Removing Dents in Firelocks – Steamy Solution!


Nice new dent in your musket stock?

Plenty of old dents on a firelock or some prized furniture that would like to fix?

Steamy solution for you to fix some of the dents we inflict on our muskets during parades, practice, or simply handling.  Make the “ouch” all better!

If the problem is a true dent, vs. cut, chances are you can steam the dent back to its pristine shape.  Worse case, it will be significantly better “less obvious”.  I can attest that this method works.

This is a cool trick which I recently tried on my prized Jim Kibler musket.

After a parade, I set my firelock musket carelessly in the mudroom (OK, I was tired, or lazy or both).  Some time later, the firelock toppled over leaving an approximate 2″ dent in the base of the stock.  My beautiful curly maple stock was now damaged to my dismay.  Yikes!!

I had heard about steaming dents out of wood furniture, so why wouldn’t that work for my prized flintlock?

A couple of YouTube searches later and I had my solution.

Now I am not a furniture / gun stock repairman, don’t even play one on TV or YouTube.  However I located a couple of great sources of expertise on YouTube which I watched and had the knowledge and courage to try their techniques to attempt a repair.

Fast forward, I followed the experts lead and was able to repair my stock to a point that only I can notice the original damage.  Fortunately most of the damage was a dent, and only a few of the wood fibers were torn.

Bottom line, steaming worked!  Please note that you may need to do some light sanding and application of some “covering” stain / finish to disguise the repair.  This depends on your situation and extent of the damage.

Fortunately I assembled and finished my flintlock so I had the original finishing materials available to me for the repair.  My dismay turned to “whew, dodged a bullet” (musket speak!).

Warning – you may need to attempt the steaming process a couple of times to get the result you need.  Also, the steam may remove the finish.  Many flintlock muskets have an oil finish so this may be simple to reapply a cosmetic coat of your favorite oil.  If your flintlock has a more sealed / glossy or permanent coat, you should have those materials available to touch up as needed.  This may require some trial and error.  The result should be a vast improvement, however each situation is different (so are each of our “repair skills”).

If you have a repair situation, or want to fix some furniture with dents, here are a couple of the YouTube videos I watched:

I am a fan of Midway USA and Larry Potterfield (Founder and CEO) can walk what he talks, so he gets first billing here (it is also fairly short and straight forward):

Suggest you review a couple (shortest first) prior to starting as each has a unique ideas on how to approach the repair.  Knowledge is power!

Good Luck!

Hope this is helpful!

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