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.
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.