Building from a parts assembly

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Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:05 pm

Ok so finally we are going to get this kicked off . 2 months behind , I know but it could not be helped .
So do to complications and back orders , we will have to change the rifle we were going to work on.
So instead of the Hudson valley fowler , were going to do a plains style rifle . We are not copying anything in particular with this rifle . But we will incorporate the likes of several different rifles .

So here are our general requests .
1) swamped barrel in 54 cal
2) percussion lock
3) double set triggers
4) half stock
5) patch box
6) iron hardware
7) simple stock , light carving , dark stain .

So for a base we chose the Hawkens rifle from Pecatonica river ..
A Note here about Pecatonica. I find Dic simply wonderful to deal with . I have always gotten better then what I expected and have never ran into an issue with delivery times .
This parts assembly was ordered a couple months back and was in fact at my shop within 10 days .
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Now past that original Hawkens style base , we have substituted the start octagon barrel for a GM C profile swamped barrel . This will call for the need of pouring our own nose cap from pewter . It will also require the custom fitting of an under rib .

For the patch box we will do a nice pineapple style clam shell type box .

Ok so lets get started shall we .

First thing we need to do when we open the box is to lay everything out and double check the invoice .
Make sure everything on the list is there AND make sure everything you ordered is on the list .

If you have ordered a standard rifle parts assembly from a retailer. Then double check the invoice with the listed , needed parts , either in there catalog or on their web site..

Now once all the parts have bin confirmed and a list made of any missing parts , we can start looking over what we have ..
Start with the stock . Look it over closely . I know of no company that will not replace a stock do to a defect. However that’s before you start working on it .

Now the next thing I look over is the lock ..
Cock it . The main spring should be good and strong . Look closely at the bridle that holds the tumbler .
It should not be bent . The tumble should ride true to the pivot hole and not wobble . Look at the area around the tumbler . A quality lock will have the inside cleaned up “not overly polished “ but nice enough that you can se if the lock drags. If you see any of that send it back .
Now this may seem harsh , but lets put some things in prospective here .
Chances are your not a gun smith . While you are building a gun you are not expected to need to make any mechanical modifications so as to make something work properly . You just paid 125.00+ for a lock that you should have to do nothing to but alittle polishing and some casting line removal. You should NOT be having to work on tumblers , sears and such .

Next we move on to the triggers .
Depending on the trigger set , there isn’t much here . But if you using a double set trigger . Now is a good time to see how they work and that you have the trigger set you wanted .
Not all double sets are the same . Some are designed for target shooting . Others for hunting .

So how do we tell the difference ?
Well its pretty simple . A double set that designed for hunting , can be set to fire from the front trigger without setting the rear . This is good for when your wearing gloves and don’t want that hair trigger .
. Now in order for the trigger to be able to that it has to have side by side , or over lapping triggers .
IE the triggers engage each other on their sides not on their ends .

So lets go over the trigger a bit here .. To show you what I mean
For Bryans rifle , I have chose to use a Davis double set trigger . I like this trigger because it’s a set that can be used either for hunting or target . it’s a strong trigger and can be tuned to be dangerously light in the pull once set . Thus its also very good for target shooting .

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Now notice that with the triggers set to the stock so as the sear is in the above marked location . Both triggers will come in contact with the sear . This allows the trigger to work in both applications .

Ok so now lets move on to the barrel . a lot of new folk as about swamped barrels . . They are confused about just what swamped means .
Well simply put , swamped is a profile . Just as a strait or tapered barrel is a profile
Strait = a strait line to the profile of the barrel from breech to muzzle
Tapered = the breech area is larger then the muzzle . IE the barrel tapers
Swamped = a profile where the barrel muzzle is smaller then the breech . Yet larger then an area that’s between the muzzle and the breech .
Where that area is as well as how much smaller it is , defines the swamped profile . IE A, B or C profile ..
. So what does a swamped barrel do ? Well basically the same as a tapered barrel . it’s a way to reduce weight and provide a broader range of balance options

Most all Early rifles”18th century “ all carry a swamped or tapered barrel . However on 19century plains rifles , the strait barrel is far more common .

So here is the barrel of Bryans rifle . it’s a GM 54 cal with a C profile .. I have set his RR along side the barrel so as to give you an idea of the swamp

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Ok so from here we go to the hardware . Notice the casting spurs. These will need ground off as well as the casting lines . HOWEVER don’t get in a big hurry in doing that . Depending on the rifle your working on , you need those spurs on the Trigger guard and in some cases even the butt plate ..
So just note that they are there and set them aside
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Ok so lets take a look at the patch box .
The first thing you will notice is that its probably in pieces . Sometimes with the Dixie type boxes , you get them assembled . But most times not .
Myself I prefer them not to be assembled . Reason is , that I never know the curvature the lid will have to fit . Its much easier to adjust things and then solder it up ,.
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Here is out complete parts , all laid out

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Now before we start our build here , lets go over a few more things .
Most of you have read where I say , paying for inletting is a waste of money because what gets don’t is the easy hogging out and your left with doing the work that really is going to show .

So lets look at this stock .
When I by a pre-carve I have the barrel channel and RR hole drilled .
Now with Bryans rifle we have a swamped barrel . Pecatonica has a charge to do that . .
But they don’t charge to inlet a strait barrel , that comes with the assembly.
. Either way your still going to have to inlet the tang and breech area .
So what I did in this case is take advantage of what Dic does at no charge . I had him cut the barrel channel for a strait barrel that’s diameter was 1/8 smaller then the narrowest part of the swamped barrel . Now all I have to do is enlarge the channel to fit the swamped barrel ..

