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Thread: My latest ML experiment...

  1. #1
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    My latest ML experiment...

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    This will be my first attempt at stock making from a plank. I "built" the Traditions Kentucky rifle this summer because I wanted a cheap muzzleloader for deer (didn't have one) but the length of pull on the stock is WAY TOO SHORT, like 12.5 inches! The plank I'm using is from a Tulip Poplar I cut down in my yard a couple years ago. I know nobody uses any type of poplar for stocks but it was free and will give me good experience in making a stock. Maybe I'll just learn that I prefer a pre-carve LOL!

    I've already started cutting out the barrel channel. And yes, there is a patch on the right side of the stock. That was a crack that was caused by part of the pith left in the plank before I decided to make it into a gunstock. A lot of that will get rasped away.

    Wish me luck!

    PS not sure why the photos uploaded upside down so... SORRY!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    I hope Waksupi doesn't have a heart attack when/if he reads this...

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The photos turned over in their grave, nobody, and that means nobody uses poplar for a stock and your camera knew it. lol

    All jokes aside, it seems like it may just be smart thinking, if it is your first. There is something to be said for practicing on a 2 dollar (free) piece of wood, instead of ruining a beautiful piece of walnut or similar. lol

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    For barrel inletting I would strongly suggest investing in the Barrel Bedding tool at any store that carries them... Brownells has them, for example; https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...-prod6796.aspx They are a neat tool! (And I'm a tool addict LOL)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Sheesh View Post
    For barrel inletting I would strongly suggest investing in the Barrel Bedding tool at any store that carries them... Brownells has them, for example; https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...-prod6796.aspx They are a neat tool! (And I'm a tool addict LOL)
    They work OK but only on round barrel channels.

  6. #6
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    You picked a good piece of wood to learn on. Poplar will be a bit soft, and be a little difficult to keep sharp, well defined lines, but should cut easily. I do all my octagon barrel inletting with chisels, and a homemade scraper. Takes me around 6-8 hours to put a swamped barrel into a blank. Since you are on a learning curve, expect 25-30 hours for that part of the job.
    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!


  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    For your first stock, I also think that poplar is not a bad choice as you will be learning many new things - and it's supposed to be a learning process. It's soft enough to carve and work easily but as mentioned, it will be hard to keep sharp lines on profiles, etc. When you go to finish the stock, just remember that poplar does not take stain well and and will be "muddy" looking. I ran thousands of board feet of poplar through my shop when I made millwork and it was strictly for a painted surface when finished but if the customer wanted to stain it, I always informed them that it would not take stain well and would be muddy looking.

    You are using an octagon barrel - the barrel bedders as mentioned are for round barrels and are worthless for inletting an octagon barrel. For barrel inletting, I have an old Sears Craftsman single knife molding head that was designed for use on table saws and radial arm saws. It takes the same knives as what Vermont American made. I have taken the 1" knives for cutting rabbets and re-ground it to the profile of the various sizes of octagon barrels. I can quickly cut a barrel channel in three or four passes, raising the cutter with each pass. A lot can also be done with a router with a good guide set-up using straight bits of the appropriate size to cut out most of the barrel channel. Usually the only thing left to be cut are the angled corners for the bottom 45 degree flats.

    Good luck to you on your project - you'll have a lot of fun and learn a lot along the way - and don't get discouraged. Even the best builders sometimes run in to problems and the secret is to study what the problem is and then figure out a way to accomplish what you want to do. If you make a "oh-oh" - don't fret about it. Part of the fun is learning how to fix a mistake when you make it - you've already started on that learning process by taking care of the void in the wood. AS they say, "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and you'll do just fine!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    The barrel is straight 7/8 octagon so inletting will be a bit easier than a swamped barrel. I've already started cutting out the channel but didn't do it the prescribed way... . Doing this will also give me practice on sharpening tools... ugh!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by taco650 View Post
    Doing this will also give me practice on sharpening tools... ugh!
    A valuable skill set, in and of itself!
    "Only two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity.......and I'm not sure about the universe..........."

    Albert Einstein

  10. #10
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    I bought my octagon barrel tools from Gun Line up near L.A. They also make great checkering tools. Anyways with my chunk gun with 1 1/2 width they or no one else had a scraper set so I bought a set of cabinet scrapers from Rockler, traced the barrel outline then cut out the size I needed. The commercial barrel scrapers usually have 3 blades so I did that and it took several hours. I opened the width with my router and then cut the bottom with the hand tools. I agree that the softer wood is a good idea to start on but I was surprised to find that wood like maple or walnut scrapes easier and checkers easier too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldracer View Post
    I bought my octagon barrel tools from Gun Line up near L.A. They also make great checkering tools. Anyways with my chunk gun with 1 1/2 width they or no one else had a scraper set so I bought a set of cabinet scrapers from Rockler, traced the barrel outline then cut out the size I needed. The commercial barrel scrapers usually have 3 blades so I did that and it took several hours. I opened the width with my router and then cut the bottom with the hand tools. I agree that the softer wood is a good idea to start on but I was surprised to find that wood like maple or walnut scrapes easier and checkers easier too?
    Yep. a soft wood like poplar is a wooly bugger to checker. A good hard wood is needed for good definition.
    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!


  12. #12
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    A valuable skill set, in and of itself!
    Very true

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    For your inletting scrapers use spade bits ground octagon and sharpened and heated and bent. Quench and don't bother to draw them out and sharpen them with stones and burr like a scraper. I have a set I made 30 years ago and they are still going strong.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
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    Can you slice off a thin section of octagon barrel, and make a scraper from that?

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    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kens View Post
    Can you slice off a thin section of octagon barrel, and make a scraper from that?
    I suppose you could but holding onto it would be problematic without attaching a handle of some sort. There's also different barrel sizes to contend with.

  16. #16
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    Use a real dark walnut stain and its mother will think it is walnut!
    Look twice, shoot once.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nekshot View Post
    Use a real dark walnut stain and its mother will think it is walnut!
    Good idea!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Made progress

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    Another

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by kens View Post
    Can you slice off a thin section of octagon barrel, and make a scraper from that?
    I done it, works good. I welded a piece of rondstock to it at a bit of an angle and attached a file handle to it, works great

  20. #20
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	210560A Large piece of Walnut for a 12 bore Flintlock Shotgun.Used a Spokeshave to take off the excess timber and made up an octagonal scraper for the barrel inletting.Your Gun looks as if it is coming on fine.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check