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as wide, perhaps, as the service plate. However, the butt will very likely have enough thickness to spare to enable you to give the stock a little castoff if desired. (See Chapter 9.)

First rasp off the end of piece glued on top of stock, and work down the butt from heel to toe to approximately the pitch desired— remembering that most buttplates are thicker, or have a slight hump at heel, which increase® the pitch. Then find exact center of stock and mark a line from heel to toe. Now if you want castoff, mark the castoff center as described in Chapter 9, and run a line from this point to center of upper and lower edges of grip, just back of tang on top, and just back of guard on bottom. If no castofF is wanted, merely run the lines in exact center of stock.

The fitting of the buttplate or rubber recoil pad, and the shaping up of stock, are done in the same manner as for a new stock-~the difference being that in this case there is less work. All of the remaining surface of the old stock should be filed off a trifle, as the wood is likely to be well soaked with oil and grease, and a fresh clean surface is desirable for the new finish. Moreover, oiled wood does not sandpaper very smoothly, but remains "fuzzy" regardless of the time spent on it.

If a grip cap is used, fit it as soon as the grip is roughed nearly to size, then work to the edges to get the final shape.

There have been some fearful and wonderful suggestions for stock remodeling contained in various magazine articles, from time to time. One man, I recall, said he fitted a small wedge-shaped piece of walnut to the toe of the Krag stock, where it is rounded off. It may be that he was able to do a good job and make the stock look like something, but personally I don't care for such tricks. If the grain of such i piece runs with the grain of the stock, it is almost sure to split sooner or later— and probably sooner. Moreover it will look just like what it is—a patch. And finally there isn't one mtn in a thousand who could fit such a piece without having the paper-thin edge chip or break, leaving a small gap under the buttplate. The thing to do if you want to get rid of this rounded toe—which in-cidently is not a bad thing, as it prevents the toe of stock cracking off when struck on the ground, is to shape the butt as shown in Figure 99, which gives four or five inches pitch, and is mighty comfortable either offhand or prone. If this makes the stock too short, a recofl pad can be used to lengthen it up to 7/8 inch, or one of various other methods may be used.

LENGTHENING STOCKS. One way to lengthen a Hock is to cut a walnut block, with the grain running in the direction of the stock, fit and glue it to the butt, which has first been sawed off square and the surface accurately finished. I am unable to consider this at all food practice. First, it looks like a patch, which It is. The grain cannot be well matched, nor can a good joint be made. Due to the gimin running the short way of the block it is difficult to get a per-

feet glueing surface, and when sufficient pressure is applied for ft glued joint, the block will likely crack. Nevertheless, this practice is often followed, so let your conscience be your guide. Use the "C" clamp or the fork clamp illustrated in Chapter 4 for clamping the block in position, and have a hardwood block under the setscrew.

Sometimes layers of heavy leather are used to lengthen the stock. This makes a fairly good looking job, and also makes it easy to fit the butt plate, because there is a certain amount of "give" in the leather. The pieces should be cut a little larger than the butt; coat both sides of all but the outside piece with du Pont Cement, and clamp in position as already described. Let dry 48 hours or longer. Then fit butt plate, using file and sandpaper to shape the leather butt, attach plate, set the screws up tight, then buff off leather on sandpaper wheel, as described in Chapter 11 for fitting rubber recoil pad.

Another material that may be used in the same manner is fibre. Strips of red and black fibre cemented alternately give a good appearance and look less like a patch than leather. Moreover, they take a better finish. The linseed oil used for finishing the stock docs not do so well on leather, so that it is necessary to do a lot of extra rubbing with shoemaker's "heel ball," beeswax, etc., to complete the finish on the leather—then it will be rough most of the time. No special treatment is needed for finishing the fibre—just sand and oil it when finishing the stock.

A butt extension block may also be made by glueing up thin layers of various colored woods—maple, cherry and ebony, for instance, and this may be fitted and glued to the butt, giving a very Rood appearance.

When fitting thr pi*ce to upper edge of stock from which the comb is shaped up, be careful about holes in the butt. In some rifles these will be so close to upper edge that you will saw into them when making the cut for this piece. In that case it is advisable to measure the holes and turn up walnut plugs to a tight push-fit and long enough to fill holes completely- Dnn't gef them too tight.

Coat them with hot glue, apply glue in the holes, and drive in the plugs. Afterward the stock may be recessed as desired for a trap butt plate.

•PATCHING. 1 have often seen instructions for building on pistol grips which recommended hollowing out a block of walnut to fit the round side of the original grip. I don't like this for two reasons.. First, because the correct fitting of the round surfaces runs into more time than anyone is willing to pay for; and moreover, due to the oil in the wood, the glue joint is goin* to have mighty little strength, requiring a long screw or a dowel to make it secure, and even then it will probably come loose in time. Finally, the feathered edges of the false grip where they join sides of stock, are bound to show, even if the grip is checked. It's .just contrary to the laws of woodworking to get a good joint in this manner. If

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