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Old November 27, 2012, 06:26 PM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Another one for you historians....

What wood was the stock of the Trapdoor Springfield made from?

Tnx
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Old November 27, 2012, 07:07 PM   #2
Hawg
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Black walnut
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Old November 28, 2012, 03:32 AM   #3
Doc Hoy
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Thats what I thunk.

I have some repairs to do on the stock of this Springfield which involves replacement of some wood.

About a half inch length chip out of the toe of the butt.

And I just happened to have some walnut.
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:42 AM   #4
bedbugbilly
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Black Walnut as stated. If you are going to make some repairs, try and locate some "old" walnut - by that, I'm referring to some that is recycled from use many years ago. I'm in MI where black walnut once grew in fairly good quantities. I owned a custom millwork/cabinet shop and had a customer bring me a truckload of boards one time that were actually used as roof boards on a house built in the 1830's. All were at least 14 to 18 inches in width. I recycled it into clocks, cabinets, etc. - something like that would work well as it might match in better than something that is cut from something that hasn't had a chance to mellow. Unfortunately, what I had is all gone or I'd send you a piece of it. If you have to use something that is newer, just try and find a piece that closely matches the grain pattern. Walnut, like many hardwoods, will vary in density and grain pattern from tree to tree. The majority of the Springfield stocks that I've had the opportunity to look at through the years are made out of pretty straight grained material. i.e. not a lot of fancy burls, etc.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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BBB

I had some walnut from a bedframe that is about fifty years old. The repairs have been made and the product looks pretty good.

I am worried though that when I finish it, the two different woods will take the finish differently and make the repair more obvious than it is now.

This wood is very straight in grain and for a while I doubted that it is actually walnut. (The reason for my original question.)

Some of the bruises in the stock are deep enough that I am not comfortable taking them out. I am hoping they will give the finished rifle some character.
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Old November 28, 2012, 11:26 AM   #6
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Folks

Here are a coupla shots of the stock damage and repair

Here is the chunk of walnut stuck to the stock after the damage had been cut away.



Here is the smoothed down butt.








Not certain what I am going to do with the big crack that is about an inch back from the toe. Prolly fill it.
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Old November 29, 2012, 02:04 PM   #7
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That's a good looking repair, Doc. Short of having another stock on hand, I don't see how you could have done better.

I'm a rank amateur at this sort of thing, but I wonder if you could use some sort of epoxy in the crack and maybe put a staple or perhaps cut in a small biscuit under the buttplate.

As far as the finish goes, what if you were to finish a small area under the barrel and do the same to a scrap piece of the "new" wood, then compare the two. You could adjust the finish to get a closer match on the new wood. Again, I'm the farthest thing from an expert, just tossing out some ideas.
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Old November 29, 2012, 02:29 PM   #8
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Thanks Hardcase

I think the stock was repaired previously by just gluing the broken piece back onto the bottom of the stock. It is very sturdy and although the crack seems to go all the way through the piece does not budge when I pry on it. I thought about routing a channel into the stock and then gluing a walnut slat into the channel and sanding it down. I waited on that evolution until aftger I finished the stock to see just how obvious the new wood is.

I finished it with teak oil and it turns out the match is quite good.

I may try the repair using a walnut slat.
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Old November 29, 2012, 02:47 PM   #9
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A tea kettle can raise some dents clean out, if used with some patience. I think I'd fill those cracks with a little wood glue and the dust from your sanding/shaping operation. Those small dents add character. My trapdoor has them in abundance. They will grow on you. Steel wool is a good follow up to steam. It doesn't blur the grain.
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Old November 29, 2012, 07:48 PM   #10
bedbugbilly
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Your repair looks good Doc - I doubt that you could get a better match than that. Steaming will remove some dents - using a damp towel and hand iron - but it isn't going to raise the serious dents from over the years. Like any used military stock - it's going to have some and they just add character.

If that split is solid (glued) - you might just want to leave it for now and see what happens. It looks like an old repair and probably isn't going to go anywhere. Mising sawdust with glue is fine and used often - but - glues will not take stain and often show up like a sore thumb. If the repair is tight, you might try going to a good home supply store and see if you can find a small container of filler that is used for covering "set" finish nails. It comes in a variety of shades and is actually a soft type of "putty" that you can work into the crack - if the color of it matches the finished wood, it should make the crack less obvious.

I have repaired a number of stocks with toe breaks (originals - civilian style rifles) very similar to your stock. Those stocks usually have a toe plate as well though and the split is caused by the lower butt plate screw and the wood shrinkage over the years. I've cut the damaged portion off and grafted on repair wood - always try to match grain - and although it is a repair, it made the rifle functional again without the fear of it breaking off. I do't think that your's is that bad though.

I'm interested in hearing how you like it once you "fire her up". I have a feeling that you are gong to love it as they can be a lot of fun . . . for one of those new fangled cartridge guns!

Looking good - hope you'll post some more photos of it! Thanks!
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:40 AM   #11
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Thanks "Three Bees"

It appears as though I need to back off a bit on the photos.

In the interest of space I think some of the photos have been removed.

That is probably a good idea. Bandwidth ain't free.

Sorry guys.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:13 PM   #12
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I think most restorers would cut that toe completely off following the angle of the grain, and then make a new piece. The critical part is getting a tight seam so it is a good idea to have a big enough piece of wood to allow for a mistake or two. Once the seam is tight, the wood can be mated to the buttplate and cut down to match the contour of the old stock.

I agree that if possible black walnut should be used for repair of those old stocks, but if none is available, regular (Engish) walnut can be used and stained appropriately. Matching the grain is important, but again grain can be put in, courtesy of a magic marker.

Jim
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