Rescuing Stevens Favorite

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by Sharps40, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Good news on the Stevens Favorite. Guts are basically good.

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    Here arranged in shooting position...at this position, cartridge is fired. Lower the lever and the triangle between lever and breech kicks the hammer back to half cock. Simultaneously, the extractor/ejector cams over the breech screw and kicks the spent shell free.

    Critical to these actions are the two pins that connect the breech, to triangle to lever. The design is such that when the lever is closed, the pins and their associated parts are slightly bound by being cammed just over center. These pins are serviceable but loose. I'll replace them for a better fit. Note, everything but the pins and screws is cast iron (frame) or case hardened steel (guts). Gentle work is indicated. Trigger jobs are destructive unless the parts are rehardened. These are fine, and safe in function...no need for molesting the case hardened skin on the parts.

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    The extractor face is a bit battered...but it may be salvageable. If not I'll make an extractor (non spring loaded) by hand from cold rolled steel and case harden it after cutting the lip with a chambering reamer....If at all possilble I'll save this extractor first. But I've made dozens of extractors for these old fellas and they all are still in service years later with nairy a complaint.

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    Other than that, there is one screw which is a bit worn. I will either have to make a new screw or retap and/or bush and tap the corresponding hole in the frame.

    After that, and if it shoots well as is, this will be primarily a cosmetic restoration.
     
  2. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Just got in and look what was waitin....nice walnut for the Stevens Favorite redo.


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  3. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Okay, here we go. Fitting a buttstock is not difficult if you are patient, have good sharp tools and a well carved/inletted stock to start with. As for sharpeness of tools, if your chisel can't slide thru endgrain leaving the surface looking like it was polished with 600 grit paper, its dull and you need to start by learning how to sharpen them up and strop the edges on a leather belt.


    The old oversanded and broken and the new fresh and oversized for fitting.

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    With the tangs cleaned I check the initial fit, tapping lightly so as not to split the stock, its tight and the rub marks are carefully sliced away on the edges of the tang inlet with a sharp chisel.

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    I've sliced the edges of the inletting all the way along either side of the upper and lower tang, checking the fit, still a snug slip and time to polish the edges of the tang inlet with a file for the final slide.

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    The stock ears are oversize and need releaved to slide into the inside of the action. Don't take the ears off, they serve to position the wood in the action too.

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    Simply bevel the ears lightly as seen on the left and then lightly tap into place to check for rub marks.

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    At this point the fit is about right and note, the lower tang is damaged, bent downward, likely by a fall long ago.

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    Pull the stock and lightly pair away the rub marks on the ears to a light drive fit in the action...light drive is nothing more than taps from the heel of your hand.

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    The fit now is at least as close as original, a very slight gap at the rear of the upper and lower tang, it'll close with finishing and snug enough that NO glass bedding will be required....simple sealing with true oil and wax will see this stock well fitted for another 50+ years.

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    Total time invested -- 30 Minutes. Much less than the 5 to 10 hours needed for carving a stock from a blank and with time equaling money, a significant savings on a stock that cost $35 shipped.

    Next step is to releave the inletting inside the wrist to clearance the mainspring sleeve and rod.

    Oh yeah, I revised the shape of the lower tang, its straight and perfect now.
     
  4. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    A bit of file work to clearance the hamer strut and spring for smooth function.

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    Useing an original Stevens Steel buttplate from the parts box (I didn't reuse the home made leather one from the original stock!) First mark out and predrill the screw holes. Slight counterbores are needed for the flange around the rear of the screw holes in the buttplate.

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    Note, the angle of the predrilled holes has to align the heads of the screws with the outer contours of this buttplate. The plate was not a perfect fit but some slight shapeing of the wood later will ensure a perfect fit all around the edges.

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    And here it is installed, not too tight, still got a bit of shapeing to do down low at the toe of the stock to close a little gap. There should be contact but no pressure at the toe as pressure is what causes the toe of the stock to snap off later, typically the toe will break when the rifle is grounded a bit hard by the kiddies. So wood supports steel and steel protects wood..

