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MLE hand guard repair

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englishman_ca View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 20 2017 at 2:23pm
These little items seem to be getting harder to find these days, and when you do find one, they can be expensive.

I picked one up off of 'that' auction site, had it shipped to me in Canada from New Zealand. Vendor described it as cracked and miss shaped from sanding. It would 'do until a better one was found', said the listing. Great sales pitch. I think that I was the only bidder. It cost more in postage than the bid price ( I think that I won it for 1 US dollar). All good, it arrived in quick time on a slow boat from China.
Originally, my intention was to crunch it and use the spring steel clips for another hand guard that I was carving. But the wood was solid, so I thought that I might have a crack at repairing it. If it didn't work out, I could always use it later as a donor and punk the clips.


So yes, it was cracked and somebody had tried to glue it and it cracked again. The nose had been sanded away and no longer hand guard shape.


First thing was to clean out as much of the old glue as possible. I used a dental pick then a toothbrush with acetone. Here I used epoxy for glue with a little bit of brown tint. Clamp it up on a barrel and stock to keep it in position.


Leaving it just glued might hold up for a while. But if the guard is to be installed and taken off again a number of times, the glue would likely crack. So here I am cutting a curf with my hacksaw with three blades installed. I cut the groove, then clean it out with a fine file.


Pieces of walnut with the grain running along their length are now glued into the curf and left to dry.


These little strips of walnut reinforce the glue joint and  prevent it from cracking again.


I cut another piece of scrap walnut and rasped it out out to fit the barrel profile. I could then cut off the weird shaped end of the guard and glue the new piece of walnut in place. The secret to a strong join is making a close fitting joint with as much surface contact as possible. A thin glue line is strongest.


After it was clamped up and left to dry, I rasped the new piece down to the guard profile. Then the fiddley inletting bit of fitting it tight up to the sight bed. 



The thing looks a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, but the joints will all but disappear with a bit of camofluage.


So this is shown with a quick wipe with alcohol based leather dye and one coat of BLO for the finished picture. I'll spend a little more time on the finish. Build up a coating or ten of BLO, then burnish it with a pork chop bone and finally buff it with some of my magic beeswax/turpentine/RLO paste.
It is shown beside a New Old Stock hand guard with a finish that has never been touched, never been on a rifle for comparison.


Other than waiting for the glue to dry, it took about an hour of work and the hand guard is ready to go in the parts bin for another project.

 Robbie, Howzat?
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paddyofurniture View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2017 at 3:12pm
Looks great to me.

You are a master of woodworking.
Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2017 at 6:45pm
i have one for you simon , not a perfect example but one you can put to use , PM me your addy i will post to you as antique carvings if that helps , i want it back on a rifle or the bits recycled to enfield restorations , its one that was replaced by our dear scots friend 
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englishman_ca View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2017 at 8:44am
Well thank you. Let me see what I can do with it. 

It will find a good home, guaranteed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2017 at 3:18pm
ill post this week , 
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