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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've decided to go against my own common sense and attempt to make a full rifle stock from a tree that came down a few years ago. The wood is bradford pear so it has a very fine grain and a nice tone of brown to it. It's fairly well seasoned and I'm not finding any cracks or splits in the wood. When tapped on a hard surface, it does have that high pitched ring to it from sound wood.
Any Pitfalls I need to be aware of or tips to help a feller out?
 

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I thought all WOOD rifle stocks started out as logs.
No, no, he's being considerate of animals and sparing hundreds of little nylons from being harvested.

Log is a much better choice.

 
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I think Bradford Pear has a history of being brittle and splitting a lot. That's why so many of them come down when the storms come through here in Texas. But I think for a rifle stock it should be fine. It's not really going to be load bearing and won't really get a lot of stress. I'd say go for it. Put a nice stain and sealer on it and I bet it will look great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think Bradford Pear has a history of being brittle and splitting a lot. That's why so many of them come down when the storms come through here in Texas. But I think for a rifle stock it should be fine. It's not really going to be load bearing and won't really get a lot of stress. I'd say go for it. Put a nice stain and sealer on it and I bet it will look great!
I was thinking a tru-oil finish though I will have to do some fiberglass reinforcements as it'll be for my Savage B-mag. The B-mag uses a rotary magazine and that section of the stock is pretty thin. I think the fiberglass reinforcement will help define the opening and give me a way to set the mounts up properly. I might do a white plastic/ebony tip on the stock Ala Weatherby. The stock will also have a cheek weld in place of the wood wants to cooperate.

Obligatory images:
rough cut1.jpg
roughcut 2.jpg
flat side sanded.jpg
 

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My dad did one out of Black Walnut for an old Remington semi-auto shotgun he had back when I was in 7th or 8th grade. Turned out pretty good, though the checkering was a bit crude. He didn't seem to have any problems with it. He used a band saw for the basic profile, a wood rasp to do most of the major shaping, and whittled most of the rest. Hand sanding and a light coat of thin varnish finished it off. IIRC he did the checkering with a wood-burner.
 

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Looks like you have a good start. My dad used to make them out of black walnut from a piece shaped about like what you have. All you have to do now is cut away everything that doesn't look like a gun stock. Best of luck.

The strangest one dad ever made was out of a piece of Osage Orange (hedge) for an 1873 Springfield 45-70 Trap Door carbine. He intentionally made it heavy to absorb the recoil from the 500 grain bullet loads he shot through it.
 

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......All you have to do now is cut away everything that doesn't look like a gun stock.
Ahh.. good reference.


“The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”
Michelangelo Buonarroti
 

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I made this for my shotgun. I'm fairly sure the veneer came from logs.



 

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As far as hints... Go slow, check fit after every step. Don't inlet too thin. Notice in the pics above that the hand guards are different. I had to build a second because the first one was thin and split under recoil.

Enjoy. It's a very fun, gratifying and satisfying project.
 

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With Bradford Pear just make sure it is completely dry before you get too far along. I would do a rough shape then let it sit for a while so if it wants to do any twisting you'll have enough meat to straighten it out.
 

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You are fixin to take on a heck of a project. I've made a couple of shotgun stocks and forearms from Walnut blanks and I remember it being tedious and a lot of work. I was never satisfied so I kept re-shaping and refinishing several times. They finally came out looking pretty good but if I figured the time and effort I spent on them I could have had a custom stockmaker make them for less.
 
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The closest I've come to your project is my replica Colt Navy. The stock was very much oversized and took a lot of sanding to match it to the frame. Good luck with yours, I am looking forward to seeing the finished product!


Colt Navy2.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If you have enough wood you should make a pear of them. I know someone that has a Savage B mag also...:) Nice looking log.
I still have quite a bit of wood left. I'll have to check lengths and widths for you.
 
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