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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
LC Smith Build--The Back Tang Hole Drilled Through

Hey All
First the tangs are placed in their proper places in the rough inlet, and the holes top and bottom are marked in place through the plates. Then a pencil mark is drawn all around the wrist circumference of the stock through the two hole locations. A drill a few thousandths larger than the major diameter of the 8 x 32 tang screw is mounted in the Jacobs chuck (.168). Then in picture #1, the penciled line is picked up with a square and the stock shifted in the vise until the drill is aligned correctly. The hole is drilled halfway through the wood from the top side of the wood, picture #2. This same process is repeated from the bottom side of the stock, the line is squared picture #3, and the picture #4, the hole is drilled halfway through to meet the other started hole. If we have done our homework, and properly laid the holes out spot on, the two holes will meet nearly perfectly. The back thumbscrew will slide through the wood and the threads will smoothly engage those in the top tang, picture #5.

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Discussion Starter · #122 ·
LC Smith Build--Trigger Plate is In, Final Fit to Do

Hey All.
Saturday dawned windy here on the Snake River Plain. I forwent hanging the chicken wire on the Chicken Hilton run until we get a day when the wire isn't flopping around quite so much. I moved to the shop and worked on the project instead. Here in picture #1 and #2 the trigger plate is a few 1/64 inch from seated. I will run the rear thumbscrew through the top and bottom tangs and the back pillar block, then file in a flat on the extended threads to mark the distance when both tangs are seated correctly down on the block. Then I need just soot both tangs and scrape in the high spots till she bottoms. This was one of the more difficult inlets to do, there is a lot of fits going on all at once. I took my time and kept thinking it out as things progressed, and I got a good inlet. No gaps to speak of, and the stock is mounted right and tight, with the drop at heel spot on. Today I ordered the trigger guard. Gunparts had it much cheaper than anything I could find online, we will see about condition, vintage, etc. when it arrives. I need the trigger guard now to continue the stock grip profile as it approaches the grip cap. I also had them throw in the safety push rod, a little early in the build for that part, but I need it to notch the front pillar block to clear. Then I think we are ready to drill for the front and rear pillar blocks and Acraglas them in place.

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Discussion Starter · #123 ·
LC Smith Build--The Triggerguard has Arrived

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Gunpartscorp got the triggerguard shipped right out it arrived Friday last. This unit is not for everybody, but for my build it is perfect. This is new old stock, was originally in the white, now is a nice rusty shade of brown. This is the forging as it would have been supplied to the assembly line. It is not serial numbered, not finished, and I do not believe it is hardened, if indeed they were. I will finish it out along with the rest of the shotgun when the time comes and put the appropriate finish to it, either case colors or rust blue. For now it serves the purpose, providing me with the appropriate profile for the grip as it approaches the grip cap. From there I will be working off of a general assortment of pictures to get the distances and angles right.

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Discussion Starter · #124 ·
LC Smith Build--Fitting up the Trigger Guard and Roughing in the Grip Profile

Hey All
Mrs. 4575wcf and I went down with a cold this week. I brought it home from work, it dropped into our lungs, and we spent a few miserable days. By Sunday though we were up and around and got our fruit trees sprayed, and I was able to get a few hours in on the project.
The new trigger guard threaded into the trigger plate, and threaded up tight clocked out at about 4:00 in the right direction. See Picture #1. By marking the plate where the trigger guard bears on the plate at the screw with a black sharpie and then screwing the guard up tight, a small bearing spot will appear. See Pictures #2 and #3. Removing just this bearing spot a bit at a time brings the guard in time where it should be, Picture #4 absolutely tight on the screw and lined up to drop into the trigger guard tang inlet. Next the grip profile of the stock is cut down and roughed in until the guard bears at the grip in it's relaxed position, Picture #6, versus pulled up tight to the rear of the trigger plate, Picture #5. Monday morning we will set the stock up in the mill and machine cut the preliminary inlet in for the guard tang.

