Force required to snap open the frizzen.

Discussion in 'Flintlock Rifles' started by Ironoxide, Aug 21, 2019.

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  1. Aug 22, 2019 #21

    Ironoxide

    Ironoxide

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    Zonie, you mention the width of the spring and the thickness. Which do you suggest I reduce the width (currently 6.5mm, or close to a quarter of an inch), or thickness (currently 1.5mm or 60 thou)?

    To clarify, by width I mean the left to right dimension when looking directly down from above the pistol while holding it in ones hand using normal grip at chest high. Thickness is the depth of material that makes the spring, or if a new spring was made the thickness(or gauge) of sheet steel it was being cut from before making the bend.
     
  2. Aug 22, 2019 #22

    EC121

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    The hammer hitting the fence is how those locks were designed to work. I'll bet there is no stop shoulder on the hammer to hit the plate. The frizzen spring looks similar to a cheapo CVA pistol I had long ago. CVA parts might fit or Dixie Gun Works has a selection of parts. I might have one in my junk drawer. I'll look first chance I get.
     
  3. Aug 22, 2019 #23

    Zonie

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    I meant the width. The 6.5 mm (.256 inches) dimension.

    You can reduce the width under the frizzen cam so that it matches the cam width but this area should not be thinner than the cam is wide. Starting just forward of the cam remove the material tapering it from the width at the cam to about 3.8 mm (.150") in the area of the bend. The lower leg of the spring below the bend should either follow a similar taper (becoming thicker as it approaches the screw) or it could be reduced to a constant 3.8 mm width similar to that which is at the bend.

    Reducing the 1.5 mm thickness of the spring is rather dangerous because removing very little material will greatly reduce the springs force while greatly increasing the stress in the material. Highly stressed material often breaks. This is why I suggested reducing the width of the spring.

    I should add that this modification is either the first or the final step in the process of getting your frizzen to operate like it should. There is a chance that even after tapering the spring it still is too strong. If that happens, further reductions of the width of the upper leg of the spring might be required.

    In any case, doing this filing is much easier than trying to make a new spring. In order to bend a newly made spring the material must be annealed to a soft condition. Then it must be re-hardened and following that it must be tempered. All of these heat treating processes requires that the person doing it knows what their doing. If they don't do it right the spring will either bend and stay bent or it will break. :(
     
  4. Aug 22, 2019 #24

    Darkhorse

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    Iron Oxide, I understand your reluctance to alter any original parts for fear of making it unusable again. I was the same way when I first began tuning locks. But what I did was purchase an extra part before I began modifying the original.
    I realize you can't go to the original maker of the firearm as they are out of buisness, but Dixie gun works might possibly be able to fix you right up.
     
  5. Aug 22, 2019 #25

    Blogman

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    Just a thought... Rather than altering/filing the piece, use a bit of lead rather than the leather in the jaws. The swing might negate the load to the frizzen.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2019 #26

    SDSmlf

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    Disagree with the bigger hammer approach. Lighten up the existing spring or make/find a lighter replacement.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2019 #27

    Rat

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    I'd say that weird humped-up spring is 99% of the problem. Fix that before anything else. Both my flintlocks have flat frizzen-springs. That's the first humped-up one I've ever seen. I'd sure not be reluctant to do whatever to improve it. Couldn't make it worse. :)
     
  8. Aug 22, 2019 #28

    GREENSWLDE

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    The whole Feather spring to Hammer cam relationship appears to be Wrong.
    If you are considering going down the new spring route use old flat car spring as it will be thick enough to allow you to put a Roller at the end of the upper limb. Make the bottom limb longer. To about where the lock screw shows thru' the lock plate. The roller will speed things up when you have reshaped the cam on the pan cover.(I will try and show some photos.) As Zonie pointed out you will need a Dremel or the likes to do that.I would make the bottom limb tapered from the screw hole about 0.100" down to around 0.085"at the bend.Keep the bend as tight as possible.Taper the top limb From around 0.075" to say 0.065"
    Leaving the end 0.175/0.185" so you can make a Bearing for the roller.You have to drill a pin hole for the roller.The center line of the hole has to be directly below the center of the pan cover pivot hole.Next cut a slot along the line of the spring centrally in the end where the roller fits.This end of the spring needs to be about 5/16ths wide and the slot around 0.100"
    I tend to make the roller carrier with bottom of it level with the bottom of the spring.The pin hole 0.070" and the roller 9/32"Dia.X 0.098! to fit the slot.Use the shank of an old HSS drill to make the pin.Needs to be a light tap fit.
    The alternative is to fit a roller into the pan cover and have a ramp on the feather spring that rises slowly with a sharp drop of as the Flint leaves the hammer face. Worth a "go" if you have the time and the tools..
    If you could find a Hammer(Frizzen)Without the radius at the bottom,life could be a little easier. Best of Luck.Flint(FUN GUNS) CAN BE FUN AND BEWARE <THEY ARE ADDICTIVE..

    OLD DOG.
     
  9. Aug 22, 2019 #29

    EC121

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    I found spring without a hump in my junk box. It is about 9/16" from the hole to the center of the tab and 3/8" from the center of the hole to the top of the spring. From the Vee to the end of the top flat is 1 3/8".
     
