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#262867 - 01/28/12 11:41 AM Stupid repairs and bad restock jobs.
KY Jon Offline
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Registered: 03/09/02
Posts: 3645
Loc: Red State
Went to a gun show today that was a waste of my time, as many are for double shooters. Wish I liked black guns, bad camo and weird jerky more so I could fit in more.

The only decent double there had a new butt stock. Why on Earth does anyone replace a Black walnut butt with English and not replace the fore end as well? Talk about stupid to do and bad to look at. To me it is like a lady only having one breast implant or one side of her face lifted. Either go back with Black or do both in the same wood.

There were a hand full of doubles that had been abused by owners but the restock was the worst of the lot. Hot blue, polished gun, heavy coats of varnish over old finish, recoil pads installed by a blind man, you name it you can find it at gun shows.


Edited by KY Jon (01/28/12 08:14 PM)

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#262872 - 01/28/12 01:08 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
Gregdownunder Offline
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Registered: 10/09/03
Posts: 581
Loc: New Zealand
Its surprising how often I have found tumblers replaced on good English boxlocks,often poorly.
Not something you can really check for at a show either.
Makes one wonder why they went to the trouble of making a new one rather than welding up and reshaping the tip on the old one.
Also surprising how often one comes across restock jobs,that,while often well enough fitted used something that would have been more appropriate for a stock crate.

GDU

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#262873 - 01/28/12 01:10 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
Dave Katt Offline
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Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 2038
Loc: Western Ohio
I can't agree with you more on the stocks. It seems as if forearms are just not on the list of stock makers to make.

Maybe some day I will find a black gun that is exciting to me, but I can't see how that would happen.

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#262875 - 01/28/12 01:16 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
Small Bore Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 1516
Loc: Ludlow & London
Perhaps the cost of replacing a perfectly good forend wood is troubling to some? Not much change out of £1,000.
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#262879 - 01/28/12 01:52 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: Gregdownunder]
keith Online   content
Sidelock
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Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 3070
Originally Posted By: Gregdownunder

Also surprising how often one comes across restock jobs,that,while often well enough fitted used something that would have been more appropriate for a stock crate.

GDU


I have a Lefever I grade with a stock that is as nicely inletted as any lower grade Lefever you'll see. But it appears to be made of white oak. The inletting is indistinguishable from factory. Also strange are guns which are very nicely inletted, but the final exterior shaping is ... well, you are left wondering if the intrepid stocker even ever looked at an original.

On the plus side, one double I bought a few weeks ago had a stock finish that looked like alligator hide. It was very thick and darkened and looked like it had been left too close to a wood stove or something. This alligatored finish even extended over some of the action and forearm metal. I thought I recognized what it was and made a very good deal because it was so ugly. When I got home, I saturated a rag with some 99% isopropyl alcohol and started rubbing. After 20-30 minutes, the alcohol had removed virtually all of the old, dirty, cracked garnet shellac. This shellac was laid on so heavily that about 95% of the scratches and little handling dents were in this thick removed surface. The checkering which had looked worn smooth and indistinct was simply clogged with heavy dirty shellac. Alcohol and an old toothbrush made it look almost factory fresh. Underneath was virtually all of the original finish which the alcohol didn't even soften. It was in great shape and a little wipedown with stock wax had it standing tall. Total stock restoration cost: about half a buck for alcohol and a dab of wax. And the original finish is still there! Shellac must have been much more commonly used in this manner, because I have ran across this several times, and this is why I recommend always starting with alcohol as a finish removal solvent.

Seems like every time I start thinking that gun shows or flea markets are a waste of time, I find some diamond in the rough. I do wish the gun show promoters would all ban vendors whose tables don't have at least 80% gun related content. The shows that are heavy with jerky and Indian jewelery are the ones I don't ever return to.
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#262887 - 01/28/12 03:03 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
italiansxs Offline
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Registered: 02/16/05
Posts: 5807
Loc: Arizona
So keith:
What exactly was under this mess?
Jim
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#262893 - 01/28/12 03:41 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
Cameron Offline
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Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 745
Loc: Post Falls, ID
Quote: "What exactly was under this mess?"

