doublegunshop.com - home
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/13/21 11:30 AM
I have a 32" barreled A grade Fox that had been restocked very well before I acquired it, with a semi-beavertail f/e and a straight grip with long tang. This gun just cries out for a long splinter f/e.

How do I determine if the underside of the existing forend is fitted to the barrels well enough that, if "worked down" to a splinter, there wouldn't be unsightly gaps between the wood and the barrels along the upper edge? A good friend told me that I could put some children's Play-Doh under the f/e, then carefully put the f/e back on the gun, allowing the dough to slowly squeeze out, and it would show me how well it is fitted. But, I've never tried that, yet.

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]
Posted By: BrentD Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/13/21 12:15 PM
Various thicknesses of paper would work, but putty is what one normally would use, with a plastic food wrap next to the barrels to prevent sticking when pulled apart (may or may not be necessary).

I have an Ithaca/SKB that needs to be slimmed down as well, though it is technically a splinter to begin with.
Posted By: Kutter Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/13/21 01:11 PM
If you don't have any stockmaking stuff handy (like Inletting Black), you can use things like Permatex Prussian Blue,, Lipstick,, candle soot black, vasaline w/a small amt of acrylic artist color paint added,,ect.
Many stockers use different home brews as inletting color to coat the metal parts & leave a color impression on the wood indicating a high or contact spot.

Rub the coloring all over the underside of the bbls where the inlet of the forend covers.
Then put the forend back into place. Give the wood a gentle squeeze to press it firmly against the bbls.

Remove the forend and look for contact color on the wood.

Nice looking shotgun!
Posted By: battle Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/13/21 02:19 PM
Might be easier to find a splinter replacement and keep the beaver the way it is.
Originally Posted by Kutter
If you don't have any stockmaking stuff handy (like Inletting Black), you can use things like Permatex Prussian Blue,, Lipstick,, candle soot black, vasaline w/a small amt of acrylic artist color paint added,,ect.
Many stockers use different home brews as inletting color to coat the metal parts & leave a color impression on the wood indicating a high or contact spot.

Rub the coloring all over the underside of the bbls where the inlet of the forend covers.
Then put the forend back into place. Give the wood a gentle squeeze to press it firmly against the bbls.

Remove the forend and look for contact color on the wood.

Nice looking shotgun!

Thanks, Kutter. Having read your reply this morning, and having thought on it for awhile today, I think the "missing link" is that after I see where the contact points are I will have to make a judgement call on whether the areas of wood that are not touching the barrels are far enough away from them that it would leave unsightly gaps between the upper edges of the f/e sides and the barrels. I have some inletting skills and inletting medium on hand. I can see a plan coming together now, to evaluate the wood fit to the barrels.

Originally Posted by battle
Might be easier to find a splinter replacement and keep the beaver the way it is.

There are a couple reasons I would rather reduce the size of the btfe to a splinter rather than try to fit another one.

1) The wood in the current btfe is a perfect match with the buttstock wood. It would be impossible to find an existing splinter f/e that would match as well.

2) Fitting a f/e is tedious work, that requires a goodly amount of learning to do right. I have much more experience shaping and finishing stock wood than I do fitting forends.

3) This forend iron is fitted perfectly already. If the wood contact to the underside of the barrels is sufficient, all that is needed is to reshape the forend wood, finish it, and have it checkered.

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.
If the stockmaking transfer concoctions don't reveal much I would get some modeling clay and place small daubs at certain locations and let it sit for a few days before removing the forearm. Paste wax the barrels so it doesn't stick to it. Should give you your answer. Playdoh drys out.
Thanks, but what would be the advantage to leaving it for a few days? Once the forend is pressed into place (with PlayDoh) and the latch is seated into position I don't see what can be gained by waiting, but perhaps I'm missing something?
To allow it to spread fully. Just because it is latched does not mean the clay is fully compressed. But it might be as well. If the daub is small enough probably good to go. It likely flows easier in Georgia than Wyo due to temp and humidity.
Posted By: Mark II Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/14/21 02:02 AM
If you cut the sides down on the fore end, you can graft those pieces into the gaps.
Thanks Mark. Just the kind of thought a professional would have.

