Help choosing wood and tools for air rifle stock - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-18-2016, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Help choosing wood and tools for air rifle stock

Hi

I'm new here and to woodwork and I really need some advice from some experienced members...


I am making a wood stock for my PCP air rifle and I am looking for some suggestions for a reasonably priced, reasonably attractive, easily available and fairly strong wood. PCP air rifles don't recoil like firearms so it doesn't need to be as strong as if it were for a powerful center-fire gun.

I also need it to be not too difficult to shape and cut. I started the project using some hard wood I can't identify (that used to be a large shelf in my living room)and it broke every cutting blade on my jigsaw and... instead of being cut by my angle grinder with a metal cutting wheel, it launch the wood, the vise it was in and the table it was clamped to, across the the room. It made my router jump too. I tried regular straight cut router bits and end mills designed for cutting metal. Both bounced off in a rather dangerous way. I not looking to repeat that wood choice (whatever it was).

I don't have great tools here. I am working with an average router (Rigid), angle grinder, dremel, drill press, metal files and a sander (the shelf wood broke my jigsaw beyond repair).

I have tried researching wood but every time I think I have found something with the right properties, I find it's too expensive, unavailable or just not available in the size I need. The number of wood choices is a bit overwhelming for a beginner like me...

Most wood stocks are made from walnut and maple but any slabs that are nice looking (and dry enough) are too expensive for something I will probably ruin (as it's my first attempt). I want to be able to use it if it works out but not cry if it doesn't...

Does anyone have any suggestions for a good beginner wood that might be available in slabs 2" -3" thick, 6" (or more) wide and a minimum of 20" long?

Also, please can someone point me in the right direction for choosing affordable tools to cut and shape thick wood? My current tools seem wrong for cutting shapes in 3" thick hard woods.

I am not new to carving and making stuff in general btw. I usually work with carbon fiber, fiberglass and other synthetic materials. I typically carve a master to work from out of urethane foam or epoxy putty etc. I assumed that carving and shaping wood would be a similar process but it isn't working the same way at all.

With my other materials, I cut the basic shape outline and do the rest of the shaping using simple metal files and sand paper. If there is a void, I sand it down until it's gone. With the wood I have been trying to work on, I just seem to make the voids or holes deeper when I try to sand them out. If I had this problem with something made from epoxy or plastic, I would wet-sand it but I need to keep the wood dry until it's sealed, don't I?what do you guys use to shape thick wood (eg 3" slabs) and remove surface holes, cracks and voids etc?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'll gladly return the favor if anyone is looking for advise on making things out of composites like carbon fiber...

Btw, what's with all the security protocols on this site? They seem a little excessive for a woodworking forum. Was there a spammer problem or something like that? I think there are less steps and rules for logging into my online bank account.
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-05-2017, 01:10 AM
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Walnut is typically used for gun stocks but since you say you don't want to use that and it doesn't have to be that strong, try alder. It's way cheaper and can be found in pretty thick boards (or you could glue some thinner boards of whatever wood up). It's quite soft but I do like the grain it has, so I end up using it quite a bit. Of course if you are used to carbon fiber and plastics why not just use that? Plastics can be far more forgiving than wood (depending of course) and it seems like you know what you're doing with those. If you really want something more familiar to you, you could also try micarta. It isn't that expensive but it also isn't that hard to make, I think it would made a nice looking gun stock.

If you plan on cutting both long and thick boards I'd invent is a bandsaw. It would save you a whole lot of time in the future not to mention it seems like that would be a safer choice for you anyway if your jigsaw is throwing things about (what wood was that anyway?! Do you have a picture?)

And as far as the security measures go... I don't know you could as Cricket or something. I don't really know what you're referencing it doesn't seem that bad to me. I completely forgot what the sign up questions were.

Hope I did something to help you mate.

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post #3 of 7 Old 11-05-2017, 08:58 AM
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From your description of the cutting problems you're having, I suspect that you are not letting your tools do the work. One should only guide the jigsaw & let it do the cutting. Never try to force it through your material.
Take multiple light passes with the router rather than one deep pass.
An angle grinder with a metal cutting wheel? I wouldn't get it near wood!


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post #4 of 7 Old 11-05-2017, 09:27 AM
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"Btw, what's with all the security protocols on this site? They seem a little excessive for a woodworking forum. Was there a spammer problem or something like that? I think there are less steps and rules for logging into my online bank account."

You may be a novice to woodworking, but you sure hit the hail on the head with that statement.

You chose a difficult project for your initial step into woodworking. I also think many of your initial problems such as voids and cracks are because you selected a less than good piece of wood. You might use relatively soft wood for your initial dry runs to learn the techniques for making your final stock.

As stated above, a bandsaw is virtually essential for the cutting you want to do to get a rough shape.

You might check a wood supplier such as www.walllumber.com for the blank(s) you will need.

George
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-07-2017, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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I decided to build a CNC router and a CNC mill to do all my shaping. I've been working on it for 6 months.

I started looking for 3 axis manual router slides like the manual Bridgeport style milling machines people use for metal but I found nothing in a hobby level price range for wood, so I started looking to build my own. I found that once you start investing in decent rails, ball screws and something stable to mount them on, you might as well build it as a CNC machine instead of manual.

I have to say that I am surprised at how few products are offered to mount a manual wood router to. Every set-up that I saw that looked suitable was a diy job. It's hard to believe that I am the only one who wants to be able to adjust the height and cut straight lines that are longer than you could achieve with your average compound table.

Anyway, my THK rails will enable perfect cuts 40" x 24" x 12" which should more than cover any rifle stock. When I add a 4th rotary axis, I'll be able to go straight from computer to almost finished stock.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-07-2017, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
"Btw, what's with all the security protocols on this site? They seem a little excessive for a woodworking forum. Was there a spammer problem or something like that? I think there are less steps and rules for logging into my online bank account."

You may be a novice to woodworking, but you sure hit the hail on the head with that statement.

You chose a difficult project for your initial step into woodworking. I also think many of your initial problems such as voids and cracks are because you selected a less than good piece of wood. You might use relatively soft wood for your initial dry runs to learn the techniques for making your final stock.

As stated above, a bandsaw is virtually essential for the cutting you want to do to get a rough shape.

You might check a wood supplier such as www.walllumber.com for the blank(s) you will need.

George

Now that is an awesome wood store. Thanks for the recommendation. The prices look very reasonable for some of their exotic woods.

A friend on mine brought back some Kamagong stocks from the Philippines and I have been sick with jealously ever since I saw one. It's the most amazing wood I have ever seen and I have been dying to have a go at working on my own exotic wood masterpiece. Obviously I can't get Kamagong here but it looks like they have some nice alternatives.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-08-2017, 10:46 AM
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I suggest you make your new stock out of Poplar.
Poplar is readily available at a Big Box store like THD.
It will take a stain well. Itís a relatively inexpensive wood compared to others.
A gun stock can be made out of most anything including plastic.
For an expensive gun, I would use something different like Walnut or Rosewood.
But for an air rifle I would use Poplar or even Fir.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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