If you pay for inletting from say ToW . You WILL get the very same thing you see here . Your still going to have to inlet the tang and breech .
Same goes for the lock . You will have to again inlet the lock plate and deepen what ToW has done . So I ask you why pay for something you will have to do any way ? If they do it for free , that’s one thing . But charging you ??? .
Save your money and use it on something else .

Here is a photo of the breech area of the pre carve stock . . As you can see , you will be doing some inletting . Now ask yourself . If you just paid 35.00 to have the parts inlet and you found you still had to do this , ?????/
The ONLY place I know that does a true inlet job is jim chambers .
that’s unless you order a gun in the white .

Image.

Ok so lets start .
First consideration that we must take into account with a parts assembly, that’s based off a pre-carved stock , is the lock placement.
Now in the build books you will read to inlet the barrel , then inlet the lock . While this is true for a plank . With a Pre-carve , the lock mortises have already been defined . As such before you start setting the barrel .
Make sure you have enough room to fit the lock into the given mortise. If you don’t then the lock dictates where the barrel will have to set .
As you can see . In our case Pecatonica has given us a very large mortise to work with

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Thus we can start on the barrel .
Now our barrel came un breeched . I always chose to do this myself . The reason is I want to know that the breech plug has been properly set to the face . I cant tell you how many times I have removed plugs to find them not faced .
I will also say . I hate facing a plug more then any other part of building a rifle . But it must be done .

Here is why .
First lets look at out plug . Notice that it’s a improved type plug . For those who have been wondering what an inproved plug looks like , well here it is . Notice the chamber in the plug . If this was not an improved plug the flash hole would come out to a flat face

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Now lets say you took that plug and just screwed it into the barrel , tightened it up to where the flats matched and called it good .
1) the bore may not have sealed anywhere but along the back edge of the barrel
2) you may have exposed threads forward of the breech face , that will collect fouling that will not get cleaned out . Over time the fouling will corrode the threads . Because those threads are also exposed . That fouling has a direct un restricted line all the way back to where your plug sealed , “IF “ it sealed .

So let me show you here what im getting at .
In this photo I used my micrometer to check the depth of the threaded area of the barrel .
“ back of the barrel to face “

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Now lets compare that to the length of the threads . To the shoulder of the plug

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As you can clearly see . If I had just screwed in this plug , we would have a good 1/8 + of threads exposed .
So now what I have to do is slowly remove material from the back of the barrel tell such time as I can get the plug to mate to the inside shoulder while at the very same time , mate to the back edge of the barrel and match the flat of the barrel .
This takes time as you 3 places must touch all at the same time .
If the case was that the plug threads were longer then the treaded area of the bore . Then we would need to slowly shorten the plug and not the barrel .


Either way , go slow . Test the plug often .
As you can see . Im using a combination of inletting black and my micrometer , to slowly bring things together

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With this rifle we have a hooked breech so now we must fit the tang to the barrel .
Again we do that just as if we were inletting anything .
A little inletting black . Remove alittle from the part . Try it again , remove alittle more .
Until such time as the parts come together to a nice fit
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Now we can bring things down and blend them together

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Ok so next the next step is to inlet this into the stock .
So next time , ill be going over that
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Lance Coleman » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:05 pm

"Flaws in the stock" cracks and knots?
It's not what you do............ It's how you do it.
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:54 pm

Lance Coleman wrote:"Flaws in the stock" cracks and knots?


in this stock ??nope not on your life .
as to what your looking for in the stock . ya
Knots in the wrist, cracks and such . some things cant be helped nore seen tell you start taking things down .

sometimes also its a toss up and one has to consider as to if the area will end up being removed during the build .
some time back i built a smooth bore that had 2 small pin knotts in the wrist .
i would have bet anything those would have ended up gone . but they actualy grew bigger as the stock was taken down .
so if in doubt . call the place you got the stock from and tell them your not happy and would like something better
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Lance Coleman » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:16 pm

yea thats what I meant. When we look for flaws are cracks and knots what we're looking for.

Carry on sir. I'm trying hard not to clog yer thread up with questions and posts. But every so often I just can't help but to ask.
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:38 pm

here is an example lance .
sometimes small knotts are no issue . it just depends on where they are at and what your shooting for .
case in point . the Knotts in the butt of this trade gun are no real issue .
however the ones in the wrist are . reason is that all the recoil must travel through this area . a knott has areas of harder and softer wood and distorts the grain .
if the stock is ever to break , thats where it will happen .
with this peice i was working on a peice that someone else has started .. the manufacture would not replace the stock so we jad to make a choice , to eather replace it . try to do a repair or drive on and do a repai r whenm it was needed some time down the road

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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Lance Coleman » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:25 pm

Two more questions and I'll stop clogging your thread. First one. How is that beautiful trade with the knot in the wrist holding up? did it ever fail?

And what Lock are you using? Thats not a Davis is it?
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:57 am

i have not heard back on the trade gun . the customer and i went over the issues , quite a few times as well as the options ..
i was not happy .
but I guess its doing fine . as i have not heard back
As to locks . Primarily I use Davis or Chambers .
L&R ,if Davis or Chambers don’t have the style I want
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby LadyHawk » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:00 pm

What do you use for inletting black? I have been to all the woodworking shops around an no one has anything! I have been using my old make-up.
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:22 pm

i use a black Marks-A-Lot felt tip marker . its much cleaner then candle soot and it lasts longer . i usualy have to coat once every 3 sets or so .
get the big poster marker . that way you can coat in one pass
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby jcporter@work » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:12 am

Glad I saw the Capt recommend the markers. I never liked the mess of candle soot. I always got some on my fingers that could transfer to the wood.
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:37 pm

