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Sidelock
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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.

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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.


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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!

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

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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.


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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.

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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?


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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.

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If you cut the sides down on the fore end, you can graft those pieces into the gaps.

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Thanks Mark. Just the kind of thought a professional would have.

I appreciate it.


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