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