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C grade Restock and Restoration
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Dan May
Sideplate


Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 16
Location: New York

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: C grade Restock and Restoration Reply with quote

Gentlemen,

I thought you may enjoy these pictures of a C grade that I am restocking/restoring. The original parallel comb monte carlo stock was damaged beyond repair necessitating the restock. The top tang and triggerguard were also broken and horribly mangled in the accident requiring the pieces to be welded and recontoured. Sorry about the picture quality, the weather has not been very cooperative in our neck of the woods. If there is interest, I'll post more pictures as the project is finished out.

Regards,

Dan May

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Dan May

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RichardBrewster
Optimus


Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 506
Location: New York

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:50 pm    Post subject: C grade Reply with quote

Dan,

Thanks for posting these pictures. A great and worthwhile project. Please post more pictures as the project moves forward. I have one Lefever with a Monte Carlo stock, a sidecocker that was restocked (I am sure by Lefever Arms) with a Monte Carlo stock after 1893 when the Monte Carlo stock design reached this side of the Atlantic. It is one of my favorite Lefevers.
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terry buffum
Optimus


Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 331
Location: Bend, OR

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks as if you're dong a great save on an unusual gun! Your choice of a stock blank was perfect.

The break at the wrist is all too common on high grade Lefevers, and I don't understand why they happened so frequently. The factory wood certainly appears to have been well selected and as strong as they could have been. Both my highest grade sideplate guns suffered the same fate as yours. One required a restock, the other had plates installed to strengthen the wrist; the result of its renovation is shown in the photo section under the thread title "Clunker Optimus".

Please do continue posting your progress photos.
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ADG
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 162

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful piece of walnut and a beautiful restock, Dan! As others have said, we'll be very interested in following this very interesting project.
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Lefty/lefever/guy
Optimus


Joined: 25 Jun 2009
Posts: 126
Location: Elmira

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, although I have only seen and handled very few C grade Lefever's I must say yours is absolutely the the most handsome and unique in terms of the engraving & game scene layout that I've ever seen! What a great idea to save and restore such an exquisite Lefever gun. Plus your stock work really compliments such a fine piece. Please keep posting more and continued photos throughout this worthwhile restoration! Dan if you do not mind my asking what year and serial # is the gun and what type of opener?
Thanks and please keep us in the loop through out the project.
Lefty/Lefever/Guy
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Fn16ga
Sideplate


Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 28
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes , please keep us posted as work progresses , Beautiful gun and wonderful job !!

Thanks for sharing with us !
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Dan May
Sideplate


Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 16
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for the kind responses, I will keep the pictures coming. I'm prepping the original forend for refinish now. It is salvageable though it needs some crack repair and other attention.

Lefty, the serial number is upper 17,000's making it 1892-93. It is a pivot opener.

I promise to take better pictures next time...

Best,

Dan
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Dan May

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DrBob
Optimus


Joined: 04 Mar 2007
Posts: 621
Location: Fairview, NC

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. That serial number is later than what we have recorded for a pivot lever opener. Can you post a picture of the top lever opener held in the open position?
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Dan May
Sideplate


Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 16
Location: New York

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrBob,

I stand corrected! We had another Lefever in the shop for work concurrently that did have a pivot opener and I mixed them up. This C grade does indeed have a standard rotating top lever.

Best, Dan
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Lefty/lefever/guy
Optimus


Joined: 25 Jun 2009
Posts: 126
Location: Elmira

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:18 am    Post subject: 17,000 Pivot lever Lefever? Reply with quote

Dan, Damn to bad that 17,000 sr.# C grade Lefever wasn't a pivot lever!
That really would have perked up this of late relatively slow Lefever
Forum.
Oh well at least we can look forward to viewing (the pics) of your most interesting C grade Lefever restoration...
Please keep those updated pics coming!
Interested,
Lefty/Lefever/Guy
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 585

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,

That sure is very nice work and a beautiful piece of wood. I noticed a lighter section of wood in the forward section of the broken wrist in your 7th picture. Is that a tenon from an earlier repair attempt?

How would you rate the difficulty of inletting a Lefever vs. other vintage U.S. made sidelock shotguns? I'm assuming you started from a blank since you didn't splice the broken stock back together to use as a pattern for machining in a duplicator.

A couple years ago, I bought two Lefever G grades that were broken in the same place. One was intact when I bought them, but both were busted after FedEx delivered them. The total purchase price was low enough that I kept them rather than return them, but that sure took the fun out of a good deal.
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Dan May
Sideplate


Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 16
Location: New York

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sidebyside16 and all,

The light area is most likely some form of glue from a repair attempt. I received the project as you see it and there definitely was no hope of making a pattern out of the original stock. A fellow stockmaker (and dear friend) did happen to have a pattern stock that was appropriate and we were able to run a rough duplicate to work from. It is good to have friends! In my humble opinion, the Lefever is the most difficult American double to stock. Mainly due to the shape of the top tang, being an "hourglass" shape, one cannot drive the action straight back to head it up. The relationship of the stock face to the rear of the action must be pretty closely established and then the tang is inletted down and slightly back. The factory had the benefit of working with raw metal and manufacturing tolerances designed to assist the stocker in his job. Restocking an already "made" gun leaves little room for error.

Here are some more (and better quality) pics. At this point the sanding is complete and I have since moved on to the sealing and pore filling. The forend has been repaired and prep sanded as much as possible. There is little wood left to work with on the original forend so some compromise is necessary in preparation. The last photo shows where the tang was snapped in two and had to be welded and recontoured.

Thank you all for the kind, encouraging comments.

Best regards, Dan

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Dan May

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RichardBrewster
Optimus


Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 506
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:58 am    Post subject: progress report Reply with quote

Dan, Thank you very much for the pictures of your restocking project as it has progressed. Your comment about the difficulty of restocking a Lefever is very interesting. I wonder if this has played a role in the fact that a "Lefever Reproduction" has not appeared on the market, although I can't off hand think of another side lock or side plate gun that has been reproduced, including L.C. Smith and Baker. Your project at this point shows what a beautiful final result you are going to have. I really look forward to seeing those pictures. A very, very good looking Lefever with dimensions which I hope will work well for you to shoot.
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Fn16ga
Sideplate


Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 28
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan , Absolutely beautiful work ! Again, thank you for sharing .
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www
Sideplate


Joined: 13 Jun 2009
Posts: 92
Location: florida

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:13 pm    Post subject: c grade restock Reply with quote

Will it be a problem to match the forend to the butt? You said you were using the original fore end correct?
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