Author Topic: Shrinkage or design?  (Read 852 times)

n stephenson

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Shrinkage or design?
« on: August 12, 2018, 04:25:50 PM »
I was talking the other day with a builder friend , we were discussing early fowlers, when this came up. In Tom Grinslade`s fowler book , there are some fowlers , that the Butt piece overhangs the wood by a tiny amount maybe 1\ 16 or slightly more. Most of these appear to have  uniform overhang around the BP. I have seen the same on a few old rifles , but not to the extent , it is seen on fowlers. We both felt like it was done to afford some protection to the wood. Not saying that it couldn't be shrinkage , but it would have to be pretty consistent shrinkage , for so many to look this way, I would expect to see other "signs" elsewhere on the piece. I realize there may not be an answer , but I wanted to get others input and ideas on this , as I haven't heard a discussion of this before?   Ideas? 

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 05:08:30 PM »
Shrinkage
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Offline smart dog

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 05:18:32 PM »
Hi Nate,
I am sure shrinkage plays a part however, the toe of the butt plate commonly extended beyond the wood to protect the toe of the stock on fowlers, which generally did not have toe plates. The sides and top of the butt plate was flush with the wood. I build that feature into all of my fowlers and muskets. You can see in the photos below of original guns that the extension of the toe is more than any overlap on the sides suggesting the toe overlap was intended.

dave


« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 05:27:16 PM by smart dog »
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n stephenson

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 05:39:05 PM »
In the book , the top views of the butts , shows most of the examples , have the BP overhanging , pretty much up the sides too. What makes me wonder , is that if it is shrinkage? then why is it not seen as much on rifles of about the same age. Many of the old rifles still have patchbox surrounds and such, that are still fairly flush with the BP, I`m sure there  are some exceptions . I have seen the toe  overhang as mentioned on some rifles as well. Not saying that they don`t , but if this was shrinkage , wouldn't there be issues with fitment of other mounts, etc. ?    Thanks Nate

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 06:05:58 PM »
I have a whole passel of DB shotguns and almost all have shrinkage around the buttplate.  The most noticeable shrinkage will occur where the wood is thickest, hence it may not be a evident in the thinner sections of guns.  It also depends on the drying time of the blank before it was made into a gun.  However, you might notice that many inlays stand proud of the wood too.
Dave Kanger

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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2018, 07:19:32 PM »
I'll never believe a buttplate was left proud for any reason. It means you'd have to have the BP off of the gun to shape that area of the stock...didn't happen, takes too much time. You'll notice 1/4 sawn stocks shrink more top to bottom and slab sawn shrink more  side to side. I have seen this phenomenon on guns I have personally built as well as old guns. It's what wood naturally does.

 keep in mind, stocks weren't always ideally cured before they were used back in the day. Also depends on the humidity where they were built VS the humidity where they are now. I used to marvel at how badly Bob Harn's guns shrunk once they got up North where humidity was low and a furnace was used in the winter.

 I always get a chuckle when viewing Woodbury guns with their "imitation shrinkage" at the toe and the toe of the BP is hammered down to over lap the toe of the stock. For what reason I don't know. HH must have seen an old abused gun somewhere and thought it was a nifty idea. ;)
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Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2018, 08:49:49 PM »
I'm with you Mike about the shrinkage.  Hard for me to believe they were made like this.  I think you have the shrinkage backwards for quarter versus slab sawn, though.

Jim

Offline Mauser06

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2018, 08:57:21 PM »
I thought I was loosing my marbles this winter as I was deer hunting with the first rifle I finished..it was it's 2nd hunting season and a portion of the buttplate is proud of the stock. I KNOW I didn't finish it like that.  It's driving me nuts....so I will probably refinish the buttplate.



Offline BOB HILL

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2018, 08:57:56 PM »
I agree with Mike on the direction of shrinkage.  This is the reason quartersawn wood is preferred for flooring. The next time you see an antique round table measure it across and see how round it still is.

 Just as he said it would be more labor intensive to intentionally do this. High humidity is a fact of life down here and Iíve seen a lot of shrinkage in work I did many years ago that I know was not finished like that. Iíll bet when trade guns were being built cheaply in great numbers to come over here a lot of the wood was not fully cured. It would be interesting to compare them to higher grade English workp
Bob
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Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2018, 09:28:21 PM »
I agree with Mike on the direction of shrinkage.  This is the reason quartersawn wood is preferred for flooring. The next time you see an antique round table measure it across and see how round it still is.

 Just as he said it would be more labor intensive to intentionally do this. High humidity is a fact of life down here and Iíve seen a lot of shrinkage in work I did many years ago that I know was not finished like that. Iíll bet when trade guns were being built cheaply in great numbers to come over here a lot of the wood was not fully cured. It would be interesting to compare them to higher grade English workp
Bob

Doesnít make sense what you are saying...  quarter sawn flooring will change in width less than slab sawn.  Quarter sawn stock wood will change less from toe to heel than slab sawn.  Wood shrinks considerably more parallel to growth rings.

Offline BOB HILL

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2018, 10:18:16 PM »
I miss stated that Jim. What I meant to say was that quarter sawn board would shrink less across the  board, but that the wider the board is the more any shrinkage will show any way itís cut. Sorry for the confusion
Bob
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2018, 10:34:19 PM »
I'm with you Mike about the shrinkage.  Hard for me to believe they were made like this.  I think you have the shrinkage backwards for quarter versus slab sawn, though.

Jim
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2018, 03:18:12 AM »
My guns from the 1970s and 1980s have shrunk in the buttstock leaving the toes of the buttplate sticking out about 3/32Ē.

Makes sense that buttstocks would exhibit more total shrinkage vertically.  Itís taller than wide. More to shrink. 
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Offline JBJ

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Re: Shrinkage or design?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2018, 08:29:00 PM »