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    Once the buttsection of the stock is shaped a bit smoother, just some file work, final fit the steel plate. Progressively pull the screws up tight and tap lightly around the edges of the plate with a brass rod or small smasherwacker to shape the metal closer to the wood. The last step is to file all around the steel buttplate to remove any unevenness and true up the edges. The new stock is larger than needed so bring the edge of the plate and the wood closer to final dimension and shape. For most of the rest of the finish, the plate stays on for sanding and part of the initial finish. This gets the edges of the plate smooth, keeps from rounding over the edges of the stock where it meets the wood. I'll seal the back of the stock later in the finishing process. So, salvaging a nearly 100 year old buttplate to help keep this rifle period correct....not totally original (original was usually a rubber plate) but very close and consistent with what was availalble on many of the factory Favorites of that time.

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  5. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Install the stock, snugly and lightly mark where the holes for the screws are to be drilled.

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    Top and bottom tang screws marked and dimpled for hand drilling.

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    Eyeball, adjust the angle of attack as you drill a tad at a time...use a drill matching the diameter of the screw shank at the depth of the thread. The screws shall be oval head, single slot. No flat head pillips screws ever allowed. And, only flathead slotted screws on the buttplate as thats what it came with.

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    Lube the screw threads, hand soap, spit, greese, bees wax, what ever and carefully screw in the screws with proper fitting bits. The upper screw is a straight shank modern oval head. The lower screw is a taper shank oval head original screw, special drilling is required for a heavy tapered shank....

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    For the heavily tapered shank lower screw, the lower tang screw is drilled progressively with different diameter bits to various depths so the screw dosn't split the stock. Only the threads are to bite the wood, the shank should not expand the wood.

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    The screw holes, tapped now, should line up with the tangs with the stock just touching or a whisker short of touching the action. In this case, the wood just touches, a tiny bit of room for glass bedding later to keep the oil out of the stock end grain. Oil soaked wood, and it happens to all of them with time, turns black and punkey in a few years. A touch of glass bed is the best sealer for end grain there is.

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    Screws in and just a bit snug for now. Good enough to go to the range with this weekend and determine if the barrel is good as is or needs work. It'll need crowned for sure, thats next.

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  6. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    The original muzzle crown...rusted, worn and the muzzle looks round, that means the most important rifleing is prolly a bit worn. Bad for accuracy, the most important rifleing is the muzzle as it impacts even release of the projectile preventing it from being tipped by early release of gas to the side.

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    I was trained by old men...that means handwork before machine work. Learn to do it right by hand then learn to do it fast or ruin it fast with a lathe or mill. I was also taught to recognize the differences in weapons and age and potential accuracy. This ain't no PacNor Barreled Dakota or Cooper so, at 100 years old, hand tools (as proven on several mauser and marlin and rolling block and sharps projects) is suitably accurate with hand tools. It would be a waste of time to set up a lathe for this recrown. We want to get to tight rifleing, behind the crown wear. 75 thousands to 1/10" deep should do the trick....lets see.

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    A few initial turns with a proper pilot on this 11 degree crowing cutter. A squooch of oil, clear the chips and back to pressing evenly and turning clockwise only to make the smooth chatter free cut.

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    Approaching 1/4 the depth of the cutter teeth, time to clear chips and reoil. About 50 to 100 turns in to this part of the project. Even pressure, not too hard and the cut remains chatter free in this old gal.

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    Here we are, a measured 80 thousands deep, I can see the pimples of the rifleing around the bore and if I'm past the crown wear on the rifleing, a bullet will be snug in the muzzle and I won't have to shorten this original barrel at all.

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    Looking good. A fresh round of .22 LR can't be thumb pushed hard into the muzzle. The full diameter of the bullet stops firm in the muzzle.

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    Here, maybe you can see on the right bullet (unmarked bullet to the left) the slight impressions of the rifleing and a slight ring all the way around the diameter where the slug was marked because the bore is slightly smaller than the bullet diameter now. With luck, this old gal has a good chamber (it looks quite clean), dosn't leak and will hold a 1 or 2 inch group at 25 yards for hunting and plinking. We should know this weekend.

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  7. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Couldn't wait. And, based on an initial test fire and function test at 20 feet, this barrel will be mostly fine as is for a hunting and plinking rifle. Maybe need to make a new extractor, may be able to fix the original, time will tell.

    First two shots...CCI 22 CB Short....

