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Login Name Post: Frizzen maintenance        (Topic#231851)
Uncle Will 
32 Cal.
Posts: 13
03-11-09 10:47 PM - Post#692776    


I'm new to flintlocks, what kind of routine maintenance should be performed on a frizzen? Grinding, polishing, case hardening ???

 
mazo kid 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4789
mazo kid
03-11-09 11:10 PM - Post#692784    

    In response to Uncle Will

Well, when the time comes that the frizzen is really scored, you can use a Dremel sanding disc to polish the surface. Only when it doesn't spark well should you have to reharden the surface. If it was hardened well to start with, you may never have to worry about that.

 
Many Klatch 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3238
Many Klatch
03-12-09 05:10 AM - Post#692806    

    In response to Uncle Will

Leave the face of the frizzen alone. Outside of wiping it down with a wet cloth when cleaning it doesn't need anything. Sometimes during a shoot I'll wet a forefinger and wipe the frizzen clean.

Don't grind on the frizzen, the hardened skin is not all that thick and once you go through that you need to case harden the frizzen again.

Many Klatch

 
Musketman 
Passed On
Posts: 10652
03-12-09 05:40 AM - Post#692809    

    In response to Uncle Will

  • Uncle Will Said:
I'm new to flintlocks, what kind of routine maintenance should be performed on a frizzen? Grinding, polishing, case hardening ???



All I have ever needed to do was to polish the frizzen's pivot bolt with some emery cloth once and then give it a few drops of oil ever time I clean my lock.


 
cowpoke1955 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2090
cowpoke1955
03-12-09 10:09 AM - Post#692871    

    In response to Uncle Will

Welcome to the forum and to flintlocks. As others have said, basicly do nothing. The frizzen gets cleaned when you clean the lock after shooting. I carry some extra cleaning patches to the range to wipe the frizzen when residue builds up. Other than that, a good frizzen will last a very long time

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
03-12-09 10:24 AM - Post#692881    

    In response to Uncle Will

Its going to depend on the flintlock, of course. Some have only Case-hardened frizzens. You eventually can cut through that thin case, and will have to have it rehardened. Companies are getting away from Case hardening frizzens, because of all the complaints they are receiving from customers. They are using steels with higher amounts of carbon to cast these parts, and the result is a frizzen that is hardened completely through the body. Tempering the frizzen makes a tough hard surface with plenty of carbon to create sparks.

DO check the pivot Screw/pin for smoothness. It should feel like glass when you remove the frizzen spring, and then rotate the frizzen on the pivot manually. If not, polish it with fine emery cloth, until it is smooth as glass to your touch. A small, jeweler's Rattail file can be used to take any burrs out of the hole through the frizzen for the pivot screw/pin. Then curl up a strip of emery cloth to fit into the hole, and twist it around many times to polish the inside of the hole, too. Once polished, all you need to do is oil it every time you clean the gun.

As to the face of the frizzen, IF your flint is striking the frizzen at a very square angle, its going to be gouging divots into the face. The ruts created will soon become a washboard, breaking off large chunks of your flint, and preventing the sparks that are produced from being thrown down into the flashpan. Instead, they will go all over. The best mainenance for the face of the frizzen is to adjust the angle of impact of the flint to the frizzen so that its 60 degrees, and strikes about 2/3 the way UP from the bottom of the frizzen. With that angle, you will see a scraping of the face, and only at the initial point of impact will you see some pits where irregular edges on the flint dig into the steel.

Depending on how often you shoot the gun, when these pits begin to bother you, take some emery cloth, or a sanding disc on a dremel tool, and polish the face again. Because flint is NOT a totally homogeneous substance, its impossible to prevent all holes in the face. That edge is going to break off along lines reflected in its molecular structure, and if there is something inside the flint that interrupts the line of cleavage, you are going to have a small irregularity in the edge. It may not be large enough to spot even with a physical examination of the flint edge between shots.

I can tell you that the smoother the face of the frizzen is, the easier it is for the full width of your flint to cut steel from it, just like a hot wire slicing through soft cheese. But, with use, imperfections in the steel, and irregularities in the flint are going to give you some pits, no matter what you do. Periodic checks of the face are part of normal maintenance. When in doubt, polish it!