My question as well!
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#262905 - 01/28/12 04:42 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: keith]
Rockdoc Offline
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Registered: 02/28/02
Posts: 2519
Loc: On the road less traveled...
Keith,
How about posting a picture.
Steve
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#262915 - 01/28/12 05:07 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: italiansxs]
keith Online   content
Sidelock
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Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 3070
Originally Posted By: italiansxs
So keith:
What exactly was under this mess?
Jim


Original G grade Lefever finish and checkering was buried under about 1/16" of old alligatored shellac. It appeared the gun had maybe 20 or 30 years of normal use and care before the shellac was slopped on. Certainly not new in box condition, but very presentable and that's as far as I'll ever take it. That heavy, ugly, and easily removeable top coat preserved and protected everything underneath from another 80-90 years of use and abuse. As stated, the checkering which was totally filled cleaned up nicely. Several fairly deep scratches did not go through the shellac to get to the original finish or wood. The original LAC buttplate was also covered and looked filthy and worn. Underneath was a nice sharp specimen with only a couple little dings. The scalloped grip cap was covered and you couldn't even see the screw slots. Even some of the metal had been covered, and the case colors are much stronger where they had been fossilized under that shellac. Since it was reversible and easily removed with a little alcohol and some elbow grease, I almost wish whoever did it had coated the barrels and all, because much of the blueing on the Damascus tubes is a smooth mottled patina. Shiny bores, uncut, and no dents and I got it for little more than a parts gun price because it was butt-ugly.
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#262923 - 01/28/12 05:42 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: keith]
Dave in Maine Offline
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Registered: 05/04/11
Posts: 839
Loc: Maine
So, in short, as a protective finish the shellac was a resounding success, right?
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#262927 - 01/28/12 05:51 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: Dave in Maine]
keith Online   content
Sidelock
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Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 3070
Yeah, but it probably frightened the dogs and small children in the intervening years. A few other guns I've bought over the years also had the shellac treatment, but not nearly so thick. That's how I knew this might be a good buy. Shellac dissolves in alcohol, but it will not affect many other common stock finishes. When you remove it, you may find bare wood underneath as happened with a 16 ga. L.C. Smith field grade some years back. Or you may find it was put on right over what was already there. Either way, it sure beats removing polyurethane bowling pin finish.
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#262980 - 01/29/12 05:49 AM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
Ballistix999 Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 07/02/10
Posts: 1284
Loc: UK
As Dig said, it's alsmost as costly for me, with my mates rates from a top stocker, for me to get the forend done. Most stockers hate doing them and prefer to fix the old one. More often than not, if they are skillful enough, you won't know.

Cheers
t
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#262985 - 01/29/12 07:22 AM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
GregSY Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 1842
A few years ago I sent a Trojan to a stock maker for a new butt stock. I wanted a longer LOP and a cast for a left handed shooter. This gun was to be a college graduation gift for my tall nephew.

This is a stock maker wildly endorsed by this BB, someone who routinely posts photos of his wonderful work and gets stroked by most of you guys.

My instructions were clear, written, and we discussed them on the phone. I also offered to send one of my Trojans as a reference but was told "I have plenty to use already".

1) 15-1/4LOP
2) Cast for leftie
3) Otherwise just like a Parker stock - slender and visually similar.

After longer than promised wait, the gun arrived. The LOP was OK, but there was a healthy cast for a right handed shooter. The stock felt like club - thick in the wrist, and added 1/2 pound to the gun. The grip cap area and nose were also completely non-Parker.

A quick phone call to the stock maker - he says "I forgot about the left handed cast". But he's sure he can fix it all.

The gun goes back and after another very long wait - I assume he's spending his time doing more important guns - I get the gun back and it's hardly any better. Still cast for a right handed shooter, just not as much. Still club heavy and ugly.

By now, my nephew has graduated and is working his first real job.

I ask Mr Famous Stock Maker for my money back. I tell him I will absorb the cost of the Wenig wood, and all the lost time
(1-1/2 years as a I recall) and shipping costs - but I don't see myself paying for his labor that was not to spec. He tells me he just doesn't have the money but he'll pay me when he can scrape it together.

I send the gun to Del Grego and in 8 weeks it comes back with a nearly flawless Parker looking stock made to all the proper specs.

Several months and a few reminders later Mr. Famous Stock Maker sends me less than half the money, promising to send the rest when his kids get out of college. I assume his kids are on the slow plan (not that surprising) since I still have not seen it.

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#263089 - 01/29/12 05:57 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
Bob Blair Offline
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Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 1286
Loc: An Island in the Middle of the...
I consider a famous firm ruining a set of barrels an even greater gunsmithing sin.

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#263121 - 01/29/12 08:41 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
treblig1958 Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 03/27/05
Posts: 2876
Loc: Pennsylvania
I think the writing is on the wall for the future of the side by side. Over and Unders on the other hand have a pretty bright future as today I saw a bunch of younger guys trap shooting and they all had stacked barrels.

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#263126 - 01/29/12 09:15 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
GregSY Offline
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Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 1842
Rather than reply to each of the private messages, I'll just state that Doug Mann is the name of the guy who cost me over a year and many hundreds of dollars.

