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I Just Screwed Up My 1955 336

8182 Views 84 Replies 40 Participants Last post by  Blackbarry
Can't tell you how heart-broken I am... I hurts just writing this down

Some of you may recall that I picked up a 1955 +/- 336 about a month ago and you gave me great tips on cleaning up the furniture and such

Been spending the last getting this baby dressed up and was ALMOST ready to post before and after pics... was just researching a replacement front sight

Well, I dropped the son of a gun (actually it slipped out of a partially opened bag) and landed on the lower edge of the butt-stock... the recoil pad shattered and there is now a crack from tail to swivel

Any thoughts on how to repair?

I can take a bunch more pictures but I hope those attached give a pretty good idea of what the damage was

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I'm going to think long and hard about a repair job - good experience and, if it turns out well, a real feather in my cap. If not, the option to replace is always there. What attracted me most to this rifle was its age - the fact that it's approaching 60 years and was (WAS) in such great shape (sniff), was a real bonus.

Removed the swivel, which was putting on a lot of pressure, and the crack is fairly clean and smooth. There's still that chunk/chip on the lower right to contend with, but for the major crack, I"ll attack that first and then move on to the chip.

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My son is going to assist with this and, although a replacement stock is certainly a great option, I want try and show him/teach him that with a little work and patience (not my strong suit), we can keep things going without gravitating to a replacement philosophy without trying first...

I certainly mean no offense to any of you and may well replace the stock after all is said and done, but this could be a fun project for us.

Honestly, if I could repair it leaving only the slightest blemish, I would consider that a Badge of Honor... A battle scar, of sorts. If anyone were to ask, It happened on some exotic mountain top - not my basement floor :flute:

Now I'm scouring web page after web page trying to find THE perfect adhesive Acraglass? Devcon? Elmers, Gorilla, ... too many choices
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Commiserations on your v bad luck:(

To a died-in-the-wool tinkerer like myself, this is almost as much fun as going shooting but do You want to go down that path? To me, it is an absorbing and rewarding hobby where many hours have been spent at my bench in the garage, solving a range of problems.
The cheap way would be to pre-drill a hole or two for a small countersink-head, wood screw between the butt and swivel. Lever up the crack at the butt with, say, a small, sharp screw driver and squirt PVA glue into the gap. You can buy craft glue with a spout, in a squeeze pack. After installing the screw/s, wipe off excess glue with damp rags. Ideally, you would be clamping the butt in a padded vyce that is attached to a stable bench. Right now, you should have an idea of what you are in for where tools are concerned and you have not even started work on the butt plate. IMO, a new one is unlikely to fit flush with your butt and a refinish of the stock will have to be considered in the future. This kind of thing is Fun for me. Therapy, if you like:biggrin:
I forget who it was but someone suggested a new butt. That would look a lot prettier, however it would have to be inletted and finished. Still others have suggested clamping and gluing and that would be a Lot neater. It is easy for me to say because I have long, sliding clamps too. Just something for you to think about mate:)

Good Luck, whichever way you go:biggrin:
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If there's any oil soaked into the wood, soak the toe of the stock in acetone to remove it. Then drill a small hole (which will be hidden by the buttplate) right into the crack. Fill it with expanding polyurethane glue, like "Gorilla Glue" brand. Clamp it and let it cure. Use a block plane to flatten out the spot with the chip, and glue on a piece of walnut cut so that the grain is running in the same direction. Once that cures, shape it.

Strip the stock with a stripper like "Citrisolve". Steel wool everything thoroughly. Use a stain and a Q-tip to "paint" lines that follow the lines of the grain and hide the splice. Give everything a few coats of penetrating Danish oil, and finish it with a few coats of Tru-oil or Tung oil. The finish will look better than it did new, and the repair will be almost invisible.
If it wasn't for the missing piece it would be easy. What did you do with all the pieces of the butt plate that broke off? More than likely of you swept them up the piece you need is there. I'd be digging through the trash bag until I found it if it was me. Heck, if it happened in your garage or shop is there any chance you haven't swept up yet and it's still on the floor?

It may sound like a crazy point and too much work or too gross but finding that missing sliver really is the only way you will get any sort of repair results you will be satisfied with.

Short of finding the missing piece, there are about two or three options. One is to use a mix of sawdust and glue to fill it in but it will probably still show quite a lot. Best match will be if you sand your stock and use the sawdust from it. You could sand the whole stock down till its gone but it would take a good eye to retain the proper cross section shape without getting a big flat spot or non symmetrical shape. Last would be to fit another piece of wood into the stock but to do that right you need to match not only the color of the wood but the grain and texture and get it all lined up just right. Looking through the trash starts to look more logical at this point....

