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Author Topic: Have I already messed this up for gun stock blanks?  (Read 990 times)

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Offline D6c

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Have I already messed this up for gun stock blanks?
« on: November 29, 2021, 05:51:36 PM »
I'd saved this log thinking I'd make a couple of curved log benches.  It was growing on the side of a bank and dog-legged to get vertical.
It's not a branch, this is the main trunk that had a radical bend just above the ground.

I split the log down the middle as close as I could and found this nice feather in the bend.  Now I'm thinking I should have raised up about 2" for the 1st cut and then dropped down and cut about a 4" blank.

Should I now just cut a stock blank slice from either half and hope the feather is still pretty good on the other sides?
About how long should a blank be?  Anyone have a template for a blank?



 




 

Offline maple flats

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Re: Have I already messed this up for gun stock blanks?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2021, 03:14:06 PM »
In the past I've cut gunstock blanks 2 3/4" x 6" and 8". Some guns need 6" wide, some want 8" wide. Some of that is the gun's design, more of it is the design the stock maker is making the gun to be. Not all new stocks are made to resemble the original stock. Lengths will have a huge variation, is it for a modern gun, or an old black powder gun. I made one once that the guy wanted the blank to be over 60" long. I think he wanted it 65 or 66" long if I recall.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed, Woodland Mills HM130Max , maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline richhiway

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Re: Have I already messed this up for gun stock blanks?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2021, 05:51:42 PM »
Very Pretty. Looks like very coarse grain for a gunstock. 
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Offline D6c

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Re: Have I already messed this up for gun stock blanks?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2021, 08:16:58 PM »
This will be pretty much an experiment.  I cut them 3" thick and took a rifle stock and cut a couple of blanks a fair bit larger.
I was watching an interview with a large gunstock supplier They seal the ends immediately and air dry them for several years.  The feathered wood is prone to checking so they loosely wrap that area with plastic wrap to slow the drying.  They had a warehouse full of stock blanks of all kinds.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Have I already messed this up for gun stock blanks?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2021, 03:27:53 AM »
I've nothing to add other than control the drying time and wait and see how she behaves herself during that process. It's not like you can't try again another time if it doesn't pan out. :)
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Have I already messed this up for gun stock blanks?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2021, 08:08:42 AM »
There are web sourced gunstock blank dimensions & shapes. Can be short for shotguns or single shot rifles or longer for modern guns. Most muzzle loaders want fancy maple, now walnut. That grain is not too coarse!
 I suggest air drying partially indoors then finish in either a kiln or a "gunstock box" via light bulbs as oldtime stock makers did. Some of my best stock material came from what loggers trimmed off of grade logs.
When the MO gunstock factories (Bishop's and Fajen) were going strong they had crews that traveled roads seeking walnuts that were harvested for gunstocks. They dug up the tap roots to access the fancy wood found down there. Still some made there.  
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Offline richhiway

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Re: Have I already messed this up for gun stock blanks?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2021, 07:59:49 PM »
There are web sourced gunstock blank dimensions & shapes. Can be short for shotguns or single shot rifles or longer for modern guns. Most muzzle loaders want fancy maple, now walnut. That grain is not too coarse!
 I suggest air drying partially indoors then finish in either a kiln or a "gunstock box" via light bulbs as oldtime stock makers did. Some of my best stock material came from what loggers trimmed off of grade logs.
When the MO gunstock factories (Bishop's and Fajen) were going strong they had crews that traveled roads seeking walnuts that were harvested for gunstocks. They dug up the tap roots to access the fancy wood found down there. Still some made there.  
I'd like to learn more about gunstocks. All my rifles and shotguns have fine tight grain. I understood this is so the stock is stable and less likely to affect accuracy from moisture changes. While this slab is very pretty wouldn't that grain be less stable?
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Offline Larry

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Re: Have I already messed this up for gun stock blanks?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2021, 09:43:51 PM »
You want the figured wood in the butt.  The figured grain should fade out around the pistol grip with straight grain flowing around to the trigger.  From the trigger to the forend the grain should be straight and slope slightly upwards.

The best way to dry is to dip each end in hot paraffin wax.  Put a screw eye in the end and hang it up in your wife's closet for a couple of years....she will never notice....they all have way too many clothes. ::)  

One of the better books is "Gunstock Woods and Other Fine Timbers" but its out of print as many of the other books about gunstocks.  I did a quick google and found a free pdf of the book here.  https://1lib.us/book/2753180/fc0851  It was a slow download.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Have I already messed this up for gun stock blanks?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2021, 08:48:02 AM »
Walnut is used for gunstocks for stability as much as beauty, but the post above is spot on for where you use the fancy grain. Also the grain should flow with the ending shape of the stock. Factors beyond dry enough and lack of defects are to place the stock pattern properly based on grain orientation and cut enough extra for drying defects and end product design.
As a side note: Manmade materials are of course far more stable, but that said, the rifle competition records in my old sport of smallbore and highpower rifle shooting didn't all go away when people stopped using walnut and switched to composite stocks. I'm of that generation that is a wood stock lover!
I've made quite a few and when asked if I'd build one by co-workers I automatically answered, no way! My point here is that the average person has not a clue how tough a job a custom stock job entails. I've also done checkering which is somewhat of a pathway to blindness for people who did that daily. Nearly all the MO stock checkering was done by women.
Brownings owned their own walnut sawmill in Perry, KS for some years. Not too far from the guy I bought sawed hedgewood from, years ago.

Larry- my wife would notice, believe me!
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not


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