I agree 100% with Tom. I use the thinner leather from an old pair of leather gloves. I had the exact same experience with lead.Buckskin leather. I started out using scrap leather in my flintlocks, then read on line that lead was supposed to offer better sparking. From my observations I don't see that it does. What it does do is loose its grip on the flint after several firings and requires retightening of the screw. After getting tired having loose flints fall out I went back to leather but this time using buckskin leather from deer hides I have tanned. It grips extremely well and I never have to retighten the jaws.
Bevel up, or bevel down? That's a question that gets tossed around a lot. It is a very good question, though. I think the bottom line would be to try both, and see which sparks the best and optimizes the life of the flint in your lock.When orienting the flint in the jaws, whether leather or lead is used, I see some have the flat edge up and some have it down. Is there any reason that one orientation is better than the other?
About 20 years ago, I cut a worn-out moccasin into right-size pieces, and haven't run out yet. Leather needs to be about 1/16" thick, and soft enough to wrap tightly, with a hole cut in the center so that the flint can be set back in contact with the screw. Lead was annoying; hard to keep the flint in place.What does one use to hold the flint in the cock,(hammer)?
The screw doesn't loosen the lead flatens out as it basically gets hammered when the flint hits the striker.I suppose if you wanted to stop the jaw from loosening while using lead, you could probably put a locking nut on the bottom of the tightening screw. Disclaimer, I don't own a flintlock.
The size/shape of the flint, and it’s orientation to the strike window on the frizzen generally determines whether my flint rests against the cock screw. For example, using my Large Siler locks, with a 3/4”x7/8’ flint, the optimum position is when the flint rests directly against the cock screw. Using a shorter 3/4”x 3/4” flint, I will not notch the rear of the leather. I can’t say that I’ve ever had the flint slip back when the flint had good contact with the jaws and securely mounted. I generally prefer a longer flint resting against the cock screw that strikes the frizzen at the highest point on the contact window. In this case I can get longer effective flint life and knapping without removing/re-orienting the flint, before the strike point falls below the optimum window on the frizzen.What is the reason for having the flint touch the screw