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Best way to rough out a rifle stock?

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Forum topic by Antwon0900 posted 10-16-2018 01:16 AM 332 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Antwon0900

3 posts in 28 days


10-16-2018 01:16 AM

I’m making a new stock for a bolt action rifle. I am by no means a skilled woodworker. I already have a blank cut out of walnut, and am about to do the inletting on a vertical 3 axis mill. My issue is with the rough shaping of the contours of the stock. I have access to belt sanders and bandsaws, and all the standard machine shop accoutrements. My question is what is the best method for roughing out the shape of the stock? I read about a grinder attachment called a “Kutzall” that is supposed to work pretty good for that sort of thing, but if there’s a more effective (or secondarily, more affordable) way to accomplish the task, I’d love to learn about it. Thanks in advance for any and all advice!


10 replies so far

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Redoak49

3591 posts in 2158 days


#1 posted 10-16-2018 01:28 AM

I have been building a Maloof style rocker out of walnut and used various things for carving. I have used the Kutzall disk in an angle grinder for very rough shaping. I have also used a Kutzall bull nose in a die grinder. They make them in coarse and fine.

They can take off wood very fast and almost too fast. I would suggest trying the bull nose grinder. But, I would make a practice piece out of a 2×4 first so that you get familiar with how they work and not ruin your walnut.

You can also use a rasp and do it by hand. I have used my Kutzall Rasps extensively.

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Antwon0900

3 posts in 28 days


#2 posted 10-16-2018 02:28 AM

I really appreciate the advice, I’m feeling much more confident moving forward! Which level of coarseness would you recommend?

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TheFridge

10491 posts in 1656 days


#3 posted 10-16-2018 02:32 AM

If it is a nice piece of graded stock, I wouldn’t touch it with a grinder shaped thingy without much previous experience. Kinda like a belt sander. In the right hands, it fast and efficient. In the wrong hands, it is scrap waiting to happen.

I’d rough it out on a bandsaw and go to town with a coarse rasp. If you really want to use the grinder thing now would be the time. I’m sure it would excel at quick stock removal. Careful though. Followed by fine rasp and finished with abranet to 600.

This may just be me be I’d rough it out but leave the minimum amount of flat stock necessary to clamp it in the mill. Last thing I want is to have it warp after it leaves the mill.

Just a thought.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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waho6o9

8474 posts in 2746 days


#4 posted 10-16-2018 02:32 AM

Shinto rasp works well, one side is coarse and the other is fine.

https://www.woodcraft.com/products/9-shinto-saw-rasp

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Antwon0900

3 posts in 28 days


#5 posted 10-16-2018 02:42 AM

Oh man I didn’t even think about that. You think i should do most of the shaping before I do the mill work? I kinda figured that since it’s still square it would be easier to clamp in the vise. I was getting ready to go to town with an end mill haha but perhaps I should hold off for now huh?


If it is a nice piece of graded stock, I wouldn’t touch it with a grinder shaped thingy without much previous experience. Kinda like a belt sander. In the right hands, it fast and efficient. In the wrong hands, it is scrap waiting to happen.

I’d rough it out on a bandsaw and go to town with a coarse rasp. If you really want to use the grinder thing now would be the time. I’m sure it would excel at quick stock removal. Careful though. Followed by fine rasp and finished with abranet to 600.

This may just be me be I’d rough it out but leave the minimum amount of flat stock necessary to clamp it in the mill. Last thing I want is to have it warp after it leaves the mill.

Just a thought.

- TheFridge


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GR8HUNTER

4893 posts in 882 days


#6 posted 10-16-2018 02:50 AM

when I did a shotgun I just started with bandsaw for rough shape 1 word of advice fit rifle to wood first then shape the rest DAMHIK :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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TheFridge

10491 posts in 1656 days


#7 posted 10-16-2018 02:51 AM

No guarantee that it will warp. I’m kinda into making the chances better that it doesn’t. I could be way off.

Hopefully someone with a little more experience chimes in.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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shampeon

1857 posts in 2353 days


#8 posted 10-16-2018 02:58 AM

No, do what you’re calling the millwork first.

Then trace on the blank the curves and contours and body outline. At that point you can rough out the shapes using a coping saw or bandsaw or whatever, and then use rasps, files, and sandpaper—lots and lots of sandpaper—for final shaping.

But don’t take a Kutzall to the figured wood if that’s the first time you’ve ever used one. I like the idea of doing a prototype using something cheap like a 2×4.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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Redoak49

3591 posts in 2158 days


#9 posted 10-16-2018 11:24 AM

I have both the fine and coarse Kutzall Rasps. I would use the fine one. You can use a wire brush to clean out the teeth.

I will say again that it is best to do a prototype first to get to know your tools. I have done that quite abit on my rocking chair and was very helpful.

View msinc's profile

msinc

552 posts in 673 days


#10 posted 10-16-2018 11:28 AM


I m making a new stock for a bolt action rifle. I am by no means a skilled woodworker.

- Antwon0900

Then you probably ought to just buy a stock that’s done and go shooting…...being a “skilled wood worker” is one thing, being a stock maker is for certain quite another, that said, I have stocked many rifles and shotguns in my time. There are two pieces of advice I will throw out there and I’ll make it real simple for you…do it ALL by hand and you want the grain running up the grip area.
I really don’t think putting it in a vertical mill and trying to “mill” the inlet is going to save you much time, if it works at all. No one does it that way…either you have a stock duplicator or you don’t. Even if you did have a duplicator you still have to do the final fit up by hand with chisels and files. Get a good set of chisels, including a gouge, and a good sharpening stone. Next you want some candles to smoke up the rifles action and barrel. Begin by drilling the action screw holes in the blank and use threaded studs to set the action in the proper place. Press it where you want it to go and chisel away the wood where the carbon “smoke” was left on the blank. It may seem like a slow way to do this, but you will absolutely not ruin your nice blank. Take your time and shape the outside with rasps and files then sand as suggested above. Good luck.

Edit: I’ll throw out one more suggestion for you, and this one is worth the most…learn to walk away from it when you get sick of messing around with it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will this stock be.

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