Now on to the stock. If you take a look at the STBL thread I linked to above, you can see the issues I was dealing with. The fi-tup was horrible and as I referenced above, there was an .080" amount of gap that made the stock wobble and not fit snugly against the tangs. Couple that with the fact that where the wood meets the receiver, it is almost 1/16" proud of the metal. I had actually just put the rifle away for a while because of my disgust with Marlin and how they had handled this whole mess. It wasn't until reading the thread that rougesurvivorman did on his rifle that I decide to take matters into my own hands and start working on this thing.
Which leads me to another thread I found that Scott (mainecat) did on his rifle where he removed the checkering from both pieces and slimmed down the fore-end. I knew right away that I wanted to try and salvage this thing and so I contacted Scott via pm and he graciously did a write-up for me on what he had done. I deviated a little from his instructions but I think, if all goes well, that mine will turn out every bit as good as as what he did.
I purchased a Nicholsen #50 woodworking rasp as well as a Nicholsen fine rasp to do the bulk of the checkering removal. I had consulted with the oner of a local woodworking shop who had done some stock work before and based on his recommendations, I went with these tools. The first two pics are of the #50 and the fine.
The next few pictures are of what I did to one side of the stock this evening. I took about 20 minutes and managed to remove almost all the checkering on one side. I was surprised at how fast the material was being removed. I have to be careful because there are places where the fit is just fine and I don't want/need to remove anything from there. Suffice to say I am pleased so far. I am going to take my time and try to do this right. This is just the beginning but I intend to use this thread to document my progress. Thanks for looking and I'm sure I will have some questions along the way. Hopefully, this will help someone who may be considering doing this same thing. More to come in the days ahead.