements starting at 10 grains . That way you will have a base measurement to start from at least for a couple sizes
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby TradRag » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:08 am

S W E E T !! you were right the other day, I can make my own. Thanks Capt!
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby hanshi » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:16 pm

Image

I did these a couple years back - 30 and 65 grains - by trial and error. Even though they turned out fine, it took considerably longer than 15 minutes. I need to use your system next time.
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby TWOFEATHERS » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:49 pm

Awesome timing captchee, I've thinking on trying this all week,and here you come along and answer all my questions! I want to make up a 60 grainer for my .45 kentuckey rifle to start with!! Thank you for this post!!
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Charlie Sometimes » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:53 pm

Hanshi-
I like the angle cut on yours. Aids pouring, I'd bet. 8-)
That is what I am going to do on mine, and then file/sand for a nice spout.
Might carve around the outside some, too.
I'm going to use brad point drills, too- for flat bottom holes.

Captchee-
Yea- the math. Not exactly a TRADitonal method for most people! :lol:
I can do it easy enough, but I'd bet that the "drill first" method is better.
The math method may actually be too accurate and not "adjusted" to the differences in powder volumes, however minor those may be.

My gradient measures are the smaller versions (3/8, I think).

Off to the shop! :dance:
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Captchee » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:23 pm

Ok so for a ½ in hole ,
20 gr = 5/8
30 gr = 13/16
40 grains = 1
So basically you keep adding 3/16 for every 10 grains you want if using a ½ drill to make your hole

Now the smalles measure I have has a bore of 27/64
It starts at 10 gr.
10 gr =9/32
20 gr = 9/16
Basically 9/16 for each step of ten grains .
Again then are just generalized so please double check with your graduation measure.
They should be very close until you get up around 120 + grains

if you dont have one , just ask and ill take a measurment for you specific grains
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Captchee » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:05 pm

i see bryan has made a do it yourself traditional gear section .
how about we start adding to that . im sure others here have things to share
here are some possable topics
how to mak a rifle bag
how to make a horn priming flask
how to make a vent pick
how to make a leather cap holder

powder horns
turn screws
napping hammers .......
come on guys lets see what you all make
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Charlie Sometimes » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:39 pm

My gradient measures are 7/16 and 11/32- I miss judged them both.
The 7/16 holes change 5 gr. for every 1/8 inch, or there abouts.

I started on the board guage.
Guess what? I messed it up! :o :shock: :rolf:
Last edited by Charlie Sometimes on Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Charlie Sometimes » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:40 pm

Move the thread! Yea! 8-)
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Swampman » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:10 am

A little brown leather dye will give it a nice patina.
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Captchee » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:45 pm

yep your right .
but she will patena up reall quick in just a couple trips to the range .
im thinking though that i migh just take her to the buffing wheel and polishit up smooth . then do some scrimshaw on it .
maybe a high mountian meadow with a few elk in it
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Sealing the inside?

Postby Charlie Sometimes » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:36 pm

I've got mine done, almost done with the carving, too. :D
Pictures to follow tomorrow. :mrgreen:

I was checking the volume comparisons with FFg in it and my gradient measurer (it's on the money), and noticed that since the inside of the horn is rough (antler core) it slows the powder down from pouring out, and does tend to allow it to build extra volume when filling.

I attribute this to the coarseness of the interior.
Does anyone seal theirs?
I guess a coat of polyurethane would do it.
What do you think?
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Captchee » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:18 am

i have never sealed the ones i make charlie . not on the inside anyway . if i do scrimshaw or such then the outside i seal .

i would also agree with the powder pouring alittle slower .
with the production brass and plastic measures i find i sometimes miss the bore with alittle powder .
but not as often with the hornn measures .

i would think if you sealed and polished the inside . you would end up with something that poured just as fast as a commericial measure
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Re: Slow pour

Postby Charlie Sometimes » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:10 am

Been thinkin'- maybe a hole liner would work too. :?
Theoretically, you could cut a tube of the proper diameter to length in advance, drill your hole, and epoxy the liner in, then trim and polish to fit.

I'll try sealing it with epoxy first, and see how that works. 8-)
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Charlie Sometimes » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:00 am

Haven't sealed the hole yet, but I did get pictures!
The hole liner idea would work, I was test fitting a few cartridges into the hole, along with some thin wall tubing.
You could even smear epoxy in the hole and redrill, I think, too, giving the walls a smoother finish, and the ability to be polished as well.
I marked the hole at two different levels with a permanent marker for different charges, too. In this case 60 and 65 grains. I can still drill the hole deeper yet if I need to increase the charge, too.
This is a tine off a 6x6 Elk rack, or so I was told. It's about 5 inches OAL.
See what you think on my first attempt at carving-

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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby TradRag » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:32 am

Charlie, that is sweet! Fine job for sure. I'd be happy just to het the hole right for my charge let alone any carving. I hope to work on mine after my elk hunt I leave for this week. I've got a nice whitetail shed that I hope to get an 80gr charge out of. Keep us posted on the 'seal' job as I'd like to know too.
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Captchee » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:57 pm

nice job .
funny how the ends of these allways call for an egale head ? some how it just fits .
i do that ame head for vent picks .
i also have done bears heads on thicker pieces
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Re: carving my measure

Postby Charlie Sometimes » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:56 pm

Thanks, guys!
I might still work on it some more yet got to think on the next parts.
It seems a bit naked behind the head, and I want to secure it on a leather thong/lanyard, or some such to my possibles bag, so it can't be lost.
As is, how would the shoe polish patina make this look now, do ya think?
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby GreenMtnHunter » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:01 pm

Really nice! Great idea for a dyi; Thanks Captchee! Now I just gotta decide which shed I'm gonna cut a tine off of...
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby stickemsta » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:53 am

If you drill the hole deeper than needed you can melt some bees wax and drip in to bring it to the right volume......stickem
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby lad » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:06 pm

nice info.
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby hanshi » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:43 am

On all the measures I make (antler, bamboo, etc.) I wrap 0000 steel wool around a brush and spin it in the hole. This smooths and burnishes the inside almost like glass. Powder doesn't stick at all.

That is beautiful carving; wish I was capable of that.
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby LadyHawk » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:49 pm

Made this one for my little man. Holds 50 grains.
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Re: making a horn powder measure

Postby Captchee » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:10 pm

bet he likes that ladyhawk
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