Ok so now we start the inletting of the barrel .
As I stated earlier , on this piece I have taken advantage of the free barrel inlet of a strait barrel . So now what I do is Bryans barrel in so the hook of the breech rests against the back of the barrel channel .
At the same time we want the barrel to set full down in the forward part of the stock.
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We then mark and remove an area where the bolster will set . What this does is allow the bolster to drop into the stock as we widen the channel .
We will also now draw 2 lines . These two lines will help in aligning the tang and ensure that we keep everything strait . Using the side of the barrel for reference , we bring the lines back onto the stock

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Now taking our blade , we start to remove wood by scribing along the barrel . Remember always angle you blade under what your trying to inlet . Go slow . Take a little at a time
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don’t forget to use you inletting black . As things drop down . Remove those areas that the black
Again go slow . don’t rush

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Now using the flats of the barrel as a guide we can see when we are down level

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Now we lift the barrel and align the tang . Being sure that it matches out marks we made earlier

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Now here we must be careful . Anytime your inletting an item . The more secure it is . The better your inlet will be . But obviously we have no way at this time to actually secure the tang . So we must proceed with care . Trust our line and make a good undercut . Once the tang starts to drop , it will hold itself ..
So we scribe out lines

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Now come back and cut into that line
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Now the next set of photos , shows the 5 hours its taken to drop the tang down into place
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don’t forget to keep checking with inletting black . Again go slow


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Now here I have added the barrel . Im using it to judge depth of the tang as it needs to come down to the point where the barrel again sets to the bottom of the barrel channel .As you can see the tang says im good . But the barrel says ;NOPE not yet

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So we keep dropping
And here is where we finally come to rest . This shot also shows you just how much oversized a pre-carve can be .
We got a lot of wood to remove when we get to shaping

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Ok so now we can start on the lock inlet .
what I have done is place a nipple to the breech . I then aligned the hammer . Then placed a line across the breech . This line tells me where the lock must set in order for the cock to align to the nipple
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Now I trace out the lock plate bridle . This is the thick part of the lock that must come in and meet the barrel . This is the first area we must remove when inletting the lock plate . Once this area is removed , the plate will lay flat to the wood of the stock and we can begin to drop the lock plate down .

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Now in this photo , what I want to show you is what you will get if you pay for the inletting from say ToW . The black area is what they will remove . However if you notice the pencil line . that’s the outer edge of the lock plate . So not only will you still have to inlet the lock to depth . But you will also have to do a good enough job so as to make the shoulder that the lock plate will set to .
Again , as you can see , paying that fee , is a waste of money as your doing the hard part anyway

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Now this also is a point where we can drill for the lock bolt and normally I would . But because this barrel has an angle in the lock area I may need to make some adjustments . So im going to clamp the plate to the stock . Undercut it and inlet it . Being very careful to ensure it drops level tell the point the plate bridle comes in contact with the barrel . Then I can come back and drill my bolt hole . IMO better ensuring I have the proper angle for the plate
. Also notice the depth of the plate . Again , we have a lot of wood to work with
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so , thats it for anther days folks .
next time we will drill tghe lock plate bole . , tap the plate and finish inletting the lock . then we will move on to the barrel underlugs , Keys and tiggers
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby kerryb » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:02 pm

great stuff. very informative
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Full Quiver » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:29 pm

Yep, good info
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:27 am

Ok. So we are farther along then what I have in the tutorial . . I apologize for that. I just have not had time to write or upload photos .

Now for those who happen to be following along .and have a build book . You will notice im out of order on the books build order . The reason for this is that for the most part, the books lead you through building from a plank .
We are not building from a plank . As such there are things we have to look for . Most important is how the barrel sets to the lock mortise. But again remember if your working on a piece that you have had the lock inlet . Then the barrel HAS to be set to that inlet . don’t forget that .

Ok so
Now lets get the triggers inlet .
P refer to do the triggers next . But I would recommend once you have the barrel set to the lock . Follow the book steps .
.
Ok so now we must define where the lock needs to set . So we are going to lay the sear up on the lock plate and make some reference marks , as well as a center line .
This will allow us to position the triggers so that they contact the sear property
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We want the triggers to set center . That way the front trigger will work to trip the lock . Both in the set and un set application . IE Hunting and target mode

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Now we make some more reference marks so that w know the proper width and where the different depths need to go . Using my calipers I measure the triggers out and transfer those measurements to trigger area . Using the center line to insure my marks stay center . Now notice im only marking out the width of the triggers and not the trigger plate . What im doing here is just inletting the triggers to a depth where the trigger plate comes down and contacts the stock

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For this inletting I will use a special set of chisels .
What I use is a cheep set of those micro screw drivers . If you watch around you can get them for anywhere from a 1.00-10.00 depending on the number of drivers.. These I take and file one side down so as to make little chisels . These also work very well for wire inletting

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Here im inletting the triggers
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Now we take the micrometer and measure the depth and then check that on the stock
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So far so good .
So now I make a mark for the rear trigger main spring screw . And inlet that area so as to bring the trigger down so that its contour matches the stock lines
This should now bring the trigger plate down ,so as to come in contact with the stock
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. Once we have this , we can then start to inlet the trigger plate . Starting center and working to the ends .
Now I disassemble the triggers by removing the springs . But I leave the triggers themselves on . You will need to do this so you can keep the trigger area dropping in proportion with the trigger plate
Now set the trigger plate back in and start you under cutting . Using the same process that we used on the Tang and barrel . . Angle your blade into the part . Inlet the center of the triggers first so the whole parts moves down as one piece . Go slow and stop when the trigger plate comes flush with the stock .
Now keep in mind , this may not be its final resting place . We will not know that tell we finish the lock inletting . But if everything went right . We should be able to drill a small hole for the lock plate sear . Over the large Nickel size hole often seen on production guns . The more wood we have in that area , the better we are

Image.

