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Discussion Starter #101 (Edited)
LC Smith Build--Triggers Inc. Continued

Hey All
I set some criteria for my search through the trigger box, weeding out all of the separate triggers and assemblies that did not match the LC Smith triggers. The first criteria I set was to match the distance from the uppermost point of the front trigger surface where it contacts the trigger plate to the center of the hinge pin hole. As closely as I can measure, this distance is held to .600 on the LC trigger plate that I have. This eliminated all of my separate triggers, and all but five of my assemblies, see Picture #1. One assembly stood out, Picture #2, because of a broken trigger plate. These triggers are not a bad fit at all, the only argument I have with them is that they are hung too closely together. A little careful bending and reshaping of the triggers will fix that issue. The blades are plenty big enough to clean up all around, and the front to back distance from the hinge pin hole to the front of the trigger surface is very close. The hinge pin hole through these triggers is slightly larger than the hinge pin hole through the LC Smith plate, but it is a simple matter to TIG up the holes in the triggers, and then drill them on size, minutely adjusting the hole location as required. I filed the upset amount off of the trigger pin, see Picture #3, and drifted the pin out of the broken plate. Here in Pictures # 4, and #5 we see the separated triggers with the LC plate.

I think we have a good starting point now. We will need to have the hinge pin holes TIG welded up, bend and reshape the triggers to get more room between them, drill the hinge pin holes in the precise location, drill an additional hole in each trigger for the trigger anti-slack spring. Then we will precisely fit them to the trigger plate, and later to the safety bar. It looks like we will be scratch building the pivoting safety bar, this part is proving to be very hard to find, but shouldn't be hard to figure out, and to build once we have the safety slide in hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #102 (Edited)
LC Smith Build--Triggers Inc. Continued Some More

Hey All
Got to work early again Friday and got to playing (working) with my triggers some more. I unrolled one of the many print outs that I have carried around in the LC Smith box since this project started, this one I downloaded from a FW trigger plate assembly that was for sale online. The scale of the printout was not exactly to life size of the actual triggers, but it was close enough to show me what I needed to know, see Picture #1. The hinge pin holes between the two trigger plates were much closer in size than I had earlier thought, the difference being just a couple of thousandths larger in the broken plate. In Picture #2, I was able to stack both triggers on the LC trigger plate and slide a 3/32 drill bit (.093) through the lot. This gave an acceptable fit with all three components. Look closely at the front trigger in Picture #3, transposed on the LC trigger plate, compare it to the same trigger in Picture #1 and you will notice I have done some careful bending in the milling machine vise of the front trigger surface to match the pictured trigger. Picture #4 is where I quit for the day. The front trigger is in the LC plate and some light filing is taking place at the front and top end of the trigger to bring the holes in alignment between trigger and plate. A bit of rounding will be in order at the front point where the trigger meets the slot to duplicate the pictured profile. One really nice feature of these triggers is that they are toed in, that is the front trigger is bent inboard to the left, and the rear trigger is bent inboard to the right to give a straight alignment, and both of the front surfaces are blended to give a right handed shape to them. A bit of shaping and polishing to resemble more closely the LC set, and I am gonna be really pleased with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #103 (Edited)
LC Smith Build--Begin the Inlet for Trigger Plate

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I filed and fitted around the top of the trigger face surface where the front trigger and the trigger plate meet until the hinge pin holes lined up well enough for a makeshift pin to slide through. A sheetrock nail was the right size and soft enough to push through the joint, so I made a temporary pin from it. The trigger is captured tightly in the plate. It will not swing enough to actuate the sear until more fitting and reshaping is accomplished, however; in its current state it is hanging very closely to its default position, tightly locked up, and provides a reference to establish the stock's finished length of pull. See Picture #1. In picture #2 you can see the graceful inboard sweep of the front trigger, the rear trigger being swept inboard as well to align the two. Picture #3 shows the blended trigger surface favoring a right handed shooter. With the trigger in place I assembled the fixture onto the frame and try barrel assembly. With the pitch set at negative six and one half degrees, and the length of pull set at fourteen inches the L.OP bar just catches the stock end. When enough wood is removed from this surface to allow for the thickness of the butt plate, the wood should clean up all around. See Picture #4. The seasoning crack that must be addressed is visible in this view at the center of the butt stock end. Picture #4--the wood to be removed from the trigger plate area of the stock is marked for the initial cut, making way for the trigger plate inlet.
 

