Re: making a stock
You may find the benefits offered by a laminate, also have some serious detractors. I hate the glue used for laminations. It dulls my tools and I get a rash from it. As you are working without having an experienced stockmaker looking over your shoulder, I'd choose a 'simpler' style of stock, other than a thumbhole. I'd, also, be looking around for a plain jane blank of English or Black walnut. Either of those go cheap. Buy from a reputable wood supplier. Claro (not one of my favorite walnuts, but one I've used, none the less) could also be a choice. Tools and a solid plan need to be in the works. You can't really go anywhere without a plan and quality tools speak for themselves. I've had the luxury of a formal education in gunsmithing, and most of those hours were dedicated to stockmaking (4 semesters out of 8). We learned (some of us!) "by hand, from a blank". The only power tools we used was a jointer to square the off cheek piece side to the top, a drill press with a spade bits and a 1/4" bit for the guard screw holes, a band saw (a very good one!) to remove excess wood at the right place and time, and a hand held router to help establish "the hole". The rest was done with hand tools, chisels & gouges (not from Ace Hardware!), a couple of straight edges, a good scale, numerous double cut files, a square, a #49 Nicholson Pattern Makers File/rasp, and scrapers we made of high carbon steel (the only store bought scrapers I've found useful are made by Jerry Fisher). Our goal was a 'classical shape' with the metal on a 'as close as possible perfect bed' without the aid of glass, and NO GAPS. My first classic used a piece of highly figured Black Walnut and a custom barreled '03 Springfield. Looking back, I couldn't have choosen a greater challenge (except maybe a thumbhole using a piece of ewe, and my instructor wouldn't have allowed that!). Blanks needed to be 2 1/2" thick, because you're going to 'wander off' the centerline, at least on the first one. If my memory is good, even under the eyes of the instructor, I spent 8-9 weeks of that 11 week semester on that stock, before I started sealing and wet sanding. Many have gone about this task in their own way. I was taught an "order" in which to proceed and to this day I follow it. It makes sense and I don't get ahead of myself, that way. When I make one now, I visit the local cabinet shop for the use of their jointer. The rest of the tools I have/need, I own or make them. I have no idea how many $$$$ that translates into. Not having an "on site" instructor, I'd check into some printed reference materials. Jerry Fisher used to have published "to scale" drawings, where dimentions could be taken straight from the drawing. You can, also, do this from an exisiting stock. A good read is "Professional Stockmaking Through the Eyes of a Stockmaker" , by Dave Wesbrook and available again on Amazon. Alvin Linden wrote some books, too (I don't care for his writing style but he had good info). He made some pretty good, full sized, drawings that accompanied them. Those are "collectors" today, but still available at a price. When I first started stockmaking it was a formatible task, one I may not have accomplished without the aid of the instructor. After the first one it became much easier. It takes a good amount of dedication to accomplish such a task. I wonder how many pre-inletted stocks that have been purchased from the various pre-inletters are sitting in the corner, unfinished, because of lack of dedication. Good luck with your project. My advise is worth what you paid for it,,,,,,,,, nothing!
"Shoots real good!": definition; it didn't blow-up in my face. 1993 graduate Montgomery Community College 2yr. gunsmithing program
Last edited by shortgrass; 03-14-2013 at 11:51 AM.