OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

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OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

Seems a few of our members want to know how to build a good old fashion cow horn blowing horn, so here it is. This will be a fluid type process and will take a week or so to complete, so please be patient w/ me. Nothing is written in stone in this process and there are short cuts and power tools that could be faster and more useful.

Let's start w/ the basic tools that may be helpful.

Rough cut files of all types are used for the initial work and to get the basic design/pattern you desire. Finer files are used to get closer to a finished project. Horns are tough and will take their toll on tools. Always let the horn dictate your design or pattern. The knives are used for scraping and the curve/drop point one is used to help form the interior of the mouth piece. The square flat looking thing in the middle on the left is a carburator spacer plate and is great for scraping the imperfections out of a horn surface. For a general rule, file, scrape, smooth and then sand and steel wool in that order.

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The top file is a 4 in 1 type. The round file is very coarse and is very handy. The bottom is a horse shoe file used by farriers.

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The two types of knives I use and the carburator spacer plate. That plate or something like it is great for scraping a horn.

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The two types of saws I use for cutting the tips off of horns. I use a belt sander to square up the large end of the horn and to square up/ smooth up the blowing end. You need to do both before you start any of the other processes. Square them with the natural flow of the horn.

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I use a sanding block w/ different grades of good paper. I also use foam sanding blocks and the fiberous pads.

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A ruler, tape, wood burning tool, pencil and a bendable wire rod will come in handy later.

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

As you go through the process, always save the scrap parts and you can make buttons or powder measures such as this 90 grain BP example.

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You can also make neat things for the wife such as spoons, forks and combs. Let your imagination rule.

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The spoon is finished and the fork is next.

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BTW, these little items take quite a bit of work, so do not get in a hurry.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

OK, I recommend that you buy horns that have been processed to start with. Here are a few good sources.

http://www.trackofthewolf.com

http://www.powderhornsandmore.com

I use horns in the 10" range for powder horns. You can go bigger or smaller, this is just my preference.

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I use horns larger than 10" and w/ some curves for my blowing horns.

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Here are some design ideas. Let the horn lead you.

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

For the big/bell end of the horn, I leave them natural or add a little flare like the one on the left. There was acutally a flaw there that I cut out. You can boil the horn for a little while and make it perfectly round by pressing it over a round form or you can make it oblong by pressing it from the side in a vise or something similar until it cools. Do not boil it longer than neccessary (7-8 minutes) and do not try to press it too far.

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Two original horns. The one on the left was made by my grandfather, probaly in the 40's or before. It appears that he used nothing more than a knife and a hot rod to burn the blowing hole. The one on the right was my fathers and is a commercial version he obtained in the late 50's or early 60's. It has a musical instrument type mouth piece, which was common then and can be used now.

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A photo of those two horn's tips.

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Barcelona Rick »

Bruce great pics and write up....gonna look at working on a couple of these....I need a new hobby...thank you sir..

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

OK, let's get to horn selection. Here are three candidates. You have to consider length, diameter at the tip and depth of the core tip. Horns are hollow most of the way up, until you get near the tip. You need to leave enough of the solid tip to allow for the diameter of the mouth piece and the hole you will drill to produce the tone tunnel. Old timers heated a rod and burnt the hole through the tip. More on this later. Due to length, curves and tip diameter, I am going to choose the top horn for our project. The bottom horn will make agreat powder horn and the middle one is close to going either way.

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Take a flexible rod (coat hanger) and push it up inside the horn a far as it will go. This will identify the depth to the core tip. Now place the marked depth of the rod on the outside of the horn and use a pencil to mark where the solid piece of the tip is/starts - (ID'd as the pencil mark on the left). Now go at least 3/4" above that or to a location where the diameter of the horn is at least 3/4" or closer to 1" and make another mark (the one on the right). You want the mouth piece to be near 1" diameter. It can be as small as 3/4", but that makes it harder to blow.

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Now cut that off and save the tip for something else.

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Last edited by Bruce on Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial - Part 2

Post by Bruce »

Next, you will need to drill or burn the blowing hole. Trust me, drill it as the smell of burning will run you off. Use about a 1/4" drill. You can go larger or smaller, but don't vary too much. Go straight down the center and make sure that you do not punch out of the side of the horn. Slow and easy and use a good drill bit. Horn will wear out a bit real quick. Repeat - right down the center and slow and easy. Drill a little, look reposition etc..