Good luck!
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Not sure there's enough meat to screw from top down unless a very tiny screw - even then... Just over 4 mm at its thickest. Just spit-balling but you have me thinking: I wonder if a dowel (tooth pick or a bit larger) might accomplish the same thing...?

Good call on the oil - never even considered that and, as stated, there's gobs of it in there that I've been applying for the last month +/-. Just literally drop it in a bucket of Acetone? Any thoughts as to how long it should soak?

Take a look at these pics... are you saying drill through the butt (directly on top of screwdriver head) to open a passageway to the inside of the damaged area and inject the adhesive that way? I like it...

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If it clamps together well, one of the best things I've used is Super Glue.

It seems to just be thin and will creep into the smallest crevice and holds really well.
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Yes, just dip the cracked part of the stock in a container of acetone and let it sit for a bit, until it penetrates the wood. It'll leach out the oil so that the glue will stick.

Then drill a hole from the rear, i.e. under the buttplate, not quite directly under where your screwdriver head is. Drill directly into the crack and follow the crack. The hole is not for a screw, it's a reservoir for the expanding urethane glue, which will fill it and expand into the crack. You can also gently pry the crack apart to make sure there's glue in there. Then clamp or rubber-band it together until it cures.

The chipped part won't be hard to match, it's plain straight-grained walnut. You can stain or bleach it to match even better, and then you can use stain to "paint" grain lines that will hide the splice. Expanding urethane glue will be stronger than the original wood (if you do your surface prep and get the oil out, of course), it will leave no voids, and it will be easy to steel-wool off the parts that show.

Then refinish the stock. Another easy job, since there's no checkering. Don't even do any sanding. Just use a plastic scraper to take the old finish off after it's been softened with Citristrip, then steel-wool everything really well.
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I've repaired a couple of old ML rifles and a couple of CTG rifles with both Acraglass and super glue.Either will work and work well if at all possible you need to find the missing piece of wood!!!if not found you can remove a small piece from the center of the butt (it will be covered by the but plate) with a very small hole saw or arch punch,it takes work to remove it but it'll match.After removed fit and sand it to the divot then glue it in place.Sanding to contour, finish as you would any refinishing job.This type of repair almost disappears!!! Good luck
That is pretty bad but it could have been worse. You have gotten lot of good advise on reparing your rifle.You have the right attitude just go slow and take your time and don't hurry no matter which repair method you choose.

Now let me tell you what you really need to do.First get yourself some duck tape some tie wire and a big hammer.Now trow that shooter down on the floor and put your foot on it to hold her down while you wrap that sucker with wire and tape.Now take your hammer and..............
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I would not use an expanding glue. You can get Tite-Bond wood glue in a darker brown for walnut. Lever the crack open and use a brush, toothpick or what're you need to to get glue as deep into the crack as possible. Use surgical tubing to clamp it. The glue will be stronger than the wood ever was. If you are careful with the clamping the crack can be near invisible.

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Good... I'm going to take a stab at this. Aside from dropping the damned thing, I 'm a reasonably smart guy & figure I can at least give this a shot. Now that I'm not blowing snow all over hall's half acre, I'm bored anyway :biggrin:

Seen a number of Positives on the super glue so it's nice to hear it first hand. And I'm pretty sure it will clamp together just fine

Looks like tomorrow I'm heading up to the box store for a jug of Acetone and bucket - will I see the oil on the surface of the acetone? And just keep changing it until no more oil muddies the top or just leave it in there for a long soak in the same initial solution?

So basically, turn the cracked portion of the butt into a trough of sorts? A canal for seepage/expansion? Makes perfect sense

Funny you should mention Citristrip.. was going to grab some for an old picnic table that I planned on stripping down this weekend

Was literally on my hands an knees earlier feeling/looking for the missing chunk of wood - no good. But I figure that'll be the easy part, so to speak. I'm sure I;ll be askjing for help when I get to THAT stage

I'll look for Tite-Bond on the web.. the color match sounds interesting

Thanks very much to you all... I actually feel pretty good about this - granted it still stinks that it happened but, like I said above, it'll be a good experience with my son and, if it was going to happen, this is the best time of year.

Might as well stay positive, right?

Thanks again

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Drilling a hole straight into the crack and then injecting epoxy and clamping is good advice. Did you save the little splinters? They can be used also. It looks to me like the sling swivel stud had placed a stress on the toe of the stock. Remove it and reset it with the proper size hole.

