Auto 5 Cases

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by Auzzie, Apr 24, 2022.

  1. Auzzie

    Auzzie 20g

    That looks pretty darn spectacular.
  2. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    Update: 8/20/22

    Finished covering the prototype #1 case tonight. 'Will start stitching the lid to the base, tomorrow. This was good 'practice' - learned a lot!! The next should go quicker now that I got my feet wet.
    'Got my patches in last week - Not exactly what I want, but I found another vendor who can do embroidery on a 2-toned twill.
    KyBoB and win7stw like this.
  3. Jta5er

    Jta5er .270 WIN

    Looks super!
  4. Auzzie

    Auzzie 20g

    That has come up pretty spetacular for a practice run. Whatever techniques you have going on appear to work well that’s for sure.
  5. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    Very nice. Looks amazing. One hell of a job.
  6. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    I am very impressed. Great job
  7. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    Thanks. I’m happy it turned out well on the first try and feel like it’s a good start. It’s not quite the quality I’d be happy with yet - but I’m confident that will come with practice and improvement in technique.

    I’ll use the hot knife to work the seams of the outside corner cuts a little smoother. I used black ‘hot glue’ in those areas so I can push the ‘set’ glue around without melting the Tolex - and working the glue toward the seams to make a smooth, full weld.

    It’s neat how I re-discovered the hot glue (& hot knife) for quick ‘set’ time, durability and error forgiveness. But I'm experimenting with another glue I just picked-up, especially made for Tolex to wood applications. I'll do some corner mock-ups and see how it holds-up.

    I will NOT be using 3M 77 again. The 'new' can I bought had apparently reached or exceeded its shelf life, too - and failed. That's why it took me so long to reach this stage. I used DAP contact cement on the re-do. We'll see how well it holds-up.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2022
  8. Biz

    Biz 20g

    Very nice Anatidae, it seems that you are already initiated in gun case making. I find you are brave or event adventurous to work with contact cement. No room for misplacing the pieces to be glue together. What kind of glue do you think they used at the time?
  9. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    Thanks, Biz

    Je ne sais pas si je suis courageux ou très stupide

    they used Shellac
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2022
  10. Biz

    Biz 20g

    Shellac glue! Does it mean you can dissolve the glue with alcohol, reposition the piece that was glued and the glue will set again when the alcohol evaporate?
  11. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN


    Another update - a huge hurdle overcome. The hinge stitching process progressed better than I thought, initially.
    I will run another row of stitching about 1/2" above this row for the first 2" from each end. I've noticed this on some pre-war cases and don't know if it really worked any better than not having the extra reinforcing in the area most prone to fatigue - but it just seems like it would stabilize the ends of the hinge and reduce 'float' on the free material.
    win7stw likes this.
  12. Jta5er

    Jta5er .270 WIN

    My friend, that looks better than my first year case and it is darn near mint! Way to Go!
  13. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    Thanks - I appreciate that. 'Still a long way to the finish line.

    I checked a couple of my original cases:
    The 1935 Model S case invoiced with its gun does NOT have the extra row of stitching above the main line.
    The post-'36 Model S has a row above, that runs the first 3-1/4" (or 4" from outside edge of the case) from each end.

    So, knowing how susceptible these hinges are to fatigue - I added one line on each end, and one in the middle. It'll take some of the stress off the main line and it actually improves alignment of the lid and front lip during closure.


    If you guys have some spare time and don't mind checking, look at your pre-war cases and see if this extra stitching line (from each end, only) is present - and give me an idea what period you think the case was made. Also, it would be helpful to know if it's blocked for Auto-V or Superposed. Pre-'36 and post-'36 would suffice, but in the instance of a blue or purple-lined case, those are going to be very early in Auto-V production, eh?

    It's amazing to me that the early cases through the Tolex-style cases were stitched with a machine that punched through wood and everything. How in the world did they keep everything lined-up?
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2022
  14. Coyote56

    Coyote56 .410

    That is really one nice case…
  15. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    Thanks. It’s coming along.

    I finished the wooden portion on 2 30” cases today and cut material to cover them. They should go a lot smoother and quicker than the first one.

    I also converted some solid copper rivets to split rivets with a Dremel tool so I’m able to install locks after I get some plating equipment. Took me 3 months to find the correct-sized & finish rivets. I’m almost ready for plating equipment, now.
  16. Auzzie

    Auzzie 20g

    Well it's certainly coming along fine so far that's for sure.
    Are you going to do the re plating of the hardware yourself with a home chemical kit?
  17. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    I don’t really know if it’s home chemical kit or what. It’s $750 worth of power supply (variable amp rectifier), leads, anodes, at least 3 different solutions or combinations thereof to clean, strip, copper plate, then bronzing and/or antiquing/darkening, sealers, etc. Tanks and manuals included. If I need it, I’ll get a buffing motor. This is better than the quote I got from a plating ‘service’ of $1000 minimum order and an estimate of $25 per piece. In other words, 4 rivets would be $100. It’s obvious they will survive without my business.

    If the hardware is already bronze and in good condition, I will just clean it. The brass or nickel locks, I’ll have to disassemble and just plate the housings. I’m hoping the tabs don’t get fatigued in the process. Everything is slot and tab construction Some of the ‘new’ hardware I’ve purchase is only available in brass, nickel or zinc plated finishes. Then the only rivets of the size needed to replace original rivets (that I was able to find) are copper which won’t be a problem to darken to bronze.

    so I HAVE to be able to plate stuff as needed or when it becomes available. It would be like having a gun re-done where you depend on 4 different craftsman to complete the project. You wait on each one to get around to your project if one guy can’t do everything. It just drives you nuts.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2022
  18. Auzzie

    Auzzie 20g

    The plating part of the hardware sounds interesting in its own right.
    Have dabbled little bit of plating stuff before with kits. Make sure you have good clean steady mains power without fluctuation or voltage drop. Preparation is everything like spray painting any blemishes or marks show up depending on thickness and numbers of copper deposition layers .
    I like to keep my projects in house as much as possible too. Nothing like being in charge of your own destiny and quality control expectations. Look forward to the next instalment.
  19. Anatidae

    Anatidae .270 WIN

    Update 9/3/22

    I built 2 cases for 30" single set of bbls since last posting.
    Little different texture material and a different glue - harder to hide seams but I'm pleased with the results. After all, you can see the seams on the 'end cover' on an original case. The working time is substantially quicker and easier.
    Corner conditions are coming along - more confidence.
    Gluing has a lot of down time - 'takes about 45 minutes from application until you can start working corners and fine tucks. So, I decided to do 2 cases at once.
    2 more cases covered and stitched......

    Now that I'm comfortable with building and covering 'boxes', I ordered metal plating equipment today. A friend donated a power supply to the cause. I just had to order some new leads for it. It'll all arrive about the same time as the plating solutions, manuals, anodes, etc.

    I really can't think about lining a case until I get this plating thing down and get some hardware on the 3 cases I've built so far. But I've lined cases before and know what's involved. So, I'll order felt and a serger machine when I get further along the learning curve. So many more little details to iron-out, but I'm getting closer to the end goal.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2022
    KyBoB likes this.
  20. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    Super impressed with your work. Those look really nice.

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