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First DIY Stock MKII

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13 Nov 2014 00:12 #21 by Bruce
Bruce replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Thanks mate. I did a post on another forum about this... ill paste it here for you.
I don't think you'll get out of it for less than $100 bucks and more likely $250 depending on where/what etc you buy. Great experience to do it though. Anyway, ill go find the thread for ya.
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13 Nov 2014 00:14 #22 by Bruce
Bruce replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Alright. Here goes...

Bruce's top checkering tips.

Firstly IMO, finish your stock till the finest grade of sandpaper your going to finish with. Including oil sanding if you are oil finishing. Then:

SETUP
  • Setup a reasonably strong but cool temperature light source. Both cool in color and heat, you don't want to be sitting so close to a heat source for long in summer.

  • Use a Comfy Chair, I used a swivel chair so I could spin easily to move the work-piece into the right angle for the light

  • A Magnifying visor with a little built in LED will help you far more than you might think. 2x mag is plenty

TOOLS

These are the essentials IMO. Plenty of extras that are nice, but you can get away with these.
  • Fine tooth straight cutter (F1)

  • Short straight cutter (S1) which works on the pull stroke.

  • Left and right line spacers in whatever LPI you choose. I reckon for hunting rifles 16-18 LPI is probably a good option. This stock is 20LPI

  • Sharp knifes. I used a craft knife for fine cutting in corners you cant file. I used a Drop point hunter to roll along the border and master lines, This gave enough of a track for the straight cutter to follow.

  • Joiner tool. This is a long long straight cutter/file. This is what fixes your grain deviations.

  • Veining chisel would be a nice to have. I have a few but didn't use it. I could have used that instead of the craft knife

I wouldn't bother with multi line cutters, I think it is too easy to overdo your deepening with them and make a mess of your job. One line at a time means you only ruin one line when you get distracted and plug on.

I had bordering tools. Just didn't use em and thus don't make my essentials list.

The coarse straight cutter (C1) was great on redgum practice, but horrible on walnut. It really tended to rip the points off the diamonds.

I started with a dembart master kit (from MidwayUSA) and a few extras. I could have gotten away with just the master kit. The joiner tool (From Brownells) was a late and welcome addition (Of course i got it after I had finished all the marking out).

Method

  • Use a fine chinograph or grease pencil to mark out border/master lines. I used .05 coloured grease leads in a refillable pencil. Worked a treat for contrast and being able to see the line. Was fine enough line to be accurate, and was light enough pressure that it didn't depress the grain of the timber. Wipes off with a finger if your not happy with it.

  • Laying out the angle of your master lines is so easy with a dembart guide that I have no need to really cover it. Just make sure your diamonds width runs the length of the stock. You'll work out what I mean pretty quick.

  • When happy with your pencil lines, use a knife with a decent belly to it to mark the border/master lines. I would set the knife edge along the line and roll it up toward the tip. It wont take much pressure to set the line and it doesn't need to be deep anyway.

  • Use a fine toothed straight cutter to mark your borders first. You will be amazed how easily that little tiny cutter will follow any depression. Great when you have the sucker in the knife groove, but be wary of a timber grain change that wants to drag it off course. To that end, make these first passes very light to ensure they are where you want them to be. Multiple passes wins over a single heavy pass. Once happy deepen the border lines to about half the final depth.

  • Now that your border is done, move onto the master lines using the same process with knife and then single fine cutter, but only do enough of a pass on these to be able to distinguish them. I mean just a seriously fine line!.

  • With your master lines straight. Go back and check them again. Use a straight edge of flimsy plastic to lay it along your lines in any areas where your checkering is on a curved surface. Check it. Check it again. That .25mm deviation due to the grain matters. Make sure it is dead straight. Fix it now (reason one for marking the master lines gently) or cry later.

  • ^to fix a deviated line. Take your knife and roll the line straight again, then take the joiner tool and carefully re-mark the line so that it is straight. Take your time to get this right

  • Take your spacing tools and gently start marking your fill lines. I found that using the tools in a direction that had the grain moving toward the master lines gave a more consistent spacing. Keep these lines light still, both for reason one (above) and now reason two: too deep and your cross fill lines will get deflected by the deep lines you already did. Don't be afraid to take your time. Change your tools frequently for the right tool for what your doing. Check your lines are straight and keep checking/fixing/marking/checking etc. This isn't going to be a fast process. Don't rush, it'll get done when its done. This step is the slowest and hardest. You will be pleasantly surprised how quickly checkering finishes up IF you have been careful and kept your lines straight in this step. Where your lines go around corners, don't let the spacing creep. I tended to find the spacing wanted to creep away from the master or previous line. .1mm + .1mm + .1mm becomes a nightmare FAST

  • Once you are completely happy that your lines are all straight, get friendly with your single line cutters F1 and S1. Gradually deepen every single line. Use the F1 for the bulk of the lines and the S1 when you need to get close to the borders. Your borders at 50% deep will act as a minor bump stop if you run over, but try to avoid it as it saves time later.

