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NEW SERVICE       

            HARDENING/TEMPERING FRIZZENS

It seems like I have had problems with frizzens forever. I fell in love with flintlocks after I originally read the Bears of Blue River in 1948. I don't know exactly how many have passed through my hands since then, but it's been a lot. Some I have bought, some I have repaired and some I have made from kits and from scratch.  All have been problematic. The geometry of the lock has to be right, the spring has to be tempered just so and the frizzen needs to be hard enough to drip sparks. Getting all three of these requirements satisfied in the same lock is a real chore.

This situation has improved in the last decade. Many styles of new flintlocks are available from reputable makers. The designs are traditional, the geometry is correct and the springs and frizzens are way better than in past years and decades. The basic reason is that frizzen and spring steels have improved, are commonly available and the formulas for proper hardening and tempering are readily available.

 Still, the commonest problem that I run into is an improperly hardened frizzen. Good geometry, great mainspring  with balanced frizzen spring but poor sparking, even though proper oil hardening frizzen steel was used to manufacture the frizzen itself.

The problem has been bad enough that I finally invested in an electric furnace. I now harden and re-harden all my own frizzens. The learning curve took me a while but I 've got it down now. My frizzens drip sparks, burn your moccasins, start fires in the grass and right side up or upside down. It's now time to share the expertise. 

FRIZZEN HARDENING SERVICE

Send me your poor sparking frizzen and I will harden it properly for you. I would appreciate it if you would identify the lock for me, if you can, better yet, identify the steel it's made of by number or description.  I guarantee that it will spark better when I am done with it than before AI started or there will be no charge. Send the rest of the lock along with it. Yes, I want the whole thing. It's hard to test without the entire lock.  Turn around time will depend on my schedule and time available but plan on about a month. Cost is $30. Please realize that best results come with proper steels in the first place. If the frizzen in common steel, results will be much poorer. In some instances the frizzen will need to be faced with proper steel and then hardened (something that happened a lot in the old days)