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I Just Screwed Up My 1955 336

8184 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

Gun Firearm Rifle Trigger Air gun
Grass Revolver
Wood Wood stain Table Flooring Hardwood


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I'm going to go for the dowel approach - can always replace the stock if I find it's something I can't live with but I really don't think that will be case - cautiously optimistic

I have some wooden skewers that are 1/8" in diameter. I'm thinking I'll get a 9/64" bit so the adhesive can surround the entire thing and get into the wood fibers.

Daly - you mentioned Tite-Bond. Are you saying you think Tite-Bond is a better application or simply what you used?

I'm very reluctant to grab any filler from the behind the buttplate... I know it makes perfect sense from a cosmetic point of view being the same wood and all, but I'm nervous now about touching anything on this gun when it comes to the furniture. Maybe another project I'll feel more at ease. Not set in stone yet, but nervous

Swany - that 36 looks awesome... nice work
That missing piece has not disappeared, you need some grand kids like mine to find it.

Lost my pocket watch in a 4 acre field 4 grand kids and 10 minutes was all it took to find it. I was the one that found it, but we all went for ice cream.
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This is emotionally horrible but physically correctable. After viewing the pics, my conclusion is that this will be a 2 stage project. First stage is a good a repair job. Unfortunately, there appears to be a missing wood chip. Any "mashed" wood is history. And any repair job leaving the ugly scar of the accident will depress you every time you view it. Repair it as best you can and fill in the missing wood to create the original form of the wood.

Second stage is a new stock, fore and aft (to match). You can search the traditional gun suppliers for a new stock such as Numrich, but this is an opportunity to make your rifle truly shine. Go here: and look at their walnut selections. Truly beautiful. Then you can send your old stock parts here: to get an exact replica of the original stock (that's why the repair to form phase).

You can spend all the hours you want finishing your new stock and fall in love with your rifle once again. Her beauty will be not only restored, but greatly improved. Hope this helps.
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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.
Heck... I could easily glue/clamp and if it doesn't feel secure enough, drop a dowel or 2 in after the fact. Might prove to be the best course of action in the long run as I would be sure then that the drilled holes line up as opposed to potential slipping while clamped


I may return the JB WoodWeld and replace with Tite-Bond. The JB gives me 6 minutes +/- and, being I don't know what I'm doing, I don't want the added pressure of watching the clock

Swany - I'll keep feeling around but I know right where it landed and was literally on my hands and knees looking and came up with zilch. I'm starting to fear that I may have picked it up with the pieces of the buttpad without realizing and chucked it...

Blackbarry... A replacement stock is not out of the question by any means. Thanks for the links
You are getting some great advice in this thread, and some less-than-great advice. Now you have the dilemma of sorting the wheat from the chaff. Good luck.
Tite bond is a paintable wood glue. Acraglas is great but it isn't going to take paint. If you get a thin line of glue showing, a little judicious artistry with some artist oil paint in a darker color can be used to blend that line into a grain stripe. There are guys now who paint very plain wood and various repairs into a stock with the appearance of exhibition grade wood. This is not a major repair, it is not in an area subject to great stress as the wrist and stock head would be. The current state of the art in stock repairs has reached the point where stock transplants are used, broken wrists repaired with milled slots through the broken area filled with high grade plywood fillets and covered with matching stock material. We are a long way beyond bondo patches, steel threaded stock, dowels and. I will fnd some examples for you to look at before you go off with poor concepts.
What Sullivan just posted were my thoughts. Generally, any split or break of a piece of wood will have rough surfaces that interlock. There should be no need for dowels. If you just feel the need to reinforce the area, go ahead and do a proper glue up as already described by several others and clamp securely until cured THEN with clamps still in place, you could run a drill bit about 1/4" in diameter up through where the crack was just like you did for the glue flow holes then glue in a piece of dowel. I really don't think there is any need though.

