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| | |-+  Steeling a frizzen
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Author Topic: Steeling a frizzen  (Read 3202 times)
David R.
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« on: March 24, 2011, 09:32:40 PM »

I've been thinking about how to do this and wonder if anyone has actually done it. When a frizzen gets worn so badly that it won't spark reliably any more, (half sole) adding a thin piece of steel to the face. Would you harden it first or attach and then harden. How to attach, braze or silver solder, weld, rivet? A friend of mine has an old rifle (not an original, old contemporary) that he shoots in our matches that he has worn the frizzen thin on. It is an old obsolete lock that he can't find replacement frizzen for. I know the trick would be to harden it and not loose the hardness when you attach it, or be able to heat enough to harden without it coming unbrazed.
  I guess the oldtimers would forge weld?
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Jim Kibler
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 09:45:27 PM »

Heat to braze and quench from the brazing heat.  Frank House shows how he accomplishes this in one of the American Pioneer Videos.
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Acer Saccharum
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 10:51:05 PM »

If it won't spark anymore, yet there is still thickness, you can re-caseharden the frizzen without facing it.

There are riveted on facings, besides the aforementioned brazed on ones.
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smart dog
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 12:02:01 AM »

Hi David,
I've done this on several frizzens with great success.  Take a piece of carbon steel (I use some old meat bandsaw blades) about 1/16" thick and after annealing it cut out a sole that fits the on the frizzen face and but is slightly larger on all sides.  Bend it to fit the concave shape of the face.  Then heat it bright red and quench in room temp water so it is very hard (but also brittle so be careful).  Next flux and tin the surface of the frizzen with low temp soft solder (50/50 lead tin plumbers solder). Put the frizzen in a vise so the face is upward and level.  Flux the back of the sole and place it on top of the tinned frizzen face.  With a propane torch slowly heat the back of the frizzen from underneath until the solder melts and the sole drops down into place.  Remove the heat immediately and let the frizzen cool.  Once cool, simply clean up the protruding edges of the sole and grind it flush with the frizzen and you are done.  The only problem I ever have had with this method is that one time the sole material must have been very high carbon steel because it was so hard my flints would not scrape it.  One other time the concave shape of the sole was distorted during the quench and I had to anneal and rebend it and harden again.
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Blacksmoke
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 12:37:24 AM »

David:  There are a few ways that "halfsoleing" can be done and I have done them all.   You will have the best results if you use a piece of old file for the new sole.   I have seen a number of old originals soled with a piece of an old file.    first you will need to anneal the old file by heating it to a cherry red and letting it cool submerged  in a bucket of ashes for about 4 hrs.  Then you can cut and file the sole to fit the face of the old frizzen.   Now you have several choices - how to attach the sole to the frizzen.   If you choose to rivet it on the old frizzen will have to be annealed as well so that the rivet holes can be drilled.   After riveting the  frizzen with the new piece of steel the whole frizzen can be hardened and tempered.   The new sole will now produce sparks like you have never seen before!
If you are going to solder the new sole to the old frizzen I recommend using "low temp" silver solder which flows at 450 degrees.  You will need to harden and temper the sole prior to soldering - the 450 degrees will not soften the file material beyond the tempering which is needed and once again you should have sparks enough to light your pants on fire!  Grin         Hugh Toenjes
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H.T.
B Shipman
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2011, 12:43:52 AM »

Disagree. This is dirt easy. The first time I did it took less than an hour. Brainless. Grind the frizzen a little thinner to account for a space of 1/16th in.  Cut a piece of 1/16 carbon steel slightly larger. Bend to fit frizzen. Slightly more bend if not perfect. Soften frizzen.  Use 3 penny nails. Drill and countersink top. Keep nail head, Put this down on rounded surface like the top of a vise. Rivet from the other side. Do the same at two points at the base of the frizzen. Harden the carbon steel in the appropriate manner and you have endless service. Don't ask me how to harden the steel. That depends on the steel you use. You play with it. Harden it and draw it back until you get killer sparks.
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Jim Kibler
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2011, 09:41:19 AM »

One more set of opinions...  Riviting may work, but there is the tendency for cracking to occur at the holes.  Might not have happened to those who responded or you, but there is the chance of this.  Soft solder may hold fine, but I wouldn't be happy with it.  It seems brazing was the accepted practice of attaching steel faces to frizzens and not soft solder, if riviting was not used.  Also, some are brazed and rivited.
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BMR
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2011, 11:09:56 AM »

I have only done this twice but had good luck both times.  I used stock from a flat coil spring ( I think from a windup lawnmower starter spring) about 1/16 or a little less in thickness.   I  fastened a sandwitch of spring stock, flux, thin brass sheet, flux, and frizzen together with soft iron wire.  Then I heated the package to cherry red with an oxyacetylene torch and quench in transmission fluid.  Then  brighten the surface of the spring stock and apply heat from the back until you get a straw color and quench.  Grind and stone the excess spring stock down flush to the frizzen, install and enjoy the sparks.