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Discussion Starter #104 (Edited)
LC Smith Build--Initial Wood Removed Trigger Plate Inlet

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Sorry for the interruption in the build, I used a few mornings finishing up with Social Security, and contacting utilities to prepare for groundbreaking on the house. It is nearing the season to retire to part time work and "rest" constructing at home : ).

I managed to arrive at work with the camera, but no SD card last Friday when I made this cut. I was happily snapping away, but not saving a thing. Monday morning I reenacted the cut and got the pictures.

Here in picture #1 is another seasoning crack in the walnut blank that I am cutting around. By placing the frame inletting as close to to the top of the stock blank as possible, the maximum amount of wood can be removed from this bottom tang area. Picture #2, the crack is completely cleaned up the for the length of the trigger plate inlet. A small amount of the crack may remain at the area of the pistol grip cap installation, see Picture #3, but I think not, it is feathering out of the wood at this point, and not very deep.

The next objective, once the majority of the wood is removed from the trigger plate inlet area, is to get the plate flat on the stock to trace around. I will start the inlet pretty high up in the wood, by the time the initial milling cut for the bottom tang is inlet the tang will be resting about where the actual inlet will begin. The bottom tang cannot be placed on location as it presently sits to know exactly where the inlet will lie, so we will need to sneak up on this one in order to avoid removing too much material somewhere, and wind up with a gap. In Picture #4, the trigger and safety block of the plate are laid out, and in Picture #5 these cuts are carefully measured out to the centerline of the stock and adjusted accordingly. A 3/8 end mill will be used to plunge clearance for these blocks and a 1/4 end mill put through between the block cuts to provide clearance for the trigger(s). Once again these plunge cuts will not be taken to full depth at this time. These cuts need to be carefully located so the approximate 17/32 (.531) width of the plate inlet will be sure to cover them.
 

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Discussion Starter #105
LC Smith Build--First Milling Cuts Trigger Plate Inlet

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I set the stock blank up in the mill early Tuesday morning upon arrival at work. Careful alignment, see picture #1, especially in the side to side direction was in order for these cuts, the approximate .380 width of the cutouts to accept the trigger and safety blocks of the trigger plate must be put in where the approximate .531 width of the trigger plate will completely cover them. When these cuts were in, pictures #2, and #3, a 1/4 inch end mill was run full depth between them to provide clearance for the trigger blade(s), see Picture #4. The entire cut was sunk 5/8 inch deep; still considerably higher than the finished wood surface at this point, see Picture #5. Next step is to soot up the plate and get the trigger plate blocks inlet down to touch the plate surface to the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter #106 (Edited)
LC Smith Build--Setting the Trigger Plate In for Initial Measurements

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With the rough milling cuts complete for the trigger and safety blocks, it is time to soot up the trigger plate and sink it to the wood for preliminary fitting. First the trigger block cutout is widened a bit to accept this block and the back end of this cut is squared to match the profile of the block, see picture #1. Next the block is sooted and pressed in place, removing the high spots with some judicious hand chiseling until the plate bears to the wood, and a black sharpy mark placed on the outside of the plate at the wood/metal joint is in the correct place in relation to the front end of the stock, see pictures #2 and #3.. When the plate bears, wood has been removed to relieve the tapered front of the block, and at the rear of the cutout to relieve the safety block hinge see picture #4. With the plate inlet fully down to contact the stock, picture #5, a slight difference in the radii where the two parts meet becomes obvious, this marked area will be cut down next to get the plate contacting evenly all along its length.
 

