- Mar 7, 2014
With all respect and kindness to your friend, I think you should ignore his suggestions as to the conservation of your rifle stock. He is suggesting varnish as an adhesive, which is a bad idea. Varnish is a sealer and a top coat. It is not an adhesive and it certainly wouldn't be shock resistant in this application. What it WILL do very effectively is seal the surfaces inside your cracks, so that when they open again, no glue will be able to bind to them satisfactorily. Your main options at that point will be either restocking or permanently hanging on a wall.He did mean the varnish (but being polyurethane the "varnish" solidifies into a plastic layer). I clarified that with him when he first mentioned it. The issue with the adhesives is getting them deep into the cracks....the super glues penetrate but they are brittle andcan't handle shock so that isn't an option.
I am definitely considering dowels (I prefer over metal pins) as an extra measure to add strength. I need to give the cracks another thorough examination (depth, direction, etc) before I commit to a repair job, for sure. Thanks for the advice....it helps to get a variety of opinions and then consider how they best apply to the specifics of the repair job.
One other thought .... I should probably test the polyurethane varnish on some scrap pieces of wood to see how well that works, since it is a rather unusual approach.
All of that having been said, YES, you should definitely test your varnish IN CRACKS on scrap pieces of wood. Use a chisel and light hammer blows to start multiple cris-crossing cracks down grain lines. Then drip the varnish into the cracks and clamp as best you can. When you are satisfied that it has all dried and cured, hit the test piece sharply with a hammer several times right on the end grain. You will be simulating repeated recoils of the barrel into the back of the inlet. Let us know how that goes. Most importantly, if the joints fail as I expect them to fail, try to reglue them with something else at that point and repeat the test. You will see for yourself what I am trying to convey.