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Monthly Archives: July 2009

This tool is made to smooth and contour the ramrod of a muzzleloading rifle.  This unit has grooves of different radii to match the diameter of the rod you wish to smooth.

Scraper, 1 1/2" x 2"

Scraper, with grooves from 1/2" to 1/4"

It is made of casehardened mild steel to an .04 depth, and a Rc hardness of 62, about as hard as steel will get. You can grind or stone the face to refresh the cutting edges should they ever get dull.

View of scraper cutting edges

View of scraper cutting edges

Use a rasp or a plane to rough the rod down from a split blank or a larger dowel. Note in the rasping picture, there is a fence of pine behind the ramrod to take the thrusting of the rasp. Turn the rod continually while rasping, watching for straightness and diameter.

Rasping the taper on the rod

Rasping the taper on the rod

Planing out the high spots

Planing out the high spots

The scraper is especially good for tapering the rod to fit in the stock of the gun, also it shines in forming the ‘tulip’ or bulb on the loading end of the rod. Just scrape lightly, keeping the ramrod almost parallel with the side of the groove. In this way, you can easily control the depth of your cuts. If you try to cut too aggressively, you may develop ridges, which will have to be rasped or planed, and scraped again. If you try to scrape against the grain, you may develop ridges. In this case, turn the rod around and scrape from the other direction.
Smoothing and tapering

Smoothing and tapering, rod is almost parallel with flat of scraper

These scrapers are available from me for $25 USD, plus $5 shipping within the continental US.  Personal check or money order for $30, sent to Tom Curran, 1 Center St., Chatham, NY 12037, will get you a scraper.