Who's Made Their Own Stock?

trucraft

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Apr 17, 2013
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south of London, UK
Any of you guys made you're own timber stock?
I would love some words of wisdom, dos and don'ts and any images you have.
I'm a forester and quite handy with a bit of lumber so have always wanted to make a stock.
I now feel like it could be the time to start.
I'm also interested in making a laminate bank from a combination of Ash and Black Walnut.
 

jrock

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Idaho
I love wood working as well and am a firm DIY'er. I made a two piece for my dads old side by side shotgun and it was quite a bit of work. Tools that came in handy were a band saw, dremel, and belt and disc sander. Other rasps and files where handing but the bulk of the work was done with the tools above. I did quite a bit of hand checkering too and it turned out looking great. Took me 3 months. Have fun.
 

trucraft

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south of London, UK
I love wood working as well and am a firm DIY'er. I made a two piece for my dads old side by side shotgun and it was quite a bit of work. Tools that came in handy were a band saw, dremel, and belt and disc sander. Other rasps and files where handing but the bulk of the work was done with the tools above. I did quite a bit of hand checkering too and it turned out looking great. Took me 3 months. Have fun.

Sounds great jrock . did u take any photos?
 

shortgrass

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I get paid as a stockmaker. I use pre-inlets from my own patterns. I've made seven by hand from blanks [while I was attending gunsmithing school] (by hand doesn't mean I didn't use some power tools, it means it wasn't run on a stock duplicator or duplicating machine of any kind). Sorry, the "pictures" are all in my head. When I'm doing this kind of work my focus is on the work, not on talking pictures. I've got an action that I can find no one with a pattern for. A Tikka/Ithica LSA-55, a sweet little sporter that deserves a stock. I just can't find the 100hrs. it'll take to make one. I stay plenty busy doing work for others. When and if I do, I'm planning on posting a tutorial, but until then, I'd suggest taking a look over on www.accuratereloading.com and at the top of the "Gunsmithing" section is a thread titled "Stockmaker Show and Tell" written by Les Brooks. His is without power tools except for a hand drill. There's easier ways to go about it, but it's the only tutorial on line (other than the crap on U-Tube) that I know of. The book(s) by Alvin Linden might be helpful, especially if the pattern/drawing are there (out of print, might find on Amazon or E-Bay). There are a couple of drawings available from Jerry Fisher, too. Those might be found at MidWay or Brownells. There's another book out there written by Dave Wesbrook titled "Professional Stockmaking", but I've not read it. (it's been re-printed and availble from Amazon).
 

jrock

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The only picture I have is the completed item.
 

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tinkerer

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Dallas, TX
I've made about 10-12 stocks for Savage Strikers, XP-100's and Anshutz Exemplar to name a few.

I've used fancy woods such as walnut, maple and cocobolo.

All mine have been by hand, i.e. hand and power tools, no mills.

Its a lot of work, and I bed mine when done with devcon. A few have my own design bedding blocks from 6061 aluminum, or are pillar bedding with 1/2" al pillars when using devcon.

I've finished them in either tung oil or spray clear polyurethane.

Tools I use are routers with guides so it rides on the top of the stock for round and mortise inletting. Band saw for rough outlines. Table saw for grip and tip cap cutting. Hole guide for tip setting. Belt sander for rough shaping. After that its lot of rasps, files, and sandpaper for final shaping and smoothing.

Its cathartic for me as my job requires 100% mental functions, so this I can do and just watch the wood fly.

Larry
Tinkerer
 

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trucraft

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Nice work Tinkerer.
Wish i had a xp -100, that would be a great project to start. Also if you screw up you haven't wasted a bunch of A grade timber.