Bruce Robb
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rich pierce
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2011, 12:32:02 PM »

Bruce, I am pretty sure that's how it was often done originally, excepting the torch of course!
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JCKelly
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2011, 04:29:53 PM »

This is just theory, from a metallurgist who has never re-faced a frizzen.

But I wonder if that meat bandsaw blade might already have the right temper for a frizzen, that is, maybe it can but cut and bent to fit, no anneal, then soft-soldered on like described above?

Old hand woodsaws were made of 1070, hardened but not too hard, could be sharpened with a file. That temper will not be drawn, e.g. the blade won't soften further, with the heat to make soft solder run. Do as the man said, tin the old frizzen, flux the saw blade piece & gently heat from the back of the frizzen until it melts.

Yes, brazing at red heat & quenching works just fine but I kinda think a little experience, helps. That is, with brazing you gotta know more what you are doing.

Not many of us saw meat. Any of us can find an old wood saw blade at flea market/garage sale/basement & cut out of piece of that nice steel to use. Of course, one of the problems with my not actually having done it is, I can't promise that the saw blade is hard enough to spark, as-is.

This old lock has the frizzen face brazed on.
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Jim Kibler
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2011, 04:38:33 PM »

It seems a frizzen face in the range of 60 HRC often works well.  Not sure how hard a meat saw would be, but I suspect significantly lower.   Even soft soldering a fully hard piece of 1095 will surely temper it significantly lower than this mark.  If some have had success with this, I won't argue that , howerver.
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Hammer
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2011, 06:05:02 PM »

Smar Dog has it.   I do this and it is so easy and needs just the minimum of DIY tools.   I use steel from carpenters squares, the bright blue ones.  these are high carbon steel, probably 1095.  The black ones are softer steel, oil quenched and therefore much cheaper.  You can get a lot of soles from one square. 
Anneal, slowly cool and cut out the oversized shape.  I like to leave a 'finger' sticking out from the top so I can hold it with pliers without causing a heat sink for the main body. 
Heat to bright red and press into the face of the frizzen to cool.  It won't then later warp.   Tin the back and the frizzen face.   Heat to bright orange (Map torch) for a least a minute with Kasenit on the front to replace any carbon burned off during heating and drop straight into some cool water.   Beware, it will now be as brittle as glass!   Gently wire brush the back to clean the thin film of solder.  I use a point to press the two parts together while the solder melts to ensure they fit snug together.  Only use just enough heat on the back of the frizzen to melt the solder and no more!  Just a smallest flame.   The heat coming through into the sole will provide just the right temper.  I use a hand spray of water to spray the parts as soon as they have bonded to ensure the sole isn't overheated.
Simple and these soles last for ever.

Good luck,

Peter.
   
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Peter
David R.
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2011, 08:46:13 PM »

Thanks fellows. Wow, a lot of information. I feel confident about trying to do this now. No Acer there isn't much metal left, he's worn this frizzen thin. The sandwich method sounds like maybe the closest to the oldtime method. It could be done on the forge. I trhink I would experiment with some scrap material and a junk frizzen before I try a real job. Hershel H. rivetted on a halfsole on a frizzen in that old
foxfire book I think.
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doug
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2011, 11:54:14 PM »

     the originals that I have seen soled have all been brazed.  Shovel blades are an excellent source of high carbon steel and you can silver solder a piece onto the frizzen then grind the shoe to the correct thickness.  The curve of a 6" grinder is about the same as the curve of most frizzens.  Altenately a piece of drill rod heated and hammered out wide enough for a shoe will work.  You will have to heat the frizzen to red hot to get the silver solder to flow and pour water over the work as soon as the silver solder has flowed through the seam.  Then draw to a bronze colour

cheers Doug
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