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 Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build

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FrontierGander
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PostSubject: Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build   December 26th 2017, 3:36 pm

Dec 26th 2017



This is not a  step by step build! In this build, I will highlight typical problem areas I have run into and how to fix them & where you can make improvements.
Traditions St.Louis Hawken

.50cal

28 Barrel - 1:48 Twist


First thing I started with was the de burring process. I use both sand paper ( 100 - 150 - 220 grit ) and a sharp wood carving tool. I have both flat and half round carving tools which makes fine detailed wood removal easier. Wood scrapers also are a huge help.



After using multiple scrapers & sand paper, the stock channel, lock and tang are smooth and ready to be bedded later on in the build.


With the stock channel ready, I moved onto the lock and was very surprised to see that this rifle, only needed sand paper and a little rubbing in order for the lock to drop right into place. I did open up the inletting a little towards the front. Once I wet sand, stain, apply finish, the wood will swell and cause a  tight fit, which then causes you to have to go back with a  scraper and remove a little finish. I prefer to avoid removing finish whenever possible.



Moving on to the nose cap, I did both, file down the wood and de-burr the inside of the nose cap. We can see here in the wood that if we tried to simply put the nose cap over the wood, we would be in trouble as the burrs or castings, is course and interfering with the wood to metal fit. Two things can actually be done. #1 is to remove the burrs with a small dremmel tool which is very easy. #2 you can actually measure how much slag there is in the nose cap. Say it it is 1/8" long, simply remove 1/8" or slightly more from the wood of the stock. I used the dremmel way and removed the brass slag that was left over from casting.


Also, the nose cap had to be widened just a bit in order for the barrel to slip down in between the nose cap.


Moving on to the trigger guard, I used a curved wood chisel and mark around the trigger guard and carefully cut the wood away to allow enough room for the trigger guard to slip into place. Any minor fitting, you can always file the brass as its a lot easier and less risk at cracking the wood or removing to much. ALWAYS inspect the trigger guard and remove any casting marks. Use a long center punch and mark the wood through the trigger guard screw holes so you can have a pilot hole when drilling the holes out for the trigger screws.


Power tools may be faster but they also make small mistakes, it huge mistakes.



When you get your kit and find the patch box sticking out pretty good, have no fear! Traditions uses a filler under the patch box to keep it from buckling in the middle section. Remove this puddy, reinstall patch box and with a wooden dowel, gently tap around the edges of the patch box until its seated slightly under the wood. Brass that does stick out, can be filed down flush with the wood.



Moving on to the barrel channel, Once I had it sanded and the barrel inletted perfectly, I used Johnsons Floor Wax and lightly coated the barrel and let it dry. Once dry, I mixed up some JB Weld ( original dry in 6 - 8 hours ) and used a stiff bristle paint brush and coated  the barrel channel. Do not bed all the way back! There some be some room in order for the barrel to pivot in order to remove the barrel for cleaning after you are done shooting. Once the Bedding was spread out as evenly as possible, I installed the barrel and the wedge key and patiently waited. If there are any voids, You can fill that area with more epoxy and lay the barrel ( wax it again! ) in place and wait for it to dry once more. Small voids are not an issue.


Kit guns come with a lot of extra wood that needs to be removed! I used a rough rasp, fine tooth file and of course, sand paper to take this extra wood out. Do not round off or contour this extra wood! It must be removed if you want it to look properly.


In some cases, you will also have to remove brass, rather than wood. Perfectly normal.



Last edited by FrontierGander on January 2nd 2018, 7:25 pm; edited 5 times in total
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FrontierGander
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build   December 27th 2017, 9:39 pm

Got the lock, trigger and tang screw installed tonight. I almost had a fit and the lock kept getting TIGHT to the point I had to wank back hard in order for the fly to drop. After taking my other 2 rifles apart and swapping parts and testing, I decided to put the original lock in with some grease. I found a rub spot made by the tumbler that sticks out slightly past the bridle. I used some hot glue in the lock inletting and then dropped the lock flush to the wood and waited for it the cool. Screwed the lock into place and she was perfect! I will use a much better material to shim the lock, and remove a little extra wood as added insurance. WHEW! My face finally has some feeling after that stress.
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build   January 11th 2018, 10:28 am