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
LC Smith Build--Trigger Guard Tang Inlet Continued

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Monday Morning I arrived back at work early, still a bit under the weather, but up and going at any rate. I set the stock up in the mill, and rocked it forward and back as I made the mill cuts. The trigger guard tang measures at .480 wide at the widest point so I used a 7/16 end mill, removing wood within the scribed lines and cutting down a bit deeper in the center to allow for the curve. I stayed just a bit above the estimated bottom surface to allow material for the final fit. See Picture #1, Then I installed a small brass screw with a head just large enough to catch the countersink in the guard. See Picture #2. Next up I will soot up the tang and pull it in place with this small screw, spotting in and improving the fit as it sinks. See Picture #3. The correct sized wood screw will be somewhat larger to get a fresh bite in the wood when the fitting is complete, and the guard tang is sunk flush with the trigger plate. Then the grip profile can be worked down to leave the usual .06 or so wood proud of the inlet as we continue profiling along the grip curve to the lower point of the grip where the grip cap will go on. By using the original curve of the trigger guard as a guide, we will be getting a close approximation of the correct grip profile of the LC Smith FW stock at this point.

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Discussion Starter · #126 ·
Hey All
Figured I better give an update, I have been lax in my posting progress as of late. I am currently moving the gunsmithing bench/vises/etc. to the NW corner of the my shop, I gotta finish and insulate that wall prior to mounting the bench, shelves, etc. Tackling the mess and getting my machine tools out of mothballs, repaired, and set up is coming up on the agenda with retirement looming. In the meantime we got to make up some temporary living quarters in the front of the shop prior to starting the demo on the old house. Once building the new house becomes my full time gig, I'll relax in my spare time working on the project. A bit off topic, but I did score lock plate #1, right hand side for the 1899 Lefever, Uncle Dan Lefever's compensated action. Probably #3 on the build list, that one is a ways out, but I pick up a part now and again for the frames on deck as they come available at good prices. Forging and drilling chopper lump barrels for the LC is my next HUGE home project and I am deeply into the research. I am fully qualified and capable, and I got the plan, but it is going to get VERY involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
LC Smith Build--Sinking the Trigger Guard Tang

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Getting back to the build after a hiatus brought on by Covid 19 shortages. Still I am unable to lay in any Brownell's Acraglas, the product seems to be out of stock everywhere. I have been reduced to getting on Brownell's alert list when the product becomes available again. I am curbing my natural impatience with the situation and moving forward with the parts of the build that I can continue with in the interim. Today the weather was windy and wet here on the Snake River Plain, with not much chance to begin construction on the new pumphouse, so I holed up in the shop and worked on the project instead. The last work I did on the project, where I left off, was to fly cut the buttstock end of the pipe clamp fixture to match the 6 1/2 degree negative pitch of the finished stock. See Picture #1. Once the seasoning checks in the butt are glassed up the stock will be gradually shortened and this fit improved until the length of pull measures exactly 14 inches, butt plate included. Since I now have the guard fitted, the front trigger is obviously sitting about 3/16 inch too far back; I will need to remove a bit of material from the bearing surfaces of the trigger and swing it forward in the trigger plate an appropriate amount and lock it up there. The fitting of the front trigger in regards to length of pull is important, there can be no crowding between the two triggers. You will remember that this was an issue with these triggers in the original plate. In Pictures #2, 3, and 4 the progression of the trigger guard tang inlet is shown as it sinks. The curved underside of the trigger guard tang is something less than 1/16" from bearing on the offset end of the trigger plate now, both surfaces are designed to give a nice blend where the guard enters the wood behind the plate. As the tang sinks, we are removing the proud wood down to 1/16 and carrying the grip profile down and back where the grip cap flat will eventually be. The remnants of the seasoning crack under the grip cap will need glassed up also before we can make the cut for this flat. Patience. . . .
 