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Ok so now with the trigger down into the stock , we can position the trigger guard . Now on this rifle we have a TG that screws to the Trigger plate , so we position it . Make our marks . Center punch . Drill and tap for a ¼ 28 thread .


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. now we come back and remove the casting lugs off the trigger guard .. as i mentione earlier . depending on the rifle your building. It is wise to leave the back lug on . just thin it down so its appeox 1/8 think and 3/8 deep . . then aligne your TG and inlet it . this back lug then becomes where you place your rear TG pin so as to hold the back of the TG in place . but with this rifle thats not needed , so ill also cut it off .
we will drill and tap a screw in this area

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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby forrest » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:27 pm

At a time like this I hate living in the country all I have is Dial-up
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby DwarvenChef » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:53 pm

forrest wrote:At a time like this I hate living in the country all I have is Dial-up

:shock: Ya that would be a bugger :shock:

Love the post, putting "flesh" the what I've been reading, thanks for your time :)
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby kerryb » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:00 pm

great stuff, very imformative, thanks for taking the time to do this.
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:54 pm

Ok so now we have the triggers inlet and we can come back and finish the lock, inlet

Now with the locks there are some things we need to remember .
1) you have to leave a step for the lock plate to set to set on .

First I draw a line that shows me where this will ride .
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Now I can drill out for the sear hole . This I keep small and will later square up .
Now again pay close attention here the sear often rides very near the outer edge of the lock plate . If your drill wobbles outside of the lock plate inlet , it will show . We don’t want that . So drill slow . And do not go any deeper then the length of the sear arm . If in doubt . Drill shallow . It can be deepened later when you add the sear back to the lock plate
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Then we need to start adding parts back to the lock . Start with the part that will need to be set the deepest . Normally this is the tumbler bridle . Then add the tumbler . Be sure the tumbler will rotate freely . Now add the sear and sear spring . Now don’t forget to blacken the very tip of the sear arm .
. This will tell you when the sear hole is deep enough
Notice in this photo the mark left in the bottom of the sear hole .
As you can see I needed to remove alittle more wood .
I cannot say this enough . GO SLOW . With some rifles , by the time they are finished , there can be very little wood left on the side plate side of the stock . If you drill this hole to deep . You can end up with a hole clear through the stock .
So go slow . Use a Micrometer or other item to check your depth . Constantly check that measurement not only to ensure your deep enough but also to the thickness of the stock . This way you know how close you are to the other side .
Only remove what you have to . If in checking it looks like your to close . Shorten the sear arm
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Lastly add the main spring ,.

Now in a couple spots your going to have to remove some to all the step in a given area .
With this lock I had to remove an area for the bridle screws as well as a bottom area for the main spring ..

Now concerning the main spring . Be sure to use inletting black on the spring . Bottom arm , outside edges and top . Now cycle the lock . It should come back to the full cock easily. Work it back and forth a few times . Now take the lock out . Make sure you are not
getting any contact while the spring is working . Pay close attention to the area below the barrel as well as the lowest point the spring will expand to . These areas must not rub

Now as a NOTE here : sometimes you will run into a lock and barrel combo that when inlet has the main spring coming into contact with the barrel .
Normally on a Parts assembly that wont happen unless you have opted for a different lock then recommended ..
OR
And it’s a big OR . IF you did not inlet the lock plate level . Thus the lock rotates under and the spring hit’s the barrel .
If you run into that issue , and your not experienced , its best to ask someone who is , what to do .

Ok so here is our finished lock inlet . All that needs done is cleaning the inlets up to make them nice , sharp and clean

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Because we now have out triggers inlet and working with the lock , we can inlet the butt plate .
IMO the butt Plate has to be the hardest thing to inlet . While at the same time simply having the least ways to describe how to do it.
Simply put . You measure your pull which is from the first joint of the index finger to the inside crook of the arm .
A line is then drawn at that distance from the firing trigger . The butt plate is then inlet so as to place the nearest part of the plate where it meets the should , to this point ..

Look your butt plate over . Make sure all the areas that will be in contact with the stock are filed true and any castings are removed

Now some smiths will use a bann saw to remove most of the wood and speed inletting . Others will fully inlet the Butt Plate , just as the would any part .
How you do it , is up to you . But I would warn you that if your using a bann saw . Cut things smaller then you think you need . Then finish inletting with inletting black

i would also say this . DO NOT use the screws that came with your asymboly to do the build . save them for when you all done . go down and get you some screw of the same size . you will be taking the butt plat on and off so much , you will booger up your good screw .

Now here again you will notice I have left the casting spru on the butt plate . Ill remove this during the polishing process .

So now here is what we have .
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Notice here that even with a 39 inch barrel the rifle balances exactly 5 inches in front of the lock .
By the time we are done , it should hang just alittle muzzle low when rested at this point .
For a Plains rifle , it will be very nice in the carry .

notice my building screws holding the butt plate on

Image

Next time we meet , ill go over how to dove tail the barrel for the sights and under lugs as well as how to set the locations of the barrel keys .

Once that’s done we can start shaping the stock .
Then and only then will we pour the nose cap . Inlet the key plates and patch box

do we have any questions so far ?
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Lance Coleman » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:04 pm

Nope! ya comin up on the part I need to watch. ;)
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:50 am

Good morning all .
Ok lets move on .
Ok so first thing we now must do is define where we want out barrel keys to go . That way we can mark for our barrel lugs .

. Like all things with the assemblies , the mortises as they come are way to big . So what I do is draw out my intended lock mortise. I then move forward and mark the nose cap location .
I then draw a line 3 ¾ forwards of the intended mortise and 3 ¾ back from the back edge of the nose cap . Continuing these lines strait up and over the barrel and down the other side .This gives us the location of the center of our barrel key location

Image.

