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My first whack at carving a stock

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by skiddyfisk, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. skiddyfisk

    skiddyfisk Grants Pass New Member

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    I'd wanted to get into woodworking for this and other reasons for a while. While hefting a 10/22 at bi-mart because of how I hate the factory stock on my ar-7, I decided that money would be better spent on woodworking tools and some wood to learn the basics.

    For my first attempt, I just went with a fir 2x6, since this is just a .22 and I'm bound to make all sorts of first-timer mistakes - rather make them on $3 of cheap wood than a $50 walnut blank.

    NAhUWh.jpg

    I figured I'd inlet it before anything else, while the wood was still nice and square and easy to clamp in place for working. However, opening up the bottom to make sure the trigger was accessible seemed like a good idea. Doing this, I learned how worthless the coping saw I'd bought was.

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    I lined out the rough dimensions of the action where I wanted it, and proceeded with the 1/2" wood chisel.

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    This is a fairly easy gun to inlet for, since the receiver is pretty much a rectangle.

    Try7Gl.jpg

    Next, I cut out the forestock. I did this with a hand saw and regretted it. Before doing any more cuts, I went and got a jigsaw.

    JQ8bIl.jpg

    After getting the jigsaw, I cut out the butt and grip area and worked it a bit with the rasps.

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    After that, it's just been rasp, chisel, sand to get the shape I want.

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    Lot of trial and error, and I messed up the tip badly enough to have to cut it off and redo it, twice, but I like how it looks now. This is the stock as of when I retired this evening:

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    The plan is to repeat the process on a real rifle stock blank once I've gotten enough practice on this one. I know it's a goofy gun to be making a stock for, but eh. All my nicer guns already HAVE good stocks on them :v

    NAhUWl.jpg
     
  2. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Quite the project, and it looks like it's going fairly well.
     
  3. Mohawk13

    Mohawk13 Home on The Range Active Member

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    Looks Good. Interesting Idea..
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Good job. The nice thing about starting with some softer and cheaper wood is you can experiment all you want. If you cut too much off on your practice job, just build up the area with some "Bondo" and then file/rasp it to the shape you want.

    In the end you'll have a pattern for that finished stock from some walnut or whatever.

    I went straight to the walnut for an old 1903 Springfield action that was sporterized over 50 years ago. Took me two years of working with rasp and hand carving chisel as I didn't want to ruin the blank. Wish I had done it the way you're doing it.

    Again good looking project.
     
  5. Trez

    Trez Sandy, OR New Member

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    This is a bit of an older post but it looks like a fun project. If you have questions, feel free to ask. My father is Darwin Hensley a very well known stockmaker and I'm not bad either.
    Here is a picture of a stock I made that's in the Leupold scope catalog 2010 and 2011.

    LEU_FXII-4x33_TrezHensley_Close_H2.jpg

    This is not a bragging thing, just to state that I know what I'm doing and being in the custom gunmaker's guild, I like to promote custom guns in whatever form they may take. I can give you some pointers as to how to make the process a lot less painful/challenging. Neat to see someone try something new.

    a few others I've done...
    7mmRemMag7-1.jpg
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    Take care,
    Trez

    By the way, before I start getting a lot of requests for more info on me doing stock work for people, know that most of the guns I work on are $10,000+. I'm happy to talk to anyone but I take about a month just to do the stock and that's after you get to the top of the wait list, so my stock work prices start at $5K+ wood, (which is often around $2K). Just a qualifier, what I do is not for everyone's budget. I know I don't own many of my own custom guns.....
     
  6. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Trez, Beautiful work there. I especially like the inlaid buttplate. That's awesome!
     
  7. skiddyfisk

    skiddyfisk Grants Pass New Member

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    Any pointers would be welcome, of course. I'm already planning my second stock for another project and I aim to use real wood this time. :D
     
  8. Trez

    Trez Sandy, OR New Member

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    The easiest way for a guy with limited tooling to do a gun stock is to make a pattern out of the original stock. Glass bed the stock then cut away anything you don't want. Use Bodno (auto body filler) to add to areas you want more wood and/or epoxy and dowel larger pieces onto the original stock for larger add one. Then when it is all the way you want it, have the pattern duplicated by any of a number of stock duplication services. This will get you a semi-inletted stock jusst the way you want it and in the wood of your choice.

    You can then open up the inletting and glass bed the semi-inlet or in the case of high end gun, work on getting a real tight wood to metal inlet. This is a process of putting inletting black on your metal work and putting the gun into the stock as far as it will go. Then remove the stock and scrape wood from the area having black on it, repeat this process over and over until the inletting black shows on the wood evenly everywhere.

    I can be more specific about any of these processes if you have any questions The duplicating services can range from a lot of wood left to almost a 1 to 1 fit. Most of the time this is just a matter of how much you are willing to spend and how good your pattern was to start with. If you want a really easy inletting job, make your pattern as smooth as the finished stock would be and be prepaired to spend some money. John Vest seems to do the best job I know of but he isn't real fast and costs around $600 for the semi-inletting job last I knew. If you are willing to do more of the work, you can get a semi-inlet done for around $100. Not by John but by lots of guys you can find on the internet. It's still a good idea to send the best pattern you can.

    Mostly what this does is get rid of most of the busy work. There will still be plenty for you to do but hogging of material won't be part of it.

    I like to build a pattern for the stocks I do as I can be much more artistic. Playing with things back and forth until i get it just the way I want it before I pull the trigger on cutting into a $2000+/- piece of wood. With the good stuff, you can't put it back once you take it off. Unless you have milling equiptment, make a pattern..... it's the way to go.

    My 2 cents,
    Trez
     
  9. skiddyfisk

    skiddyfisk Grants Pass New Member

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    I'd much rather do it myself. I'm sure that way works, but paying someone else to do it defeats my entire purpose. :<

    The one thing I can specifically think of that I want to know is checkering. That seems like the way to elevate a usable stock into the realm of awesome. I also know its much harder than it looks. Any thoughts?
     
  10. Trez

    Trez Sandy, OR New Member

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    I can respect that. I would suggest that you make a pattern and glass bed even if you are going to hand inlet and carve your final stock. This is a personal opinion of course but what it will do is allow you to try different ideas and create a stock that fits you as well as one that functions properly. And it can be done with inexpensive wood. Then after your pattern is made, you will have something to measure from to make the stock of your dreams.

    As for checkering, the book, "Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks"by Monty Kennedy is the best book I've found on the subject. Checkering takes a lot of practice and good eyesight but is not beyond the realm of a good woodworker that has patience and is willing to work at it.

    What you have done so far could be finished into a final stock to use or would make a great start on a pattern. If your one that likes painted stocks, you could make your pattern into a finished stock with little effort. I'm assuming you picked wood because you like to see wood, but???

    I think your off to a good start and I was not trying to discourage you in any way from doing what you want. After all that's the whole point. Just some thoughts.
    Take care,
    Trez