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Old 03-09-2009, 10:20 PM
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Aug 2008
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Epxoy is my friend.

Repairing the cracks.

Depending on the location and severity of the cracks, they can be repaired and restore the soundness of the stock.

The first step is the epoxy...mix it well. Sounds like it does not need to be said, but I have seen many times the epoxy was not mixed well. Use at least 30 minute epoxy, and spend the first few minutes mixing.

Clamp the stock in a vice with either jaw padding or my favorite.... is a large firm smooth surface that increases the jaw area...spreading the contact area.

Push with increasing pressure on the stock to determine the locations and lengths of the cracks. They will almost always be longer than they appear.
Do not break the stock off...or if you do, have some tubular rubber bands ready to reattach. Twine wrapped around and around a broken off stocks will repair it and the twine rasps off easily. ( Sometimes breaking if off makes for a better repair. )

Warm the wood with a heating lamp for about 10 minutes prior to mixing epoxy. Hot wood is my favorite. Mix more epoxy than you need and apply along the breaks in a string like fashion. Just enough to cover the crack. Any extra is wasted. The goal is to work the epoxy into the crack. With the stock firmly clamped, rock the butt stock back and forth. Work one side for about two minutes or about 50 times. Switch sides, do the same. You will notice the epoxy being pulled into areas of invisible cracks. Use a twisting motion after you are satisfied the rocking motion has pulled glue into it as far as possible. This reveals even more cracks.

Apply more epoxy when it is sucked into the crack. A spotlight lamp is useful in heating the wood. It is surprising how much more epoxy is sucked into warm wood vs. cold. When the crack is filled, the epoxy will suck down and squish back up during rocking motion. . DO NOT STOP UNTIL this happens.

When the epoxy begins to firm up, scrape if from problem or internal areas.
( The action or trigger guard areas.) Pay special attention to the tang and wrist.) If you do not work epoxy down into the wood, or it sets up to quickly, it will form a wall and prevent epoxy from penetrating deeply, thus blunting the repair. The heat lamp helps this, but the epoxy also sets up more quickly.

When the epoxy forms a skin surface, but not hard, push it into areas that need extra, or there is a broken out piece of wood. Clamp in the vice with the side down where you want the epoxy to run or pool. ( Low spots or broken out areas. Use gravity if you can!)

Let dry 24 hour regardless of instruction. A properly repaired stock will never crack along the repair again.

More to come.
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