lumber/ wood for gunstocks

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Forum topic by Beaverlumber posted 05-16-2012 04:06 PM 7101 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Beaverlumber's profile


2 posts in 2473 days

05-16-2012 04:06 PM

Hi, I’m new to wood working and have decided to try a new hobby, wood working and specifically carving gunstocks. Can anyone help me out? I am having a heck of a time finding suppliers for coloured laminate plywood such as “Rutland Plywood” and suitable hardwoods such as maple or birch and if possible I would also like to locate suppliers in Canada, at this point the shipping is more than the material.
Thanks so much.

-- Murray, North of the 49th

9 replies so far

View Tim Pletcher's profile

Tim Pletcher

90 posts in 3344 days

#1 posted 05-24-2012 12:49 PM

What part of Canada? I know there are a lot of small shops in the muskoka area around the lakes…


View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2535 days

#2 posted 05-24-2012 03:48 PM

If you’re going fully custom, I’d just order pieces of wood that are thick enough to cut the stock from (look for nice pieces… some can even be found on eBay).

Maybe try this place for dyed blanks:

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View BlauSchuh's profile


15 posts in 2477 days

#3 posted 05-25-2012 04:44 AM

I’m interested in this as well. I’ve wandered the web quite a bit trying to find that colored laminated plywood.

edit: looks like this place is a good supplier:

View robherc's profile


10 posts in 2465 days

#4 posted 05-25-2012 08:27 AM

If you’re wanting to make a custom gunstock, why would you use plywood? Once I ever find the time to make myself a couple custom stocks, you can very well bet they’ll be made of “real” wood…and either solid, or parquet over solid!
NO offense intended at all, just that if I’m going to go to that much work, why undercut all that good work by using “so-so” materials? BTW, Black Locust may grow that far north, and it has EXCELLENT qualities for woodworking in general (low shrinkage/warp, super hard, lasts for a century outside, even without having any finish applied).

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3507 days

#5 posted 05-25-2012 11:37 AM

Here's a link to an auction on E-Bay for a Don Allen Duplicator. It’s the same type I use to carve custom gunstocks and the auction includes a lot of extras including tooling, patterns, and some great looking walnut blanks to carve. The extra tooling the seller made is very valuable! I had to design the same fixtures to inlet the butts of stocks. It took days of work to make prototypes and then build the final fixtures. I wish my duplicator had come with the blanks and tooling this auction includes.

Most of the blanks on E-Bay have the right shape, but the grain pattern isn’t right. The grain in a good stock can be figured in the butt, but from the grip area forward it must sweep up and then straight through the forend. With the Ruttland Plywood laminated blanks, the grain isn’t important. The blanks are strong but… dyed birch just isn’t the best looking wood you can use. Boyds has blanks a lot cheeper than most other sellers. They list them for $39.95 on their website.

I make my own blanks to get high quality blanks by sawing my own logs in lumber. That keeps my costs down and makes beautiful lumber that is cut with the grain straight down the stock. You can check out my projects and blog posts to see some of my stocks and photos of my duplicator and how it works. Good luck with your project. I’ll be looking for some pictures of your stocks.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3802 days

#6 posted 05-25-2012 11:48 AM

At the other end of the spectrum is Turkish walnut.

Pretty steep to learn on, but shipping will not cost more than the wood.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2535 days

#7 posted 05-25-2012 04:09 PM

If you’re wanting to make a custom gunstock, why would you use plywood? – robherc

Did you see the stocks in the link I provided? I’m not exactly sure how you’d accomplish that with solid wood and if you do know how, feel free to share (being serious… it’d save a few of us a lot of time resawing thin veneers to do this).

I know it looks kind of tacky, but there are some really cool color combos that I’ve seen over the years that you just can’t easily do on solid wood. This stuff sells too… so if they’re buying, keep selling it.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View robherc's profile


10 posts in 2465 days

#8 posted 05-25-2012 09:56 PM

OK, you have me there Doss…that looks like it’d be a royal pain to do on solid wood. I never would have imagined doing that to an otherwise nice piece or furniture for my firearms, but if it sells, it sells…lol, I don’t plan on buying it tho.

On a slightly more helpful note (hopefully at least), idk if you’ve tried this already, or even if it’s really work, but have you tried stenciling your stocks after cutting & sanding, then using a sprayer to spray the color of stain you’re wanting on them (would take several stencils & a lot of time, but MIGHT be easier than resawing the veneers)? I think that method would have the best chance of working using a sprayer that uses a HIGH amount or air, and using the finest, “driest” spray said gun is capable of, to minimize “bleeding” between opposing color strips. Just a “brain-fart” thought, but it might possibly work & save you a little labor.

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2535 days

#9 posted 05-25-2012 10:19 PM

Yeah, I’ve tried to think of ways that are foolproof to duplicate that and I can’t. Stenciling would be a nice try, but I’m afraid with all the curves in the stocks there would always be that looming chance of a costly (in time) error.

I have seen where some people have used dye in very controlled amounts to get a similar effect; but they’re usually depending on the dark grain or rings to hide any errors (or they’re just coloring something black + one other color).

If you think about it, it’s really not that much time to resaw a stock, dye it, glue it up, and finally shape it.

I’m not a gunstock expert by any means; but I might make one this weekend for my really old (to me) pellet gun.

I’m with you on the not wanting this type of stuff on a high priced rifle or anything like that. I think this does work well for competition shooters and younger shooters though.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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