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Author Topic: 1746 Willits Brown Bess kit by Track Of The Wolf  (Read 4265 times)
toolman_ia
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« on: January 04, 2012, 07:22:45 AM »

Hello,

This is my first post to this forum.  My wife got me a Brown Bess musket kit for Christmas this year from Track Of The Wolf  and this is my first long rifle build.  I am looking for some sort off recommended outline of order in which to proceed - where should I start first?. 

Also, the lock castings do not appear to have any drill marks so I am interested on suggestions on how to ensure proper location since only a full size drawing accompanied the kit without any instructions.

I have the book Recreating The American Long Rifle and I am looking for muzzle loader enthusiasts/clubs in the Atlanta area to get plugged in to the hobby as well as possibly someone who can mentor me along.

I have a nice shop, tools, and aptitude with wood and metal and I know that I can order a new part if I make a mistake along the way.  I am looking forward to becoming an active participant in this forum and would be VERY interested to hear from anyone who has built a Brown Bess from Track Of The Wolf.

Steve
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FlintFan
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2012, 07:46:20 AM »

I have built several of these muskets, the most challenging part will be assembling the lock.  I learned most of my lock building techniques from one of the Kit Ravenshear booklets.  I believe the one you want is Craft and Practice part 1, which is his booklet that covers lock building from castings.  He also has one called Simplified V-springs that will give you some tips on how to deal with the springs.  I highly recommend these booklets for this project, along with his woodworking ones as well.  They are inexpensive and give a lot of tips on building military muskets specifically. 
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Chris Treichel
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2012, 08:32:09 AM »

The book Recreating the American Long Rifle you said you have is the same one I used to build my first fusil and I would recommend reading it at least twice cover to cover. In the first or second chapter it actually discusses in detail the order of construction for building a rifle which should be the same as building a musket.   

Checked the book last night.... its in Chapter 5 about pg 26
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Mike R
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 09:10:25 AM »

There are several good books and tapes out on "how-to", but I would recommend seeing if there are any builders in your neck of the woods that might give you guidance.  In my experience there is nothing like hands-on experience to guide you.
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Mike Roberts, Louisiana Territory
Dphariss
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 09:50:50 AM »

Hello,

This is my first post to this forum.  My wife got me a Brown Bess musket kit for Christmas this year from Track Of The Wolf  and this is my first long rifle build.  I am looking for some sort off recommended outline of order in which to proceed - where should I start first?. 

Also, the lock castings do not appear to have any drill marks so I am interested on suggestions on how to ensure proper location since only a full size drawing accompanied the kit without any instructions.

I have the book Recreating The American Long Rifle and I am looking for muzzle loader enthusiasts/clubs in the Atlanta area to get plugged in to the hobby as well as possibly someone who can mentor me along.

I have a nice shop, tools, and aptitude with wood and metal and I know that I can order a new part if I make a mistake along the way.  I am looking forward to becoming an active participant in this forum and would be VERY interested to hear from anyone who has built a Brown Bess from Track Of The Wolf.

Steve


As previously stated the lock is the hard part if you have no experience with locks.
A drill press is needed. A drill press vise with a cross slide would be really nice too.
The tumbler shafts will need to be cleaned/trued most likely, lathe is nice to really do it right, but not mandatory. Reamers to make a tight fit for the tumbler shafts and the hole in the sear for the sear screw. Ream no more the .001 over. Then check for fit and function.
Lock plate has to be flat to keep the working parts in proper alignment.
Frizzen screw needs to be a tight fit to the screw shaft and is best drilled with the frizzen clamped in place after the frizzen is carefully fit to the pan.  Always drill a pilot hole then drill or ream to size. Drilling a smaller hole first will result in the drill to size drill making a hole much closer to the stated size for holes that are not going to be reamed.
Tumbler shaft hole in the bridle needs to be reamed  for a nice fit as well. And the hole in the lock and the hole in the bridle have to be properly aligned.
Number size drills and chucking reamers in about .001 increments are available from MSC or Enco etc. MSC ships fast, usually next day even in small town Montana.
A micrometer is a good investment.  A caliber, vernier, dial or digital, only gives an approximate size when measuring for close tolerances. Its fast and handy and I use one all the time, but not all that accurate.
Order a chart with various drill size diameters and tap drill sizes from what ever supplier you order drills etc from if you don't have one.

