Author Topic: Making lock plates  (Read 2522 times)

Offline Scota4570

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Making lock plates
« on: October 13, 2021, 06:53:52 PM »
I have done several.  It takes to long.  There must be shortcuts. 

I do want a metal cutting bandsaw for cutting out the plate, it will save time for sure.  Which one?   I'd love to have a giant vertical machine but can not fit it in my shop.

My process is as follows.  Grab a piece of mild steel thicker than the boss on the plate.  Mill it to the thickness of the boss.  Them mill the remainder to the thickness of the plate.  Drill the frizzen pivot screw hole. Screw the plate to the old plate. Use a transfer punch to locate the sear spring hole.  Secure the new plate to the old plate with two machine screws.  Use transfer punches to locate the rest of the holes except the bridle hole.  Drill and tap the holes as needed.  Drill and ream the tumbler hole.  Use the tumbler to locate the bridle screw.  Assemble, check function, shape the plate to final dimensions. 

Here is one I finished yesterday.  The Siler plate was not right for this build.   Excuse the trigger, it was my first build and I made the stock to long.  There is no shortening it because the patch box is to complicated.

   


Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2021, 07:19:26 PM »
Looks good to me. I have milled caplock plates for decades and i joke about manufacturing shavings and chips with the plate being the by product. I have a small 14' verticql saw, probably an Atlas from the 1940's. It is nothing more than a wood saw with a speed reducer to make it useful in a metal shop. The reducer has no name on it so I have NO idea as to the origin.It gives 3 speeds for feet per minute. I have used it for 52 years and recently replaced the original motor and installed a new blade and belt.
Bob Roller
« Last Edit: October 15, 2021, 12:52:07 AM by Bob Roller »

Offline Metalshaper

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2021, 07:22:06 PM »
I have a OLD porter cable, Porta-band metal cutting saw. My bud helped me weld up a stand to hold it vertically and mount to a bench.
it's what I use when it comes to cutting out my Muley lock plates or any other thing where a small flat table surface is handy while
guiding the cuts. new saws have a deeper throat and allow for a longer cut ..

 I can take it down and store it under a bench if needed.. and by unscrewing the old handle knob.. the saw is easily dismounted to use freehand..

Respect Always
Metalshaper/Jonathan

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2021, 08:30:18 PM »
I have a OLD porter cable, Porta-band metal cutting saw. My bud helped me weld up a stand to hold it vertically and mount to a bench.
it's what I use when it comes to cutting out my Muley lock plates or any other thing where a small flat table surface is handy while
guiding the cuts. new saws have a deeper throat and allow for a longer cut ..

 I can take it down and store it under a bench if needed.. and by unscrewing the old handle knob.. the saw is easily dismounted to use freehand..

Respect Always
Metalshaper/Jonathan
This says "where there is a will,there IS a way."
Bob Roller

Offline Metalshaper

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2021, 09:23:31 PM »

[/quote]
This says "where there is a will,there IS a way."
Bob Roller
[/quote]


Why, Yes, Yes it IS !!!

Respect Always
Metalshaper/Jonathan

Offline Woodland

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2021, 11:41:59 PM »
Have you considered having the lock plate blank cut by CNC?  I have a CNC plasma table, and it would take 30 min or so to draw, but I could then cut hundreds of plates in minutes.  Just a thought.

Jon

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 12:58:54 AM »
CNC or flow jet would work.  I found a local flow jet outfit that may be a good source for a batch of a particular part for something more modern.  Mostly my traditional projects are one of a kind.  I don't often make several of anything the same.  If was going to make a bunch then modern methods would be good. 

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2021, 01:02:03 AM »
The CNC is fine in a production shop but when I made  caplocks I seldom made one alike much less 2.
I have about 20 different patterns frpm antique guns including original Remington and Hawken in several
styles an some smaller ones as well.I used 6 and 7 fluted 1/2 inch end mills and buzzed thru the 1018 and
low carbon flat stock quickly.These mills are carbide and I get them from Maritool in Chicago and are made in the U S of A :D  ;D and not outrageously priced either.Look them uo and give thm a shout.
Bob Roller         
« Last Edit: November 06, 2021, 02:46:29 PM by Bob Roller »

Offline 44-henry

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2021, 01:28:21 AM »
Here is mine, an older 4x6 bandsaw sold by Harbor Freight. This is one of the older ones when they were still made in Taiwan. I mounted it on an old Craftsman universal stand that at one time held a 6" jointer. The swivel jaw was replaced with a larger one made of a chunk of angle iron and a jack screw was added which really helps with shorter stock. This one can be used in the vertical position also. The table that came with it was very flimsy, but I am making a new one as seen in the last photo.

These are pretty good saws and if you get a high quality bi metal blade they will do what you need to get done.








Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2021, 05:55:20 AM »
I've made one plate from brass, and another of iron for the one lock I built from scratch just to see what it involve. That cured me .  Today, I just buy a "gunmaker's" lock from Chambers if I want a different plate

Offline J. Talbert

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2021, 11:18:59 PM »
Heres a set up Id describe as, crude, cheap, simple and most of all effective.



The saw is as cheap as $100.00 from Harbor Freight.  All I added was the little table which is screwed into the existing screw holes, and the make-shift wood stand.


Jeff
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Offline Curtis

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2021, 08:31:12 AM »
I like that Jeff!  Great mod.


Curtis
Curtis Allinson

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Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2021, 03:21:32 PM »
I like that Jeff!  Great mod.


