Sliding patch box latch

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Tom A Hawk

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I'm working on a Lancaster and have finished chiseling the box and shaping the dovetailed lid. I ordered a spring latch from TOW and am now puzzling over its curvature. It seems counter intuitive. When installed under the lid it seems to me that it should be biased in the other direction - toward the point of engagement with the butt plate.

Any words of wisdom?


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oldwood

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To my knowledge , I've never had one of these cast steel springs that was tempered into a spring. So , I would simply adjust it to the proper bend, and it will most likely have enough elasticity to act as a patch box latch...............oldwood
 

Rudyard

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I use a 4 or5 " nail, have to form it a good bit but works OK like Oldwood says dosn't need much of a spring dosnt ask much of it .
Rudyard
 

oldwood

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Rudyard.......You gave me an idea. I have some old original 4" long black smith made square shank big head nails, I found in the woods back in the 1970's. Looks like I'll try to make a wooden patch box latch out of one of those. Always looking for clues about items that might be used in the 18th century to build a rifle.............oldwood
 

Rudyard

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The nails sound ideal I used a clue head 4" galv that had been in a fire ground it a lot . Works fine the 6" allow more to fettle but not a common nail . Gun nails and lost heads are ill suited I like the wood tool box's it ensures all the jag (I use the wire brushes smaller but light & sure grip ) a vent pick ,ball drawer couple of flints bit of rag .your set .I made an early flint after Felix Werder never saw the reverse so put a tool box on the left hand side Felix wont mind . He had a good style it was the one of the garniture of two pistols & a long gun dated 1652 'Oldies but goodies ' You would appreciate that .
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Tom A Hawk

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Thanks for your input. This latch was indeed spring steel. I have annealed and flattened and reshaped the head to fit my more curved butt plate. If it fails to hold adequate tension I'll harden and re-temper.
 

oldwood

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Tom.........You're a better man than me. All the talk of heating , tempering , etc . is above my pay grade , and I'm too blessed old to learn such operations. Got this neighbor , half Navajo , rest Apachi. His painting art looks like photographs. I showed him how to scratch build long rifles , and he built three. His true love is knives. He too does all this heating and dumping blades in oil , etc. . Neck knives up to some that could cut the heart out of a buffalo , on the run. I save my worn out 600 grit 1" x 42" gun metal working belts , to put the razor edge on his blades. He brings a new just finished knife to me with a "stone sharp" edge , and I get to put what he calls a "medical sharp " edge on his creations. All it takes to get a "medical sharp " edge is , two or three passes across the worn out 600 grit belt and a pass or two over a hard buffing wheel w/ rouge. Oh my.....sharp , sharp ,sharp. When we eviscerate a deer , his knives will go right up through the ribs to the windpipe for easy removal of heart and lungs. Sorry............in the weeds ,again.............oldwood
 

LRB

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For the short amount of needed travel in wood PB lid springs, heat treating is an absolute waste of energy and time. There is plenty enough natural spring inherent in all steels to work as a short range latch spring. The amount of resistance to flex is dependent on thickness rather than heat treat.
 

Tom A Hawk

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Thanks. First time around with one of these. The hardest part was realigning the head. Its meant for a square lid end and mine is curved. I don't like its profile and will change that also.
 

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