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Discussion Starter #107
LC--Smith Build Deepening the Inlet for Trigger Plate

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I set the stock up in the mill Thursday Morning and continued to cut the profile of the stock where the trigger plate will bear., see picture #1, #2, and #3. We are still fishing a little for the exact position as the plate drops down, the goal is to get it lying as exactly flat to the wood as possible, and lying correctly front and back to drop straight down into position. When everything is looking as correct as possible, we will take most all the depth of the inlet in one shot on the mill, staying inboard with the cut all around in order to get a clean, flat bottomed inlet. The matching radii to the plate and the wood is looking much closer now and we have dropped the surface of the wood about a full 1/8 inch. Moving over to the hand vice, some profiling with a large rat tail file, and with emery strips wrapped about the same, and we have a smooth blend, picture #4. The plate is bearing on the bottom of the trigger and sear block cuts once again, picture #5. We will soot and sink the plate flat with the profile once again, improving the fit for the trigger and sear blocks as we go. A minimum of wood removed in the wrist area inlet is the ticket for the side lock shotgun, by the very nature of the design, the remaining wood inevitably gets marginal as all the working parts are inlet into place.
 

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Discussion Starter #108 (Edited)
LC Smith Build--Taking Up the Trigger Plate Inlet at Home

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Here on the Snake River Plane we are getting a late season snow storm, so far it has put down about 7 inches of new snow, and I am not sure it is done with us yet. I figured there would be little chance to do much on the property this weekend, so I loaded the LC box and the build in the car and brought it home Friday. This seems a good time to go into a bit of "kitchen table gunsmithing".

Here is picture #1 is the butt stock loaded into the pride of my Workmate collection, a table top model I picked up at a second hand store a few years ago. This tool really has no equal for portable stock work. I put it on a piece of non skid rubberized fabric to keep it from sliding around and marring the table top. This model also hinges up on one side of the base to create an angled clamping surface, a handy feature that so far I have not used, but nice to have.

First order of business was to mark the trigger plate at the joint of the frame and wood see picture #2, and then to try the fit with the trigger plate on the stock. A noticeable shift forward in the stock must take place, mainly by shaping the wood at the contact point at the front of the trigger block see picture #4. The position to arrive at the end of this home inlet session is with the sharpy line on the trigger plate lined up as shown in picture #5, and the plate inlet flush with the stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #109
LC Smith Build--A Day Spent Inletting at Home

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A rather pleasant day was spent sooting, tapping, chiseling and smoothing at the kitchen table as the trigger plate was sunk into the wood a little at a time. My kerosene soot device did not set off the smoke detectors, but the possibility was there. Once the trigger block was inlet enough to allow the plate to contact the stock, a sharp pencil was used to trace all around, see picture #1 and #2. I kept my benchtop oil stone handy to keep the chisels touched up and razor sharp. As the plate is drifted forward in the inlet to correct the position a little, the reverse image of the trigger block begins to take shape in the front of the inlet see picture #3. The fit has been lost at the radiused back of the tang, but the correct position is now clearly outlined see picture #4. The next drop of 1/8 inch will go in on the mill Monday morning, a 7/16 end mill will give a correct radiused cut at the proper location for the tang, and this initial plate inlet will be cut away as the plate continues to drop into place. With the inlet now clearly laid out the deepening milling cuts can be made about 1/64 inboard from all side bearing surfaces, and full depth only where the metal will actually be in full contact, gradually improving the fit as we progress. Picture #5 shows the alignment as the plate continues to approach its matching recess in the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #111 (Edited)
Thank you dugly. I had heard of the LC Smith most of my life, even handled a few in gun shops now and again, but If you really want to gain a complete understanding of a certain firearm mechanism, there is no way like this one. Hope folks are enjoying the build along with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #112
LC Smith Build--Sinking the Trigger Plate Inlet on the Mill

