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I finished my first stock

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by darincraft, Mar 25, 2011.

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  1. darincraft

    darincraft Member

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    This is what I started with. A walnut monte carlo 1100/11-87/870 factory 2nd from GB.com. No checkering, no final finish. I really wanted to try my hand at checkering and cutting a comb, so I bought this stock for fairly cheap with the thought I would probably throw it away after I messed it up. Sorry about the quality of pics. My good camera has dead batteries.

    pix459443131.jpg


    I cut the checkering in it with a 7 piece 18 LPI tool kit.

    IMAG0005.jpg


    I cut the comb and sanded it to fit. Then I inlet Graco 870 comb hardware and sanded the entire stock to bare wood.

    IMAG0004.jpg


    After a ton of prep, and about 20 coats of oil and numerous hours polishing this is what I finished with.

    IMAG0012.jpg


    IMAG0013.jpg


    IMAG0015.jpg


    I have two other non monte carlo trap stocks that are next in line, but they will have Graco adjustable buttplates, not the morgan like this one. This one will be for sale on GB.

    Thanks for looking
    Darin
     
  2. birdogs

    birdogs TS Member

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    I respectfully suggest that you thin the finish you put in the checkering. That aside, I think you should be proud of your work. It came out great.
     
  3. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    Very nice. You're a southpaw?
     
  4. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Nice job Darin.
     
  5. darincraft

    darincraft Member

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    I am assuming you are talking about the gloss. That's because I JUST put that coat on. There is only one coat of oil only to seal it. I am going to hit it with steel wool to dull it.
     
  6. darincraft

    darincraft Member

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    I am, but I shoot right. I didn't want the set screws on the right side and wanted to keep it clean, but after I drilled the holes I realized I should have put them on the right side.

    Thanks guys
     
  7. Calkidd

    Calkidd Well-Known Member

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    Good job that looks fantastic, make sure you bring it buy tonight.

    Bryan (Big Brother)
     
  8. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Darin:

    For your first attempt, that is a absolutely stellar job. I've seen worse results from so-called professionals. And I know that stock represents a lot of hard work. Good for you, man.

    -Gary
     
  9. dcb_wvu

    dcb_wvu Member

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    Darin:

    Looks good. I have a Model 12 stock that is just about finished. I did the finish work first then the checkering. I am using the Tru Oil finish and will seal the checkering with Linseed oil. Next in line is Exhibition Maple for my Krieghoff. Gonna get some help putting the hole in that one though.

    Good work!

    Courtney
     
  10. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Great job.
    Steve Balistreri
     
  11. Rastoff

    Rastoff Active Member

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    Very nice. Not many would get that their first time out. What do you want for it?
     
  12. darincraft

    darincraft Member

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    Thanks guys, I am really happy with how it turned out. As far as how much I am going to sell it for, I have no idea even what it is worth. The checkering is not "perfect." When I research for a price all I come up with is professionally done stocks with fancy wood that are $500+ which I KNOW this ain't even close to that. I was going to do some more research and see what might be a good/fair/cheap price. I also have two other stocks I am going to do the same thing to, however they are non monte carlo trap stocks one of which has nicer grain.

    Darin
     
  13. darincraft

    darincraft Member

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    Anyone have any suggestions as to what this thing is worth?
     
  14. larryjk

    larryjk Member

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    darincraft, Let me be the S.O.B. to throw some cold water on you. I do stocks professionally. (1) You don't checker stocks that haven't been finished. (2) You have some uneven lines in your checkering that run together. (3) Your diamoonds are almost square. They would normally be either 3 or 3 1/2 to one in length to width.
    You need practice. At least you are not afraid to try. Find some old stocks and practice checkering on them. Work out the problems you have in practice.
    Read Kennedy's book on "Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks". Then take your work to someone that does it professionally and ask them for advice. But practice on stocks you can throw away.
    Not bad for a first experience. First, never go past a mistake in checkering without correcting it.
    I don't want to discourage you, but you need to practice before you try to sell your work. Don't screw up good wood.
     
  15. darincraft

    darincraft Member

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    What's wrong with square checkering? Why can't you checker an unfinished stock? Who said I can't sell it?
     
  16. Rastoff

    Rastoff Active Member

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    You can sell it. It will just depend on the price you want. You can do square checkering. That's just not the standard way to checker a gun. Some Berettas have dimples. Different strokes for different folks.

