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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. hey_poolboy

    hey_poolboy Member

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    If I weren't on my phone I would post some pics of one I'm working on right now. I laminated some hickory together to make a thumbhole stock for a sporterized 96 mauser.
    It's a lot of work, but it's very enjoyable. I'm about 20 hours in and just this evening got the inletting all done. Hoping to start shaping tomorrow afternoon.
    8u7ydype.jpg

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  2. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Hickory, now there's a true american "HARD" wood! Loggers used to hate it because it dulled their chain saw chains so fast due to the sand? embedded in the bark. You could actually see sparks fly from the chain saw chain during the felling process. Please post finished product picture later as I've never seen a finished hickory gunstock.
    Thanks
     
  3. Rusty Luck

    Rusty Luck Member

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    I love hearing stories about custom stocks, it's one of the reasons I wanted to do it myself. Those are all very nice stocks gentleman! I am interested in the hickory one being finished as well!! Wow man that's an undertaking.
     
  4. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Had a minute, so here's a little more from my experience
    1) Very Important----Start with a decent piece of wood-walnut is great as rc suggested. Why? Because if you do a good job, you're going to find out the cost of the wood is basically irrelavent to the cost (or time) you are going to invest in the making of the stock. And you will have something you can be proud of and show off the rest of your life.
    2) Grain- the part of a custom stock that draws the ouhs and ahs. Make sure the grain is straight forward of the pistol grip to prevent warpage and loss of accuracy in the future. Keep the swirlly stuff behind the pistol grip.
    3) dry wood- should be kiln dried (kills any bugs that may have laid eggs in the wood) or if sure no bugs air dried for 2 years per inch of wood. I perfered kiln dried.
    4) cut basic shape with bandsaw to eliminate much hand work
    5) Inlet the action with stockmakers black very slowly only taking very little wood at a time until the final inletting is done. Remember, the wood to metal fit is the hardest and most time consuming part of the job- the part that separates the professional from the jackleg.
    6) Shaping can be done with all manner of tools, but remember as you near the final product be very careful to work with progressively finer cut tools as all the marks left will have to be sanded out before final finishing
    7) Sanding the final product is best accomplished with automotive wet or dry sand paper working up to 400 grit.
    8) "Whisker" the wood especially in the swirlly grain to bring out the true 3D
    depth you see in the most expensive stocks. Then fill it ( I always used Herter's french red) It must be good as it still on the market (Brownells, I think)
    8) Finish it with Tru-Oil, hand rubbing between each coat until you get the glass finish you see on the custom stocks
    9) Work slowly, NEVER HURRY.
    Good Luck Catpop
     
  5. Rusty Luck

    Rusty Luck Member

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    Thanks for the details Catpop. This isn't something I'm gonna rush. It's to be a labor of love, something to do with my hands to give my mind a break.
     
  6. jjjitters

    jjjitters Member

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    And remember the structure around the magwell and recoil lug. Many factory stocks have a captive pin that holds the sides together. You sometimes see it(on Rem and Wins) as a 3/8dia black dot. It is a good choice to do that unless the wood your using is super strong and won't start cracking along the gran under recoil. I didn't do it on mine because the purple heart is an unbelievably hard.
     
  7. hey_poolboy

    hey_poolboy Member

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    Hickory was just a silly choice. I started my first attempt with an actual slab of hickory from my father. I did not take my time and also ended up with a little warping. So, i got some thinner, kiln dried stuff and laminated it into a blank.
    This evening I got the action all fitted and set in place. Now, maybe next weekend I'll get to start shaping.
    This stuff is nasty hard and tough to cut. If I manage to finish it you bet I'll post some pics. In order to do a better job this time around I made some templates up for the top and bottom of the action. Used a forstner bit to hog out the bulk of the wood with a drill press, the used the templates as a router guide to finish up the big stuff. From then on it has been all chisel, rasp, and dremel work. Planning to locate my thumbhole and drill it out on the press while my sides are still square, then on to a draw knife to cut away the bulk of the outside. After that I'll do a little shaping with a 60 grit wheel on my angle grinder. (tested that out on the last stock and it works great ) then on to files and sanding blocks, etc.
    ty7ydu5e.jpg
    urapazav.jpg
    5u5a2adu.jpg
    azepe9e7.jpg
    emy6eheg.jpg

    Sorry, I didn't really order the pics, but you get the idea.

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  8. Jasonmackuk

    Jasonmackuk Member

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    Hi im in the prosess of inletting my 1022 action into a webley air rifle stock .Its been a long and very hard job (im a carpenter and joiner by trade) to inlett in the action took me about 24 hours over 2 days including a practice on a piece of pine .as the new stock was shaped was very hard to mark out ,Im just doing the finishing shaping i think its going to be about another 24 hours work to finish it . This is where i need some help im going to sand the stock back to bare timber how and what do i use to refinish it ?.I think the timber is walnut im after a dark finish ? Thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  9. bamajoey

    bamajoey Member

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    Reloadron, That is going to be some beautiful grain on that stock when it is finished.
     
  10. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Member

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    Thanks, unfortunately working wood is far from my forte. Have a member who is interested in it, which is nice.

    Ron
     
  11. TNBilly

    TNBilly Member

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    Hey_Poolboy

    Just curious to your method but did you first just inlet for the receiver and barrel and then take out for the mag and trigger? I'm trying to figure if it's easier to keep the receiver straight in the stock one way or the other>
     
  12. Rusty Luck

    Rusty Luck Member

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    Post pics as it goes Jason. Good luck to you.
     
