Les Miserables Musket Props

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A friend of mine is directing Les Miserables at a local high school. They needed prop muskets for barricade scenes. They needed 20 muskets on a budget. So as a perpetual small child I couldn’t resist make toy guns so I jumped at the challenge.

I used the brown bess as a reference model. I decided I could make the whole thing out of three pieces. A stock carved from 2"x6", a barrel rest made of 2"x2", and a barrel from 3/4 schedule 40 pvc electrical conduit.

I image traced a Brown Bess in Adobe Illustrator and then expanded the resulting path to 55 inches the dimensions of the brown Bess per some googling. I determined where I wanted the stock to meet the barrel rest and cut the shape down to that. I threw a scarp of proof grade big enough to fit the template in the glow forge. The Glowforge cut stencil insured all my stocks would be consistent and well shaped.

22-1054_2 stock

I cut 20 18" segments from the 2"x6" and traced the stock on to each one. Then it was off to the band saw. First I cut out all the outlines, then raised the blade guard to 10 inches and started carving some swoop cuts. The result is the rough 3d shape pictured below. A couple minutes with a belt sander (1"x30") smoothed it to comfortuable feel that will look okay on stage.

Next I cut all the barrel rests to 35 inch pieces and then cut a grove with a router table. After that I cut a pocket hole in the barrel rest. Glue and a long Kreg screw pulled the barrel rest and the stock together nicely. If our try this your gluing end grain to end grain so be generous with the glue.

Next I cut the conduit to 41 inches and notched the back so it would meet the stock cleanly. Two short screws counter sunk up from bottom of the barrel rest pulls the barrel in tight and locks it in.

This was a short build schedule so I didn’t get to add triggers, hammers or fake plating and sights. So you could go a lot further. More talented people then I will paint the wood and make them look like something worth showing in public.

Materials Used:

Stock Material
Barrel Rest
cove cutting router bit

I drew major inspiration from Lost Wax and his cosplay tutorial here:

Lost wax cosplay pistol


Pictures of production if you please.
Happy youth are always a plus plus optic.

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I’ve looked but am struggling to understand which parts were made on the glowforge?

He made the cutting guide for the bandsaw using the image from the BB and the :glowforge:

My bad.

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No bad, I had to read it a few times before I made the connection!

and also now I’m missing my prop-making days :stuck_out_tongue:


The show is in two weeks, i’ll post a few pictures after that.

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Anyone know a way to make the SVG image a little more visible with out altering the original. .25pt lines are good for cuts but bad for visibility. I think if it didn’t fade into the background it might make it more clear.

I added a line to try and clear up the confusion.

Nah don’t worry about it. The re-phrasing makes it obvious even to us speed-readers! lol…

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You could add a fill - or thicken the lines, but yeah, that’s always a problem with our uploads here! It’s why some folks put up a .jpg to show what it looks like, and then add the actual file as a .zip :slight_smile:

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There is no reason to have .25 pt lines with the Glowforge software. They are not a requirement. Make them 1 pt or larger so you can see them. No need to squint :slight_smile:


Exactly. They could be 50pt. As far as the GF concerned, it doesn’t recognize the stroke attributes, it just follows the path.


I’m sure your friend appreciated all your work! Well done!

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