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In additon to the drill bit, here are the tools I use. I think the one is called a counter sink drill bit and it is 5/8". You want a little cup type hole, just like a musical instrument mouth piece. I sometimes use the grinding stone to smooth it up. Hint, you can tune the sound by using the drop point of the earlier knife shown to round out the mouth piece. You want a bowl type profile and by changing that profile, you can change the sound/depth. You want the bowl depth to be about the depth of the cutting portion of the counter sunk bit.


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Here is an example of the diameter of the mouth piece you want.

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When you get to the design phase, start your forward ring (whatever) about 3/4" down from the top.

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The depth of the hole you drill (1/4") for the blowing hole can not be to deep, but it can be too shallow. I like about 3/8" or more below the bottom of the bowl of the mouth piece.

Here is an example of rough cut filing.

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More later, but please feel free to go ahead and ask questions.
Last edited by Bruce on Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Ysabel Kid »

Speechless. WOW!!! That is awesome! 8)
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by kimwcook »

Love it.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by awp101 »

Pretty cool, thanks! 8)
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Cimarron Red »

Bruce,

Thanks for sharing your horn making with us. Here are a few pics of a goat horn blowing horn carried by my Great-grandfather from Pittsburgh, Pa., to the gold fields of California in 1849. The screw tip mouthpiece has long since been lost, but I'm having a horner make a new one for me. Also, I've made one powder horn, and it turned out well. The work was very satisfying:


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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bullard4075 »

Beautiful work , wish I was talented instead of rich. :lol: :lol:

How did you get that neet patina on your files ? :)
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial - Update #1

Post by Bruce »

Thanks for the comments guys. To be honest, I am one of those who is not talented in the arts. I just start filing and let things work out. You will see what I mean on some of the following posts as I have no idea what design I am going to end up with on the project horn.

Cimarron Red, great history on the horn. Nice horn also and it looks to be in great shape. I have worked some w/ goat and buffalo horns and they do make nice products. I am always amazed at the quality of some of the powder and blowing horns from the 1700 and 1800's. The screw on tip was more common than many realize, but it took a lot of work.

BTW, you can make a removable mouth piece (like the music instrument type) from an opposing type/color of horn. You can also make it permanent by gluing. I have made two for my grand children and will try to find some pictures to post.

Bullard4075, I hate to admit it but that patina is light rust for the most part. Most of those tools are second hand and I have had them all for 30 years or so. The lock blade knife is an exception. I got my horse shoe files from a farrier after he wore them out. Anytime I am around sales, I try to find rough cut files, especially older ones.

I do all my work sitting on the back porch in a chair w/ a towel in my lap. There are different tricks/rigs that can be used to help hold the horn, but I just use my hands. I have a open top box that my tools are stored in and it sits on a table top on the porch (covered) also. They do see some moisture occassionaly. :o
Last edited by Bruce on Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Dingelfutz »

Cimarron Red wrote:Bruce,

Thanks for sharing your horn making with us. Here are a few pics of a goat horn blowing horn carried by my Great-grandfather from Pittsburgh, Pa., to the gold fields of California in 1849. The screw tip mouthpiece has long since been lost, but I'm having a horner make a new one for me. Also, I've made one powder horn, and it turned out well. The work was very satisfying:


Image

Image

Image

Image
Shofar! Show good!
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bullard4075 »

"They do see some moisture occassionaly. "

I'll bet. I was born and raised in Daytona Beach.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

First question. Should I start another thread/post or just make this one long?

Next step. Drill the 1/4" hole.

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Put the shavings in your wife flower pot and she will love you.

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Square up both ends with this piece of modern equipment or something like it.

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If there is junk inside, you can use hot water and a bottle brush to get it out.

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

Next, use the counter sink drill bit to form the mouth piece.

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It will have chatter marks inside.

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You can use this stone to make more of a bowl and remove the chatter marks or go straight to a drop point knife.

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The one I use is about 3/4" wide.

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It will burn the horn and you will get a high picth sound when using it. You will clean it up later.

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You want to stop when the bowl depth is about 3/8" deep or the rim is about 1/8" thick.

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

For your first ring, you can use a ruler to make a uniform ring or you can use tape.

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Use the rough cut round file to start with. You can go down about half the diameter of the file safely.

