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Post some photos of your fore end, it’s hard to play Doctor if you can’t see the patient.
Thanks for the advice so far, much appreciated.

As per your request:



I'll be gluing these cracks with Gorilla glue and a clamp. I really want to avoid using screws, but I will if I have to.



From the top. Notice the draw on the right.



Top-front. The draw on the right is shiny because the wood has been compressed so much at that point, you can sort of see it here.

And lastly:



The barrel is touching the forestock on the left rear and front right of the stock.

So where do I begin?

EDIT:After reviewing some sketches of the links provided, I can see what I have to do about centering the barrel in the stock. This all seemed like voodoo science to me until I had a look at the drawings. I can even see the area I need to sand/file in the first pic.

Is the barrel off centre because the right draw is too long? It would make sense to even them up and shim accordingly... no?
 

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DO NOT use Gorilla glue, it expands and will force the crack open even wider (don’t ask me how I know this)

Use “Super Glue” to repair your stock, super glue is used today to build flying balsa wood models and actually “welds” the wood together. The super glue seeps into the surrounding area of the wood cell structure and bonds just like a metal weld. Wood glues, contact cement and Gorilla Glue only adhere or bond to the surface area. Clean the area to be super glued with acetone to remove as much dirt and oil finish products as possible, I dip a Q-Tip in acetone and saturate the area and when the Q-Tip stays clean and white you are read for gluing. The cleaning with acetone will remove any oil from the wood pores and allow the super glue to penetrate deeper and bond better to the wood.
On your Savage I would start by marking and remove the king screw bushing or forward trigger guard bushing, it is very likely too long and a big part of your bedding problem.

Please look at your photos below, the receiver appears to be touching in the top of the photo (No.1) indicated by the shiny wood and also at No.2 & 3. If the stock is touching the right side of the receiver at No.3 this is a barrel centering problem.



The correct contact areas for bedding are the gray areas below for standard military bedding. The added red areas are where your rifle is contacting. Your receiver is dropping down too far in the rear and the rear draws area is only touching at high center and lower right (another barrel centering problem)





Super glue your cracks and shorten your trigger guard bushing and then recheck your bedding contact points.
 

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The stock is touching the reciever in all the areas you indicated.

Thanks for the advice. I'm glad I read this before I used the Gorilla Glue. I never thought Super Glue would work on wood because it's too porous. Is there a certain brand you use?

(They said the Gorilla Glue expanded, isn't that what clamping is for?)

I shaved and sanded the very rear of the forestock on the right side to remove the high areas and even things out. Is doing this the ONLY way to properly center a barrel?

I also took some hard cardboard from an expended ammo box, cut it to shape, and shimmed the draws to even them up and get rid of the fore-aft movement in the stock. It's a temporary fix to see what works before I can find some formica or brass.

Doing both of these things has improved the barrel's position in the stock.

I also checked my king screw bushing using your marking method, and the screw only goes about 1mm past the old mark, so I guess I don't need to trim much.

Also... will adding too many shims to the draws crush the rear of the forend with time? I definately don't want those cracks coming back again... or maybe the centering problem caused the cracks...?

Now, if only I new how to do this to a P-14 as well, I'd be set. :D
 

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“I shaved and sanded the very rear of the fore stock on the right side to remove the high areas and even things out. Is doing this the ONLY way to properly center a barrel?”

I want you to slow down and think for a moment, you are dealing with wood shrinkage and you removed even more wood. You want to ADD to the low areas and NOT remove any from the high areas for starters.

Standard military shimming is done at the forward part of the draws and this does two things, it tightens the draws area and also centers the barrel. And also remember once you remove wood you can’t put it back, play it safe and add to the low spots.

The very rear of the fore stock below the reinforcement strap should be touching the receiver socket evenly and it should take or absorb the recoil forces. Your stock shrank and you had an air gap between the stock and receiver socket and the lug area of the draws then took all the recoil pounding.

In hobby stores that carry super glue you will see three viscosities or three thicknesses of super glue, I use the thin and medium for gluing or bonding wood, the thick is for gap filling.
 

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Very true. In my defence, not very much was removed, only a few thin shavings and some light sanding to even things out. I may add some thin rubber sheet to the back of the stock.

Is adding RLO *after* I glue going to affect the bond at all?
 

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The only thing that will affect the super glue is acetone and that is used to remove it. On stocks or areas that require thin shims I use the brown paper from grocery bags and super glue them in place. This idea came from the 1931 Instructions for Armourers and varnish and brown paper were used back then to tighten the stock up.

The Canadian Marksman was written around 1964 and the photo below is from the 1984 Canadian Maintenance Manual under competition bedding. The barrel centering method by removing wood from the very end of the fore stock was discontinued and wooden dowel pins were then used to center the receiver.

(NOTE: Thin wood shims can be used along the sides of the receiver as a “no drill” centering method.) ;)



I prefer the “do no harm” approach when working on the bedding and try to keep every thing as close to original as possible. Super glue shims can be removed if things go wrong but you can’t put wood back once it is removed.

Super glue shims can be sanded, filed and scraped with a razor blade knife and be adjusted and fitted, and if need be can be totally removed. The super glue shims can be added to both ends of the draws to tighten up the fore stock bedding and center the barrel

Below are brown paper shims that have been scraped to fit the lug area of the draws. Also bass wood shims (non-standard bedding) have been added between the receiver and fore stock, after bedding and shooting the upper shims will prevent further upward movement as the stock settles in. This prevents the loss of up pressure at the fore end tip and keeps the bedding stable for constant shot placement or accuracy.




Below the shiny areas are contact points where the fore stock is touching the receiver socket, the left side needs a brown paper shim added to even the contact area. The area below does not need to be touching 100% but contact on both sides should be equal



Below are photos from my wood deck and show the board gaps and wood shrinkage, if your wood is not protected and in the case of your stock kept well oiled it will continue dry out and shrink.

 

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Thanks alot. If it weren't for your posts I would have gone out, bought a different forestock, centre bedded it, and stained it to match. This has saved me alot of time and effort, and now I know alot more about how the stock works with the rifle.

I picked up some formica samples from the Home Depot, cut them to shape, and installed them in the forward draws area. The barrel is now centred perfectly. I'll add some thin shims to the rear reciever area as well.

Thanks for the advice!
 
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