- April 24, 2016 at 4:23 pm #27274GoodsteelKeymaster
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This is a fun job that looks really darn good if you do it right, but looks like hammered garbage if you don’t.
The trick is to get the butt plate to fit PERFECTLY on the back of the stock, and to do this, it needs to be inletted the good ol fashioned way.
The first thing to do is to take a curved cut off the butt with the band saw. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be close.
Next, you set the plate on the stock and use a pencil to mark the notch for the widows peak.
Next you use your knife to cut that notch out a little.
Now, the filing and inletting happens. You would be wise to get a nice nicholson halfround bastard. It strips the wood from the end of the grain very well, and works fast but no too fast. The widows peak is inlet using a triangle scraper and fine 1/8″ chisels.
A trick I picked up from Waksupi is to use Linseed oil as a layout black. It’s far less messy, and the mark soaks in deeper with a rough cut than it does with a fine cut, so the linseed oil will take you all the way to home plate and give you marks that are deep enough to matter. Really excellent trick and I use it a lot.
When filing the curve of the plate into the butt of the stock, always cut towards center. Never let your file push chips off the edge as this will cause chipping. You want to inlet to 99% with a crest in the center of the stock (as you will see) and at the final fit, you take that crest down flat with a fine file.
You need a rubber or rawhide hammer to tap on the plate. When you get down to the short strokes, you’re doing more listening than looking. The places that rattle are the low spots and the places that are solid are what’s keeping the plate from resting on those low places. You look at the marks to tell you where to sand.
However, at the start, you’re using the file and the scrapers and just ripping off the places with oil marks on them till you get pretty close to full contact.
Notice the crest up the middle of the stock. That will keep the edges of the plate near the widows peak from making full contact on the edge of the perimiter (it will appear there’s a hairline gap under the plate, because it’s only touching on the inner edge) but all we are after is a 99% fit at this point that that is where it’s at above.
When you get to this point above, it’s time to take the short strokes. Use a backer and sandpaper to gently remove the marks left by the plate when you have only the faintest residue of linseed oil rubbed into it. Pay especially close attention to the sound it makes as you tap it. This one is almost perfect, and I spent a bit more time getting rid of those empty spots.
So now I have an excellent fit on the stock, but there’s that nasty hole there that was used to drive the blank on the profiler.
Now, I could cut a Walnut plug from the forend cutoff of this stock, to fill that hole perfectly, but there’s no way I could make it disappear completely, and this is MBT, so I decided it was a perfect spot for a pearl inlay. Just a simple dot.
- April 27, 2016 at 2:57 am #27375Uncle GrinchParticipant
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Nice work…. You make it look easier than it really it. I suspect patience is the key here… And attention to detail.
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