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  1. #1
    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    How to repair a duffle cut

    This is a restored text taken from an old thread, prompted by a recent private query, but valid for restoring any rifle with a wooden stock. The original had lost all the photos!

    The rifle which led me to assemble this photo-story is an original P53 (photo as bought, it looks better now).



    And this is its lock


    No, NOT a Khyber Pass Special, but an "genuine copy" of a P53 (a.k.a. 3-band Enfield) made in the Kabul Arsenal.

    ??? How come ???

    The ruler of Afghanistan from 1868-1876 was Sher Ali Khan. And an arsenal was set up in Kabul to manufacture copies of Enfield Riflesicon. The lock pictured above was not made by Enfield, but it is of respectable quality, the parts being marked as a set with small dots in the typical 19th century fashion for small batch production.

    The mark towards the front of the lockplate


    is the emblem of Sher Ali Khan. Sher (or Shere) can apparently mean lion (in Afghanistan) or tiger (in India/Pakistan) depending on which animal is of local significance. In either case, the emblem is a symbol of power, and in the Persian/Afghan area it is definitely a lion - not "Hallo Kitty", as was suggested on another forum! So, recalling The Jungle Book, I have named it "Sher Khan".

    The Tughra at the rear of the lockplate


    says, in a decorative way, "Kabl Karkhana(h) 1291". Quite clear, if you spend a happy hour untangling it!
    Translating the words and the Islamic date: Kabul Arsenal 1874.

    Unfortunately, a previous purchaser of this rifle had subjected it to a "duffle cut",


    which brings us back to the subject of this thread:

    How to repair a duffle cut (Part 1)

    The very first things you need are a couple of 1/4" dowel centers. Smaller will be too weak in the dowels. Larger will leave weak walls in the stock after drilling the holes for the dowels. 3/16" would also be OK with metal dowels, but 5/16" would be far too large.


    Buy them, make them, but do not attempt the job without them! For success, it is absolutely vital that the dowel holes in both parts of the stock are perfectly aligned. For that, you must have the dowel centers - and a means of aligning the two halves of the stock!

    Here is the ominous cut.


    And in this case, the hole and slot for the ramrod provide an excellent channel for alignment by using a piece of threaded rod (doesn't have to be threaded - it just happened to fit).


    The other option is to use the barrel channel itself. In fact, using the ramrod channel and the barrel channel will give you the best possible alignment!

    Step 1) Mark the fore-end for the dowels. I chose the fore-end as a starting point, because it is easier to handle than the back end.


    As you can see, I changed my mind about the location of the 2nd hole, because of the weakened cross-section resulting from the cutout for the band-spring.

    Step 2) Mount the fore-end so that the holes will be parallel to the barrel channel. Take great care over this - you only get one try, so it had better be right!
    I am fortunate in having an old Boxford (= Southbend) lathe that has a vertical milling slide that is large enough to clamp the stock. It is a tricky business to get the wood clamped without marring it!

    Step 3) Drill the holes. The holes must be wide enough to take the dowel material that you are going to use, plus about 1/64" oversize, so that the excess glue can be squeezed out when the dowels are pushed in. This also provides a bit of "wiggle room" for alignment. Start with a center-drill, as this provides a cleaner hole than a normal twist drill, which will tend to splinter the edges of the hole.


    Continue with a standard twist drill to a depth equal to the intended insertion length of the dowel, plus about 3/8 to allow for glue piling up at the bottom of the hole!



    (End of Part 1)
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 01-29-2022 at 07:47 AM. Reason: Photo attachments

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  4. #2
    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    How to repair a duffle cut Part 2

    Step 4) Marking the other half of the stock. Insert the dowel centers into the holes in the fore-end.


    Assemble the fore-end with dowel centers and the back end onto the locating device. In my case, that was the threaded rod already shown in Part 1. For a rifle without a ramrod channel, you will have to use the barrel itself. Simply tie the two parts onto the barrel with thick rubber bands or other elastic material.

    Now, making sure that the two halves of the stock are properly aligned, push them together very firmly, so that the back half is marked by the pins on the dowel centers.


    Step 5) Dismantle the assembly and drill the holes in the back end of the stock, as already described for the fore-end. This is probably the most difficult part of the operation, as it is very awkward indeed to get the butt end properly clamped and aligned. Take your time over this.

    Step 6) Check that the holes are properly aligned by reassemblying the two halves on the locating rod or barrel, using a couple of drills instead of the intended dowels. It should be possible to push them together without any binding, and the sides of the cut should match up well-nigh perfectly (OK, I'm an optimist).


    Step 7) Stop and think, before you do something irreversible! What material are you going to use for the dowels? What glue are you going to use. After the glued dowels have been inserted into the holes, it will be too late to change your mind! I used 1/4" beech dowelling, with a ribbed surface to allow excess glue to be squeezed out. If you think that this is too weak, then you could use metal, in the form of a threaded rod (for grip). The only suitable metal available to the normal consumer would be stainless steel.

    But consider this: if something goes wrong with wood dowels, then it would be just about possible to saw the parts apart once more, drill out the faulty dowels, and redo the job. If you use metal dowels, you will never get it apart again without ruining the wood. I therefore advise wood dowels, which are quite strong enough for a target rifle - if the job is done properly. And PVA glue ("white glue") is also quite strong enough, as I have demonstrated elsewhere. Epoxy glues are risky, as they can start to harden up before you have got all parts properly aligned and pushed together. This is one job where you do not want fast-setting glue.

    If you are using the barrel as a locating device, you don't want to glue it to the joint. So cover it with thin tape before...

    Step 8) Apply glue to the face of the cut and one half of each of the the dowels and push them into the holes.
    Apply glue to the the protruding half of the dowels and push the two halves of the stock not quite fully together. Now stabilize this assembly by firmly binding it to the taped-up barrel in the barrel channel and then pushing both halves fully together. A tap with a wooden mallet on a block of wood held against the muzzle end of the stock will assist in getting the ends of the joint firmly together.



    Now you can and should do nothing, but wait until the next day!

    Step 9) Undo the barrel/stock assembly, clean up any glue that has been squeezed out of the joint - which will anyway be invisible, as it is covered by the barrel band.

    And if you followed these instruction, you now have a nearly-invisible repair to the stock. A stock that is perfectly usable for a target rifle.

    FINISHED !
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    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 01-31-2022 at 05:22 PM.

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  7. #3
    Contributing Member Low & Slow's Avatar
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    Excellent description, and depiction. I've used essentially the same technique successfully on an 1898 Kragicon and Gew98 transitional.

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