  • Keep going gradually deepening till you start pointing diamonds. You'll know when you get there as the checkering seems to appear out of a mess of lines. Using your magnifying lens and LED helps a heap right here.

  • Once you have diamonds keep checking the depth of each line. You want all your lines to be flat and meet evenly in the valleys so that the diamonds are all equally deep and even on all sides. This will make sense once you start reaching this point. I found rolling the work-piece in the changing angle of the light helped identify lines that needed extra attention

  • Once happy with your diamonds and content that they are even, go over your border till it is at its final depth. This will help knock out any over-runs you had. Extra long over-runs can be fixed by scraping a hard straight edge held perpendicular to the timbers face to create a fine removal of timber. Like running a steel ruler edge along a painted surface to remove the paint. Same idea but don't get carried away with it.

Murpheys law

Murphy is a prick, and he is sure to raise his head in this process. Watch out for his common tricks
  • If you cant see a line perfectly clearly. Don't file it in good faith. Adjust your position so that you can see where your going.That bastard murphy will grab your file and magically merge two good lines into one mess if you tempt him.

  • It will take all of 10 passes on a line to deepen a straight line if your on track. It will take exactly one light pass to mess it all up.

  • When you start getting to final depth, watch out for grain chattering. The file will get to a point where it seems to chatter over the grain rather than cutting it. Easy solution is to come at it from the other direction. This is the file catching the grain edge and skipping. Murphy (that bastard) makes sure that this only starts happening right when your on that last final pass, and sure as shit stinks it will knock the top off a diamond.

  • If you even think about sanding that little mark on the stock remotely near the checkering, murphy will smack you on the elbow, make you run straight over your diamonds and knock the point of 1000 of em. I hate Murphy.

One final point in the essay. When doing final oil coats, use a toothbrush to brush just the smallest amount of oil into the checkering. I cant overstate just how little oil you actually need. You need to stop the oil pooling in the checkering grooves else it becomes an oily, gluggy mess.

I hope this helps someone. I don't profess to be an expert, I am a novice but hearing these points might save you some heartache and time. Feel free to add to this list with any tips i've missed. :lol:
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13 Nov 2014 00:17 - 13 Nov 2014 00:19 #23 by Bruce
Bruce replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
A few pics to bring the thread up to date.

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laying out the grip checkering

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Shoots alright of the rest @50m with CCI standard . Groups of three on the lh target with adjustments. 5 shot group on the right to confirm zero. Rest of the shoot went well with the stock fitting metaphorically like a glove.

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Grip checkering done. Im still procrastinating from filing the rear of the trigger guard to shape and finding a suitable screw for the rear hole.

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An overview before finishing coat no 4 of oil goes on. I'm of the opinion that the pale boiled linseed is MUCH lighter in finishing than normal boiled, but of course time may tell and it may deepen eventually.
Last Edit: 13 Nov 2014 00:19 by Bruce.
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13 Nov 2014 06:49 #24 by Shooting Sports
Shooting Sports replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Damn Beautiful Stock!
Good to see genuine skill and craftmanship at work.
Thanks for sharing the tips and photos.

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13 Nov 2014 08:06 #25 by 98 Bravo
98 Bravo replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Absolute amazing job Bruce. Thanks for the checkering info, I've been looking to try it myself.
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13 Nov 2014 10:19 #26 by bottleinspector
bottleinspector replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
That is sensational!

That's what's wrong with the world today, not enough people making quality stuff by hand anymore. I'd be real proud if that stock was mine.

Awesome cricket bat too!

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13 Nov 2014 13:19 #27 by Jorge_in_Oz
Jorge_in_Oz replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Nice work Bruce, thanks for sharing.

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13 Nov 2014 14:41 #28 by allan
allan replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Bruce, from my point of view, this is the most interesting topic I've seen on the forum.
That project is an absolute credit to your skills.
Great to see some one put so much work into a humble Mark II.
Well done, my friend,
Allan.
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13 Nov 2014 15:01 #29 by Throwingbrick
Throwingbrick replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Bloody beautiful checkering on the grip mate and awesome all round colour and shape on the stock in general :woohoo:

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13 Nov 2014 15:47 #30 by magoo
magoo replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Great just looking at the pics. Work like that is more like an art than a trade,same as a top custom painter or beater not using bog. You couldn't make and sell stocks like that as you would have to charge so much. I can't even imagine doing chequering and shit like that myself. Top job.
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14 Nov 2014 00:15 #31 by Bruce
Bruce replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Thanks for the kind words guys :) I truly appreciate it and that recognition has encouraged me to agree and take possession of a blokes Sako L61R and a further Mauser action that this chap wants custom stocks for. I'm glad he isn't in a hurry for them and confident he wont kill me if I stuff them up. After all... he might just end up with a pair of cheap custom stocks out of it all!