Buy name brand American made drills and reamers they are generally better quality.  Cheap stuff should be avoided.
Lock making is a lot of fun  but some understanding of WHY things are done as they are is nice and HOW things work together.
So do some study before starting if you have no previous experience.
Kit Ravenshear's pamphlets are very informative and there are number of books and videos as well.

This site is a wonderful resource and don't hesitate to use it.

Many videos can be rented from
http://smartflix.com/store/category/113/Firearms
It will allow you to decide which are the most useful for you before purchase.
Dan
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"American Girls and American Guys
Will always stand up and salute  Will always recognize
When we see Old Glory Flying   There's a lot of men dead   So we can sleep in peace at night   When we lay down our head"
Toby Keith "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue"
toolman_ia
Guest
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2012, 10:53:19 AM »

Dan,

Thanks for all the great pointers.  I will definitely keep your post for reference.

Steve
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toolman_ia
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2012, 10:58:37 AM »

Thanks for all of the replies and suggestions.  I will definitely get the suggested resource materials and look for a local mentor.  I will print off these posts for reference.
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Odd Fellow
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2012, 09:54:56 PM »

I built my lock with hand tools, no micrometer, drill press, mill, or lathe. Best thing to do is learn how to search on these forums and read all there is to know about doing the build. And find inside and out pictures of the lock. You can do the build with a cordless drill with crosshairs a level,a vise, a set of taps, oil, and the ability to make a wood+sandpaper reamer and just keep checking the fit.
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Dphariss
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Northern I Corps Kill a Commie for your Mommy


« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2012, 08:31:03 AM »

I built my lock with hand tools, no micrometer, drill press, mill, or lathe. Best thing to do is learn how to search on these forums and read all there is to know about doing the build. And find inside and out pictures of the lock. You can do the build with a cordless drill with crosshairs a level,a vise, a set of taps, oil, and the ability to make a wood+sandpaper reamer and just keep checking the fit.

Its possible to do this. It was done in the past.
In the past they did not use measurements as we did then used gages. This allowed them to work to tolerance.
Today if you have a set of instructions its possible to do a pretty good job.
But I don't think The Rifle Shoppe locks come with instructions.
In this case things need to be measured.
Split stick and wet or dry will do wonderful things and for someone only doing one lock it may work OK.
But even with tools its possible to end up with something that looks like this. This came as a completed lock btw.


Then you need another lock plate or a welder and the ability to get the hole in the right place.
If the lock has no holes spotted its going to be difficult for the neophyte. Get the tumbler in the wrong place and nothing works right.

Dan
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"American Girls and American Guys
Will always stand up and salute  Will always recognize
When we see Old Glory Flying   There's a lot of men dead   So we can sleep in peace at night   When we lay down our head"
Toby Keith "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue"
Dphariss
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Northern I Corps Kill a Commie for your Mommy


« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2012, 09:05:39 AM »

Dan,

Thanks for all the great pointers.  I will definitely keep your post for reference.

Steve

If the lock came with no instructions a full scale photo of the completed lock might help in locating holes if there are no apparent places where there were holes in the casting. The center of the cock screw in a photo scaled to fit the plate can be used to locate a tumbler hole if needed.  Check with the cock casting to assure it reaches the pan properly and it should be OK. But located too low, too high, forward or back can have lock parts off the plate.
The tumbler hole, the sear screw hole and the mainspring locator hole are pretty critical for function and safety.
You can buy a low priced dial caliper at lost places that sell reloading supplies if you don't have one. Get a metal one. Its accurate enough for placing holes and such in a lockplate if needed.