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The first cut and the second cut. The tape is 1/2" wide.

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The tape removed.

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

Next, we have some decisions to make. Should we put another ring in?

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Should we use a half round rough cut file and put a dish in?

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Should we use the edge of the rough cut file to make the grooves square instead of round?

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Should we use the extremely rough cut file to make this a exposed throat like a few of the earlier horns?

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Tell me what you think/want and we will proceed.
Last edited by Bruce on Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by kimwcook »

My vote is three rings.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

Do you want it the same type as the other two? I can go bigger, smaller, dished or squared vs. half round.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Barcelona Rick »

How about dished....great thread....

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by gimdandy »

Dished as well
very enjoyable..........thanks
I also like the look of the flats that you filed in the earlier horns, makes them really good looking .
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by JReed »

Smaller middle ring with the outer 2 squared would look cool. Love the leason :D
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

OK, how about a combination of those requests, with more to follow.

First, there is the third ring.

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Next is the dished ring.

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Next we start the process of smoothing up the mouth piece and making it uniform. Work from the botton to the top on an angle with smooth strokes with a semi rough file to make it even. The tip of the mouth piece will become kind of sharp from this process, so be careful. File on an angle, very gently. We will take off the sharp lip later. You can tell by the removal of the shiny surface that you are doing it right.

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The tip done right. Remember - easy and rotate as you are working. Note how thin the top of the tip is. You will sand this down later so that your lips do not get cut.

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

Now lets go back to the mouth piece. Remember the hole as the stone left it burned.

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Stick the point of the drop blade knife down into the blowing hole and start the process of scraping the sides to make more of a funnel shape, rather than a bowl shape. You will open up the top of the blowing hole and you will thin the mouth piece. That will be taken care of later. Turn the horn as you scrape and don't get to aggressive. Make the inside of the mouth piece smooth and remove the burnt portion.

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Part of the way through.

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Completed other than final sanding later.

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The sound of this particular horn is very deep at this time. As we funnel the mouth piece and make it smoother, it will take on a little higher pitch.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

Most people do not know the proper way to blow a cow horn. Keep it tuned at an angle of about 10 or 2 o'clock to the center of your mouth and place it about 10 or 2 o'clock from the center of your lips. Think of Elvis' smile and put it where the lips curl to the side.

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One way to test the depth/sound of your horn is to pop the mouth piece against your palm. It will become second nature to be able to determine where you want to go with it. You can change the tone/pitch by altering the mouth piece hole.

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

This particular horn does not have enough dimeter at this location to allow for a good octagon pattern, so we have to come up with something else.

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I marked it by free hand w/ a pencil and started a groove w/ the rough cut round file.

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I then used the half round file to dish it out.

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Even though I could have left it that way and it would have worked out in the final sanding process, I decided to go back to the round file.

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That flimsy high ridge will come off when we start the sanding process.

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This horn is not asking for more, so that will probably be all of the rings we use.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Chuck 100 yd »

Very COOL ! :D :D :D
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

OK, it is way to cold and windy outside to do much horn work. Yes, I am whimping out. Let's cover a few minor details. Horns are left and right oriented - obviously. Meaning, they come off of the left and right side of the bovines head and they want to be carried that way if you so choose to carry them in the powder horn fashion w/ a strap over your shoulder. Here is a picture of opposing left and right horns. Once you get a horn, it will be obvious which side it wants to ride on, but some can be rotated to carry on either side.

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If you choose to carry it in the powder horn fashion - with a strap or string - you will need to drill a hole in the base. Make sure the hole is away from the end enough that you do not risk it splitting it and that it is no bigger than needed. Here is a mark that will give you a guide. Put a wooden block inside the bell/base when you are drilling the string hole to provide support. Start w/ a smaller drill and work up to the size you need. Go slow.

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Barcelona Rick »

Bruce....looks great....appreciate the tutorial.....when finished maybe Mr. Hobie can make it a sticky....

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

Next, we will cover scraping the horn to remove imperfections and to smooth up the surface. You can use the earlier described plate, a flat blade knife or anything similar. Put it on an angle like the picture and pull it towards you. You will feel the high/low spots and adapt very quickly. If you use a processed (store bought) horn, this will not take long.

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The plate is not very thick and is not sharpened in any way. The natural squared edge is all you need.