  10. Aug 23, 2019 #30

    Ironoxide

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    I'm not sure which tab is it in this fragment "It is about 9/16" from the hole to the center of the tab". The length (1 3/8) matches. 3/8" from the center of the hole to the top seems too small. The spring compressed with the piece of leather is 3/8",but installed normally is 0.45" from the center of the hole to the top. So I think it is a different one unfortunately. If you or anyone else had this spring I would very much like to buy it and work on the spare.

    I'm most likely going to do what Zonie recommends. I tested the pistol more with the bit of leather in place (removing the spring tension as shown previously) and it worked great without eating flints.

    I think I would have a good shot at making a new one, but considering I haven't got any material at hand I'll most likely opt for the quick fix of modifying the existing spring. However, I think fitting a roller as Greenswlde suggests may be a bit too difficult for me as I would most likely have to change the shape of the hammer/frizzen's toe where it currently engages the spring. I'm currently waiting with making any changes as I'll have an opportunity to play with another flintlock with a factory installed roller. Perhaps after seeing it I'll change my mind about the roller.
     
  11. Aug 23, 2019 #31

    EC121

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    The tab or pin is the piece of the spring that goes in the lockplate hole. Some are round. Replacement springs have a tab that can be ground to fit the hole.
     
  12. Aug 23, 2019 #32

    hanshi

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    The frizzen springs on some of the locks I have are pretty heavy; but yours shouldn't be. Those locks are small and use small flints that need an easier opening frizzen. You should be getting an average of dozens of shots from most flints. Poor geometry is common with imported locks and often need a bit of tweaking. A lightened spring is the place to start.
     
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  13. Aug 24, 2019 #33

    GREENSWLDE

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    Iron oxide,You will have to alter the shape of the toe of your hammer(frizzen) to roughly the shape of a Short teardrop hanging down to the spring. Has to be made to slowly climb the roller and then fall over it quickly. Many are the times I've thanked who whoever for my small plasma arc kit.I call it my putting on machine.After Dunc's Manton in 1974 I think I got it 'bout right.

    OLD DOG.
     
  14. Aug 24, 2019 #34

    GREENSWLDE

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    Been tying to send photos of roller feather springs but don't seem to transfer??
    Saw a post by Zonie recently on sending pickies but can't find it now I need it.Can someone tell me how to send them ??

    OLD DOG.
     
  15. Aug 24, 2019 #35

    Zonie

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  16. Aug 25, 2019 #36

    GREENSWLDE

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    Zonie,MANY Thanks for reminding an Old duffer how to do it.Now how can I put OLD DOG Pickie under GREENSWYLDE (my KC name) on the LHS. Rather rare old dog first shewn at Birmingham(UK) in 1860.Now out of favour as they need some Knowldge and Patience.Regrettably lacking in many Wizzkids in the Hollaphoop and platform style advocated by clicker and treats Brigade.
    Sorry this may go off post but some of us still shoot M/Ls over old walked up dogs.

    OLD DOG (RUFF)
     
  17. Aug 26, 2019 #37

    GREENSWLDE

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    004.JPG Feather springs.Made lots for most types of locks in the past.

    OLD DOG..
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  18. Aug 27, 2019 #38

    Ironoxide

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    I altered the spring using the method described by Zonie and I changed the shape of the frizzen's toe. Unfortunately I was a bit too eager grinding on the front of the toe and now I have to add about half a mm (20 thou) of material to it for the pan to close reliably. As the frizzen is hardened throughout I'm trying to decide between using soft soldering, tig brazing, or tig welding. I'm not sure which of those methods is the best.

    Regarding welding. My tig setup goes down to 5 amps so I should be able to weld a small spot on that toe without annealing the rest, but I never tried to weld hardened steel and I'm expecting the weld to crack on cooling. I hread somewhere that stainless filler rod is sometimes used with hardened steel and slight preheat (slight as not to anneal the piece). Does this sound like it could work? I wouldn't mind a slight permanent discoloration this would cause.

    Regarding soft soldering I think it would be a good way to test a number of different shapes quickly, but the solder may be well to soft for permanent use and I'm not sure if it'll stick to the toe without heating the whole frizzen.

    Regarding brazing, it is a bit more difficult to do it on such a small scale so my first choice would be to weld.

    I spent some time firing the pistol with the altered spring and toe. It definitely works better than before with regards to flint life, but I suspect there are some serious issues with this lock's geometry as it still manages to crack the flint sometimes. I tried to hold on to the cock and let it move the flint across the frizzen slowly. Doing that I discovered that flint kind of binds around the bottom edge of the frizzen and overcoming that bind rips chunks of flint out. Some posters to this thread commented the shape of the frizzen is not right around the bend and I think this may be why it is binding there.

    I'm slowly getting more and more comfortable with the idea of replacing this lock with a better one, but before I do that I'll try few additional alterations. Once I add a bit of material to the toe I'll probably try to alter the shape at the bottom of the frizzen's face.
     
  19. Aug 27, 2019 #39

    EC121

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    If you have the room, try sticking the opposite end of the spring in a potato as a heat sink.
     
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  20. Aug 27, 2019 #40

    Ironoxide

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    Good idea, but I need to build up the toe of the frizzen, not the spring. The spring is ok now.
     

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