GaryK pistol box - design considerations to create a similar project

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Forum topic by Randy_ATX posted 09-12-2013 05:27 PM 856 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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834 posts in 1864 days

09-12-2013 05:27 PM

Although I didn’t know or have any interaction with GaryK,
after seeing the announcement of his unfortunate passing, I looked at some of his projects.

What a unique individual and talented person he was, not just in woodworking but many other things.
One of his projects in particular caught my eye:
I want to build something similar for a pistol I have inherited from my grandfather.

My question is about the inside compartment. What would be the best way to create the deep area around the pistol itself? Do you think Gary used a thick stock, like a 6/4 and scroll sawed the rest out, or did he use a thin stock supported underneath? What would be the best liner for the gun to rest on? Any ideas, comments, or similar projects you may have experience with will be appreciated.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

5 replies so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16808 posts in 2527 days

#1 posted 09-12-2013 09:19 PM

You could use an insert that is scroll sawed out then put back in the box and finished with flocking or you could mill it out if you have a milling machine, which is what I would do.

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

View HorizontalMike's profile


7064 posts in 2336 days

#2 posted 09-13-2013 12:42 AM

I want to thank LJs Admin for keeping GaryK’s postings alive. You are right in that they are unique and they do remind us of his contribution to WW-ing in general and to LJs in particular. Thanks for posting this.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Randy_ATX's profile


834 posts in 1864 days

#3 posted 09-13-2013 01:22 AM

Jim, the milling machine would work but I dont have one. There is a cnc machine in the building I work at, I wonder if I could talk those guys into doing it for me. I doubt they want sawdust all over their metal work. :-)

Mike, I agree. Projects in perpetuity are a good thing for all of us.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8101 posts in 2850 days

#4 posted 09-13-2013 02:30 AM

Your post was the first I’d heard of Gary’s passing. He will be missed here at LJs. Thank you for posting.

As to your French fit pistol box, I’ve done a few, all the same way. I lay the piece out on a white poster board, situate a goose neck lamp directly over it and trace the shadow’s outline. Then I cut it out with an exacto knife.

I use the positive as a guide for tracing on another poster board, only this time, I use a washer that will give me an 1/8” offset. Then I cut it out. The negative becomes my pattern for cutting a piece of 1/8” or 1/4” BB. I use a scroll saw. I tried cutting the poster board with the scroller but it didn’t leave a clean enough edge.

Most of mine are lined with thin vegetable tanned leather with no finish. Chemically tanned leather will affect the bluing on a gun and finished leather is too stiff for me.
Using leather involves wetting it and wrapping the piece in Saran Wrap, stretching the leather over the ply and forcing the piece into the opening cut in the ply and securing it in position. I use sand bags. Then, it dries for two days. The leather is trimmed to the size of the ply, and glued down. I use 3M’s 77.

The box will have a ledge built in to hold the ply/leather up an appropriate distance. Before gluing the ply down to the ledge, I cut a piece of 1/8” ply, a bit larger than the pistol cut out. That piece of ply is covered with 1/8” dense foam. This is centered under the cut out and provides a soft rest for the pistol, even though it’s laying in leather.

After gluing in the leather covered cut out ply, a piece of decorative cove is laid in along the edge of the ply. Holds it down securely and covers the edge of the leather.

I always finish the inside of the box before doing any of the processes I’ve described.

If you choose to use velvet or some other plush material, You must cut and wrap the material over the cut out edges and secure it on the under side as well as at the top edges. I use double sided tape pieces or regular wood glue. If you wish, you can glue on a piece of 1/8” dense foam before you cut the ply. this provides a softer feel under the velvet or other material.

Make the cushion for the pistol as described before, except use 1/2” thick, much less dense foam and cover it with the material. Ideally, the cushion of ply, foam and material, will just touch the underside of the cut out piece of ply. The pistol should nestle in about 1/2 it’s barrel diameter. Adjustments may need to be made for revolver cylinders.

Finally, install the cove moulding as before.

If this is a process you’d be interested in using and have any questions, just PM me. I’ll try my best to answer them.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Randy_ATX's profile


834 posts in 1864 days

#5 posted 09-13-2013 02:43 AM

Gene, I can’t thank you enough for your detailed response. You will likely get a PM from me when I start this project. You’re right, since this is an older pistol, it is a revolver.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

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