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Butt Treatment for a Lefever Optimus
Unread 12-04-2018, 02:42 PM   #1
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B. Dudley
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Default Butt Treatment for a Lefever Optimus

I had previously posted about the making of a horn grip cap for a Lefever Optimus 10g. that I am restocking. This post/tutorial is about making and fitting horn heel and toe plates for the same gun.

First the butt of the stock was roughed out to the desired length and an appropriate curve shaped into it. A horn buttplate blank was used for the heel and toe plates. A flat piece of horn could also have been used, but I had this blank laying around so it worked well for this. The owner of the gun provided me with another gun he owns that was fitted with heel and toe plates. From that gun I was able to get tracings of the plates to use as a guide template in making the new ones. The horn blank was cut up and each piece was shaped using a half-round file and finished with paper. The backs were then scraped out slightly as to reduce the surface area needing to be fitted to the wood. The back sides of the plates were also sanded to put a slight curve on them.

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Then the heel and toe of the butt were cut off about 1/4" deep down to where the scallops start. The scallops are then marked out and rough cut in with a chisel. Then both surfaces are fine fitted to each plate using inletting black, chisels and scrapers.

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Once both plates are fitted to the butt. They are both tacked in place with a few dots of super glue in order to preserve their fitment when finishing and installing the screws. The excess material is then taken down on the face and the sides. Then the face of the entire butt is given the appropriate contour. Finally the plates are drilled and countersunk for the installation of new screws.

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The above represents about 5 hours of work.
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Unread 12-04-2018, 02:49 PM   #2
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Very nice work.
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Unread 12-04-2018, 02:57 PM   #3
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That is cool!
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Unread 12-04-2018, 03:08 PM   #4
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Would the original gun have had heel-and-toe plates?
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Unread 12-04-2018, 03:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Dallas View Post
Would the original gun have had heel-and-toe plates?
Yes. Among other possible treatments. Not many Optimus guns were made and each one is unique. Especially in the early days.
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Unread 12-04-2018, 05:49 PM   #6
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Nice job. And I imagine just enough out of the norm to make it interesting.
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Unread 12-04-2018, 07:23 PM   #7
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Yup, it isn't an unacceptable job Brian. That is what I would want you to do to my gun. Great work.
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Unread 12-05-2018, 08:39 AM   #8
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Brian,

Very nice You are a craftsman. I may want this done on that SBT stock.

Happy holidays,
John
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Unread 12-05-2018, 09:37 PM   #9
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Brian, Thank You, for posting these photos, of this butt treatment. Can't wait to see the next steps and the finished gun. (Really nice piece of wood too.)
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Unread 12-07-2018, 05:52 AM   #10
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aint that something ???!!!! thanks Brian.
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