You can case harden your own frizzen, using Casenit. There are several recent threads here on the forum, under the Gun Builder's Bench, explaining how to do this properly. If you have a frizzen that is only case-hardened, you might want to look around for a better steel frizzen, that can be hardened once, and then forgotten about. There are recent posts explaining how to harden and temper a frizzen properly, too.

 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
03-12-09 10:43 AM - Post#692888    

    In response to Uncle Will

  • Uncle Will Said:
I'm new to flintlocks, what kind of routine maintenance should be performed on a frizzen? Grinding, polishing, case hardening ???


None.
If it sparks OK leave it alone.
Dan

 
Little Buffalo 
45 Cal.
Posts: 703
Little Buffalo
03-12-09 10:55 AM - Post#692899    

    In response to Uncle Will

Wipe it with rubbing alcohol when cleaning the gun. Don't get any solvents or oils on it as these will leave residue that my inhibit spark. Also, try not to touch it and get natural skin grease on it.

 
CZMark 
40 Cal.
Posts: 468
CZMark
03-12-09 12:30 PM - Post#692940    

    In response to Little Buffalo

  • Onojutta Said:
Also, try not to touch it and get natural skin grease on it.



I find a quick wipe with my thumb between shots greatly enhances sparking, and therefore reliability.


 
Little Buffalo 
45 Cal.
Posts: 703
Little Buffalo
03-12-09 03:02 PM - Post#693006    

    In response to CZMark

  • CZMark Said:
  • Onojutta Said:
Also, try not to touch it and get natural skin grease on it.



I find a quick wipe with my thumb between shots greatly enhances sparking, and therefore reliability.




An exception to every rule.

 
Russ T Frizzen 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4762
03-12-09 06:45 PM - Post#693121    

    In response to Little Buffalo

I always wipe the frizzen with my thumb between shots. I've done it for about half a century now with good results--it's the way I was taught.

 
sproulman 
40 Cal.
Posts: 328
03-12-09 08:52 PM - Post#693206    

    In response to Russ T Frizzen

like paul, i try to keep my frizzen as free of knicks from flint,so i lightly sand it once in awhile.

if you let it go too long, it chips your flints a lot more than needed.

 
Uncle Will 
32 Cal.
Posts: 13
03-12-09 11:34 PM - Post#693267    

    In response to sproulman

Many thanks to all!!

 
Musketman 
Passed On
Posts: 10652
03-13-09 03:36 AM - Post#693307    

    In response to Uncle Will

  • Uncle Will Said:
I'm new to flintlocks, what kind of routine maintenance should be performed on a frizzen? Grinding, polishing, case hardening ???



You were given advise about wipping the frizzen with your thumb between shots, which is good. But care must be taken if you decide to wipe the flint too, remember that it is nothing more than a flint knife held in the jaws and it will cut you to the bone in a heart beat.

Use a rag to clean the flint and wipe from the middle down towards the leading edge, never along its length. (trust me on this one, I have the scar to proove it)


 
CZMark 
40 Cal.
Posts: 468
CZMark
03-13-09 06:44 AM - Post#693320    

    In response to Musketman

  • Musketman Said:
...But care must be taken if you decide to wipe the flint too, remember that it is nothing more than a flint knife held in the jaws and it will cut you to the bone in a heart beat.

Use a rag to clean the flint and wipe from the middle down towards the leading edge, never along its length. (trust me on this one, I have the scar to proove it)




Great advice. Many of us learned this the hard way.


 
rubincam 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2694
03-13-09 07:20 AM - Post#693336    

    In response to CZMark

"OUCH"

 
runnball 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1647
runnball
03-13-09 08:39 AM - Post#693363    

    In response to CZMark

Some of us still learn the hard way a couple of times every year.

 
CZMark 
40 Cal.
Posts: 468
CZMark
03-13-09 11:40 AM - Post#693454    

    In response to runnball



That cuts deeper than the bone--maybe right into a man's pride.

 
Roundball 
Cannon
Posts: 22964
Roundball
03-14-09 07:48 AM - Post#693791    

    In response to CZMark

And nothing will re-enforce the point faster that blackpowder residue contains a lot of salt than a fresh flint cut
Roundball's ML Formula:
"Whompability...Across The Fields and In The Woods"


 
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