To give you an idea of the strength of wood glue, years ago I started shooting wood bows and arrows. Due to being a knuckle dragging honorary member of the silveback gorilla club I had difficulty getting wood arrow blanks long enough for my draw. I began splicing my arrows to add length using a simple straight tapered splice about 4 inches long. Picture two dowels cut on a bevel and then the two pieces glued together along that diagonal cut. All I used was Elmers tight bond 3 glue which is supposed to be more water proof than tight bond 2. I'd coat both pieces evenly with glue. [Always paint glue on both pieces thinly rather than putting on one piece thickly.] Then I'd lay the splice together, wrap with thread and set aside to dry. In a day or three, I'd peel off the thread, sand the shaft true and build my arrows. Long story longer, one day I decided to "test" the strength of my splice by deliberately shooting an arrow into a rock wall from about ten yards. When I did, naturally the point broke off but surprisingly to me, the splice held. This was with a 700+ grain arrow moving at about 190 fps. Since the splice started about 1.5" back from the tip that had broken off, I decided to shoot the same arrow into the wall again without even a point on it. Just the busted end of the wood shaft. This time, splinters flew. I looked the arrow over and found that about an inch of the wood at the front had been simply pulverize but again, the glue joint held! . Finally I shot it a third time and the arrow split long ways with the grain. The split ran through the splice but not along the glue line. I was and still am totally convinced that a good glue joint really IS stronger than the wood. Realize too that this was just cheap Elmers wood glue. The good epoxies should work even better. That little piece of wood you need to glue back in place will never see nearly the stain that my arrow did so I'm sure it will be just fine. Also realize that in the case of my arrow splices, the joint was two SMOOTH pieces of wood! There was zero mechanical bond. Your repair chunk with the grain texture that locks back together will be much stronger. Your main concern won't be the strength of the glue joint but rather how well you can hide the glue line. Making dead sure your pieces align perfectly then using proper clamping pressure to force some but NOT ALL of the glue out of the joint will ensure a minimal glue line. From there on out is just detail work.
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On an older gun you can also go old timey like I done with my model 36

It came with a shortened stock so I put a precision crescent stock on it. I don't care that it's no longer original.


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Acraglas is great but it isn't going to take paint.
Acra-glas comes with a color blend that you mix in with it before you apply. Very simple. But to each their own.
If it's a museum peace that you are working on, send it to a professional.​
Thanks all very much for the insight. I suppose I'm putting too much thought into this but wanted to hear from the more experienced as this working with firearms is new for me.

I'll throw some glue on there and clamp it in place making sure not to clamp too tightly squeezing out the glue. I expect to have some work ahead of me matching up the color at the glue line and then will get to work on replacing that missing chip

I don't expect this to be the case, but if I find that the glued piece needs reinforcement, I can drill into the piece from the buttpad side for a small dowel leaving the exterior of the piece intact. But as you all mentioned, this isn't likely to be the case.

I'll post a few pictures as I go along, too

Again, thank you very much for the tips

Happy Easter...

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given the tools I have, I wood reshape the stock and use a plate and spacer so you can sand it down to the shape you will now have...

I really don't think its as bad as you think...
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Another Update:

Glued the piece to the stock yesterday and let it sit for 24+ hours

Feathered the edges with a 320 grit paper

Wood Wood stain Hardwood
Wood Metal

I still have to mess around with the little triangle chunk from the lost piece of wood but, at this point, and I don't want to strip the entire stock if avoidable, any way to match the area of repair with the rest of the stock? Might multiple applications of BLO darken it up to such a degree?


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Easiest way I've ever matched a missing piece of wood is to file a square notch. Then the insert you need to make is much easier to come by.

That triangle shape is closer to a square corner at the bottom.

After a good file will get you close to the stock for final sanding. I use plastic tape to protect the wood and go careful working it down.
Thanks Sawny.... Yes, I sanded the section to square it off but as far as the current stock and refastened piece from this weekend, any thoughts on finishing the area of repair?
A good hard sanding block keeps things in a straight line. If you don't have that then a file will work. After you will still want to sand it.

You are at the point of needing to strip and refinish all your wood to make it match.

I always liked the Boiled Linseed Oil (bought a gallon of WWII military surplus in 1 qt cans) in many layers approach and stop when it is shiny enough for your use. I'm a satin finish person.

4-5 layers and your wood will take on a darker tone because is seeps into the wood a lot. If you persist at around 15 - 20 layers things start getting shiny. I like to steel wool between each coat.
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I understand not wanting to strip the whole stock but odds are it will be easier than trying to just spot repair.

