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Thread: What to do with an old shotgun case

  1. #1
    Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    What to do with an old shotgun case

    It occurs to me that I haven't posted anything about a little project I completed last year; here it is:

    I've done a couple of DIY watch box projects before. One was a rather straightforward bit of sewing:
    http://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.ph...project-Rimowa

    And then there was this renovation of an old leather writing case:
    http://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.ph...d-writing-case

    At the end of the latter thread you will see mention of this old gun case:



    It has only really come back to me whilst I've been working on this that I bought it at a market in Dublin over Christmas 2000 (probably Mother Redcaps which I suspect no longer exists) and presumably for a pittance. I then flew to Berlin for the start of my very first overseas posting in the new year. As you can see I've done feck all with it in the intervening period and I'm amazed that SWBO tolerated it being propped up against the wall in various corners of the flat.

    The first task was to treat the leather and it took a couple of weeks of occasional treatment with leather balsam (and the remains of a tin of Mars leather oil that I found in my parent's garage - I had originally bought it about 30 years previously). The other thing was to get some brasso on the lock but that didn't take very long at all.

    I had a vague idea about how I'd kit out the internals but this very much adapted as I went along. For reference here's a few more pictures as I began work:





    I don't seem to have taken pictures between the treatment of the leather and start of work on the internals. I had intended to keep as many of the internal partitions as possible and work around them to somehow make space for watches - several of them crumbled into splinters almost immediately on contact with the enemy (me) and some had to go, in the end, just to make way.

    The first bits of raw material are a set of balsa wood sheets from Bauhaus - the German equivalent of B&Q.


    Nice and easy to cut freehand with a blade as long as you're working along the grain. Normal wood glue and various clamps and right angles mean that we get some trays to work with very quickly.




    The observant amongst you will see a bracket from a Cisco rack mounting kit being used to good effect. I could probably have done with more of these and I will probably raid my mingi box* at work should I ever have the bravado to do something like this again.




    And finally we have two complete trays for dress watches on leather or NATO straps.



    One of the side benefits of this exercise was to discover a magical little hardware shop in the basement of a local shopping centre. Some of the work needs access to a craft/handiwork shop and, as already stated, I needed a few bits from a more conventional DIY place. The shop that I found has a bit of both and was really useful, particularly as it's a less-than-ten-minute walk from home. The component that prompted the search for this local retailer was green baize felt. This stuff:


    And we start to line the boxes.





    Unfortunately I don't seem to have taken a photo at the stage when both trays were covered so we'll have to wait for that. I then found some felt to cushion the bottoms.




    The next challenge was how to make a compartment to house watches on bracelets. I contemplated buying some Ebay cushions and trying to find a way to fit those in but ended up with a different idea - a padded wooden bar suspended, or rather resting, in another tray.





    Wooden bar and foam (from an old Peli case)








    There was a last bit over in the right-hand corner where I decided to add a little strap compartment. This is the only picture I seem to have taken of that. The second bracelet watch compartment doesn't seem to have any photo record. More assistance from Cisco.



    And now it's finished. Well, almost.









    Here's the strap box. I'm assuming the cylindrical well to the right of this is for a bottle of gun oil - I may see if I can find something that fits in there and fill it with silicon grease to ease squeaky bracelets or perhaps some Loctite to do the opposite effects to the screws.






    Further work was to include trying to get a key for it - a local junk shop was selling up and I managed to find one that fitted from a jar of spares that they had. That was a result as with the writing case in the link above, I took it to a locksmith who said that they would only be able to get one made if I was able to remove the lock from the case. You'll note that in the original photo there is one external luggage strap - that's been renovated but it looks a bit silly with only one. I could try and find somebody, on Etsy for example, to make me a duplicate but as that will make it a pfaff to open the box when I want to pull a watch out I'll probably do without.

    I also bought some leather to attempt to patch some of the tatty finishes but left it out, in the end. I couldn't make it match the patina of the case and decided to keep the shabby chicness and general air of genteel neglect - a perfect match for myself. I can live with it.

    I had an idea that I would try to keep this case just for the Universal Genève watches in my collection and I've managed to achieve that.



    I now need a bigger case as I have at least 4 UGs that don't fit in there now. Harrummph!

    So, if somebody turns up at the next GTG with a shotgun case you don't need to fret. It's only me.