Shortgrass, Prefect. Great info i will look look it up.
What glue are you using to laminate and is there anything wrong with using only three layers, a lighter layer on each side and a dark plank down the center?
 

shortgrass

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I laminate no wood. For that matter I dread working todays laminates. They seem to be over dry (I haven't stabbed one lately with my moisture meter) and often don't cut cleanly with a chisel or gouge. On the other hand, the various English Walnuts cut cleanly and fill easily (compared to other Walnuts, Claro being the worst to fill, (IMO) when finishing. Black Cherry cuts cleanly too, and is very stable when properly dried. I've not worked Maple from the west coast, but I've used Red Maple from PA. (www.tigerhunt.com). It may not cut like English but it fills and finishes easily. The blanks I've had are tight grained. Red Maple cuts (& scrapes) a lot like Black Walnut. Hard spots, softer spots, hard spots. You might check Goby Walnut for an English blank that's not too expensive, if you're worried about cost. I'd be thinking about rounding up a nice set of carving chisels and gouges, too. The "palm" sized tools aren't robust enough and turning tools (like used with a wood lathe) are too big and clumsy. Plan on spending some $$$$$. Cheap tools aren't worth it, they just remind you that you should have bought better. You won't find what you want at Ace. Most of my scrapers are home made. Those made by Jerry Fisher I've found useful, but not most of the other commercially made ones. A regular ol' wood rasp is too course so be keeping an eye out for a #49 Pattern Makers file. It's about half way between a course file and a rasp. For keeping grip and butt shape I make a 1/8" steel template that I screw to the butt after cutting to length and either use a steel grip cap or make a template there, too. You'll need a selection of double cut half round files and 'rat tails', too. You can round up a small fortune in tools and still discover that yet another would work 'just right' in 'this spot'. Got an idea of what action you'll be stocking? I had an instructor looking over my shoulder for the first one. After that, he just came along every now and then and slipped me a lot of points to make it go faster/easier. Takes determination to see one through from start to finish, but the satisfaction of the completed project is beyond compare! PS I watched fellow students use lower priced blanks, while in school, for fear of &%#@-up a higher quality blank. I used the nicest I could afford at the time. If you're going to put in the amount of time it takes don't by a plain blank, buy a nice one!
 

trucraft

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I hear you man when you said use crap tools and you just wish you had spent more.
I don't have a big budget but have always got the best tools i can.

I will certainly find the best bit of timber i can.
The action I am thinking of is my tikka T3. I may end up getting my smith to inlet it on the mill.

I laminate no wood. For that matter I dread working todays laminates. They seem to be over dry (I haven't stabbed one lately with my moisture meter) and often don't cut cleanly with a chisel or gouge. On the other hand, the various English Walnuts cut cleanly and fill easily (compared to other Walnuts, Claro being the worst to fill, (IMO) when finishing. Black Cherry cuts cleanly too, and is very stable when properly dried. I've not worked Maple from the west coast, but I've used Red Maple from PA. (www.tigerhunt.com). It may not cut like English but it fills and finishes easily. The blanks I've had are tight grained. Red Maple cuts (& scrapes) a lot like Black Walnut. Hard spots, softer spots, hard spots. You might check Goby Walnut for an English blank that's not too expensive, if you're worried about cost. I'd be thinking about rounding up a nice set of carving chisels and gouges, too. The "palm" sized tools aren't robust enough and turning tools (like used with a wood lathe) are too big and clumsy. Plan on spending some $$$$$. Cheap tools aren't worth it, they just remind you that you should have bought better. You won't find what you want at Ace. Most of my scrapers are home made. Those made by Jerry Fisher I've found useful, but not most of the other commercially made ones. A regular ol' wood rasp is too course so be keeping an eye out for a #49 Pattern Makers file. It's about half way between a course file and a rasp. For keeping grip and butt shape I make a 1/8" steel template that I screw to the butt after cutting to length and either use a steel grip cap or make a template there, too. You'll need a selection of double cut half round files and 'rat tails', too. You can round up a small fortune in tools and still discover that yet another would work 'just right' in 'this spot'. Got an idea of what action you'll be stocking? I had an instructor looking over my shoulder for the first one. After that, he just came along every now and then and slipped me a lot of points to make it go faster/easier. Takes determination to see one through from start to finish, but the satisfaction of the completed project is beyond compare! PS I watched fellow students use lower priced blanks, while in school, for fear of &%#@-up a higher quality blank. I used the nicest I could afford at the time. If you're going to put in the amount of time it takes don't by a plain blank, buy a nice one!
 

