After sleeping late in this morning – jet lag is a bitch – I managed to rouse myself around lunchtime and after an hour or so of dithering around, trying to work out which way was up and so forth, finally snapped into some kind of awakened state and decided to do something useful.
Although I realized that I’d forgotten to de-blue / de-rust the trigger guard, I wasn’t quite ready to go back to Birchwood Casey’s foul-smelling finest, so I set about taking measurements of the stock and started to think about the cuts which would be required to machine out the shape of the action.
Although I had to sacrifice some of the childrens’ playdough to get good measurements for the inner dimensions, the whole job took only about 25 minutes and I was left with a sheet of paper covering all of the major dimensions of the front part of the stock.
There are some unanswered questions. The first is what board thickness I require to be able to shape the rear part of the stock and to give it enough cast to make it usable. It looks like it might be possible to obtain a single block of beech for around £40, but I’m still investigating the various options (and haven’t given up entirely on the idea of producing a laminate stock as yet).
The second question will only be answerable when I replace the metalwork in the stock and put the gun back together: what size cutter to use for the front part of the stock in which the barrel is bedded?
Router cutters tend to be sold in inch-equivalent sizes, such as this one, which is a 5/8″ radius cutter sold with a millimeter designation. That’s somewhat under-sized for the groove I’ll need to cut which is an almost perfect 9mm-radius semicircle – but the next available size – ¾” – gives a 19.1mm trench which is over-large. I’ll probably end up using the smaller bit, and making several cuts to get the barrel in snugly.
Oh, and in case anyone thinks this is turning into an advertising coup for Trend cutters, that isn’t the intention, but I’ve been using their blades and cutters for a long time now and they seem to be much better quality than most of the other crap you can get on Amazon / eBay for a similar price.