Thanks for the kind words, but with my skill level you'll have to wait to see the final product before you get too excited. I start out with something like the top rifle, and end up with the pine and bondo thing that Gussy so admires.
Gary, I thought I looked particularly alert and bright in that photo. You ought to see me when I stumble home from work. I'll have you know that's not the floor, that's a board I had put up in the kitchen. More on that below.
Gussy, I can easily bring the bondo tools. That consists of a 2 inch putty knife and a stick to scrape the waste off the knife before it dries. Like I said, it's an artform that is particularly well suited to my skills. I'm thinking of trying some shoe polish on the stock I posted here, and maybe on Henry's rifle also. He's getting a bit sensitive to the comments on the color. I didn't think about a grain pattern, maybe I could smear on some black with my fingers in wavy lines and then follow up with brown, and then buff it off with a chamois for the final finish?
I recently found a neat alternative to both baling wire and cloth duct tape. This again is a serendipitous discovery that has a bit to do with my craftsmanship and skill level.
Mama has been insisting for some time that we ought to buy a shack and move out of the pickup camper. Something about the three kids, and there would be absolutely no chance of having more, even by accident, if we kept having to live and sleep in there even one more winter. Anyway, I collected a few pallets and some scrap wood, and with a few evenings help after work from friends, put together a home for us. Some of the toughest work was trying to get a heating system in that didn't require an open firepit. I bought a furnace and a bunch of tin, but there's a bit more to being a tinner than meets the eye. Luckily, there's a tinners friend at the hardware store, too. It's solid aluminum duct tape. It will bridge amazing gaps, and looks like real metal when you're done. It might just be the ticket for your trapdoor. If you wrapped the barrel with it too, you could claim it was nickel finished.
Anyway, once the shack was finished, mama was real interested in getting a refrigerator. I was lucky enough to stumble into one at the local gravel pit when were were testing loads, and gave it a proud place next to the washpan stand. But, once you give a woman a house, she seems to get mighty particular. She wanted something to cover up some of the bullet holes in the side of the fridge, and she wouldn't accept the caulking and tinners friend I tried to get away with. I asked a friend who's handy with carpentry to make up a screening partition. I specifically remember asking him for the best particle board he could get, but instead, he made it out of something he had lying around in the barn. Somewhere in the process, he put some paint on it, and slugs or worms crawled around in the paint and left smears. I hadn't noticed the resemblance to the Shroud of Turin before, but if I point it out to mama, maybe it will get me out of a repainting job. Maybe we can just put a little table in front of it with one of those neat silk screened glass votive canddles and a couple of vases of plastic flowers. Kind of give me a little devotional place to meditate as I consider a transition to the One True Way.