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I haven't been doing too much forging due to time, money, and temperature constraints(100 degree days are tough temps for forging). I finally got some corn to try since I've only used wood thus far. Corn is a huge improvement and much hotter. Thanks to Phil for his post and advice that got me to try corn. Anyway, my brother asked me to make him a couple screwdrivers and a vent pick for his flintlock. I made these from a Chinese cold punch that failed while hot punching a pair of tongs, a piece of an 18" long chisel/breaker bar and the pick is part of a bicycle kick stand. Need some advice. Should I try to heat treat the screwdrivers or will just the hardness of the tool steel be enough? They're mystery high carbon steel and I wouldn't think they really need to be too much harder for screwdrivers. At this point they are tough to file just from air hardening. They still need final fitting and filing to fit the screw heads. Advice and critiques welcome since I'm still in the basic learning stage. I really am enjoying this and couldn't be happier with my anvil!



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I wouldn't bother with a heat-treat. The screws on the rifle aren't going to need a lot of torque to get them off. I would let your brother do the final fitting/filling on the drivers and vent pick so the match the screws nicely.

Another option I've used in the past is to buy a cheap screwdriver and bust the handle off. Most of the longer drivers give you plenty of material to forge to shape and the actual bit is already formed.

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I scrounge the yard sales for 1/4" Allen head wrenches and forge mine from them. I harden them and temper them back to blue.

Most of my customers are reenacting British F&I War and they can be very abusive to their musket tools on the old Bess. I've seen several deform a mild screw driver when torquing down the cock screw.

Any screw driver will work best if it is custom filed for the intended screw. Ideally, they should fill the slot in both thickness and width.

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Hi a62rambler, I use 1/4" Rnd or Square mild steel for Pennsylvania Longrifle style locks and 5/16" Rnd or Square mild steel for my Brown Bess musket.
Haven't had any issues so far.

I file the blade down to fit each style lock and you can use the round end to chip an edge back on a dull flint.
Here is a shot of the 1/4".


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