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The Pennsylvania State Navy took delivery of its first full-scale English 3 pounder in June of 1999.  Three more cannon were then ordered, averaging one every six months.  The tubes were manufactured by Cannon LTD, with a slight design modification over the normal artillery pieces made at the foundry.  cannon5.jpg (15144 bytes)Because of the Navy's prity for live-fire demonstrations, the use of the typical 3/8" steel liner that is standard in most modern artillery reproductions was changed.  The Navy's full scale English 3 pounders were reengineered to utilize a 1/2" steel liner, making these cannon far stronger than any other in their class.

Damian Siekonic and Don Becker researched John Muller's "Treatise of Artillery", printed in 1780.  The only detailed technical drawings for a naval or garrison carriage depicted in that publication were for an English 24 pounder.  Although the book's text provides calculations and rudimentary measurements for most of the guns of the time, the two found a more Projecting the plans onto the white painted plywoodaccurate way of devising suitable plans for the size carriage they needed.

Taking a piece of plywood, one of the 3 pounders was laid on top and traced  using a square and a pencil.  The outline was then cut out with a jigsaw and painted black.  The result was a silhouette cut-out of the cannon barrel. 

Becker and Siekonic employed the use of an overhead projector, a laptop and a VGA projector.  Muller's plans for the 24 pounder were scanned at high resolution and then projected onto a white painted 4'x8' sheet of plywood.  Adobe Photoshop was then used to adjust the One last check after rough sketching the plans off of the projectionplans to accommodate the length and width of the 3 pounder barrel.  The plans for the carriage were now life-size and proportional in every detail.

The convenience of using an overhead projector was obvious.  By moving the projector nearer or farther away from the plywood, the plans for the carriage were blown up or reduced as needed.  The cut-out of the cannon barrel was held up to the projection, and when the silhouette of the cannon barrel fit the plans exactly to scale, the cut-out was removed and the plans were traced onto the plywood.  The result was an accurate set of A perfect fit - two carriages ready to be assembled and paintedbuilding plans custom-fit to our barrels.

Instead of using solid oak, which was an option, it was decided that the carriages would be built using laminated mahogany.   Mahogany, although not as hard as oak, has the same waterproof qualities without all of the weight, and when laminated using four pieces of 1"x8" and set counter-grained, it provides more strength than oak with an increased durability over any one piece of wood.

The two carriages shown here took just over two months to build, which included custom blacksmithing.  Two more carriages are being built for cannons three and four and should be ready for service sometime in 2005.

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