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Military Firearm Restoration Corner

My gunstock project


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We had a bit of a storm through here a few weeks ago, and my friend lost some walnut trees.  He's just going to cut them up for firewood, so I took a few pieces to (hopefully) make a gunstock or two from.  They are a bit heavy.







If anyone wants some before he chops them for firewood, he's in NW Arkansas.


Previously, he came over while I was sick last year and cut up an elm that had been pushed down for my garage about 3-4 years prior, cut some 8' lengths and put them next to my shop.  No cracks at all.  The next day, there were cracks.  I shot some spray paint that I had laying around on them, but it was useless.  The day after that, many, many cracks.  This time, my google-fu says latex paint is what you want, and I bought some at Lowes and have it on the ends already.  I plan on cutting them up more or less freehand with a chain saw like this Russian does:

Two Chainsaw Secrets | Turning a Tree into Perfect Boards - YouTube

I'll experiment on the elm first.  Otherwise, it's off to HF for an Alaskan Saw Mill attachment.

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I've read that on the wax, but I don't have enough wax to cover 300 sq in for the logs.  When I get it down to a few stock blanks, I will probably use some wax.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was looking on craigslist for a planer.  I found a jointer for $20.  The jointer I have I got from my father-in-law before he passed.  It has no fence.  I found a jointer for $20 on CL with a fence, a Rockwell yet, that had the bed welded up.  I thought, hey, for $20, I don't think I can fab up a fence on the other one for that.  A week later, they answered my email and I went over to look at it.  They were about 2 miles from my house.  You can't get there from here.  It took me 20 minutes.  Older gentleman selling off some of his shop stuff.  There was a hand cranked forge.  I asked him if he made knives and he said that he did.  So I gave him $20 for the jointer. 



I told him what I wanted to do and he said he had a planer that he would sell.  We looked at it and it was old.  Real old.  I figger about 1930's or 1940's at the latest.  220V, and a motor that looks like it's 10HP, but he was running it on 220 with a drier plug. We negotiated and I bought it for $175.  It's a tad heavy.  The two of us muscled it over to where he could pick it up with his tractor and put it in the back of my truck.  I tied it down and drove the 20 minutes (2 miles direct) home.


Look at that motor.  It must have $175 worth of copper in it. 

I used my engine hoist and 2 helpers and got it out of the truck and over next to my shop.  Ran 220V to the outside and got it online today:


Do you have any idea how much ROMEX is today?  I mean, 50 ft is like two bills for 10/3.  Lowes keeps it locked up in a cage.

Tried it out on some elm that I free-hand chainsaw cut from a log.  I think it looks pretty good for what would have been firewood:



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He had a 10" Craftsman (Atlas-Clausing) lathe too.  I mentioned that I had the 6" version of that.  I looked over and there was a 14" by about 6' lathe.  It had a gear shift for the feed.  I absolutely hate having to change gears like on my 6" Craftsman, and one with a gear shift is the only way I would go.  He said it came out of a ship.  It looked to be about 1920's, if I had to guess.  Lots of surface rust like the planer, but I fiddled with it and everything was smooth and tight.  Tighter than mine.  Ran on a 110V motor up high with belts down to the head.  He said he would sell it for $1K.  Very tempting, but I don't have the space for it, really.  Wasn't sure on the size of the hole in the headstock.  I want like 1.5" and it might have been a tad smaller. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought a sawmill attachment from teh amazones.  It wasn't very expensive.  For a reason.  Not pleased with the results.  With a real soft wood like pine, it would probably work, but on elm, not a chance.

My friend bought a really nice sawmill attachment from teh amazones.  Like $80.  He put it together and I went over to his house to try it out.  He bought a 24" bar and a new chain for his new Husky.  We spent about 4 hours with it on one of the pieces like the ones I have pictured.  Some of that time was fiddling with the attachment, some fiddling with the chain saw, etc., and sawing slabs is a slow process.  It was much easier and had better results than freehanding it.  This is the result:



These are my gunstock blanks:


They were 4" slabs that I cut down the middle to make 2 blanks.  I waxed the ends of these, finally finding a use for my wife's candles.


I put all of it in my garage with spacers between them and I guess I'll check them in 4 years.  That one slab is 2" thick, so maybe 2 years.


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