Especially an uncommon one like an Ithaca Flues or a LeFever like this one (Practically the same gun) is a damned difficult task under the best of circumstances but this stock came about.. oh, 85%, maybe more, so it wasn’t nearly so bad as it could be.
Once all that is done, though, the appearance work begins. The buttstock at first was something of a disapointment, because it didn’t cover the wood completely- but sanding made that all come together nicely, and I’m very pleased with that. Sanding the tool marks out of the stock, likewise, was a lot of hand work, and again, some of it was done with small emery boards. The ball of the pistol grip didn’t suit me so I chiseled and scraped it a little more appropriately. It’s not flawless, but it will do.
The final piece of fitting was going to take some work, had to be done last, and if I fucked it up would mean I had to start all over again.
The cheeks. The cheek of a stock is the part that meets the receiver, and if you fuck it up, it looks like shit. Not two people in ten million can probably do it by eye, and no machine can ever get it perfect, on an old gun. It has to be done just right to look good.
There is a commerically available jig, but it’s expensive. It’s also expensive to have someone do it for you. So i made my own jig.
The screweyes in the butt are in the holes used by the screws that hold on the buttpad. That way I know they’re parallel with the centerline of the buttstock.
The vertical screweyes are adjusted until the stock naturally rests with the cheeks parallel to the sandpaper. I used a cylindrical flashlight to make sure the receiver was parallel.
You can see that the receiver is parallel to the sanding belt. This took a little bit of messing with the screweyes but I finally got it, and made sure it was the same when I flipped the stock over.
I also had to measure to make sure when I got to the right level the rest of the stock wouldn’t accidently touch the belt, messing up a couple weeks worth of work.
So with everything firmly aligned and screwed into place, I finally had to flip the switch on the sander.
On a new manufacture stock, they have a jig made for each receiver, and you just sand till the wood is flush with the metal, the jig is glass hard and the sandpaper will not affect it much. I had to do it to a scribed line, because I can’t afford to scratch the receiver.
The other side
A lot of fiddling about to get it right, but it looks good, and I’m well pleased with the result. I will not make a habit of shooting anything but moderate loads with it, and I expect it to last a very long time. Put the first coat of Antique Oil on it, and in a couple weeks hope to have it range ready.