It is a well know adage that you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your success.

I had a lesson on this again this last week.

For the model of the Themis that I am working on I am at the stage of producing the guns with their carriages.  26 eighteen pounders for the gun deck and 8 six pounders for the upper deck.

Years ago I used to order turned brass cannons from a model supplier but these can cost from $3 to $5 each.  Give you an idea for the Victory there were 106 guns.

In any event as the guns were oxidized or painted black it became obvious to me that I should just turn them on my lathe out of wood.  This had the benefit that I could make them accurate to the scale and not taking what was available from the hobby store.

Fortunately Blaine gave me a great little mini lathe about 30 years ago.  I love lathe turning.  As I have said in previous blogs, it reminds me of the scene in Ghost where Patrick Swayze fondles Demi Moore while turning a pot.  Not quite the same but from a block of wood you get a turned piece.  I turn pillars and stanchions.

So I am turning the set of 8 six pounder guns.  Love the first one so duplicated it 7 more times.  Went to do the next stage where I drill for the pin that goes through to make the mounting trunnions and realize that I measured wrong on the first one and copied the mistake again and again.  A bit of an issue because I turn the guns from Holly which is becoming very difficult to replace.  I have finally found a source in Ontario where for $120 they will send me two more pieces…. but I digress.

In the first picture on the left you will see the first set.  You will note that the wide band where the trunion goes through is at 50% of the length but not 50% of the weight as the gun is tapered.  Another 3 hours of work and I replicated the guns with the wide band at the balance point.  Threw the other guns in the garbage.  I can guarantee that I will not make this mistake again.

The black bits on a couple of the good guns is an experiment I was doing on how to make perfect knobs.  Not worth the effort.