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    And then 5 more CCI 22 CB Shorts, as good as my myopic vision and tiny v-groove sights will allow...

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    A better aim point and 10 each of Federal 40g target velocity 22 LR....

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    Not bad for 100 years old. Who says Old Gals can't dance?

    The lead in (inside edge) of the lower lever screw has worn threads. This is from years of improper assembly...first install the lever. Then pull out the barrel, depress the extracter ejector spring and install the breech block screw. That way, the screws are not cocked going into the threaded lead in.

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    Two ways to save it. Retap the frame to the next larger size and make a new lever screw or simply make the lever screw longer. Thats easy...and it retains the original screw and its original good threads in the right side of the frame.

    To make the lever screw longer, simple increase the depth of seat for the head of the screw. A scope base screw counterbore does the trick on the left side of the frame....Now the original screw bites into all the remaining good threads and pulls up snug like it should. And plenty of meat in the left frame to hold the head of the screw...the factory screw head pocket is very shallow for these thin profile headed screws.

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  8. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    One each abused fireing pin. A bit burred and gritty.

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    Low speed and don't shorten the tip but neatly round it over and smooth it up....1894 favorites had a chisel tip firing pin...1915 saw them switch to round tip.

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    Remove all the mushroom and flash from the hammer end too. Might need to reharden this firing pin...it'll make it last a bit better and a lil slicker in the hole too.

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    After a light cleaning, ready to go back in place till final finishing.

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    Well, so far so good, still got plenty out front.

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    Backside looks much better now too. Guess I'll harden it after all and put it back in with a new cross pin after blueing and finishing everything else.

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  9. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    All the early Stevens Boys/Bicycle Rifles were inexpensive to own and inexpensively made. The Favorite is no exception in any
    original caliber. Folks to this day persist in chambering them for small centerfires and 22 Magnum and even now, the hot 17s.
    Big mistake in my opinion. Of the suitable rimfires, only the 22 LR is still readily available and suitable for the action.

    As previously indicated, the action relys on two pins and a binding or overcenter relationship between the pinned parts for its
    lock up strentgh. As such, a well fitted action will snap shut and stay shut when fullcocked. It requires an unbinding or snap to
    reopen. When they are worn, and in 22 LR, the fingers of the shooting hand do double duty holding the action closed by the lever
    during fireing. There are two fixes. Both implemented by the factory, both dooable at home. Replace the worn pins with snug
    fitting new ones of lasalle steel or drill rod. Add a compression spring and plunger to a cavity drilled into the lever boss. The latter
    is much harder, even the factory only reserved this fix for a few of the rifles refitted when loose...as such, I've only ever seen two
    of the spring loaded levers in my life. One is fitted on a buddies rifle now. One is fitted on my mothers Curly Maple stocked 1894
    favorite. The addition of the spring is a neat long lasting repair and if I had a mill, I'd attempt it here. But, usually, a simple set of new
    and well fitted pins is sufficient.


    So, 100 year old pins to the left. New pins of drill rod to the right. Both pins were clipped long and finished on the ends in a
    drill press with a file. Each of the corresponding holes in the breech block and lever measured .150". The drill rod measured .154".
    A bit of polish was all that was needed to fit the new pins to a thumb push fit in the breech block and lever.
    (Incidentally, the original pins measured all over the place, about .135" at the largest...plenty worn and loose.)
    Final dress the pins to length so they are no wider installed than the part they are fitted to...

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    The new pins installed....they will be staked in place after final refinishing. For now, an aluminum drift (nail!!!) is used to pess them in and out.

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    Once the new tightened up guts are reinstalled, the lever in fact snaps shut, stays shut when fullcocked and gives a snap when opened. So,
    another good repair on another good old rifle, just the way J Stevens Arms Co refitted them way back when.

    Gettin close now. A test fire. A decision on whether the extractor can remain as is (tip is a bit rough) and then its all about the refinishing.
     
  10. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Folks typically over sand a stock during refinish and rub away the original features...in this case the bevels at the wrist were removed
    from the original stock. Plenty of meat in the replacement so lets put the bevels back on. Like a Marlin 338 the wrist should finish larger
    than a smooth curve drawn around the tangs.

    First mark out roughly where the bevels should stop at the full diameter of the wrist...about 1 inch back from the action on both sides.

