The port Dahlgren gun carriage is fully disassembled!         


Posted on

Last week Will was able to escape his desk for a few days and help take apart the last elements of the port gun carriage.

The complete braking mechanism was still in place, but by separating all of the parts  we are able to maximize the amount of salts extracted from the artifact down the road (aka: a conservator’s dream!). After studying the historic blue prints (see historic plan below), we knew that one piece was the key to this puzzle. We also knew that we would need access to both the upper- and under-side of the carriage. In order to gain access to both, Will custom welded a rig allowing the artifact to stand vertically during treatment.

Details of the bottom plates, friction plates and friction rollers. View from below and transverse section. Peterkin, 1985.

Once everything was in place, we removed the “key”, and all the other elements came apart smoothly. Both Will and I experienced the first rounds of disassembly work on this artifact a few years back and, at that time, nothing came apart easily, so we were not sure what to expect.

As a result of last week’s work, an additional 33 carriage components were given accession numbers, making the total number of parts a whopping 238. In our conservation world, this will translate into 238 individual treatment logs and records, as well as at least 714 pictures (before, during and after treatment)…

Here are a few pictures of the carriage main frame before and after removing the braking mechanism:

Inside the gun carriage frame in April 2016 (left) and last week (right).
The carriage frame standing vertically, before removing the friction plates (left) and after (middle and right).

We are soooo close to completing treatment for this object; this is a very exciting way to end 2016 for us!!

There will be a smaller blog sent out by the end of the week so stay tuned!

4 thoughts on “The port Dahlgren gun carriage is fully disassembled!         ”

  1. Hi
    I am amazed with the work you are doing and as a model maker myself I would love to see more on how the brakes actually work. I am planning on making a series of scale models of the different Dahlgren guns starting with a model of the 4 guns at Patriots point and then going onto the gun of the USS Enterprise. That is an awsome piece and would make a truly stunning model. But to make a good model I need details and if anyone could help me with more details on how the braking works on those Patriots Point guns I would really be a happy camper.

    Well done on the work you are doing as a fellow cannon owner and restorer. Regards
    Zane Palmer [email protected]

    1. Hi Zane,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. This is an amazing project and we all are very grateful to be part of such a conservation adventure!
      To answer your question about the carriage, there are a lot of details (drawings and specifics) about the whole ship in a book put together by E. Peterkin.
      You can consult it online and will specifically find info about the carriages from page 515 and onwards:

      I hope that helps and thanks again for your support!