Sam Whitley, PM
Frontier Lodge No. 28
In Part 4 of our series on conservation I described the process of repairing the shattered stock. Part 5 describes the process of preparing acrylic rifle supports for supporting the Ragains rifle in a wall-mount display case.
Initially, I developed plans to construct an acrylic case to protect and display the rifle. This would have been a long box with one open side. This case would have been placed over the rifle and the open end of the box screwed to the base. This case would have been used with mirrors located below the rifle to allow visitors to view the inlays below and behind the rifle. It would have required a table or platform to support and display the case.
Before that display case was built, however, the curator at the Grand Lodge Museum identified a wall-mounted display case that is available to display the Ragains rifle. This means that a dedicated acrylic display case will not need to be fabricated. The acrylic pylons to support the rifle in a horizontal plane still need to be fabricated.
The vertical support pylons were cut from ¾-inch Plexiglas. Each pylon was ripped to 2-inches wide. Heights were adjusted so that the pylons will support the rifle’s bore horizontally with the toe of the butt stock about 2 inches above the bottom of the display case. The pylons edges were sanded with 320-grit sandpaper and all edges were thereafter fire polished with a propane torch. Bases about 5 inches square were cut from ½-inch Plexiglas sheet. The tops of pylons were cut to proper profile before they were attached to the bases with solvent cement. The finished pylons were then tested for fit with the rifle and set aside.
Plans are in place to locate mirrors behind and under the rifle in the display case so that the off-side and bottom inlays are visible.
Join us next time for Part 6 of the series which concerns documentation of conservation efforts.