Page 10
Mike Brooks Custom Muzzleloaders
I refine the side plate shape some what before I inlet it. The top one is stock and the lower one is after I reshaped it. The differences are slight, but it makes a difference in the end product.
Using the side plate as a reference I mark where I want my bolts to go. This early type trade gun uses three lock bolts.
I use my drill centering jig to drill the lock bolts holes just like I did the tang bolt. This picture shows using the tap to cut the threads in the lock plate.
This shows the correct placement for the lock bolts.
Once you get your lock bolts installed, bolt the side plate down and draw a line around it.
Then remove the side plate and start to stab in your inletting cuts. As you can see I use a shallow gouge for some of these curves. I use a straight chisel where I can. I inlet everything on the gun using this method.
This is what it ought to look like after you remove the wood. Then, apply inletting black to the side plate and bolt it back in again. I usually tap it down along the edges so I can see where excess wood needs to be removed.
Here we are finished. The side plate should fit flush with the surface of the wood.