    * Mingi box. This was explained to me by a sadly deceased friend who was an Irish Army subaltern in the Congo, in the sixties. A mingi box was a converted ammunition tin that an officer used to transport his mobile office - there would be compartments for stationery, paperwork and, vitally, always the makings of a brew. Frank would pull up in a village and the mingi box would be the first thing to come out - mainly to get the kettle on but he might also have to write a Sitrep, produce boiled sweets to give to children or whatever - whereupon all of the locals would gather round and shout "mingi, mingi!". Mingi is Swahili for many things. I had a similar box which was commonly named in the British Army, and not so exotically, a battle box. Unfortunately my mingi box at work is an old, and probably stolen, British Telecom toolcase and not an ammunition container.
    Last edited by Carlton-Browne; 6th April 2017 at 17:07.

  2. #2
    Master
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    That really is fantastic.

  3. #3
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Superb work and very creative.
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  4. #4
    Craftsman ordo's Avatar
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    Awesome job. I knew it was going to come out alright from the first few pictures though. :D

  5. #5
    Master RossC's Avatar
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    Great project to get stuck in to, and a really lovely end result - well done.

  6. #6
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    Wonderful, and thanks for taking the time to take all those pictures and write it up so well.

  7. #7
    Craftsman Walesy's Avatar
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    Smart that! I was drawing up something myself to see if i could create a watch safe all lined etc. with the material you have used. Youve given me some ideas aswell.

  8. #8
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    Very nice.
    I have a watch case and now more recently a strap case, both made from defunct old cutlery canteens that I have rescued or picked up for nothing over the years.
    Like te leather shotgun case, very cool.
    Never seen one with the carrying handle and the lock on differing sides before.
    Dave

  9. #9
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    Cool

    Looks like you're had great fun,nice job

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    Quality job there, looks great.

  11. #11
    Master
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    that looks great, you've done an excellent job there. I wish I had the skills of a craftsman but somewhere between my brain and my hands things seem to go in very different directions! You do know I need to ask if you have stashed some sovereigns in a secret compartment though don't you???

  12. #12
    Master luckywatch's Avatar
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    Blown away.......................

  13. #13
    Vrey nice mate i love things like that 😊

  14. #14
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    Great job - you must have really enjoyed doing that. I enjoyed reading about it!

    ATB

    Jon

  15. #15
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    Wow!!

    Truly imaginative!!!
    Makes me wonder what I have about from my other hobbies including all my shotgun/shooting stuff or my fishing stuff or better still some of my falconry gear??? Could any of it have a better use as a watch box/carrier????

    Brilliant and I can't wait to see what you convert next?

    Chris

  16. #16
    Craftsman Walesy's Avatar
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    where did you buy the lining if you dont mind me asking? Also, is it sticky backed or do you require contact adhesive?

  17. #17
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    That really is a splendid thing!

  18. #18
    Master JackW's Avatar
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    Very, very nice work Alan. Does the watches-on-bracelets-bar stay put when you move the case around? Otherwise it seems risky to transport them like this.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    So, if somebody turns up at the next GTG with a shotgun case you don't need to fret. It's only me.
    Awesome work, I suspect you have just driven up the cost of old gun cases at car boot sales.

  20. #20
    Grand Master
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    That's fantastic cb!

  21. #21
    Master kungfugerbil's Avatar
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    Bravo!

  22. #22
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Love it!

    Nice to see some creativity.
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  23. #23
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    Chapeau sir! This is splendid, and I wish I had the skill and competence to do this sort of thing. Thanks for posting.
    Last edited by DMC102; 17th February 2017 at 10:19.

  24. #24
    Brilliant Alan! Well done :)
    its a fact a mans a fool, when its hot he likes it
    cool, when its cool he likes it hot, always wanting
    what is not"

  25. #25
    Awesome! Fantastic work and thanks for taking all the trouble to post it.

  26. #26
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    Some delightful work you have done there, Carlton-Browne. All three projects look great, but that final one is amazing. You are very highly skilled and motivated. Thanks for showing us.



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  27. #27
    Nice work Alan!

  28. #28
    Journeyman submorstua's Avatar
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    Looks great!

  29. #29
    Very creative and an excellent looking job.

  30. #30
    Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    Very nice.
    I have a watch case and now more recently a strap case, both made from defunct old cutlery canteens that I have rescued or picked up for nothing over the years.
    Like te leather shotgun case, very cool.
    Never seen one with the carrying handle and the lock on differing sides before.
    Dave
    Funnily enough I kitted out a small sewing table (picked up from a flea market) as a cutlery canteen a couple of years ago and it played very much on my mind whilst I was doing this. There's a small German company that makes all of the fittings; here's their website.
    http://www.albec.de/index.html
    The thing that concerned me most was the sheets of self-adhesive felt; the Albec stuff is really nasty to work with as, once you peel it off the paper, it turns into a stretchy, jersey-like cloth and manipulating it is like nailing jelly to the wall. The stuff that I ended up with this project retains its' form as you work with it and was a doddle. If the supply of old leather cases dries up then I'd say that cutlery canteens could be a rich furrow as they really do seem to be going out of fashion.