Now clamping the barrel to the stock , so that it sets all the way down in the barrel channel , I then can make pencil marks along BOTH, sides of the barrel . Even with the top edge of the stock . These will be out depth reference marks for where the keys will need to be . Removing the barrel from the stock , I use my calipers and measure down , from the line , to the bottom barrel flat .
I then come to the stock and measure down from the top edge of the stock and make a mark . Do this on both sides .
This tells me right where the bottom of the barrel is setting .
Now taking one of the under lugs , I measure the key opening . I then take that measurement and mark it on the stock . Starting from my “BOTOOM BARREL MARK”
This gives me two lines to drill my holes through .

Now you will notice in this photo the keys are already in place . At this point they will not be . But I forgot to take a photo . So what I want you to only pay attention to , is how I drew the lines on the stock .DO NOT DRILL ANYTHING AT THIS POINT
Image

Ok so now what we need to do is clean up the casting spur’s of the under lugs and rear sight . If you are using a cast front sight . You will need to do that now as well . But for this rifle im using a copper based silver sight that has no spur’s .
Now to do this I use a file . NOT a grinder . A good file will clean and shape much nicer and just as fast as any grinder .

Before filing
Image

A couple minutes later Image

Now that we have the parts cleaned up , we are ready to start setting them
First thing first though . I want you to CLEARLY MARK the top barrel flats by writing TOP. And the bottom barrel flat by writing BOTTOM . Write it in big letter

Trust me here and done skip doing this . If you do what can happen is if you have to step away or get side tract . You can end up cutting dove tails on the wrong barrel flat .
Again , I know . it’s a been there and done that .

Ok so we have the barrel marked and set to our vice , so that the bottom barrel flat is up .
We have transferred the center line of where our barrel key goes ,that we marked earlier , to the bottom of the barrel .
Now using our calipers we measure the under lug at its narrowest point of leaght
Image

Now we mark that measurement to the barrel . Splitting the difference so that we have even amounts on each side of the center line
Image

Now we come back and using a square we straiten our marks up so that they are square with the sides of the bottom barrel flat . make these marks just a 1/32 or so inside the marks you made with your calipers . What this does is give you a safety facture . Remember its a lot easier to take more metal way , then it is to replace it when you have taken to much away . So ALLWAY lean to the to small side of your measurements concerning starting these dovetails .

if your barrel is a strait barrel , you can use the side flat as a guide . But with a swamped barrel like this one . You must be careful . So check you square and check it twice .

Image

Now we want to measure the depth of the needed dove tail by measuring the depth of the dovetail section of the under lug. This is important because it tells us how deep our dove tail needs to go

Image

What I do next is to set the barrel to my vice , using this measurement. so as the bottom flat is no higher then the jaws of my vice , minus 1/16 .

What this does is insure that as I make my cuts , my dove tail will be 1/16 to shallow .
That way I can clean things up and true to the correct depth with a file . Thus getting a nice tight fit .

Image

Now using a hack saw with a curse cut blade , I start to remove the area between my marks by first making a series of cuts , then coming back with the blade at an angle and removing whats left

Image

Image

Now check for depth . You should be 1/16 to shallow

Image

Now using a file I bring the depth down and clean up this slot tell I get to the right depth . Again check your depth often . A file removes metal a lot faster then you think .

note at this point its not a dove tail . But just a cannel cut across in the barrel .

Image

Ok so now that we are at the right depth , its time to cut the triangle slots in the sides of this channel .
For this what I do is take a ¼ inch triangle file that I have modified .
What I do is take the file to the bench grinder and knock down one side so that it will not cut .
Doing this allows me to then lay that side in the bottom of our channel and file the sides of our soon to be dove tail , without fear of making our channel any deeper .

To start these side cuts I start with the corners buy cutting across at a 45 deg angle .
Just make a couple passes . Then use the under lug to ensure you have come to the proper width

Image
Now come back and make your strait cuts . When doing this , make you cut a little shallower on one side then the other . This way the lug can only go in on one side . It will also make the fit , very tight and not fall out when the barrel is removed.
Myself I do this so everything . Be it keys or sights go in or out from the left side of the rifle .

Image

If you took your time , the under lug should now only slide into place by hand about ½ to ¾ of the way . Take a brass punch and tap it on in tell the stirrup sets center . You should not have to really hammer on it . If you do , take the lug out and remove alittle more material tell you get a nice fit that can be achieved with a couple taps of the hammer . If you get things to lose . don’t worry . You can tighten it up by either pinging the edges of the dove tail just a tad . Or by taking a center punch and making a couple pings to the bottom of the channel.

This is what you should have .
Image

Now as you can see from the above photo . Our under lug base , is wider then the bottom flat of the barrel .
So making sure the stirrup is center to the flat , come back and file the base down so that it matches the 2 ,,,45 degree flats

Image

For this rifle we have 2 under lugs . So I now do the next dovetail the same way .
Once this is done . I then take the barrel and mark the bottoms of the lugs with inletting black . Then set the barrel back to the standing breech/ tang .
Then remove the barrel . What you will see is that the stirrup has left a mark in the bottom of the barrel channel . Thus showing me where to remove the wood so as to inlet it .
Once I have the barrel re inlet so that it sets once again true . I double check my center marks , we made earlier on the stock . They should run center across the inlets . If they do not then adjust you center marks so that they are . Making sure to bring them back down the sides of the stock .
. Now stetting the barrel back to the stock and clamping it snug . I take a drill bit that’s smaller then the thickness of the keys I will be using .
What we want to do is drill a small feeler hole center between out marks.
Now some folks will go all the way through the stock with this . I don’t . I drill one side , then the other . By doing this I make sure that the holes are where I want them to be .

