Hand Tools Archive

Trouble with the curve

Joe shelton
Pardon my attempt at being literary, but this question is about bending wood. I have recently bent the stocks of two shotguns. The first effort was reasonably good, achieving the bend I wanted but darkening the pistol grip area by overheating. The second try was completely successful.

Both these guns were new, so I had good reason to believe the wood was sound. As I move to older guns, and to guns owned by others, I worry about Bob Smalser's warning (see his Article on this site) that glued repairs will fail when heated for this manipulation.

So, how do I evaluate wooden stocks for the possibility that they have been broken and glued back together? Visual inspection seems the only means, but even my poor skills have yielded some invisible glue lines. And old stocks often have layers of finish and changes in character that can hide defects.

Any ideas?

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