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Old 03-09-2011, 07:35 AM
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% moisture in stock blank



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Morning! Anyone know what the moisture level needs to be before a stock blank can be worked? I've found some beautiful maple blanks but I don't want to leave them in the basement for 20 years before I can use them!!! Also, if a person were to kiln dry blanks, what temp for how long??? Thanks for any help on the matter!!!

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Old 03-09-2011, 08:01 AM
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for best quality they should be air dried. i always checked them with a good scale. as long as they keep getting lighter they need to keep drying.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:59 AM
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Thanks Nemo. I have found blanks that list the % of moisture. Is there an average amount I should be looking for if I want the wood worked as soon as it arrives? It would seem to be alot easier to just buy a stock, but I know exactly what I want and don't want to settle for anything less. Thanks again.

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Old 03-09-2011, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Buser1 View Post
It would seem to be alot easier to just buy a stock, but I know exactly what I want and don't want to settle for anything less.
Good attitude. I can't remember where to find it, but I have come across charts with ideal working moisture percentages per specific species of wood. I'm pretty certain it came with the moisture meter I used awhile back.

One thing to be aware of too... make certain all endgrain is sealed up very well (a thick layer of latex paint or wax does the trick) so the entire blank cures at the same rate. I spent awhile last weekend cutting up a curly maple blank that had gorgeous wood, but there was a ridiculous amount of stress in the wood (enough to stop a table saw cold) and while the blank was very old, I'm thinking it might have been cured improperly back when it was first cut.

Have the patience to wait it out... trust me when I say that you'll regret doing anything with wood that is not properly cured and down to the right moisture content (trust me!!!).

If you don't have a good moisture meter, you might have some luck politely asking a cabinetmaking shop (or something similar) for a minute of their time to take some measurements.

Maybe this will help: http://www.woodworkerssource.com/moisture.php
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:24 AM
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I don't know anything about gun stocks, but can give you some general ideas about all wood.
It will always, eventually, reach an equilibrium with its environment. This is about 12% moisture if outside. (More in humid areas, less in drier areas.) Or about 7% in a dry, heated, air conditioned home.
Living trees or fresh logs will be high moisture, like 50%. Air dried wood will eventually reach one of the above equilibriums (12% outside, 7% inside). Kiln dried will be much lower, but go up to one of these equilibriums.
So, I would think that if you purchase a stock with ~12%, you're OK. If a bit more, give it a few days to dry.

Edit: Or, don't read this. Just go to Ek Marlin's link.
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Last edited by Steve in IN; 03-09-2011 at 10:27 AM. Reason: See "Edit"
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:23 PM
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Alright fellas, I'm starting to pick up what you're throwin down. From what I'm seeing here, useing the chart provided for Chicago IL in March, I need the blank to be at 13.4% to be at its point of equalibrium. Therefore, the beautiful tiger striped stock I found at 16% would need to sit in my basement until it reached that level. UNLESS it takes to long at then I would have to lower the level according to the time of year. Best bet is to find a dry blank at the appropriate level to start with. Do you guys know of any web sites that sell AAA blanks that are already dry? My vision is to have a Mannlicher made by Great American Gunstocks from the most narly, curled, striped slab of maple I can find. Add polished Chaser reciever and trigger and stainless sporter barrel with iron sights!
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:35 PM
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You could send that blank to someone in Southern Arizona, and within one week it will be dry. The temperature/moisture gauge in the garage shows "LO" (less than 10%) most of the time.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:01 PM
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this wont help a bunch, but when we get wood flooring to the location where it's going to be installed, we allow 7-10 day on site before we install. there's a few other details involved but I'm sure that you get the idea.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:46 PM
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The basement probably isnt the best spot for it either. Unless you have a killer moisture barrier both inside and outside of your blocks you're better off keeping it in house.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:11 AM
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Send it!

My brother in AZ will be glad to dry some maple for you. Tips are accepted
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:24 AM
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Wow, I just read some reviews about Great American. Seems alot of guys had very bad luck with their stocks. Some even had to scrap them without a refund. Pretty much the same reviews from Microfit. It is looking like I will be shelling out the $600+ for a Gatewood. TUCK!!!!! Figured Maple mannlicher pretty pretty please!!!!

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Old 03-10-2011, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buser1 View Post
Wow, I just read some reviews about Great American. Seems alot of guys had very bad luck with their stocks. Some even had to scrap them without a refund. Pretty much the same reviews from Microfit. It is looking like I will be shelling out the $600+ for a Gatewood. TUCK!!!!! Figured Maple mannlicher pretty pretty please!!!!

Buser
Gatewood and Tuck are great guys...I own several of their stocks and have not had anything to gripe about at all..quite the opposite..they are my most "PURDY" and receive rave reviews from anyone that fondles them.

Here's a couple:


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Old 03-10-2011, 10:49 AM
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Agreed. I guess you get what you pay for. I just wish I could shave a couple hundred off the price of a Gatewood! Blank is $300 and mannlicher with checkering is $395 UNFINISHED!
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:45 AM
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I have bought blanks from Paul & Sharron Dressel and they were magnificient. They stock many varieties of Walnut and were very easy to work with. Their blanks are all dried. Visit their site, perhaps they have exactly what you're looking for.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:28 AM
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If you want a mannlicher stock for a 10/22, I think I saw one of the sponsors (urban something or other - they sell looong barrels also) had a very nice very long one...
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