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to pressure of the wood, before stopped by the bottom of holes in the receiver. With a little practice one can learn to tell when the screws are in their full depth. If being stopped by the points touching the bottom of the holes, it is well to grind off about one thread, to provide a little more take-up for tightening. Having set them as tightly as possible, take the gun out behind the barn, or any place where the neighbors won't object, and fire twenty or thirty of the heaviest loads you will cyer use through it, holding the butt against something solid such as a tree or stump. If the stock is ever going to split from setback or recoil, you want it to do so now, before any more precious hours have been expended on it—so give it the works. Split it if you can.

The stock having passed successfully through this ordeal, and your anxious gaze having discovered no evidences of faulty fitting, you are now ready to shape it up. This is one of the bright spots in the stocker's somewhat sordid existence. Now you can see your work begin to take shape under the tools—you really feel that something is being accomplished,—and your dreams of a stock "just for you only"—a stock that fits you to a frog hair is about to be realized.

Chaptbr 11

STOCKTAKING: SHAPING AND FINISHING

TN shaping up a stock 1 like to 6tart at the iorend and work right on bark. This is as good a place as any to describe the method of ATTACHING A FOREND TIP, so we'll begin with that.

Figure 85 shows the blank with tip of buffalo horn, ivory, ebony or what have you, clamped into place with the home-made C-clarnp described in Chapter 4, while Figure 86 shows how the tip was prepared before fitting. Make the dowel of a piece of 3/8 inch hardwood dowel rod cut about 2 1/4 inches long. This plug

Fig. 85

should be sanded to a smooth, snug, but not tight fit in the hole in horn, which hole should be drilled with a twist drill to a depth of about an inch, or more, depending on the length of the horn. The steel pins are not to be put in yet.

Saw. the forend off square at.the length desired, preferably in a mitre box—this to be done before any shaping. Drill the dowel hole in it directly under ¿enter of barrel channel, so that it comes about 1/8 to 3/16 below bottom of channel. Now Temove the dowel from the tip, coat the tip with lampblack and oil, replace

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