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    Carefully, with a sharp chisel, pare away most of the excess wood creating a cone shaped bevel pointing toward the butt. Leave the
    stock proud of the action. These were not closely fitted guns, keeps down production costs. So just like a Marlin 336, the wood will
    finish slightly larger than the action panels.

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    Beginning to smooth up and refine the left side panel with a file.

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    Initial chisel work on the right panel.

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    The rough shape of the panels from above after the tang area of the stock is filed down proud of the tang edges.
    When the file kisses the tang, stop with the pareing down, leave some wood for final shapeing and blending.
    Refinement of the shape and panel angle comes with more file work around the tangs and sanding before finishing.

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    A look at the right panel and upper tang after a bit more file work to round over the approach to the tang and further
    smoothing of the panel.

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    The wrist around the lower tang being pared down till the file just kisses the tang, don't remove the SN or other markings!

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    A bit of smoothing around the nose of the stock at the upper tang to create a smooth transition from the tang up the nose to
    the top of the stock.

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  11. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    The view from below after some further shapeing of the wrist around the lower tang.

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    A replacement stock will usually be 1/16" or more larger than you want it. Thats good for fitting a buttplate.
    To remove burrs that developed on the inside edge of the buttplate during the initial install and to establish
    the final size and shape of the steel buttplate and subsequantly the stock, reverse the direction of cut as shown
    and lift the tail of the file. This puts a slight bevel on the cut, removeing the inside burr on the buttplate and
    pareing the stock into a taper that you'll extend from the butt forward during final shapeing. When finished,
    go around the buttplate parallel with the file to remove the bevel and establish the edge of the buttplate
    perfectly parallel with the line of the wood that will be carried forward to the wrist. The buttplate will come to
    its final shape at this time and dictate the final shape of the stock. Strive for a pleasing shape.

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    The size of the bevel being placed on the buttend of the stock shows how much wood is excess to allow for some
    shapeing and final fitting.

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    A little finger under the end of the 12" long file is about the right angle for establishing the final shape of the buttplate.

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    And here, most of the rough work done. Its pretty much shapeing and final sanding now.

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  12. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    This is very dense and dark walnut. Read that hard. Hand sanding the initial shape and form is out of the
    question. Off to jitter bug land. But we'll start with 120 to move the shape to perfection slowely and to
    prevent lots of swirrlies that have to be hand sanded out later. The key? Keep it moveing, use the entire
    pad and don't tip onto an edge and create a gouge. Nice flat surface running forward from the properly
    shaped butt to the wrist.

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    Both sides power sanded to final shape and ready for handsanding and whiskering.

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    If you don't wet the wood, sand off the whiskers and repeat untill the wood stays smooth when dried, it'll
    whisker up thru the finish later with humidity or a rainy day hunt....finish destroyed at that point. A bit of
    warm water and a low powered heat gun or hair dryer is what is needed to wet out the surface, swell the
    damaged fibers from sanding so they stand up and can be sheared off at the surface of the stock. If you are
    sanding thru to 600 or 800 grit, waisted time, fibers compressed into the wood, sealer won't penetrate and
    seal and you put in unnecessary hours and still have a lumpy stock on a rainy day hunt. 220 to 320 grit for the
    final sanding is plenty for 90% of gunstocks.

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    Wet the wood all over and start to force it dry with the heat gun. The formerly smooth stock will feel like its
    just machined.

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    Lightly hand sand, with the grain useing 180 or 220 grit paper. Then wet and repeat. Remember, don't bring
    the wood down below the tangs or action panels, two repetitions lightly sanded is usually plenty with the water....
    save room for one more final sanding before the finish, see below.

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    This or truoil is for the final sanding. Rub in a thin coat with yer hand. Rub hard till yer hand feels on fire and
    the wood feels dry. Let it set up 4 to 8 hours and when dry, gently cut the surface and any remaing sanding
    scratches that only slowely swell up in the whiskering process with worn 220 grit paper. After this, yer done
    with sandpaper, all further rubbin is by hand, by 0000 steel wool and finaly with fff rubing compound for a dead
    level finish that feels soft and has a satin glow.

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    The freezing/sealing coat rubbed in hard all over...we'll seal the inletting and under the buttplate later.