That stock can be repaired so it's hardly noticeable. Replacing the butt plate should be easy.

I'm open to suggestions as this isn't going to work the way I anticipated:

I drilled a couple small 5/64" holes along the crack:

There simply isn't enough meat on the small piece for me to get a good groove into each portion. The thickest edge is only 4mm - afraid I'm going to muck it up even further

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I have some tooth pick sized dowels and wonder if you'd recommend/suggest drilling a hole through the broken piece and into the stock itself - just back and to the right of the where the swivel screw goes.. about a 1/2+ inch from the tail. Maybe two anchor points?

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Aside from the gaps, the edges fit together well but my concern is that a simple epoxy along the flat edges might simply slide apart at any given time

Fairly sure this will afford a solid, sturdy connection but are there other approaches I'm not considering?

I'll be using JB Woodweld unless anything thinks that's the wrong product?

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I bought a Parker VHE 20ga shotgun at a DEEP discount because the toe had be split off and lost. This is a gun worth somewhere around $5500 on the market. I cut the surface of the damage area flat and square to the side of the stock. Next I found a piece of walnut very similar in grain and made up a matching piece with a tenon on the mating surface to fit into a slot I cut into the butt stock. Make sure these fit accurately on the edges by filing a slight draft on the added piece edges they will clamp tightly at the edges. Titebond glue and rubber tube clamp. Finish the addition down to proper profile stain and finish it to match the rest of the stock. Hand rub on a thin varnish finish without running it onto the original stock until the very last coat. The repair has lasted 30 years and because I colored the line and finish with some lamp black mix the whole thing is now invisible. I got the gun for less than half of its value. There are professionals will do this work for you for a modest fee. Better if you find the missing sliver of wood though.
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I've never done it myself, but thought I'd pass along tips in an article I read before on restoring old guns and/or fixing stocks etc. similar to this. In it he talked about "harvesting" from inside the stock or forearm where it doesn't matter some slivers/peices of wood if needed for repairs, and/or even making a sawdust type bondo mixture with glue/epoxy(?) to fill small gaps or cracks in the stock after. Since it is the same wood from the stock being used, the color and perhaps even the grain matched if using pieces to replace where missing, and that after the final refinishing you could hardly tell. After reassembly where that wood was harvested from can't be seen either. Anyway, seemed to make some sense to me and wish I had saved it now, but good luck to you regardless.
Or once you've done what you can do with glue and clamps and ordered your new butt plate replacement, put some awesome leather over it and forget it ever happened.

Sorry about your accident........seeing that happen to an old JM is heartbreaking.

I've got leather gun stock covers on several of my leverguns made by Jon Klein who has a small outfit called "Gunstock Cover" that completely covers the butt stock of the gun like the Winchester 1886 on the right in the photo.
It not only protects the wood but provides a soft cushion for your cheek & shoulder when firing heavy recoiling rifles.
It can also hide a rubber recoil sock or pull over pad that would spoil the legacy look of your gun as well as a repaired stock that no longer looks perfect.
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I've had to make a choice to either buy a piece of wood or fix what I had.

One was on my model 36 fore end that had a hole in it for a sling swivel, bad choice but I'm sure back in the day it worked for whoever butchered the gun.

That got it to me cheap.

The fore end was one of them oversized and I like em thin so I sanded it down kept some of the sanding dust mixed it with super glue and filled the hole. Noticeable but it is fixed cheap. Your butt stock could have a few holes drilled under the buttplate area for filler donations. You may have to grind em a little smaller than drill shavings but so be it. That area missing the piece then could be filled.

Several pics of the gun in question including when I went too deep on the new butt stock I fitted for it with a drill for the lower plate screw.

This is on dark walnut but I took pics of the repairs before my boiled linseed oil dried and darkened the wood. It shows the dark dust better.

Butt as bought, with 2X4 for load testing and the mistakes, and finished dark wood them two repairs are not to noticeable.

Good luck either way with your rehab work.


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Fillers are never as effective in making a proper repair as adding real wood which can be stained and finished to match. Fillers always look like fillers.
A couple of little "dowels" would work there. Some kind of pressure will have to be applied after assembly of the joint but the large chip will have to be clamped to the butt while the dowel holes are being drilled. That is, the detached piece has to be in situ while the dowel holes are drilled. Once the dowels are in place the joint will not slide apart under clamping pressure.
It just ocurred to me to question whether that detached chip would really slide under clamping pressure. You might not need dowels at all. Those mating surfaces look pretty rough and that could be enough to prevent sliding. Just a thought. If you feel better with dowels. by all means go ahead.
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