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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Little rain on my parade.

I got this 41 Lithgow from another forum member here: SOLD - WTS: Lithgow No 1 Mark III* - 1941 - SOLD

I took it apart for the first time yesterday to inspect before taking it to the range and.... It seems that even though the seller, user hatrick, took the rifle apart when other prospective buyers asked about recoil plates, he somehow failed to notice that:

  • the buttstock bolt is rounded off and at 45 degrees.
  • that the reinforcement plate on the forend is missing (would not fit over the bolt as it is now)
  • that there additional cracks in the forend indicating someone tried to take buttstock off without taking forend off first.

Curious...

The long crack from front of the trigger guard was also apparently not visible when he inspected and photographed the rifle, so that will likely also need repair.

I already ordered a replacement reinforcement plate, but before I start getting happy with epoxy of titebond, how do I do this right?

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Sorry, but the photos he posted clearly show extensive damage to the forend.
The wood is broken and missing around the front trigger guard screw (due to damaged draws)
The draws look to be 'glued' in (you can see trails of resin or araldite on both draws where they attach to the forend
The piece between the draws (near the bottom) is damaged.

They are just the faults that can be seen from the 'inside'.

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When you look at your photo showing the 'rear' of the forend, you can see that the RH side draws has completely become diconnected from the forend.

Thats is a rifle where anyone should have kept their hands in their pockets and walked smartly away.

In the UK we have laws about products (even secondhand) & they MUST be 'as described' and 'fit for purpose'

Do you have such protection in the USA ?
Will the seller do the decent thing and refund your money ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I reached out to the seller and we agreed to chalk this up to lack of experience with SMLEs and Coachwood stocks, on both sides. I should probably have known enough to walk away after the pictures he shared showed the resin residue. To his credit he didn’t just tell me to go pound sand and we also agreed on small value adjustment.

Having said that, is the stock really beyond saving here ?
 

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It can be saved. How good are you at woodworking and how are you set for tools?
As far as the buttstock bolt is concerned, lose the square lug on your bench grinder. Then buy a stock bolt lock washer for a No4 rifle.

Sharpen up your small chisels and knives. You're going to need to refit the recoil plates after the basic stock work is done.
 

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If you like projects, read up, watch some you tube videos, buy the right glue, have the tools, this is an excellent project. Had great fun making from a brass plate and installing the blocks on a Lithgow stock having never done it. Good luck, great covid/winter project
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It can be saved. How good are you at woodworking and how are you set for tools?
As far as the buttstock bolt is concerned, lose the square lug on your bench grinder. Then buy a stock bolt lock washer for a No4 rifle.

Sharpen up your small chisels and knives. You're going to need to refit the recoil plates after the basic stock work is done.
I'm not following to stock bolt lock washer comment. I can understand rounding off the buttstock bolt's end, rather than trying to turn it by 45 degrees. Then the bearing plate can be installed. Are you saying that the drawes need to be cut out completely and rebuilt? Same for the recoil plates?

Some references:

Milsurps Knowledge Library - Worn draws in your No1, 4 or 5 fore-end .... (by Peter Laidler)
 

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Recoil plate adjustments or placement:

Repairs to the lower stocked links


I second these a must read.
best source: Milsurps Knowledge Library - Worn draws in your No1, 4 or 5 fore-end .... (by Peter Laidler)
Another good one from above

another Educational Zone #57 - Repairing a Split Stock - The Box O' Truth

All of the above should get you in the right direction. Use proper epoxy no cheep glues.
Remember use Brownells Acraglas, Devcon, clear, 2 ton epoxy, or a high grade marine epoxy. see some tricks here for cracks:
link: repost link, How to fix a stock Crack - Surplus Rifle Forum - www.surplusrifleforum.org
 

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Your stock bolt is may be too far out, remove it and see if you have to grind down the end. You need a big dady dog screwdriver to get the bolt out. There may be a washer on top of the screw that should be removed first.

also see Butt Stock Removal
Also view this lower post.

More than you want to know about fitting a Enfield stock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks 72 usmc,

The recoil plate, some Devcon epoxy and M2.5 and M3 brass threaded pins are on the way. The drill+dowel approach from the posts you linked is likely going to work on the king screw bearing area, from the inside. The drawes are a different matter thou. If possible I would try to avoid adding another pin through the stock , but I have the materials to do so. Still, the only area where this is possible all the way through is the current pin location.

First idea. I wonder if I could drill and thread in 4 reinforcing pins , at 45 degree angles under the recoil plate , driving toward the outside, but not through the outside of the stock. Take the look at the below picture. The blue are the cracks. The red are possible pin locations. At an angle from inside out, when looked at from above, toward the outer surface of the stock, but not through it. Brass 2.5mm or 3mm threaded rods, threaded into the drilled pilot holes with epoxy added. Then the reinforcement plate goes on top. The length of the pins would be only about 1cm at most. Could that work?

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The second idea is to do brass pins from the outside. Straight in, but not through the full stock, but just through each draw. These would be visible from the outside unfortunately, but would look like other brass repairs hopefully. One or two in each. One probably, in the rear, so not to interfere with the screw holding the recoil plates. I have both 2.5mm as well as 3mm brass threaded rod I can use for this. Together, with the back recoil plate, could this work? The blue in the second picture are the 45 degree pins in idea #1 above. Just for reference. I would do one or the other, not both.

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I would suggest degreasing all the wood inside the stock. Looks to be a fair amount of dried oil,grease and crud. No wood glues just good epoxy and Brownells Acra Glass Gel. If you go the dowel route Grizzly does sell walnut dowels. Both with the end grain and face grain.
 

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Ideally the only repair is the cut out and rebuild / replace the entire draws on both sides.