Curtis

I am not a big fan of Harbor Freight and having to rely on hostile countries for needed tools but locally we are more or less stuck with them and I must admit that the horizontal metal cutting bandsaw they sell is a good one.It is heavy and over built and for $279 it was a bargain.As far as I know there are NO American made ones at any price and that is a disgrace if true.This saw replaced an old American saw that lasted for 53 years and cost $200 in 1963.The company that made it is still alive but no parts to be had.
Bob Roller
Some one here posts a quote from Charlie Daniels about "If we NEED it here,let's make it here".It is not possible for me to agree more.Let's get it going. >:(
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 04:01:16 AM by Bob Roller »

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2021, 07:04:27 PM »
My way using only a drill press.

Trace the plate outline on the bar stock.  Drill around the outline and saw any webs to release it.


Clamp the two pieces together and file to clean up the outside edges.  Using the appropriate number or letter sized drill bit, drill the holes thru the original plate.  Mark the bolster.  Using a cross slide table, mill away excess material on the back side with a 3/8" dovetail cutter, leaving only the bolster.  The slot for the mainspring can also be cut using it.  The slot for the sear spring is cut with a flat graver.





Finished plate





Finished lock before etching.






Dave Kanger

A dedicated person with just a pocketknife can accomplish more than a lazy person with an entire toolbox.

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2021, 12:20:53 AM »
The vast majority of the work is making the boss integral to the plate.  The boss on a Siler flintlock has a square notch that hooks the pan.  I make the notch with a tiny flat chisel, tedious.  Milling the material away from the thickness of the plate is time consuming.

Why not make the boss as a sperate piece and high temp silver solder it to the plate?  That would save hours and the seam would be invisible.   

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2021, 01:49:40 AM »
My way using only a drill press.

Trace the plate outline on the bar stock.  Drill around the outline and saw any webs to release it.


Clamp the two pieces together and file to clean up the outside edges.  Using the appropriate number or letter sized drill bit, drill the holes thru the original plate.  Mark the bolster.  Using a cross slide table, mill away excess material on the back side with a 3/8" dovetail cutter, leaving only the bolster.  The slot for the mainspring can also be cut using it.  The slot for the sear spring is cut with a flat graver.





Finished plate





Finished lock before etching.





Nice looking "3 pin" Dave.Are you making another long range rifle?
Bob Roller

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2021, 06:40:25 PM »
Quote
Nice looking "3 pin" Dave.Are you making another long range rifle?
That went on my personal rifle.  I have enough parts for 3 more with 2 of them partially completed.  However I probably won't finish them in my lifetime and I'll end up selling them off.
Dave Kanger

A dedicated person with just a pocketknife can accomplish more than a lazy person with an entire toolbox.

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2021, 11:13:35 PM »
Cool idea.  Has anyone used Damascus shotgun barrel material  for a lock plate?

Offline flehto

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2021, 06:26:28 AM »
I agree w/ the previous reply to make the bolster a separate piece and high temp silver solder it on.  Don't see any negatives in doing this.

When milling off to form the bolster, does the plate warp? .....Fred

Offline Not English

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2021, 07:46:35 AM »
Bob, thanks for the mention of Maritool. In was not aware of them. their prices do seem good.

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2021, 11:31:57 AM »
Dave, great work on the lock - very "nifty"!
And Bob Roller - thanks for the recommendation of Maritool -have some very nice tools there, great quality.
Craig Wilcox
We are all elated when Dame Fortune smiles at us, but remember that she is always closely followed by her daughter, Miss Fortune.

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2021, 07:27:10 PM »
"When milling off to form the bolster, does the plate warp? .....Fred"

Not so far.  The plate blank is securely held down to the table with hold downs.  It has no place to go.  I have been using hot rolled mild steel. 




Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2021, 09:25:04 PM »
Dave, great work on the lock - very "nifty"!
And Bob Roller - thanks for the recommendation of Maritool -have some very nice tools there, great quality.
Craig,
You're welcome.Maritool has top of the line tools,made HERE in the USofA. I used cold finished 1018 and when I whack off the length needed I put it on a hot plate,light it up and wait until it turns dark blue and then let it cool off to room temperature.I have never milled a flintlock plate and to me that would be the ultimate manufacturing of shavings ;D.
Bob Roller

Offline Rolf

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2021, 04:49:02 PM »
When making the lock plates for the 1772 pistol locks, I used TOF suggested method of drilling the outline and sawing out.
Works great. I solderd on the front part of the bolster with high temp silver solder. I regret this now, because it makes it impossible to caseharden the lock plate. I've finished 4 locks and started on the fifth. When all six are done, I'll caseharden the frizzens and guts.

https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=49769.msg493990#msg493990
https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=50191.msg497569#msg497569

Making the same parts over and over again, gets a bit tedious. I needed a break. I've started on four left handed, four pin percussion locks, patterns from Bob Roller.

I milled out the bolster, no warping of the plates. Going to file out left handed versions of the Alex Henry hammer.
I'm working on the patterns for the hammer. Snail-mailed Curtis  some patterns  I drew, that he kindly agreed to check against his alex henry lock.

Best regards
Rolf

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Making lock plates
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2021, 11:52:26 PM »
I have not made or examined an English pistol.   The lock plate will be like the ones shown in this thread?  Only the boss at the rear where the lock bolt goes.  The mainspring is made longer.  Drip bars?  Never made one.  Is it rectangular in cross section or does it also fit the diagonal flat?  It get soldered to the barrel, right?