This is one of life's little happy moments. They come few and far between it seems so I make it a point to enjoy them during the rare moment I get lucky. This will seem rather trivial to some so have no fear as I have thick skin. Feel free to taunt and pick cause I don't care. I'm rather pleased with myself right now.
Onto the task at hand.
A typical rifle stock has a 2 and a half degree taper when measured from the showline to the bottom. With my CNC mill this is a simple feature/challenge to overcome when inletting for floor metals as it's just a matter of manipulating the geometry in the software and writing a 3 dimensional tool path to inlet the features. All of my inlets are done as a 1:1 machined fit to avoid the need for bedding.
This part is pretty straight forward and just to make sure it's right I always make it a point to spot face the guard screw holes after completion while the stock is still fixtured. I feel this is important as it means the screw head will register concentric to the counterbore. Failure to do this can result in a side of the screw head biting unevenly creating an error in guard screw alignment and consequently; guard screw assembly torque. It also would side load the head of the fastener slightly which causes the action to want to be pushed slightly in the bedding. All of which is totally counterproductive to a rifle that is built with good accuracy in mind. One of my potential solutions was to make ball/socket type washers and modify all the floor metals from here on out. What a pain that would be. Has to be a simpler way. . .
So, that's simple enough, so what is Chad ranting about then?
The front escutcheon on a single shot has always bugged me because I never figured out a way to do it "right". If I machine the pocket square to the pillar hole and fit the front side flush with the stock then the trailing edge is buried in the stock. If I make the backside flush then the front is proud. The simple solution seemed to be to machine the pocket on a 3D contour just like the trigger guard and then spot face the countersink so that it's square/concentric to the pillar hole. This creates its own set of problems as the end user will have to ensure that the escutcheon is then properly clocked in the right position, otherwise you recreate "the problem" all over again.
My solution over the years was to just grin and bear it by machining the pocket square to the pillar and "living with" the escutcheon not matching the stock's bottom surface. In a wood stock I'd just sand the snot out of until it "looked ok" but it always bugged me.
As the photos illustrate I used a small dowel pin to locate the clock position of the escutcheon. I drill the hole in the stock so that the pin will sit up a bit. I then stick the escutcheon in upside down and drill a hole in it in the exact location. Drive the pin into the stock and flip over the escutcheon. This ends up making a perfect fixture to come back and spot face the countersink so that the screw head registers properly.
Simple, took five minutes to do and it now "looks right" and more importantly "IS RIGHT."
I told you this was a bit silly, but silly stuff like this makes my day. I have to admit feeling a bit foolish for not thinking of this a looooong time ago.
Coffee and cigarettes don't do much for a guy but it does give me time to THINK every once in awhile.
All the best,