You have nothing to loose by trying your suggestions, except that when / if the draws do fail you will split the forend forward of the front trigger guard screw (which needs re-building anyway)

If your repairs don't work, and I dont think it will be suffcient to withstand the recoil, then you will still need to replace either the draws and the area around the front trigger guard screw (that is already missing) or, replace completely the forend with another.

Fitting a new forend will still require reasonable cabinet making skills and good tools as each rifle was hand built and the forends are different on every rifle.

Personally I know my skills do not extend to being able to make a good enough job to rebuild draws - I can do 'woodworking' but this requires to be working to very very tight tolerances and angles.

You may be able to do the repairs properly yourself (but from your suggestions - maybe not) or you may find someone close by who could do it.

For me I know my limitations & this would be a piece that I would pass on and even if I made a financial loss, take the loss as the cost of the education in what to look for.

Good luck whichever route you decide to take.
 

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In regard to the recoil plates, matching the angle of the draws is critical. I was led to believe early on that the set angle matched the angle of the buttsocket. Discovered here that was a misnomer. It's close enough but is off by a degree or two.
Rather than start over, someone showed me how to correct using shims of BLO soaked brown paper. Then firing. Then checking the snug on the screws to compensate for setback.
Be thankful you still have the original plates and screws!

Using a used locking plate from a different rifle could pose other problems. If the through hole in the plate is slightly off, it could telegraph that to the exterior of the wood and the original holes. Gets ugly.
To avoid that, chase the hole through the wood. Then dry fit the locking plate using a probe check to see if the parts align. Hopefully they do. If not, and you're using epoxy anyway, drill the plate slightly over sized allowing your rod to pass through freely. (At this point your plate is only a filler anyway.)
Then assemble using your epoxy, or glass bedding to take up any voids and clamp. Make sure the plate is not protruding rearward from its mortise!
Since you have removed the squared lug from the bolt and opted for the locking washer, you will have no worries about indexing the lug to the plate. So long as when torquing tight the buttstock, the bolt no longer protrudes beyond the buttsocket.
Be careful. Be patient. Look and think ahead. You should do OK.
Keep in mind this is more than an easy weekend project. Go slowly and think on it a bit. Its much much cheaper to take a month than it is to foul up a shortcut. ;)

Oh....a reminder. Clean and degrease as mentioned. For cleaning out the cracks, brake cleaner with a nozzle wand will help with a final flush. Adhesives do not adhere to grease and oils.
Said that for others who might be reading this later.
 

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With so many cracks I would go for a new replacement part and fit the replacement.You have the existing one for the fit and pattern and its recoil plates. I do not think this will work. Are these locations of additional crack plus what you show in the other picture? I am thinking its to far gone. Structural integrity is smoked. Blue shows /are possible cracks? That is nuts. I go with Alan on this one. A replacement.
 

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Maybe 4 pins ( wood or fiberglass from a fishing pole) into the side (upper and middle location) and two brass or steel pins as screws at the bottom that go all the way through and are thin steel screws. (like they on model airplanes) grind off head after they are glued and set. (Just lift??)Plate adjustments with thin cardboard or plastic behind the plate to raise it forward if needed. I still think under normal military loads, it will fail. Is it to hang on a wall or shoot? If for shooting, I would start with a new fore end replacement. You can try a repair, but I would fit a new lower?
 

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Waw44: I've taken this approach on a couple of SMLE's and No. 4's. Chisel out the entire draws area leaving nice large flat areas for glue contact and insert a complete replacement piece. The one shown is maple. In addition to the glue there is a large, side to side dowel for additional support. This one is neither coachwood nor Australian but I like the copper blocks on the draws as it allows for easy fine tuning down the road. The one shown is the original forend from a "Siamese Contract" No. 1 and I've shot it a fair bit with this repair and it remains solid. Radical but the rifle retains it's original appearance with the nice, dark wood. You might argue that collector value has been destroyed, but selling inexpensive LE's up here as unshootable doesn't work well. In any case, forends in this condition were simply tossed in the fire-pit in service- there is no "authentic" repair.

Ruprecht
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see this https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=193342
Coachwood and one in good condition -mission impossible at todays prices. Think Walnut, and add the recoil plates or a you buy another rifle for its stock. Parts have long ago died up. I have not replaced a stock in 12 years. Unfortunately back then there were lots of parts & they were cheep. Even a cheep Jovino rifle is too costly as a stock donator. Springfield spotters is closed, maybe libertytreecollectors or apex. Check around or if you are lucky you will find a forearm at a gun show.
 

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Ruprechts work is a work of art. That type of repair with walnut or another hardwood is a solid solution if you can not find a forearm. Way beyond normal wood carving. Talk about old world craftsmanship. Start with a block and use the old stock as a pattern. I do not even want to think how long and the skill level that took. Think Cheery, Hard maple, or willow blocks
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks!

Drastic, but I see what you did there. This is an option, with additional brass rods for reinforcement. Do you have more pictures, from side, back, bottom...

Yes, the part needs to work mostly in shear with the sides, so a fresh, large glue contact surface is best.

Waw44: I've taken this approach on a couple of SMLE's and No. 4's. Chisel out the entire draws area leaving nice large flat areas for glue contact and insert a complete replacement piece. The one shown is maple. In addition to the glue there is a large, side to side dowel for additional support. This one is neither coachwood nor Australian but I like the copper blocks on the draws as it allows for easy fine tuning down the road. The one shown is the original forend from a "Siamese Contract" No. 1 and I've shot it a fair bit with this repair and it remains solid. Radical but the rifle retains it's original appearance with the nice, dark wood. You might argue that collector value has been destroyed, but selling inexpensive LE's up here as unshootable doesn't work well. In any case, forends in this condition were simply tossed in the fire-pit in service- there is no "authentic" repair.

Ruprecht View attachment 3767316
 
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