The Kibler Ash SMR, or WKU Round Two

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
79
Reaction score
87
Location
Chestnut, IL
Went to WKU for the NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar again this year. Our instructor was Ed Wenger. Like all the talented people I have met at these seminars, very capable. A really nice guy. Talents I can only strive for. We were a group of 10, with about half doing SMR and the other half the Colonial. All Kibler kits. Typically some of us were in a few minutes after 7AM and there most of the day until 5PM. Some worked through lunch. Everyone was helpful. Shared stuff. Varied talents. But a good time was had by all. Ed did a number of demonstrations which were very useful, yet still gave us plenty of time to work on our rifles. And he spent his lunch times assisting someone.

Random thoughts. Some pictures, not all the best. I am not done with the rifle yet. Oh, it was capable of being loaded and shot the last day. But I still have work to do as I make time at home. I'll add to this thread when able. I wanted to post things before it left my aging mind for good. Probably some thoughts in between the pictures.

I added two things to my SMR kit. A German silver toe plate which I fitted. And a German silver pick holder, which Ed Wenger inlet for me. Ed did a superb job. He went to his chisel pouch and pulled out an inletting tool he had made that he used to outline the pick holder. I would have taken a different tack and screwed that up. A great teaching moment.

The stock isn't done yet. Filed, then scraped. The only sandpaper used was to widen the inlet for the trigger group. Little folded pieces to carefully open the inlets up to accept the trigger. Nothing fit initially on this ash stock. I had to do a lot more work than I did on my colonial rifle. Not complaining. It taught me to be more patient and not to immediately start carving away with a chisel. I got it all to fit. Then stained with Laurel Mountain Honey Maple. Next day, stained with Laurel Mountain Maple. Late that day I sealed the stock and rubbed the stain back with a cotton pad and Sutherland Welles Tung Oil Sealer. At this point (next day) I could have used a stock filler, but chose instead to give it a coat of Tung Oil High Luster. I was really liking how it was looking and was thinking that I really didn't need to try to highlight the grain. Then Mike Miller walked through and immediate saw that and mentioned how good that would look with the open grain darkened. I had to agree as that had been my plan all along. So that will happen.

A note on the Sutherland Welles Tung Oil. I purchased a quart each of the High Luster and the citrus based solvent. Using those finish saver bags, I made one each Sealer, Low Luster, Medium Luster, and High Luster. Instructions for doing so on their website. If it should appear too shiny I can rub a lower luster coat on. The amount used is very small. I also use this same product on our antique heart pine floors.

New tools I purchased this year included a group of Grobet pillar files. Wow! Really wow! Three of the four did 95% of all my file work. My old Nicholson's were hardly used. I was smart this year. I don't ride bikes anymore, so I put to use my old Thurlow deerskin riding gloves when filing. Had no bloody and blistered thumbs or fingers.

IMG_2815.JPEG


IMG_2816.JPEG


IMG_2817.JPEG


Measuring for the pick holder. And lots of CNC marks to file off visible in these pics. Nice finish on the barrel.

IMG_2818.JPEG


IMG_2819.JPEG


IMG_2864.JPEG


IMG_2865.JPEG


IMG_2869.JPEG
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
79
Reaction score
87
Location
Chestnut, IL
That curl started to show up well after the first sealer coat.

IMG_2880.JPEG


I might want that front sight darker. We had to peen the brass a bit. Initial fit was loose enough to slide in with finger pressure. End of the barrel already had a tiny chamfer on it. Thanks Jim!

IMG_2881.JPEG


Assembled and back home. I still need to debur, polish, and blue the lock. I need to clock, or index the screws.

IMG_2882.JPEG


No ramrod yet. I have three with this kit as I ordered extras. They present little challenge. Spent my time on other things at class. Not sure if I should try to stain them.

IMG_2883.JPEG


IMG_2884.JPEG


IMG_2885.JPEG


Got to get the stain off that pick holder.

IMG_2886.JPEG


Now to tear it all down and get on with finishing this project up.

IMG_2889.JPEG
 

TraderVic

40 Cal
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
168
Reaction score
203
Location
Western Wisconsin
Several questions ; where did you source your ash stock and is it a higher grade of wood ?
Also, where does one get the info regarding the WKU builders workshop for each year ?
Thank you..
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
79
Reaction score
87
Location
Chestnut, IL
Several questions ; where did you source your ash stock and is it a higher grade of wood ?
Also, where does one get the info regarding the WKU builders workshop for each year ?
Thank you..

