covering mistakes

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David Coulter

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Hi folks, working on a walnut stock Pa Fowler. When I started this 15 years ago I drilled a few extra holes right next to the right spots. Now that I’m back on the project I’m wondering how to best fill these mistakes. With a maple stock I could use round tooth picks, but what about walnut?
thanks! dwc
 

rich pierce

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Toothpicks stick out visually because of end grain. Best fix is to get some walnut from same blank running in the same direction. Cut some 1/8” thick and 5/16” to 3/8” wide. Cut some ellipses out using a jewelers saw. Put a slight draft on the with a fine file. Clamp over the area needing a fix. Scribe the outline. Now cut inside the line ever so slightly. Inlet the patch but leave it sticking out a tiny bit.

If you’re going to stain the stock then go ahead and lightly stain the inlet edges and the patch edges. When dry glue the patch in. I use titebond II.

Pro tip. Put an arrow on the top of the patch so you remember the orientation.
 

David Coulter

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Rich, thanks for your suggestion. I’ll definitely will have to think this over. I’m not sure my skills are up for this level, but it sounds like a very professional option. Thank you, dec
 

Grenadier1758

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Listen to Rich. Even if your skills are not fully up to this level, then try a sample patch on the scrap wood for practice. Try a test patch a couple of times and your skills will then be adequate for the actual repair. Now is the time to build confidence for your repair.
 

Billy Boy

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Hi folks, working on a walnut stock Pa Fowler. When I started this 15 years ago I drilled a few extra holes right next to the right spots. Now that I’m back on the project I’m wondering how to best fill these mistakes. With a maple stock I could use round tooth picks, but what about walnut?
thanks! dwc
You can mix up a very thick paste of fine walnut dust and TightBond wood glue. Force as much as you can into the hole and let it be a little proud of the hole. Let it sit a coupla days, sand it and stain the entire stock, should make them go away.
 

TGJaeger

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Mistakes....???
I do not understand this word you are using. No, nope, nu huh, never experienced anything like that....

But if I did, I bet some sanding dust and some stainable, waterproof carpenters glue mixed together and applied to this “mistake“ thing would make it almost invisible.
 

Zonie

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Even a blond wood tooth pick can be made to look just like walnut if some alcohol based walnut stain is applied to it.
Properly done it will look just like a small lighter or darker spot, not unlike some of the other interesting patterns walnut is known for.
 

David Coulter

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All interesting thoughts. I am going to look over the first option and see about my skills. I know I have glue and sawdust if I need it. Thanks! Dwc
 

Stophel

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are we talkin' pin holes for barrel tenons or ramrod pipes? Personally, I'd much rather see a tiny little peg than a patch here. A pin hole plug can even sometimes be made to look like a small knot. Being on the fore end, it is very possible that the pin plug can be hidden with fore end carving.

To make little walnut pegs, well, take a piece of walnut and whittle them out.
 

David Coulter

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These are the small holes for the ramrod pipes. Pin stock I think is what it's call. thanks dwc
 

David Coulter

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Which brings me to the next question I didn't know I had. Do I fill in the holes that were drilled in the right places once the barrel is in or do I keep it so I can remove the barrel? thanks dwc
 

Grenadier1758

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Eventually the barrel may be removed. Most pin locations are not covered up. You may put a bit of wax over the pin to somewhat hide the location of the pin, but you really shouldn't cover it up.
 

Eric Krewson

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Sawdust and glue will always look like sawdust and glue. Super glue will turn a walnut peg very dark as show in the picture. My drill bit skated and really gouged out a hole on its way out in the wrong place. The peg has the right grain orientation but the glue turned it dark.
walnut peg.JPG
 

smo

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One word of Cation! If you decide to make a plug or use a tooth pick add a little glue too it and don’t drive it in too deep.

If the abandoned holes are too close to the good holes and you try this repair method without the barrel being pinned in place , there’s a possibility that the wood could split of make the pins tight when the barrel is set in to the stock.

I would try the patch or the sawdust and glue method or maybe just add a couple fake pins...cut and placed in from each side not completely through the barrel lug or rr pipe.
 

gemmer

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Buy the smallest diameter plug cutter you can get and a piece of 4/4 walnut. That will give you pieces with face grain. Cut a bunch of them. Chuck them and a drill press a wrap some sand paper around a file and dress the plug down. Press lightly against it to avoid breaking it as it thins. That's why you'll need quite a few. You may actually have to make the hole a little bit bigger in order to use a peg that doesn't break on every try.
 

David Coulter

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Sawdust and glue will always look like sawdust and glue. Super glue will turn a walnut peg very dark as show in the picture. My drill bit skated and really gouged out a hole on its way out in the wrong place. The peg has the right grain orientation but the glue turned it dark.
View attachment 31867
That patch doesn’t bother me a bit. So maybe I’m fretting too much on mine. I’ll probably have it aged a bit my first time in the woods anyway, haha!
 

tenngun

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How far are they from the right spot?
It’s not proper on early arms as it came in to style later, but.....
Fish as a Christian symbol, long slim ovals, hunter star shapes were used to protect the wood around pin holes.
Instead of trying to cover it up you could just cover it up.
I’m not a gun builder and I plug stain and live with mistakes, I am what I am and still proud of my job.
 

Stophel

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Fit a little peg to fit in the hole, and glue it in, but drive it in just below the surface. To fill it the rest of the way, cut yourself a tiny flake of wood so you have some face grain. Work it so you can inlet this little piece over the hole and glue it in place. You may actually be able to forcibly press it into place to make it fit. If it is well done, it will be barely visible.
 
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