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Stock Making from a blank by hand

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Les B

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#1
http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/9411043/m/4711078031

Hello from a new member,

I signed up today and the link above is for my final project. I have made stocks since 1957 and tried to help others learn how some of us worked in the old days. Here is a short history of where I am coming from, class of 1963 TSJC gunsmith school, worked for years as a full time gunsmith, taught at TSJC 1993-94 in checkering and stockmaking. I retired back in 1996 and wrote up some of my work and projects. I have written an article for the Engraver Guild magazine on making your own engraver sharpening tool.

I have owned several large lathes , but now I am working with the mini lathes and have written up how to make a hunting rifle with one of these 7X12 lathe. I used one to rebarrel a mini Mauser action after I ruined the Krieger barrel. I made the mistake of not looking down the bore after cleaning and a part of the patch must have broke off and stayed about 6 in. from the end. A 204 Ruger is a high pressure cartridge and it swelled a little on the inside, but not visable from the outside. I replaced it with a Shilen #2 and it is grouping about .300 in. @ 100 yds.

You may need to save the about link pages as a reference for your own stocks. I will try to post a couple of pictures in another post.

Les Brooks
 

Tom Griffin

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#2
Nice writeup and excellent work Les, thanks for sharing it with us. It's nice to see that it doesn't take machinery to make a nice stock.

Can you tell me how you did the dark colored nose on the stock? I assume it's some sort of stain, but how is the line so crisp?

Tom
 

Les B

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#3
Tip is ebony from Brownell's and it is black as it can be. Hope it will help you make your next stock.

Les
 

Tom Griffin

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#4
Thanks Les, that makes sense. I assume it's screwed on or doweled? A lot of those exotic hardwoods are quite oily and don't glue very well. I recently made a set of grips for my 1911 out of Kingwood. The stuff was so oily that it didn't require finishing, only a quick buff.

I just finished the stock for my Steven's and after my son saw it I may soon be making one for his Remington 700. Maybe I'll just send him your link. :rolleyes:

Tom
 

Elwood_Blues

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#5
I hope I don't lower the signal to noise ratio here, but I watched that thread on AR since you started it. It is one of those rare threads that make AR worth visiting.

That is excellent work that is well documented, with the emphasis on documentation. Even I could make a stab on stockmaking based on that thread.
 

Rick Leslie

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#6
Les, I just finished reading (lusting) over your build thread. First, phenomenal work!! A true work of art rendered from a truck tailgate! Second, thank you for sharing. And last I hope the health problems you mentioned have been dealt with successfully. Thank you again for a great read. It inspires me to do better.
 

Les B

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#7
I am glad that I could help so many people learn to make a stock. That was my purpose when I started this project. It has lots of basic info on what can be done with very few tools.

I had a cataract removed in June and now I can see much better. Lately I have been trying to engrave and now I can see what I am trying to cut. A 30 minute operation turned into a 2 hr ordeal in the operating room. It is still healing and I hope that in a few months I may be able to checker again.

I am thinking about posting on my designed stock duplicator for the small shop.

Thinks to all for your interest,

Les Brooks
 

Rick Leslie

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#8
Happy to hear that you're on the road to recovery. Some people think gunsmithing in general relies on a certain amount of 'magic' or expensive machinery. It's refreshing to see the art restored to a simpler form. No magic, no expensive machines. Just patience, persistence and attention to detail. Of course it helps if you have some talent too.
 

7HC

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#9
..........now I am working with the mini lathes and have written up how to make a hunting rifle with one of these 7X12 lathe.
Les Brooks
I'd like to read that, is there a link to the article?

Re the stock, is there any reason it couldn't be roughed out using a CNC mill. Seems like it would save a lot of work which would allow the gunsmith's skill, time and labor to be better used.


M
 

keltg

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#10
I have been teaching myself the arts of gunsmithing and from reading the old manuals, reading articles written by masters such as yourself Les, Patrick Sweeney, Howe, and a number of others. It is just too bad that here in Canada there is only one actual Gunsmithing school and that is Quebec and taught in French. I really just wanted to say thank you for this post and the link to your other posts. It makes it possible for us self teachers out there to see how it should be done.

Thank you
Keltg
 

GunsmithD

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#11
...It is just too bad that here in Canada there is only one actual Gunsmithing school and that is Quebec and taught in French...
I don't know how close you are or if it is a money problem or what, but the school I went to is in a suburb of Denver, Lakewood, Colorado. The school is Colorado School of Trades. It is one of the top 2 schools in the U.S. It would be worth a look.


-Chris
 

keltg

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#12
I don't know how close you are or if it is a money problem or what, but the school I went to is in a suburb of Denver, Lakewood, Colorado. The school is Colorado School of Trades. It is one of the top 2 schools in the U.S. It would be worth a look.


-Chris
Thank you Chris for the info. I will definitely look into it, If life hadn't got in the way years ago i would likely have even been more serious. at 43 and with 6 kids it is tough to find the resources to attend school. But i will look into it, thank you again.
 

Les B

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#14
George, I usually apply a couple of coats into the checkering to seal the grain on a field hunting rifle. The Tru Oil is cut with Mineral Spirits about 1/2 to 1/2, and wiped out after it set for an hour. If this were a safe queen rifle it would be left alone to show the contrast of the stock wood against the checkering pattern.

Some wood is so soft that it is necessary to apply oil into the checkering pattern when spacing out the lines. Soft maple wood is hard to checker because of the fuzzing of the grain.
 

papaw

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#15
Hey Les, I haven't visited with you in a while. Missed you at the Shilen Swap Meets the last few years.
 

Les B

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#16
Hey Butch,

The problem is old age and not keeping up with things on the boards. I still haven't finish the metal on the rifle on the write up. I told Craftsman that I would try to get it to him for a good dull blue job about 3 yrs ago and it is still under the bed in a case. I noticed last week that it was Feb. 2012 when it was fired and the scope set for zero at about 300 yds. I have been having lots of work done on my RV brakes and bearings. It took most of my PD play money to get things ready to go. I may be able to get going in July towards NM.
 

skeeks03

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#17
Man thats cool stuff. Can you tell me why you bed the barrel as well as well as the action?
With the precision shooting I've done I've always been thought that free floating the barrel was the only way to go.
 

Les B

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The free floating barrel is good on bench rest shooting, but on a light weight hunting rifle I like to have some pressure on the barrel and let it fit into a V block just behind forend tip with about 2 lbs of up pressure applied. The sides of the channel is inletted close to the barrel and with no pressure applied to the barrel side ways. The space is like free floating only the amount of a dollar bill to pass around the barrel. This clearance is not noticeable to most people viewing the rifle. On a custom rifle people expect to have the inletting as close as possible. The accuracy of this rifle is great for an light weight hunting rifle. At 8 lbs with the scope it placed 5 rounds into .300 @ 100Yds. The scope is Nikon 6x18 which is heavy. Without the scope and mounts it will weigh about 6 1/2 lbs.

I hope this helps you understand my way of stockmaking. One can use glass bedding to get a location at the V block location by a small business card under the action flat area behing the recoil lug. After it sets up remove the card and you have some up pressure on the barrel. See the write up and view the picture where I show the point that supports the barrel.
 

skeeks03

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#19
Very interesting. The rifles we shoot in the competitions I shoot in are anywhere from 10-20lbs. They are all free floated and either bedded or sit in a chassis that free floats the barrel. The thinking behind free floating the barrel is to allow the resonance fequency to vibrate at the barrels natural fequency and thus tuning a load to the barrel.
Very interesting stuff! Thanks for the reply!
 
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