So once im sure that my feeler hole is going through the stirrup proper a come back and using the feeler hole as I guide . I drill one hole on each side of it . Then remove the wood between the holes .
Taking a sharp blade and small files , I open up the holes so that the keys will come through with little pressure .
. So now we have this . The barrel is now set and keyed to the stock .
Image

Now I can then set the sights . Where you set the sights is not about the rifle . Its about the shooter . So if you building your own rifle . Start with finding the front sight location .
To do this , I use double sided tape and stick the front sight to the front of the barrel .
For most folks the front sight will need to ¼ to ¾ back from the muzzle .
Now shoulder the rifle . If you can clearly see the front blade your good . If its fuzzy try moving it forwards or back tell it clears .
Then mark the top barrel where the dove tail needs to be .
Now do the same with the rear . Mark its location .
Now take the barrel out of the stock and using the same steps I showed for the under lugs , dove tail in and set you sights .
The only you will not want to do is file the edges of the sights to match the 45 deg side flats . Leave the sights wide tell such time as you shoot the rifle .
Even then its best to leave alittle over hang .

Ok so now I need to pour the pewter nose cap . But first I want to define and inlet the entry thimble..
To start this we relieve the area for the tab of the thimble .
Then using inletting black we slowly inlet the thimble into place .

This will take time , as always go slow . . You will probably get frustrated . that’s ok . Get up walk away and come back to things .
Taking your time will give you a nice clean job that you will be proud of in the end .

So here is the entry thimble inletting

here the tab grove is cut and i have started to inlet the final down into the stock

Image

Image

dont be afraid to use lots of inletting black . many times contact is being made in places you least expect it to be .
Image

again go slow and slowly work things down . keeping in mid that you will be removing wood so you need to go past the final being flush .
also dont forget to keep trying the RR . you have to inlet tell such time as the rr easily slides down the hole into the stock .
another thing is to pay close attention to the final . it will want to bend up over time as you take the part in and out of the stock . so look at it often to insure that its staying true

Image

Image

and now after a few hours of work . the entry thimble is inlet .

Image.

ok so thats it for today .

i can start to bring the fore stock down to about 80% shape . we then can pour the nose cap . solder on the under rib , thimbles .
then start shaping the rest of the stock to about 90% . then inlet our side plate , tennions for the keys . and out patch box .
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:40 pm

Ok so time finally has aloud me to be able to catch things up here ..
So before we bring the stock down alittle .
This way we can pour our nose cap .
I covered how to do this in the pistol tutorial some time back .
So I have brought the forestock down to about 60%
Now , on these type of rifles the nose cap normally stars equal to the front entry thimble.
So we make out marks and cut in .

Image

we leave a tab to stabilize the nose cap . I also drill through and counter sink a couple areas . This helps the nose cap grip the stock .
Image

Image

So this is what we have after the pour and I have taken the stock and nose cap down to around 85%

Image

Now I can solder on the under rib and RR thimbles .
For this I will use High temp - high force 44. Followed by high force 44 for the thimbles
H H is rated at 38,000psi . And melts at 650 deg .
While HF is rated for 24,000 PSI and melts at 450 . Tus I can solder on the under rib , then the thimbles , without worry of melting the solder that holds the rib on.
But at this point I don’t believe we have building along . So If there is anyone who needs to do this , please PM me and ill go over that in another tutorial or try and explain it to you .
If not and your considering buying an assembly like the one we are working on , it is well worth your money to have it installed for you .

Now we can bring down the rest of the stock .
Now notice in this photo how far I have taken the forestock down . Now remember this is only about 85%. It will come down more . But I have taken this photo to give you some comparison..
The upper or left side of the forearm has been taken down . The lower or right side has not
Image

Ok so now as you take the stock on down to 90% , you want to be sure and keep things level . So use a sanding block .
Something else I do is take a strait edge “ wood or plastic so as not to mar the wood “
Take your inletting black and coat the edge . Then slide the straightedge along the stock . This will show you the high and low spots . Do this often and the result will be that you have a nice smooth consistent stock

Image
As you work , also keep an eye on the shadows .
Shadows will tell you when things don’t line up properly .
Case in point .
With this style of stock , the cheek piece should come in align with the center of the lock mortise . Notice in this photo how the shadow point down . If I were to leave things this
Way. it would end up showing in the lines of the stock . The shadow has showed me that this area has to be shaped more

Image

Once we get the stock down to around 90% , we then can do things like our key inlays , patch box and such .
Now the reason we want to wait tell this point is that we
1) have to remove less wood
2) we can file the inlays to the proper shape so as to make a nice smooth transition .

So we now inlet the edges of the inlays to as close to the level of the wood as we can . Now it’s a good thing to number the inlays when ever you have more then one that’s basically the same . While they look the same . You will find that if you try and put one in the wrong inlet or have it in the wrong orientation it may not fit .
Regardless of how much they look the same . They never will be . So make sure they all go back right in the correct places .
Here im using the barrel keys to hold the inlays in place while I inlet them .
Remember as always file the edges to an angle and undercut .

Image

Now when doing this filing . Be sure to file from the wood onto the inlay . Never file from the inlay to the wood .
If you file from the inlay to the wood , what will happen is that you apply to much pressure filing the inlay . As such then the file comes off the inlay and hit’s the wood , it will dive . Thus creating a dip in the stock .
But if you go from the wood to the inlay . Using light pressure so as to effect the surrounding wood very little you will find that the inlay will come down and match the level of the wood .

If you watch you will see the fill leaving a mark of clean wood . But right along the inlay , you will see the wood is darker . What this is tell you is that the inlay is not yet at the same level as the wood . But as you work things down that clean line will get closer and closer to the inlay . When the line touches the inlay . You are level and thus able to sand right across the inlay during the finish sanding .