Haven't done much work on this one due to some neck/nerve issues Im having, but I did take a chance a while back and did something crazy. Rather than do the traditional round bottom stock, I went at it with a file and left a slight fish belly towards the last 4-5 inches of the stock. I still have work to do by the trigger area, but it really has come along very well. A lot of grain raising to do and knock down for a smooth finish, but its all down hill from that point. Ordered all the extra parts needed and of course, tow was out of the wood ramrod that we needed headslap

I also ordered some upgrade screws. I ordered 2 extra long lock plate screws from deer creek and a hardened Tang screw that is extra long as well. I will cut these down to be a perfect fit once everything is ready. Lyman non adjustable rear sight ( have to cut dovetail ) LMF brown solution for the barrel and tang. I decided to leave the lock with the factory color case finish. I put it on my dark Hawken and it looked superb.

Got to do a little trigger polishing as well, but as I said, I got a lot of the hard work knocked out before my neck took a crap on me. Doctor tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build   January 17th 2018, 4:01 pm

Picked up some colonial maple stain today, might be to light for this white color wood, but we will find out after a number of coats. I'm testing on oak right now and it looks very natural yet brings out the darker figure. Very pretty. I may go with the chocolate brown barrel, buffed down brass with a little brass antiquing that my friend Dave showed me how to do. 

Not looking for a blonde color stock, so we will see over time. 

This rifle BTW may be my final build due to neck issues I recently found out about.
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Smokin' Joe

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build   January 17th 2018, 6:00 pm

Jon, I'm not sure what hardwood the stock is made from but I was wondering if Aquafortis would give it that darken and antique look for you.  I know generally it used on curly maple but your stock look like it has some interesting grain textures.  Also  https://kiblerslongrifles.com/collections/finishing-supplies
has some "Bone Black" that might be interesting to apply to certain parts of the stock to age it a little.

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Semper Fi……..

Pennsylvania Fowler Flintlock .62 Cal (46" Oct to round barrel)
Isaac Haines .54 cal. (38" swamped, 1:66 twist barrel). Build in progress
Investarm Hawken .54 cal. Percussion
CVA Accura MR nitride .50 cal. - 2-8x32 Nikon Monarch 3
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build   January 18th 2018, 1:01 pm

Its Beech but I am not 100% sure how well the aquafortis would do. I know I've read about using it on this wood, but I'd have to research that again and see some results.
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build   January 18th 2018, 6:50 pm

Removed a good chunk of wood that had to come out in order for the trigger area to be complete. After that, I used 150 grit sand paper, hit the entire stock, used a wet wash cloth to wipe the wood down and raise the grain. Once it was dry, I hit it with 220 grit and tested for any issues ( scratches/bumps) with a light coat of walnut stain. After seeing that everything was ok, I laid down a heavy coat of walnut stain and hung it up in the living room by the wood stove for the night.

Tomorrow, I will test the color with boiled linseed oil and gently buff the stock to remove any heavy deposits of stain, covering the wood grain. And WOW! I had no clue the wood grain was actually really darn good on this stock.


After the stain dried, I took a soft towel and rubbed the stock down hard to remove excess stain ( alcohol based stain ) and then tested the color with some boiled linseed oil. Once I saw it, I knew the color was perfect! I will use TruOil which will enhance the colors even more when finished. This is just some linseed oil that sat on the stock for 15 minutes before being wiped off. I will do this once more before setting it to the side and using TruOil.

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Smokin' Joe

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PostSubject: Re: Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build   January 18th 2018, 9:36 pm

I agree, the color looks great!

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Joe

Semper Fi……..

Pennsylvania Fowler Flintlock .62 Cal (46" Oct to round barrel)
Isaac Haines .54 cal. (38" swamped, 1:66 twist barrel). Build in progress
Investarm Hawken .54 cal. Percussion
CVA Accura MR nitride .50 cal. - 2-8x32 Nikon Monarch 3
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build   January 19th 2018, 12:24 am

That is looking nice  Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Traditions St.Louis Hawken Kit #2 Build   January 19th 2018, 10:12 am

Really love the hook on the wrist that I added! You never know how well you did until the stain goes down. Very clean and uniform on this one. I wish I had done this on my Hawken.


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