I appreciate it.
Posted By: bbman3 Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/14/21 12:59 PM
Stan order a semi-inlet splinter from Show Me Gunstocks .I am fitting a beavertail on my 28 ga Parker Repo 2 barrel set right now and tell Donnie the length of splinter you want. Bobby
Posted By: eightbore Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/14/21 02:23 PM
Stan, a friend in my gun club made a great conversion from BT to splinter on my Super Fox. I just took a chance on fit and gaps and it turned out great. Don't go through all those hoops, just do it. Your friend, Murphy
Posted By: keith Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/14/21 05:22 PM
Since we have the tools and technology to make certain that the existing inletting in the BTFE would not leave unsightly gaps if converted to a splinter, I absolutely would not just start cutting, and hope for the best.

I also would not even consider splicing the edges of the existing forend wood to cover possible gaps, because there is going to be a glue joint line that would not be able to be perfectly hidden full -length in the checkering. My personal choice would be to start looking for a new piece of wood with closely matching grain and pore size, and start whittling a new splinter forend. That way, you would still retain the matching BTFE, should you sell the gun. It really isn't that hard to inlet and fit a shotgun forend. I say that knowing you have the tools and the ability. Checkering will need to be done by you or someone either way. And if you screw up, you won't be out as much as you would if remodeling the BTFE did not go well. Besides, your biggest challenge is not going to be matching the wood itself. The real challenge will be matching the stain and finish of the buttstock, assuming you'd rather not refinish everything. And that will be a problem to solve whether you use the existing forend wood, or start fresh with another blank.

Anyway, that's my advice. Tale it or leave it while you can, because I am seriously questioning the wisdom of giving free advice on this Double-Standards forum while selective moderation is going on, and certain sensitive "special" people are still permitted to submit and cheer-on personal insults. I can leave the free advice giving to someone who doesn't even know the difference between feather-crotch black walnut and thin shell walnut.
I might suggest Stan, to augment the play-dough trick, a sheet of waxed paper as the first layer, then the play-dough, then the compression to fit, would make the removal of the imprinted play-dough easier later. I use play-dough to mask off wood when using Acura-Glas, and this trick sometimes saves time of the removal of the detritus later. RWTF
I did the Play-Doh trick early this morning. I had to use a very small amount to get it to squeeze out thin enough for the f/e to even latch. Tried to measure the thickness of the remaining Play-Doh with a dial caliper using the depth indicator function and came up with a low of .006" nearer the front end, to .040" in the middle. This, however, was not on the "sides" where it is most important, but at the bottom, where it contacts the bottom of the barrels. I had to go to work and ran out of time, but I plan to do it again with small amounts on the sides, where the top edge of the f/e will actually be, up aways from the bottom and more towards the sides of the barrels.

The Play-Doh was very soft and squeezed out easily, but was easy to remove. Rolled right off.

Next thing I'm going to do is check a couple of factory graded Foxes I have to see just how close the top edges of the f/e fits on them. I may be seeking perfection when it is not necessary. Feeler gauges will tell the tale.
Originally Posted by keith
Since we have the tools and technology to make certain that the existing inletting in the BTFE would not leave unsightly gaps if converted to a splinter, I absolutely would not just start cutting, and hope for the best.

I've no inclination to "just start cutting" without doing all the evaluation possible. My lack of knowledge on how to evaluate this is what led me to start this thread and pose the question. Are there other "tools and technology" that you know of that haven't been already suggested? If so, I could make good use of them now.
Posted By: keith Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/15/21 05:07 AM
Originally Posted by Stanton Hillis
Originally Posted by keith
Since we have the tools and technology to make certain that the existing inletting in the BTFE would not leave unsightly gaps if converted to a splinter, I absolutely would not just start cutting, and hope for the best.

I've no inclination to just start cutting without doing all the evaluation possible. My lack of knowledge on how to evaluate this is what led me to start this thread and pose the question. Are there other tools and technology that you know of that haven't been already suggested? If so, I could make good use of them now.

