This is the start of my first stock from a blank piece of wood. My father-in-law walked into my shop with this old piece of rusted junk some 16 years ago, my first thought was what now? After looking at it and then noticed that it was a shotgun and not a 22 my interest sparked. His words were, this could be Scott’s first gun but needs a little work. (Scott is my son and at this time he was 10) In this first picture is the copied blank from the original stock on the right.
In this picture the inlet is very close to finish dimension with the exception of the barrel channel. All the inletting was done with a hand held router and bits that I hand ground to match the action dimensions, the barrel channel is hand shaped with a rasp.
In this picture the barreled action inlet is complete. This is the turning point where all my work could be for naught, the pin coming out the left side of the stock is where the trigger pin goes, and yes the trigger is pinned in the wood stock and not connected to the action. If got it wrong it would be difficult to patch and re-drill another hole to make it look right but all went well so we press on.
Before the starting I searched for info on the butt plate, couldn’t find any good info or pictures so I found an old Winchester plate and used that. With a draw knife, rasps and files the shaping begins.
I had to put this in the mix, back then I had more hair and it actually had some color. Take a close look at the heating system used back then, still using it today when it gets really cold, 32000 BTU infrared with a small fan to push it around.
Ok, things are coming together, the shape is a close copy of the original, and sure glad I had it to work from. I managed to find a small picture in a gun values book of this Winchester to verify look and shape, there was also a small picture of a high grade model and that will come into play later. All the metal work is being done at this stage but I never recorded that.
The finished stock, and the metal work was also finished at the time I took this picture but I just wasn’t satisfied. Remember the small picture I said I found of the high grade Winchester.
This is my checkering cradle that I built back in the late 70’s and was stored in the rafters of my dad’s garage. I always wanted to do some checkering so this was a good project to practice on so if I screwed it up we just file it down and refinish the stock, no one would know the difference.
That small picture that I found of the high grade model showed the checkering panels so I copied from that and transferred them to the stock. I started on the pistol grip panels first thinking they would be the easiest but soon found out different. As for all things that I have done they were from reading books and trial and error, with more emphasis on the error, but as they say you learn form your mistakes.
The last checkering panel before finishing, so far I managed to screw up all of the panels and correct them, I wished that I would have stuck with the 16 lines per inch instead of going to the 18’s.
Completed checkering job, the air finally cleared and my stress level is back to normal and I ask myself if I will ever do it again. Yes some day maybe but for now I have had enough. I should have practiced more on flat stock before starting the curved surfaces just didn’t have the time to do both.
The Black Walnut stock blank was given to me some 10 years prior, it was too small for a standard rifle so it was a good candidate for this project. The Winchester was traded for gas at my father-in-laws station many years before he handed it to me. I couldn’t find a lot of information on this shotgun at the time of it’s reconstruction for it doesn’t have a serial number or one that I can find on it. It is completely functional and my son did shoot clay birds with it before he received his 1100 Remington trap gun but now it just graces my wall and will be passed down some day.
All of the pictures came from prints that I scanned into my computer for they were taken before the new digital technology of today; some times it is hard to believe just how much things have changed in a short period of time.
Great blog! Do you still happen to have the plans for your checkering cradle lying around anywhere? I could use your photos, of course, if I wanted to try building one myself, but I suppose plans never hurt!