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23 Nov 2014 12:10 - 23 Nov 2014 12:14 #32 by Throwingbrick
Throwingbrick replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII

Bruce wrote: Thanks for the kind comments lads ;)

S12A wrote: snip
surely some background in stock making or at least woodwork?


Thanks mate, Not stock working, but i've been making furniture and cricket bats and oil finishing stuff with basic hand tools since I was younger than I can remember. Summers spent in the shed with Dad with the cricket on the radio were good times ;) All that was bound to lead to stock making at some point right?


I spent a fair bit of time at school working lathes and sanders making chairs, benches and wooden boxes etc. what tools did it take to make this particular stock? and what wood was used sorry if it's in the op just skimmed it. I might give stock making a go. would I get by with a bandsaw, router, planer, disc sander etc plus all the usual shed utensils like chisels, mallets, handsaws etc

Polish Mosin Nagant M44 7.62x54r Radom 1952 manufacture
Brno model 2 1974 manufacture

One word 'Timshel'.
Last Edit: 23 Nov 2014 12:14 by Throwingbrick.

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23 Nov 2014 13:45 #33 by Spaana
Spaana replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Bruce, that is just unreal mate!
I have a thread here somewhere, where I made up a stock for my young blokes out of a piece of American Oak laying around.
I'm kind of embarrassed about it now, might just throw the bloody thing in the bin.
That was only a first go, and honestly I was happy how it came out considering it was a learning curve for myself.
But wow, now seeing your craft work, I'd like to give it another serious go. Pretty keen to give chequering a go too, but maybe do a bit of practice first.
Very well done, Thank you for putting in the time to show us fellas a few tips, awesome read.
Eager to see how the custom stocks come along

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24 Nov 2014 22:02 #34 by Bruce
Bruce replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII

Throwingbrick wrote: I spent a fair bit of time at school working lathes and sanders making chairs, benches and wooden boxes etc. what tools did it take to make this particular stock? and what wood was used sorry if it's in the op just skimmed it. I might give stock making a go. would I get by with a bandsaw, router, planer, disc sander etc plus all the usual shed utensils like chisels, mallets, handsaws etc


Yeah mate, that'd be all you need to get into it, that's basically what I used, plus a rasp, draw-knife, spokeshaves and the checkering files. I used QLd walnut on the first two, and black walnut on the rest. In hindsight the first two stocks timber was a bit soft, the Black walnut is harder/denser and better to checker. There a post a few up that had the basics of the process I used re checkering.

Spaana, I actually read your thread before i commenced mine and your being WAY to harsh on youself! That was a great stock ;) But if the bug is biting, get amongst it mate. 2nd one is heaps easier than the first that's for sure. Im onto my 5th now and getting heaps faster and better, but the oil finishing an the first four are still taking their time to set up with the humidity up here. :)
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13 Aug 2015 12:25 #35 by magoo
magoo replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Great thread dig.
I hope Bruce is still around.
As they say on Blokes World, Show us more. Been some good shotty segments on that show lately for those that don't see it.

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28 Feb 2016 14:45 #36 by Bruce
Bruce replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Been a while between updates. Ive been doing more and more stocmaking. Im think im up in the vicintiy of 100? stocks made or custom modified now. Makes the work posted so far look rather poor actually :whistle:

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Checkering practice

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Cleaning up a Sako L461, you can see where i have started re-checkering over the exisiting outlines.

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Ever Expanding tools collection. THis in only about 1/4 of them now :woohoo:

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Custom checkered grip cap

Full custom:

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Thanks for reading. Its an interesting journey!
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28 Feb 2016 16:02 #37 by Darkie
Darkie replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
WOW Bruce,
I am a cabinet maker.
You have a true talent and skill, keep up the excellent work.
Some of us do appreciate a true craftsman ;)

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28 Feb 2016 16:40 #38 by Dave_1109971
Dave_1109971 replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
WOW that's some talent!

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28 Feb 2016 16:54 #39 by bern
bern replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
Your work looks awesome Bruce.

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28 Feb 2016 17:09 #40 by LtFrankDrebbin
LtFrankDrebbin replied the topic: First DIY Stock MKII
It says it all in one when your thankyou count exceeds your post count in a big way.
A high degree of skill there that has my praise and is fading from human ability way too fast. Keep it up! And if you can pass it on please. B)

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