LumberJocks

Setting Up To Carve a Gunstock.

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Blog entry by HalDougherty posted 09-14-2010 04:34 PM 19062 reads 2 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The first thing I do is to set up two lasers to position a center line from the center of the rear stock holder to the point of the dead center at the top of the stock. Then check spacing from the stylus and the cutter. I use a 1/8” cutter & stylus and make sure it’s centered in the laser beam from one end to the other. Tiny missalignments will show up so they can be corrected..

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com



17 comments so far

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2702 days


#1 posted 09-14-2010 04:35 PM

I started using a dial indicator mounted to a fixed platform to check to see if everything is true. Only there are very few flat places on a stock to use to set up the machine. I true each pattern stock using a 3ft brass rod in the rear bolt hole and make sure the forend rails are 90 degrees to the bolt hole. If they are off, I either cut down the rails or build them up so the stock is true. The level looks like the stock is slightly out of plumb, but viewing from the rear, the stock is true.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2702 days


#2 posted 09-14-2010 04:36 PM

Here you can see the elevation is off a few degrees. The rear stock holder on my machine allows me to move the stock in all directions to get both the pattern stock true and alighned with the blank.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2702 days


#3 posted 09-14-2010 04:36 PM

This photo shows the laser bisecting the center of the stock on the pattern I’m about to duplicate.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2702 days


#4 posted 09-14-2010 04:37 PM

Here’s a view after everything is set up and ready to be carved. Using the head of the machine is as accurate as a dial indicator to check setup and a lot quicker. The laser shows both the pattern and the blank centered in the machine. One big problem is gunstocks are not straight… The butt is either cast on or cast off (bent) in relation to the action and barrel.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2702 days


#5 posted 09-14-2010 04:38 PM

This blank is made from misquite and a center strip of tiger maple. Misquite is a very hard, brittle wood with a lot of checks and cracks. This blank is no exception. I’ve roughed out this stock to see how big the cracks are going to be after the stock is carved. They look like most of them are going to be cut out as the stock is carved. Any that remain will be filled with black epoxy and will add character to the stock. Misquite takes a high polish, just like maple.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View learnin2do's profile

learnin2do

889 posts in 2317 days


#6 posted 09-14-2010 05:36 PM

I want to make stocks for my kid’s cheap. plastic stock bb guns, but i don’t have ….”a lazer…” -thingy. -so what then?

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

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Jordan

1396 posts in 2590 days


#7 posted 09-14-2010 07:24 PM

So all in all, how do you like the laser? Did you ever carve them with traditional tools prior?

-- http://www.jordanstraker.com

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2702 days


#8 posted 09-14-2010 10:12 PM

The laser is just to line everything up. If anything is out of line with a laminated blank it shows up like a sore thumb. I do my delicate carving with a 2 1/2 hp router. You can see it in the photos above with a 1/8” bit. Most of the carving is done with a roughing bit that looks like a 3/4” spade. I’ll take some photos while I’m carving the next stock for the next blog section showing some of the bits, the matching stylus that follows the pattern and more. Then I’ll post some pictures of the sanding operation. That’s where the rough stock starts to look like a finished stock.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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Jordan

1396 posts in 2590 days


#9 posted 09-15-2010 02:12 AM

Oh, I’m sorry, I thought it looked like a laser beam cutting but now I see the router bit itself.

-- http://www.jordanstraker.com

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learnin2do

889 posts in 2317 days


#10 posted 09-15-2010 05:16 AM

i’m confused -but pleased looking anyway! -i’ll just have to make some crazy dragon-head stock or something

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

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Fritz Hannaman

2 posts in 2278 days


#11 posted 09-21-2010 01:51 PM

What type of copy machine do you use,at first glance it looked like a CNC machine,I make coffee tables and lamps out of Mesquite,and Pecan I cut Mesquite and Walnut for a friend that makes pistol grips and knife handles.

-- Fritz Hannaman

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2702 days


#12 posted 09-21-2010 02:38 PM

Fritz,

The duplicator is made by Dakota Arms in Sturgis, SD. Here’s a link to their website:

http://dakotaarms.com/quikstore.html

Just click on “Duplicating Machines” There are several other designs of carving machines on the market. The most used machine is made by Terrco and is mainly used as a spindle carver for making furniture parts. It does look like a CNC machine. It was designed in the 1970’s before CAD and CNC was cheep enough for small businesses. It’s a 5 axis – 1 to 1 carving duplicator that makes accurate copies of anything you can clamp between centers and turn. Using a pattern and following it with a stylus moves a router with a similar bit over the wood blank to remove everything that’s not a gunstock. But it takes a lot of skill to made a good stock. I’ve been using this machine for 3 years now and I’ve still got a lot to learn. You have to spend hours carving and one second of letting your mind stray can result in removing too much wood and ruining a stock. Plus the router bit is exposed and there are no guards to protect the operator… I have a mental rule that for no reason will I ever touch the working side of the machine while the router is plugged in. So, I can’t listen to the radio, play music, or listen to an audio book while I’m carving… That’s why I’d like to retrofit CNC equipment to my duplicator.
http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=xw48AAAAEBAJ&dq=don+allen
Looking at it will help to see how it works. It shouldn’t be too hard to make one. The bearings and precision shafts to make this machine bought new will cost thousands! I’ve been collecting them on E-Bay for a while now to use making woodworking jigs. I made one to use the base of my duplicator to flatten large slabs to make benches and table tops. I’m working on one using the same base that will be a horizontal routing table and the next one I’m building is going to be a duplicator to copy Colt 1911 grips. Here’s a link to a Lumberjock project that shows the one I’m going to use as a pattern.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/29884

Here’s the patent document on Google.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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8iowa

1546 posts in 3226 days


#13 posted 09-21-2010 03:03 PM

I have handcarved a KY longrifle stock out of curly maple. Expense notwithstanding, can the carving machine handle a stock five feet long?

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2702 days


#14 posted 09-21-2010 03:21 PM

The duplicator I use has a 115” bed and it came with a steady rest to support longrifle stocks. I also have a complete set of cutters to mill KY longrifle barrel channels and a special jig to mill the ramrod slots in the bottom of the stock. However I’ve never cut anything near that long. One of the projects I have wanted to do for a long time is to replace the stock on at lease one of my Hawken rifles with one made from tiger maple. Only so far I’ve not found either the time or the right piece of wood for this project.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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BlueStingrayBoots

770 posts in 3467 days


#15 posted 09-28-2010 06:47 PM

That mesquite blank looks familiar…..: )

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