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Thread: unruly cherry wood

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    unruly cherry wood

    Yesterday I was cutting for firewood the last of a old tear down building 60 plus year old and found a nice cherry plank that would work if glued together for a gunstock. (too thin as it was for a stock) It is real burly which adds to the stability issue of this rock hard native cherryboard. Ok, I used the jointer/planer to get it straight and I glued it together. With my meds I was almost normal but stupid enough to not think of hollowing the butt end of stock. I messed with some of this wood a couple years ago and it moves from summer to winter. My dad always knew when he ran into this kind wood because he would cut it up for fire wood so nobody would put a lot of time in it and be disappointed. I was thinking of cutting a couple dovetails in at certain areas to keep it together as seasons and humidity change. Any experience you pros would have for me? I know firewood is a option but it really is pretty!
    Look twice, shoot once.

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    Boolit Man wbrco's Avatar
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    If you have a band saw, you could resaw the pieces apart, then add biscuits in between the pieces to help stabilize.

    Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I think you are talking about butterfly joints, often used across a crack in a piece of wood. they tend to be obvious and frequently done in contrasting colored wood.

    If the wood moves that much in the weather it will be awful for a gunstock- the movement will change point of impact.

    If it is that attractive use it for pistol/revolver grips.
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    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post

    If the wood moves that much in the weather it will be awful for a gunstock- the movement will change point of impact.

    If it is that attractive use it for pistol/revolver grips.


    +1 - or use it for knife scales.

    I'm pretty sure a knife maker would want to buy that wood, so instead of firewood, I'd sell it to one of the knifemakers on www.rimfirecentral.com (see the custom knife section of that forum).


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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Saw it into 1/4 thick planks, check moisture content, when it stabilizes(2 months at same %) at less than 12% glue it together. I would use epoxy even though epoxy is rough on tools. Would consider other recommendations on glue if several examples were shown as proof of suitability.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I have a M14 stock I made from Black Cherry -- no problem
    I have canoe Paddles made from Black Cherry -- no problem

    Dried over a long time and when made and sealed no problem

    the ends will crack unless you end seal it to slow down the drying process or cut off 2-3 inch when dry

    I have 2-1/4 x 9 x 12 feet drying in the rafters of the garage 30 plus years -- need a good project to justify cutting it (i did have 2)

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Sawn into thin sections and epoxied together under heavy clamping pressure will help to stabilize it a lot. A thinner epoxy is good here as it soaks impregnates deeper into the wood. Draw backs are the epoxy adds weight ( on some woods almost 2-3 lbs), Epoxy is harder on tools, and last the impregnated wood can be harder to get a good finish on

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    60 plus years is a long time. I am an amateur wood worker as was my father. Expert by no means. When clearing fencerows on the farm dad would have a nice tree cut into lumber and store in the tool shed. Dad is gone now but there is still enough wood there to last the rest of my life. We've been building things out of it for over 20 years. This wood was never kiln dried. Just air dried under no controlled conditions. To this day I have found no way to predict if a piece will warp, shrink or otherwise ruin a project. I do know that I have better luck as time goes by and the wood gets older. The advice given above is good and will help. I have a thing for old wood. Can't throw it away. Maybe try a piece of it an see what it does under different conditions before starting a project.

  9. #9
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    I turn pens and have some figured white oak (limb figure) that I have had three pieces blow up on the lathe - glued to a brass tube, yet - before I get one to turn even with super glue. I am very familiar with figured wood. If there is that much tension in it movement even against glue will happen. Save it for small projects is your best bet.
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    Twenty years ago during a wind storm a tall old dead wild cherry tree blew down. As it had been dead for at least 10 years or more we tried to salvage as much good wood as possible. We sold most of the trunk, uncut, to a saw mill. I made quite afew canes and walking sticks from the limbs. I can`t put a firm number of the knife scales I made for my knives. I finally sold the remainder of it to another friend that made knick - knacks and such from nice wood.Robert

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    The stocks I have laminated were done with Titebond II & III. They have stood up to some serious hunting conditions from Alaska to Africa.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

