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Widow peak hammers
September 6, 2019
12:27 am
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Bill Hanzel said
If anyone has contact with Pauline Muerrle, I wonder if she might have any info. I know she engraves and also worked at Winchester so I wonder if she May have a memory of hearing or reading about this topic- just an idea  

But a very good idea! 

September 6, 2019
1:22 am
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To settle this I looked through my parts box and found a widow peak hammer from a 73 which was worn in the middle of the checkering. One picture is the before  with the area polished and the other is the area treated with crime lab acid. As you can see the acid lifted the checkering proving that the checkering was stamped. You can not lift cut checkering or engraving.

Bob

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September 6, 2019
4:05 am
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Bob

Thank you for that.

Gentlemen,

I sincerely believe the checkering cut on the 92 hammer, along with many other model Winchester Hammers could have been easily been cut using knurling.

A diamond pattern knurl is a very common pattern. Also knurling can be cut onto conical, concave and convex surfaces. And special knurling patterns can be made and special knurl patterns have been around a long time.

See the following pictures describing knurl patterns and knurling on different surfaces. I even found a interesting patent from 1890 showing a special custom pattern knurl.GeneralKnurlInfoPg3.jpgImage EnlargerGeneralKnulInfoPg4.jpgImage Enlarger1890-KnurlPattern.jpgImage Enlarger

I believe Winchester could have easily used there own special pattern convex knurling tool, to produced the checkered pattern on the widow peaked hammer. They had plenty years of experience in metal working, and I imagine they employed countless machinist over the years.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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September 6, 2019
4:25 am
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Maverick,

 I think you will confuse people saying "Cut using Knurling" knurling is not a cutting process, no metal is removed when knurling. Knurling is similar to stamping that the design is impressed into the metal with a rotary device rather than a stamp pressed into the metal using a press or hammer.

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September 6, 2019
4:41 am
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Bob,

I'm in agreement with you on that as well. It is impressed and not cut. No need to edit my post though, as I think we've explained its error.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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September 6, 2019
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Chuck,

I think you have deleted your post, while I was in the midst of responding to your question. But was going to merely point out Winchester had its own machine shop and lots of equipment in their factory for making all sorts of things. 

GNHLHA_winchester07-03.jpgImage EnlargerPN.20.2992.01.jpgImage EnlargerPN.20.2993.jpgImage EnlargerPN.20.2994.jpgImage Enlarger Imagines from Winchester Life Magazine and BBHC.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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September 6, 2019
5:27 am
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1873man said
To settle this I looked through my parts box and found a widow peak hammer from a 73 which was worn in the middle of the checkering. One picture is the before  with the area polished and the other is the area treated with crime lab acid. As you can see the acid lifted the checkering proving that the checkering was stamped. You can not lift cut checkering or engraving.

Bob

acid.jpgImage Enlargerpolished.jpgImage Enlarger  

Thanks Bob for doing that experiment, good call.  I looked those hammers over with a 20x loop and was on the fence either way for a while.  There was enough variance between them to make me believe they were hand checked, like the cut pattern of the "V" in the peak where it cuts through the field checking, and in one example there was an over-run up the right side of the peak.  Or the bottom "bar" below the checking pattern, on some examples it was uneven or the basal cut/line didnt carry through from corner to corner.  And the arch on each side of the peak appeared off center or have a higher arch from one side to the other on some.  However, the variance in the depth of the checking, the darkness and shape of the steel at the base of the checking, and the striated steel profile in the arches of the peak made me think the steel was being stretched on edge leaving the striated pattern, indicating being stamped. 

Great topic and comments.  If we werent challenged to think about the "why" and "how" things we wouldnt learn much of anything new. 

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September 6, 2019
11:17 am
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Chris,

Another thing to take into account is the dies used to stamp the different items on the gun i.e. barrel address, caliber stamps, model designations and proof marks etc. were all hand made by engravers.

