Replica inert heavy ordnance

I have a Vietnam veterans group looking for a replica Vietnam era U.S. 175mm projectile, hopefully one made of lightweight material such as fiberglass or hard foam.

There are similar items being made commercially for EOD training use, but they seem to be limited to current issue material likely to be encountered in the middle east and found in improvised explosive devices (IEDs). They do not offer anything larger than 155mm.

Does anyone know of a source, or someone who could make one if an original is provided to use for making a mold?

One possibility might be Ohio based but they seem to do almost exclusively air dropped munitions.

Would a wood one (Yes, I checked. That is correct, even though it does not sound like it.) work for them?

If so, let me know. I can probably do one. I have a real one to take measurements from. It does not have the rotating band, but I suspect “close enough” is “close enough”?

I asssume this is for some type of decoration?

I bet that would work. I will forward their inquiry to you by email, and let you discuss it directly with them.


Email sent to Skip. CC provided to you. Thanks!

Post a pic if you can after you create the wood one :-) I remember how amazing that 120MM M865 you made was.


[quote=“APFSDS”]Post a pic if you can after you create the wood one :-) I remember how amazing that 120MM M865 you made was.


Will do, but haven’t received any response to my email.

I am checking to see if the vet got it, or if it might have gotten lost.

Just received the email. I was in the trash bin. :>(
Looks like we might have a project going here.
I will try and post a “build along”, if anyone is interested.
At the least, I will post the final outcome.

Fired up to see as many steps of the process as you have time to post :-)


I started on the 175 projo this morning. I am going to duplicate my M-437. Hopefully, I will install a real M-577 fuze. I am using what we in this area call “Sugar Maple”. It is not a hard Maple, but it does paint well. I am not going to paint it, but I understand it will be painted. My job is to make it so pretty that no one would want to paint it.

My projo has been de-milled and does not have the rotating band. I have replaced it with a piece of PVC pipe. It is not the best, but I think it looks better than nothing. If anyone has photos of an actual rotating band, I would appreciate it – tough time finding a photo on the net.

The first step was to make a CAD drawing of the projo. This will make it easier to determine correct measurements without scratching the paint with my calipers. Before I go any further I should say right up front. This is not being built to “machinist” standards. I have a metal lathe. I will be using my woodworking lathe. I am a woodworker with a metal lathe. I am not a machinist. Plus it is wood. The humidity will move the wood in measurements greater than machinist’s standards. My goal is to try and stay within 1/16th of an inch.

Stave construction means it is not solid wood. This must be shipped to California and weight is important. Wood costs money, so why use more than necessary? I use my “Bird’s mouth” router bit and use twelve staves in the circle. I will have to make three separate parts. The center section is a cylinder and both the top and bottom sections will need to be tapered. Most likely, I will use some type of tenon to hold the sections together. It will not come apart, when I am done. I had to do some calculating to get the proper taper. Not bad for one day’s work.

Three words! “You Are Amazing”! I’m totally blown away by your skills. Pretty excited to see how incredible it will be in the end. As cool as it will be, your skills are even more impressive. Keep sending pics when you can. The PVC rotating band is a great idea. There is a plating company near me that can copper plate plastics to look metal and bet there is one near you that could as well cheap? Anyhow, stoked to see how it comes along. Just blown away. That cog armature part you made is genius.


Awesome woodwork!

The cannelure below the driving band replica holds normally a plastic obturator band.

Amazing work indeed!

Several photos showing details of rotating bands and the nylon(?) obturating band have been sent by email. Feel free to cut and paste anything from them that you think might be helpful. One of the projectiles had been repainted and stenciled, but I am not sure the markings are totally correct.

I will be contributing a DEMILLED INERT Point Detonating Fuze for the project.

Sure looks like some mighty fine woodworking skills here!

Thanks everyone for the kind comments.

John, I did receive the photos of the rotating band - looks easier than I thought it would be. I might have to make another attempt at the one in my collection, but the real one is too large for my metal lathe - and a whole bunch heavier!

APFSDS, there is nothing near me except cows and cornfields. :>)

I need to get out to the shop and make some more sawdust.

Stay tuned for more photos tonight.

Busy day today.

Will need to sand and apply a protective finish before I remove it from the lathe. I understand it will be painted, but the plan is for them to make a plaster cast for future fiberglass models before it will be painted.

All that is left to do is: Sand, Finish, install some type of solid base, and fabricate an aluminum insert for the nose.

The insert will allow the fuze / lifting ring to be easily removed. Plus it will be a challenge.

You can see the color change between the top, middle, and bottom sections in the photo. Of course, paint will cover it.

Of course there is extra wood on both ends that was needed to install it on the lathe. These will be removed, when I take it out of the lathe.

Incredible Job! Beyond amazed & impressed!


This looks like the end of this project as soon as I receive the fuze and lifting ring from John - and build a box to ship it.

Started on the aluminum insert for the nose yesterday and finished it this morning between coats of finish. Solid aluminum turned into a threaded ring and inserted into the nose.

The “real one” weighs in at just shy of 110 pounds and more than I want to move around in the shop on a routine basis.

The wooden one is just over six pounds and much better for the back.

Side by side. The wooden one with my M577 fuze and the real one (without rotating band) and my lifting ring. Fuze and ring in the mail for the wooden one - then off to California in a box.

What’s next?
Come to think of it, I might clean my shop.
Then do some Christmas presents for the neices and nephews.

Amazing work, congratulations!

Just incredible! A work of art demonstrating extreme skills. :-)

PS: How awesome is that wood work table it is sitting on.