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Old March 15, 2013, 10:08 AM   #1
drcook
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Join Date: November 25, 2009
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1948 16ga Ithaca 37 restoration

I am sure some of you have seen this on the other forums I post to, however, I decided to share with the ones that haven't.

I am restoring a 1948 Ithaca 37 16ga.

Here are some pics of the 1948 as it was when I opened the box. It was a bit misrepresented. Next time I won't simply take a gunstore's word that it is a little rusty, even if they are supposed to be an upstanding institution over in the Poconos of Pa, right in downtown Stroudsburg, Pa.

The left side of the receiver is how it came out of the box at the receiving FFL. Needless to say, I was a bit perturbed at Dunkleberger's. They also fibbed about the knurling on the magazine nut as I was going to swap it onto another gun I am restoring. I guess gunstore employees and used car salesmen go to the same school.

The only salvation is I only paid $150.00 for it. Plus the barrel to receiver threads are as tight as can be. The safety is tight, all indicative of not much use.

Regardless, as I said, I am salvaging it. I have got all but the very worst pits out. They are too deep.

I bought some stripper and going to do the stocks. The mechanicals are good and tight, with the exception of the left hand shell stop spring, which we all know is a known Ithaca weakness.

I have bought new screws for the receiver.

The barrel is 28", modified and the barrel is ok inside.

After it is all polished out and the wood stripped, I will have new pics and of course will post the final result.

Too bad I don't have another 275.00 right now. The full choked 48 16ga at the local pawnshop is begging to be restored.

The posts and text are from a series of posts over a couple of times, so you should read them as if time was passing.









Work is progressing. All the rust and corrosion is removed from the pits. I have an email out to a company that does lazer welding to see if it is cost effective to send it to them and have them fill the pits in.

I didn't take a picture of the barrel, it has sanded out and polished perfect, as did the trigger guard and other pieces.

If this works out and they don't want too much, I will send it to them. I am also going to check a couple other places out also.



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Old March 15, 2013, 10:09 AM   #2
drcook
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I received the actual estimate. $ 125.00 to fix the pits at locations 1 & 2 in the picture below.
Location #3 is just some minor "frosting", I can live with it as the setup and welding would be another $25.00. The bluing will hide it. The top will be glass beaded prior to bluing, so any minor imperfections on the top will be hid, blended in.

The barrel is all cleaned up, as is the trigger guard. All the rest of the parts are now rust free. I think I said I bought new receiver screws. All in all, this is going to be a 'nice" gun when I am done.

A friend told me about using 2 parts spar varnish, 2 parts BLO and 1 part turpentine or mineral spirits makes a really nice stock finish. I believe I am going to try it out.



Back from being welded. Needless to say, as the below pictures testify, he does a really nice job. If I can find someone to touch up the engraving for a reasonable price, I will however, it is not as important to me as the pits being gone. The next set of pictures will be after I draw file it down and polish the weld flush. Then the final set will be after bluing is done.

Remember the first picture is what it looked like









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Old March 15, 2013, 10:10 AM   #3
drcook
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I have been redoing the stock also. The inletting for the action typically gets oil soaked. Acetone, kitty litter, Citristrip mixed with kitty litter all have been used to suck the oil out of the wood. Acetone will not hurt the wood but will remove finish of course.

Here are some pictures. As you can see, the acetone does not damage the stock.









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Old March 15, 2013, 10:11 AM   #4
drcook
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It is hard to get a good photo with the glare. The line (discoloration) is a shadow. Overall I am pretty happy about this. There are a couple scratches and some small pits that I can't get out without some very aggressive sanding and some of the engraving was lost (as to be expected).

While it is definitely not a silk purse, no longer is it a sow's ear. The best part ?

I won't have to put a bag over my head with eye slits cut to hide my identity when I go hunting with this gun, nor will I have to be ashamed to lend it to someone.

Not bad for an old, half crippled guy, eh ?







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Old March 15, 2013, 10:24 AM   #5
tango1niner
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Nice job... I do like Ithaca shotguns.
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Old March 15, 2013, 10:30 AM   #6
bksfirearmsllc
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very nice project, once you start restoring firearms it never stops
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Old June 5, 2013, 03:21 PM   #7
drcook
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Join Date: November 25, 2009
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Here are the pics. As you can see, there is a slight mismatch, however, from what it started as, to this point, it is now a pretty nice hunting gun. I still have to do the wood. Actually I am going to use this wood to restore a 1952 that I bought that had the buttstock cut for a recoil pad. I will get a repro stock for this gun as I want the '52 to be period correct.

The gun with the polychoke is the one I am fixing for my wife to hunt turkeys with. The barrel and buttstock LOP is exactly the same as the one I am assembling from the receiver I bought from Numrich and found the 24" VR barrel for.

I polished and had the barrel reblued on it. Eventually I will do the receiver and mag tube. (In a year or so, it is not critical at this point, I Ox-phoed it to touch up a couple bare spots that you can see as glare, but when you look at it directly, it appears blued)







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Old June 6, 2013, 10:40 AM   #8
PetahW
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.

Ya done good - REAL good ! .




.
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Old June 6, 2013, 10:55 AM   #9
drcook
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Thanks,

When I realized that the gun had seen little use and was extremely tight, it just made more sense to fix it than part it out.

I am having fun fixing Ithacas. I have a couple more project guns. One I built up from a bare receiver that I bought from Numrich for 25.00. I have built a sweet gun for my wife. Correct length of pull. 24" Vent rib barrel with choke tubes. It weighs the same as her youth model 1100 20ga. I actually built her another one for shooting turkeys with that I bought. It is the 2nd picture. I had to redo the barrel and have it reblued. Sometime in its life, someone polished "waves" into it. It was a PITA to get them out.

I just got this foreend for it, matches the buttstock I am using,





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