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Stock making question?
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 Posted: Wed Jan 25th, 2017 11:25 PM
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Snuffy
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I have a friend that knows I have a small Sawmill. He called me today and said he had 3 Black Walnut trees that had died. He cut them down and sawed them into logs and I picked them up today. He wants me to cut him a couple of mantles and what ever else I can get out of them.

Now to my question....I'm sure somewhere in one of these logs there has got to be a rifle stock in waiting. So what part of the log do I need to be most focused on to find my stock? The heart? Or just a piece with good straight grain?
Dimensions? How big of a piece would I need, for say a sporter size stock?

It may not get turned into a stock for a long time, and most likely not by me, but I may not have an opportunity for a long time to come, to get Black Walnut of this quality. Would hate to look back 10 or 15 years from now and wish I had of saved a piece of this.

I need to add that I am no Sawyer.....just a guy with a hobby sawmill, that can turn out some damn fine sawdust.:lol:



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 Posted: Wed Jan 25th, 2017 11:52 PM
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12semi
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Richards Microfit sells blanks and they also accept blanks.  I do believe they list the dimensions of the blanks. 

Based on some limited experience I understand Microfit is having a lot of trouble meeting deadlines.  I would deal with them very very carefully.

I would get as many blanks as possible. 



 Posted: Wed Jan 25th, 2017 11:59 PM
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Snuffy
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Thank you 12Semi!!!

That was exactly what I was looking for! I copied and pasted the below, from their FAQ's.


"Yes, we can cut your wood into any one of our stock style's. The dimensions of the blank need to be as follows: Minimum 32" long, Minimum of 6" wide at the butt, 2" wide at the forearm, and 2" thick. This is the absolute minimium size to produce a stock from it. A normal size blank would measure 34" Long, 6 1/2" wide at the butt, 2 1/2" wide at the forearm, and 2 1/2" thick. Please note: If your blank measures 2 1/4" thick, there may be a few flat spots on the stock but can be rasped out and still be shaped normally by the customer."



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 12:22 AM
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Rockydog



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You may find some nice wood near the top of the log where the log may have grown into two vertical limbs. This crotch wood may have some beautiful figure. You want to look at a piece to see where the grain flows. In some blanks you can get grain in the crotch area that flows in a direction that mimics the flow of a stock from straight in the barrel and action section downward into the wrist and buttstock. This would be ideal but not all that common.

I have a Black Walnut blank that measures 3" X 7 1/2" X 54". It was a reject from a local mill that saws a fair amount of stocks. It has a small void in it and was rejected because they can't see inside to see the extent of the void. They don't want to go to the expense of kiln drying and aging only to find that it's unuasable. It's been air drying in my house for 4 years. 54" seems long but it would allow it to be used for a full stock Kentucky rifle. The 3" thickness allows for a substantial cheek piece.

What ever the end use is there will be a ton of scrap left for pistol grips etc. Or perhaps even a TC Contender butt and fore arm depending on how the rifle stock would be laid out.




If these logs were very big, some of the nicest wood for stocks may have been left behind. If dug carefully out of the ground and washed clean prior to sawing, you occassionally can find a very nicely figured piece in the tap root. May not make a rifle but certainly a nice shotgun butt. A lot of work to dig them out though. RD



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 12:59 AM
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ghrit



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Even if you have it kiln dried, it will take some time to stabilize. Black walnut is a pretty dense wood, and moisture will take it's own fine time to get out. Plan on a couple years to cure.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 01:31 AM
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Snuffy
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RD, The biggest log does have a double crotch in the top. I'm gonna have to study these logs a bit, before I make my face cut, and see what I can get out of them.

He did have one that the wind blew over and had a very nice, clean stump on it, but it's pretty small. I'll have to go back and look at it again.

ghirt, Thanks, I figured it would take a while to dry out. I'm in no hurry for it. I'll just hide it from myself for a while, I'm getting pretty good at hiding stuff from myself lately anyway.:lol:

Thanks fellas! This has been a big help, as always, from the folks around here!



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 02:02 AM
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Rockydog



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Here's a blank where the barrel area is fairly straight grained and then the grain turns down through the wrist adding sheer resistance to the wrist area.

Attachment: blank.jpg (Downloaded 68 times)



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“Those that beat their rifles into plow shares will plow for those who didn’t”. Jefferson

Light hunting rifles; Gravity is permanent, recoil is temporary.Your Choice


 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 02:03 AM
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Rockydog



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And another more distinct look.

Attachment: blank2.jpg (Downloaded 69 times)



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Light hunting rifles; Gravity is permanent, recoil is temporary.Your Choice


 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 02:35 AM
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Snuffy
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Those pics really help also RD.

