March 2nd, 2013

MidwayUSA Videos Show How to Finish a Hardwood Stock

In a series of YouTube videos, Larry Potterfield of MidwayUSA shows how to prepare, finish, and polish a wood gunstock. The first video covers sanding, sealing, and filling. The second video shows how to apply a multi-coat finish by hand, with light sanding between coats. In the third video, Larry applies a final polish to his project stock. The principles illustrated in these videos can be applied to most types of stocks. However, keep in mind that Larry is working with a hardwood stock.

By contrast, with a typical Rutland laminated stock, the finishing process is somewhat different and (usually) more time consuming. You’ll probably have to do more aggressive sanding, and the sealing process can be more time-consuming because laminates typically have very porous surfaces that soak up a lot of sealant. You may have to do multiple sealant passes with aggressive sanding in-between. Alternatively, you can use multiple coats of high-solids clear coat to fill the pores.

How to Prepare a Riflestock for Finishing

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How to Apply a Multi-Coat Finish

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How to Polish the Finish on a Riflestock

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Clear-Coating Your Stock
While you can put an oil-type finish on a Rutland laminate, we think these often look best finished with an automotive clear coat. Rub-on finishes can cause small changes in stock coloration. If you want to preserve the colors in your laminated stock, a quality, spray-on clear-coat is probably the best way to go. CLICK HERE for expert tips on how to prep and clear-coat a laminated stock.

laminated Shehane wood stock

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November 25th, 2009

Big Discounts on Cabela's Gun Vises

Need a sturdy gun vise to hold your rifle for cleaning and work sessions? Cabelas.com has slashed prices on both its hardword and plastic gun vises. You can now save up to 50% on these handy work-stations.

gun vise

Cabela’s simple but rock-solid hardwood gun vise (item 9IS-228063) is now marked down from $59.99 to just $29.99 — that’s 50% off the regular price. And — get this — the hardwood gun vise comes with a 31-piece screwdriver set, included in that $29.99 sale price. This hardwood vice measures 28″L x 8″W x 7.5″H and features four cut-outs for parts and small solvent bottles. The gun is secured in leather-padded cradles tensioned with a simple wood camming mechanism.

gun vise

Cabela’s also has slashed the price of its polymer gun vise (item 9IS-227687). The polymer vise is now just $29.99, marked down from $49.99. That’s a great price for a versatile, light-weight (5-lb.) unit that can easily be moved around your shop. Cabela’s polymer gun vise features rubber padding at the front, rear, and under the pistol grip. The base has many small compartments and recesses for solvents and cleaning gear.

FREE Shipping on Orders over $99.00
In addition to the savings on these items, Cabela’s is currently offering FREE Shipping on all orders of $99.00 or more. This special savings is good through December 1, 2009. Use promo code 9CHRISTMAS at checkout.

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August 12th, 2009

Fancy Hardwood Sources for Gunstocks

Virginia Gunsmith Richard Franklin sold his stock-making business to Greg West, but Richard is still making stunning, one-off custom rifles using laminated fancy woods such as Crotch Claro Walnut, Turkish Walnut, Curly Maple, Bloodwood, and burls. One of Richard’s favorite sources for fancy woods is Northwest Timber, based in Oregon. NW Timber has one of the largest collections of highly-figured Claro Walnut and fancy Maple blanks in the country, including many “book-matched” sets that are ideal for a three-layer laminated stock. The two, mirror-image, book-matched pieces form the outer layers, with a central spine of contrasting wood.

When shopping for fancy wood for a laminated stock application, be sure to consider the length and thickness required. For a tri-laminated benchrest stock with a 3″ forearm, you’ll need a block at least 2.5″ wide and 32″ to 35″ long (depending on overall stock length). After sawing that will give you two 1 1/8″-wide slabs, so that a contrasting 3/4″-wide section of wood can be placed in the middle. Thinner blocks of fancy wood can be used in a 5-layer laminate. If you can’t find a block at least 32″ long, a contrasting end cap could be placed on the fore-end. However, Richard prefers to work with blanks that are long enough for the whole stock.

Above is a book-matched set from Northwest Timber in Crotch Claro Walnut. Note how there are two matching pieces, top and bottom.

This above photo shows how spectacular Quilted Maple can look when stained and finished with contrasting highlights. A popular material for fine musical instruments, Quilted Maple can look just as good on a gunstock (below).


For more information, contact:

Northwest Timber
3229 Jefferson-Scio Drive
Jefferson, OR 97352
(541) 327-1000

NW Timber Burl Maple

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