AR15.Com Archives
 Shotgun forend help
Pforty  [Member]
10/9/2011 7:46:08 PM
I have always wanted to buy an inexpensive shotgun and refinish it. I finally got my chance about a year ago and re-finished an old stevens side by side. I couldn't get the blueing to come out like I wanted but I was pretty pleased with the stock until I broke it the other day after disassembling it.

Please excuse my vocabulary because I'm not exactly sure what the correct name for the parts are. The forend had stripped out holes when I bought it where the metal screws into it. When I was restoring it, I filled the holes with epoxy and re-drilled the holes thinking this would hold. I noticed that the forend is harder to install and remove than my grandfathers side by side that I have (a fox). Still I thought it would be ok. Yesterday when I was trying to pop the forend off, the epoxy gave way and the metal plate came out :(

What is the best way to fix these stripped out holes (must not be epoxy) so it will hold? Also, what would cause the forend to be hard to remove and install? I put a picture of the barrels here for reference. Did I do something wrong when I refinished it? Please excuse my horrible cold blueing. I think I will try to reblue it again one day.













marc1979  [Member]
10/9/2011 8:43:57 PM
maybe try filling the holes with a wooden dowel rod cut to fit, secured with epoxy or you might try using acraglass or another glass bedding compound. That may hold it in even better. Once you have it sanded and smoothed out re-drill it and install the fore-end spring housing.
Pforty  [Member]
10/24/2011 10:47:45 AM
well on the advice of a co-worker I tried drilling out the holes and filling them with JB Weld. I took the gun and shot sporting clays last weekend and it lasted about 15 shots before the forend came loose :(

I might try the wooden dowel technique next. I just can't believe that it came loose. That JB Weld dried rock hard.

I also noticed that it was really hard to open after shooting both barrels each time. I made sure that I greased the knuckle on the bottom of the receiver. I think mine has the new style plunger. Any ideas why it would be so hard to open?
1saxman  [Member]
11/1/2011 3:05:39 PM
I would start from scratch with that fore end, by stripping all finish/build-up with chemical stripper. Are the screws machine screws? Maybe it's supposed to have something like a T-Nut set in the wood for the screws to thread into - I'm guessing on that, another picture showing the screws would help. Anyway, the next step would be to treat the damaged areas/cracks with Super Glue, the thin, watery kind that will wick into the wood and fill the cracks while leaving a bonding surface for the filler - all damaged surfaces should be coated. The trick to the Super Glue is multiple applications over a period of time, like an hour, refreshing it as it is absorbed into the wood. A point of refusal will occur when it's had enough. That is when you stop and let it cure for a while before putting in the filler, but usually it will be best to do it that same day, maybe within an hour or so, while the SG is still curing.
Then I would fill and reshape the damaged areas back to original contours. At that point the screw holes can be addressed by installing nuts or drilling in case the screws are wood screws. The wood filler could be Minwax 2-component epoxy. I've worked with this over the years and it's extremely tough, but the trick here is to have everything ready so you can mix it and fill the places a few minutes after the last of the SG is put in. This bonds it to the wood. The next day you can work on the shaping without worrying about anything coming loose. Finally, you stain the filler and do the final fitting of the latch.
An additional step mght be good in this case, to use the bedding compound suggested above under the latch plate after everything else is done and fitted. You remove the screws, place the bedding compound, screw it back together, remove the squeezed-out excess and let it cure.
Finally you can stain/refinish the wood as required. You still will need to analyze the fore end latching to see why it's so hard, since this is probably what is tearing it up. You might have to visit a gunsmith rather than just filing on steel without knowing exactly what you are doing. You might find that after the excess finish on the wood is removed and the barrels cleaned up that it latches better.
Covertness  [Team Member]
11/1/2011 3:10:09 PM
Originally Posted By 1saxman:
I would start from scratch with that fore end, by stripping all finish/build-up with chemical stripper. Are the screws machine screws? Maybe it's supposed to have something like a T-Nut set in the wood for the screws to thread into - I'm guessing on that, another picture showing the screws would help. Anyway, the next step would be to treat the damaged areas/cracks with Super Glue, the thin, watery kind that will wick into the wood and fill the cracks while leaving a bonding surface for the filler - all damaged surfaces should be coated. The trick to the Super Glue is multiple applications over a period of time, like an hour, refreshing it as it is absorbed into the wood. A point of refusal will occur when it's had enough. That is when you stop and let it cure for a while before putting in the filler, but usually it will be best to do it that same day, maybe within an hour or so, while the SG is still curing.
Then I would fill and reshape the damaged areas back to original contours. At that point the screw holes can be addressed by installing nuts or drilling in case the screws are wood screws. The wood filler could be Minwax 2-component epoxy. I've worked with this over the years and it's extremely tough, but the trick here is to have everything ready so you can mix it and fill the places a few minutes after the last of the SG is put in. This bonds it to the wood. The next day you can work on the shaping without worrying about anything coming loose. Finally, you stain the filler and do the final fitting of the latch.
An additional step mght be good in this case, to use the bedding compound suggested above under the latch plate after everything else is done and fitted. You remove the screws, place the bedding compound, screw it back together, remove the squeezed-out excess and let it cure.
Finally you can stain/refinish the wood as required. You still will need to analyze the fore end latching to see why it's so hard, since this is probably what is tearing it up. You might have to visit a gunsmith rather than just filing on steel without knowing exactly what you are doing. You might find that after the excess finish on the wood is removed and the barrels cleaned up that it latches better.



