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  #16  
Old 07-11-2019, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradical View Post
Do you apply one or multiple coats of the base spar urethane, then how many top coats of the Waterlux? Until grain is filled?

Also, since you haven't mentioned any stains, is it only the spar urethane that is bring out all the woods beauty or does it deepen with subsequent coats of the Waterlux?

I'm really amazed out how much more alive and contrasted the grain became from the original Tru-Oil.
I am also very interested in the process. I have 4 BRNO and CZ rifles that have nice wood and would love to try it.
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2019, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradical View Post
Do you apply one or multiple coats of the base spar urethane, then how many top coats of the Waterlux? Until grain is filled?

Also, since you haven't mentioned any stains, is it only the spar urethane that is bring out all the woods beauty or does it deepen with subsequent coats of the Waterlux?

I'm really amazed out how much more alive and contrasted the grain became from the original Tru-Oil.
The majority of the finish work is done with urethane, I use it until the pores are filled and the topcoat is just getting established and then switch to Waterlox. There's no stain or color added. I think I could get about the same look with Tru-Oil, it is pretty similar to Waterlox, but more important is how I use it.

I think a key to bringing out the contrast in figure and grain is making the surface flat. I resist sanding purely with my hands and the paper as much as possible and instead have a pile of flat and round sanding blocks and backers to keep between me and the stock. This goes for shaping the stock as well as smoothing out the topcoat- I want the wood dead flat and the finish as smooth as possible.
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  #18  
Old 07-12-2019, 01:13 PM
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That is some beautiful work EK. Doug told me you had a stick of wood of his, and I've been waiting for it to surface. You dun it proud sir!!
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  #19  
Old 07-14-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldblades View Post
That is some beautiful work EK. Doug told me you had a stick of wood of his, and I've been waiting for it to surface. You dun it proud sir!!
Thanks, glad you approve!

Checkering this stock was a bit of adventure because it was my first time using a power checkering tool. Doug recognized my need to make the checkering process more efficient and was a major help in putting a Titan tool made by Ullman Precision Products in my hands. I'll create a separate post on learning how to use it, and I have a lot more checkering photos to come- until then here's a couple pics of the checkering design drawn and taped out on the stock.

Master lines for the fore-end pattern cut in. The act of making a stock finish all nice and then turning around and deliberately digging into it never gets old.



Right before cutting into the grip patterns.



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  #20  
Old 07-14-2019, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ek-marlin-424 View Post
The majority of the finish work is done with urethane, I use it until the pores are filled and the topcoat is just getting established and then switch to Waterlox. There's no stain or color added. I think I could get about the same look with Tru-Oil, it is pretty similar to Waterlox, but more important is how I use it.

I think a key to bringing out the contrast in figure and grain is making the surface flat. I resist sanding purely with my hands and the paper as much as possible and instead have a pile of flat and round sanding blocks and backers to keep between me and the stock. This goes for shaping the stock as well as smoothing out the topcoat- I want the wood dead flat and the finish as smooth as possible.
Okay. Very similar to block sanding a car. Thanks for the tips.
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  #21  
Old 07-14-2019, 06:50 PM
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I can't imagine its very different. I use micro-mesh sanding pads (with plenty of water) between every other coat of finish to help knock down the high spots, starting with 1800 and 2400 grit progressing to 3600 and 4000 grit. When I'm laying down the topcoat layers it is important the finish is at the right viscosity and the brush has the right amount to let you cover the stock with a light but uniform coat, with minimal brush strokes. Too little finish on the brush and it comes off streaky, too much and you'll get runs and sags in the finish- no bueno.

I don't know why but I've always preferred checkering up the fore-end first. You see in my previous post what the pattern looked like all drawn out and with the initial master lines cut in, now here's the first set of lines actually cut in.



This is actually something because it was the first time I'd used the Titan tool on a "real" stock.



It actually went pretty well. Light years faster than doing it by hand.



Now for the other set of lines.



After all the lines are laid out and cut up to the borders (which I reserve for hand tools), I start deepening the lines one by one to form sharp pointed diamonds. All hand tool work from here on out.



Now we're starting to get somewhere. Still got a few flat tops around (diamonds not yet cut to full depth) but more are sharp than not.



With some finish brushed in. I avoid getting the checkering patterns shiny so I use matte finish on the diamonds.



After a few thinned coats of finish followed by cleaning up around the pattern, we've got a completed checkering job (well, besides the grip patterns).