Nope Stan, when I suggested availing yourself of "the tools and technology" necessary to evaluate this proposed forend conversion, I was referring to the simple methods you used, and things like inletting black and other spotting compounds such as those mentioned by Kutter. No rocket science is needed

But even if your further checks confirm that you aren't likely to end up with unacceptable gaps, I think I'd still be inclined to try to find a matching forend blank, and make a new replacement, for the reasons already given. And that comes from someone who has no fondness for any BTFE. I have a similar project in the queue with a Grade 2 L.C. Smith that has a replacement BTFE. I already know the conversion to a splinter would leave gaps, but I haven't yet found a good matching piece of walnut that has the same strong fiddleback as my original buttstock and the replacement BTFE. I suppose I could just use any old chunk of wood, and some folks would never know the difference... If you catch my drift.
I do indeed, keith. But, the task of finding a matching piece of walnut seems insurmountable for me. I have zero affiliation with any walnut dealers, there're none within driving distance, and I have little to no confidence in my ability to evaluate, online, the factors necessary to end up with a matching piece.

So, in spite of the good advice you and Bobby are offering me I am going to go ahead with attempting to evaluate the possibility that the btfe I now have can be converted well. If that turns out to be a definite no, or even a probably not, I'll drop the idea like a hot potato. I have had some pretty good results matching a new buttstock to an old f/e, with stains, but it's tough sometimes. And, I'm not at all certain there is any stain on the current buttstock and f/e wood, thus making the wood matching even more important.

Thanks, SRH
Posted By: keith Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/15/21 09:06 PM
I understand completely Stan. I looked very closely at your pics, but it is hard to tell what walnut species you have on that Fox. The stock cheek provides the clearest look, and from that, I would say it is Black Walnut, but that is merely an educated guess. I have amassed a pretty good amount of walnut blanks and slabs in the Black, English, French, Claro, Circassian, and Bastogne varieties, and keep as many usable scrap pieces as possible for patching. And despite that, it is still often hard to find a close match when doing a repair. Doing it from pics on a computer monitor would be very difficult indeed.

I suppose you could always take Mama Bear and your forend on a little vacation to Las Vegas after harvest, and make a side trip to visit Cecil Fredi. Maybe you could write off the expense as "repairs to farm pest control equipment."

But even if you cut down your BTFE, and even if it currently has no stain, it may still be tough to match finish coloration. When I did my little test on wood glues several years ago, I tried well over half a dozen different stock finishes on my sample glue joints, and every one produced a different color and surface appearance. You may want to test your choice of finish on scraps you cut off to make sure you will be satisfied with how it matches the buttstock.
Posted By: Gr8day Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/15/21 10:07 PM
Originally Posted by eightbore
Stan, a friend in my gun club made a great conversion from BT to splinter on my Super Fox. I just took a chance on fit and gaps and it turned out great. Don't go through all those hoops, just do it. Your friend, Murphy

Not trying to hijack this thread, but was that BT factory?
Posted By: keith Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/16/21 04:37 AM
Originally Posted by Gr8day
Not trying to hijack this thread, but was that BT factory?


Did you bother to read this Thread? The answer to your question is in the very first sentence of the original post, and it was even written in English.

Hint: I'll bet that if it was original, Stan wouldn't even consider slicing it down to a splinter.
Again, yesterday morning, I stole a few minutes before work to try this Play-Doh thing again. This time I placed it on the barrels in the areas where the upper edge of the f/e wood will be if it is converted into a splinter. The results showed me that there will be no unsightly gaps. Indeed, I measure two graded Foxes I have on hand and found that on both of them there is space between the wood and barrels, where we see the upper edges of the f/e, that would accept .030" shim easily, and they had that much gap uniformly all the way from the front end back to within roughly an inch of the forend iron at the rear.

The more I think about this the more I have come to realize that I have never looked that closely at how tightly the f/e wood fits the barrels along these upper edges. What I have always looked for is unsightly, and irregular gaps that occur when a piece of that sharp edge is broken away, and how tightly the f/e snaps into place. Perfection here (wood top metal fit along the upper edges of the f/e wood) is most likely found as a rule on best guns in the upper five to six digit $ realm, not run-of-the-mill vintage American classics.
Originally Posted by battle
Might be easier to find a splinter replacement and keep the beaver the way it is.

That would require common sense and not make for an exciting thread....
Originally Posted by keith
Originally Posted by Gr8day
Not trying to hijack this thread, but was that BT factory?


