Muzzleloading Forum .....


Contact - Can't Login?
Login Name Post: getting more spark from my frizzen now        (Topic#251038)
whitedog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 124
whitedog
10-23-10 12:48 PM - Post#907570    


Although I had a well known flintlock smith and maker case harden my failing frizzen with Casenit, It didn't spark very well and seldom ignited the pan charge. So, I applied an old method that I read about that was used by hunters and trappers who lived in the field for long periods of time. Using three fingers from a leather glove that I cut off, I inserted the frizzen down into all three fingers, wrapped more leather around this and wrapped a good length of bailing wire around it all to secure it tightly. Then, I put the whole thing into a tin can and crushed the end shut and dropped it into a bed of hot coals within a roaring fire with more wood around and on top of it. I cooked it for about 80 minutes and while the can was glowing red, I took it out and immediately plunged it into a bucket of cold water. I then broke the can open and removed the frizzen from it's encasement of charcoal and brushed it off with a soft wire wheel of bronze. The frizzen now produces an amazing shower of sparks that ignites the pan. I also followed good advice and replaced the leather jaw pad with one of lead that I'd pounded down flat and trimmed to fit from a rifle ball. I've used this method before on an old musket whose frizzen was too soft and it worked quite well then too. Anyone else ever use this technique? I've heard that encasing the leather wrapped frizzen within clay or tin foil will work too. I tried a thick multi layer of aluminum foil but the fire wasn't hot enough and it cooled down before I could immerse the frizzen into water so I didn't get the necessary carbon trapped into the steel. So, I don't know if aluminum foil works. I can attest to the effectiveness of a tin can though.

 
mr.flintlock 
40 Cal.
Posts: 479
10-23-10 02:24 PM - Post#907583    

    In response to whitedog

I have never tried hardning a frizzen in this maner but read about it in Dixie Gun Works catalog about 40 years ago.

Ol Turner Kirkland offered a lot of tid bits of information in the back section of his catalogs. A lot of that useful information is no longer printed in the newer catalogs.

 
ericb 
45 Cal.
Posts: 639
ericb
10-23-10 03:01 PM - Post#907588    

    In response to mr.flintlock

I remember Turner's advice on Black Powder granulation: "If you don't know what it is, go ahead & shoot it. It will be OK."

Mind you this was 1968 & I was only 12 or 13, with no guidance whatsoever except Dixie's Catalog, but I can tell you that an original 1795 Springfield can stand a Full Service Charge of 4F......but I sure wouldn't do it again. It Barked - It Bucked - It blew the Flint right out of the Jaws - as for the Ball...Hell...for all I know it's still airborne - Looking back on it all that probably saved the Both of Us was a seriously undersize Ball & the huge, wornout 193 year old vent hole - and Springfield Iron.

Good old Dixie...they were a voice in the Wilderness back then....

Eric



 
whitedog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 124
whitedog
10-23-10 06:58 PM - Post#907662    

    In response to ericb

Yep, that's where I learned how to re-harden a frizzen. From the old timers to Turner and then to us.

 
bowkill 
45 Cal.
Posts: 635
bowkill
10-23-10 07:08 PM - Post#907666    

    In response to ericb

lol thats great....

 
ericb 
45 Cal.
Posts: 639
ericb
10-23-10 07:22 PM - Post#907669    

    In response to bowkill

It was really loud......

 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 25659
Zonie
10-23-10 08:06 PM - Post#907703    

    In response to whitedog

There is no way tin foil or aluminum foil would do the job.

Tin melts at 450 degrees F and aluminum melts at around 1200 degrees F.

To carburize steel it must be kept at over 1550 degrees F for a long period of time.
Just Jim...



 
whitedog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 124
whitedog
10-23-10 10:21 PM - Post#907744    

    In response to Zonie

Well, the tin can holding the frizzen inside held together but was pretty brittle upon taking it out of the water. It broke apart easily. However, the frizzen would seem to have had carbon infused into the metal because it works much better now.

