Zebrawood varmint/target gunstock

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Project by HalDougherty posted 05-16-2012 09:46 PM 6863 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This varmint/benchrest stock is one of the very few solid, non laminated, stocks I’ve carved. It’s made from zebrawood and the marble texture of the wood is fantastic. Only one ugly problem… Zebrawood is brittle and you can see a lot of splinters in the last photo a closeup of the inlet area. I found out how brittle the wood is the first time I tried to carve a curved surface. Big chips flew all over the place. I had to climb cut the entire stock (I use a 2 1/4 hp router to carve my gunstocks). Climb cutting is going with the grain and is opposite to everything you hear about using a router. Only in my manual duplicator it’s safe and efficient to cut with the grain. I wasn’t able to find all the splinters and glue them back, so I had to slim down the curved forend so both sides would match. You can’t imagine trying to find a specific chip in a stack of wood chips from the last 3 stocks I’ve carved. A needle in a haystack would be easier to find. I hated giving up the search and slimming down the stock, but I suspect the splinter I was looking for got split into more than one piece as the router knocked it off the stock.

The slab this stock is resting on is an elm slab that’s going to be part of a dining chair soon. I have 5 or 6 stocks to carve first, but as soon as I finish them, I’m starting on a live edge table and 6 chairs using an elm log I’ve saved for a special project.

-- Hal, Tennessee

11 comments so far

View Ted's profile


2605 posts in 1300 days

#1 posted 05-16-2012 09:52 PM

Now that’s one nice looking stock! As for the splinters, get in there with some 120 grit wrapped around a stick to clean that up in no time. Do you have the hardware for it yet?

-- There are three types of people in this world... those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 2326 days

#2 posted 05-16-2012 09:59 PM

The splinters will sand out just fine, the problem is the splinters on the outside that I couldn’t find and glue back on. I had to sand the other side about 1/8” smaller to match. That makes the forend about 1/4” smaller overall. It’s still a bulky target/varmint stock and there’s plenty of wood for a walking hunt.

Sad to say, it’s not my stock. I’ll be mailing it to Lexington, KY in a day or two with the other stock that I’m carving now. I’d be finished with both, but I wasted a 1/2 day searching for a chip is a big pile of chips!

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Don W's profile

Don W

16821 posts in 1656 days

#3 posted 05-16-2012 10:13 PM

I hand cut a stock from wenge once. Its brittle and splintery like that too. I had to be careful to not split it out. Nice looking stock Hal.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8542 posts in 3141 days

#4 posted 05-16-2012 10:15 PM

More really COOL stuff!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View gfadvm's profile


13939 posts in 1779 days

#5 posted 05-17-2012 12:48 AM

that’s another beautiful stock that we’ve come to expect from you. That zwood is no picnic to work with. I recently sanded some to 320, felt wonderful, applied 1 coat of shellac, and came back the next day and it felt like it had been sanded with 24 grit!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

14388 posts in 2194 days

#6 posted 05-17-2012 02:31 AM

Man that is an awesome gunstock!!......................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View NikonF100's profile


49 posts in 2275 days

#7 posted 05-17-2012 02:46 AM

WHOA !!!!! and thanks for the heads up on the Wenge. I’ve got a CHUNK of that I would like to send to HAl for another STOCK in the future. But , kind of planning on it being a laminated stock even thou it’s 8/4 thick. Looking at the one you posted , I think what I’m thinking will be really sharp and different and the MAN to complete that , HAL.

View NikonF100's profile


49 posts in 2275 days

#8 posted 05-19-2012 12:22 AM

Hal, I’ve saved a couple of the photos and sent email to some of my hunting/gun friends. Lot of praise for your work and several YOU LUCKY DOG ….

View foxcrafts's profile


29 posts in 2047 days

#9 posted 05-24-2012 12:18 PM

Hal, Thats a beautiful stock you’ve created. That brittle wood must have given you fits. You clearly applied the Marine Corp protocol of “Adapt and Overcome” Very impressive work indeed.

View NikonF100's profile


49 posts in 2275 days

#10 posted 06-09-2012 01:03 AM

This looks better everytime I look at it.

View NikonF100's profile


49 posts in 2275 days

#11 posted 06-24-2012 09:06 PM

Has anybody done any Amonia Tenting ? Was wondering the thoughts of trying it on this piece of zebrawood

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