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I set the stock up in the mill Monday morning and took all the cuts down one more eighth inch. I overcut on the tang radius out one side and opened a small gap, but again this will cut out as we continue to drop in place. I shifted the stock in the vise and lost the fit when the wood did not return quite to zero. I must have not had it vised up flat and centered the first time. Got to get all these dumb mistakes out of my system, since the next few cuts will get us down to the real fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #113
LC Smith Build--Sinking the Trigger Plate Inlet at Home

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I am still sinking the trigger plate into place, this is handwork mostly so I am addressing it in the AM here at home. Still dropping and the fit is improving as we go. With a centerfire rifle one piece stock, you always inlet the trigger guard first and then let the barreled action down to it, but these shotgun stocks behave a bit differently. I will have to be patient and stay with this inlet until such time as it arrives in position, but I guess I am in no real hurry so that is okay. Here we are between 1/32 and 1/16 down toward the newly milled bottom of the inlet.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
LC Smith Build--Sinking the Trigger Plate Inlet at Home Some More

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The trigger plate is down and beginning to bear at 1/8 deep. Tomorrow we set up on the mill and pull another eighth inch off the bottom profile. We are dropping, getting closer and improving the fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #115
LC Smith Build--Milling the Lower Tang Inlet Nearly toFinish

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Tuesday morning with the trigger plate sunk to the new bottom of the inlet, I took the stock to work and set it up in the mill, see picture #1. Pictures #2, 3, 4 show the stock rocked in the vise and the cut made to leave .05 of the plate inlet for reference as we set the wood down a full .200 to get close to the finish height. Picture #5 the cut is complete, a 7/16 end mill has been plunged in 1/8 deep at the end of the tang, a 3/8 end mill has been plunged in 1/8 deep at where the trigger block and safety block will bottom. Next step is to modify a furniture clamp I have lying about here at home to tightly clamp the wood and frame together in position while I sink the trigger plate into place in the metal frame recess, and the stock simultaneously.
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Discussion Starter #116
LC Smith Build--A Clamping Fixture to Hold the Stock in Place

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I took the last couple of days before this weekend off from work and the build in order to celebrate Mrs. 4575wcf's and my 25th wedding anniversary. Retirement day is rapidly approaching, ready or not.

With the trigger plate dropping into the frame recess during the next inlet session, some means of holding the stock and frame together and in place had to be figured out. I pawed through my shop stock some more, and came up with a 3/4 inch pipe style furniture clamp that I think will serve nicely for the purpose with a bit of modification. Noticeable right off was that it was going to be a bit short. I found a 5 ft. long piece of 3/4 pipe in our remnant rack at work, see picture #1, and threaded one end with our pipe die set to accept the clamping fixture, see pictures #2, and #3. This morning I will begin to build a shaped board to extend the clamping jaw away from the pipe to catch the end of the butt stock, while the solid, sliding jaw of the clamp catches the muzzle end of the try barrels.

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Discussion Starter #117 (Edited)
LC Smith Build--Building and Attaching the Extension Jaw for the Stock Clamp

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Once the new longer pipe was threaded, the next step is to build an extension jaw for the pipe clamp to capture the end of the butt stock. Here in picture #1 a bolt pattern has been laid out and tapped on the existing jaw. The jaw addition is fabricated from a scrap of 3/4 inch plywood, a material that should resist flexing pretty well in this short length. Here in picture #2 the bolt pattern has been matched up, and a hole drilled through the jaw extension to clear the pipe. Picture #3 the jaw extension and hole pattern tested, ready to assemble. Picture #4 the drop from the 3/4 inch plywood is doubled over on itself, where it will be glued and screwed in place, and then profiled to a matching angle to catch the butt end of the stock. Picture #5, the moveable jaw as it will be assembled, the pipe will extend through the wood, through the original jaw and thread into the end of the clamp.

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