Author Topic: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT  (Read 14876 times)

Offline James Wilson Everett

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Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« on: October 28, 2011, 03:03:27 PM »
Guys,

Here is an interesting tool.  It is from a collection of 18th c. gunsmith tools that may be of interest to those who really do make guns.  Perhaps we can vote on the original use of the tool.  here are the photos.





1.  My friend Griz says that it is an 18th c. ear wax remover, he says that it would probably be easier to use than the 5/8 twist drill he normally uses at home.

2.  It could be used as a barrel muzzle crown tool.  This actually was my first guess.  The tool was made to cut metal using a brace.  The teeth are raised by a chisel rather than being cut into the surface.  The tiny uncut space at the tool center is lower than the teeth.  I no longer think that this was the purpose of the tool.  The angle of the cut chamfer seems to be too flat for a good barrel muzzle crown.  It should be closer to 45 degrees.  And also it is too small in diameter for many bores over 0.50 cal.  Also if it were to be a barrel crown tool there would be no reason to form the teeth so close to the tool centerline, (like for crowning a 0.22 cal muzzle)

3.  I believe that the tool was used as a flashpan grinder to cut that hollow in the flashpan.  For those who have ever actually made a flintlock, the pan hollow is very interesting to cut by hand (read drive you nuts).  After the blank pan is attached to the lockplate most of the pan hollow can be cut using round files cutting from the barrel side on the pan.  Of course, this leaves the end away from the barrel unformed.  This tool seems to be just about right to finish cutting the entirepan hollow.  The diameter and curve really fits a flintlock flashpan.

Such a tool would leave obvious circular marks in the pan on the side away from the barrel and linear marks on the side close to the barrel.  I have never seen such marks, however, all of the original flintlocks I have owned have been shot ten bazillion times and any such marks have long been corroded away.  It would be really interesting if anyone who has a more pristine flintlock could see such marks in the pan.

Let me know what you guys think on this tool.  No, Griz, it is not a nose picker either.

Jim Everett

P.S. HDTDT - How Did They Do That
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 11:53:04 PM by James Wilson Everett »

Black Hand

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2011, 05:09:46 PM »
Judging by the wear/location of the bent teeth, I'd go with crowning tool.

Offline bgf

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2011, 10:42:07 PM »
That is what is advertised in the 1815 Hills Gazette as "Winner's Edge Accuracy Tool".  Basically, you pretend to dress your crown with it before a match and shoot an "X", then "begrudgingly" lend it to competitors and help them fine tune the crown of their rifles right before the match, giving you the winning edge :).

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2011, 11:42:26 PM »
I'm not sure about the flash pan grinder idea unless it was used just to clean up the pan cavity already established during forging.  Most lock parts were made and shaped primarily by forging then finished with files etc.  I was thinking the pan cavity would probably have been roughed in using a punch.
Andover, Vermont

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 02:48:15 AM »
Let's not fool ourselves.  It's nothing more than a half cherry which could be used in any operation to form a concavity of that particular size and shape.  Just because it was in a collection doesn't necessarily mean it's 18th century, or even a gun tool.  It might easily have been used in another trade.

Without looking it up, I seem to recall a similar tool shown in Harrison & Stelle's Gunsmith's Manual, but don't remember its purpose.
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Offline KNeilson

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 03:22:09 AM »
I could agree with TOF on this. Given that the teeth are raised as opposed to filed, and the coarseness of the fabrication, my guess would be a quick one-off tool that could be used for anything requiring that particular shape. Such as crowning a barrel. Another way of looking at it may be that the smith who made it only had a hammer and chisel. I have seen pictures of similar rotary tools in other books, and the ones for hollowing out a flashpan look like a acorn, and I would bet are used like W Gusler does in the GOW  film.. fwiw....      Kerry
PS....
On further inspection, I`m not sure that the teeth are raised, as I do not see ajoining marks as the chisel was rotated up the crown. Also the valley `tween the teeth has a similar radius to the crown like filing would produce. I also think the displaced metal (from raising) would bulge out a bit more about the edges. At home I have a pic of a selection of cherries including the one for the flashpan hollow. Will post on Mon.... regards....  K
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 08:23:06 AM by KNeilson »

Offline James Wilson Everett

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 06:56:34 PM »
Guys,

Now you've done it!  What good does it do yaking about something that you haven't actually tried?  Really, thanks for the input, it truly has pushed me towards doing more that taking photos.  I will try using the tool as a pan grinder to see how it works, but as one of you guys has said, it does appear to be a great way to ruin accuracy if used as a muzzle crown.

Here is the plan, I will try the tool as a pan grinder and report on how it works (as doesn't work as the case may be).

Normally I use a horizontal pan grinder, the working end is shown below.  This tool tends to "walk" out of the pan as you grind the hollow.  One time it "walked" right up my hand - ouch!  The burr is store bought in case anyone was thinking that my filing is too good.