    The idea behind checkering after the finish is done, is so you don't get the finish in the checkering.

    I don't think Larryjk was trying to bash on your work. I just think he was offering up a different point of view.
     
  17. Jeff P

    Jeff P Well-Known Member

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    This is something I want to try to do too, one day. You should be very proud for undertaking it.

    I noticed the flaws in the checkering too...but honestly, what's keeping me from even STARTING is the fear that I won't be able to do even HALF that well.

    I'd call it a super first effort (I hope my first comes out that well!!) and a learning experience you can build on.

    how about providing us aspiring stock makers some info: what kind of tools do you have? How many hours into this? How'd you figure out how to cut the comb, and what did you cut it on?

    Lastly, for anyone: what kind of balls does it take to cut a comb or checker on a $2,000 stock blank? I've seen some of the best wood out there...and I wonder how you ever get the courage to start??

    Jeff
     
  18. darincraft

    darincraft Member

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    Thank you very much for the positive comments. I bought this stock with the sole intention of trying it out and being able to throw it away if I screwed up. I saw square checkering, diamond and fancy designs and I reminded myself that when learning something new do the simplest thing first,...square. Remember if you screw up the checkering, sand it off and start over. Is anyone really going to know?

    I covered the entire stock in blue painters tape and drew the area to be checkered and cut it out.

    Then I drew two lines perpendicular (90*) to each other and made a single grove pass down both lines. Then I used a 7 piece Dem-Bart checkering set to make the remaining passes and was careful to cut each line patiently. I made mistakes, but each one I learned from. I am doing another stock right now with square, the next one will be diamond.

    The next task was cutting the comb. With the tape still covering the entire stock, I marked the bolt hole, and the recoil pad screw holes so I made sure not to cut into them. Then parallel to the comb I marked a line 1 1/8" down and drew my lines leading up to the top of the comb (see photo of my current stock). I just made sure that the flat part of the cut was at least 4" long and there was enough room so when I drill the two 7/8" holes 1/4" deep for the hardware I didn't go into the bolt hole.

    Now you gotta keep the stock flat so it doesn't roll and raised enough so the taper from butt to receiver doesn't throw you off. Take a piece of wood like a stir stick and screw it to the butt to keep the stock flat. Now you have to keep the stock flat from front to back. Use something to raise the grip portion high enough so it is parallel to the table (I used a folded up paper towel taped to the grip...lol). This is only to ensure the stock is flat from front to back in case that got confusing.

    Now make sure the table on your band saw is big enough it won't fall off the edge. Using a 14tpi x 1/8" blade with the guides barely above the height of the stock and cut the comb...SLOWLY, YOU CANNOT CORRECT A BIG ERROR. It took me five minute to cut the comb. I cut in just passed the first curve and shut the saw off. Caught my breath, repostioned and started again. I repeated this up to the second curve and again on the way out.

    I sanded the cut with 100 grit on a 1/4 sander and the fall off with a disc sander. I mounted the hardware with the same patience and two part clear epoxy and put it all together. I then sanded the entire stock with 100 grit to make everything line up at my cut width wise. By hand I then sanded the stock with 220, 340 and then 600. Then here is where some assume I just oiled the stock, I didn't. I taped off the checkering and made sure to push the tape in all the way around the edges and then oiled it. Oil, color sand, oil, color sand, oil, color sand....20 times. On the last coat I let it sit for a day and color sanded with 2000. Then I polished it with Flitz and waxed it. I then cut around where the tape met the stock and carefully pulled the tape revealing the uncoated checkering. There was some disruption with the oil on the edge, but some toothpick work you can't see it. Next use a brush to apply one layer of oil to the checkering to seal it. Thats it.

    Time:
    Checkering. 2 hours per side
    Layout and cutting. 30 minutes
    Hardware. 20-30 minutes
    Polishing the buttplate hardware that the guy before me screwed up. 20 minutes.
    Sanding. 6+ hours
    Oil rubbing/sanding/polishing. 4-5 hours over the course of days.

    Kind of fuzzy but you can see where I marked the stock bolt hole, the parallel comb line and the screw hole for the buttplate

    IMAG0016.jpg
     
  19. Rich C

    Rich C TS Member

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    As a professional Finish Carpenter I would say you did a fantastic job for a "first try"

    Rich
     
  20. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Larry: It was his FIRST attempt. Didn't you see that part of the story? Give him a break for crying out loud.

    -Gary
     
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