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    See, couple marks that didn't come up till the sealer coat swelled em, the sealer is thinner than water and
    penetrates better when rubbed in hard. These marks will come out too.

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    This buttstock should be done in a day or so.
     
  13. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Lets not make a new forend from the buttstock. Instead, lets save the original and keep this Ol Gal a bit closer to the
    Teens or Twenties when she was first made.

    The crack is not too bad...gently open it to inspect for too much oil. Gently so it dosn't spread before we can stop
    drill the end of the crack.

    The glue and the wood at room temperature, let it run into the crack and out thru the other side. Help the
    coverage with toothpics as needed, coat the entire length of the crack all the way thru.

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    Finger as a putty knife, force glue in from the other side.

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    The wood will spring closed, an indication that the wood is still good, not punky or rotten, just dirty and abused.
    A clamp made of gorilla tape is all it needs.

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    I'll leave it set for 24 hours before doing any hole repairs and before sanding out the name Richard carved on the
    Right Side Panel.

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    Not bad, I can see the end of the crack and know where to put my stop drill hole to prevent the crack from
    spreading further.

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    A 1/8" hole bored thru to stop the crack...yep, another hole in the forend just behind where at least two sling
    swivels previously cracked and tore out of the forend....be patient.

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    Its good, we stopped the crack before it gets to the forend bolt. Plenty of strength left in this old forend...another
    100 years at least.

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    Basic supplies for this repair....if I was doing a wrist or the toe of a buttstock, I'd use Acraglas epoxie for a repair
    stronger than the wood itself. This use of titebond will be at least as strong as the wood, if not more so for this low
    impact, more decorative than anything else wooden part. Just a place to put yer hand and control the muzzle after all.
    We won't put a sling swivel back in it either.

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    I spread the crack a bit more, gently, even with a stop hole, its old, old wood and tender!

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  14. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    The foreend work was accomplished last night, posted this AM...plenty of time to dry up solid, so, hole repairs.

    We need some walnut plugs for a 100 year old forend and I have a ruined 100 yearold piece of walnut to cut them from...

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    The remainder of this buttstock will be used either for old hole repair, ala more plugs or for knife scales. Either is a better choice than firewood.

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    I gathered the sawdust from plug cutting and sanding, mixed it with tight bond and used a 1/8" rod to pack the stop drill hole full of nearly color
    matching home made wood putty. Once set it'll be there forever and reinforces the crack end of the forend. The plugs are made and the
    counterbored holes drilled in the forend. This provides a significant surface area in and across the crack where the sling swivel screws tore
    out. Its also good for considerable additional strength and makes a fair looking repair...no sense tryin to pass this Ol Gale off as Original or
    Brand New, 'sides, it goes with the character of the gun...some flaws expected in 100 years.

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    Paint the holes with titebond and paint the plugs and press them in...a twist to align the grain and a tap to seat them well.

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    A sharpe chisel and a small smasherwacker remove the bulk of the plugs.

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    After a bit of light file work...once the glue is set tomorrow, this forend will be ready for final sanding and a complete refinish.

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    Third coat of finish is in the wood. This dense hard walnut buttstock took a bit of wet sanding with very fine paper
    to not only level the first sealer coats but to polish out most of the 220g sanding stroaks from the burled sections near
    the butt. Figured wood shows even 600g sanding marks...specially when its darn hard wood. Forend is not as pretty,
    and still has some of its 100 years of blemishes but its saved and quite serviceable...its flaws tell of many squirrlies and
    bunnies in the camp pot. But, finish on, finish dry, finish knocked level with 0000 steel wool and more finish on is the rule.
    I use about 6 drops per side for each coating, rubbed in hard and then allowed to dry before leveling for the next coat.
    Couple days work, mostly waitin for stock goo to dry. Soon it'll be time to put the wood away in a dent free zone and
    start on the metal.

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  15. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Just about done with the wood. Each coat of finish is leveled with 0000 steel wool...

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    Leveling deglosses, thats good but even though leveling leaves the wood feeling smooth, only rubbing can make
    it feel soft and fff will bring up a warm satin as opposed to a garish browning shine. I can't explain the soft feel,
    but once you've felt it you know.

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    Still have to seal under the buttplate and the inletting but here's how it looks....almost good enough as is.

