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Freezing a recoil pad


Col Del Rio

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I recently saw a video about shaping a recoil pad to fit a stock.  The guy froze the rubber pad to make it hard in order to shape it better.

 

Has anyone ever done so?

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Yes, worked real well on a couple of very soft recoil pads I've installed, like KickEez.      Less tear-out (almost none) without having to "grind" (sand) with a very light touch.

 

good luck, GJ

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I have never put a but pad on a stock and always wondered how it was done.  I figured that if I ever needed to do it I could install the pad on the wood, trace a line on the pad using the wood stock as a guide and then remove the pad and grind it down to the line.  If this is how it is done then I can see how freezing the pad would help.  Am I correct?

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That is one way to approach it.   Grind OFF the gun, fitting to a scribed line.   There are grinding jigs sold to help maintain the angles to match the angle of the stock that the pad is mounted to so you don't have to hand quide and eyeball the grinding.

 

The other way that I have used is to grind with the pad on the gun.  Masking tape (2 layers) can be applied to the wood at the junction with the stock.  Grind down until you start to scuff the top layer.  Hand sand with oiled sandpaper past that until you touch second layer.   That's usually close enough.  :lol:     The whole buttstock and pad assembly can be frozen in a large freezer.

 

I normally use the second technique.

 

good luck, GJ

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Works good on the soft ones like kickeez and decelrator so the pad is the same height as the spacer , you can get quite a lip if you use allot of pressure when grinding . Makes shaping the toe and the heel easier, just feels less grabby to me when you’re sanding. Don’t bother to do it until your close to final fit . If the pad is extremely oversized it helps to trim it down on the bandsaw. The less heat generated the easier it’s going to be . If you’re doing it off the stock with a jig the pad will also grow and shrink with heat and freezing so take that into account if you’re looking for a exact fit 

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If this is your first pad, make sure you match the angle of the wood when grinding the pad. A lot of folks don't realize this until too late. [Don't ask me how I know...]

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This is the jig I have used for about the last 15 years 

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/shotgun-tools/recoil-pad-tools/b-r-recoil-pad-fitting-jig-prod44670.aspx

When I was younger and my eyes were better along with my eye hand coordination I used to do them all on the stock but it seems anymore the only way I know to stop is when I smell wood burning :) .

Sometimes with any jig your not going to be able to get the proper heal and toe angle with the same setting so you will need to reset the jig to the proper angle for one of them and grid it separately. When your done the pad should be sanded/polished to a finish approximately the same as the stock it’s going on. You should also be able run a strait edge around the stock and the pad should follow the lines of the stock , and you should not be able to see light between the stock and the pad which usually means sanding both flat or using some heat to shape the pad to the buttstock . Modeling clay and a couple pieces of wax paper also work well for supporting the buttstock when cutting it since most pad jobs also include cutting the stock . Also before cutting the stock always tape the stock to avoid splintering or chipping it when you cut . 
Many people have different methods, but I’ve easily done over a 1000 pads and these are some of the things that have worked for me 

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I've read that you should cut the stock with about a 4 deg. angle. Is that 4 deg. to the barrel or the comb? Great info on the freezing to grind. I haven't tried it that way, but will now. Thanks.

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Cowboy shooting is almost always at low targets.  So the butt can be angled about 3 or 4 degrees (with the toe shorter than the heel).   Toe is the bottom of the stock, heel is the top of the stock at the butt plate/pad.  This angle with a "short toe" will pull the barrels down automatically when mounting the shotgun.   Should come up already on the target you are looking at.

 

Target or hunting shotguns are usually cut at 90 degrees.

 

All the "height" related measurements for the butt stock are taken in relation to the top of the barrel (or rib, if one installed).  Angle is thus measured by running a straight edge back along the top of barrel, and then make cut at 3 or 4 degrees less than a 90 degree angle (87 or 86 degrees).  A person with a barrel chest or lady with plenty of chest can often use 5 or 6 degrees less than 90.

 

Do not measure off of comb. 

 

Length of pull usually measured from trigger (forward one if double trigger) to the finished surface of the butt pad.  To the middle (between top and bottom) of a cowboy shotgun pad.

 

good luck, GJ

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