Dan
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"American Girls and American Guys
Will always stand up and salute  Will always recognize
When we see Old Glory Flying   There's a lot of men dead   So we can sleep in peace at night   When we lay down our head"
Toby Keith "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue"
Chris Treichel
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2012, 09:44:27 AM »

why don't you give the Rifle Shop a call and ask them if they could send you a tracing of a lock plate with the location of all the holes?  Or does anyone here have a completed lock plate for that musket from Rifleshop and would be able to do that?
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D. Taylor Sapergia
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2012, 11:28:47 AM »




This lock is similar to your Willits lock.  It is from TRS's 1st model Bess with 1728 Tower lock, sold through TOW.  Only mine didn't come with screws!  But I did have a drill press, and a small home-made lathe build my my dad, along with measuring tools.  In fact, a Vernier's calipers was one of the first tools I bought, when I could afford it.  To get the placement of the screw holes I used the full sized photo in the TOW catalogue.  There is one in TOW's current catalogue for the Willits lock.  Actually, once you get the tumbler hole in the right place, all of the other holes are related to it.  The engraving on the plate helps to orientate the cock over the pate so that locating that hole isn't much of a problem.  So, after you have cleaned up (rough polished) all of the parts, that's where you start.



...and be sure to make these.  I used a piece of left over under-rib to make mine.  The rod pipe goes into the mortise so that the pin holds the pipe and stock to the barrel at the same time.  These are soft soldered to the barrel.

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D. Taylor Sapergia
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Dr. Tim-Boone
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2012, 09:49:58 AM »

Have a look at this:

http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/tutorials/brooks/Brooks1.html



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toolman_ia
Guest
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 08:07:45 PM »

Have a look at this:

http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/tutorials/brooks/Brooks1.html


Excellent Reference with nice detailed illustrations.

Thanks Dr. Tim

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toolman_ia
Guest
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2012, 08:16:24 PM »




This lock is similar to your Willits lock.  It is from TRS's 1st model Bess with 1728 Tower lock, sold through TOW.  Only mine didn't come with screws!  But I did have a drill press, and a small home-made lathe build my my dad, along with measuring tools.  In fact, a Vernier's calipers was one of the first tools I bought, when I could afford it.  To get the placement of the screw holes I used the full sized photo in the TOW catalogue.  There is one in TOW's current catalogue for the Willits lock.  Actually, once you get the tumbler hole in the right place, all of the other holes are related to it.  The engraving on the plate helps to orientate the cock over the pate so that locating that hole isn't much of a problem.  So, after you have cleaned up (rough polished) all of the parts, that's where you start.



...and be sure to make these.  I used a piece of left over under-rib to make mine.  The rod pipe goes into the mortise so that the pin holds the pipe and stock to the barrel at the same time.  These are soft soldered to the barrel.

I don't quite follow what the pieces you fabricated in the lower pic are for....?

I will take your suggestion about getting the full scale pics from the catalog to build a pattern.  So the TOW rough cast locks generally do not come with center holes marked?

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Bill of the 45th
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2012, 09:36:23 PM »

Toolman, the parts set you got from your spouse Grin through Track, is really from the Rifle Shoppe.  The parts Taylor showed, allows you to use a barrel tenon to hold both the barrel, and the ram rod thimbles with one tenon, making it stronger.

Bill
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toolman_ia
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2012, 11:16:23 PM »

The book Recreating the American Long Rifle you said you have is the same one I used to build my first fusil and I would recommend reading it at least twice cover to cover. In the first or second chapter it actually discusses in detail the order of construction for building a rifle which should be the same as building a musket.   

Checked the book last night.... its in Chapter 5 about pg 26

Yep, I was reading through it this morning - thanks
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toolman_ia
Guest
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2012, 11:26:09 PM »

Toolman, the parts set you got from your spouse Grin through Track, is really from the Rifle Shoppe.  The parts Taylor showed, allows you to use a barrel tenon to hold both the barrel, and the ram rod thimbles with one tenon, making it stronger.

