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Old 01-05-2018, 02:12 PM
LimehouseBlues

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Project Begins: Custom Curly Maple Stock for CZ 455 Stainless



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I'm excited to start this project I've had in my head for over a year.

I've never worked wood in an artisan way, just built structures with it, so I guess this my very first woodworking effort of any kind. That being the case, I selected a factory-second piece of AA grade curly maple from Richards. Since the wood came to me flawed I won't feel so bad when in inevitably make a mistake!

Since I'm coming at this with no prior knowledge or experience thanks to everyone who contributes to this forum for sharing their expertise, with a special thanks to George. I've learned a lot, but you all can expect some questions as I progress with this project.

I just got the stock yesterday. The action inletting is said to be 99% and it seems good and aligned. The exterior is very rough, loots of scuffs and gouges to iron out, not sure if you can see:



If you notice, there are flaws/cracks in the fore end on the left side. I'm planning to place checkering & carving/stippling in that area to make it less noticeable, but if anyone has another idea I'm open to suggestions. The other side of the stock is fine.

My first step is to smooth it out & shape the stock to my liking. I'm using 180 grit sandpaper to start (some areas are quite rough) and plan to work up to slurry sanding technique mentioned here. Since sanding it a bit I'm able to see more of the quilting in the wood and there's quite a but of character in the butt and grip region, I think this will be a neat piece.

To anyone who is interested, I plan on posting my progress in this thread. Thanks for reading.

Last edited by LimehouseBlues; 12-23-2018 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:14 PM
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I am not much of a woodworker, but I think that is a really nice beginning. You are going to wind up with a great looking stock. Good luck! Really like the caps and the contrast . . .
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:52 PM
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Can you tell me what company built your stock? Looks like it will be nice.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:04 PM
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Curly Maple has always been my favorite. Looks like you are going to have a fantastic build. Good luck.
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:36 PM
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http://www.rifle-stocks.com/
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:50 AM
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Sanded to 600 grit, double checking fitment / finishing touches before starting dye process.

I filed a fair amount of wood from the pistol grip and shaped it to my hand.



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Old 02-09-2018, 11:21 AM
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I`m really looking forward to your finished stock. Thanks for this post.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:26 AM
LimehouseBlues

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Looking at the form of total gun...I'm thinking about rounding off the fore end, much like the CZ factory stock, instead of it being so angular. There's a lot of bulk to the stock and only a little .22 barrel so I'm hoping it might help balance the shape. What do you think?

Also...that Rosewood is God **** iron. If I reshape the cap I might have to do so with a chainsaw.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LimehouseBlues View Post

...I'm thinking about rounding off the fore end, much like the CZ factory stock, instead of it being so angular.

There's a lot of bulk to the stock and only a little .22 barrel so I'm hoping it might help balance the shape. What do you think?
Excellent call, especially if you are talking about rounding the tip of the forend as well as slimming down the entire forend. I like a thin, trim stock, especially on a sporter rimfire.

One other thing (actually my first thought upon seeing the rough turned blank). I would thin the grip cap down, a lot. It should be a subtle accent, not draw *all* of your attention due to it being too large and obvious.

Should be a good looking stock when you're done with it.
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:49 AM
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Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LimehouseBlues View Post
Sanded to 600 grit, double checking fitment / finishing touches before starting dye process.

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What is the reason you are going to dye it? Want to make it look like something it is not?

PS: You color the wood before you wet slurry sand, not after.

noremf(George)

Last edited by noremf; 02-11-2018 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:09 AM
LimehouseBlues

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Originally Posted by noremf View Post
What is the reason you are going to dye it? Want to make it look like something it is not?
I was going to use dye to bring out more contrast in the quilting, something like this:

https://www.woodworkerssource.com/bl...s-curly-maple/

I ordered a few different colors but the package hasn't arrived. So, I haven't started experimenting and don't know what color/concentration looks best to me yet. I'm most excited to see how the Medium Amber Maple looks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by noremf View Post
PS: You color the wood before you wet slurry sand, not after.
I read your document on slurry sanding to the mean opposite, mainly due to the following section:

This is done with bottled water not with the colorant in the lube. Some folks wet sand with the colorant but the best results will be to fill with the color of the wood and then color afterwards.
...
Adding color to the stock is done after the stock prep, not during.


The logic seemed sound, but I freely admit I don't have any experience with fine woodworking. Is the document wrong or am I misreading?
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:17 PM
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DA LUBE

Quote:
Originally Posted by LimehouseBlues View Post
I was going to use dye to bring out more contrast in the quilting, something like this:

https://www.woodworkerssource.com/bl...s-curly-maple/

I ordered a few different colors but the package hasn't arrived. So, I haven't started experimenting and don't know what color/concentration looks best to me yet. I'm most excited to see how the Medium Amber Maple looks.




I read your document on slurry sanding to the mean opposite, mainly due to the following section:

This is done with bottled water not with the colorant in the lube. Some folks wet sand with the colorant but the best results will be to fill with the color of the wood and then color afterwards.
...
Adding color to the stock is done after the stock prep, not during.