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LC Smith Build--The Triggerguard has Arrived

Hey All
Gunpartscorp got the triggerguard shipped right out it arrived Friday last. This unit is not for everybody, but for my build it is perfect. This is new old stock, was originally in the white, now is a nice rusty shade of brown. This is the forging as it would have been supplied to the assembly line. It is not serial numbered, not finished, and I do not believe it is hardened, if indeed they were. I will finish it out along with the rest of the shotgun when the time comes and put the appropriate finish to it, either case colors or rust blue. For now it serves the purpose, providing me with the appropriate profile for the grip as it approaches the grip cap. From there I will be working off of a general assortment of pictures to get the distances and angles right.

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I would think rust blue would be appropriate. Never seen a case colored one on an LC Smith but maybe they made a few. I am really enjoying your project so please keep posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
Hey All
The build is alive and well, but we are still held up on the Acraglas. The Covid scare has the stuff absolutely sold out everywhere. I am currently in contact with a long bow makers forum and have got some leads on other glues. The general consensus about substitutes for Original Acraglas is that there are not any, and the thought of not getting a good hidden bond on the seasoning cracks before I get the butt plate and grip cap fitted and having to go back in gives me hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #131 ·
Hey All
Back after a sizeable hiatus. Mid South finally got in some Red Box Acraglas, honored my backorder, and the product is in transit. As difficult as it is for me to remain on task for so long with one project, this delay did NOT help. Fortunately I have not strayed too far from center. I am starting the new septic system install here in a short while, a huge project, but otherwise hope to keep the build going in some small ways until winter when I will have a bit more time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
Thank you oyeme and philellis2710 for your support. Full retirement is looming in Feb '22, as of right now I already have more time at home than ever before. Getting on a routine schedule, getting the various parts and projects together, getting the business FFL, all must coincide with getting the shop up and going. Too much to do! : ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #135 ·
Midsouth delivered on the Red Box Acraglas, yes the stuff does actually still exist. Mrs. 4575wcf and myself are four feet deep (literally) in the septic dig for the new house, about half the drain field will be dug by the end of today. Once the dust settles, it's back in the shop fighting the good fight trying to get caught up. I sincerely hope the Delta variant of the COVID turns into a flash in the pan and we can be done with this, but coming into the fall/winter months I am something less than hopeful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
Bringing an update. The septic system is dug, all 1200 square feet of drain field, and the initial 6" of drain rock is laid into the first two of four trenches. We rounded up the pipe and supplies. I have completed the trench from the distribution box to the septic tank dig. Next up is the septic tank dig itself, 12 1/2 feet by 7 3/4 feet by 3 1/2 feet deeper than the tank outlet. Then to get the tank delivered, everything piped and fitted up, get an open drainage test done for the inspector, and then we can begin filling the dig back in. Big, big job but getting it done. . . Then back in the shop for the winter and get a bit of gunsmithing going again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #137 ·
Bringing another update. The septic tank dig is done, taking delivery of the tank Tuesday. Compacted and set the distribution box, nearing the point of hooking everything up, getting the test and start the process of filling the holes up. Still part timing it at work until Feb '22, then full retirement and back on the shop in a big way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #138 ·
Septic tank is in. Right, tight and dead nuts level. I took the time to do an accurate dig, scrape level in on undisturbed earth and compact 4 inches of 3/4 minus in the bottom to discourage any shifting or sinking. Pays to get these brutes right first pop, 14,000 pounds of concrete tank is a bit daunting to try to move later. I lost a brother in law a couple days ago, ten years older than us. Broke a tibia on his part time job, we are thinking a clot came loose and got him. That gave me a bit of focus and perspective!
 

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Discussion Starter · #139 ·
Hey All
The septic system flew through inspection early this week, now we are covering up everything pending hook up.

Too windy here on the Snake River Plain to do anything outside, the temperature is mild 50's but 18-20 MPH winds prevent getting too carried away outside. Seemed a good day to glue up the seasoning cracks in the stock where we left off with the LC Smith project awhile ago.