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Save the scrapings and use them in the garden or flower pots.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

Well, lets go a little more into what horn can do. You have already seen the spoon/fork things. How about a little ear ring chest.

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How about a key chain thingy.

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by KirkD »

An outstanding post! Thank you for taking the time to post all those photos and instructions. I'm going to save this entire post as a pdf for long term reference. I'd enjoy making a horn myself.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

jumbeaux and Kirk,

Thanks for the comments. I really enjoy working w/ horn. There are so many things you can do with it, just let the imagination go. If ya'll don't think the thread is too long, I can show some powder horn details while the weather is cold? The process is almost the same, except for the spout and butt.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by awp101 »

Bruce wrote:If ya'll don't think the thread is too long, I can show some powder horn details while the weather is cold? The process is almost the same, except for the spout and butt.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

OK, you asked for it. Here is picture of some spouts. You can purchase the brass type from Track of The Wolf. The others are home made by me. One difference between blowing horns and powder horns is that you want the outside diameter of the tip (spout) to be much smaller on the powder horn. Don't make it so small that the mouth will split from use - but smaller.

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For spout plugs, let your imagination run. You can make them in any design and from a lot of materials. First hint, if you use something hard such as bone, horn, antler, ivory or hardwood - it will eventually either heat/mate to the horn interior and get stuck and then break off - or it will just break off. For look pretty horns, those materials will work. If you are going to use the powder horn - go w/ a soft wood plug. The plugs for original horns were basically a use-till-abused piece and then thrown away and replaced. I use to labor over making my own the hard way - now I use fiddle pegs. For those who are more refined - that is Violin Pegs. Get the medium and large sizes at your local music store or again from TOW. The hole in the head is for tying a string to the main horn throat to keep from loosing the peg. You do not want the initial/original head of the plug to bottom out on the rim. As you use it, it will wear and seat lower untill you have to replace it.

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My experience has shown that somewhere above 1/4" diameter and below 3/8" diameter spout holes will work best. You can go bigger, but smaller will not work well with BP.

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I make my base/butt plugs out of different kinds of hardwood. I use wooden pegs that are glued in on the rims. I use drawer pulls or fiddle pegs for the strap attachment - if I go that route. TOW sells the powder horn book by the Sibley's. It helps alot.

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I usually put about eight base plug pegs in at a depth of about 1/4" or less. They are equally spaced around the base of the plug/butt. Size is really not an issue and white glue (Elmers) is put in the hole first. The holes are pre drilled to size to fit the peg.

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Unlike most horn builders, I leave my bases in their natural shape and make the plug to fit them. Most builders heat and use a form to make theirs a near perfect round. My base plugs are from 1/2" to 5/8" thick in depth. You do need to taper them to make them fit. Get the Sibley book. You can put the strap peg anywhere you want from centered to not.

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Here is one using a centered fiddle peg. Also, use a sealer or finish on the base plug. No use letting moisture creep in from the bottom.

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Now let's really change things up. How about no strap peg. An original method was to drill/burn a string (two actually) hole on an angle through the horn and base plug. I actually like this method the best. Make sure you line them up on the center line of the horn as it likes to lay naturally at your side and on the correct side. The hole diameter is dependant on the string/piece you are going to use. I use latigo leather shoe/boot strings (72") sold in many stores. That is what I normally use for the shoulder straps also. Drill on an angle from the horn side coming out the base plug and do this before the base plug is sanded flat/final finished. The drill will cause chiping as it comes out the wood base and you can sand that away.

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Yes, for those of you thinking it - You can Make a Smiley Face.

A view of the holes from the horn side.

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Hope this holds your interest untill it warms up enough to go back outside w/ the blowing horn.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by awp101 »

Bruce wrote:Also, use a sealer or finish on the base plug. No use letting moisture creep in from the bottom.
Bruce, what do you use as a sealer? Do you seal the edge of the plug to the horn? I wouldn't think so since that's the only way I can think of to refill the horn but I could very well be missing something... :mrgreen:
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
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Proverbs 3:5; Philippians 4:13

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Barcelona Rick »

Bruce....this is a great thread/post....I'm sitting here watching it snow and enjoying re-reading every word...thanks again...

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by vancelw »

Wow, thanks for posting!