The logic seemed sound, but I freely admit I don't have any experience with fine woodworking. Is the document wrong or am I misreading?
Document is correct. The LUBE is the water and you don't want any color in it as it will go on unevenly.

The use of the lube is to raise the grain and fibers and they will not raise evenly.

"After the stock" prep means after you get the stock as smooth as you want. It is not a reference to either coloring or the wet slurry sanding technique. Neither protocol alters the natural color of the wood.

You want the fibers, grain and pores colored before you do that that way now matter how they raise you will get an even color.

If you want to add color you need to use a dye, not a stain.

Wet slurry sanding is much more of an art then a science. Don't be surprised if it does not come out like you think it will.

You might want to seriously reconsider what you are ordering. They are much more of a stain then a dye and will continue to add color with each application where a dye will not.

They won't allow you to "skulk" up on the color you might want. What you get is what you get.

Powder dyes such as in this sticky are the way to go.

Read these sticky's.

https://rimfirecentral.com/rfcftp/sto...(I%20hope).pdf

and

https://rimfirecentral.com/rfcftp/sto...-condensed.pdf

Again virus free pdf files if you want to save em to your PC.

This is the best place to get the powder ones.

http://homesteadfinishingproducts.com/

and

http://homesteadfinishingproducts.co...od-dye-powder/

http://homesteadfinishingproducts.co...rev4-20171.pdf

And by the by if you are going to wet slurry sand you want the grain to be raised.

If your intention is to simply make the maple look like something it is not then what you are ordering will do that.

If your intentions is to make the maple look like it would when it ages, say 100 years old they will not. You only need really small amounts of the powder and the rest, if kept in the original container, has a forever shelf life.

Ready mixed stuff does not.

This is 100+ year old maple.

http://oldwoodworkshop.com/antique-i...tiger-maple-6/

Good luck no matter what you choose.

noremf(George)

PS: Tiger and curly maple age to pretty much the same colors.

PS #2. You don't need any color to bring out the "Quilting". What you need is a water clear finish that increases the visual illusion of depth and highlights subtle colors, should there be any, and on your stock it looks like there is.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Just my opinion but you need to ponder what wet slurry sanding means, how it's done and what finishes are water clear.....only 2 by the by etc.

If you use a non-water clear finish then coloring and wet slurry sanding are pretty much a waste of time.

Not something you just go zooming into. Again an art not a science.

Last edited by noremf; 02-11-2018 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:30 AM
LimehouseBlues

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George,

Thanks for the thorough reply, I appreciate it. I assume I haven't gone too far down the wrong path and still have an opportunity to churn out a good looking stock.

To be clear, I don't have a set intention with dyeing the stock, so I'll definately explore just a water-clear finish without dye. My intention with this project is to make a pretty, hand-checkered maple stock...no more detail. I find that my enjoyment comes from the learning process along the way -experimenting and being creative rather than following a strict blueprint.

My plan was the following. Anyone, please let me know if you see problem with this list:
  1. Shape the stock
  2. Progressively sand the stock up to 600 grit
  3. See what kind of dye I like (if any)
  4. Dye the stock
  5. Further research on slurry sanding
  6. Slurry sanding (relocated following our conversation)
  7. Lacquer spray finish
  8. Think of a checkering pattern
  9. Checker the stock
  10. Carving and stippling (maybe)
  11. Brush checkered portions with lacquer thinned by denatured alcohol
  12. Enjoy


I'll look into the Transfast dye. Do you have experience with the J.E. Moser product? Like Transfast, its product description lists it as "aniline dye" and my preference would be to make use of it if possible. If not, oh well. Is there way to test the quality of the dye that I purchased...perhaps applying to a piece of wood then cutting it open to see the penetration?

As far as finishing, I have read your documentation on this site and my plan was to apply MinWax spray lacquer. I also read your recommendation on proper technique for applying the spray:
https://www.rimfirecentral.com/rfcftp...r%20others.pdf

Last edited by LimehouseBlues; 02-12-2018 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:00 PM
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Me in blue

Quote:
Originally Posted by LimehouseBlues View Post
George,

Thanks for the thorough reply, I appreciate it. I assume I haven't gone too far down the wrong path and still have an opportunity to churn out a good looking stock.

To be clear, I don't have a set intention with dyeing the stock, so I'll definately explore just a lacquer finish without dye. My intention with this project is to make a pretty, hand-checkered maple stock...no more detail. I find that my enjoyment comes from the learning process along the way -experimenting and being creative rather than following a strict blueprint.

My plan was the following. Anyone, please let me know if you see problem with this list:
  1. Shape the stock
  2. Progressively sand the stock up to 600 grit
  3. See what kind of dye I like (if any)
  4. Dye the stock
  5. Slurry sanding (relocated following our conversation)
  6. Lacquer spray finish
  7. Think of a checkering pattern
  8. Checker the stock
  9. Carving and stippling (maybe)
  10. Brush checkered portions with lacquer thinned by denatured alcohol
  11. Enjoy

Looks good but you need lacquer thinner to thin lacquer...denatured alcohol is for Shellac and you could add one more step. See below with some notes and that step.

