Author Topic: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?  (Read 11015 times)

Offline Rolf

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What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« on: January 09, 2010, 12:40:52 PM »
My project for next year(2011) will be four long barreled flintlock target pistols with small siler locks. These locks are only available right handed. I'm severely left handed. I'm toying with the idea of making a left handed small siler for my own pistol. In theory it should be possible by making mirror images of the parts from a right handed lock.

1.When making a frizzen, should you use 0.9% carbon steel or just mild steel and case hardening? What should the hardness be after tempering?

2.When making a tumbler, should you use 0.9%carbon steel or mild steel and case hardening? What should the hardness be after tempering?

3.I gather the the cock, bridle, pan and lockplate can be made of mild steel. Should these parts be case harden?

4. Can I use 0.9% carbon steel for springs? How hard should they be after tempering?

 Best regards

Rolfkt
« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 01:34:32 PM by Rolfkt »

Offline LRB

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 05:02:06 PM »
  I would suggest 01 for the tumbler and sear. 1095 for the frizzen. the springs could be 1095, or 5160. 01 is abrasion resistant. 1095 throws a lot of spark, and makes a very good spring. 5160 has good shock resistance. As far as hard, the 01 would be good at around 58rc. Well hardened 1095 for the frizzen, just temper at 375°. I don't know the acuall hardness, but that works well for Chambers locks. 1095 springs work well with a 650°/675° temper after hardening. The best temper method I have found for the 1095 springs is a 650°/675° soak in a pot of lead, or a thermo-regulated oven. Cased mild steel for the rest should be fine.

Offline BJH

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 08:29:11 PM »
Depending on availability in Europe .9% carbon steel is close to the same thing as 1095. You could make all your parts from this steel. I would use mild steel for the tumbler and case harden it if I could not get O-!.  All parts could be made from mild steel and case hardened except the springs. The only thing is eventually the skin on the frizzen will wear through requiring re heat treatment. But as you would allready be familiar with the process it would not be too big a deal..BJH
BJH

Offline Rolf

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 08:42:12 PM »
Thanks for the info. I checked some steel suppliers n Norway. 01 tool steel is easy to get. Uddeholm steel makes it and it is available as sheet stock from 1/8" to 2" thick and round stock up to 2" diameter. They call it arne steel.

Can't find anyone in Norway stocking 1095 thicker than 1/8" . Does anyone know a supplier for 1095 steel thats 1" thick?

Best regards

Rolfkt

Offline Stan

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 06:22:40 PM »
I have never been able to find any sheet steel in either 1095 or 1070 thicker than 1/8"  Stan. 
If anyone knows of any please post it!

keweenaw

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 06:44:15 PM »
Rolf,

1095 can be difficult to find thicker than 1/2" although I've seen some in 1" so someone is rolling it.  Admiral steel http://www.admiralsteel.com/products/200/spring_steel.html has a wide selection, reasonable prices and great service.  On the other had, I have about 3 lifetimes worth of 1095 in 1" wide bars of various thicknesses (1/4" or thinner) and could cut off and send you a piece rather than your buying and paying the shipping of a 6 foot length.

You can make perfectly fine frizzens and tumblers from mild steel if you case harden them at sufficient temperature for a long enough soak.  Tumblers really only need a hard wear surface as if you get them too hard the halfcock lips tend to break off, etc.  Use mild steel for the plate, cocks, etc.

Tom

Offline Stan

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 07:12:00 PM »
Thanks Tom.

Offline Frizzen

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2010, 07:38:27 PM »
You could take a right-hand lock and mount it on the left side. There are for backwards shooters.
The Pistol Shooter

Offline Rolf

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2010, 07:45:39 PM »
Tom,
Thanks for your info and kind offer. If I can't find thicker 1095, I'll take you up on your on the steel. Soling a chunk of mild steel with a 1/4" thick 1095 stock might do the trick.

I have a few question pertaining heat treating a mild steel frizzen:

1. I've got a computer controlled electric heat treating oven than goes up to 11000C. If I make a frizzen from mild steel, how hot and how long should I "cook"it?

2. What should I pack it in? Kasenite? Crushed charcol?

3. Should it be water or oil cooled?

4. Tempering ?

5. Are the frizzens from Blackley, TRS, L&R ,ecetra, cast of mild steel?

Best regards

Rolfkt

Offline T*O*F

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 07:51:41 PM »
Quote
You could take a right-hand lock and mount it on the left side.

Just curious.....since a pistol is fired at arm's length, what difference does it make what side the lock is on?  The normal rifle issues of flint shards and pan flash don't seem to apply.
Dave Kanger

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Offline Rolf

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2010, 08:15:10 PM »
Tof,
If I've understood an german article I read some years ago on lefthanded officer's pistols, the idea was to avoid the smoke and flash from passing in front of the shooters face and disrupting the line of sight and/or nigth vison.

I must admit, since I've jet to fire a flintlock pistol, I've no idea it makes a differnce.

Best regards
Rolfkt

Joe S

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2010, 08:18:34 PM »
Admiral Steel will sell you ¼” thick 1095, but you have to buy a huge piece of it.  Jantz Supply has ¼” x 2” x 18” pieces available for $13.95 and 36” pieces for $27.95.  See page 30 of their catalogue http://www.jantzsupply.com/knifemaking_catalog.html

A friend of mine just finished building exactly the lock you are talking about building.  Since all of the parts are machined to very close tolerances, it’s actually a better lock than any commercial lock. 

If you take a look in the archives, you’ll find a lot of threads on tempering.

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2010, 09:35:38 PM »
Maybe if you are going to carry a brace of pistols, you'd want a right and a left to make holstering and withdrawing the pistols easier?

tom
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Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2010, 03:00:20 AM »
Tom,
Thanks for your info and kind offer. If I can't find thicker 1095, I'll take you up on your on the steel. Soling a chunk of mild steel with a 1/4" thick 1095 stock might do the trick.

I have a few question pertaining heat treating a mild steel frizzen:

1. I've got a computer controlled electric heat treating oven than goes up to 11000C. If I make a frizzen from mild steel, how hot and how long should I "cook"it?

2. What should I pack it in? Kasenite? Crushed charcol?

3. Should it be water or oil cooled?

4. Tempering ?

5. Are the frizzens from Blackley, TRS, L&R ,ecetra, cast of mild steel?

Best regards

Rolfkt

Rolfkt,

Here are my thoughts to your questions.

1.  I would probably carburize a frizen at approximately1550 F for around 4 hours.
2.  Use real charcoal for the pack. 
3.  Water quenching is typically used  during pack carburizing.  Using a brine solution may lessen the chances of cracking.
4.  I would temper at around 375 F for around an hour.
5.  Don't know about TRS and Blackley, but I'm sure L&R thru hardens a high carbon steel rather than useing a carburizing process.

If you do a search of the archives, you should find quite a bit of information on case hardening. 

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2010, 03:20:09 AM »
There's a casehardening tutorial with lots of info from Jerry Huddleston, and a backyard casehardening by yours truly.

Tom
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Offline Dan'l 1946

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2010, 04:35:42 AM »
Would  it be possible to use Jim Chamber's left handed  gunmaker's lock and shape it to look like a small Siler?

Offline LRB

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Re: What type of steel to use for flintlock parts?
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2010, 03:03:33 PM »
  Now that may be the best suggestion, and answer to the task at hand. I did know that lock was made in left hand.