shortgrass

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Forgot, you're on the other side of the 'pond'. That #49 Patternmaker is made by Nicholson. They make a #50, too,,,,, but you don't need one. The majority of my chisels and gouges are made by Dastra with a smattering of Pheil thrown in for good measure. Several I've altered to serve a particular purpose. "over there" good carving tools may not be as hard to find as they are here. Some rough pre-inletting can be done on a vertical mill, or with a good lay-out and steady hand, a hand held router. I've done it both ways. The router is faster, just stay inside the lines. On an action like a Mauser or Springfield I inlet the bottom metal first. Others depend on their design. The integral mag box is why I do the bottom first. Lots of opportunities to get off the centerline when inletting one. If you do the bottom first and you're off the CL when its flush all you have to do is establish a 'new centerline (using the two guard screws/holes). Bottom metal like Rem. BDL I inlet the Barreled action first. Not much inletting for the bottom metal,,,, less chance of wandering off center. Besides, now you've got two guide pins to help keep that bottom metal on center.
 

tinkerer

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Dallas, TX
To address your lamination question.

I made one benchrest stock from 5 pieces of 1" wide cocobolo. Its a oily wood, so I had to clean each piece with acetone first to remove oil, and than I used 2 part clear epoxy to make sure it penetrated.

I always use odd number layers to make sure its solid wood behind the pillars.

Yes, you can do your own. Saw a beauty from purpleheart and maple.

Many woodworkers use Super Titebond wood glue and it works just fine. I always go for overkill to be sure.

Good luck, post picks.

Larry
Tinkerer
 

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chrishatley

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statesville,nc
Here's the last one I made. I rough inletted on a Bridgeport, finished with small chisels, files, and rasp. Shaped the outside with a 3" air grinder, air barrel Sanders, and a da
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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10,718
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Texas
I have also made quite a few stocks, mostly for my self and I don't consider myself in the same league as guys like shortgrass and Joel Russo so all I can comment on is the way I do them.

I recommend selecting the piece of wood (Exotic or Laminate) and laying out a two dimensional
shape of the stock shape you want to end up with.

Before any cutting and while the blank is still rectangular set it up to inlet the action and barrel channel.

after the action inlet is done and the action screw holes are drilled, use a band saw cut the two dimensional stock shape out (Always cut on the outside of the lines to avoid cutting it two small.

Now you can start to shape the stock blank to suit your likes. I don't have a stock mill or a duplicator so I have to do all of this the hard way with hand tools, But it can be done.

I do use rasp and body work tools to do the shaping, sanding and final shaping is when the slow work begins .

I prefer the hand rubbed finishes but they also take longer, But the end results are worth it in my opinion.

Don't get in a hurry and if you get discouraged with the progress, lay it down and comeback to it when you feel like working on it.

If you do one stock, you will realize why custom stocks are so high.

Pistol stocks are a good place to start because there is a lot less work involved.

Every one should try to build at least one stock so they would understand what goes into a hand made stock.

Installing Pistol grip and fore end caps of Ebony or any hardwood really sets off a custom stock, and checkering it puts frosting on the cake.

J E CUSTOM
 

davkrat

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Sep 18, 2006
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656
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The Motherlode
How I did the few I've made:

I've always shot stock Remington 700's and never felt completely comfortable on the stock. Since getting my little CZ 455 I've finally realized how great a rifle can fit you. I'm 6'2" with fairly large hands. It's funny that "little" .22 stock just fits me better than anything else I own. One of the biggest differences I have noticed is the distance between the grip and the trigger. It just seems to fit my hands perfectly where my 700's always seem too short and my hand gets cramped. So I decided to go pick out a pretty Walnut board and make a 2 piece laminated stock. Was able to go out and shoot a few rounds this evening and it felt absolutely perfect. I left a bit more palm swell and a thicker wrist than the CZ has but otherwise it feels identical. The drop comb lines my eye up perfectly and on the .308 I did not notice any extreme recoil coming through my cheek. Plan on making another for my 7mm Rem Mag. I still need to do a little work on the recoil pad and plan to do a few more coats of oil as well as attempt checkering down the road.











 
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