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Just curious. How do most unfinished stocks come as far as finishing required on exterior surfaces? I'm checking out Elk Ridge and Richard's Microfit stocks and frankly at this time all I'm willing to do is rub over a stock with a couple swipes of fine paper and spray a gloss coat on. If I have to start with 100 grit to remove all sorts of machine marks and cuts for 3 hours, then progress down to 400, then finally urethane coat it 15 hours of sanding later (and then finally fit the action into the 96% inletted non-drop-in stock), then it's not for me.
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Hiya RedSS,

My only experiences have been with Fagen UDI's. The rcvr inletting was fine, barrel channel needed some work. Exterior was ROUGH, started with 36 grit on a 1/4 sheet palm sander. Lotta dust. I tailored the thumb hole and grip to my liking using rotary files/rasps and rat tail files. Worked the exterior down in grits to 400, and airbrushed with clear Polyurethane. Lotta sanding between coats. Got a few dust spots that will get rubbed out.

HTH :D
 

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From my experience, it will take alot of sanding. The Richard's stocks have minimal inletting work to be done, but the final sanding will take time. If you order one with a thumbhole, cheekpiece, barrel vents, etc., then triple that. I enjoy working on stocks, but if I didn't, I wouldn't hesitate to pay someone else to do it for me.
 

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My Richards arrived today. I got the Tactical in Black/ Grey. I had to trim a little to get the VQ trigger group and the mag well to clear, but the big deal is the barrel channel. I was supposed to have a .920" channel, but the GM 20" fluted SS barrel wont fit. So I guess I have a little sanding to do, but the rest of the stock has plenty of wood left on it so I can fit it to my specs. I, personally, like the extra material left for me to custom fit the stock to me and I dont mind the extra time it takes to do it. I plan on finger grooves and some custom contours on the 3" forearm, amoung other goodies!! :D

If all you want is a straight drop in unit, I'd say go with synthetic.

Just my opinion.
 

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I've got an unfinished Fajen on my bench right now, and it is really rough. Luckily the action drops in nicely, but the channel will require a bit of work, and the overall exterior is really rough.

I had an unfinished Boyds, and while much less work was required than what this Fajen will take, I still spent many hours on it.

I think the unfinished are great if you like to do the work, and have the time. If not, you really won't "see" the savings.

Sounds like you might want to go with a finished wood, or a synthetic.
 

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w00kie98

I read this advice somewhere re: sanding the barrel channel:

If you plan to cut the fore-end off to match your preferences, sand the channel first, then cut. It is real easy to flare the end of the channel, even if using a wooden dowel for sanding. And good luck with those vents, if yours has them. They are a pain.
 

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my richards (wildcat) came with a couple ugly machine marks, and a couple of high spots along the length of the forend.. barrel channel is supposedly like 90%, but in reality, closer to 70%...

between finishing up the action inletting (action didn't fit correctly), finishing up the barrel channel, working on the marks/high spots, and reshaping the tiny little thumbhole to fit my big thumb in it comfortably, i have about 30 hours into it. i still haven't made it past 180 grit paper yet.

if work isn't your bag, you might be better of with an FDI of some sort.

ledz
 

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A-Rob said:

If you plan to cut the fore-end off to match your preferences, sand the channel first, then cut. It is real easy to flare the end of the channel, even if using a wooden dowel for sanding. And good luck with those vents, if yours has them. They are a pain.
A-Rob,
Mine was supposed to have the vents, but didnt come with them. I was a little ticked off at first, but as I was sanding and fitting the whole thing looks very nice without them so I'm not upset now.
I'm going to leave the forend as is and just sand smooth.

I'm being very careful around the end of the channel. Sand and fit, sand and fit. The big issue is the "massive" tool marks all over the stock, this is going to take a looooong time to get to meet my standards. I'm alternating between 100 and 150 grit paper to knock down the tool marks and start the smoothing of the wood.

So much for the idea of a "couple of weeks to get it finished." :eek: :D :D
 

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I bought a Richard's gunstock for my daughter's 10/22 project. Like w00kie98 says, it's got a lot of rough cuts still left in the stock. Inletting the receiver was the hardest part, and I can't say that I did a perfect job, either.

But if you've never done one before (like me) and you have the desire to learn something new, then it's worth the effort. At least you can say, "I did it."

For the barrel channel, I used a "C" size battery wrapped in sand paper. I also cut the fore end rosewood cap 15 degrees in the "negative direction" ala Weatherby. I am very happy with the results of both. Still have some final sanding to do before I add the finish (whatvere that will be...)

-- ale
 

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w00kie98, I commend you on attacking those tool marks by hand. My Fajen is severly pocked, bumpy, and all around rough. I messed around for a half hour, then brought out the orbital and palm sanders. I hated to do it, as I was afraid of messing up the overall lines, but I was able to knock it down to hand sanding condition(in my opinion) in a half an hour.
 

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w00kie98:

I hate those vents. Not only are they difficult to sand, but the area under the barrel can require alot of work to get smooth. I honestly don't think that they serve any useful purpose on a .22, as heat buildup isn't that big an issue (at least for slow bench shooting).

MiniZ:

I expect my new stock will have plenty of tool mark, and I also plan on using the orbital sander. Getting the sander mark out will take much less time than getting the gouges and high spots out by hand. I figure if I only use it on relatively flat areas, and not on edges, it shouldn't cause any problems. Anyone else use power sanders for the initial sanding?
 
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