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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 30AW I picked up in a pawnshop a few weeks ago had clean metal, but a few deep scratches in the birch buttstock. After I'd shot it and fell in love with the handling and accuracy, I spent the last two weekends installing a Sims Limbsaver recoil pad and refinishing the stock.





I forgot to shoot "before" pictures, but here is what it looked like after I sanded the scratches out:



And after I restained what I had sanded. there is some nice figure in the birch that shows up when stained:



I tried Minwax Special Walnut stain as recommended in some forum. It matched the color well, but I could not get it dark enough and had to sand it back off. I tried several stains and found that the General Finishes Antique Cherry (from Rockler) shown worked best to match my rifle, but I still had to spray a light coat of colored polyurethane over the sanded part to match the shade (I used Minwax Dark Walnut mixed half and half with clear gloss and thinned with automotive acrylic enamel reducer).

Finished up with a total of 5 light coats of Minwax satin polyurethane which matched the original sheen quite well. As you can see from the progression, the recoil pad looked pretty blah after grinding to match, but better after some wet sanding and paste wax, not to mention adding the vanity stripe matching the gold trigger ;-)

Before anyone comments that I'm over-scoped, I had an eBay accident last week. My old eyes need all the help they can get, and the rifle is missing the moving parts of the rear sight.
 

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Ditto Hyde and thanks for the pictorial approach It would be a great resource if we all did it.
 

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Thats Awesome.. nice work.. :lol:
 

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Thats a real beautiful job you did and thanks for the blow by blow description.
One of the first things I did when I started shooting was to refinnish my first Marlin.
When something looks as good as the way you refinished your Marlin and it shoots great to,man you got the best of both worlds.
Good luck!!
Kevin
 

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Very nice! I didn't think the birch stocks could look like that. :shock:
Gives me a couple ideas for a 10/22 & a Marlin I have. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used a small size Limbsaver pad, but it still had about 1/4 inch that had to be ground off all the way around.

I found more pictures, including two befores. The scratches were a little worse than they look here and the stock had some dents. I steamed the dents with my wife's clothes steamer and got them mostly out.



That's the old Simmons scope that came with the rifle. Bright and sharp but no telling which way and how much the POI would move with a click.



The pad was 1 inch thick and proportioned a bit different from the Marlin hard rubber plate, so the cut needs to be angled a bit to maintain the correct butt angle with the new pad. Here's how I marked the stock to cut to maintain the length of pull:





Here is something that surprised me. The end grain of the buttstock was completely bare under the buttplate. I made sure to seal the end grain with several coats of polyurethane before I screwed the new pad on for good.



. . .And cut it on a radial arm saw. Use a sharp blade and cover the place to be cut with masking tape to prevent splintering. I still had a tiny amount but you need to break the edge with fine sandpaper anyway.

 

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:?: Thanks zuikowarrior, you sure did a fine job!

Would you mined explaining how you ground the pad and what you used to grind it? Did the soft rubber tear when you ground it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I covered the stock with 3 layers of blue masking tape, and put even more on the pistol grip to protect it. I had to replace the tape several times as it got thin. I might use duct tape next time so I don't have to replace it as often.

I used a new 80 grit belt on a bench sander (6 x 48 inch) to rough it out. Takes a lot of care and a good eye. Be sure not to cut into the pistol grip area while concentrating on the back of the stock. Then I finished with a new 240 grit belt. I hurried it a bit at the end and nicked the finish through the tape in a few places, but I knew I was going to refinish that part of the stock. I think that you really can't get it really flush without sanding down to the finish.

The soft elostomer did tear a bit, especially at the top and bottom of the stock where the radius is sharpest. It tore much more when I did the hand finishing with 180 grit sandpaper on a wood block back and forth across the end of the stock. I tried freezing the material as suggested in their instructions but the material did not stiffen up at all. I suppose that's good for cold weather hunting. I was able to repair the tearout some by sanding just the elastomer and hard plastic base down with 180 - 220 - 320 grit wet sandpaper, but there still is some torn material. I probably will try a Pachmayer rubber pad next time to see if it handles better. Still, I'm reasonably well pleased with the outcome. Sure is comfortable to shoot.
 

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Very nice looking job Zuiko. I have fit the same recoil pad to my 336W. It really makes for comfortable shooting, especially in warm weather. I fit mine in similar fashion as you, using a belt sander. It could still use a bit of finish trim work, but it is good for now. A stationary belt / disc sanding machine would be a real treat for that job I think. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I'm bumping this six-year old thread to update the recoil pad story.



Within about a year of this replacement, the Limbsaver recoil pad started deteriorating - turning gooey and sticky. I did some online research and found that Sims had a bad batch and offered replacement pads. I contacted them and they sent a replacement very quickly. By then I had more Marlins and my nephew, who had appropriated this rifle, was shooting them as well. We shot this rifle and hunted with it some but it's spent a lot more time in the gunsafe than the rest of the stable. And, it stuck to the safe floor pad.

30AWrecoilpadreplacement-8930.jpg 30AWrecoilpadreplacement-8933.jpg

Today I got it out and spent an hour grinding it down.

Here's how much there was to grind off, even using the small size pad.

30AWrecoilpadreplacement-8937.jpg

I followed the same drill, wrapping the stock with at least three layers of blue masking tape.

30AWrecoilpadreplacement-8938.jpg

I started grinding using the relatively fine belt already on my bench sander. I figured it was better to take it slow. Unfortunately I didn't take it slow enough and nicked the comb.

30AWrecoilpadreplacement-8942.jpg

Still it's better than it was, and better than some gunsmith jobs I've seen.



Next time I'm doing some wood refinishing and have the spray rig out I'll finish sanding the pad down by hand and do a touch up of the wood.

In the meantime, I think this old Marlin needs to be shot some.
 
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