    Interesting what you say about the handle and lock juxtaposition.
    Quote Originally Posted by JackW View Post
    Very, very nice work Alan. Does the watches-on-bracelets-bar stay put when you move the case around? Otherwise it seems risky to transport them like this.
    The tolerances around the wooden block of wood are relatively fine; the fact that there is felt glued in there as well help this. When I started this, and based on what I'd understood from the locksmith I spoke to with the writing case, I was quite pessimistic about finding a key and didn't really consider that this would ever be picked up and carried. Given that the watches are all secured in some way I don't think carrying it around fully laden would be a problem notwithstanding the amount of attention you might generate by walking around in public with, to me at least, something that is obviously a shotgun case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walesy View Post
    where did you buy the lining if you dont mind me asking? Also, is it sticky backed or do you require contact adhesive?
    The lining was bought here but I'm not sure that helps very much:
    http://www.forum-steglitz.de/shops/jrb_-_der_heimwerker
    The manufacturer has a website:
    http://www.d-c-fix.com/velours-6389.html
    And they also appear to sell on German Amazon
    https://www.amazon.de/d-c-fix-Velour.../dp/B005GJ8M2S

    It may be that, if you drop them a query on their website, they can point you to a UK distributor. I can buy and post some if you like, also.

    Quote Originally Posted by Puntsdog View Post
    that looks great, you've done an excellent job there. I wish I had the skills of a craftsman but somewhere between my brain and my hands things seem to go in very different directions! You do know I need to ask if you have stashed some sovereigns in a secret compartment though don't you???
    No sovereigns I'm afraid though I expect the strap box could take a few and, depending on circumference, perhaps some might fit in the little oil well.

    I wouldn't overplay the amount of skill involved with a project like this. The one thing that doesn't feature as much as it should in the photos is the constant proximity of a measuring tape; the old maxim of measuring twice and cutting once is clearly something that rubbed off from my father (not unlike many on here I find myself gradually transforming into a version of him with the onset of age). None of the materials are expensive or rare so there really is a limit as to how far things can go wrong.

    I did enjoy doing this but I was also pleased to see the end of it. Commuting between London and Berlin throughout also added to the amount of elapsed time and perhaps a very small sense of frustration.

  31. #31
    Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexaff View Post
    Brilliant Alan! Well done :)
    I can always find space in there for one more .

  32. #32
    Craftsman cf31bloobird's Avatar
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    What a fantastic job!! ... bravo indeed!!

  33. #33
    Really creative and some fine DIY skills (and I guess some perseverance) in evidence.

  34. #34
    Master
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    Lovely job, it looks fantastic! Well done

  35. #35
    Craftsman Wibbs's Avatar
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    Brilliant piece of work and great result.

  36. #36
    That is seriously impressive Alan!

    I think I might even have spotted a strap that I recognise somewhere in there too...!

    All the best,

    Paul

  37. #37
    Master
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    What a fantastic job you've done, and I'll bet, totally unique. No-one on this planet will have a watch storage facility in a gun case I would wager.

  38. #38
    Grand Master
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    I am just working on one for my sxs, had to rebuild the lock and make a key, but I love working on these things.


    great job by the way



    mike
    wtb - rxw pro-lex comex sub.

  39. #39
    Master
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    Nice work. Very nice.

  40. #40
    Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawnmowerman78 View Post
    I think I might even have spotted a strap that I recognise somewhere in there too...!
    You might think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

  41. #41
    Craftsman TimeThoughts's Avatar
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    Great post, very creative and the end result is class.

  42. #42
    Craftsman
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    A pleasure to read! And impressive result!


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  43. #43
    Journeyman bagman's Avatar
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    Great tutorial and a superb end result, thanks for posting that up.

  44. #44
    Journeyman
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    Excellent job, and thanks for the story board through the process.


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  45. #45
    Master
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    Amazing job CB I can just imagine the time thinking about the deisgn not including the actual labor hours used to come up with that. Great re-purposing BTW I think the knackered case is just perfect now.

  46. #46
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Superb job, and equally superb read, Alan. Thanks for taking the time for such a detailed write up.

  47. #47
    Journeyman
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    Great job! Very accomplished and skilled work, I'm well impressed.

  48. #48
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Excellent work and craftsmanship.

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