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How do you go about making a custom stock?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Rusty Luck, Aug 10, 2012.

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  1. Rusty Luck

    Rusty Luck Member

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    I searched for something on this topic but couldn't find anything because so much "custom" stuff came up and I'm not sure if I put this in the right spot, if not Moderators please help me out.

    Now my question is: I'm wanting to make my own stock, what kind of wood would be best? I have the skills and (I think) the tools to accomplish the job just looking for tips and insight. Thanks.
     
  2. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    walnuts pretty popular for a stock... could probably glue pine together into a blank to practice on first.. but any hardwood you like would be suitable for a stock

    as for tools, if you have the skills to go with it, you could do it with a set of chisels.. but obviously.. modern tools make it easier... a bandsaws good to have, a router of course, various rasps and files for fine tuning the edges and shape, couple bench vices to hold it steady while you work
     
  3. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    You can buy fully inletted or partially inletted stocks that will allow a good amount of exterior area for custom work without the headaches of doing the inletting. But if you want some wayout shape or size you might have to start with a big blank and cut away everything that doesn't look like what you want.

    Jim
     
  4. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

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    You could wait until Thanksgiving time when TSJC puts out the schedule and sign up for summer classes and take the two week stock making course. It is a very good class and you will get pretty close to completing a stock. There are a few folks down here that sell walnut as well.

    I made this, this summer, from a blank. This was my first stock ever.

    P7200136.jpg

    P7030053.jpg
     
  5. bamajoey

    bamajoey Member

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    The two that I have made were bench rest stocks for 22 lr. The first was made from walnut which is easy to work with using hand tools or power tools. The second one I made was padauk which is much harder so I used mostly power tools. Table saw, band saw, router, drill press, and high speed grinder with sanding drums. Of course there is some work to be done with chisels on the inletting. Then many hours of hand sanding.:)
     
  6. Rusty Luck

    Rusty Luck Member

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    Nice stock! Thanks for the ideas! Where can I find a blank?
     
  7. mookiie

    mookiie Member

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    Ask lbjmosinfreak he is working on a custom stock, so some of his experiences will likely be relevant.
     
  8. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    Personally I think that some formal training is needed.
    As a matter of fact, A LOT of formal training is needed UNLESS you have a
    friend/neighbor who knows his stuff AND is willing to help you.
    We are talking of course full length RIFLE stocks where Inletting AND bedding are of utmost importance.
    In reality, the custom stock thing has met it's demise for MOST shooters.
    The Milsurp thing has dried up, so the "custom rifle" on a Mauser action is now in Limbo.
    Good luck however in your endevour,first finding a "stock blank" then figuering out how to go from there.
     
  9. One_Jackal

    One_Jackal member

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    I go to a gunsmith. Tell the gunsmith what I want and why I want it. Then I stack $100 bills on the counter until the gunsmith says stop.
     
  10. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    1. Plant a black walnut.
    2. Wait.
    3. "
    4. "
    :D
     
  11. bamajoey

    bamajoey Member

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    I don't think you have to have formal training at all. I have many years of woodworking experience but no training at all in making rifle stocks,and still made these two. Maybe not the prettiest in the world, but still functional. Both were made from a block of wood, inletting came first, then the outside was shaped. Anyone can do it with the right tools.:)

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  12. desidog

    desidog Member

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    Yeah, don't let these negative comments derail you. If you do it, and it doesn't work....throw it in the corner, take the knowledge gained, and do it again, but right.

    You'll learn from mistakes, but hey, it's fun. What you need is patience, a drill press, a table-mounted router, and a palm sander.

    Start with a piece of wood; doesn't much matter, say poplar because it's cheap. Do your experimentation on that; tolerances etc. and then once you've got it 95%, and know the ins and outs, get a nice peice of wood with a lot of character and grain etc, and do it again...taking it to 110%.

    If at any time you fail, step back, have a beer, think about it, and try again. Most importantly, Enjoy it!
     
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Desidog, I hope the OP reads your third paragraph before the first one. A corner full of ruined walnut stock blanks will represent a lot of money.

    Jim
     
  14. KC&97TA

    KC&97TA Member

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    OP: 2) 8' 1x6 pine boards for a cost of $7 from Lowes, create a practice laminate stock. Apparently that's were you're supposed to start w/o formal training, cheap / soft wood and take it slow.

    This doesn't work with all gunsmiths... my latest activity proves that.


    bamajoey, those are some beautiful stocks.
     
  15. RCWFL

    RCWFL Member

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    I have to agree with the folks who have said to create practice stocks with scrap wood.

    I glued together two lengths of 2x4 that were the same in length. I'm using them to practice making a stock for my Savage Mark II. The goal isn't to build an exhibition piece or become a master gunsmith over night.

    Its cheap and effective to use scrap wood you have around. The next biggest thing is to find quality tools and learn how to keep them at their peak sharpness.
     