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September 6, 2019
12:48 pm
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1873man said
Chris,

Another thing to take into account is the dies used to stamp the different items on the gun i.e. barrel address, caliber stamps, model designations and proof marks etc. were all hand made by engravers.

Bob  

  Good point Bob, A Winchester engraver makes the die and the factory presses it into the metal. These dies are used until destroyed or obsolete making it possible to date a gun by it's makings, it also makes it possible to spot non factory marking. Find the flaw in a restorer's die and you can always spot his work. T/R

September 6, 2019
3:09 pm
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Maverick said
Chuck,

I think you have deleted your post, while I was in the midst of responding to your question. But was going to merely point out Winchester had its own machine shop and lots of equipment in their factory for making all sorts of things. 

GNHLHA_winchester07-03.jpgImage EnlargerPN.20.2992.01.jpgImage EnlargerPN.20.2993.jpgImage EnlargerPN.20.2994.jpgImage Enlarger Imagines from Winchester Life Magazine and BBHC.

Sincerely,

Maverick  

I don't think I deleted my post.  It is still on page 2, I believe?  I know that there was a machine shop and I know that when things were machined there usually is great accuracy involved.  It is obvious that however the checkering was done there had to be some hand involvement.  A machine by it's self wouldn't be so inconsistent.

September 6, 2019
4:03 pm
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TR said 

   Find the flaw in a restorer's die and you can always spot his work. T/R  

You mean like the misspelling of "Manufactured" on the die used to mark some barrels sold by Sonny France about 30 yrs ago?  This marking was supposed to be a copy of that later die with the smaller lettering on which the two lines are equal in length.  I think the only reason I noticed it at the shop of a gunsmith friend of mine was because the brl. had not yet been mounted on the '86 receiver it was intended for, so I could examine it more easily.  Both the dealer who was having the gun rebarreled & the gunsmith were in disbelief until I pointed out the error, but this '86 was later sold for big bucks to a buyer who never noticed it, either, or at least not when he bought it off the dealer's table at a show.

September 6, 2019
4:49 pm
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   Clarence, Once the die is outed it is replaced, some go on for years. If you look closely and compare to other guns in the same serial number range you will find differences, some due to Winchester having more than one die and others done by modern restoration. You sight a great example. I really get nervous when the discrepancy is the style of serial number. If the serial number is remarked what is it? T/R

September 6, 2019
5:24 pm
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TR said 
   If the serial number is remarked what is it? T/R  

No, the ser.no. was not altered.  The France brl. was chambered for one of the .50s, so that's why the gun (which had also been totally refinished & 3X wood added) brought the big bucks.  So why didn't the buyer whip out his cell & call Cody about such an important purchase?  Not only was the purchase made at a weekend show, but can you BELIEVE that there was once a time when not everyone carried a cell in his pocket?  (I still don't, which may be even harder for some to believe.)

September 6, 2019
5:32 pm
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clarence said

jwm94 said
His assertions represent a claim or statement of fact(s) that might only be proven/disproven by consulting the references he has listed in the Bibliography of his book.

Correct me if I'm wrong as I don't have the book, but is this merely a list of books & articles, rather than a specifically identified reference to checkering the hammers & other similar details?  That's not the accepted way of providing historical documentation, for the obvious reason that tracking down the source of any specific assertion would require reading the entire list!  Are any of these references company work orders that might describe manufacturing methods? 

Look at the difference between this kind of general bibliography and Campbell's two books on the SS, Williamson's on the corporate history, Houze's on the 52, etc. which provide footnotes or endnotes allowing the reader to investigate further any given topic.  

