Banana Patchbox Latch

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87TT

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I ordered a banana patchbox with my SMR kit. I wasn't and still not sure if I want to have one or not yet. The instructions that came with it (TOW) are worthless. They are for a regular patchbox that goes next to the butt plate. It came with a spring that I'm assuming is for opening the lid and I think I can figure that out. I have been searching for a description or instructions for or pictures of a latch installed etc. Nothing. There are some old threads on making latches but the pictures are Photobucketed. I saw Zonie's tutorial on inletting and think I could do that part just fine but I don't want to even think about a patchbox until I'm sure how I am going to keep it closed and if I will like it. Thanks for any help.
 

Eric Krewson

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I made this one out of a reciprocating saw blade, it was at least my 5th attempt, annealed, bent to shape and quenched then browned, it actually works really well.

Like you I found the available information sketchy at best.

I included a wall of shame failure picture along with the one that worked, concrete nails, hacksaw blades etc.patchbox complete 001.JPG

patchbox complete 002.JPGassembly 1 002.JPG
 

87TT

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Thanks Eric. At least I know what they look like now as I have never seen one in person.
 

Zonie

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The somewhat bent flat spring that is included with many patch box covers will work to both hold the patchbox lid open and to hold it closed if you install it right.

Most of the rifles I've put together don't have a dedicated hard latch or lock on their patchbox lids. They use the little flat spring.

To see if this is going to work, look at the underside of the patchbox lid. If there is a small, bent piece of material (tab) on the lid right under the area where the hinge is, your in business. This tab is part of what makes the spring work. If this little bent piece is soldered to the lid, read on:

To install the spring after the patchbox cavity is cut and the fixed end of the patchbox is inlayed, cut a narrow trench that is slightly wider than the spring, down into the area under the fixed end of the patchbox. This is right where the hinge is and the trench needs to be in line with the tab on the lid. The depth of this trench needs to go almost to the bottom of the patch box cavity.

Place the end of the spring with the screw hole in it against the bottom of the patch box cavity and with the raised portion of the spring in the trench I just described. The free, raised portion should go slightly further than the place where the lid's hinge pin will be.
Install a small screw thru the hole in the spring, screwing the spring to the bottom of the patch box cavity.

When you install the patchbox lid and secure it in place with its screws, that raised end of the spring should be past the little tab so the tab will always be touching the spring when the lid is closed.
If you did this right, when the lid is closed the spring pushing on the tab will keep the lid closed. If you open the lid with your fingernail, when the lid is open about 1/2" or so, the spring's force on the tab will begin to push the lid further open.
 

Bob McBride

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An alternative is the Southern Appalachian 'nail' latch. You need to drill for the nail and half depth drill for the flex... Then file the top to release. You need about a 64th of catch max. This one of mine has about half that. Holds firm and you rub your finger along the lid til you hit the nail head and give it a push to the butt plate and it releases.


E2FE1E7D-C095-4D38-B717-B4193BFAD88A_1_105_c.jpeg
 
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87TT

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The somewhat bent flat spring that is included with many patch box covers will work to both hold the patchbox lid open and to hold it closed if you install it right.

Most of the rifles I've put together don't have a dedicated hard latch or lock on their patchbox lids. They use the little flat spring.

To see if this is going to work, look at the underside of the patchbox lid. If there is a small, bent piece of material (tab) on the lid right under the area where the hinge is, your in business. This tab is part of what makes the spring work. If this little bent piece is soldered to the lid, read on:

To install the spring after the patchbox cavity is cut and the fixed end of the patchbox is inlayed, cut a narrow trench that is slightly wider than the spring, down into the area under the fixed end of the patchbox. This is right where the hinge is and the trench needs to be in line with the tab on the lid. The depth of this trench needs to go almost to the bottom of the patch box cavity.

Place the end of the spring with the screw hole in it against the bottom of the patch box cavity and with the raised portion of the spring in the trench I just described. The free, raised portion should go slightly further than the place where the lid's hinge pin will be.
Install a small screw thru the hole in the spring, screwing the spring to the bottom of the patch box cavity.

When you install the patchbox lid and secure it in place with its screws, that raised end of the spring should be past the little tab so the tab will always be touching the spring when the lid is closed.
If you did this right, when the lid is closed the spring pushing on the tab will keep the lid closed. If you open the lid with your fingernail, when the lid is open about 1/2" or so, the spring's force on the tab will begin to push the lid further open.
does this hold the lid secure. Say if out hunting and such?
 

87TT

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An alternative is the Southern Appalachian 'nail' latch. You need to drill for the nail and half depth drill for the flex... Then file the top to release. You need about a 64th of catch.


View attachment 33216
So basically just using the nail like a spring with the head filed like a latch?
 

Bob McBride

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So basically just using the nail like a spring with the head filed like a latch?
So basically just using the nail like a spring with the head filed like a latch?
Right. It needs to be spring steel so it springs back but I drill a 16th to depth and the drill to half depth a larger size that's small enough to be covered by the head but big enough to allow the nail to flex to release, then fine tune file the head so it releases fairly easy when you flex towards the butt plate.
 

Tinhorn

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Not having any talent as a fine woodworker, I am fascinated about your beautiful patchboxes. What do you put in them? I have a little red pouch in my bag with jags, ball screws, patch pullers, nipple wrench, etc and a little M16 LSA bottle from Uncle Sams' gun club. Have never used a patch box for anything, my rifles don't have them. What would you put in these?
 

sdilts

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Muzzleloaders Building Supply sells the springs separately for these patchboxes. I just used a set.
 

87TT

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I ordered a set. I think the patchbox is going in.
 

Bob McBride

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Not having any talent as a fine woodworker, I am fascinated about your beautiful patchboxes. What do you put in them? I have a little red pouch in my bag with jags, ball screws, patch pullers, nipple wrench, etc and a little M16 LSA bottle from Uncle Sams' gun club. Have never used a patch box for anything, my rifles don't have them. What would you put in these?
Mine pictured above with the tow in it carries jags and an extra flint. The tow is to keep them from rattling around. Prelubed patched for guns I use cut patches on. Some stay empty or have a turnscrew....
 

Larry (Omaha)

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I made this one out of a reciprocating saw blade, it was at least my 5th attempt, annealed, bent to shape
Eric,
Nice job on the spring and good photos! Not seeing one like this before, I have a Pilgrim question when closing the lid. Do you have to push the spring top to the right and hold, while, you then close the lid and release the spring? That appears to me to be a two handed operation. Set me straight.
Thanks
Flintlocklar 🇺🇲
View attachment 33201
 

Tinhorn

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Yes, that was my concern, the rattling. But having the ball puller, jag, and patch worm handy for that caliber looked sort of handy, too. Tinhorn
 
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