I was wondering if any of you fine gentlemen ever got into assembling firearms? I would really love to try this, but I'm not sure exactly how deep a tool bench I would need. How much technical skill is involved? I've got a vice, screwdrivers, a blowtorch, a rubber mallet, a drawknife and a cordless drill.
I'm thinking to start with something relatively simple and inexpensive, probably the single shot "new orleans ace" pistol kit that Dixie Gun Works offers. If it goes well I'd like to put together the pepperbox pistol, as an interesting cowboy side match gun. But my ultimate goal is to assemble a blunderbuss.
Okay, the instructions in those kits are pretty good, i built a replica revolver many years ago. Have you ever worked inside of a car's motor or done any wood working? The difficulty will be directly related to your skills. Patience, some sanding blocks, fine sand paper, a good set of screwdrivers are going to be the basics.
That sounds good to me! I've never done much tinkering on cars, but my old job required I get my hands dirty with boat engines, lawn mowers, and a golf cart. Once the wife and I are settled into our new place, I believe I'll start this project!
Yup, if you can rebuild/service small engines, you will have no problems with a kit like that. I will strongly recommend getting a good set of gunsmithing screwdrivers, I love my Craftsman tools, but have a set of the hollowground bits strictly for my guns.
There are some top end gun kits (at top end prices) and some even come "assembled in the white." On the lower, but cool looking end of the spectrum are the Classic Arms kits: http://www.possibleshop.com/pistol-classic-arms-kits.html I used to sell these especially around Christmas in my shop. I had almost every one returned to me since they are surprisingly difficult to get working (nipples at odd angles, hammer slots too tight, triggers too long, etc... I have ended up with most of the series from buying them back partially completed. I have gotten them all working but not always quickly. I have the Elgin Cutlass, New Orleans Ace, Duckfoot, and a Philadelphia Derringer (either long out of print or a different company?) All that the manufacturer would do was offer to sell me more parts. They are cheap and fun but can be headaches.
The Harpers Ferry flintlock was also a kit that I bought at a gun show after someone else had made a mess of it and lost a few parts. The candle lighter was out of the Dixie bargain bins but I think that they offer a kit version now. The big wheellock was not supposed to be a kit but it might as well have been.