Bill

Oh, I see.  I will try to find The Rifle Shoppe and ask about a tracing or plans.

thanks Bill
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toolman_ia
Guest
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2012, 08:25:24 AM »




This lock is similar to your Willits lock.  It is from TRS's 1st model Bess with 1728 Tower lock, sold through TOW.  Only mine didn't come with screws!  But I did have a drill press, and a small home-made lathe build my my dad, along with measuring tools.  In fact, a Vernier's calipers was one of the first tools I bought, when I could afford it.  To get the placement of the screw holes I used the full sized photo in the TOW catalogue.  There is one in TOW's current catalogue for the Willits lock.  Actually, once you get the tumbler hole in the right place, all of the other holes are related to it.  The engraving on the plate helps to orientate the cock over the pate so that locating that hole isn't much of a problem.  So, after you have cleaned up (rough polished) all of the parts, that's where you start.

[IMG of barrel tennons was here]

  be sure to make these.  I used a piece of left over under-rib to make mine.  The rod pipe goes into the mortise so that the pin holds the pipe and stock to the barrel at the same time.  These are soft soldered to the barrel.



Taylor,do you have a pic showing your dual purpose barrel tendons installed?
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FlintFan
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2012, 02:11:37 PM »

Toolman, the parts set you got from your spouse Grin through Track, is really from the Rifle Shoppe.  The parts Taylor showed, allows you to use a barrel tenon to hold both the barrel, and the ram rod thimbles with one tenon, making it stronger.

Bill

Oh, I see.  I will try to find The Rifle Shoppe and ask about a tracing or plans.

thanks Bill

To clarify things a little bit.  The Willits castings that Track sells are not from The Rifle Shoppe.  Track owns these molds exclusively, and as far as I know, no one else sells this particular set of castings.  I've built about a dozen of the Willits muskets over the years, and was confused at first as well, particularly when I was comparing some of the Willits castings to some Pattern 1742 castings I have from TRS.  They are not the same, the lock plates are slightly different sizes and are not interchangeable, same as the internal parts.  

Also the "double loop" style of underlugs shown in this thread are not correct for a pattern 1742 musket.  They are correct for the pattern 1730 muskets, but the 1742 pattern and later muskets used conventional single lugs like you see on most other style muzzleloaders.  

Kit Ravenshear did a full sized drawing of the Long Land muskets showing many of the pattern differences between them.  I think you can get that drawing from either TRS or Track.  

Hope this clarifies things a little bit for you, and best of luck on your project.  
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toolman_ia
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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2012, 04:01:11 PM »

Toolman, the parts set you got from your spouse Grin through Track, is really from the Rifle Shoppe.  The parts Taylor showed, allows you to use a barrel tenon to hold both the barrel, and the ram rod thimbles with one tenon, making it stronger.

Bill

Oh, I see.  I will try to find The Rifle Shoppe and ask about a tracing or plans.

thanks Bill

To clarify things a little bit.  The Willits castings that Track sells are not from The Rifle Shoppe.  Track owns these molds exclusively, and as far as I know, no one else sells this particular set of castings.  I've built about a dozen of the Willits muskets over the years, and was confused at first as well, particularly when I was comparing some of the Willits castings to some Pattern 1742 castings I have from TRS.  They are not the same, the lock plates are slightly different sizes and are not interchangeable, same as the internal parts.  

Also the "double loop" style of underlugs shown in this thread are not correct for a pattern 1742 musket.  They are correct for the pattern 1730 muskets, but the 1742 pattern and later muskets used conventional single lugs like you see on most other style muzzleloaders.  

Kit Ravenshear did a full sized drawing of the Long Land muskets showing many of the pattern differences between them.  I think you can get that drawing from either TRS or Track.  

Hope this clarifies things a little bit for you, and best of luck on your project.  

