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No.4 Mk.1 forestock wood question

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boomhauer View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 02 2014 at 6:02am
he!!o- Just acquired my first Enfield and I'd like to get the entire stock to match. the upper handguards and the buttstock are a dark wood-I'm guessing walnut- and match pretty good but the forestock is a bit lighter, maybe beech or birch, not real sure. I've checked Numrich and Libertytree and a couple others and they have forestocks for between 30-40 bucks but I'd like to make sure they are the right type wood. Now Ive got another question- can the forestock I have be stained to match? Thanks-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2014 at 9:45pm
The lighter wood is beech and is less common of the wartime dated guns Beech was the most common on the Post War No4 Mk2s. With most dealers you can phone in an order and specify
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2014 at 10:08pm
Beech or birch can be stained darker, but it won't quite match actual Walnut. I used Birchwood-Casey "Rusty Walnut water based stain" its diluted 1:1 with water & applied to a degreased wood surface. You have to do 2 coats with it diluted, one coat at full strength doesn't penetrate. To degrease the wood wipe down with J-cloths whetted with "Yellow Heet", which is denatured alcohol. Leave to dry thoroughly then re-oil with linseed oil afterwards.

The top butt is stained birch, the bottom one walnut to give you an idea how close you can get.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote boomhauer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2014 at 3:35am
Thanks for the info- wow my buttstock and handguards are sure a lot darker than that. But they are in good shape, just a few dents, so really all I have to work on is the forestock which has seen more abuse. I'm going to have to clean and sand it anyway and maybe not do much to the rest. How dark was that wanut buttstock when you started? Again, thanks-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2014 at 4:49am
It'll probably lighten a lot if you wipe it firmly with alcohol-soaked J-Cloths. Much of the dark is frequently dirt trapped in the oil so by removing the dirty oil you get to see the wood. That stock is about natural, its is darker because of the finish when unfinished it was a hot chocolate powder mix color.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2014 at 5:21am
If this is the rifle that shoots well, be careful about changing bits of wood work; you could upset the bedding and have a negative effect on the accuracy. A scruffy rifle that shoots great is better than a great looking rifle that shoots badly. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote boomhauer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2014 at 11:09am
Didn't realize these old military (hate the word surplus, kind of does them an injustice) rifles had bedding in the stocks. Is it just Enfields or do others have bedding? I've been taking apart Mausers (and Mosins) for a couple of years to  refinish stocks and never noticed any bedding. Is it just how the wood is cut where the barrel rests?  Tell me more-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2014 at 8:03pm
Maybe bedding is the wrong term for the standard rifle, however there is a required up pressure onto the barrel from the fore stock wood and an excellent fit is required on the draws to recoil lug and wrist face. If any of that is off the shot groups will suffer. Any unwanted contact between the barrel and the forestock at the side of the barrel will upset the group as well.
I'm still gaining experience with this on my own projects; for example, I stripped my No8 .22 rifle to clean up and re oil the wood work. After refitting, my average scores dropped from 96/100 to 92/100 on the 50 metre range (same batch of ammo) I found that the wood had swelled slightly with the linseed oil and was putting over 7 lbs of pressure on the barrel, I corrected this to 2.5 lbs and the rifle now shoots 98/100 on average.
The larger calibre rifle will be affected more due to the stronger shock waves from the firing and it's up pressure is different from the .22 about 4 to 7 lbs was original spec I believe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2014 at 8:54pm
Bedding just means exactly matching the wood to the metal. Mausers are different from Enfields because of the one piece Vs two piece stock, but both are in need of bedding.

I'm in the process of rescuing a No5 that someone who didn't understand bedding botched by dolloping big blobs of plastic in the wood & clamping the action into without bothering to align it.Censored
http://www.enfield-rifles.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=7012

There is a thread on here in the info for new owners section about bedding Enfields.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote boomhauer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2014 at 2:52am
Interesting. The things you don't realize when you jump into gun projects. I mean I check out a lot of you tubes but I learn more it seems from asking dumb questions on these forums. Thanks for your patience with this newbie, I will definetly check out the thread on Enfield bedding.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2014 at 3:28am
we are all new to something! I'm only just getting into the technical side of these rifles. My No4 Mk1/2 has been "regulated by Fultons" which basically means it's had extra bedding and special attention by one of England's finest gunshop's based at the Bisley shooting range. That was probably done in the 60's but that rifle is very accurate,(more accurate than I am actually,although I'm working on my technique) 
Apart from regular cleaning, I have no intention of removing the wood and disturbing it because I'm not convinced I loose some of that accuracy by messing with it. It can shoot 1 MOA in the right hands. 

I have a project rifle that I'm learning with; it's a No1 MkIII*. When I bought it it was shooting around 12 MOA. More like a shot gun target! A re barrel got it to around 5 or 6 MOA and now I'm starting to work on the bedding of the fore end because the wood has been replaced prior to my purchase and basically had not been fitted up properly. Just cleaning up the barrel contact and draws has got it shooting about 4 MOA. But the up pressure is too low and I've more to do with the standard fit before I look at "Extra" bedding. If I can get it to 2 MOA I'll be very happy, but it's a challenge!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2014 at 5:00am
There are essentially 2 techniques.
Modern, which involves removing wood, adding fiberglass or epoxy & inserting the greased barrel & action. Its held in place with disposable jigs or spacers till the epoxy sets then removing the shimming used to have it act as a mold.
Traditional, where various shims & spacers are fitted in areas needing attention to get the "perfect fit" between wood & metal. Shims can be oiled or she!!acked paper, cardboard or brass & aluminum sheeting of various thickness as required.
I prefer the trad style because you can remove & re shim till you get the desired effect, then glue them in permanently. The glass is a one shot & done method so you better be darn sure its right before you do it.Pig
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mike16 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2014 at 7:50am
Grease is good but I have had some success with bee's wax. not as messy and depending on what type of grease... it can stain the wood and petroleum based greases can damage the wood.
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