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  12. #12
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    I love cherry. Made my swede custom from a tree that fell in the woods. It dried for a long time in the barn but not good enough so I let it in my basement for a month, low humidity of 34-35%. Best stock ever.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	193037 Took checkering like a champ. Gun will do 1/4" at 100 and never changed.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Nice gun stock 44man! I have thought of resawing it as I have enough bandsaw to do that but I used TiteBond and it is doing fine out of clamps. Because of the negative possibilities I thought I would use it on one of the Romanian Trainer 22's I got a long time ago. I figured I would restock a Trainer for each of the kids.I have been pushing this project(the Romanian 22's) off for quiet a while. Redid one to look like a minature vz 24 in battle dress. Came out nice when placed with WWII army rifles. I think I will trust the glue and see what happens.
    Look twice, shoot once.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I made one or two stocks from Cherry and swore I would never make another one. I fell heir to another one and didn't know it was cherry until I started working it. It made a decent stock, but it is difficult to work with. There are different cherry trees, but I have not liked any I had to work with. It probably isn't my last choice of wood for a stock, but it is close. It is a stable wood, and if laminated, it isn't going to go anywhere.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    The last Cherry stock I did was made out of Hardwood Flooring Planks.
    They were already seasoned and the guy who owned the flooring company that I was building the stock for, Joined Off the grooves on the back and gave me planks that were 5/8" thick to glue together.
    With No reinforcing between the layers except the wood glue.
    And the dark one is out of Walnut Wood Flooring
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16
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    Get the wood dry, use good glue and clamp tight. You can make a wonderful thing.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Johnson 1942 has info as I just purchased a fine example of a cherry stocked muzzle loader built by him and as usual fine art!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Stanley used to advertise that they made their levels from Cherry because of it's stability. Of course that was before aluminum and plastic replaced wood.
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  19. #19
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    ive made two stocks out of cherry wood. its the most stable wood out there. there are 120 year old 6 ft. long levels in ranch shops around here that are as straight as the day they were made. ive never ever had anyproblems with it. if i have to glue, i use gorilla glue. its very good. maybe the glue waksupi posted is better, i dont know, but i like gorilla glue. one of the woods that can look nice but should never be used is oak. i had a piece of very figured oak and made a nice stock out of it. every time i shot that 50 cal muzzle loader a piece would fly off of it. i got tired of gluing back together. threw it away and got a nice piece of western quilted maple. i did ash once and it was really nice to work with but some parts of it acceped a stain and some parts didnt. wont use ash again for that reason. the most beautiful wood,to me, is western quilted maple. it is hard to describe it as it is so beautiful. if you think tiger stripe maple is pretty, take a look a western quilted maple. walnut is a common wood for gun stocks but it doesnt stand up near as well as many other woods. splits under stress too easy for my liking.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnson1942 View Post
    ive made two stocks out of cherry wood. its the most stable wood out there. there are 120 year old 6 ft. long levels in ranch shops around here that are as straight as the day they were made. ive never ever had anyproblems with it. if i have to glue, i use gorilla glue. its very good. maybe the glue waksupi posted is better, i dont know, but i like gorilla glue. one of the woods that can look nice but should never be used is oak. i had a piece of very figured oak and made a nice stock out of it. every time i shot that 50 cal muzzle loader a piece would fly off of it. i got tired of gluing back together. threw it away and got a nice piece of western quilted maple. i did ash once and it was really nice to work with but some parts of it acceped a stain and some parts didnt. wont use ash again for that reason. the most beautiful wood,to me, is western quilted maple. it is hard to describe it as it is so beautiful. if you think tiger stripe maple is pretty, take a look a western quilted maple. walnut is a common wood for gun stocks but it doesnt stand up near as well as many other woods. splits under stress too easy for my liking.

    Something I saw with Gorrilla Glue, was it leaves a very fine line of yellow at the joint. If you ever put an ebony grip cap on a nice piece of walnut, it stands out like a sore thumb to me.
    I also don't like wetting a piece of wood that I want to glue for long term stability, which you should do for best bond with GG. All depends on what your demands are.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


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