  16. BADUNAME30

    BADUNAME30 Member

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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  17. KC&97TA

    KC&97TA Member

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  18. dirtyjim

    dirtyjim Member

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    a few things i'll recomend is learning how to sharpen your chisels and gouges, how to make and use scapers and instead of starting out with a cheap blank start out with a very expensive blank.
    there is a world of difference in how a very sharp chisel , scraper or gouge cuts and a dull one cuts.
    i make my own scrapers from old saw blades, .030"thick 3" jewlers saws cut into strips with a cutoff wheel on a dremel the shaped with a belt sander make great scrapers.

    some people wont agree with starting off with a high end blank but starting off with a $700-1000 blank will force you to double and triple check every cut and you will not do that with a cheap $40 blank.
     
  19. jjm5

    jjm5 Member

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    I am doing the same.

    First, YouTube. Subscribe to Hand making gunstock

    Chris Knerr. Starts with Introduction, Wood 1&2, Tools 1-4 and now up to Inletting the stock 1-7. Handtools (he does use a band saw and a drill press).

    I also went up on Internet and got some old gunsmith books (when they really made them by hand). Like Chris, these include cast-off and cast-on.
    Gunstock Finishing and Care by A. Donald Newell. 1949. I got 1975 printing.
    Gunsmithing by Roy F. Dunlap. 1959 This is proabably the best.
    The Modern Gunsmith by James V. Howe. Originally two volumes, I got a combined single volume with updates.

    Watching Chris, you will see that even seasoned wood has some surprises that machine tools would probably miss.

    This will be a year long venture with handtools. I have been getting old (pre-WWII) handtools. I think these have the best steel.

    I think his stocks sell for four or more digits.

    I am going to cut a walnut plank in half and laminate it for a mannlicher stock. This will actually enable me to have the twist/warp work in opposite directions. From one of the books, "A few sportsmen like mannlicher stocks. No stockmakers do." But I want one.

    Functionally, most of these folks agreed that Walnut was best, but others are prettier.

    And, according to Roy Dunlap, for Walnut checkering the answer is 18.
     
  20. Sol

    Sol Member

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    Circassian/European walnut, black walnut and orange Osage. Lampblack lots of lampblack.
     
  21. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Plain grade American black walnut.

    1. It is a traditional stock wood.

    2. It is easy to inlet and easy to finish.

    3. It won't dull & wear out your sharp tools trying to inlet it like the mystery glue and imperfections in any grade of plywood.

    rc
     
  22. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Member

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    Any particular rifle? The reason I ask is because I have a rough cut blank sitting here that I want to believe is for a Remington 700 Long Action. A Remington 700 BDL floor plate for a short action I have laying around seems to fit but comes up just a little short. I have no clue where it came from but when you own a gun shop a number of years you end up will all sorts of odds and ends.

    Anyway, if you are considering a long action Remington 700 the stock is yours for the asking as I'll never use it. I can take and post a few pictures if it would help. Again, I have no use for it and likely never will. I just want to see it go to someone who will use it.

    Ron
     
  23. jjjitters

    jjjitters Member

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    I made this one for a Rem 700BDL SS. It is out of Purpleheart wood, a real hard, hard wood. I did the action and barrel channel work on the mill at work, then it was a bandsaw for roughing out, which was the hardest part due to the Monte Carlo style check pad( I should have offset the channel work another 1/4" farther for the full check pad offset). I bought several .750' thick boards and watertight glued them together in the 400ton press at work, at the end of the workday I set the presses head on the wood with pressure and left it there till the next day. No separations !!

    After roughing I took disc sanders/Dynabrade Dynafile/and die grinders with wood bits to get the shape as close as possible, Then sand, sand, sand, sand, sand. I had about 40-45 hours into it. The smoother you get it, the better the finish will look. I had all the tools to do it, if not for power tools, I wouldn't have done it.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  24. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Member

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    OK, got your PM and here are a few images of the stock I mentioned. As I mentioned I put a Remington 700 Short Action floor plate in it and I thing based on the fit this is a Long Action Remington 700 rough cut stock. I ended up with this thing somewhere around 17 to 20 years ago and figure if I have not used it in 20 years I likely never will.

    I do not want anything for it, if you figure you can use it, then it's yours. I will need to find a box to ship it in. My only request is you use it for something, even if a learning tool.

    Sorry the pictures are not that great as I took them in haste.

    StockD.png

    StockC.png

    StockB.png

    StockA.png

    Above the 42.00 it says X GOT which I have no clue? :) I sure as hell do not want 42.00 :) as I have nothing in it.

    Ron

    Edit: With many hours and patience it will look like the nice work jjjitters posted.
     
  25. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    I ran a small rural gunsmith shop from 1973 to 2000 or so. I restocked quite a few shotguns, rifles, pistols- even knives. Mostly of the type no replacement stocks were available for. Stocks were a labor of love and a funnel I used to unwind after a hard day of running a sawmill. I could slow down and get lost in the job! I loved the challenge!
    I had customers quite often ask me how to make a gunstock. My favorite answer was,Y"you just take a piece of wood and remove everything that doesn't look like a gunstock." HAHA
    I was never at a point of trying to drum up work, it always found me even when I tried to hide.;)
     
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