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Thread: Sanding end grain

  1. #1
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Sanding end grain

    Here's a question for the builder in the group.

    I'm working on a Traditions Kentucky rifle kit and have taken a few liberties with the stock lines in an attempt to make it less blocky and now have some end grain that simply refuses to smooth out. I've been practicing scraping to avoid sanding and it works pretty well as long as you pay attention to the grain direction. I'll try to get a few pics up so you can see what I'm talking about. The wood is beech.

    Thanks, Stuart

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I imagine you are talking about places such as the end (butt) of the stock, area where the cheek piece curves into the stock, places where the top of the stock curves over the rear with the tang metal, ETC. I sand those smooth as possible and then put in a coat of sealer before the rest of the stock and then another sealer coat over every thing. I sand areas like that very lightly until smooth.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Yes, the end grain needs to be sealed or hardened for ideal sanding. Even then it is easy to burn it. Superglue is a good grain hardner in those places.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  4. #4
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    Ignore the butt. You can use Minwax Wood Hardener to stabilize the grain. Stick with the scraper, then go to a burnishing tool. I use an antler tip.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  5. #5
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Ignore the butt. You can use Minwax Wood Hardener to stabilize the grain. Stick with the scraper, then go to a burnishing tool. I use an antler tip.
    Butt is not the issue, it's where I re-contoured the areas around the lock and opposite side panel. They were too... wide so I cut them back and now have end grain. I'll try to get a couple pics up so you can see what I'm talking about. Don't have any sanding sealer or the like but can get some.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Here's the problem area.

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    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Another
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Here you can see how much I moved the edge
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    The original edge of the lock mortise can still be seen to left about half an inch from where it is now.
    Last edited by taco650; 08-18-2017 at 11:04 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    1/2 round file(s) to even up the cut and blend it in with the surrounding wood. Then carefully sand it smooth to maintain the sharp edges of the wood work left by the files. The sanding can be backed by dowel. Sometimes I use a worn eraser w/ rounded edges. That works well. Sometimes I simply roll up a strip of the sandpaper into a small dia tube and use that. It keeps it's round shape well and can be used to sand and define the edges.
    If you want to scrape the final finish after file work instead of sanding,,then go right ahead. Just use a very sharp straight edge w/ extremely light pressure. Dragging the scraper blade/edge over the areas to just lightly finish them off and remove any file marks.
    You don't really need the traditional cabinet scraper tool here w/it's curled over hook cutting edge for this. Just a razor sharp straight edge used very lightly and carefully
    .
    Last thing is to go over the lock 'flat' with a hard backed piece of sand paper very lightly or use the scraper. This just to put the final sharp detail on the outer edge of the lock island. You are not trying to lower it any if it doesn't need it, but only to define the outer edge again.

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    Okay, first. You still have WAY too much wood left around the lock. 1/8" - 5/16" is about right.
    You are making too abrupt of a transition to the wrist and forearm level. You want a gentle meeting.
    Do a google for Kentucky rifles, look at the images link, and see how they should be.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  11. #11
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Okay, first. You still have WAY too much wood left around the lock. 1/8" - 5/16" is about right.
    You are making too abrupt of a transition to the wrist and forearm level. You want a gentle meeting.
    Do a google for Kentucky rifles, look at the images link, and see how they should be.
    Did that a little last night and noticed what you are saying on both the lock flat width and the transition between wrist and lock flat. I think I'm making my edge too abrupt and need to make it more gradual.

    Thanks to everyone for the advice!

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    Have you fit the lock to the inlet? That definitely needs done before shaping the panels! Actually, all parts should be fit, before any shaping happens.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I would suggest doing a Google or Yahoo search for "muzzle loading rifle images" and you may have to scroll down a bit but there will be dozens and dozens! Start at the top and run through all of them as most all are right side images and you will see many, many ways to finish the wood around the lock inlet. Some are thin, some are thick, some even round off right from the edge of the opening. The nice thing about doing a kit like this is that you can make it look ANY WAY YOU WISH! Good luck.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Ric,

    Yes, got lock fitted first. The kit was about 95% inleted out of the box. The lock, trigger plate, butt plate and nose cap are the only things that needed fitting with the butt plate needing the most wood removed. Rasp made quick work of that. Nose cap screws were too long and needed filing down and the brass will need a little polishing but that's it. The only "technical" part of the build was drilling the barrel tenons by hand but that turned out fine. I'm just tweaking the lock panels for a slimmer look. I also thinned the top edge of the forearm to make it look less like a plank and glued the two halfs of the stock into one piece. I made a cherry spacer to fit where the brass plate that came with it is supposed to go and then glued the alignment pins in place. I'm already making plans to make a one piece stock for it out of a slab of tulip poplar I have drying just for the fun of it.

    This stuff is getting addictive and I haven't even shot the gun yet LOL!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Okay, first. You still have WAY too much wood left around the lock. 1/8" - 5/16" is about right.
    You are making too abrupt of a transition to the wrist and forearm level. You want a gentle meeting.
    Do a google for Kentucky rifles, look at the images link, and see how they should be.
    Ric,

    Is this better?

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Another
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    Quote Originally Posted by taco650 View Post
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    I would take off more. Rule of thumb, when you think you have taken off enough, take some more! 😁
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    I am going to expand somewhat on Waksupi's advise. If you can get a copy of Hanson's the Trade Rifle sketchbook for tracings of real guns and the lock panels. I have noted that the cheaper the gun and the later the period the larger and cruder the lock panels are and country made guns are also somewhat cruder. On English guns the panels may be narrower but they don't match from right to left on a lot of the guns. I have a German butt stock that has panels just 1/8 inch wide and 1/16 inch deep but very finly executed with the included carving. As an example say a Krider indian gun or a Barnett trade gun will have wider thicker panels than say a fine long rifle.

    I remember telling Greg Roberts one time that I was stocking up a rifle for a fellow to finish up and was leaving 1/8 inch of excess wood... his reply was, "just enough for him to Mess it all up". I wipe good old Elmer's glue into the end grain before sanding and then finish it out. This also keeps the end grain from soaking in too much stain and over darkening.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Thanks Waksupi & KCSO for the advice.

    I sanded the lock panel edges back a tad more and decided it was time to prep for finish. I'm not trying to turn a sows ear into a silk purse, just trying to make a bargain kit look less crappy.

    Cold blued the barrel today and sanded the stock to 320 then whiskered it. Will sand again and whisker it once more then start putting color on.

  20. #20

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check