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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  Shooter's Meeting (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Camille Eonich, Texas Lawdog)  |  Topic: Wells Fargo Strong Box 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Wells Fargo Strong Box  (Read 8198 times)
Rich
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« on: July 06, 2011, 04:24:17 pm »


Anyone have any dimensions or specs for the Wells Fargo strong boxes like pictured below. I'm going to start working on a gun cart and I think a replica strong box would add a nice touch.



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Forty Rod
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 06:13:54 pm »

12"x 12" x 24.  Cut the lid from the box 1 1/2" from the top.  You can get by with barn hinges for the ends but the center strap has to be made and the hasp attached directly to the strap.  I used metal corners and edges from Ace hardware, 1/4" carriage bolts for the hinges, and flat-headed nails epoxied in for the edge decoration.  I used metal handles on mine, but would use leather straps next time.

I used a mix of 2 parts barn green and 1 part black oil-based outdoor paint.  I can't buy it any more so you'll need to work out your own color.  It's very close to the old Pennsylvania RR passenger car green.

You can make up your own white lettering on the computer and make your own stencils on adhesive-back paper.

VanDyke's Restorers had some very passable pad locks you could use for under $20.00.

It's not perfect, but it's close.  
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 06:24:03 pm »


here is one...course I'd  make one myself long before I'd pay the $995 Colonel Litteton's cost


20"L x 10"W x 12"H.     25 lbs

http://www.colonellittleton.com/?p=products&f=prod&cat=0&id=sb.

I do have one of his #5 Knives though  Cheesy ...it was gift  Wink
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Rich
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2011, 06:30:13 pm »

Any idea how thick the walls are on them? Ideally I'd try to make it as original as possible.
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2011, 06:37:47 pm »

What they call 5/4  (five /quarter) today  = 1 "   

1 X 12 " will be  3/4" and not 12inch either  11 3/8" or 11 1/2 "
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Deadeye Don
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DeadeyeDon


« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 07:35:09 pm »

here is one...course I'd  make one myself long before I'd pay the $995 Colonel Litteton's cost


20"L x 10"W x 12"H.     25 lbs

http://www.colonellittleton.com/?p=products&f=prod&cat=0&id=sb.

I do have one of his #5 Knives though  Cheesy ...it was gift  Wink


That sure is a nice looking box though.  He does beautiful work.
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Rich
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 08:35:58 pm »

What they call 5/4  (five /quarter) today  = 1 "   

1 X 12 " will be  3/4" and not 12inch either  11 3/8" or 11 1/2 "

Thanks for the info. I'll get some wood that is a true 1" thick.

Was Pine or Oak used for the boxes? The info I've read has mentioned both.
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 06:04:13 am »

I've read both also....
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Branding Iron Bill
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 11:54:07 am »

I made this one last year after much, much reserch, scaling photographs, etc. It's heavy, and hell for stout.  
It measures 21" long, 12" wide, and 10" high.  It's mostly pine, a full 1" thick.  The corners are dovetailed.  
The oak strips that circumvent the lid are 3/4"x1 1/2", and are mitered at the corners.  
The bottom corner pads are  2 pcs. of 1/8"x 2 1/4" wide, with bottom pc. made from 1/4" stock, all open corner welded then ground smooth and rounded.  
The reenforcement strips are 3/16"x 3/4" flat bar, fastened with 3/16" wagon box rivets that I got on a visit to Texas Wagon Works in Gonzales, Texas.
The reenforcement strip for the lid and on the inside is 1/8'x 1" flat bar.
The 6" strap hinges are from Tractor Supply, but the top pc. had to be extended to match the pictures of the original.  Fastened with rivets and flat head screws as per originals.
The hasp is flame cut from 1/4" plate.  The strap holding it is 1/4"x 1 1/2" flat bar, which I did a little blacksmithing on.
I used a rattle can of Valspar hunter green.  The color is darker than what the pictures show.  The letters are stenciled.
The handles are my invention.  I spent a whole day making those up. (the devil is in the details)
Lots of good reference pictures in R.L. Wilson's book "The Peacemakers".



I tried to make it as close to an original as possible.  Varnished walnut, although pretty, does not make it for me.
Feel free to ask questions.

Patrick
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Patrick  D.
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2011, 12:33:38 pm »

Bill your is very well turned out ...a better product than the Col. Littleton

$995. is wayyyyyyyy over priced for it
Did you notice the Hinges on it were nothing more than the same hasp just bent to fit the lid.
The corner plates are Hardware corners you can buy at Walmart !
It's even butt jointed..The priceist part is the Walnut
Heck an exact copy of that piece could be made for 900% less

I showed it only for the sizes.... Both yours and 40Rods are better options
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Rich
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 12:33:54 pm »

Thanks for the pictures! I will probably be bouncing some questions and ideas off of you. I just found some 1" thick pine so I'm going to be starting this project today and will update this thread as I complete the build.

