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Hello Again,

I know there are certain folks waiting to see this one. It is beautiful Grafted English Walnut. The customer will not see this until Wednesday so a sneak peak was in order. The wood is Grafted yes two different species of wood were grown together and the wood was provided by our own MR. M from White Creek Gunstocks. If you look you will see the graft line running vertical through the grip with the English in the front and the Claro in the back side of the stock providing all the color. We do not often see this wood but this about the 5th one we have done and I think the grafted wood is stunning. The finish work is outstanding and the last photo shows a gold broken target embedded in Black Ebony and sealed in the wood. The coin had to have the out line cut and sunk into the Ebony all by hand. The end result is the black showing through the cut out portions of the target to give it a great effect. The photos do not do justice to the beauty of this piece. Thank you for taking a look and thanks to The Crew for another fine job. Thanks to all of you that take a look.

Dennis, Cindy & The Crew


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Once again, perfectly laid out with the grain structure through the action/wrist flawless. The embedded gold is a nice touch and exquisitely executed. Well done!

best.... mike
 

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Holy wood chips batman. Just when I thought they could not get any better, you have to go and publish this....stunning to say the least.
 

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Does the grafting of two pieces of wood save money on making a custom stock?

I can not wait to see Mark's Perazzi MX15 completed stock that is just about completed. I think Cindy is checkering now.

Joe M
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No I do not think the wood is any cheaper but it is most definitely rarer to find in a big blank. I like the wood do to the density and overall size of the blank. The style of stock we build demands a larger blank in both thickness and width. All of the toe out and offset are built in the blank whenever possible. Mr. M always keeps a certain amount of over size blanks on hand for our clients. I would encourage anyone looking for Claro, English, Grafted and Myrtle to give Mike a call. He does have a barn full of wood to choose from. And yes Cindy and Mike are in the process of finishing touches on Mark's new stock. Thanks for all the feedback.

Dennis DeVault
 

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jmheritage asked: "Does the grafting of two pieces of wood save money on making a custom stock?"

I think the story goes like this:

Grafting Claro walnut and English walnut together is not done for reasons involving gunstocks. Rather, it is done by the commercial food industry businesses concerned with growing walnut trees for nut harvesting. So, we're talking about grafting together live trees . . . not gluing two pieces of gunstock blank together.

In the areas of the US that are involved in nut production, I think a Claro walnut seedling is used as the "rootstock" and a piece of English walnut seedling is grafted on as the scion. The Claro seedling is used as the rootstock because its trunk and root systems are indigenous to the area, and are thus already optimum for the local soil and climate conditions, while I guess the English Walnut is chosen as the grafted scion since that species produces better, or more desirable walnuts.

When a grafted tree has reached the end of its nut-producing lifespan and is cut down for its wood, there's a single area in the trunk where the original graft was made . . . and this is where you'll find Claro on one side and English on the other. This explains why such gunstock blanks are rare.

So, the existence of these blanks is simply a by-product of standard
commercial horticulture practices.

One final useless factoid: Claro walnut and English walnut have also been cross-bred into a hybrid species . . . that's "Bastogne" walnut. A fast-growing tree that produces nice gunstock wood, but reportedly a poor producer of actual walnuts.

Anyway, that's what (I think) I know on this subject. Maybe a real expert can confirm (or deny) other details.
 

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Excellent tutorial Tech Writer,

A few additional facts:

Most of the commercial walnut orchards planted in California between 1850 and 1960 used a hybrid of Eastern Black Walnut and California Claro called "Royal Walnut" as the rootstock. When harvested, the "high graft" rootstock of this type displays the deep brown base colors of Black Walnut along with the accent colors, figure and stripe of the more flambouyant Claro Walnut.


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Cutting a graftline blank is one of the options that faces a cutter when laying out slabs which were deliberately cut with part of the slab consisting of the rootstock and another part of the slab consisting of the English Walnut varietal. When I harvested the orchard in Red Bluff, California, I made the decision to deliberately not cut a few trees through the graftline, but rather to cut them several feet above and below the graftline. When these were milled, they yielded some very striking slabs that gave me the opportunity to lay out and cut a very limited number of these blanks.


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When properly laid out, the graftline on a shotgun blank should be behind the grip, while on a rifle the graftline should be ahead of the grip, as is the case in this illustration. There is often concern and I'm often asked if the graftline joint isn't a weak point in the blank. My experience is usually the opposite considering that the grafted joint supported a multi-ton tree swinging in the breeze for many decades.

As Dennis's picture shows clearly, I also provided a graftline forend blank. English on the left, Royal on the right. I give my clients a choice in forend blanks of graftline, all English or all Royal.

The Bastogne Walnut is actually sterile and produces very few or no nuts. If you have a big one in your yard that you want to get rid of, please let me know. I'd be glad to help resolve that problem.

Respectfully Submitted. Mike Mann
 
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