I will definitely have to try this.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

awp101,

The base plug is permanant and is secured by the wood pegs through the horn. It is tapered about 80 degrees and is tapped in as far as it will go. I boil (water) the base of my horn just enough to make it a little soft, before I start the base plug in. It should be airtight once it is tapped in. Don't hit it too hard as you can split the horn base. Try blowing through and if you get air going out the bottom, something went wrong. You can put glue on the edges, but it is not required. Once it is secured, you will probably have some of the plug sticking out past the bottom of the horn. You can sand that flat to the base of the horn or dome it if you see fit. If you are going to drill strap holes through the base like the above pictures, do them before you sand. If I am going to use a fiddle peg or drawer pull, I mark where I want it to go, then drill a hole (about half way through) that is about the same diameter of the peg portion, put some Elmers in the hole and drive the peg in. Once the base plug is in and the horn has cooled awhile is when you drill the holes, put the glue in and the pegs in around the bottom of the horn. Sometimes, when you drill the eight peg holes, you can get a little air blowing out of one or more of the pegs holes. This is because the plug taper vs. inside of the horn fit is not perfect. Don't worry. Once you put the glue in the hole and lightly tap in the pegs, it will be permantly sealed. I use extra long pegs and let them stick above the surface untill the glue dries - then cut/saw or sand them flat to the surface.

Track of The Wolf does sell a bushing - screw in plug combination that can be used in the base if you want to refill it that way. However, most original and current horns are refilled through the spout. Most of us just use a small funnel and pour straight from the can.

As far as the sealer goes, I use Permalyn. Any type of clear sealer/finish will work and I only put the sealer/finish on the outside of the base. It is actually not required, but I do it anyway.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

I forgot to add that your base pegs do not have to be wood. Many use brass tacks, nails etc.. I like wood because I can make them or just buy wood dowel stock of the size I want. I also stain and put a little sealer/finish on exposed/head portion before I use steel wool (OOO or OOOO) as the final buffing.

I also need to mention that the horn can be softened by more ways that boiling in water - which is very effective and the safest way. A heat gun can be used - but keep rotating and testing as you can over do it. Sibley's book describes an oil boiling method, but unless you follow their instructions to a tee - don't use it. Don't boil horn or heat it inside the house and don't use the wife's pots. Violating either of these rules will result in your significant other punishing you severely.

If you go to the link to Powder Horns and More, you can view various horns and horn products made by their customers. BTW, if you think you are going to try horn work, their package price of 10 horns is a great deal. I have no financial interest with them.

When buying horns, cull horns are usually the ones you want for making things like knives, spoons, forks, boxes etc.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by awp101 »

Thanks for the info Bruce! I never knew how they were refilled, I just assumed ( DOH! ) it was through the base plug.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
-Mark Twain

Proverbs 3:5; Philippians 4:13

Got to have a Jones for this
Jones for that
This running with the Joneses boy
Just ain't where it's at
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Barcelona Rick »

Mr. Hobie could this tread become a "sticky"....

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Bruce »

OK, we have moved into the 50's here in north Florida and the wind is not blowing. Therfore, I can venture back out onto the back porch and continue the adventure. JFYI, I have spent way to many days working in the cold (retired Fish and Wildlife Lt. Col.) and I don't have to any more and besides that - it hurts. :shock: We will now go back to the blowing horn, but remember that if you have questions - ask them.

You can just use a knife and/or scraping surface and skip the sanding process to make a finished horn. That would be more in line with the older process.

Now we will start he sanding process. I use very good quality sanding paper. Quality pays off when working with horn. Cheap quality sanding paper will not last long. I start out with a good coarse grade at about 80. For starters, I use the sanding block as I want to smooth the surface of any dips, bumps, irregularities etc.. You don't have to kill it, just get the feel and make it smooth. You will scratch it up, but we will take care of that in few minutes. I start with the bend in the neck and work out to the tip. Short strokes back and forth. You will remove that little ridge at this time and start to make everything uniform.

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Follow the contour and flow of the horn.

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Remember - just make it smooth and remove imperfections. We will make it pretty later. When you are finished rough sanding, it will look something like this.

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Now take the sanding block and knock off the sharp edge of the mouth piece. I like to make the lip edge about 1/8" thick.

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Use the block to make sure the bell/large end is square. The horn will have a varied thickness around the edge and it should.

