Gentlemen all. Greetings.
Well I'm almost there with the conversion of the walnut stock, as far as the hard work of sanding and reshaping goes. I'll get Helen to post up photos of it and the beech stock that Jimmy converted for me, and you'll see what has had to be done. But I'll try to describe what's had to be done.
It's proven to be a very difficult job. But not impossible thank God. The approach is a two part process focusing on the grip and cheek-piece design. The second is the removal of the roll-over comb that will punch into your cheek and reduce the height of the comb itself.
First of all, the flowline from the cheek-piece runs to the grip and runs on actually disappearing slightly into the chequering itself. This line has to be removed or it just pushes uncomfortably against your hand and keeps it from a positive, comfortable hold on the chequered grip. I'd hoped to remove it and cut-in the Palm-swell without intruding into the beautiful diamond "Tartan" chequering panel, but, it's imposible to achieve a comfortable holding position without following it in and reducing it as far as possible. If you own a Pro Sport with the current Minelli stock, you'll know what I'm trying to describe here.
The solution has been to sand away the bulge of the flow line fully into a proper recessed concave and form a palm-swell then cut-in a pointed diamond-shaped flash to remove most of the slight bulge as the flow- line we are trying to remove enters the chequering panel. That means using and following one of the diamond-shaped chequers as a guide that the bulge runs through. It's thankfully, only slight at this point but, there's enough to be able to feel it and have it work slightly against your hand still yet. Otherwise the deeper you make the palm-swell, the more pronounced the little bulge in the chequering becomes as your hand's palm makes closer contact. So it's a very delicate operation of sanding a little away and test with the hand just a tiny bit at a time, until, only the bare necessary has been removed and my hand is making a comfortable controlling hold with no uncormfortable resistences left in the stock's form.
However, though in order to create a comfortable recess for your palm and hand to make correct, comfortable-feeling contact on the grip, it has been sadly necessary to lose most of that lovely filigree "Acanthus leaf" scroll-work carved into the stock.
But, I think, once the stock is finished, before oiling and polishing, I can carve my own Acanthus design using the one on the opposite chequer-panel as a template guide for my own design and complete and make the rifle stock really unique as a one-off to me.
In this respect. The work on reshaping the grip has now been successfully completed with little loss of chequering at least.
PART TWO. ROLL-OVER COMBE.
This has been just a process of coarse, heavy-grit paper on a block and a lot of elbow grease. But I have now completely taken off the entire roll-over and the comb is now starting to form back the other way and let me rest my cheek comfortably without anything remaining to push my head away. It has revealed the level of taper that the top of the comb runs, thick at the back and thinner towards the front of the wrist. It remains now for me to keep sanding evenly away untill the comb is perfectly set to height for my head alignment. It's not finished here yet, but, I'm on my way to the nice bit of recarving the filligrees, re-cut the line into the flash in the chequering and oiling and finishing her off.
JIMMY this is where I'm really going to need your input and help here.
My personal feelings. Very satisfied with how it's all going to end up looking and working. BUT...It's a b*****d when you have to chop into a beautiful walnut stock like this.
But what other way can you get a left hand Pro Sport!
Thaks for reading lads. I'll get pics up as soon as we can.