Originally Posted by Chas1
shortgrass , as a full time gunsmith & custom rifle builder, I'd say you've done pretty good so not sure what you mean by "I wish I had"
I wish I had done more projects just for myself. I did, mostly, for friends and family. When I started gunsmith school 19 years ago, we were still learning to make rifle and shotgun stocks by hand from a blank (not 'turned' on a duplicating machine). You were required 2 of each. I made 7 rifle stocks and 2 shotgun stocks. All but two of the rifle stocks were for someone else and both shotgun stocks were, too. My fastest time for a rifle stock was about 100 hours of labor, not including the hand rubbed oil finish. We were required 5 hot re-blue jobs. To get any kind of a grade your completed job would have to rival those found on "American Custom Gun Makers Guild" guns. A true 'custom' finish that'll 'knock your eyes out'. No pits! Not even those the size of a sewing pin point. Only one of those was for a rifle of my own. These are just a couple of examples. I'm glad I could do for family and friends, I just wish I had found a better 'balance' between family and friends and for myself ( I hope that's not being too selfish!) The jobs that get above average grades are those most will never see or handle unless you are around the "American Custom Gun Makers Guild" or know a member of the "guild" or a gunsmith school graduate or an individual that seriously applied themselves. After you graduate you will have trouble finding that 100 hours to 'do' for yourself. (Some, in the class I was in, found these endevors to be a waste of time. Why do work very few will recognize or appreciate? Or, I'm only interested in S.S. and synthetic stocks. The lessons, as presented when I was in school, were ment to teach "attention to details" and provide the graduate with the knowlege to go as far as he might want to go in the trade. If you don't learn what the finest is you will only learn half the lesson and never know that there is 'something better' to strive for!) Those items I did for myself while in school are among my 'most prized posessions', maybe,,,, once in a life time accomplishments (because of the amount of time required).