Much clearer now.  Thanks.  The Track came with a full-scale drawing of complete musket; however, it does not show the lock assembly breakdown.  Do you have a pic of the 1746 Willits pieces finished but not assembled?  Specifically, that show the hole locations.
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FlintFan
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« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2012, 05:20:17 PM »

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the hole placement on the lock plate.  Although, if you are able to get the Craft and Practice vol. 1 booklet it does explain how to position the internal parts, even if there are no "dimples" for drill guides.  On the Willits plate, you should be able to center punch where the center of the tumbler axis gets drilled.  I don't have any castings in front of me, but you should be able to see where the tumbler hole was filled for making the mold.  Center punch where the center of the hole should go as accurately as you can by eye, that will be close enough.  You can even lay the cock on the lockplate before punching the center of the tumbler hole.  Position the cock at about where it would be at half cock, and you can see how it should be evenly centered between the engraving on the plate.  You can center punch the plate through the square of the cock when you think you have it located properly.  Punch it lightly first and double check everything, you can always move the location of your center punch if you don't think it is quite right. 

The other critical position is that of the sear screw.  It's position is outlined by the little semi circle engraved border that you see on the face of the lockplate.  As long as you can position that screw as accurately as possible in the center of that semi-circle you will be good.  Once you have the holes drilled for the tumbler and sear screw all the other ones are much easier to position.  Again, that booklet will explain it better than I can here.
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toolman_ia
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2012, 11:04:09 PM »

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the hole placement on the lock plate.  Although, if you are able to get the Craft and Practice vol. 1 booklet it does explain how to position the internal parts, even if there are no "dimples" for drill guides.  On the Willits plate, you should be able to center punch where the center of the tumbler axis gets drilled.  I don't have any castings in front of me, but you should be able to see where the tumbler hole was filled for making the mold.  Center punch where the center of the hole should go as accurately as you can by eye, that will be close enough.  You can even lay the cock on the lockplate before punching the center of the tumbler hole.  Position the cock at about where it would be at half cock, and you can see how it should be evenly centered between the engraving on the plate.  You can center punch the plate through the square of the cock when you think you have it located properly.  Punch it lightly first and double check everything, you can always move the location of your center punch if you don't think it is quite right. 

The other critical position is that of the sear screw.  It's position is outlined by the little semi circle engraved border that you see on the face of the lockplate.  As long as you can position that screw as accurately as possible in the center of that semi-circle you will be good.  Once you have the holes drilled for the tumbler and sear screw all the other ones are much easier to position.  Again, that booklet will explain it better than I can here.

very detailed description.  Thanks much
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toolman_ia
Guest
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2012, 04:30:02 PM »




This lock is similar to your Willits lock.  It is from TRS's 1st model Bess with 1728 Tower lock, sold through TOW.  Only mine didn't come with screws!  But I did have a drill press, and a small home-made lathe build my my dad, along with measuring tools.  In fact, a Vernier's calipers was one of the first tools I bought, when I could afford it.  To get the placement of the screw holes I used the full sized photo in the TOW catalogue.  There is one in TOW's current catalogue for the Willits lock.  Actually, once you get the tumbler hole in the right place, all of the other holes are related to it.  The engraving on the plate helps to orientate the cock over the pate so that locating that hole isn't much of a problem.  So, after you have cleaned up (rough polished) all of the parts, that's where you start.



...and be sure to make these.  I used a piece of left over under-rib to make mine.  The rod pipe goes into the mortise so that the pin holds the pipe and stock to the barrel at the same time.  These are soft soldered to the barrel.



I did some research based on your suggestion of making a set of double-looped under locks (loops?)  As it turns out, the 1742 model of the Brown Bess (which is what I have) are single looped and are offset from the ram-rod pipes.  The prior models (1730 until 1742) used the double-looped under locks/loops that straddled the pipes - apologies if I didn't get the the terms quite right.

Thanks for your suggestion as it took me on a journey to learn about barell loops. 

Steve
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D. Taylor Sapergia
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« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2012, 06:51:01 PM »

I did not know that the under-lugs differed as models changed, but it makes sense.  The concept is the same...a single pin holds the wood to the barrel, and the thimble to the wood at the same time.  The offset lugs would be very simple to make.
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D. Taylor Sapergia
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