Image


Now working my way back to the lock mortises , I re define the mortise bringing them down to the size and shape I want . I also bring the top edges down between the Tang , that’s creating the shoulders of the mortise.
Once this is done I can then sand the mortises down so that they are flat to the lock plate .
Thus we have a nice clean and tight lock inlet
Image

Now come on back and we define the nose of the comb . This is a common place where folks often forget to do any work .
The wrist should come back past the nose of the comb . Tus making a nice cup on each side of the comb

So now we can also lay out the patch box .
Now on this rifle we have a clam shell type box . As such the outside is inlet first . By doing this , we have a template for the lid .
Image

So I lay the patch box on the stock and trace it .
Now set the stock aside and just look at it awhile .
Dose your tracing line up with the center of the lock mortise ?
Is it evenly spaced between the toe of the stock and the comb ?

Is so and your happy , take the patch box and file an angle just like you would any inlay
Now using you tracing , ordinate the plate. Using your building screws “ remember we never use the screws that came with the assembly tell the very last “
Go ahead and screw the plate down . Now you can use your sharp blade to scribe around the patch box plate . Both outside and inside the area of the lid

Image

Once you have the surround of the patch box lide , inlet to level , we can come back and using it as a guide , scrape down a shoulder approximately 1/8 wide . This is the shoulder the lid will set on .
Now inside of that , we can make our box .
Screw the lid hinge down and adjust our lid to fit .
Now at this point we could attach our spring and catch . However I will not be using the catch that came with the box . IMO its cheep and cheese . So I will be making my own from a nail .. I will also be doing more sanding so as to bring the patch box to the level of the wood . So im leaving the catch and spring off for now ..
Instead I start work on the castings . For this rifle we can do that now .
If you were doing something like a Lancaster which has a TG inlet into the wood , we would do that first prior to inletting .
But with this rifle the TG is not inlet but sets to the trigger plate . .
So as such , now I will start filing off al the casting lines from the TG , Butt plate and such . Not really anything to go over there . Just file them off and polish the parts up
so here is what we have now at this stage of the game
Image
When next we meet ill go over finishing this up

Does anyone have any questions to this point ?
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Lance Coleman » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:01 pm

yea cap. can ya give me a photo of the entry thimble and nose cap from the "belly" side?? I need to see how the nose cap and thimble joined or did not join or how close they came to touching or how much they touch if ya catch my drift.
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:49 am

ill get you a photo of that tonight when i get home lance . but in the main time i can tell you i placed the cap approx 3/16th in front of the entry .

reason for this is i did not want to take the chance of getting to close to the tab that holds the entry in place and have to cast pewter around it .
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Lance Coleman » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:41 am

Coo. I swindled my way in to a lil CVA 32 and it's shaped up right with the wood but it's poboyed with no entry OR end cap. I wanna do something about that.
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:50 pm

here you go this is of the nose cap with the RR in and out

Image

Image
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:55 pm

ok so
with finishing on this rifle im going to use sand paper instead of scraping .
one of the problems with sand paper is that it tears the wood . Where scraping actualy cuts the wood .
Scraping will leave you with very little whisker ing . But with sand paper you must whisker the wood . What this involves is wetting the stock . This raises the torn wood so as you can slowly take it the lose fibers off . If you don’t do this , the minute you hit the stock with your stain “especially a water base “ what will happen is your formally silk smooth stock will revert back to looking like you finish sanded with 80 grit

So as you progress through the different levels of sanding paper “ALLWAYS USING A SANDING BLOCK “ again slowly turn the stock in the light . Watch the shadows . Pay close attention to how they show the lines . This allows you to correct things as you go .
At this point any corrections , if you have done the work correctly , should be minor .

As you progress , you will also start to see figure starting to show up . don’t let that get you all giddy . Keep sanding and smoothing . When you think your good , go over it again . Now when you get to 300 grit , damp the stock .
This will raise the wood fibers .
Sand the whole thing down again with your 300.
Again damp the stock and re-sand . Each time you do this you will notice that the wood rises less and less . When it no longer raises , your good to go .
Each piece of wood is different . Some harder wood will take less . Softer more . Just keep going tell she stays nice and smooth .
NOTE: the use of steel wool at this point will leave you with a grey tent to the wood . Small fibers of the will get under the whiskers , it will also fill pours .
don’t use it yet . There is a time and place .
If you feel you must get smoother , use a curse cloth like burlap.

Ok so now we have a choice . We can do what’s call burnishing / boning or go strait to stain and oil.
The need for the above really depends on who you talk to and the wood you are using .
What the above does is compress the wood .
Basically what it entails is rubbing the stock down with a very smooth object . This is where the description of Boning comes in . Often times a smooth polished bone was used .
On some woods or in areas where you have end grain or the wood is soft . This works wonderfully .

Ok so here is out stock that’s ready for some type of stain
You will notice that I have left the butt plate , key inlays, as well as the small key shaped side plate on during my sanding . This helps to make sure I do not over sand an area and then end up with the part sticking above the stock .
Again always sand from wood to metal not metal to wood .

Image


So now for this stock I have chosen to use Aqua Fortis
So many folks PM me about it , I thought it would be a good time to cover it .

So now putting on our gloves “ Fortis will turn your hands and finger nails brown not to mention the possibility of making you feel a little poor “ we take a Clean cloth and dampen a a small area .
We then dampen the stock
“ you better have don’t you job with the whiskering or its going to show up now “

It doesn’t take a lot , just dampen the stock down , making sure to cover all the areas . No need to put it on heavy . We can re coat it if needed
The wood is going to start turning a yellow green color . that’s ok . that’s what you want .
Let it dray to the touch
So here is our stock with the first coat of Fortis.

