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Why isn't maple used in more shotgun/rifle stocks?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bushmaster1313, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    It seems that plain maple is not used as much as plain walnut.
    How come?
     
  2. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Maple is beautiful but not as strong as walnut. I have a custom rifle that the smith fitted with a fantastic maple stock. Broke on first shot.
     
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Cracks
     
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  4. dancer

    dancer Member

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    I have first-hand evidence that maple is brittle and cracks easily and completely along the grain. I grounded the butt of my TC Classic .22 auto and lost a large chip on the thin edge of the lower butt -- solid maple stock.

    If you need more evidence just watch the bats break in in Major League Baseball. Though not all maple, a significant percentage are -- with the majority of the remainder being ash, I think.
     
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  5. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    There are different kinds/grades/Specis of Maple.


    There are different kinds/grades/Species of Walnut.


    Generally, the right kind of Walnut for Stocks, is lighter, and more resilient or shock resistent and more dimensionally stable in various ambient Humidity conditions, than the best Maples.


    The election of French Walnut for Gun Stocks, was based on long accrued impirical experience with the properties of various Woods for various uses.
     
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  6. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Member

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    As already stated, maple would have a hard time holding up to the recoil of a shotgun. The impulse of a shotgun is very different than that of a rifle. Much longer and deeper whereas a rifle impulse is very quick and crisp. Wedge splitting would occur along the grain of the "tang" area. About the only way you can get away with it on a rifle would be a good bedding job that will take the shock and spread it evenly across the wood.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Beautiful curly & fiddle-back maple was used years ago on flintlocks and Kentucky rifles.
    It was a traditional stock wood when Daniel Boone went to hunt bar.

    It made a comeback after WWII on custom deer rifles.
    Even Weatherby used it on Mark V's as a high cost option stock wood.
    Folks liked the looks of it back in the 60's.

    But white stocks with tiger stripe grain has kinda fallen from favor more recently.

    rc
     
  8. Fumbler

    Fumbler Member

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    I used to work in a woodworking shop.
    It's a guess, but i bet maple isn't used much because it's tough on tools. Most maples are harder than walnuts. It would be labor intensive making a stock by hand and tough on bits machining it for mass production.

    While it is harder than walnut, it does tend to split easier along the grain than walnut like others have suggested.
     
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  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    This is my one and only Maple Stock. A Herter's stock with lots of tiger stripes, but a little blond.

    I prefer Walnut.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a 1903 Springfield my dad stocked with birdseye maple back in the 50s. It is HEAVY. Walnut is fairly light and strong by comparison.

    No, all baseball bats are White Ash. Bowling pins are maple, as were the first fifteen feet of bowling lanes back in the day. Maple can take a lot of impact without damage, while Ash has more tensile strength.
     
  11. Weevil

    Weevil Member

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    No they're not.


    As a matter of fact there was quite some controversy in MLB over maple bats breaking after a player was injured by a broken maple bat.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100920&content_id=14887794&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb


    This was a rather interesting comment from one of the bat makers comparing ash and maple.

    "Ash doesn't break, it cracks," Cook said. "Maple shatters. For example, if you have a big pane of glass and throw a stone, it cracks. Then you have a thin pane of glass and you throw a rock, and it shatters. That's the difference between the two."
     
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  12. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Member

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    Sorry Larry but you are wrong there. They have had Maple bats in Major League since the late 90's. If memory serves me correctly, Barry Bonds used them. While not as popular as Ash, they are growing more common.
     
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  13. duck1977

    duck1977 Member

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    Custom wood rifle stock

    Hello do you you were i could possibliy get a custom wood rifle stock made i have my own wood thanks.
     
  14. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    How would Myrtlewood hold up? Too soft?
     
  15. Nail Shooter

    Nail Shooter Member

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    "Hard" maple is waaay harder/more dense/heavier than walnut. If it is figured, it is waaay harder to machine/shape than walnut without grain tear out. Regards,

    Nail
     
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  16. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Member

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    Maple is used in acoustic guitars, mandolins, violins, etc. because it is stiff and transmits vibrations well. I can see how those things would not be so desirable in a rifle or shotgun.
     
  17. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    Myrtle wood is hard as all get out and not easy to work plus its always "alive". It will never stabilize so acts like wet wood all the time.
     
  18. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    Seasoned maple...

    is alot harder than walnut. I did a birdseye stock back in the 60s and I will never do another one. Walnut is a dream to work with compared to maple. I learned my stock making at Trinidad St Jr College. Class of 64....chris3
     
  19. Castr8r

    Castr8r Member

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    An old German clock/watchmaker that settled in our small town had a Grandfather clock in his shop that he had made. All parts were wood except the chimes, and the gears were handmade out of Walnut and Cherry. The reason was that these woods are "self lubricating," as they wear-polish to a very low friction state, and they are stable in the sense that humidity and temperature changes will not change their size. Gunstocks should be stable also; hence Walnut- easy to work, finishes out well, and won't change size/warp (when properly treated).
     
  20. Otony

    Otony Member

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    I purchased an extremely fancy Myrtlewood stock from the old Fajen outfit about 25 years ago, cut to fit an Ithaca 37. It was truly gorgeous, and never exhibited any issues with moving, checking, or cracking in the ten or so years I owned it. The current owner reports no problems either.

    It may well have been kiln dried to within an inch of its life, but was not brash or chippy in any way. I don't know who is cutting Myrtle stocks these days, but I know where to pick up blanks.
     
  21. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    That works just fine on a gun like a Ithica 37 as its not a bedded stock. I dont care what anyone says as myrtle can not bed and stay bedded in a full stock as it will wander like green wood. It may take several years to do that but it will and when you cure that 3 years later it will do the same. Thats from what I have seen working with the stuff and from the guy that did all the myrtle stocks for Weatherby.
     
  22. BehindTheIronCurtain

    BehindTheIronCurtain Member

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    I think it may have something to do with the fact that it would be really sticky and would be best served on pancakes.
     
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  23. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    To be fair, I was thinking of Myrtlewood for a two piece Target shotgun - might it work?
     
  24. Otony

    Otony Member

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    Read post #20, where I wrote about a two piece myrtlewood stock on a shotgun.
     
  25. jiphillips

    jiphillips Member

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    I look at this a little differently since I grew up in the furniture refinishing business. I'm not thrilled with maple or walnut because I grew up with it, I do wonder why some gunsmiths/manufacturers or stock/grip distributors don't buy a small supply of some "exotic" woods and try them. I consider cocobolo pretty common but how about some tulip wood, snake wood, basswood, red heart, purple heart, osage orange or even English yew? I've only worked with these woods in a non-gun way so I don't know if they could handle the stress but if that was my business I would find out and see if someone wanted to buy it.
     

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