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    Metal prep on one this old is a matter of degrees. Short of a new barrel, it ain't gonna have a master shine.
    Under all that patina (rust) is a very finely frosted set of parts. So, wire brush in a drill press does a nice job
    blending to a satin finish for rust blueing.

    Here the parts just off the wire brush, and staged for the first heavy application of pilkingtons.

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    About 20 minutes into the first three hour soak and even with the humidity about 50% below where it oughta be for
    fastest rust blackening, some color is starting to bloom evenly on these old parts. I'll likely move em inside and into a
    damp box for the rest of the weekend just to get the process evened out and moveing at other than a snails pace.

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    An the barrel? Also finely frosted with micropits so, rather than loose all the markings, a 100g jitterbug finish to blend
    in a satin finish, clean the metal and sharpen up the old markings. Blueing will wait for a more humid time of the spring,
    perhaps late march, early april when the garage is overing at least 60% humidity and 50+ degrees overnight.

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    But in all, a fine working finish for an old gun that will see some use and lots of Eyeball time above the mantel. The action
    will receive similar treatment and rust blueing as its just a bit too frosted to be worthy of a polished finish.

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  16. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Into the hot water after the first rust cycle. All the parts nice red brown rusty ready to start becomeing grey and grey black then black...

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    Lots of fluffly black to remove after the first boil. Grey and grey black underneath...these are comeing along quickly...

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    A third rust cycle, parts thinly coated with pilkingtons and returned to the hot iron boiling pot with a cup of hot
    water to raise the humidity....pan does double duty as boilerblackener and damp box on these less than humid days.

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    Old parts nicely blackened....about 5 rust boil card cycles....old steel works faster since there is no chrome or nickle to make the steel stain/rust resistant.

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    Buttplate installed with a simple coat of johnsons paste wax to seal the metal finish.

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    Looks pretty good...satiny just like the wood finish....and it dosn't look gaudy sportin gal new either...it shouldn't, its 100.

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  17. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Temps up. Humidity is up. I'm home for a week or so...so back to this job - its rust blueing season in the South! Finally!

    Stampings on the frame and barrel are very light...too light for strikeing and polish...the markings would mostly disappear...so,
    derusting in preparation for a nice rust blue.

    CLR, Full strength in a bucket.....let the steel soak...It works about like Brownells rust and blue remover...pretty much the
    same stuff...you can run full strength or dilute it for even slower action.

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    After a 10 minute soak and a light rubdown with 0000 steel wool, much of the "Patina" comes off. The surface is very finely
    pitted, it'll look just fine once the rust is out and the steel is reoxidized black.

    [​IMG]

    Gently, gently, its old. It won't be shiney new but we knew that up front. It will have all its original markings and it will be
    a fine shooter for potting squirrlies and wabbits from time to time, and even for a bit of plinking in the back yard.

    About an hour in the sauce and several rub downs with clean hunks of 0000 steel wool.

    Most of the pitting is clear, 100 years of rust gone. About 30 more minutes and a good rinse and then
    the first coat of rust bluing solution to begin building the new finish.

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    Finished soaking in CLR and buffing with 0000 steel wool. Pits and lettering are all cleaned out and the steel looks nice in a dull grey.
    Ready for final rinse.

    Hot water, hot as you can stand it, inside and out and get all the gunk and crud off the inside and outside. Ya could boil it too but use
    a pot separate from the one you'd blue in...no sense contaminating the bluing pot.

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    As with all rust bluing and bare metal, dry it fast to minimize unwanted coarse grained rust...see, this old iron is rusting right out of the
    tap...it should blue nice and easy. A hot air gun makes quick work of water in the action ways and screw pockets that could later spot

    Coming along quickly and somewhat evenly. Nicer than I expected for such an old piece. What you can't see is
    inside the action ways and tang recesses where the bluing actually brings out the original case colors. Oh I wish
    the action was in a bit better cosmetic shape, it would be lovely to rust blue this frame very lightly and have those
    long faded case colors come back to life where they would be visible...but I think the "Patina" took them away on
    the exterior long ago.

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  18. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    I think I'll let this first bite work overnight, perhaps into tomorrow evening before the first boil. The rust is coming
    on strong though I have a bit of a light spot in the center if the right action panel...could be a hard spot, it looks like an
    outline of very fine pitting. I'll see if I can't get it to even up some with aggressive rusting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    First boil, a good bloom of rust on the steel/iron frame.

