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Old August 24, 2013, 10:38 AM   #1
Hunter562yards
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Stock making

I am making a new stock for my savage .270, I am using padauk and I am doing this as a high school shop project. Is there any tips anyone could give me, such as what tools I will need. Anything will help, thanks.
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Old August 24, 2013, 12:16 PM   #2
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.

Welcome to the TFL - IMHO, you've picked a fairly difficult project as a starter, since stock-making has more aspects/sides than a fancy diamond. .

An online answer here would only unfairly short-change you; so it would be most likely best if you google "gun stock making", as entire books have been written on both the process and the tools/equipment.

When it comes right down to it, a stocker's best equipment is located at the end of their arm(s) and between their ears. .



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Old August 24, 2013, 01:54 PM   #3
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Get a book on stock design

Calculate the your length of pull. This determines your stock length.

Figure out what the gun will be used for. Will it be used for game? It'll require a raised cheekpiece for proper eye alignment. If it's used for dangerous big game, then quicker iron sights are needed and a lower comb.

Hunting in cold weather means a warm jacket with padding. The stock will have to be shorter to accommodate for that jacket. If it's a summer gun for bench-resting, then thinner clothing and no change in length of pull.

Next thing is to lay out the boreline. Everything is measured off of it. Figure out where the center of the trigger is. From it you will draw out your length of pull.

Draw a perpendicular line down. This represents the butt. Add 3/16" to the heel and take 3/16" off from the bottom where the toe is. Connect these lines. This is your pitch.

The grip is next. What size hand? Small hands means a 3 1/2 distance from the center of the trigger. For bigger hands, it can go to 4". Once you figure out the distance, get a compass and set the point on the center of the trigger. You then draw an arch that represents that 3 1/2" or 4" or whatever. That's where the front of your grip goes.

Figure out your grip cap if any. The angle of the cap is influenced by the style of stock you wish to make. American stocks tend to form a straight line to the heel.

Following the bottom of the magazine floorplate & trigger housing, draw a straight line forward toward the muzzle/boreline. You want your forearm to be 7 1/2" (Mtn Gun) to 10 1/2". This will include any foreend cap.


We took our drawing and traced it over our stock blanks. You can then mill or plane the top flat to the boreline. We milled out where the receiver went and then part of the barrel channel. Then hours of hand fitting was done to fit the receiver and the barrel. Afterward, we flipped the stock upside down and inletted the trigger guard. After all the metal was fitted to the wood, stock shaping began. Lots of chisel, file (Nicholson #49) came into play.
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Old August 24, 2013, 03:16 PM   #4
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I have made many other projects before so I have some experience, and I have searched many different ways with little no useful results, I'm just asking because this wood is very expensive so I don't want to mess up too many times.
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Old August 24, 2013, 03:18 PM   #5
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A cheaper stock blank will run you about $60.

You might also want to start with a pre-inletted stock, but that will cost you more and will give you less design flexibility.
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Old August 24, 2013, 03:36 PM   #6
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I am not using a stock blank, I am using a 2" thick by 6" wide by 10' long board, and the wood costs me $9.40 a board foot
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Old August 24, 2013, 04:14 PM   #7
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Does the grain run lengthwise?
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Old August 24, 2013, 04:18 PM   #8
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It should yes, the wood hasn't arrived from the mill yet
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Old August 24, 2013, 04:28 PM   #9
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Ouch on the price of your wood per board ft. One of the reasons I just piece together whatever hardwood I have to make a stock. Presently making a stock for a gent and so far it has popular, Chinese parquet wood, cherry and oak and even some cabinet grade pine used in core of stock. LOL, yea I use a fair amount of glue.

As to tools needed: I get by with your basic chisels, dremel tool with a nice assortment of bits, table saw, chop saw, band saw, drill press, belt sander and a palm sander. Do have a planer, both hand electric and a bench type, and occasionally use them to plane a piece of wood. Wood rasps are used on occassion to shape with, but generally avoid using them. Have other power tools such as a router, but seldom use it since I find it to too easy to make a mistake with one.

FWIW, most of my shaping of wood is done with a bandsaw, belt sander, a palm sander and chisels.
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Old August 24, 2013, 04:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info, I can easily get my hands on all those tools.
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Old August 24, 2013, 05:55 PM   #11
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Freshly milled wood? Wood has to be dried for about 12 years.
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Old August 24, 2013, 06:05 PM   #12
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You really should have selected a gunstock blank. They have specific grain orientation, and they are SLLLOOWWWly air-dried for years for dimensional stability in the elements.

Inletting will need to be done first, preferable with an end mill, but can be done on a router table. But it needs to be done before any shaping of the stock, while you still have flats to work on. Once the stock is contoured/shaped it can't be done with power equipment.

Main thing to keep in mind, is the depth of the stock at the action/action screws must be "correct"- meaning matching the depth of the assembled action. Take measurements with calipers at the front and rear action screws, and make sure you duplicate those dimensions on your stock.

If you're installing pillars and epoxy bedding the receiver, it makes it that much easier. Overcut everything, neatness (on the inletting) doesn't count as the epoxy will make it all perfect...
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Old August 24, 2013, 07:33 PM   #13
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A couple of points on padauk:
* It is a known mucous membrane and respiratory irritant. Dust will cause severe respiratory reaction and irritate the eyes. Wear a dust mask when working with padauk.