As I see it, this is a well researched book that might be considered by some collectors as the Bible when it comes to the 1890 and 1906.  His technical assistant was Dave Kidd.  The many people he has acknowledged is certainly impressive.  And, his access to Winchester records and a lot of former Winchester employees, ten of whom he has named, that took the time to discuss production procedures with him in detail is impressive as well.  Some people recognized with special thanks went to Ron Willis and his comprehensive collection of Winchester catalogs, Harry Chamberlain for taking a great deal of his time to process Winchester's drawings and process sheets, Herbert Houze and Francis Clymer for providing historical information, photos, journals for the 1890 and 1906, Gael Oswalt and her knowledge about early records and how to interpret them. 

With the above stated, he did use footnotes, but in a very selective manner.   Perhaps, he felt that the subject issue was common knowledge and did not need clarification...and having a close connection to former employees and an early generation of active collectors at the time of publication...that might have been the case.  For people like you and I, today, we'd have appreciated greater clarification with a specific reference that could be checked out should we want to do that.

September 6, 2019
5:38 pm
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Chuck said

I don't think I deleted my post.  It is still on page 2, I believe?  I know that there was a machine shop and I know that when things were machined there usually is great accuracy involved.  It is obvious that however the checkering was done there had to be some hand involvement.  A machine by it's self wouldn't be so inconsistent.  

Bingo, on the great accuracy remark and following comments.

September 7, 2019
7:11 pm
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Well Gents, 

 

Thanks all for the learning experience on the subject! Lookin forward to more educational topics.

 

Tim

September 9, 2019
3:24 am
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Chuck said

A machine by it's self wouldn't be so inconsistent.  

I'm sorry but I totally disagree with this statement. There are plenty of examples of this and not just in the gun industry. A great example of machines being inconsistent that comes to mind is the process of minting coins. Look at all the variations and errors those guys collecting coins get into. 

Plus you guys act like they only had one machine, one die, and of which both the die and machine performed exactly producing identical parts for many years and for practically millions of guns. You have to consider wear, variations in dies, variations in the metal, and other factors at play like overall maintenance.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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September 9, 2019
5:57 pm
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Maverick said

I'm sorry but I totally disagree with this statement. There are plenty of examples of this and not just in the gun industry. A great example of machines being inconsistent that comes to mind is the process of minting coins. Look at all the variations and errors those guys collecting coins get into. 

Plus you guys act like they only had one machine, one die, and of which both the die and machine performed exactly producing identical parts for many years and for practically millions of guns. You have to consider wear, variations in dies, variations in the metal, and other factors at play like overall maintenance.

Sincerely,

Maverick  

Brady I don't disagree with what you say.  I went on line and researched hammers with knurling.  It is obvious that the pattern is knurled, but how?

September 9, 2019
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Glad to see this thread continue.

Madis has some good information on hammer knurling in The Winchester Book. Here it is:

On page 94 about the Model 1866, he shows five examples of hammer knurling for this model. He mentions that the checking was accomplished by a milling operation that depended upon the operator's preference as to how it should be done, and that after 100,000 was passed, (about 1872), the hammers have a finely knurled pattern which was forged into the hammer.  He states that near the end of manufacture, around serial number 165,000, (about 1885), the knurling is enclosed in a decorative border.  He further notes that the checkering in the last type of border did not entirely replace the earlier plain border type until 167,000 was passed, (about 1890-1891).   In the 5th and last picture the style of the knurling is that of the Widow's Peak. 

James

September 10, 2019
12:13 am
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jwm94 said
...after 100,000 was passed, (about 1872), the hammers have a finely knurled pattern which was forged into the hammer.

If the hammers were forged, rather than milled, that would certainly be the fastest & cheapest method of producing a checkering pattern, especially a complicated one like the Widow's Peak.  But if so, the pattern thus produced shouldn't be called knurling, which is a machine tool operation. 

Anyone, by the way, who's seen one of those step-by-step displays of a forging operation, such as the one on exhibit at Springfield Armory Museum, should not be surprised that it could be done this way.  Starting with a lump of steel, the most complicated shapes can be produced merely by repeated hammering of the hot metal in a succession of slightly different dies.

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