to base of comb. Then cut away just enough of this templet to clear the cheek piece, and use it to assure correct lines on left side of stock.
In shaping up lower edge of stock back of grip, don't leave a deep fillet. Use the square edgr of a file, and c*Try the bnttnm linrs right up against the grip, making the angle between butt stock and grip and dean at lower side, the grip blending into stock al its thickest part. Figure 90.
Now our stock is all shaped up except for a little trimming around the action. The receiver being elightly cut away for the ejection of empty cases on the right side, the wood is sticking up a little along this edge. Take a rattail file and cut down at each end, against the barrel ring and receiver bridge, then cut'out the excess wood between the file cuts with a sharp chisel, then file the wood thinner in toward edge of receiver, making it somewhat like Figure 65C, in Chapter 9.
If desired to use the magazine cutoff, the notch for it should now
Fig. eo be cut in left side of stock. Since 2 cutoff is not needed on a sporting riñe, I prefer to omit this notch on a Springfield stock, rounding off the stock at left of action just enough so the cutoff may be turned straight out for removal of the bolt. If the notch is desired, however, it need not be cut as wide or as deep as in the service stock. Make it just large enough to hold the cutoff, and let the latter turn down to an angle of only about 45 degrees, instead of nearly straight down.
When the stock seems to be exactly right as to form and size, it is a good plan to assemble the gun and take it out for a little target practice. Try it out in all the positions you expect to use—you may find a iew changes necessary. The high, snug fitting comb that seemed so perfect in the shop, may punish the cheekbone severely under recoil, necessitaring cutting it down a sixteenth inch or so. Again, the comb may be too thick, or the cheek piece require tapering a bit more forward, or thinning at the bottom edge a trifle. No harm will be done by taking the wood file to the range and working down a little here and there as required. After all, there's nothing like the "cut-and-dry" method to really fit a stock.
Having assured yourself that the stock is right, the next step is sanding. Hold it in the vise, protected by the felt pads, and go all over it from one end to the other with a strip of No. 1/2 carborundum cloth, used like shining a áhoe. Do not bear much pressure or you will make deep cross scratches. This preliminary cross sanding removes all the file marks, and takes out any slight inequalities in the surface.
STOCK IMPERFECTIONS. Now look carefully over the entire surface for imperfections such as "shakes," dry-rot, or small splits or knots. Often these do not extend to the outer surface of the wood, and show up only when the stock is about finished.
A "shake" is a small (or sometimes large) separation of the fibres of the wood, caused by the fatigue resulting from the swaying of the tree in the wind. It appears as a small crack or split, almost anywhere along the side of the stock. It may not be deeper than 1/16 inch, or it may run nearly through the wood. Unless located where it materially weakens the stock, such as at the tang, a shake will do no harm, and may be permanently repaired as follows:
Wet the stock where the shake appears, then dry over a good hot blaze. This will open the crack slightly. Now, while the wood is quite warm, rub some thick orange shellac over and into the crack. Heat a bar of iron about as hot as for soldering, and rub it over the shellac, burning it into the crack. The iron should be hot enough to make the shellac smoke and smell. Sand off the surface, and if the crack is not fully sealed, repeat the treatment several times, or until it is sealed. Then sand down smooth, and when finished, this crack will never open. Very small splits and seasoning cracks may be treated in the same manner, unless located where they will weaken the stock.
Dry-rot often occurs in imported wood that has been in storage for years, with weather conditions not right—and sometimes it does not show up until the stock is all shaped and sanded. It is evidenced by a streak where the wood looks "powdery," the outer layer being partially separated for a short distance, and the powdered rotten wood beneath sifting out. Sometimes such a place can be worked out by reducing the dimensions slightly, but as a rule the deeper you cut
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