Passions Come Together in Shotgun Restoration
| ||A young British woodworker studying at an international furniture design school has completed the restoration of a dilapidated shotgun.|
The meticulous restoration by 18-year-old Adam Bragg, studying at the [Chippendale International School of Furniture] in Scotland, took over 50 hours to restore both the gun’s mechanism and its wooden stock and fore end.
“Since I was very young, I have always had two main passions - country sports and woodwork. So after leaving school in 2015, I wanted to make something before moving to Scotland to study at the
Chippendale school,” said Adam.
He decided to restore an old Baikal over-and-under 12-gauge shotgun, whose mechanism had rusted solid and whose woodwork was entirely rotted.
First, he stripped, cleaned and polished all the metalwork back to working condition, then started on the wooden components.Adam managed to locally source a beautiful piece of figured English walnut, the preferred wood for gun stocks and, using one of his other guns as a template, transferred the dimensions to the walnut blank.
| ||Adam did an extensive amount of research, including speaking to professional gunsmiths on how to marry the metalwork of the gun to its new wooden stock.|
Once the stock and fore end were fitted, he carefully shaped and sanded them.
All of the woodwork was then French polished to a beautiful gloss finish, and the checkering on the grips were then all hand cut. The gunstock shape and checkering closely mimics that of the original BAIKAL design.
The Russian-based company Izhevsky Mechanichesky Zavod has been manufacturing high quality firearms more than 60 years under the acclaimed trademark BAIKAL.
“I learned a huge amount from completing this project, and it has inspired me to pursue it further as a possible career option. It unites my two passions in life, and the skills I’m learning at the Chippendale school are providing additional expertise,” said Adam.Each year, the Chippendale International School of Furniture takes students from around the world for an intensive 30-week furniture design, making and restoration course. This year’s students are from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“Not only do we learn modern woodworking techniques, but also the intricacies of furniture restoration – an important part of learning how to make bespoke gun stocks for individual customers or simply restoring their old shotguns or rifles,” he said.