 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
10-23-10 11:44 PM - Post#907755    

    In response to whitedog

  • whitedog Said:
Although I had a well known flintlock smith and maker case harden my failing frizzen with Casenit, It didn't spark very well and seldom ignited the pan charge. So, I applied an old method that I read about that was used by hunters and trappers who lived in the field for long periods of time. Using three fingers from a leather glove that I cut off, I inserted the frizzen down into all three fingers, wrapped more leather around this and wrapped a good length of bailing wire around it all to secure it tightly. Then, I put the whole thing into a tin can and crushed the end shut and dropped it into a bed of hot coals within a roaring fire with more wood around and on top of it. I cooked it for about 80 minutes and while the can was glowing red, I took it out and immediately plunged it into a bucket of cold water. I then broke the can open and removed the frizzen from it's encasement of charcoal and brushed it off with a soft wire wheel of bronze. The frizzen now produces an amazing shower of sparks that ignites the pan. I also followed good advice and replaced the leather jaw pad with one of lead that I'd pounded down flat and trimmed to fit from a rifle ball. I've used this method before on an old musket whose frizzen was too soft and it worked quite well then too. Anyone else ever use this technique? I've heard that encasing the leather wrapped frizzen within clay or tin foil will work too. I tried a thick multi layer of aluminum foil but the fire wasn't hot enough and it cooled down before I could immerse the frizzen into water so I didn't get the necessary carbon trapped into the steel. So, I don't know if aluminum foil works. I can attest to the effectiveness of a tin can though.



If not properly drawn back it could break.
In the preheated oven at 375 for an hour, use 2 oven thermometers.
Then I heat everything but the face and the tip of the foot to blue or at least dark straw color.
Dan

 
sundog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 329
10-24-10 04:49 AM - Post#907768    

    In response to whitedog

Back in college, around 1972 or 73 one of the guys had a TC Hawken flinter. The frizzen was not sparking any more so he did the frizzen in a can reharden.
As I recall he used sugar water to soak the leather figuring that would add more carbon. Tied the leather with copper wire, got some clay from the stream bank and packed the whole buisness in a can. Built a big hot fire put the can in and sat and drank beers for quite a whyle. I dont remember how long but when he thought it was time he took 2 sticks fished the can out of the fire and tossed it in the stream.
That frizzen was great after that and was a good sparker.

 
MSW 
Cannon
Posts: 6724
MSW
10-24-10 06:43 AM - Post#907776    

    In response to sundog

sundog, i had the same problem, but only a few years after college... tried everything to reharden that darned frizzen (except your trick- hand't heard of that one) and finally gave up and bought it a Lyman frizzen, which fit ok and worked fine until i sent the whole lock back to T/C which now works great (except that they still insist on sending you those God- aweful cut agates 'flints,' why do you supppose that is?).

glad your trick worked... gotta remember that one ...

make good smoke!

 
ericb 
45 Cal.
Posts: 639
ericb
10-24-10 07:19 AM - Post#907789    

    In response to sundog

"Drank Beers...Threw it in Stream"

Metallic Frizzen Flash in Water -
Darting Big Brown Trout

**GULP**

Drunken College Boys - Chasing Fish Downstream

Only to run straight into -

A Fish Warden.....

 
Lead Slinger 
40 Cal.
Posts: 427
10-24-10 08:39 AM - Post#907810    

    In response to ericb

I tried the Frizzen trick using a Mountain Pie maker. Wrapped the Frizzen 3 layers of Leather, then Clay. Stuck it in the Mt. Pie Maker and.. the whole thing melted into a big Aluminum lump! Yes, I did catch Hell....

 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 25659
Zonie
10-24-10 01:58 PM - Post#907894    

    In response to whitedog

Tin cans aren't tin anymore. They are steel which explains why the tin can you used didn't melt.