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#263421 - 02/01/12 06:08 AM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
colin.kendall Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 127
Loc: Centreville, Va.
Back in 1975 my late father gave his August Schuller 16 gauge side by for Christmas. He said it was done in a moment of insanity. Nice gun, but it was stocked in the typical German style: splinter foream, narrow comb pistol grip stock with cheekpiece on left side of stock. The gun was in need of work, as it was old and had shot loose. I took it to a gunsmith in Sacramento, where he did a great job of tightening up the action, along with lapping and polishing the insides of the barrels. He screwed up when he blued the barrels. You guessed it; hot blue. Around 1963 my dad had bought a beavertail forearm from Fajen in Triple A black walnut. Real nice grain. Once of the things I did, after I got the gun was get to a blank for the buttstock. I went to Oakley & Merkley, in Sacramento, and picked out a piece of the most beautiful marble cake Bastogne walnut. Enough to make you drool out of the corners of your mouth like Pavlov's dog. My dad finished off the beavertail in Flecto Varathane (10 coats) and checkered it in a nice point pattern. I know: two different kinds of walnut, but they sure looked pretty.
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#263429 - 02/01/12 07:21 AM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
L. Brown Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 7456
Loc: Iowa
Here's one for you: Guy takes a double to a "big box" sporting goods store that has an in-house gunsmith. The gun has the gas relief slots in the standing breech. Gunsmith, in addition to doing whatever else the guy wanted done, filled those in. (Not sure how.) "They don't belong there."

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#263583 - 02/01/12 11:36 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: L. Brown]
rrrgcy Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 06/18/08
Posts: 51
Non-repair... Was still (and still very much am) new and I bought a cased matched pair of british sidelocks relying on photos and a detailed phone call, from clear across the country from a well-noted 'good' dealer. You guys speak highly of them. With my inquiry about the set, the dealer goes through them by replying to my very detailed questions of fit function repair needs etc. He had them in hand on the phone while detailing my every question. All is well and good. Hmm, I seem to now remember the "story" of how they were consigned by a wealthy Russian. Ugh. Received the guns and the rear trigger of number #1 wouldn't trip. Ugh. Had other apparent non-disclosed issues with both sets of barrels (UGH)(what you can't feel a bulge and can't hear the other's quite dull barrel-ringing in a section of the barrel?). I decided to hang in there with the pair and keep them; off they went through a hi-flutin' dealer/storefront in West Palm Beach to their best out-of-state repair guy, also a noted good-guy. Noted repair guy sends the barrels out to Kirk Merrington who saves me a lot of $$ candidly explaining the 'issues' weren't in fact anything to be concerned about and the barrels were good-to-go. He could have taken me but didn't. The repair guy receives the barrels back from Kirk and after a long wait for the strip and clean, the shotguns are returned. Yup, gun #1 still won't fire. Repair guy claims he simply just couldn't fix it, no explanation. I never received photos of the internals from him either as I requested. I negotiate a lowered price for the "non-job" and complain to the Palm Beach dealer who promise they'll be wary to send him anymore jobs. I take the gun to a local seasoned south florida "gator-man" type gunsmith who actually knows sidelocks and sure enough in a week I pickup the gun which now works as it should. This early experience taught me a lot about surprises. Liars and good guys. (Merrington and swamp people are the good guys!).

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#263740 - 02/02/12 11:11 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
GregSY Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 1842
The simple fact is that craftsmanship is largely dead. Most people holding themselves forth as such have found it easier to talk the talk than walk the walk.

I've become convinced that the truly good stockmakers are working for places like Holland & Holland. Not only are they good, but they are held to high standards by others who know what is good and what isn't. Your average stockmaker working out of his garage selling to someone 1000 miles away is accountable to no one - and it shows. So much for pride in workmanship and integrity.

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#263768 - 02/03/12 09:19 AM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
DES/TSD Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 06/23/05
Posts: 307
Loc: Tygh Valley, OR
GregSY, your challenge has been heard. May I respectfully suggest you listen to the people at H&H, Macnaughton, Westly Richards, & Churchill. They all have seen workmanship by American craftsman. They all have asked for craftsmen and women here in the good ole USA to build stocks for their clients. I have been asked by three different English gunmaking houses to build stocks. I declined because it would take away from the work already in house and cause problems for the USA trade already established. I DID for six years work with a London Gun MFG in that capacity and learned my lesson well on this point. Craftsmanship is not dead. You found it at Del Grego's at Illion, NY.
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#264018 - 02/04/12 10:09 PM Re: Stupid perairs and bad restock jobs. [Re: KY Jon]
billgrill Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 332
Loc: upper michigan
Dennis, I was hoping you would respond to that! Kudos to you! From what I have seen, your work is second to none. Should have a LC Crown SBT coming you way shortly. Still having engraving restored.



Left side done. Regards, Bill

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