From the pictures I've seen it look like the front panel butts up to the bottom piece of wood? It looks like the bottom piece of wood should show when you look at the front of the box. Is this correct?
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Branding Iron Bill
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2011, 12:43:33 pm »

Yep, the front, back and side panels all butt up on top of the bottom piece.
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Patrick  D.
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Rich
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2011, 01:26:12 pm »

How thick did you make the lip where the lid closes on? Would 1/4" be about right?
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Branding Iron Bill
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2011, 05:49:53 pm »

Yes.  1/4"x 1/4".  It's there to keep the rain water or whatever from seeping in.  I used a dado blade, but a router or shaper would also work.  I dry fitted the dovetail joints first to be sure everything fitted up ok, then broke it all loose and proceeded with the dadoing before final assembly.  I used Tightbond III for the glue up, also braded the bottom as an extra measure.

When you do the math, the 4 side panels should be 8" high.  Does that make sense?
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Patrick  D.
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Rich
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2011, 05:56:50 pm »

Yes.  1/4"x 1/4".  It's there to keep the rain water or whatever from seeping in.  I used a dado blade, but a router or shaper would also work.  I dry fitted the dovetail joints first to be sure everything fitted up ok, then broke it all loose and proceeded with the dadoing before final assembly.  I used Tightbond III for the glue up, also braded the bottom as an extra measure.

Would a dovetail joint had been used back in the day? I don't have the equipment to do dovetails so I was thinking about just doing a box joint.
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Branding Iron Bill
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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2011, 06:29:33 pm »

Yes, they were used.  Check this picture out.
http://www.icollector.com/Wells-Fargo-Company-Strong-Box_i8757795

As you can see, they are fairly large.  Not like dovetails ones' use to seeing.  The Peacemakers book also shows the dovetail joints a lot more clearly.  I used a back saw, wood chisel, wood rasp and files to do mine.  Not really too hard.  Just be sure your layouts are correct, and match each other.  The box joints would work if you prefer.  I don't how authentic those would be though.  Some would say I'm too anal about things like this, but that's just my nature.
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Patrick  D.
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Rich
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2011, 06:42:41 pm »

Yes, they were used.  Check this picture out.
http://www.icollector.com/Wells-Fargo-Company-Strong-Box_i8757795

As you can see, they are fairly large.  Not like dovetails ones' use to seeing.  The Peacemakers book also shows the dovetail joints a lot more clearly.  I used a back saw, wood chisel, wood rasp and files to do mine.  Not really too hard.  Just be sure your layouts are correct, and match each other.  The box joints would work if you prefer.  I don't how authentic those would be though.  Some would say I'm too anal about things like this, but that's just my nature.

Dovetail joints it will be then. I like the fine details in things.
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Branding Iron Bill
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« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2011, 06:51:43 pm »

Rich,  here's a better view of the dovetails.

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Patrick  D.
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Forty Rod
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« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2011, 07:03:55 pm »

These bottom corner reinforcements look more like the ones I used.  The top strap and hasp are different...but not much.  My bottom horizontal corners are sheathed with 1/2" x 1/2" angle iron.

I wish I'd have found a "rattle can" of the right color paint.  My missus would have been much happier than having me experiment all over the place.  Roll Eyes   Grin

I got my dimensions from a Time-Life Old West Series book and from a real box in the Wells Fargo museum in Los Angeles.
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Rich
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« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2011, 07:14:26 pm »

Rich,  here's a better view of the dovetails.



Thanks for the picture, that helps a lot. I'm really looking forward to completing this project!

Is the bottom of the box flat?
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Branding Iron Bill
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« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2011, 07:27:03 pm »

Yes, flat.  The dimensions varied a lot depending on what contractor was manufacturig them.  I'm sure there were several.
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Patrick  D.
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wyldwylliam
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« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2013, 06:42:16 pm »

Pat, that is damn fine work you did there. And, btw, say howdy to a 7th gen. son of the republic. (Guessing I'm a tad older than you are. Grin)
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Mean Bob Mean
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« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2013, 07:37:35 pm »

Here is one that claims to be from the 1880s.  When did the different style/color change occur or were these used for different purposes?  Or is this auction errant?

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/745132

Cheers,

Mean Bob Mean
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« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2013, 01:23:12 am »

Wow, that's cool!

I want to make one now too! But a cheap knockoff. Using pocket screws and just painting on the straps. Won't say "Wells Fargo" but like "Swell Fargle & Co" or something fun like that. (Hey, my Rugers don't say "Colt" and my Rossi doesn't say "Winchester"!)
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