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  #22  
Old 07-14-2019, 07:11 PM
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Whew! That takes quite a vision, getting from A to B, but did it ever work out!
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  #23  
Old 07-14-2019, 07:33 PM
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Thanks! There's always a moment a few minutes into starting a checkering job where I realize "yeahhh I'm in this thing for good now." Once you start you can't stop.

Glad I remembered I have video of the tool running. Here's me cutting in the last few lines, initially laying out the pattern.






Once that is done you can still cut over the lines again to further deepen them with the power tool, and that is what this looks like. I gave the lines a second pass with the Titan and then switched to Ullman Precision carbide cutters.



The Titan has a carbide rotary cutting disc that can spin up to 15,000 rpm thanks to a Foredom motor, I've got a TXR model with a footpedal control. In other words the thing can eat wood as fast as a beaver, and once you've got it in control you can save a lot of time on removing the bulk of the material.
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Last edited by ek-marlin-424; 07-14-2019 at 10:06 PM.
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  #24  
Old 07-14-2019, 08:12 PM
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Truly outstanding work!
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  #25  
Old 07-14-2019, 11:20 PM
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Okay, that must have taken some time to develop the right feel for controlling that "beaver." It does seem to track true. But, gees, that has got to be something to maintain a semblance of a parallel line. At least some hand cutters have a guide that runs in the last line cut. I didn't see any tracking guide other than your hand/eye coordination.
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  #26  
Old 07-15-2019, 06:59 AM
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Thanks JEE!

The Titan does have an adjustable tracking guide, but as usual it can still wander if you aren't careful. Took me about six months of practice before I was ready to take the training wheels off. I'll be putting up another thread on that whole process.
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  #27  
Old 07-17-2019, 10:02 PM
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On with the grip checkering pics.

Last view before it gets marked up. Wild stuff.



Pattern drawn on.







Here's a first person view of the Titan. One of the biggest things for me to learn was how to finesse the tool into cutting clean, consistent lines versus having to push the hand tools much harder in order to do the work.



Now with the first pass of lines with the Titan completed to lay out all the lines, and starting the second pass to start cutting the lines deeper. I probably could have done more with the Titan but I didn't want to push my luck.



Switching to hand tools. I mostly use the Ullman single line cutters though an old W.E. Brownell tool can help if the wood gets fuzzy.







Working my way to sharp diamonds and no flat tops.



Sometimes walnut gets fuzzy so I brush finish into the checkering, let it cure, and then get back to cutting- it can help hold the softer wood together so it cuts cleaner rather than tearing the grain out.



Getting better thought there's still a little fuzz to deal with.







Cutting the final passes with the old W.E. Brownell tool after sharpening it up. Mrs. K helped take the pics.









Done. Next step is the final finish of the stock.

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Last edited by ek-marlin-424; 07-17-2019 at 10:07 PM.
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  #28  
Old 07-18-2019, 06:59 AM
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Such beautiful and talented work . . .

but I must say I had a nervous knot in my stomach from just reading the posts!

Guess I'm not cut out to be a checker-er.
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  #29  
Old 07-18-2019, 08:01 PM
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That is my rifle and I have handled (fondled?) it many times since it came back home. It looks fabulous in Evan's pics, but even better in person. Evan's work is superb, actually perfection. Until seeing all the steps entailed in achieving that, it was difficult to fully appreciate. And by the way, I have had it back to the range in its new suit and it still shoots lights out.

Doug
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  #30  
Old 07-22-2019, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVaVettes View Post
Such beautiful and talented work . . .

but I must say I had a nervous knot in my stomach from just reading the posts!

Guess I'm not cut out to be a checker-er.
Thanks! Believe me cutting in the initial "master lines" still gets my pulse up. It doesn't get any easier but it keeps getting better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbr65 View Post
That is my rifle and I have handled (fondled?) it many times since it came back home. It looks fabulous in Evan's pics, but even better in person. Evan's work is superb, actually perfection. Until seeing all the steps entailed in achieving that, it was difficult to fully appreciate. And by the way, I have had it back to the range in its new suit and it still shoots lights out.

Doug
Thanks Doug, and again I appreciate you letting me try some new things with this stock.

Here's a video I forgot I had- checkering the buttplate with the Titan. This is after I'd already laid down the lines with the tool, and I was now on to making the lines deeper to form sharp diamonds between the lines.



Finally here's some pics of the stock before sending it back to Doug.











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Last edited by ek-marlin-424; 07-22-2019 at 10:06 AM.
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