The next three photos are of a half finished gunlock.  As you can see, the pan hollow is not cut.  I often wait until after the lock is installed to cut the hollow.  With a hand done wrought iron barrel the flash hole is already drilled for proof test before installing the lock.  It is easier to "hit" the flash hole and then grind the hollow to fit.  But here I will try it now.  I will let you know what happens.  I plan to drill a pilot hole with a spade bit, followed by a larger bit/countersink, finish with the grinder.

Jim Everett






[

« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 11:56:44 PM by James Wilson Everett »

Offline runastav

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 10:20:36 PM »
Here is how the Germany Gunsmith do it.

Runar




Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2011, 11:10:50 PM »
Don't try that burr by hand! It wall jump out of the pan, and run right up your arm!

It might work very well if held in a milling machine or some other rigid setup.

Tom
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Offline alyce-james

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2011, 03:17:27 AM »
The surface area of the round mill tooling well require a rigid set up such as a mill of stability. Speed of the tooling will also require correct fast speed to prevent chatter.  More important the part of which the tooling will be milling will require very secure hold downs. AJ
"Candy is Dandy but Liquor is Quicker". by Poet Ogden Nash 1931.

Offline kutter

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2011, 03:37:19 AM »
Clamp another piece of flat faced steel to the uncut pan surface,,or better yet silver solder it into place (real high temp silver solder).
A clamp works but can slip during the process and sometimes is in the way of the next step or securing it in a vise for the next operation.

Then from the bbl side center punch high enough onto the new piece and drill with a bit that will cut a suitable radius cut into the original pan. You can follow up the drill with a second bit that will round end cut the cavity.

Doing everything in a drill press held securely in place is best.

Once cut to a depth and diameter (radius) of your liking,, un-solder the extra flat stock from the pan,,carefully remove/file/polish any solder from the surface and you're left with a rounded pan cut in the surface.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 03:41:28 AM by kutter »

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2011, 04:17:54 AM »
  • this one:  (and use an _under_sized burr to shape up the end.)
Clamp another piece of flat faced steel to the uncut pan surface,,or better yet silver solder it into place (real high temp silver solder).
A clamp works but can slip during the process and sometimes is in the way of the next step or securing it in a vise for the next operation.

Then from the bbl side center punch high enough onto the new piece and drill with a bit that will cut a suitable radius cut into the original pan. You can follow up the drill with a second bit that will round end cut the cavity.

Doing everything in a drill press held securely in place is best.

Once cut to a depth and diameter (radius) of your liking,, un-solder the extra flat stock from the pan,,carefully remove/file/polish any solder from the surface and you're left with a rounded pan cut in the surface.
Hold to the Wind

Offline James Wilson Everett

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2011, 05:07:15 AM »
Guys,

Thanks so very much for all of the great responses on the pan grinder.  However, I try to replicate not only the product, but also the materials, tooling and processes of the 18th c.  The horizontal pan grinder I use is a hand turned unit that is clamped in a post vice.  The lock plate and blank pan is held by hand against a stop and pushed upwards against the rotating burr cutter.  It works well as long as nothing slips.  The grinder is taken from an illustration in Diderot Encyclopedia and also Hist. Armsmaking Tech Vol. 3.  I have just tried the illustrated barrel crown/pan grinder/earwax remover.  I can say for certain that it works only so-so as a barrel crown or as a pan grinder.  Maybe tomorrow I can post the results of the pan grinding.  Now I am calling for a volunteer to check out the third possible use.

Jim Everett

Offline James Wilson Everett

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2011, 01:02:10 AM »
Guys,

Here is the lock after using the tool as a pan grinder.  It was successful in forming the pan hollow and was easy to use, but as can be seen in the photos there are some shortcomings.

1.  The hollow is not as neat as compared to the horizontal pan grinder.  I made three cuts in a row to form the hollow starting with about a 1/8 inch spade bit, followed by about a 3/8 spade bit, followed by the grinder.  This left the small points uncut between the three locations that had to be cleaned up with a round file.  The result is functional, but not pretty.

2.  The grinder leaves a distinct center spot where there are no teeth on the grinder.  The three spots can be seen in the pan hollow.  I do not recall ever seeing such spots on any original pan hollow.

But there is one great advantage:

3. The gunsmith can make the pan hollow with very little in the way of specialized tooling.  Really, how many of you guys have a specialized horizontal pan grinder?  This tool would be very easy to make and use.

All in all, I believe this tool is a barrel muzzle croiwn tool, and not a very good one, either.

