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Baltic Birch plywood rifle stock

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by B M-P, Oct 4, 2012.

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  1. B M-P

    B M-P Member

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    I am considering making a custom stock for my 2A Ishapore (7.26 NATO) and was wondering if baltic birch plywood could be used.

    Or rather I was wondering why it shouldn't be used.


    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  2. desidog

    desidog Member

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    With any kind of oriented strand board made for construction, the grain of the layers is laid out for uniformity for even load distribution and sheer stresses. On a regular wood rifle stock, the grain should be parallel to the barrel, because wood is far stronger by about 2x going with the grain than perpendicular to it.

    So, unless you're doing layers of strong resin like on most laminate stocks (which adds weight as well as strength), I'd say it's probably not worth the aggravation of trying to shape and finish sand a stock with all sorts of end grain coming out at various angles all over it. You can really hurt your tools working on that dried resin too. At the end of the day with half the strands oriented in the wrong direction, it won't be as strong as laminated stock whose blank was purpose-built.

    But hey, if it's a project for fun, try it out! After you get it sorted you can move on to some nicely figured walnut. Take a look at a 91/30 Mosin's laminated stock for inspiration. But be warned, a lot of the plywood out there looks great on the outter layer on both sides, but the inner layers can be hole-y and ugly.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I agree.

    If I was going to all the trouble & work to make a stock.

    I would make it out of something more traditional, easier to work, easier on tools, and easier to finish then plywood.

    Good old black walnut comes to mind.


    If you do decide to use Baltic Birch plywood, be sure and get the Type 1 exterior grade.

    Type II grade is not even slightly waterproof, and could delaminate if exposed to water on a stock.

    rc
     
  4. B M-P

    B M-P Member

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    I'm partial to walnut or curly maple.
    The reason I was contemplating the plywood (Finish aircraft grade, ultrasounded) was I am toying with making a stock like this one:

    Kel-Tec SU-16A

    With the mag wells and thought that the plywood might be stronger that normal.

    Plain wood with steel mag wells might be the way to go.
     
  5. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    Baltic birch exterior is not your daddy's plywood, it utilizes water proof glue, solid filler, is very strong and durable.

    I once saw a canoe made from 1/8" (not sure of mm) Baltic birch for skin, the ribs appeared to be of 1/2" Baltic birch. Bronze boat nails were used as fasteners with joints water proof glued, then all was fiber glassed in and out. The strength of the light weight canoe was amazing and a true work of art.
     
  6. Wachtelhund

    Wachtelhund Member

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    I built a duck boat with 5 ply, 6mm Baltic Birch Plywood, Marine epoxy and 12 oz Biaxle fiberglas cloth. All seams had three layers of overlapping 6" wide 12 oz Biaxle cloth; on both sides. Extermely strong and light. If you laminate the plies with epoxy, I would stain all the wood before doing the laminating. The epoxy will not take allow the wood to take any stain.
     
  7. BADUNAME30

    BADUNAME30 Member

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    Oriented strand board, or OSB, and plywood are two completely different animals.
    OSB has a misleading name. It has no uniformity at all.
    As desidog has pointed out tho, you will indeed have to deal with end grain fibers with either ply of osb.Not to meantion glue edges that just will not sand evenly with the wood. His suggestion of using laminated wood will not only look better but be far easier to 'work'.
    I have built rifle stocks for customers with laminated woods and they are nice to work with. Can be difficult to checker tho.
    ( allthoug in my opinion blasphemous as a rifle stock lol )
     
  8. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    The strands are oriented parallel to the face of the board.

    Masonite has much more random orientation.
     
  9. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

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    I would think Baltic Birch would work fine, although you would probably have to build it up for thickness and if you don't do the build correctly (correct pressure and adhesive with no voids) you will have a weak area. You might check and see if there are Baltic Birch stock blanks available. For those unfamiliar with Baltic Birch, laminated rifle stocks are built from aniline dyed Baltic Birch. Another thing to check into would be Dymondwood or the equivalent product which is dyed laminated Baltic Birch that is impregnated under vacuum with a polymer. It is used for gunstocks and turnings and the beauty of using it is that the finish is IN the material instead of on it so once cut and formed it just needs to be finish sanded and polished.
     
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