Picture #1, Good old Red Box Acraglas--the original, the best, but recently the hardest to get it seems. After months of back order it finally arrived.
Picture #2, The first step is to get out some thin hardwood wedges to open the seasoning cracks as much as possible (without extending them) to allow the glass to flow well. This was a scrap of 1 1/2 wide beechwood that I had lying about, pointed up with a farriers rasp and 80 grit paper.
Picture #3, The resulting wedge is sawed off to a usable length, 1 inch plus something, and widths as needed are split off with a large pair of front nippers.
Picture #4, The wedges are driven in 1/8 or so into each seasoning crack, exercising judgement by feel, just how far they can be driven in without making the seasoning crack split further.
Picture #5, All duct tape is no longer created equal. The original tape that resembled a strip of thin canvas with silver metal doping has been replaced by tape that resembles a thin strip of vinyl. For our purposes we need the stiffness of the original tape to provide a dam around the sides of the stock, and enough stickiness to block the glass from escaping around the ends of the stock. I found this black duct tape, called Irongrip Construction Grade at my local hardware store. It worked great but was not cheap at about $12 for the roll. I'll take a moment here and endorse this tape, it is a marvelous product for the application, working just like it should.
Picture #6, With the wedges driven in, and the end of the stock taped all around with 1/4 or so sticking off the end providing a dam, and the stock clamped up with the end level, we are set to go. The temptation is there to try to glue the pistol grip crack at the same time we have the glass mixed. . NO. Any attempts to pull off one of these crack filling jobs without the work being pretty darned level--well you are going to have Acraglas on everything you own. We'll save the grip area crack for another day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #140 ·
Hey All
Okay we are all prepped so time to mix up the Acraglas. Brownell's lists a working temperature of around 68 degrees Fahrenheit for their product, and that is about right. I had the Acraglas stored in the shop at about 55 degrees, I brought it into the house and did my mixing and coloring there, then back out to the shop for the actual pour, then back in upright by the wood stove for the filling, clamping, drying phase.
Picture #1, Accurate measurement of the 1 to 4 parts resin to hardener ratio is important to get the full strength potential of the glass, so I poured 2 teaspoons into the provided medical cup, and added 1/2 teaspoon hardener.
Picture #2. I always give the glass a good brisk stirring for an actual timed 2 minutes, erring toward more stirring rather than less, then the brown dye is added and more stirring takes place. A little of the provided dye goes a very long way, so add the very minimum amount you can squeeze out. Add more as you go but easy does it, when the mix begins to go brown it really takes off. The glass will lighten a bit in color as it dries, so a very slightly darker color than the original wood will turn out about right.
Picture #3, The pouring takes place, puddling the Acraglas up in the areas where the cracks are in order to allow a quantity to sink in. The glass will be about the consistency of pancake syrup at this point, and you have a full 15 minutes to get it poured in place before any hardening takes place. This applies only to the 68 degree recommended temperature by the way. In this picture the glass has been poured, and the project removed to the warmer environment next to the wood stove.
Picture #4, At the first sign that the Acraglas is beginning to jell, the wedges are pulled and the holes where they were will begin to fill as the glass begins to settle and level itself. Small bubbles will appear at places along the cracks as the air is displaces, I keep these bubbles popped to avoid voids in the fill, once bursted they will immediately settle and fill as the glass does it's thing. I continue to work the glass with a popsickle stick, keeping a quantity mounded over the cracks until such time the glass is setting up and getting firmer, usually at around an hour.
Picture #5, At this point we clamp, a line of glass forced up and out of each crack is a sign that we got good penetration. Now we give the works a full 24 hour dry time to reach full strength before we begin to fit the butt plate and cut into the area. Any cracks that appear or reappear as we begin to work the stock down will require a repeat performance, but since Acraglas bonds so well to itself, we are out nothing but time, and can continue to fill until we arrive at the level of work we want to see.
 

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