Remington 721 thumbhole left hand stock, right hand action.

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Project by HalDougherty posted 08-05-2012 12:17 PM 7117 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This thumbhole stock is for a Remington 721. The owner is left handed, but he has a right hand rifle. I carved this stock from black walnut, wild cherry with a sugar maple accent down the center. I thought I had a nice piece of figured walnut for the sides, only one problem, the best looking figure carved away. The color contrast between the walnut, cherry and maple is still beautiful.

I love working with real hardwood. I carved a stock this week using a blank made from the dyed birch plywood almost every other custom stockmaker uses. It was very frustrating. The wood is so brittle that it’s easy to chip out any small piece or anywhere the grain crosses a sharp edge. About the only way to reduce the chipping is to climb cut the entire stock. Using maple, walnut or cherry, I only have to be very careful around the small area around the cutout for the bolt. When that chips off and flies into a pile of shavings, it’s worse than searching for a needle in a haystack. Now you have to find a slightly bigger needle out of thousands of them. Most of the time, I give up and scrap an almost finished stock. So far in the years I’ve been carving stocks, I have only had to scrap out two stocks because a chip flew off and couldn’t be fixed without showing the defect.

-- Hal, Tennessee

14 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3416 days

#1 posted 08-05-2012 12:26 PM

Beautiful work and wood too. When you make these stocks….do you also install the barrel, etc. or does it just depend on what the customer wants?

You do the wood justice here on this one for sure.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3812 days

#2 posted 08-05-2012 12:39 PM

This is a super nice wood combos and build. Wow!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Tyler's profile


104 posts in 3273 days

#3 posted 08-05-2012 12:40 PM

That’s a very cool stock. My brother is finishing up a curly maple muzzle loader stock/gun now… maybe I’ll put it on here when he’s done. Great job!

-- Tyler- Montandon, PA ------ "It aint broke, it just needs fixed!"

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3300 days

#4 posted 08-05-2012 12:45 PM

Another great looking stock!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4245 days

#5 posted 08-05-2012 12:52 PM

Almost all my customers are gunsmiths. I carve the outside and inlet, then sand the outside to 120grit (or sometimes even more when I want to see the grain in the final stock before I ship it. That takes care of 95% of the work to make a stock. Only the 5% left to do takes 90% of the time to complete the final job. If I fitted and finished each stock, it would had days to the process and I’d have to charge so much the average person couldn’t afford one. This way, I ship my finished product as an unfinished stock and the customer adds his or her own labor to result in something they can display with pride as something they produced. I just take the process to a point where everyone with a sanding pad, a couple of dowels, and some sandpaper can get a stock ready to use. Finishing materials, glass bedding materials and aluminum pillars (if they want them) are needed and take extra skills. Here's a great webpage that describes how to install pillars and glass bed a rifle stock. Richard Franklin is one of the best gunsmiths that built benchrest quality varmint rifles. His instructions are clear and easy to understand. He’s retired now, but his web page still has a lot of good information and pictures of his rifles. One of his designs made from walnut & cherry inspired me to start carving gunstocks. He has produced some great infomational DVD’s on metalsmithing and bedding a barreled action. He has those on his website for purchase.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View NikonF100's profile


51 posts in 4194 days

#6 posted 08-05-2012 05:20 PM

Beautifull stock again Hal. See ya in a couple of weeks.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5060 days

#7 posted 08-05-2012 06:14 PM


You are a true Master at your craft…

Awesome work!


Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4311 days

#8 posted 08-05-2012 09:04 PM

im not familiar with gun stock making right now, but i want to learn more about it, i dont think i would care for a stock that wasnt 100 % wood, your is really beautiful, and i can see why folks would want to buy from you, i love to learn about different principles of wood working, even if i dont plan on doing it myself, i believe the glory of god is intelligence, so i look forward to learning what i can from you Hal…thanks for sharing your art, i hope it takes you to where you want to go with it, being well known for this will be a great new occupation . grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30597 posts in 3346 days

#9 posted 08-05-2012 09:36 PM

Really, really nice work.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Bagtown's profile


1743 posts in 4738 days

#10 posted 08-06-2012 12:26 AM

That’s damned impressive.
Great job.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3196 days

#11 posted 08-06-2012 12:46 AM

Impressive looking stock ! That wld cherry sure is orange !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 3354 days

#12 posted 08-06-2012 12:05 PM

I’m lefthanded so I think its great you can custom build a stock to make the rifle fit the customer,beautiful work as well.

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25917 posts in 4113 days

#13 posted 08-08-2012 10:33 PM

Beautiful stock, Hal. A one of a kind for sure!!................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4794 days

#14 posted 08-29-2012 04:54 AM

Great work, I want to try my hand at this.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

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