I'm thinking I could just cut the big log, about a 24" DBH, into 3" slabs, for table tops. Then look those over good for some nice blanks.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 03:42 AM
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ghrit



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http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=66491.0

Have a squint for info.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 03:46 AM
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Rockydog



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3 x 3s are about right for turning walnut table legs to match the tops. Don't know if it helps fresh cut wood but the grain in planed blanks really stands out for pictures or just evaluation if you wipe it with rubbing alcohol. It dries pretty quickly so you've got to look fast. LOL



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 09:35 AM
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Snuffy
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ghirt, that link explains a lot of what I'm looking for, also reaffirmed my thoughts on cutting 3" slabs. I didn't think about avoiding the pith either. I'll watch out for it as well. Great link! Thanks!

I'll try to get some picks of the logs up here, before I saw them and after.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 12:30 PM
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ghrit



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More wood butchery -
https://www.google.com/search?q=log+sawing+patterns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjYkbvn9N_RAhVB1oMKHX8RCNgQsAQIKQ&biw=1208&bih=666

And if you have the patience, this guy explains a lot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgMR1boYfTc



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 12:39 PM
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Thecyberguy
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I was in the lumber for furniture (S J Bailey & sons , Mastercraft) business for 25 years. My duties ranged from bagging shavings to running the edger in the sawmill to learning and becoming the head sawyer.

Then on to the yard and kiln operations and on from there.My point, I was directly and indirectly involved with the drying process for many years. We dried mostly Eastern white pine but did also dry ash and red oak. I never dried any walnut.

But, I have to think the basics are similar.

I would not dry it too quickly at first, it will get surface checks (cracks) that can end up going deep enough to ruin the piece.

The wood being short will lose moisture many times faster out the ends than through the flat surfaces. To minimize the end checking coat the ends with wax to prevent the moisture from going out the ends.

Keep it covered and let it air dry outside for many months depending on the climate. Then it can be brought into a climate controlled environment to bring the moisture down to a level that will be stable (4-8% moisture content, "MC").

If you bring it inside to a lower humidity too quickly, it will surface check. The outside 1/4' or so will (the shell) shrink while the core is still wet and full of free water so the "shell" gets smaller as it dries it has no choice but to pull apart (checking and cracking) because it is stretched over the still swollen core.

Even better....see if you can find a wood mill that kiln dries walnut and maybe they would throw it in a kiln for you if agree not to hold them responsible for any drying defects that might occur.

OK...that was way too long winded...sorry!
Have fun with that walnut and as always....have a good 'un!
TCG



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 01:38 PM
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olyeller
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Lots of good info here Snuffy. From how to pick to how to dry.

I sent Richard's two blanks from a mesquite I cut down. I had one inletted for a Ruger M77 tang safety and the other for a Rem 721. It did take them awhile to get them back to me. This was about 3 years ago. I've also purchased two or three other stocks from them. One was the Sav 110 30-06 I brought to Breck two years ago.

My mesquite didn't have a lot of figure, but they are making nice stocks. You'll love this project. Best of luck on it.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 02:59 PM
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saddlesore
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I can only add that I liked my blanks 3" thick.I always put some cast in the but for right or left hand shooters, a 2 or 2&1/2" thick blank cut it too close.

Most of the wood I used was air cured for 20 years. I think I have enough for about two more rifle stocks. Alas though my hands are to stiff with arthritus to do much anymore i terms or wood working.

Concerning voids in wood.I was making a replacment stock for an old 1903 Springfiled. Had it all inletted and was doing some of the final reshaping.I found a 32 caliber mini ball in it along the forend that made it unuseable.



 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 03:30 PM
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Thecyberguy
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saddlesore, we once had a pine board that went through the sawmill and the planer, it had a dozen 22 bullets in it. It was quite a sight to see that planed board with those shiny smoothly dressed bullets in about a 3" group.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 03:39 PM
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ghrit



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Thecyberguy wrote:
I would not dry it too quickly at first, it will get surface checks (cracks) that can end up going deep enough to ruin the piece.
Yup.  Melt the wax in a can (I used a coffee can standing in a pot of water, sorta a double boiler arrangement) then paint it on the end grain with a scrap brush or shredded rag.  My cherry slabs are still twisting after 4 years under the bench off the floor.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 03:54 PM
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Thecyberguy
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Most wood will warp/twist, etc.
The most effective way to keep it from distorting is to quarter saw it, but you do not get the nice grains by quarter sawing. Plain or flat sawing is going to give you nicest grain waves, etc. But they will also distort the most.
Keep in mind if all things being equal a board will cup toward the bark, but it will cup away way a wet side. Turning it so it gets air on both sides from time to time will help some.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2017 11:50 PM
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Snuffy
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TCG, Not long winded at all, that's just the kind of wisdom I'm looking for.

Thanks to one and all that have replied so far! I knew you guys would come through for me.

Here's some pics of what I have to work with.


These are just some of the upper logs. I hope to get my buddy's fireplace mantles out of a couple of these.

There might be a Stock in this one, but that sap wood on the upper part of the main beam has me wondering.

This is the double crotch in the largest log. May be a stock or two in that one as well?



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