* Padauk will cause severe reactions around splinters or cuts that get dust in them.

* Padauk comes from a leguminous tree, much like acacia, mesquite, and locust. It is a very tough wood. Tough means it will be hard on tools. Make sure you know how to sharpen chisels and planes.

* Padauk will wear your files and rasps.

* And possibly worst of all, after exposure to air and UV, padauk will turn a rather bland color of brown, so all that work will be for naught.

I do stock work for a living. My first stock was myrtlewood. Wish I had chosen maple instead. Cheaper, more figure, and much more forgiving of rough workmanship.
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Old August 24, 2013, 10:31 PM   #14
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All of the wood comes from Paxton lumber so I'm guessing it has already been air dried and all that necessary stuff, and my shop teacher told me about the difficulties with padauk, and suggested walnut. I chose the padauk because I like both the orange color and the brown color when it ages, he had a sample that I looked at.
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Old August 25, 2013, 07:05 AM   #15
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Scorch gave you some good safety tips. I wasn't aware of that myself (I know mahogany poses similar risks). Both you and anyone around you should wear dust masks. I'd change clothes too after shop. You don't want to transfer the dust home and expose your family.
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Old August 25, 2013, 08:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
so I'm guessing it has already been air dried and all that necessary stuff
Ooh, don't guess at that, be SURE it is fully dried. You have received really good advice so far, do not ignore or discount it. I am assuming you want this first experience to be a pleasant one, right?

It all comes down to how many headaches you want as you pay the tuition of learning, and how long you want to work on it. Stock making is one of those things that in some cases can be very unforgiving if you make a mistake. Its not like a goof on a haircut that can grow back. My first stock started out as a semi-inletted blank I bought from a stock vendor and it took me nearly 200 hours to complete. I am REALLY glad I went the semi-inletted route and though I have done a couple of stocks so far, I still would go that way again to save the pains of action fitting.

One tool I bought that I have not seen mentioned here yet that helped me get a perfect barrel channel was a barrel bedding tool (see it here http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-to...-prod6796.aspx) - well worth the money.
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Old August 25, 2013, 11:15 AM   #17
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I did not mean to make it sound as if I am ignoring or discounting any information. I am taking all the information I am receiving with an open mind, and as for the barrel bedding tool I am looking for one currently, but I'm not sure on which one to get.
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Old August 25, 2013, 01:29 PM   #18
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I like the Gunline BBT in 1/2". The two handles help keep you straight. The initial channel can be cut on a milling machine or in your case, a router with an slightlu undersized bit that is half round.

Post pics here to document your work.
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Old August 25, 2013, 05:22 PM   #19
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A general rule of thumb on drying wood (air drying) is that it takes a minimum of 1 year per inch of thickness. You can buy or borrow an instrument for measuring wood moisture, if you want to get an early idea of what that moisture level is at present.

On occasion I buy a good bit of imported exotic woods and quite often they are nowhere near being dry enough.

As for making a stock, I would not attempt making my first stock with that expensive wood. I'd hone my technique on something cheap and easy to work with - like white pine. You will make a mistake. That's a guarantee. So learn on the cheap stuff. If you don't have the time to make that first practice stock, all I can suggest is that you think the process out very carefully, write down the stepwise procedure, diagram your wood removal in critical areas and refer to the diagram often. And go so very slow. And good luck.
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Old August 25, 2013, 05:45 PM   #20
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Yeah I wish I had a lot of time but I don't really, thanks for the tips I'm gonna have to take this very slowly
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Old August 25, 2013, 07:28 PM   #21
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I'm wondering if 2" thick will be enough thickness, unless you bend the stock to get the correct offset, which is generally 1/4" or so to the right for a right handed shooter. This offset generally starts around mid-way of the grip.

I have walnut here that I have cut into 2-1/2 thick boards due to this. I have made a few custom stocks, but generally, I send out the order to someone with a duplicator.

The receiver recesses and the barrel channel are the hardest, and every other measurement is taken from the centerline of the bore. There are a few good books on this, which show the basic layout. See the gunsmithing book by Dunlap.
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Old August 30, 2013, 01:59 AM   #22
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Update on my stock, I have decided against the padauk. It would have been awesome to use it, but for my first ever stock, I'd like to use something a little easier to work with, so I am going to use walnut. I'm going to see if I can get it in 2.5" thick by 7" wide.
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Old August 30, 2013, 08:02 AM   #23
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Get yourself a piece of english chip walnut. It is better than American black walnut. Cuts are cleaner. It will cost you about $100 for a plain straight grain piece without figure.
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Old August 30, 2013, 07:40 PM   #24
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Easy place to get walnut blanks- Boyd's. Their profile will accommodate most rifle stock designs, thickness is 2-1/4" which is MOL the industry standard.

I buy my hardwood blanks elsewhere now, but used to purchase from Boyd's and found them to be of decent quality for standard grade Walnut.
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Old August 31, 2013, 10:15 AM   #25
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Yep, for a beginner, as suggested already, buy a Unilet stock from Boyds to use for your first attempt. Exterior of it is already shaped (but needs additional work) and requires inletting for the barreled action/trigger guard. Last Unilet stock I got from Boyds was in their clearance section. I didn't expect much when I ordered it. It was for replacing a butchered military stock on a mauser that had been sporterized. I got lucky, wood had some decent color and figure in it.
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