    [​IMG]

    Fluffy red converted to fluffy black, most of this will buff off leaving a thin coat of battle ship grey ferroferric oxide. Just what I want, tightly bonded black iron oxide coming up slowly and beautiful and durable.

    [​IMG]

    A rub out with degreased 0000 steel wool removes the fluff leaving only the strongest bonds in place...overall, just as expected after the first boil, light battleship grey and even and ready for a coating of sauce and rusting till dinner time tonight.

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    The second of 5 to 7 boiling cycles for this old frame...tightly bound black oxide building with each cycle of coat, rust, boil, card, repeat.

    Just water...filtered to remove sand and junk in the whole house filter. If ya have high chlorine ya might want to filter again with activated charcoal to prevent spotting or just use distilled water from the store. I just use good clean tap water and an iron pot to boil it in. Into the cool water, bring it to a boil and let it roll for 5 to 10 minutes to convert red iron oxide to black oxide.

    [​IMG]

    Plenty of good black fluff on there...should be nice and even battleship grey under there now...very close to the halfway done point for bluing once a good battleship grey comes up. Hard metals, rust and blue slower, irons and softer metals faster. Slowest and hardest in my experience have been Marlin 336 mag tubes and Win 94 receivers. But with persistence they blue beautifully too. Plenty of loose oxides, only the ferroferric oxide is retained after carding with degreased 0000 steel wool.
     
  19. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    The fourth coat came up a bit more black than grey. Its good news. Thurs or Fri evening should see the frame done. The lever is on its first overnight rusting and should follow completion shortly after. Then on to the barrel and done.

    Time to start assembly.

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    Lightly greasing all the newly rust blued parts with Rig grease and installing the trigger return spring and mainspring stud.

    [​IMG]

    Loosely install the barrel screw.

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    The mainspring assembly, the lever is arched, arch go's up.

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    With the hammer at half cock, install the lever and spring. The spring sleeve is pressed home and into the groove in the mainspring stud to capture the assembly.

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    Install the firing pin and its cross pin. Lightly stake the cross pin on both sides to capture it. Remember, its old, not a hard smack on the SmasherWacker, Medium smush is plenty to displace a bit of metal at the hole and capture the pin. Do both sides.

    [​IMG]

    Install the hammer lever/lever link. Also, gently stake this new cross pin on both sides. Just a touch to keep the pin from sliding out to the side and tying up the action later if it becomes loose with age.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    And now its starting to come together...looking good. This old piece of highly figured walnut has a flaw or two to match the scuffs and pits in the barrel and action...a lil chip trying to come off at the toe of the lower tang...but its tight and I won't pry it out to glue it back in. To do so will tear good wood and the repair will still be visible after refinishing. Best to leave it alone, it'll mostly hide under the tip of the lever anyway.

    [​IMG]

    The old iron or low grade steel action blued up a dark battleship grey. It looks black with grease on it but a good color none the less. I'm pleased...even the pitting and the scratch on the left panel looks "right" for this old gun.

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    The very lightly stamped markings are much more visible with the new finish. Glad I did not polish, I would have lost these key markings and a bit of authenticity as well.

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    I would love to have the rest of this tree for making stocks with.

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    Fine pitting on the right action panel, not bad at all.

    [​IMG]

    Looks more like a proper and complete action now with the lever in place. Same process, install a new cross pin in the lower lever link hole and stake both sides lightly. Then, after some RIG Grease on the parts, install it in the frame with the extractor. If ya never fiddled the screws into place on an Old Favorite with the plunger extractor, yer in for a treat, specially with old threads and new blue...but its in and scratch free and all the tender threads in fine shape.

    [​IMG]

    Ya can just see the little chip at the toe of the tang that popped up a bit while sittin and waitin for the metal to be done. Occupational hazard with old or highly figured wood. Sometimes they dont' show a flaw till ya got em done. But its tight and I'll leave it alone.

    [​IMG]

    From the right side

    [​IMG]

    And then with the action open...

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    Time to get some propane, a turkey fryer burner, a black iron tank and some water...got a barrel needs rustin.