This and if the dowel trick doesn't work (which is an old woodworker's trick) you could try threaded inserts and a machine screw to replace the wood screw.

KRONIIK  [Member]
11/5/2011 3:46:16 AM
Originally Posted By 1saxman:
I would start from scratch with that fore end, by stripping all finish/build-up with chemical stripper. Are the screws machine screws? Maybe it's supposed to have something like a T-Nut set in the wood for the screws to thread into - I'm guessing on that, another picture showing the screws would help. Anyway, the next step would be to treat the damaged areas/cracks with Super Glue, the thin, watery kind that will wick into the wood and fill the cracks while leaving a bonding surface for the filler - all damaged surfaces should be coated. The trick to the Super Glue is multiple applications over a period of time, like an hour, refreshing it as it is absorbed into the wood. A point of refusal will occur when it's had enough. That is when you stop and let it cure for a while before putting in the filler, but usually it will be best to do it that same day, maybe within an hour or so, while the SG is still curing.
Then I would fill and reshape the damaged areas back to original contours. At that point the screw holes can be addressed by installing nuts or drilling in case the screws are wood screws. The wood filler could be Minwax 2-component epoxy. I've worked with this over the years and it's extremely tough, but the trick here is to have everything ready so you can mix it and fill the places a few minutes after the last of the SG is put in. This bonds it to the wood. The next day you can work on the shaping without worrying about anything coming loose. Finally, you stain the filler and do the final fitting of the latch.
An additional step mght be good in this case, to use the bedding compound suggested above under the latch plate after everything else is done and fitted. You remove the screws, place the bedding compound, screw it back together, remove the squeezed-out excess and let it cure.
Finally you can stain/refinish the wood as required. You still will need to analyze the fore end latching to see why it's so hard, since this is probably what is tearing it up. You might have to visit a gunsmith rather than just filing on steel without knowing exactly what you are doing. You might find that after the excess finish on the wood is removed and the barrels cleaned up that it latches better.


THIS.
Just be careful not to buy wood "filler", which is a term often used in the cabinetmaking trades to denote any one of several product used to "fill" the porous grain structure in open-grained woods such as ash and many of the oaks, etc. before applying stains or varnish, lacquer, shellac or polyurethane.

And many of the true "wood repair products" such as Famowood are not strong enough for this application. The Minwax 2-component epoxy stuff or other tough epoxy such as Acraglas is what you need here. The Superglue technique as described above to repair the fine cracks before repairing the screw holes is excellent as well, and a hair dryer to heat the wood opens the grain a bit and helps it to flow into the tiniest cracks.

Undercut the stripped-out screw holes with a Dremel if possible before using the epoxy to prevent a tapered epoxy "plug" pulling out with the screw.

Do not use dowels in the screw holes; you'll then be screwing into the end grain of the dowel, which offers very little screw-holding strength. (In the cabinet trades end-grain screws and nails are to be avoided at all cost for that reason.)

Drill the pilot and any necessary clearance holes EXACTLY the correct size and depth in the cured epoxy before driving the waxed screws; you have almost no leeway to fudge hole size here. The screw threads need to have enough wood to bite, yet must not be too tight and spit the forend again. But you need to fix the steel-to-steel fitup problem that's causing the issue before expecting ANY forend wood repair to hold for very long.
Good luck!

Edited to note:
Covertness' s idea for the inserts and machine screws above is also good advise, if it becomes necessary. But you still need to fix the cracks and holes first, and if you do that correctly, you really shouldn't need to go with the brass inserts, IMHO, although they certainly can't hurt in any case.
karlvin08  [Member]
11/6/2011 2:35:29 AM
The advice given on the screw repair was very good and there isn't really anything I can add other than emphasizing creating a mechanical lock with whatever repair material you use by making the hole wider at the bottom than the opening.

As far as the cold blue, I have done it a few times, and it looks to me like you had some contaminants on the metal. The first time I did it I rushed the prep work and had similar disappointing results. When you think you have it cleaned well enough, wash it with dish soap and water a couple of times and degrease it at least two more times. Old metal seems to be able to soak up a lot of oil and it can be difficult to get it all off of there. I usually hit it with brake cleaner a few times, soapy water a few times, then at least twice with whatever degreaser is recommended for use with your blueing. Sometimes I even do it over the course of a couple days to allow oils to come back to the surface. You can get a decent job with the birchwood Casey kits but it takes far more work than most people think. I have an old 311A in 20ga I am going to go over this winter and am thinking about giving Belgian blue a try on it.
Pforty  [Member]
11/9/2011 3:58:38 PM
If I had it to do all over again I would have just sent the blueing out to a professional. I used the Birchwood casey product and I think one mistake I made was I used steel wool that I bought from Lowes right out of the package. I didn't realize that this steel wool has a rust preventative product added to it, so you have to "de grease" the steel wool before you use it. The Birchwood Casey instructions said to strip the old blueing and rust off (that was the easy part), degrease the metal (I thought I had went over it pretty well with the supplied degreaser), rinse the metal in water to remove any lingering contaminants, then apply the blueing solution. After the blueing solution was on the metal for 30-60 seconds, to use steel wool to blend the colors in. That steel wool still had rust preventative on it :(

The screws are similar to these:

http://www.boltdepot.com/Wood_screws_Slotted_oval_head.aspx

I'll try to take some pictures of them this week and post them here.

I've enjoyed doing this and I've learned alot.