What about finishing? All sources I read talk about using 3 grits of sandpaper (p100,p150,p220).I would use a very sharp scraper and call it good. I quit using fine grit sandpaper years ago.
I have to try that at some point.A correctly sharpened scraper will leave a nice finish, and is faster ( for me) . Sandpaper was expensive back then, I don’t think an ordinary musket had too much finishing time put into it. I’m not talking about rough shaping the stock, just gotta nice smooth finish. It does take a little practice.
PLEASE, before you try using accra glas on the rear of that barrel, there is something you MUST do or there is an extremely good chance the "glas" will lock that barrel into the stock and you may crack or chip the stock to get the barrel out. OH, you should also probably clean up the burrs on the edges of the machined cuts.I have also found another slight problem with the way the kit was put together. I don't suppose I can complain too much. It is a kit after all, but at this price when they are selling a "shooting kit" I expect the back of the breech plug to be fitted to the wood. Unfortunately there was a 0.3mm (12 thou) gap between the back of the breech plug and the wood where it should bear the recoil force meaning all of the recoil force was being transmitted to the stock through the tang screw. In addition the back of the barrel and the breech plug looked like this.
View attachment 86742
Those concentric burrs didn't even make contact with wood because of the gap. I ended up filing it very carefully, then sanding backed by a 123 block. Finally I measured the gap again. After all my work the gap grew to 0.4mm (16 thou). For now I made few shims made of copper foil to take up the slack. Later I'll use acraglas to bed the back of the breech plug to the wood (I'll leave that for when the sanding is done). I still have to decide on what pigment to add to acraglas. I had good results with black before. Probably that's what I'll use.
Gus, What do you think about that breach tang thickness? Im thinking some hot peening could Expand that Tang a little towards the back and close that gap pretty close. That way you don’t have to mess with the area glass.PLEASE, before you try using accra glas on the rear of that barrel, there is something you MUST do or there is an extremely good chance the "glas" will lock that barrel into the stock and you may crack or chip the stock to get the barrel out. OH, you should also probably clean up the burrs on the edges of the machined cuts.
The Accra Glas WILL go into those groove rings and lock that barrel in place. So, you need to do something that will fill up the grooves before you bed it.
The way to do that is use Modeling Clay (it can be the cheap type used for children to play with) and you press it into the grooves on each side of the back of the barrel and let it be higher than the rear surface of the barrel. Then cut the clay even with the top surface of the rear of the barrel and rear end of the breech plug. Use a narrow putty knife, palette knife or even an old butter knife to cut the clay even with the top surfaces. Now, if some of the clay comes out of the grooves when you do that, then refill those areas and cut again until all the grooves are filled up.
BTW, I also do this to that "C" cut clearance on the back of the breech plug (for the Rear Side Lock Screw) so no Accra Glas can get in there and lock the barrel in place.
To get a really tight glas job, then carefully clean the top surfaces of the metal with Q Tips dipped in Acetone or Alcohol and gently clean the metal surfaces so you don't take clay out of the grooves or below the surfaces of the metal.
Apply GOOD mold release all over the rear of the barrel, because the Glas will "squoosh out" when you use the tang screw to lock the barrel in place and the mold release Brownell's has in their kits works very well.
You also used Q Tips dipped in Acetone or Alcohol to clean off excess Glas where ever it squooshes out.
After the Accra Glas cures and you take the barrel out, you clean any remaining clay off the glass and barrel with more Q Tips dipped in Acetone or Alcohol.
I've been glass bedding modern guns for National Match and Sniper Rifles since 1974 in ALL kinds of rifles for the Marine Corps and since I retired 26 years later. Can't tell you how many hundreds, if not thousands of "Glass Bedding Jobs" in those years. I've also applied this experience to bedding dozens of ML guns as well. I've seen just about every type of mistake a person can do in all those years, so please trust me to do these things.
