Carbon fiber/ Redwood stock.
I am going to do this page a little different than my other pages and mainly for the time factor. I completed this stock around March/April of 2016 but haven’t managed the time to sit here and write, cut and paste so I will explain in the statement what I was after and omit the text between the pics. There are some 100 pics and below you will be taken thru approximately 50 of them, most should be self explanatory for the most part.
On the page titled New Rifle is where the following components came from more for the fact that the handling characteristics were not what I wanted tan anything else.
First off I have never liked plastic stocks, not that there is anything wrong with them but the feel and aesthetics of wood are much more pleasing to me. I think the main reason plastic is where it is today would be the weight factor and the race to make weight with more barrel leads the way. What I found with the previous stock is that it wasn’t comfortable for my style of bench manners, I am a grab and hold shooter, not the don’t touch anything but the trigger. The previous stock was primarily a free recoil type and difficult for me to hold.
The other and main reason for building this stock was I wanted to shoot a 30BR but if it didn’t work out be able to switch it to a 6 PPC. Now as for how it turned out, I made weight which was the critical factor but not at the barrel length that I wanted. My original mandate was a 24” barrel, ended at 22 5/8” to get 1 oz under the weight limit with Leupold Comp series scope. With the old BRD series I could have had a 25 inch barrel and the stock forearm another inch longer. All I can say is tried and no way could I get the stock to finish at 29 oz. This may be due to the fact I had a lamination separation on the forearm which you will see in the pics, this altered the coarse and I had to add more carbon fiber and resin, this all adds weight. Thru the entire project I was weighing components at different stages trying to get a feel for how much weight was being added with the resin and carbon fiber.
So to start with my 1930’s Yager planer milled the stock to thicknesses for the laminating process….
Next in the shop carbon fiber strips cut and ready for resin……….
The redwood stock was milled to thickens so that center carbon fiber was never cut into other than the trigger group and pillars………good / bad ?? my method
In order to maintain a bubble free surface I attempted to just laminate one surface at a time when at all possible, this worked for the most part and allowed repairs before sandwiching between pieces.
Next the main block was laminated the keels were cut, 3 to be exact, 2 are for the main slope design and one is for a straight keel for use in F-Class………
Keels were positioned and pinned into place, the two contoured keels are different angles, for the short range BR rules there is a dimension/ angle from the toe to a point forearm/mid barrel for drop, difficult to measure but I wanted to be covered if it were ever necessary to change……..
Carbon fiber was laminated to keels, the redwood is fragile so any help in areas of contact is necessary IMO……
Inletting is done on the mill, holes located, trigger guard inletted and holes drilled thru the keels fot location of threaded inserts………..
All parts made on lathe, pillars for bedding, threaded inserts for keels and trigger guard along with action screws and center recoil lug…………..
Next the pillars were installed and action bedded, I wanted to establish that everything is on center line, forearm to barrel………..
Once I was satisfied with the bedding the keel was trammed to center line, this can change as there is hand work involved ………….
Next the barrel channel is laminated with carbon fiber, I omitted the vertical lamination’s in the main blank in lieu of this, thinking there will be enough support or rigidity added at this time……right or wrong??? don’t know but this is m way…………
At this point there was suppose to be just one more lamination on the bottom of the forearm but as you can see I had a separation, big air bubble and had to change coarse…………this is where I ended up adding 2 thicknesses of CF to insure I had a solid forearm, added the extra weight that I had not planned on……..along with a step at the front action screw execution.
From this point on all the fussy hand work is being done, final fitting of keels, inlet of bolt handle, final shaping of the stock and finish work…………..
Several coats of Helmsman satin and baking in makeshift oven, hand sanding and re-coating……….
Finally…………finished and assembled at which point I was over weight by 1.5 oz and at this time I cut the barrel to make weight….
All in all it was an experience, working with materials that I never worked with before, fun but frustrating too but only because trying to make a weight class. Have enough materials to complete another stock but not planning one anytime soon. Hope the pictures speak better than my text……….
Thanks for looking
History of the materials:
The redwood used in this stock has history, back in 1980 when I bought my current house there was an old cope/ building in the back yard and was full of stuff. In a cleaning (roof leaked, dirt floor) project I found 4 2×4’s of unknown material, ended up stacking them outside in the elements for years.
Now at one point I grabbed one of these 2×4’s and used it for something that I can’t remember but do remember that it was something I have never seen or used before, straight, full 2×4 dimension and had never warped from the elements. About 15 years ago I determined what they were and moved the remaining 3 inside for some future project. So this is the history of this stock, from someones discarded material to something useful today. I personally get a charge out of using discarded materials to make something new, there is character in these materials too.