Ambrosia maple, walnut and cherry varmint/target stock

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Project by HalDougherty posted 05-26-2010 11:47 PM 7719 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I carved this stock this morning. It’s the third attempt to getting it carved… The problem was carving the outside of one design and then switching the patterns and carving the interior. Or inletting the stock. The original stock pattern was cut to fit a Remington 700 BDL with a varmint weight barrel. Only this customer has a Mauser Yugo. Getting the trigger where it needs to be in relation to the stock and merging the shapes of two wildly different designs was tough. The first time I tried to carve the stock, I ended up using the stock as the pattern for my F-Class benchrest stock. The second time, I cut the bottom of the stock about 1/4” too short before I started carving the inlet area. I cut the bottom of the stock flat, glued on more wood (you can’t ever get 5 laminates to line up without using the original blank and I didn’t have any. But that mistake will also make a good pattern stock. (I didn’t have a Yugo stock and the customer had to send his to duplicate) Now, this one is finished and it’s beautiful. It shows the rich amber colors of the maple and the dark streaks of natural stain running through the wood. Before I ship the stock tomorrow, I’ll fill the beetle holes with sawdust and super glue, then sand them flush, add one more coat of tung oil and wet sand with 320 grit sandpaper. I usually stop at 120 grit for an unfinished stock, but this one was so pretty, I couldn’t help myself. Oh, I have to rasp out the router burn marks in the thumbhole. If you look close, you can see how the stocks come out of the duplicator before they are sanded. It takes about an hour of sanding to get to this point. I don’t put all the stocks I carve here, just the exceptional ones with beautiful wood. This combination of beautiful color using ambrosia maple, cherry and walnut turned out much better than I expected.

The maple tree in the background is in my front yard… I’ve got 6 of them along with a huge walnut tree. The maples are nearing the end of their lives. They are starting to develop dead limbs and one of them has started to die. They were planted when the house was built about the turn of the century. One day I’ll use some of the maple to make hardwood flooring for my old 2 story farm house and the rest will be gunstock material. But first, I’m saving seedlings to get replacement trees started. Once I have a replacement big enough for a yard tree, I’ll over a period of years, replace each tree, one at a time. 6 big maples shade the farm house and make the temperature a lot cooler. I’d hate to lose all that shade at once. I’ve had to take two down already because of storm and insect damage.

-- Hal, Tennessee

7 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5038 days

#1 posted 05-26-2010 11:49 PM

this stock is amazing ,impressive.


View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4422 days

#2 posted 05-27-2010 01:13 AM

Well done! As a former gunsmith, I can appreciate the time and patience that went into the final stock. Lots of filing, fitting, and sanding!

View RichardH's profile


295 posts in 4463 days

#3 posted 05-27-2010 03:05 AM

Beautiful stock – I like the front and it kind of reminds me a little of some of the cooper arms buick pattern. Thanks for the story about the trees – for me, the source of the wood can be one most interesting aspect of the design sometimes. Really nice work.

-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

View MOJOE's profile


571 posts in 4730 days

#4 posted 05-27-2010 04:28 AM

love it man

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View kerdog's profile


1 post in 4227 days

#5 posted 10-30-2010 04:43 AM

Hello. I just picked up a stock for a Savage 110 in this pattern. I’m pretty sure you must have made it. How will I be able to tell ? I am new to this site.
Thanks, Kerwin

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4698 days

#6 posted 10-30-2010 01:27 PM


Send me a photo of the stock and I’ll let you know. I’ve got a photo of almost every stock I’ve ever carved.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View tomc5489's profile


1 post in 4116 days

#7 posted 02-19-2011 02:05 AM

I think the work you do is great. I love the woods you put together. I am thinking of doing the same thing with Mauser actions. I like the 1/16th inch laminate but the thicker laminate is very rich looking and more conservative for the average shooter. Do you sell the 1/2 inch laminate stock blanks for others to sculpture?

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