Years ago, they were steel planted with tin to keep the food inside from spoiling and dissolving the steel hence the name "tin can" rather than steel can.

Speaking of the method you used, appearently you kept the fire burning very well.
A lot of folks have tried this method but figured that a little fire or a few coals would work. By themselves, they won't.

As I mentioned the frizzen must be kept above 1550 or so and a small fire or a few coals won't maintain that temperature.
A large pile of charcoal or brickets can work if a portable fan is aimed at the glowing pile and turned on high speed. It's sort of a quickie forge so to speak. A word of warning about doing this though. If you like your BBQ, don't do this in it. It will burn out the bottom.
Just Jim...



 
whitedog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 124
whitedog
10-24-10 04:00 PM - Post#907925    

    In response to Zonie

Yes, I made sure I had a good fire going. Lots of large hot coals all around and underneath. A small fire or a gas fire simply will not work. I was burning 14" sections of old 4x4 cedar posts. They really put out the heat. and the temperature inside the fire down under the burning wood and in the coals was HOT. If the glowing can had been allowed to cool off by having to carry it to distant water, it wouldn't have been able to come out just right. I had a large coffee can of cold water handy. The fire was just too small the first two times and the frizzen couldn't even spark. The third time did the trick. We live out in the country so there's no problem building a fire anywhere on our land. This time though, I built it in an old brick barbeque pit.

 
greenmntmalitia 
40 Cal.
Posts: 311
10-24-10 07:34 PM - Post#907996    

    In response to whitedog

casehardening carbon is sold by the can.
heating metal to white hot is easier with gas.
coals need air blown through them to keep hot and the air makes them burn faster. so lots of coals are needed. next the metal box must be able to open easily with still very hot as soon as removed from fire. the heated part needs to be removed and cooled quickly in order to harden. if allowed to cool slowly it will leave the metal softened. water can be used but oil is better to sink the heat as it will not boil away as easy as water will at the surface of the metal

 
Leatherbark 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1146
Leatherbark
10-24-10 07:42 PM - Post#908003    

    In response to whitedog

I just saw some pictures on another site of a person who bought a CVA type gun that someone had a piece of magnesium fire starter in the flint jaws and some hump of metal of some sort welded to the frizzen. The poster said it sparked like crazy...........The hammer cock had white powder ashes all over it from the magnesium burning it..................Bob

 
Jblk 
40 Cal.
Posts: 277
10-25-10 06:10 AM - Post#908110    

    In response to Leatherbark

I once had a frizzen that sparked poorly.I put the frizzen and leather scraps in a large pipe with both ends capped and put it in the furnace over a coal fire that was stoker fed.I still have the rest of the lock, don't know what became of the frizzen.I have used Kasnit since that time with much better luck.

 
whitedog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 124
whitedog
10-26-10 07:19 AM - Post#908483    

    In response to Jblk

Just for the heck of it, I was able to video myself shooting my original Longrifle with my cell phone. The flash of the pan and the ignition of the main charge are simultaneous, although the ball had to makke it down the 47 1/4" barrel and out the muzzle before the smoke could be seen. Before I rehardened my frizzen, it just about never ignited the priming in the pan. This was a first try andn it sure worked! Just click on the first picture and watch the film.









 
Icon Legend Permissions Topic Options
Print Topic


3443 Views
Welcome Guest...
Enter your Login Name and password to login. If you do not have a username you can register one here

Login Name

Password

Remember me. Help



Login Not Working?...

Registered Members
Total: 31624
Todays
Birthdays
12-18ToddBro
Current Quote
"As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.
"
~ Clarance Darrow

PRIVACY POLICY
FusionBB™ Version 3.0 FINAL | ©2003-2010 InteractivePHP, Inc.
Execution time: 0.157 seconds.   Total Queries: 74  
All times are (GMT-6.0). Current time is 01:38 PM
Top