View Full Version : Custom wood stock

May 21, 2008, 09:09 PM
I just bought a Marlin 891t and would like to carve a custom stock for it (yes I understand the rifle does not warrant a custom stock, I just want to practice on it so that I will have some Idea what I am doing before I try on say an M1A)
What type of wood is best? Besides aesthetc. Does it need to be super hard? Do I need to make sure it is the same weight as what I take off to get balance? Could I just put inserts around the butt plate to balance it? Has anyone done this before?
I am not going to try this for a while but want to start getting some info so I have it rolling around in my head for a while.

Harry Bonar
May 22, 2008, 08:20 AM
I think I'd use the classic - walnut.
You might want to start with a semi-inletted blank. Keep your tools sharp.
Harry B.

July 31, 2008, 08:30 AM
I like walnut but have used oak and maple also. Walnut is the best if you want to do any checkering and it doesn't need any stain to enhance the color and gain but oak can be stained to really bring out some nice grain. I have an-old Turkish Mauser with an oak stock that almost looks like a laminated stock. You'll need a piece 2X8 3 ft. long min. I bought a chunk of walnut 6 ft. long for $56. and got two stocks out of it and had lots left over for grips and to practice checkering on. Cut the ruff shape then channel for the barrle and cut out for the action, no point in working on outside till you get the gun to fit and its easier to work on if the outside is flat and square so you can clamp it in a vice or to a table. I know the guns I work with don't justify hand made custom stocks, I just like working with wood and you can make anold sulplus rifle that someone haked the fore stock off of into a nice looking hunting rifle. Once you get the fit right just cut and sand away everything that doesn't look like the stock you have in your mind.
Good luck and enjoy the trip. You might want to try a test run om some really cheap wood like pine befor you stat wittling away on a fifty dollar piece of walnut. Have fun. :)

July 31, 2008, 10:02 AM
I got some real nice black walnut.;) It would be one of the best to use for it. And every gun warrants a nice custom stock if its what you like for it.

July 31, 2008, 10:05 AM
As others have suggested, walnut is a great wood for gun stocks. It is just about perfect in many ways: it is hard but not too hard, it is light but not too light, it is flexible but not too flexible, and on and on. But gunstocks can be made out of almost any hard fruit tree wood or nut tree wood, and have been. Apple wood makes some spectacular stocks, as do quince, pecan, almond, hickory, butternut, mulberry, crabapple, and the list goes on. But walnut is easy to work with and the color is naturally pleasing without staining, so many people feel it is the best. But you can use whatever wood you want. For that matter, you could make a stock for a 22 out of balsa, if it pleases you. Read up on stockmaking and design, and maybe you'll be the next famous stockmaker.

July 31, 2008, 10:05 AM
I got some real nice black walnut

I can vouch for that!

August 3, 2008, 12:31 PM
Tom, How did those grips ever turn out? Do you got any pics to share with us? I would love to see how the walnut I sent you looks finished. especially the tiger and fancy burld pieces.

T. O'Heir
August 3, 2008, 05:06 PM
How much money do you want to spend? Figure that out first then do a bit of 'net searching. Making a stock isn't exactly carving either. It's a lot of router work to get the inletting right.
You'd likely be best to start with a hunk of something other than walnut. A black walnut stock blank starts at around $200US and go way up from there. A grand for a high grade stock blank isn't unusual.

August 3, 2008, 05:43 PM
Still don't have my workshop up yet. No place to set it up. I will probably carve one or two in pine first.

August 3, 2008, 06:03 PM
T.Oheir, Where are you getting those prices from???:eek: WOW, I wish I could sell my walnut for that and almost all of my blanks are under $200.00 for a real nice piece thats done the old book way of air drying 1" per year in a controlled enviroment. I guess im going to have a price increase.LOL. One of the best investments for custom woodworking is a good duplicutter that copies most any stock contour either manually or digitally. I bought one a while ago and it works pretty good for most of the things I do with it. I saw one made by Sears thats great and copies off of your computer to any pattern that you can download on it.

August 4, 2008, 05:34 AM
Yea T.Oheir, why is it you think you know so much about everything there is to know everything.
A Boyd stock is a good deal lot's easyer then starting from scratch and fairly priced much cheaper then t.Oheir would have sold you one.