The Hobby Gunsmith

The Scattergun-

Bounty Hunter II rebuild Part V

This month we cut out the walnut plank along the outline we drew by tracing the original stock.  We used a hand-held saber saw to cut outside of the line and we left some excess material in the area where we must fit the stock to the receiver of the shotgun.  

   After cutting out the new stock, we compared it to the original to make sure we had not made any serious mistakes.  It turned out that the saber saw was not tracking well and cut the stock outline on an angle.  The fact that we cut outside the lines should allow us to compensate for the blade that canted itself during the cut.

   The next step was to use a stationary disk sander to square all of the cuts while straightening the line along the top of the comb and along the bottom of the stock.  It took a fair amount of sanding to get the angled cuts corrected and we were careful in areas where there was not much excess to only cut away one side of the centerline.  The thinner side of the centerline will be angled when contour the new comb and we don't want to undersize the area for the sake of a square cut.

Truing the stock using a stationary disk sander.

    Our plank is just a little too narrow to span the entire width of the receiver and we are not really sure how we will address this issue.  The shortage is less than a sixteenth of an inch so we may add a thin strip of decorative wood, brass, or steel.  We should also point out that this is the first time we have undertaken such an aggressive gun woodworking project so some mistakes may be made along the way.  Readers are encouraged to write in with tips for better ways of doing things.

   This stock will be used in Cowboy Acton Shooting and will not be placed on a fine quality shotgun.  We are using this project as our first for fitting a stock from scratch and decided to not attempt to match the angled contour of the joint between the receiver and the stock.  We will use epoxy to compensate for any problems with the fit on this project as we learn.  The plan is to make several shotgun stocks as practice before attempting to make a much more complex stock for a future project.

   We used the stationary disk sander to start working on the fit to the receiver.  This is a somewhat complex fit, because the wood must match an uneven curve at the receiver and must have the tang cut completely through the stock.  We laid the receiver on the wood and used a pencil to mark the contour of the receiver on the wood.  This gave us a close enough fit to lead us to the final fit.

   With the receiver laying on top of the wood in a position that approximates where it will fit to the stock, we marked the length of the tang to the point of the screw holes.  We also measured the thickness of the tang and the amount of wood needed on each side of the tang.  It turns out that we need a half-inch of wood on each side of the tang and a half-inch of wood needs to be removed to accommodate the tang.

Marking the area of the Tang in preparation for cutting the Tang relief.

   We used a combination square to mark around the front of the stock to designate where the wood needs to be cut away.  We set up a radial arm saw with the blade set to the horizontal position and clamped the stock to the saw to the approximate depth of the cut to the tang screws.  Notice in the picture that we used a board and two clamps to secure the stock to the saw table.  This is to prevent the stock from kicking the wood out as we make the cut.

The wood clamped down to the table and ready for cutting the tang slots.

   We used the vertical adjustment to set the saw blade to the proper height to cut just inside the lines we made to mark the tang.  After double checking the elevation adjustment and the depth of the cut, we carefully pulled the saw through the area of the tang and made our cut.  We then turned the wood over, aligned the wood for the correct depth and angle, and pulled the saw through to make the parallel cut on the opposite side of the tang.

Cutting the Tang slots.

   With the two cuts in the desired places, we used a wood chisel and a hammer to remove the remaining wood.  We then used a round wood rasp to round the bottom of the tang recess to better match the end of the tang of the Baikal.  Keeping in mind that it is easier to remove wood than to put it back after cutting too much, we had cut the tang a little think and had to fit it with a file.

   We used a flat wood rasp to remove wood from the sides of the tang relief.  Any horse shoers will recognize the rasp as one used for shoeing horses and we have files a few hooves on our horses with this rasp.  We used the rasp to remove wood on each side of the tang until the tang could slide into place with just a little resistance.  We switched to a normal file for the final finishing.

Filing the tang relief to the proper fit.

   Once we can slide the tang into place, we can fit the receiver to the stock.  We slid the receiver into place and filed the bottom of the tang slot until the amount of gap was about the same as the largest gap between the receiver and the stock.  We used a pencil to outline the areas where the metal is in contact with the wood and used the stationary disk sander to remove a little excess wood.

   We continued to remove excess wood until we had a reasonable fit between the receiver and the stock, and with the proper fit at the end of the tang.  Please note that we have made no attempt to contour the wood of the stock and have left all sides as flat as possible to make the wood stable while working with power tools.  It's much easier to work with a flat-sided block of wood than to try clamping down wood when it is curved.  The final shaping will be done as the last stage of the project.

The new stock fitted to the receiver and ready for the decorative fitting.

   This leaves us with a stock fitted to the receiver of the shotgun and ready to have the end cut for the pad and the energy absorber.  That will be done next month when we hope to finish the stock.  We admit we wish we had started our woodworking adventures with a less aggressive project. 

   For those who would like an easier project to start with, we will soon be making some custom shaped revolver replacement grips from the scraps left over after we are through working on this project.  Perhaps we will tackle wood checkering.  See you next month.