  13. bamajoey

    bamajoey Member

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    TNBilly,
    The way I did mine was to drill out the inletting with a forstner bit in a drill press, then rout out the barrel channel with a router and round nosed bit. After this, I used hand chisels to clean out the inletting. All of this was done before cutting the shape out with a bandsaw. Most of the shaping on the outside was done with a sanding drum in a high speed grinder. Take your time and it should turn out great.:)
     
  14. Jasonmackuk

    Jasonmackuk Member

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    im at this stage

    Im at the shaping sanding stage
     

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  15. Jasonmackuk

    Jasonmackuk Member

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    this is how it started

    This is the start cost me £10
     

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  16. Jasonmackuk

    Jasonmackuk Member

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    what to do next

    Im not decided on what colour to finish the stock was going to get some tru oil walnut finish but will that hide the grain ?
     
  17. hey_poolboy

    hey_poolboy Member

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    I inlet the action and barrel first, then cut in for the floor plate. Since I had a known flat side (I squared up the sides using a jointer/planer before I started) I just measured out center. Then measured and drilled out my action screws.
    After that I clamped my template over the top and hogged out most of the wood with a forstner bit.
    From there I used my router with a straight cut bit and template bushing to true up the blank to the template. Cutting the barrel channel was also done with the router and a fence. I left all of my dims tight enough that I had to file to fit the action in. A dremel was lots of help in the channel too.
    Got a few hours of shaping in. Been using files, and a 30 grit wheel on my angle grinder.
    u4yqyra8.jpg

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  18. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    "Formal training needed." Pish posh :rolleyes:

    Unless one is so inexperienced that they don't know good safety practices, freehanding a stock is not difficult--merely daunting. It's a big task. I've been working off an on (mostly off :eek:) on this thumbhole stock for my R700 since before I joined up here. It's almost done, I just need to make new bottom metal to meet the new profile of the stock, and to hold a custom (bigger) internal box magazine.

    2013-01-17_20-16-17_618.jpg

    Flush with cash from a new job, I bought a plank of Cocobolo and Jatoba. The upper (lighter) portion is 3/4" Jatoba laminated three thick, the grip the same, but with Cocobolo. I did lots of sketches beforehand, getting the measurements I needed, then I bought the wood (200$ just for wood! :eek: What was I thinking?!) and roughed it out with a handsaw. I then glued the layers together with Titebond III (great stuff, great stuff. Like epoxy for wood)

    Once my "blanks" were dried (and left outside for a month to see if the glue would hold--it did) I set them up in my clamping sawhorse and set to work with jack-plane, chisel, rasp, and cardscraper. I don't do woodworking with handtools, because the noise and dust bother me too much, and handtools are more therapeutic. They're also harder to screw stuff up with, have far better control, and are nearly as fast as powertools once you get good with them. Maybe not as fast as a power-carver (those are really fast, but too easy to screw up with)

    The bulk of the project was inletting not the action, but the grip to the upper stock. I'm never doing a two-piece stock like this again. It's cool, but totally not worth it. I used a gouge (curved chisel) to rough out the barrel groove, but the trigger-well, and inletted from there using 60grit sandpaper on a dowel. I left it a bit loose since I will ultimately glass/pillar bed the action. When the gun would get hung up on something during inletting (usually the trigger) I would mark it with a pencil so it would transfer to the wood and show the high spot. Lots of iterations, but it works.

    I'd reccommend walnut for a new carver--way easier to work with than fancy hardwoods, much cheaper, and much easier on tools. I had a small block I used to make some replacement grips (seen here inletted but not quite finished) for my MAS 1873:
    P1110387.jpg
    Those were done in about 8 hours over two days (and I was slacking off most of that time, too). Plenty fast even without power tools.

    TCB
     
  19. hey_poolboy

    hey_poolboy Member

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    It seems we've pretty well hijacked the op's thread. Sorry about that. I'm hoping ho have the time this week to get mine finished up. If i can do that and get at least a couple coats of tru-oil on it I'll start a thread with all of the pics.

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  20. jjjitters

    jjjitters Member

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    I took my laminated blocks and put them on our horizontal boring mill. With a couple ballmills and a few E-mills made for aluminum I was able to do all my action and barrel channeling without much hand tools(ya cheating).

    For the finish I used the Birchwood Casey stock refinishing kit, It comes with several grit sandpapers and steel wool(for finish smoothing the sealer and putting whatever shine/satin sheen desired), and the needed stain/varnish/sealer to do a good job. I recommend the kit , it comes in different color stains.

    Oh ya, one thing that helps for a good smooth finish is to sand as smooth as possible then wet it down with a hot towel and let it soak for a bit. It will cause the extra wood that just pushes into the pores to swell and stick out so you can sand them out. It will give a really fine surface with good grain showing. Some woods turn out quite a bit better others is a small improvement, you'll know the first time wetting it, by how many little "sticks" are there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  21. Rusty Luck

    Rusty Luck Member

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    It's all good! I don't mind the 'jack. Looks awesome. And damn that's a lot of money on wood!!!
     
  22. Jasonmackuk

    Jasonmackuk Member

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    my Ruger 1022 stock

    Hi im at the last stage of finishing my Ruger 1022 stock
     

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  23. Jasonmackuk

    Jasonmackuk Member

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    when finished

    Will post pics with action inplace when stock finished
     
  24. hey_poolboy

    hey_poolboy Member

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    Looking good!

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  25. arizona_cards_11

    arizona_cards_11 Member

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    Hickory......I've had my fair share of encounters with her. We're not on good terms.
     
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