My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy
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Thread: My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy



  1. #1
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    My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy

    Well, after much deliberation, and some help from Scott (mainecat) I have decided to take the plunge and try and remove the checkering, and refinish the buttstock and forend on my STBL. I was pretty disappointed from the get-go with the fit/finish in terms of the wood to metal that the rifle showed up with. I actually sent it back to Marlin with the hopes that they would make it right but ultimately, that wasn't in the cards. Not only was the fit-up bad but someone at Marlin ultimately decide that shimming between the upper and lower tang was the best fix that they were willing to do. If you remove the shims, the stock wobble is horrible. Without the shims there is approximately .080" of gap that needs to be filled in order for the buttstock to feel secure on the tangs. I compare this to the three other Marlin's I own with laminate stocks that aren't this way. One of those is the SBL that I had to send back for the same problem plus a few.

    Here are my original two threads just for reference.

    https://www.marlinowners.com/forums/i...c,59487.0.html SBL

    https://www.marlinowners.com/forums/i...c,68027.0.html STBL


    The first thing I did was to decide I wanted the barrel cut down to 16.25". With my SBL being 18.5", I knew early on I would do this mod to the STBL. After learning of another forum member doing the same thing to his 1895 by a guy just 30 minutes away from me, I got on the horn and set it up (thanks roguesurvivorman). I used JES Reboring out of Cottage Grove, Oregon and can tell you right now this guy is great. Not only is he a super nice guy but he does great work and only charged me $75 to C&C the barrel, D&T two new holes for the front sight, cut a new dovetail for the mag tube blank, and shorten the mag tube. Money well spent I'll tell you. Here is Jesse's page.

    http://www.35caliber.com/index.html

    Below are the photos of the barrel job. Stock photos to follow in the next post











    Needless to say, Jesse's machining far exceed anything that was on the stock rifle. More to come in the next post.





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    Re: My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy

    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.







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    Re: My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy

    I almost forgot, I also bought a bedding kit today and will be glass bedding the butt stock to improve the fit after I finish the checkering removal.
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    Re: My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy

    Nice start and I look forward to the final result.




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    Re: My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy

    I wish I had taken pictures of my projects along the way!!!
    This thread will be a great reference for other members wanting to redo there stocks as well!!!

    Not sure if this will help you or not...

    I had made a stand/handle for my butt stock to to give me something to hold onto while applying the finish...
    It also served as a stable stand that I would set down in a safe place while drying..

    Wish I still had it to post a picture of it, but I'll try to explain how I made it as best as I can...

    It's very simple..
    I used a piece of 1/4 plywood about 4"x5" for the base..

    I traced the butt of the stock onto a piece of 3/4" plywood, this is for the spacer between the butt stock, and the base..
    (I had tried a piece of 1" pine, but it had split on me)

    I cut out the spacer inside the lines so that the butt stock stood proud of the spacer..
    This allows you the space to apply the finish right at the edge of the stock while being able to hold it with your other hand being out of the way..

    I placed the butt pad over the spacer, then marked the location of the two screw holes..
    Can't remember what size drill bit I used, but it was the same diameter as the shank of the screws..
    (The plywood was close enough to the thickness of the pad, so that the original pad screws could be used to secure the stand to the stock)

    I used a couple of small screws to secure the base to the spacer..
    ...Wood glue along with it, probably would've been a good idea, but I didn't give it any thought at the time..

    From the spacer end I placed the bit into the two pad holes, then continued the holes through the base..
    I turned it back over to the base side, and with a bit size larger than the head of the screws, drilled just enough to countersink the screws to the same depth as the pad.. This allowed me to use the pad screws, and also keep the heads below the surface of the base so that the stand will sit flat..

    It worked great!!!
    I hope I explained it well enough..
    Actually come to think of it, I probably gave you better detailed instructions for the stand than I did the refinishing instructions!!! lol

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    Re: My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy

    Quote Originally Posted by Bearbait in NM
    What caught my interest was the use of shims on the factory stock. I can't even imagine how those would work, but know that the glass bedding will be the correct fix.
    Craig, here's what they used. Two pieces of plastic shim stock .040" thick. These were clearly designed for this "problem" as you can see that they are made to fit right back into the tang inlet. I think that this stock, and maybe others, were machined wrong and that this was the fix for it. Whatever the case, it's total BS to pay the kind of money that these rifles command and have this be the fix. Oh well, on to bigger and better things.

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    Re: My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy

    Had some time to continue the buttstock today. My only goal initially was to just get the checkering off, no more. It was fairly tricky to do on the edges by the tangs and around the bottom of the grip. I decided not to remove the finish until after I got the checkering off and that proved to be very helpful. I could use the finish as a line that told me exactly where to take off material and where not to. I then used the fine rasp and some 120 grit paper to smooth everything down. The two pics below are after checkering removal and sanded with 120.








    The next step was to tackle the "proudness" where the wood meets the receiver. Both sides started proud by about 1/16" but mainly in the middle area, which was good and bad. Good in the sense that it was easy to access but bad in that I couldn't really take away anything from three of the edges. It was super close too so the going was a little dicey. This first picture shows how I marked the end to know where I needed to remove the material.







    Again, I used the rasps to remove wood and final shape followed by 120 grit sanding. The right side turned out great and the left side is OK. I knew the left would be more difficult just because of how it started out. To further the difficulty, the overall sloppiness of the fit makes things even worse regardless. The next few pictures show how the fit is on both sides.


    Right side. This turned out great and I am very satisfied with the fit.






    And here is the left side. Not quite as good as the right but I am still way more pleased with this rather than the way it was.







    So the buttstock gets put aside at this point and I'll begin the fore stock. When I get it like I want, I'll finish sand both parts and then start thinking about finish. One question I do have, I am assuming it will be better to glass bed the buttstock "before" I apply any finish? Seems like that would be the way to go but this is all new to me. More to follow as time allows.
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    Re: My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy

    Ok, a little update of sorts. I managed to get all the checkering off of both pieces as well as the bedding of the buttstock. The forearm turned out perfect and the buttstock, while not like I would ultimately want it, is about 90% better fit than how it showed up from the factory. I actually used the bedding material to fill some voids and it came out better than I would have expected. I had to do a good bit of hand detailing to perfect the fit but the time was well worth it.

    Now, unfortunately, I didn't do a great job on matching the bedding material color to the stock and there are spots that I had to fill that would be noticeable upon finishing. I was kinda bummed at first but have decided to roll with it and go in a little different direction with the finish. I am having the buttstock and forend dipped in a hardwoods green style camo pattern. I have been wanting a rifle like this for a while anyway and since the stock finishing turned out like it did, it made sense for me to go this route. I'm leaving all the metal as it is so it will just be the wood that gets dipped. I sealed both pieces up, smoothed them out, and dropped them off on Friday. It will be a couple of weeks before I get them back and get the rifle reassembled but I' pretty stoked with how it's all working out.

    Once it's all done, I'll have my purpose built rifle and it will be set up just for me. Gotta love that.
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    Re: My STBL Stock Modification Project - Gonna be long and pic heavy

    Well here it is. Dip was done by a local outfit called Oregon Hydrographics. http://www.o-hg.net/ The pattern I chose was Timber's Edge XD Green which is similar to the Realtree Hardwoods Green pattern. I am super happy with how this all turned out. The stock fit is so much better than what it was before. Removing the checkering on both pieces really made a huge difference in how the rifle feels. Also, the combination of bedding the buttstock along with the painting and filming made for a very nice fit on the tangs. Hope you enjoy the pics, I know I'll enjoy the rifle.

    Thanks for looking.















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