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The Cannon Project

May 28, 2010

Come see the cannon pour June 23

The pour of the light three infantry cannon is scheduled for June 23, with the 24th as a rain date. Since we are melting a much larger quantity of bronze than in the past coehorn pours, we do not know how long the process will take, but we hope to pour late in the afternoon. That said, we’ll tap the furnace when the metal is ready, and that will be hard to predict.

Watch video from the first test pour.

Watch video from the second test pour.

The light-three will require us to melt approximately 650 pounds of bronze. The mold is in three parts: one for the barrel without its breech end (cascabel), one for the cascabel, and one for a large “dead head,” the mass of bronze above the barrel portion of the casting. The overall length of the assembled mold is 67 inches.

In the process of further machining the coehorn, the small mortar used to test the process, it became evident that the casting had a large area of porosity near the muzzle. It is large and deep enough to render the casting unusable. The flaw probably was due to the problems explained in the March 9 post. Despite the lack of a definite explanation for the problem, we have decided to move ahead with pouring the light-three barrel. It will have its own casting characteristics, and there is little to be gained by additional smaller pourings.

If anyone is interested in coming to watch the pour, you are welcome to join us at the furnace adjacent to Great Hopes Plantation opposite the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center. We need all the crossed fingers we can get. Bring a chair and water, wear a hat, and remember that the nearest restrooms are at the Visitor Center, a few minutes’ walk from the furnace site.

Plan your visit to Colonial Williamsburg.

Comments

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  1. When do you think will mold be opened? I will be down for Under the Redcoat and would like to see the opening.

    Thank you.

    Jim B.

    • Hi Jim,

      The smaller molds were opened 1-2 days after the pour, and were still hot to the touch!

      We will get the answer for you on the full-scale pour and post it here.

      Thank you for your question.

This project is possible through a generous gift by the Ambrose and Ida Fredrickson Foundation. Research assistance was provided by Firepower: The Royal Artillery Museum, and the National Park Service. We are grateful to the Museum Restoration Service and The Royal Artillery Historical Trust for the use of their images.


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