View Full Version : Evaluation on stock blanks from Cali'co....

December 20, 2001, 05:07 PM
I got my two stock blanks from Cali'co a few weeks ago, so here's the eval......

The first was a utility grade walnut. Very good, straight grain, came out beautifully with a linseed finish. Well worth the money.

The second was an 'A Fancy' grade. Fairly pricey. Didn't even get to the finishing stage....after the stock was carved (classical Oberndorf sporter style), it split in two locations. I and my smith examined the wood, and found it to be very dry and way too light. lots of very small voids in the wood (looked like a sponge). Given that it split around the action, I'm glad it hadn't been finished and fired before we noticed the problems. This was for a 45-70 on a Siamese action.

The stock had not been abused. Fairly light pressure from a wood vise (leather-faced) had been applied. This caused the wood to crack along the sides (about 3/8" thick).

One excellent piece, one bad chunk of wood. I only wish it had been the cheap stuff that had been bad. The A-grade seemed to have been over-dried in the kiln.

Given the quality of the utility-grade, I'd say I just got unlucky once. I'd prolly buy from Cali'co again....just not the expensive stuff.

December 20, 2001, 05:36 PM
You talked to Cali'co bout it ?


December 20, 2001, 08:09 PM
Already carved into the blank (flaws weren't readily apparent on the blank surfaces). Once I start work, it becomes my problem. If I wasn't happy BEFORE I started work, I could see sending the blank back. Once work starts, it doesn't seem right to return it.

December 20, 2001, 10:44 PM
Neither you nor Cali'co could see inside, I understand that. But, was thinkin bout givin em a call, nicely, and lettin em know what you found. They might say thanks for the info........or they might offer to replace it. They might be grateful that you tipped em to a potential problem. Moisture content and weight checks might reveal that they got some timber from a bad stand.


December 20, 2001, 11:16 PM
Let me guess- the utility stock was English Walnut and the fancy was Claro ("California Corkwood" as another gunsmith calls it).

Anyway sometimes this happens. Not every section of a walnut tree is suitable for stock wood... Sometimes the blank looks great but is too light and porous for our purposes...

I'd give them a call and discuss your concerns... one excellent, one useless. Hey, it worked a Richards Microfit...

December 21, 2001, 01:35 PM
I've been in to Calico's shop and the people there are VERY nice ... I'd certainly agree with all the suggestions to give them a call.