I asked Jim Kibler if he had any ash stocks. He did at that time. It's just something to source oneself, or ask if he has bought any. My stock was treated as a standard grade of wood.

The NMLRA will put out information in the fall on possible classes for the next year in June. Check their website, MuzzleBlasts magazine, or give them a call. There are also other classes advertised in various parts of the country by really good makers. There are people teaching all kinds of stuff out there.
 

jmhunt78

32 Cal
Joined
Apr 15, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
4
Have you shot it yet? I got a range rod and cleaning components from Track last week. I’m fixing to fire my Colonial this Friday. Jerry
 

Buckskinn

40 Cal
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
481
Reaction score
378
Location
Mukwonago, Wisconsin
I'm surprised there aren't more ash stocked guns. It's a common tree, and I love the grain in ash. Stock looks great.
That's a great looking stock, wonderful figure! A little orange for my taste but that's only me....

Don't know about where you are but ash borer has decimated the trees around here. There is a +30 acre woods that was primarily ash west of my house that is all dead and rotting away. I have several tree stands in that woods that need to be moved before the tree falls over...
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
783
Reaction score
1,258
Location
Adirondacks
That's a great looking stock, wonderful figure! A little orange for my taste but that's only me....

Don't know about where you are but ash borer has decimated the trees around here. There is a +30 acre woods that was primarily ash west of my house that is all dead and rotting away. I have several tree stands in that woods that need to be moved before the tree falls over...
I’m in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains of way upstate NY. That bug is here, but we still have ash trees around. At least for now. My parents own 45 acres that borders state forest. There are massive Ash, Oak and Cherry on it. They’ve had it for 65+ years and it’s never been cut. I take standing dead or tipped over and dying tress for firewood. I have a couple ash blanks that will someday be muzzleloader stocks that came from a tree on the property. For now, the ash seems to be holding its own around here.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
79
Reaction score
87
Location
Chestnut, IL
Our mature ash trees are really starting to show the signs of the Emerald ash borer. Smaller trees are all dead. Been dead some of them for several years. Traveling from central IL to Bowling Green, KY there are so many dead ash along the Interstates that they cannot be counted. Perhaps millions dead. Those at WKU around the campus are also showing the signs, but not as far along as our mature ash trees are. If someone wants an ash stock, now is the time to get it.
 

Buckskinn

40 Cal
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
481
Reaction score
378
Location
Mukwonago, Wisconsin
I agree, if you want a beautiful ash stock like above get it while you can. While experts believe the species will survive due to some trees showing genetic natural resistance, most of the population will be decimated. Only took a couple years here.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
79
Reaction score
87
Location
Chestnut, IL
Finally getting back to working on this project. What I had thought a month and a half ago was some kind of pinched nerve which came and went, was actually kidney stones. Tried to tough it out and ended up in the hospital. The saga still isn't over, but I am better. And I needed to get back on this ash stocked SMR for a bit.

I had initially had in mind to use a stock filler to bring out the grain. Then was tempted to not do so when it looked so good to me. I was convinced easily enough to return to my plan and so here it is. It's subtle. As intended. I could have found some black grain filler. Some may prefer that bold look. Keep in mind that I had already rubbed on a sealer coat and a coat of finish. Which still left those big open pores that I rubbed in a coat of Art's French Red stock filler. It's mostly brown in color. With a hint of red. Like a pre-64 Winchester. Let it dry for a half hour and wiped off the excess with blue paper towels. Doing it after some finish coat had been applied meant that on the dense wood, my original stains were not covered up by the brown. There is a lot of amber and honey tones. With some reddish stain of the maple showing. The iPhone makes it look more orange than it really is.

Something else. I had one pin that was a bit long and would need to be shortened. Sitting around here in the air-conditioning for over a month and I now needed to shorten 5 or 6 pins. The toe plate was almost loose. There is a tiny little bit of proud wood and proud butt-plate. Just amazing how much moisture affects a gunstock.

Most importantly, I am not an expert. Maybe not even competent. This is just how I did it.

The more finish I applied in very thin coats, the more details showed where I wished I had filed or scraped the stock more than I did. I used no sandpaper on the stock except for some tiny work in the inlets. Just files and cabinet scrapers on the main stock.

A couple pics showing the difference of the stock filler on the grain.

Prior to filler and final finish.

IMG_2903.JPG


After filler and finial finish.

IMG_2904.JPG
 
Top