I'll look into the Transfast dye. Do you have experience with the J.E. Moser product? Like Transfast, its product description lists it as "aniline dye" and my preference would be to make use of it if possible. If not, oh well. Is there way to test the quality of the dye that I purchased...perhaps applying to a piece of wood then cutting it open to see the penetration?

Couple of issues with the Moser products you are looking at.

First is that they are premixed to full strength. Very difficult to make a "custom" dye mix which is universally done by professional woodworkers.

Unless they can GUARANTEE, repeat GUARANTEE that each application, if you need to do that WILL NOT, repeat WILL NOT, add more color to the wood then whether they are aniline dyes or not that is a serious consideration for you.


Who knows how they make their colorants? I don't.


I would get that in writing.

I don't know any professional woodworkers that use them though but I only know maybe 20.

As far as finishing, I have read your documentation on this site and my plan was to apply MinWax spray lacquer. I also read your recommendation on proper technique for applying the spray:
https://www.rimfirecentral.com/rfcftp...r%20others.pdf
Couple of reasons I am sticking my nose in this other then being a PIA maybe.

The major reason is the quality of the stock, wood wise. From the pics I would rate it as presentation grade. Don't need a lot of swirls etc. to make that and in many cases those things reduce the rating. Also the forend and grip piece you added are probably a tad higher from a rating standpoint.

IMO and IME when you got something like that you want to maximize what Mother Nature gave you. Thus my poking my nose in your project. IMO it would be a shame to use a finishing process that would not accomplish that and in fact would reduce the grade of your stock to simply....looks good.

There are two things that "pop" the grain which is really a misleading word. They are the visual illusion of depth and the enhancing of the subtle colors in the wood.

The visual illusion of depth simply means that finish looks to be deeper then it really is which is an illusion. Stuff will be only mils thick (1/1000 per inch is a mil)

If you do want to add a dye, which again would be a whole lot less intense then the Moser stuff you make a custom color that fits peraxtly what you want to see and is pleasing to you. Once you "skulk" up on the color you then label the left over dye so if down the road you get a gouge or scratch that has penetrated deeply enough to get to the undyed wood so you can touch it up before adding a finish.

Whether or not a colorant will make the subtle colors more vibrant, the answer is probably but not guaranteed. Personal choice on coloring.

Once you get the stock prepped and if you go with the wet slurry sanding, which I would if it was my stock, you can add a coat of wax free/dewaxed shellac.

This is the stuff you want:



This stuff is not wax free:



This stuff is not! and I know that for a fact cause I used to run plants that made it before Zinsser got bought out by Rustoleum.

So you can add the shellac which increase the illusion of depth and increases the vibrancy of the subtle colors and then the clear lacquer which does both even more so.

The sheen has a noticeable effect also. The higher the sheen the less light is reflected which makes the visual illusion of depth more shallow.

The best all round finish for any transparent wood finish is semi-gloss.

Last thing about the visual illusion of depth.

Better quality woods have something that is called chatoyance. What it is is a visual illusion that the wood is not smooth but rather contains peaks and valley.

When you look at the stock in sunlight at say level to the ground facing the sunlight, you won't see the peaks and valleys but as you slowly tilt the stock front up or down you will begin to see them. You will also see much more vibrant colors.

So if you are out shooting and as time goes by where the angle of the sun changes so will the color and visual illusion of depth ala:



There are folks on RFC that have done stock with the Shellac base and then Lacquer or just Lacquer that have marveled at how that works.

Extremely difficult to capture those qualities in a photograph unless you are professional and what follows is an extreme example but this is a maple stock, no colorant, clear shellac base, finished in semi-gloss lacquer, and rubbed and polished out 3 weeks after the last coat then waxed with Renaissance.



That stock is as smooth as a baby's bottom.

Another which does not have virtually any chatoyance but superb visual illusion of depth is this guitar.



I know the guy that built it. His daughter is like 30 feet away and if you look you can count here fingers.

George

PS: IME it really does not much to get results like this, labor time but it does take attention to detail, patience and understanding what you can expect from the chemicals you choose to use. IMO and IME.....Anybody that thinks they can do a stock in under 4 weeks (Clock time) is not going to get maximum results. But if you got a "blah" stock then that does not matter much.

PS #2: Running out of space so then next post is what it takes to earn the title of Professional.

Last edited by noremf; 02-12-2018 at 12:05 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-12-2018, 12:12 PM
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"Professional"

To earn the "Professional" title you need 3 things.

The first is some formal education in the discipline that you going to get into. If it is say stock finishing then a chemical degree on the chemicals used in them and not bad for another with a resin major. Can be associate degrees.

The second is an apprenticeship with a recognized company or shop in the discipline you are choosing and if you are getting into actually making a stock then the apprenticeship should not only be in finishing but lathe/milling machine work etc.

The last is a fair amount of experience where you and only you are 100% responsible for the profit and/or loss for the products you produce.

There are folks around that do great jobs but in most cases what they show are pictures where the wood overwhelms the finish. I have seen some "professional" stock folks work in person and the results were not impressive to me.

Others they were.

noremf(George)
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