Jim Everett







« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 12:01:04 AM by James Wilson Everett »

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2011, 04:59:25 AM »
All due respect to your method, unless you can convince me that twist drills for metal didn't exist in whatever time period, I'm going to stick with the drilling into pan/scrap clamped together as a viable process for then as now.

no matter what time-frame, there have always been two ways to strip a squirrel.
Hold to the Wind

Offline James Wilson Everett

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2011, 02:14:22 PM »
Wade,

The twist drill was not invented until just about the time of the American Civil War period.  Prior to this period, drill bits for metal were flat spade bits that have a definite "fish tail" profile.  Holes were drilled much undersize then reamed to size using a tapered square reamer.  Maybe soon I will post a tutorial on how holes were drilled in metal in the 18th c. showing many examples of original metal cutting drill bits.  Stephen Morse developed the idea of creating a twisted drill consisting of two parallel spiral grooves with a straight cutting edge.  He began manufacturing drills in October of 1861 with a small shop in East Bridgewater, Mass.  His original patent, No. 38119, is dated April 7, 1863.  The following internet link will bring you to the actual patent drawing showing the first twist drill.  The earliest twist drills had the grooves ground straight then the bit hot twisted to give the spiral.  Now they are ground in the spiral pattern.  The great advantage to a twist drill is that the cutting chips are pulled out of the hole as cutting progresses thereby speeding up the drilling operation as the operator does not have to clear the chips.

http://www.datamp.org/patents/displayPatent.php?pn=38119&id=18675

Jim Everett

Offline Stophel

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2011, 07:52:19 PM »
If I remember correctly, my copies of the 1897 and 1905 Sears catalogs still show the flat "spade" type bits for sale for drilling into metal.   ;)
When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Offline KNeilson

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2011, 02:32:30 AM »
Jim, your locks are inspiring for me. Nice work!
Quote
Now you've done it!  What good does it do yaking about something that you haven't actually tried?
Your totally right, never cut a pan hollow before. But, envision it being done with a tool similar to the carbide rotary tool you posted. Also, your not the only one to have run one of those up your hand..    ;) .  Myself, I just like thinking about the HDTDT for more than just this particular job, as making the tools is an most enjoyable pastime for me. As far as the job goes,
Quote
there have always been two ways to strip a squirrel
probably comes in to play here depending on the resources available to the person at the time....just thinking out loud.....    :)  Kerry   

blunderbuss

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2011, 08:41:40 PM »


I agree with Black Hand I too think it's a barrel crowning tool .One can see the worn teeth in a circular pattern on the tool, that would not have been made cutting pans.  If that's measured you could tell about what dimension the ID of the barrel was. A pan cutter would have the teeth on the side of the tool.

Offline kutter

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2011, 10:31:10 PM »
If I was w/o the use of conventional twist drill(s) to cut a pan by the method I posted (stacking a scrap piece onto the pan & drilling),,I'd cut it out with a chisel or two.
A couple different shapes to hog out the metal and a larger shallow round nose to finish it off.
In reality it would probably be the faster way to do it. I doubt it would take me more than 15 minutes to do.

I'm wondering now if some of the builders didn't originally cut the pan out that way, especially the odd shaped ones.

If you can use a  mallet & gouge on wood with some skill,,you can learn to use a die sinkers type chisel on steel too.
Each cut is not as deep of course, but you can remove alot of metal with them in a short time. They're just over grown 'gravers.


Black Hand

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2011, 10:56:30 PM »
It is likely that the pans were rough-shaped (forged) using a die as are shown in the Journal of Historical Armsmaking Technology.  All they needed was a little file-work to clean them up....

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2011, 01:23:56 AM »
Hey thank for the twist-drill info, makes more sense to carve the hollow now.

but having die-grinder/burr experience, i'm not going to try to cut a depression the same size as the burr, ever.  plunge cutting with the chainsaw, otoh is perfectly doable.

sawdust.
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Offline James Wilson Everett

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2011, 04:30:30 AM »
Guys,

I just came back from Colonial Williamsburg and had a wonderful chat with George Suiter (sorry George if I have misspelled your last name).  George is the master gunsmith there.  He uses a round nose chisle that is ground with a slight "heel" much as a die sinkers chisle.  The chisle is driven with a hammer to cut out the rough pan and then used by hand to smooth the final surface of the pan hollow.  The width of the round nose is about 3/8 inch.  Looking at the really great results in the C.W. flintlock pans, I will try this method on my next pan.

Jim Everett

Offline kutter

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2011, 07:13:09 AM »
Guys,

 ... He uses a round nose chisle that is ground with a slight "heel" much as a die sinkers chisle.  
Jim Everett

I guess I wasn't far off in my post about the selection of tools if I didn't have the modern drill(s) to go to.
I'd guess a Colonial gunsmith kept things pretty simple if he could.

On annealed steel, you can cut and shape quickly with the right chisels and a sturdy vise.
Alot of material can be removed quickly w/o the use of a file. Something that would save both work and the costly file itself.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 07:18:38 AM by kutter »

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Flashpan Grinder HDTDT
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2011, 04:04:20 PM »
 George Suiter is an old friend of mine and came from right here in Huntington,WV. He used to work for Douglas barrel company and has helped me cut material in my shop. He has developed into one of the top rifle makers of our day and his cased Alex Henry long range is proof of his abilities.This is one of the finest copies of an English rifle by a top maker and I am proud to say he chose my 4 screw lock for it.
I think it was in 1975 that an opening became available at Colonial Williamsburg and he jumped at the chance and it obviously worked out well for him.

Bob Roller