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#102727 07/15/08 04:10 PM
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KY Jon Offline OP
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My son picked out a fancy burl bank from my wood rack and wanted a custom stock for his Remington Auto. we altered a factory stock for a perfect fitting pattern for him. He shot the gun Sunday and we checked the POI again before I started making the fancy stock for him.

Today I started duplicating the stock on my duplicator. Burl blanks can get real tricky real fast and you never know what you will find as you work. Some turn into real nice blanks others end up almost useless. This one is of the later type. First it as just one or two open burls. No problems I figured that I could fill them. Then a hidden knot that almost went away as I worked. I figured it still might be OK.

Then about a 3/8" from my finished size I hit 20-30 open burls that are rotten.Call it cluster burl ... Just dust and nothing solid for several inches. Right on the face about two inches from the comb and goes back about half of the stock length. 5 1/2" long void that goes almost all the way to the other face side. Might make a nice lamp for his room but will ever be a stock.

Bad day on the duplicator so far and he gets to pick another blank. I think that I will hide all the English blanks. Why waste them on an auto? Might get him to pick a maple or myrtle wood blank. I cannot see them on any double so they seem right for a auto. this make me admire those fancy burl stocks even more. I wonder how many blanks they lost while working them down? I bet a good many.

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Interesting. I'll bet that in the old days losing a blank was not nearly as traumatic as it is now.

I have a friend who has two brothers in the hardwood logging business. They can look at a tree and pretty quickly tell you the value of it in its unfelled state, the expectancy of how much good wood they can get, and how much will be wasted. It's a strange thing to see them pay a couple thousand dollars for a single tree that doesn't look like much, but I guess they know what to do with it.

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About 30 years ago, I sent North Carolina stockmaker Hal Hartley a nice fancy American Black Walnut blank and a Custom 1903 Springfield for him to restock.

When I got the rifle back two months later it had a different stock along with a note. He wrote that my blank had internal faults, so he substituted one of his own -- at no charge!

What a gentleman he was!

Jerry Goldstein

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Jon, I know what you mean. I was shaping a piece of fancy Claro for a stock and kept hitting open "bark pits" as our local stock master called them. Most went away as I cut deeper. Then I hit the mother of all holes and it looked like this one was going to get bigger and bigger. I had bought the blank from a reputable dealer, Cecil Fredi, so I called him. He said to keep going and if it didn't go away, he'd replace the blank. I kept going and the void went away. I was lucky that time, but it was nice to have backup from the supplier.

BTW, when I first read the title of your post, I thought you were going to say the duplicator went haywire. What kind of machine are you using?

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Hey Dave --- when are you going to come for a visit ? Can't get a PM to work so am using this chance, ken



Ken Hurst
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KY Jon Offline OP
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Cecil is top notch. Most of the wood dealers I use are. This blank I bought off the internet five years ago and I have no chance. Oh well it was not that much money and sometimes you win and sometimes you loose.

I have a Gemini machine that I have modified into a five axis machine. About the only thing left from the Gemini is part of the tracing arm, the motor mount, the head and tail stocks, much altered, and a ton of blue paint that I kept as the color scheme. About 95% of the time a three axis machine is how I use it, but I find that there are always areas the I need to get into that the extra movements comes in handy.

My side rails are T-rails off a CNC machine, 1 1/2" dia. rails that are six feet long. The table top a deck of 2X2's two layers deep, running in two directions that were glued and screwed down, covered with 3" of plywood, on legs that could hold up a small elephant. It, the bench, weighs about 500-550 pounds. Built heavy to help soak up vibration.

The real problem is making a jig to hold stocks firmly but allowing easy access to all areas that need to be inlet. Best to make a pattern stock and glue attachments to it that are rigid and permanent. I can see why others hate to copy patterns when they have one of their own. I cover all my patterns with that blue painter tape to protect the finish and still worry about getting my pattern back as good as new. Much easier to just rough out a pattern, glass bed it and then glue a set of blocks directly onto the stock and then clamp it in the machine. That is why I refuse to do work for others. I screw up my wood or my blank I just gripe a while and get over it. Screw up someone elses and then you have real problems.

I looked at every machine out there. Even thought about dropping ten or twelve thousand dollars into one to get what I wanted. Decided to try this and am fairly happy so far. Sidelocks take about four to five hours to copy. "Easy" 1100 stocks take about an hour. If I get it to just a about .007-.010 over size I am happy. If you pushed it you could get it to almost a perfect fit. But I like to turn the stocks and let them rest a month before I finish the inleting. Internal stresses can show up after coping and I have seen wood move a lot in a month. Feather crotch is the worse and I just turn them well over size and wait.

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Post some pictures...you know I can't read.

Ps...I like how your PM's seem to work when you want them to.

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Well Jon, as jOe says, post some pictures. Also, check your PM's. Ken, those PM's are a problem. I'll call you.

Last edited by Dave Schiller; 07/16/08 05:12 PM.

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