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Now, tear you off a piece of the coarse paper and start lightly sanding with you fingers. You are trying to feel the final imperfections, lumps, bumps etc and to remove them. Remember light. You are also starting to remove the major sanding scratches from the previous sanding.

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I start at the inside of the throat bend and work towards the tip, rotating as I go. I then flip the horn around and work towards the bell end. Remember - take out the major sand paper scratches. You will feel any diiferences.

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When working towards the tip, if you are worried about the rings - you can use your off hand fingers to stop the paper. When using the block, I intentionaly go over the rings to lower the ridges to a uniform height and to make a natural smooth flow from the main part of the horn neck to the tip.

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Once you have it looking uniform and the major sanding scratches gone - it is starting to look real good. The patterns and colors are really starting to show up. You will now be able to see all the old (healed) scars and rub marks that make each horn unique and give it character.

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Now we come to a good part - a trick if you will. Get a good stiff bottle brush and go inside and turn the hot water on. Use the bottle brush and hot water to clean the inside of the horn. Scrub it good - you will not hurt it. While you are at it, wash the outside of the horn real good with the hot water. Now, run outside before you get caught and take a good look at the horn while it is still warm and wet. You now have a good climpse of what it is going to look like when it is finished. You will be surprised.

More later.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial - Final

Post by Bruce »

Well, this is probably the final session on horn building. I will always be available for questions if you have any, or assistance if you should run into a problem or glitch.

Anyone who wishes can copy and use this piece as you want.

The good thing about working with horn is that you can really not mess it up. If it does not come out like you want, then tell everyone that is what you envisioned. :lol: You can go much more into detail than we have here, just don't try to force the horn to take on designs that don't fit it.

As for the final finish, we are fixing to cover that. If you want more shiny if you will, you can use something like a buffing wheel. Just a note of caution using them. Buffing wheels should be like new and not have any other foreign material on them. Buffing wheels can and will burn horn if you do not rotate and move often.

OK, here we go. This is the bottle brush I use to clean out the inside of the horn. If the hot water from your sink is not enough, try boiling it (outside) for a few minutes, then brush.

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We finished the last segment by rough sanding w/ 80 grit paper. I forgot to mention that Emery cloth is a great paper also. Now tear off a small piece and make sure the inside of the mouth is nice and smooth. Each time you change paper, always go back and smooth the inside of the mouth. Also, always go back and square up the lip and bell ends. Keep the lip edges at about 1/8" thick or you will cut you lips when blowing the horn.

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For the final finishing process, I like to use foam sanding blocks that are medium and fine. They replicate sanding paper well, but if you use sand paper I progress from 80 grit, to about 160 grit and then 320 grit before using either OOO or OOOO steel wool. With each, always go back and complete each process as outlined previously.

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I also like to use the sanding pads as pictued here. I forget what they are called, but they work great and I use them right before I use the steel wool.

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At this point you may notice that your rings are no longer uniform in appearance due to sanding. Take the files that you originally used and go back and clean them up. Just lightly now.

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Then wrap the paper you are using at that point around the proper file and smooth out the file grooves enough to get out the file marks. It does not take much.

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Once you are through sanding and buffing with the pads, start with the steel wool. You will end up with this.

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I stop at this point, as they are very nice. I also wait and see where the horn is going and what final steps I want to add to it such as lettering etc... For the most part, you are finished. You can steel wool it more, but it is about as shiny as it is going to be unless you use a buffing wheel.

For final finishing and long term care, you can wipe it down with baby/mineral oil ocassionaly and that will really make it shine.

Now, if somone can get Hobie to chime in and tell me what to do - I will donate this horn to the Leverguns site for an auction or whatever to help Paco pay for the server/site fees.

Have fun with horn.
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by awp101 »

*thumbs up* :mrgreen:
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
-Mark Twain

Proverbs 3:5; Philippians 4:13

Got to have a Jones for this
Jones for that
This running with the Joneses boy
Just ain't where it's at
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Barcelona Rick »

Thank you Bruce and Hobie.... :D :D :D :D

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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by Chuck 100 yd »

Did I say THAT IS COOL??? Well, it IS !! :D
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Re: OT - Blowing Horn Tutorial

Post by kimwcook »

Thank you for the tutorial. It was very informative as I've always wanted to try my hand at making at least one. Looks great.
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