Once you get your next piece spliced in and filed down to the shape you want, (if it were mine) I'd go ahead and strip the whole thing and wipe it with a coat of mineral spirits. That will "wet" the wood and make it look pretty much like what it would after some clear coat was applied. You'll be able to tell a lot at that time as far as how well things match and you might try playing around with a fine artist brush and some stain to try your hand at painting in wood grain or hiding glue lines. If you don't like the results, sand 'em off and try something else. You might be good enough to go straight to clear, you might do the paintbrush/wood grain thing or you might just go with a uniform coat of the stain of your choice. I personally like walnut with minimal or no stain but in this case, it's more about camouflaging a repair than changing the general color of the wood.

A tip on the mineral spirits, price check both the baby sized cans and the gallon. It's been my experience that it's well worth buying a gallon. The price per ounce is way less, it never goes bad and you will probably find a lot of other uses for it around the garage/shop.
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Break my heart too, along with everyone else..
But it's not as bad as it looks.

Lots of good advice here, and I'll add mine from a little different perspective.
If you try the fix and it fails, or your replace the stock, let me know... I'm always on the lookout for impossible repairs.

I'll outline a recommended fix, learned from a professional who repaired a frightfully splt and splitered externally hung mirror frame from my great grandmother's rosewood dresser... an amazing repair.
First Save all your chips,
Second, The drill and fill technique above is a good start on structural integrity, and clamp carefully to be certain remaining mating parts mate properly.
Third repeat.. clamp get one shot at this... the filler epoxy should be clear (I use the same RAKA epoxies I use on wood Kayaks) and thinned a bit with acetone or xylol. This assists flow through the needle, full displacement of air from the repair, and penetration into the wood without loss of strength. It may be tinted with a little fine sanding dust obtained from other locations (under the center of the butt plate) or simply from MDH sanding dust.
In more severe cases, external splinters can be filled with this same mix, even multiple layers when positioned to let gravity do the levelling. Inasmuch as most splits are along grain. The semi transparency of the tinted epoxy increases opaqueness with depth, that is, each additional layer. Done properly, it appears to be a simple grain color variation.
Fourth, hand sand VERY CAREFULLY with 200 grit to level all surfaces then finish with 400. Remember the epoxy will be harder than the wood.
Fifth, applly the finish of your choice, and before the final coats..only if necessary... apply some "blending laquer" as needed to make the repair disappear. This is a translucent toning spray which can be had in several tones at fine woodworkung stores in aerosol, or make up your own with a very little pigment and alcohol for application by airbrush. Apply this from a distance as "dry", and buff lightly as needed with 0000 steel wool... repeat until you smile.
Finally, Add some final finish clear coats, and no one will believe you ever broke it.
For my guns from the 40s and 50s, I repair as needed, and strip, with laquer thinner and steel wool rubs only, then refinish with satin tung oil without staining.
Two or three coats SEAL the wood beatifully without filling the wood pores, so they look as stock, appropriately aged, but like new.
I did not go into the use of shaded "japan laquer" sticks, but I'll leave that to you if you're interested. They can be magical.
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I bathed the stock with Citristrip as was suggested in an earlier post

Scared the crap out of me messing with it but I think it's moving along well:

Scottish smallpipes Uilleann pipes
Chocolate Table Food Dessert Cuisine

Did this 3 times letting it sit for about an hour each time and then wiped with some paper towels. Rinsed in warm water and let dry overnight:

Grass Shotgun Wood

Another longer bath with the Citristirp this morning for a couple of hours - another rinse in warm water & let dry

Then a denatured alcohol scrub with 0000 steel wool. And it's now drying again:

Wood Grass
Grass Wood Shotgun

Not sure if much more is going to come off. The paper towels are still tinted but will I reach a point of diminishing returns? I have enough Citristrip to do this another 100 times or more - should I keep going until absolutely nothing comes off?

Close call yesterday.. the Citristrip was sitting on the Bullseye and it got a little mushy. Made sure to avoid it on the following rounds

Getting close to having to deal with that remaining chip in the tail... Can't avoid it much longer. It's very small measuring: 5.43 mm at it widest... 3.29 mm at its thickest... and 19.5 mm long

It was mentioned that an Epoxy might be used... I'm starting to think that may be the best course as it's so small and oddly shaped, getting a replacement piece, even squared off, would be too tiny to properly seat. Maybe I'm wrong but my fat fingers and that tiny piece won't be a good match
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