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Gunsmithing tips that can save us all time money.

Gunsmithing Tips That Can Save Us All Time And Money Slotting a small washer or a one-cent piece to slip over the end of your long square-shanked, buttstock screwdriver, will fit over 90 percent of the buttstock holes, and will act as a guide to lead the screwdriver tip into the screw slot. Using a square shaft screwdriver enables you to use an adjustable wrench to break loose and turn out rusted-in or tough screws.

Holding the weapon muzzle down, buttstock up, and applying a small amount of Liquid Wrench or other rust-breaking solvent, with a long-shanked brush or long-spout oil can, will do wonders to loosen the threads. A thin dowel or a cleaning rod section can be taped to a Brownell acid brush. Saturate this in the solution you're using. Apply liberally, allowing it to soak overnight. Then, with hold-against-the-screw-pressure, turn the screwdriver shank with a wrench.

This "One-Cent" driver tip came to us from Cosby's Gun Shop in Washington, Indiana.

When mixing small amounts of Acra-Glas or weld-bonding agent,we prefer to do it on a piece of smooth-textured cardboard or stiff paper. Using a thin-bladed pallet or kitchen-type knife, the 50-50 epoxy can be easily mixed and scraped off the pad to the last drop. This works better than the round-bottom mixing bowls (at least for us).

Left -overs of the mixture can then be utilized on small repair jobs such as cracked or loose file handles, small chips broken out of gunstocks, pistol grips, etcetera. It's a good idea to post a list of "epoxy repair needs" near your workbench, which you can add to as situations arise. Then, when extra epoxy is available, you can refer to this list and set up your work according to priorities.

To drive front rear sights out of their barrel of ramp dovetails, a medium-sized copper or brass punch is usually used. Another handy method is to use one of your small brass-head hammers, to hold against the face of the site side, then bump the brass hammer with your steel shop bench hammer, driving from left to right, as these dovetails were originally so tapered.

However, many of today's dovetail slots seem to have a straight dimensional cut. Therefor, in such instances it would not matter which direction the sight is driven.

Glass Repairs Need Curing Time

Quite often we've made small epoxy-glass repairs, which supposedly were fully, over-night cured. And often, the required trim-out, using chisels and rasps, indicated that the material was still semi-soft and "rubbery," while a week later the texture was rigid.

We usually mix small amounts of aluminum or atomized steel with the glass. This adds strength and hardness, while retaining super bonding characteristics. The additive and curing time is especially important in major repairs, such as stock recoil block anchorings (tying split-loose stock recoil blocks into the stock's sidewalls, which was described in my column, a few issues back). Whenever the wood has not been oil-soaked, this has been 100 percent successful.

While in some cases stock surgery seems to appear rough, bear in mind that Acra-Glas-epoxy materials is super-strong --and heals fast. In fact, it's tougher than wood it will adhere to. The high point of the joining technique is to get those glass holes partly into the recoil block and the stock's side-walls, then to fill them with glass, allowing them to fully cure. Do not rush: do it is stages.

If that recoil block is completely split out and recoiled to the rear, gently drive a wooden wedge down into the stock's magazine mortice, to spread the sides sufficiently, to allow you to press glass into the splits. Then remove the wedge, clamp the sides together and give it a week to cure.

Next, drill those recoil/blocks into the side-walls holes. Fill with epoxy, carefully, settling it and completely fill the holes to overflow. Depending on the extent of the stock surgery, you can take one side at a time or both, if you're brave and don't mind filling the missed gaps later. Whatever you do, give it ample cure-hardening time before you test-fire the magnum that broke it out in the first place. Remember, any caliber can break out a stock recoil block and split the tang, if not properly fitted in the first place. Also, the quality of the wood, density and hardening finish applied to it, inside and out, all have much to do with it.

It isn't necessary to warn experienced gunsmiths about the importance of that action recoil lip being fitted snugly against the stock's recoil block surface, along with perfect guard screw alignment, and a slight clearance between the action tang and its mating stock tang surface (to prevent recoil split-outs). However, the novice and inexperienced gun workers can gain much by paying attention to these points.

Shellac Stick Repairs

Stock patching means to repair dents, scratches and deep tool marks, plus cracks that often appear in deep figured woods. Identical techniques can be used to cover holes drilled in stocks to insert tie bolts at breaks, cracks and splits. Top tools for this are the pallet knife or hot electric knife, both available through Brownell's. An alcohol flame for melting, works best, as no soot or impurities are transferred to the shellac.

Gouges on light-colored stocks can be first colored to match the surrounding wood. Use water-soluble stains (oil will weaken or wreck your repair). First, use a transparent shellac stick. On darker woods, use colors that are available as needed. White and black is excellent for screw-hole inlays.

Work by holding your knife in the alcohol flame, so it will melt shellac when pressed against the stick. Swipe a small amount of melted shellac against the wood injury. Use a quick, gentle motion, repeating if necessary. After the shellac has thoroughly hardened, sand down to final 400 texture and apply finish to the wood and to the repaired area. build up your stock finish with numerous coats. The repaired spots will be as durable as the rest of the stock.

PHOTO : B-Square's Stag-Nag base takes Weaver rings. Sometimes professionally manufactured scope m

PHOTO : ount bases, rings and adapter gadgets are so well engineered that there is little or no

PHOTO : gunsmithing work left to do. B-Square now makes an adapter base for the popular European

PHOTO : NATO Stag-Nag scope mount system. This enables us to use standard dovetail American-made

PHOTO : Weaver-type rings. The B-Square adapter base fastens to the Stag-Nag mount with the two

PHOTO : standard 6mm Stag-Nag attaching screws. Locking screws are a bonus feature which secure

PHOTO : the attaching screws and bring the possibility of a work-loose situation to zero.

PHOTO : Suggested retail price for the NATO Stag-Nag-to-Beaver adapter is $39.95.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Publishers' Development Corporation
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Schumaker, William
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:column
Date:Jan 1, 1989
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