Joined: 07 Feb 2018
Location: New York, USA
For years, my father had been telling me how much he enjoys the action and shooting of his old Ithaca. Well, it got the point where he finally convinced me to get one for myself...
I happened to find an Ithaca 37 for sale on GB that in decent working condition. After taking it out to the skeet range and finding out first hand how nice it was to point and shoot, I quickly realized it was going to become one of my new favorites. Since I have no intention of selling it, I took it upon myself to do some touch ups to the gun.
And before I hear that I killed the collector value, i would like to mention that I made the changes to the gun FOR ME. I wanted to clean up the wood finish because the grain was really nice, as well as replace the finish that was bubbling up in sections from age/wear. But regardless, I think the work came out great and I wanted to share it with everyone.
Below are pictures of the original condition I received it in - notice finish peel on the stock and uneven bluing wear on the receiver.
After a bunch of disassembly, metal, and wood prep, the gun was really starting to come together. Below are pictures of the progress. FYI, getting stain and soot out of the grooves on the corn cob stock is a real challenge! If you try to do it, use a soft wire wheel brush from a dremmel to get in there.
Lastly, some pictures of the final product!
Note: the stain is a blend of my own, but the finish on the stock and forearm is Chem-Pak's Gun Sav'R Hand rubbing oil. The bluing was a hot blue using mark lee's express blue #1.
I really am happy with the results -- the bluing is tough as nails. I found out when I accidentally dropped the receiver down my stairs after neutralizing it in solution. It bounced down the stairs and smacked hard tile. And it didn't have one visible scratch.
Even though its nearing the end of pheasant season by me, I can't wait to bring this beauty into the field and get over some birds with it soon! For now, clays will just have to do
Joined: 12 Feb 2018
Location: West-central Missouri
That is beautiful work! Nice to see a classic loved back to life.
Tip for corn cob groove cleaning, use a cord powdered with Rottenstone (Tripoli) to clean & polish them. A dozen strokes will clean most stocks down to the original finish. A few dozen more will find the wood without damage...
_________________ An ounce of fives, the smell of nitro and paper hulls, wet gundog, and Hoppe's #9...
Isn't it something how fathers often tend to be right?
You will get no grief from me about refinishing a 37. And I am not quite sure how many I own right now Ohio Wirehair steered me to another one not long ago, plus I found another one been looking for and pick them both up tomorrow at my FFL. Both 16 ga. of course.
Hunted grouse with Savage16 this last fall with another friend and they carried Ithaca 37's in my honor they said LOL. Actually I was the one honored, to say the least.
You did a great job on the refinishing. On older ones that are beat up I strip them all the way down, steam out dents and work my way back up. To get the reddish tint of the older 37's I use Art's The Original Herter's Formula Stock Filler it is a perfect match.
On my grandfathers hunting coat from the 30's he was the one that introduced me to the 37 and gave me my first shotgun. If you didn't shoot an Ithaca in the Southern Tier of NY in the 60's and 70's you were immediately recognized as someone from some city and considered a foreigner.
You done good, real good. Enjoy your new great looking and shooting 37.
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