Usn vt fuzes


#1

I have only a modest collection of big ordnance, but anyone who collects the big bullets knows that the hardest-to-find parts are fuzes. I’ve been searching for years for early VT fuzes to complete the restoration of my USN projectiles and finally decided I was never going to find them, so I retired to my laboratory and made some replicas. They’ll do until the real thing comes along.

Left to right are MK 58-4, MK 58-1, and MK 59-0. I’m in the process of making another MK 59 since I just recently got good photos of a real one that has been sectioned to show the guts.

Ray


#2

Nice Ray, very nice.
Think you could turn me out a MK 46?


#3

You really have good hands, man…


#4

Ray – that is the most impressive work I have seen all day (and yesterday, and the day before, and. …) !!!


#5

Ray

It takes a lot to impress me. Those are impressive. It’ll be more impressive when I have one of those in hand.

Your BFF :-)


#6

Not my field,but I’ve had a few over the years.
Ray you are a true artist
Charles.J.Wells (Jack)
SGM. USA. Ret.


#7

Back around 1980, we were conducting a familiarization gun shoot with our new gun crews. We had quite a bit of 3" VT-FRAG, so the Gunnery Officer thought it would be prudent to try them out. It was interesting to see how far they would get before exploding! They did not work so well for surface targets.


#8

As good as I have seen or could imagine any shop turning out. Your patience must only be topped by your tools and shop resources.

Pepper


#9

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, they were not a one week, nor even a one year job. Most of the time was spent scratching my head trying to figure out what to do next.

Ray


#10

Ray

I’d like to hear about how you got the plastic all nice and polished and profiled and what not. So I’ll understand the process when I get one in hand.


#11

[quote=“SlickRick”]Ray

I’d like to hear about how you got the plastic all nice and polished and profiled and what not. So I’ll understand the process when I get one in hand.[/quote]Yeah me too… Did you cast the plastic or is it turned? Is the base material aluminium or steel?
Nice work on the finish, very nice.
Soren


#12

Brilliant work there Ray. I am also interested in how you formed the plastic part.


#13

All of the metal is steel. The individual parts are screwed together just like the originals. Turning and threading all the steel parts was the most time consuming. I did not try to make any of the guts except for what shows through the plastic ogive.

I first made a mock-up of the ogive internals. I then made a cone shaped mold, positioned the mock-up in it, and then poured the resin. After it hardened, I rough shaped the ogive in the lathe. Then filed to final shape. Finished just like you’d do a fiberglass patch on your car or boat - wet sanded, rubbing compound, polishing compound, and then wax and polish.

I’d sure like to see how they made the originals. The guts must have been hand made - resistors, wires, condenser, radio transmitter, energizer, AuxDet. Of course, they had molds for the ogive, molded to the final shape. And to think they made hundreds of thousands of them. For projectiles, bombs, rockets. Every one expendable.

Ray


#14

Ray, just IMPRESSIVE !

If you happen to do another one could you show us images of the whole process, in particular on the plastic part and the internal parts visible in there?

I havs seen many reproductions on almost anything related to ammo and ordnance but these fuzes are really the most stunning I have ever seen.


#15

Here is an early MK 59, maybe even a prototype. It appears that they used internals from an earlier fuze (MK 53??) and made the ogive longer. Transmitter/receiver at the top. The can covers the firing condenser and amplifier. Bottom is power source and AuxDet. Not mine but I wish it was.


#16

Beautiful work, Ray. Very impressive! Interesting devices with a very significant historical impact to boot.

Dave


#17

[quote=“RayMeketa”]Here is an early MK 59, maybe even a prototype. It appears that they used internals from an earlier fuze (MK 53??) and made the ogive longer. Transmitter/receiver at the top. The can covers the firing condenser and amplifier. Bottom is power source and AuxDet. Not mine but I wish it was.
[/quote]

Agreed, this cutaway is from Erhard Koch’s research, the largest fuze collection in private hands world wide.