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Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5
    Country: United States

    Default High quality flip latches and chest locks used on bespoke luggage and oak gun cases

    Hello all. Iím new to this forum, but Iíve been an admirer of the craftsmanship aspect of antique locks for some time. I have a hobby (which Iím trying to turn into a full-time occupation now that Iím retired), of constructing fitted cases for musical instruments, fine bespoke firearms, sets of silverware and flatware, and almost anything else that has had or needs a closely-fitted, precision crafted oak-and-leather storage and transport case. Iíve built cases for everything from a $200,000.00custom-made shotgun, to an antique sextant that had been separated from its original case. I use only the very finest materials and finishing, which brings me to an urgent need I have. My cases have solid brass hardware. The ones that use the briefcase-type ďflip locksĒare no exception. Problem is, the last maker of really good luggage and briefcase hardware closed upon the death of the head and founder. It was located in Italy, and it apparently consisted of the father, one son, one son-in-law and some more relatives as the staff and workforce. Apparently, most were near retirement age, and when the ďPatriarchĒ passed away, they simply shut the doors. Now, all that is out there is cheap, zinc die cast latches imported from China. I will not use them on my cases,as they are all junk. Since the last known source is no more, I will have to make my own. I once was a tool-and-die maker, and I have a complete metalworking shop and I have investment castings made on a regular basis, so this is no problem. My problem is patterns. I need some examples of the very highest-grade suitcase-type flip latches from the 1900 Ė 1950 time-frame; the type usually found only on custom made luggage and oak-and-leather shotgun cases. The following makers made them: Finnigan Ltd.; Barret & Son, F.Lansdowne, and John Pound & Company. There were other makers,but these are what I have encountered most often. They all are made of cast or forged solid brass, and the finishing was impeccable. I need some detached examples for pattern pieces, so I can make my casting patterns. I intend to disassemble them in a way they can be re-assembled (I do not destroy history!) and then to prepare some good drawings that will be of sufficient detail for me to make my casting patterns. I can also use broken and partially disassembled examples.Does anyone out there have any they would be willing to part with? Iíll pay top prices as I really need these. Iíll upload some photos later. Sincerely, Campchair

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,325
    Country: United States

    Default

    http://www.google.com/patents
    You might be able to use the patents that they used to make the lock.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5
    Country: United States

    Default High Quality flip latches.

    Dean, I had a (too) lengthly reply as a "draft", but I hit the wrong button, and it vanished. Thanks very much for the patent drawings suggestion, but I've persued the patent drawings route, and most I can find are for some of the high-rate stamped case latches for use on popularally luggage used in the 1920's through the present. Most of the doubleguns that had (and have) a fitted case are priced in the $150,000.00 range. In that atmosphere, only the very best is suitable; nothing else is acceptable. (Go to www.purdy.com to see what I am talking about....Yes, they cost that much, and they sell all they can make!) The type locks I need for copying purposes is the type used by this firm. They are complet custom "bespoke" makers, and I suspect they do theirs in-house. ( http://www.williams-handmade.com/index.html). I don't think they would be willing o sell me an example for me to copy. I'v re-keyed several original cases, and most of the keys I have made suggest an interior with a couple of rings aroung a center post (all have this) but I cannot get a picture in my mind on what the levers would look like, in relation to the case form. And just how the lock would secure the button that operates the flip catch is even harder. I've repaired several musical instrument cases of the timeframe (early 1900s') when most were really well made, and their flip latches generally have a cleverly-made wire spring that does the function of several solid parts. However, I have not been able to transfer these operaion principles to a design that I can make with solid steel parts. I'v contacted Cox The Saddler, (http://www.saddler.co.uk/shop.html) who is reviving some of the Presto patterns, but they are not of the level of quality and design I need. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd be very obliged. CAMPCHAIR I'll send some photos of original cases when I figure out how! Campchair

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1
    Country: Angola

    Default

    I suppose in a fully refurbished & working condition, well,, price really is what the buyer will stump up for it. My worst guess £30.. best guess....£30.. no i'm pretty sure that you could get a coupla hundred quid... you never know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cyberspace
    Posts
    1,272
    Country: Australia

    Default

    I would suggest talking to one of the smaller lock companies in the UK. I have no doubt that someone like Bramah would make you exactly what you need.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,341
    Country: Wales

    Default

    That's a great suggestion from oldlock- I've seen elaborate and bespoke fittings on a variety of works of Art from the likes of Garrard (The Crown Jewellers), and Asprey, and cases for Purdey and Holland & Holland shotguns. Very often they are fitted with Bramah locks- even silver and gold-plated, so they have definitely made small quantities and one-offs in the past. I know they are a world away from you in Oz, but if you are having little success and really need perfection they've got to be worth a try

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,341
    Country: Wales

    Default

    ooops- should read 'half a world away in the USA' and not Oz- oldlocks post and flag stuck in my mind

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    599
    Country: Bulgaria

    Default

    By the way the gunmaker is Purdey not Purdy.

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