Did you bother to read this Thread? The answer to your question is in the very first sentence of the original post, and it was even written in English.

Hint: I'll bet that if it was original, Stan wouldn't even consider slicing it down to a splinter.

True that. There were precious few bt forends that ever left Fox factories. But then, if it were an original Fox 32" graded gun with a factory bt forend I prolly could never have afforded it in the first place. I'm really leaning towards going with another new splinter forend, rather than trying to convert. A professional stocker has told me in the last 24 hrs. that I shouldn't count on being able to pull it off successfully. I told him that you and Bobby had already advised me the same and that the tide was indeed turning,
Posted By: damascus Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/17/21 10:29 AM
Adjusting the shape from Beaver tail to splinter looking at the pictures should cause you no problem but I would have liked to see the complete for end tip that is not in the picture. I do think that the largest problem you will have after re shaping the F/E will be checkering because you will need some form of cradle to hold it, without one it is an up hill struggle. I am biased because I have done a number of Beaver Tail conversions, re shaping is the easy part compered with the final checkering, hope things work out well for you.
Posted By: SKB Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/17/21 10:46 AM
Stan,
You might try Cecil Freddie or Robert Watts for a piece of wood. I have a stash of black walnut fore blanks as well but not near the number that those guys have. Matching black is easier than matching English in my opinion. Best of luck with it.
Steve
Posted By: Gr8day Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/23/21 07:58 AM
Originally Posted by keith
Originally Posted by Gr8day
Not trying to hijack this thread, but was that BT factory?


Did you bother to read this Thread? The answer to your question is in the very first sentence of the original post, and it was even written in English.

Hint: I'll bet that if it was original, Stan wouldn't even consider slicing it down to a splinter.
[quote=keith][quote=Gr8day]


If you bother to reread my post, I was asking Eightbore if the BT on his Superfox was factory.
Posted By: keith Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/23/21 06:39 PM
That would have been quite evident if your post had originally included the QUOTE from eightbore. Unfortunately, this single sentence was the entirety of your post... until you edited it to include the comment from eightbore about his Super Fox.

Originally Posted by Gr8day
Not trying to hijack this thread, but was that BT factory?

Nice try! Just what I'd expect from you. Small wonder things often go off the rails around here.
Originally Posted by keith
That would have been quite evident if your post had originally included the QUOTE from eightbore. Unfortunately, this single sentence was the entirety of your post... until you edited it to include the comment from eightbore about his Super Fox.

Originally Posted by Gr8day
Not trying to hijack this thread, but was that BT factory?

The entirety of his post, yes, but there was something else I noticed. At the top of it, in the highlighted yellow bar, it said that he was replying to eightbore (where the little "right turn arrow" is). Once the time limit for deleting a post has passed that indicator can't be changed. I noticed it said eightbore when you replied to him ........ only because I have goofed up so many times that I've learned to look to see who the poster is replying to. Easy mistake to make, for me, at least.
Posted By: mc Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/27/21 01:41 AM
You might want the forend to self identify as a splinter forend
Posted By: keith Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/27/21 05:18 AM
Originally Posted by Stanton Hillis
Originally Posted by keith
That would have been quite evident if your post had originally included the QUOTE from eightbore. Unfortunately, this single sentence was the entirety of your post... until you edited it to include the comment from eightbore about his Super Fox.

Originally Posted by Gr8day
Not trying to hijack this thread, but was that BT factory?

The entirety of his post, yes, but there was something else I noticed. At the top of it, in the highlighted yellow bar, it said that he was replying to eightbore (where the little "right turn arrow" is). Once the time limit for deleting a post has passed that indicator can't be changed. I noticed it said eightbore when you replied to him ........ only because I have goofed up so many times that I've learned to look to see who the poster is replying to. Easy mistake to make, for me, at least.


Stan, if you take a look at MY post #605078, your explanation would indicate that I was replying to MYSELF. But I certainly wasn't replying to myself... I was replying to Gr8day, and my post directly followed his. And it even contained a QUOTE that came from Gr8day's first post. I never click on the "REPLY" box when I begin a new post. And I wasn't submitting a second post right after I had submitted a prior post. I simply started typing in the blank quick reply box at the bottom of the page I am on, as I always do.

