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.
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 fromhttp://smartflix.com/store/category/113/Firearms
It will allow you to decide which are the most useful for you before purchase.