THAT is an EXCELLENT suggestion! Also, that way, the rear of the tang would be angled so it would go in and out of the stock and only apply the smallest amount of pressure there during recoil. Clean it up after hot peening the end with hand files to smooth it. There is no need and no desire to have all of the rear of the breech plug tang, below the outer surface, touching the wood.Gus, What do you think about that breach tang thickness? Im thinking some hot peening could Expand that Tang a little towards the back and close that gap pretty close. That way you don’t have to mess with the area glass.
I‘m a beginner kit builder. One thing I’ve learned so far is to try very hard not to use epoxy as a repair, not unless its in a non-visible area, like in the lock mortise under the butt cap or in the barrel channel. It just doesn’t stain right or blend in well and those pedersoli walnut stocks have a nice amount of figure.THAT is an EXCELLENT suggestion! Also, that way, the rear of the tang would be angled so it would go in and out of the stock and only apply the smallest amount of pressure there during recoil. Clean it up after hot peening the end with hand files to smooth it. There is no need and no desire to have all of the rear of the breech plug tang, below the outer surface, touching the wood.
As far as recoil breaking the back of the stock, that’s never happened to me. I’ve seen it happen with Indian made guns, but that’s teak for you, its very brittle.Gus, than you for a very detailed post. I've saved it to my information folder to be read before I do any future acraglas work.
FlinterNick, that is a good suggestion, but I'm not planning on glassing the back of the tang. It was suggested, but the gap is pretty small and as another person said it's presence guarantees the recoil will not be transmitted through the back of the tang. "Glass" will go only where the breech plug bears on the wood.
The tang screw is countersunk. If it wasn't I would just move the hole a bit. It is a very tall screw. I guess they supplied one that can be filled to fit (there is also a spare in the kit). Now that I'm thinking about it. I'm seriously considering moving the screw hole instead. I already had to tig weld on the back of the trigger plate because I filed a bit too much. You can see heat discoloration on one of my photos, but it came out well.
I could put the barrel in a vice on a milling machine and use a 6mm end mill to extend the tang screw hole by the required 16 thou forward. Then I will have a difficult job in trying to use a countersink cutter to cut sideways to expand the existing countersink. I'll try on another piece of metal first. If it works I'll do it on the barrel. Then, once the gap in the back is closed the gap in the back of the tang will become much smaller. Then once the fit is confirmed I can tig weld the back of the now oval tang screw countersink and recut so no gap is showing. There is also an option to make a tang screw with a larger head, but that 16 thou added to the radius would make a huge (and in my opinion weird looking) tang screw.
Also yesterday I measured the position of the touch hole. Visually I thought the touch hole is already back of the centerline of the pan so I discounted modifying the barrel as a possibility, but after careful measurements I know I have half a mm (20thou) of space or so.
I have to consider my options and decide between acraglas and moving the tang screw hole(already countersunk) . If the barrel was made with mild steel I would have chosen the latter straight away. However it is made with chro-mo steel. Although it will be kept in the white so dissimilar steel will not show immediately I'll try to look online for the matching chrome-moly tig rod. If I can find it. That will be a vote towards moving the hole.
I like using acraglas, but I have a measure of mental resistance to using it on a new build. It doesn't seem "correct".
Regarding the state of finish of the kit when it arrived. Yes it was a shooter, but please don't forget there is extra 80 thou (2mm) of wood in lots of places so there is a fair amount of wood finish to do.
That's the way they would have done it in the old days, but then I would have to wonder how tight the fit would be behind the angled vertical portion of the breech plug, as shown here in the bottom pic and to the left of the threads? That area also absorbs much of the shock/wear and tear of recoil. Of course one could also glue in a veneer shim there and then chisel/scrape it to match for a tight fit as well.Personally, I would glue a wood veneer to the stock inletting for the breach. Then chisel or scrap to a good fit.
Good point!Whilst I was there I would also make sure the snugged down breach is sitting on actual wood and not just sitting down on the tang.
Something else you will have to do before you accra glas behind the horizontally angled area of the breech plug that is behind the threads, is to file that divot or void out the lower part. If not, accra glass will get in there and lock the barrel into the stock. I don't think clay would successfully fill in that void or divot.