Regardless, what pisses me off is that Gr8day had responded to me with this:

Originally Posted by Gr8day
If you bother to reread my post, I was asking Eightbore if the BT on his Superfox was factory.

Gr8day didn't ask me to look at some little right turn arrow in the top highlighted yellow bar. He asked me to reread something that wasn't there when I had replied to it. As you also noticed, he had edited it, and added the QUOTE from eightbore to his initial post. And then he attempted to make it appear that I either was not paying attention, or lacked reading comprehension.

I'll be very polite and simply say that I found that disingenuous at best. PM me and I'll tell you what I really think. And as I noted, that behavior has led to things going off the rails in the past around here.
Posted By: Gr8day Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/27/21 11:16 PM
Boy, this really spun out of control. Keith, I was truly responding to Eightbore's post because I am a Fox collector and rarely see BT forends on HE's. That's what I meant by "not trying to hijack this thread" because the thread was originally out Stan's Fox. I never edited anything.
Gr8Day was responding to eightbore, evidenced by the fact that above his post in the yellow bar it was showing that it was in reply to eightbore. I saw that all after he posted. "Eightbore" would not have appeared up there had Gr8Day not clicked on the box to reply to eightbore's post. The only way to get it there is to click on the middle box at the bottom right which says "Reply". When you do that the name of the poster you are replying to is shown in the yellow bar. There's no other way to get it there.

I've simply tried to point out the facts of the matter, but it seems true that, sometimes, no good deed goes unpunished. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

Bye, y'all.
In private communication with Keith he has pointed out to me that I may well be misunderstanding the mechanism by which the name of the person that one is replying to shows up in the yellow bar, and it is not always what one intends. I am apparently still confused about the process, and would like to offer an apology to Keith for maintaining that I knew, and understood, the process well. It was my understanding that if one does not click on the "Reply" box, under the post made by the other person, the name of the originator of the thread would appear. But, Keith has showed me examples where that is not always the case. So, I was wrong and remain confused about it, and reticent that I ever treaded where I shouldn't have.

And, I appreciate Keith's, and all others', posts in reply to the original topic of this thread. The entire thread, and all those who read it, would have been better served had I responded to Keith in private, in order to attempt to work out this confusion. My bad for not doing so.
Posted By: keith Re: Converting a beavertail to a splinter - 10/29/21 04:28 AM
I did reply to Stan both here and in a PM, because I simply didn't know if my post would actually appear, or if this Thread might just end up locked or otherwise censored. I still do not know if the reply I made last night will be posted, or not. If it is, then it will be apparent that I wasn't exactly happy with the response he made to me earlier. I regret any misunderstanding and my tone.

I have read what Stan has said here, and in his PM reply to me, and I wish to publicly state that I am also confused about exactly how and when a name appears in the yellow bar at the top of a post. Also that I accept his apology for the misunderstanding that ensued as a result. And I also apologize for my reaction, and my thought that he was just blowing me off without really bothering to read my earlier reply. His thoughtful replies, both here, and by PM, shows that he was quite willing to engage sincerely and without rancor, as he and I always have.

Stan has once again demonstrated just who he is. He will stand his ground to the bitter end when he knows he is right. And he has no problem standing up like a man and offering an apology if he is wrong or simply makes a mistake. I respect that very much, and it goes a long way toward explaining that, while we may not always agree on everything, there has never been an angry word exchanged between us.

There are a few people here who would do well to learn something from Stan's example. However, I'm quite sure that will never happen, because that would involve having some guts, integrity, and a spine.

I hope Stan and I can go on as we always have, learning, sharing what we have learned, committed to preserving the 2nd Amendment, and enjoying our double guns.
That gun looks great as-is with that nice btfe, Stan. Especially like the way the forend latch is recessed and chamfered in. I wouldn't do anything to it, but I have to admit I favor a nice, slim btfe like this one. Very reminiscent of a Win. 21.
JR
Thanks, John. I have to admit that after all the responses to my question I am not so sure now that I want to attempt the conversion. For a beavertail it certainly doesn't look bad. Maybe I'd best busy myself with some other more pressing gun projects at this time.
© The DoubleGun BBS @ doublegunshop.com