Image

Now many times folks think Fortis will pop the figure . They get to this point and think , ;Man I though it would do more then that . But they move to the next step and they get really disappointed with what they see . They then sand the whole thing down and use something different.
Folks the use of Aqua Fortis is a step by step process .
Each gunsmith has their own preferences for what they feel needs done . Some folks will burnish between coats . Others whisker .
If you find the Fortis has raised the wood , you can do that .
But know at this point things will not look as you think they should . You must have faith .

So now we take the stock to the heat . Heat is what takes the Fortis to the next step .
. Turning the hot plate on the stove up on high . We slowly rotate the stock just over the heat plate . 3 or 5 inches is close enough ..
Keep things turning slow . . What you will see is the turn brown .. Keep turning and moving tell the whole stock has turned brown . In every crook and cranny. be carful and dont burn the stock you just want to heat it to a nice brown
Again at this point your going to see little more figure then when before the heat .
Have faith . The only thing you want to concern yourself with at this point is as to if you have all the areas turned brown .

So here is our stock after the first coat of Fortis and first trip to the heat

Image

Now if I was shooting for a lighter colored stock like say on my Hershel rifle “ kinda a honey oak color . We would stop here .

But for this stock I want a deep brown . Lots of dark with good depth .
So I come back with burlap and take the stock back down in color just to the point we can see some figure definition .
I then repeat the application of Fortis . Then take it back to the heat .
Once again in the process the figure will somewhat lessen . Again have faith .
The more you use Fortis as a stain for maple the more you will understand what’s about to happen . The days of questioning will be gone .
Your about to see why so many folks recommend it for maple .

Ok so this is what our stock now looks like .. Not to bad . The stock that was rather plane thought our build is starting to wake up .
Image
From here some folks will neutralize it and then go strait to oil . But I find that if I again take the color back a little, I get better definition . Then neutralize with a with some soda mixed with water .” Again if you whiskered you will be fine “
I get better definition . Now again if while neutralizing , you get whiskers , simply use the burlap and smooth it all down . don’t sand the color away . Just smooth it out .
BUT again if you did your job , you should not have to do anything past a light buffing .
The other thing you will notice is that the Fortis has turned your Iron hardware a nice grey patina. Very usable information for down the road if you are of a mind for that type of metal finish

Now what will happen if you don’t neutralize . Well sometimes if you used a lot of Fortis , the stock can take on a green tint some time down the road .. I have seen stock that were not neutralized, Darken and turn real yellow green . Yet others that in 15 years , have never turned .
So as to neutralize or not , I would suggest yes . But that’s up to you .

Ok so now for the part that for me is like Christmas . Literally I always like the time when a stock goes to its first oil bath . This is where the figure will really POP and all your hard work will show . This is the time that tells the tail . Figure that shows now will only grow in definition and color depth through the oil process .
Trust me your going to have a smile so big your wife is going to think you been up to something you shouldn’t !!!!!

So what I do now is flood the stock with boiled linseed oil . Really ,really coat it . Make sure to get it everywhere . It should be dripping wet .
Let it soak in for about 15 minutes . Then wipe of the excess and put on another wet coat . but this time rub the dickens out of it . Keep working the oil in as it starts to dry , Apply more tell the point it wont hold anymore . Then gently wipe the excess of and set the stock in a sunny spot to try . Come back every few hours and turn it so that it dries evenly .

Here is Brians stock
It will now set for 3 -5 days to dry . Once dry I will wet sand it , add more oil , more dry time . Normally I put on 3 to 5 coats of linseed . Each time the colors will deepen .
Then I will follow with a couple light coats of Tung oil to seal .
This will leave a shinny finish . If you want a dull finish , what you do is after the Tung has dried , buff the stock down with 0000 steel wool to the finish you want .

Image

Sure hope this suits you to this point Bryan .


Ok so when next we meet ill be posting about the metal finish and the engraving .
In a few more weeks we will take her to the line . Do alittle generalizing of the sights and box her up for her trip to her new home
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Jared » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:22 pm

There is some WOW factor there, dang.

So, now we know what it will do for a nice piece of maple, what can one expect with the aqua fortis treatment on walnut or other woods? Is it mostly dependent on the quality of the figure?

Beautiful rifle you're going to have there Brian.

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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Jared » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:28 pm

For another example, the trade gun you showed above looks like it is maple also, correct? Is that finish also aquafortis/linseed/tung?

Thanks,

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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Captchee » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:05 pm

, See Fortis darkens the softer wood because I penetrates the grain deeper . While in the harder wood , it reacts less .
Walnut is a large poured wood , for the most part much softer then maple , so it darkens it even more .it makes it almost black . walnut needs really nothing but oil to bring out the figure as well as darken it .

fortis can work nice with say dark cherry . exspecialy if a little red dye is added or the stock is let set out in dakren in the sun prior to adding a light coat of fortis

the trade gun above is maple but has no Fortis on it , its just linseed and tung .
the color you see comes from an alcohol based dye. if i had use Fortis on that stock the Knotts would have really showed .
which wasnt what we wanted to happen

as to a nice peice of wood .
this precarve stock cost 75.00 from pecatoncia . its not one of Dic,s high end stock its actualy a medium grade , 2P-3P stock . IE 60-80% figure
so if you take this stock as being a 2P , what do you think a 5P 120.00 stock would look like :shock: ;) .
i have built rifles with stock from ToW where the stock alone ran 200.00. they were no where near as hard as this stock nore had the figure .
once again Dic did a good job of selling me a good product for the money
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Re: Building from a parts assembly

Postby Jared » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:10 pm

Thanks Captchee. Good information. I've got a walnut stock I'm going to be finishing soon and was going to go with linseed and tung, which I think I'll still do.

But I also have a non gun project of cherry that I'm thinking I might give the aquafortis a shot.

I appreciate the help as usual.

Jared
Jared
Spike Bull
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:36 pm
Location: La Crosse Wisconsin

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