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Discussion Starter #1
I am curently in Africa and am very intrigued with the incredible ebony, rosewood and other exotic local woods that are here. I would like to bring some ebony and other wood blanks home to have stocks made but need to know what i should look for other than appearance or what i should avoid. Do I have to let the wood age for some time other than a few months of drying?
Any help from you guys would be really appreciated! I would hate to use my flight baggage allowance for expensive firewood if I dont do this right :(
Thanks
 

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The tropical hardwoods you've mentioned are very pretty but walnut makes a much better stock wood in most instances. That said ebony/rosewood are very hard to get in good woods. That means appearance.. Also Check very carefully..most vegetable material cannot be imported directly into the USA. It has to go thry a quarantee process to eliminate unwitting import of exotic pests and diseases.. The hard woods you mentioned are very oily and dry slowly. If not dried slowly they will check(split) badly.. They usually don't respond well to kiln drying... If you'er looking for a gunstock blank there most certainly is required knowledge. Layout is all important. Figutr in yjr butt and straight grain thru the wrist with grain flow straight to slightly upwards in the forearm. No figure other than in the butt except for fiddleback and mineral streaking(marble cake). Also the type of wood, strength, density, etc. must be known.. This is a very difficult thing to do,,off the cuff!!
 

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Thanks for the info there. I will be importing into Canada and wood/carvings etc are allowed provided they are free from pests. That being said, the cost here is not very high for these products so i should be able to go through quite a few pieces to choose the proper ones. i undertand what you are saying about the direction of the grain as i am also doing other research on the net and this point is greatly stressed. I f the grain is straight, can I not cut out a blank accordingly with it flowing slightly upward? Seeing as how a 300 mag or maybe 325 WSM would be my largest rounds, what would the stock do? i have seen far less quality 'hardwoods' (Ruger, Savage) on stock rifles that dont split or twist. What am i missing??? :eek:

Thanks again!
 

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I'm re-reading what you said. How do you determine density of the wood? There is a local fellow who purchase his wood (Maple, Walnut, and others) locally and makes his own stocks. They work great and look fantastic. I understand this is a true artform for stock makers and i would never be able to meet that calibre, not possibly even with the help of a good stockmaker due to my inexperience in this 'wood choosing' area. would I not though be able to make something unique that would work as good as my OEM stocks?
 

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Some rosewoods are toxic and both ebony and rosewood are difficult to finish. I have seen rosewood stocks and while unige they usually contain little figure. I suppose if you can find rosewood or ebony of sufficient size to make a gunstock and with grain flow that can be made to work a stock could be made. It would weigh consierably more than a stock made from a nbice piece of walnut and would likely be more brittle. It would be difficult to finish as these woods usually are. For these downsides it would be made of a fairly plain grained wood, though quite unusual... If you can big these woods back with you they would certianly be useful, mostly as pistol grips, knife handles and stock accents(tip, caps, etc.). If importing for that use get the best figured planks available. With ebony there is usually little grain pattern but some species have streaks of contrasting colors. The best rosewood has streaks of dark choclate or black swirling in a dark red/brown matrix. They sound beatuful, but these grain patterns would cause a lot of trouble in the forearm or grip area of a stock. Not going to say it can't be done but it wouldn't be a simple project.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I understand what you are saying. i think I would be excited over an extremely beautiful marble graining but that wouldnt mean it would be the best for a firearm stock...hard to gauge where its traveling then?
Seems like such a shame to not be able to do so. i've already made a rosewood table and that is what inspired me to try this. Guess I'll have to stick to bringing home a Land Rover Defender 90 instead!

Thanks for the advice!
 

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Please don't get me wrong..it could well be done but stock layout is not just sawing out sometime resembling a gunstock. These woods make lovely forearm tips, grip caps and handgun grips.. and are terribly expensive. So bring some home!! It's OK to even try a stock blank or 2. Look at the website at the link below.. Perhaps they can explain stock layout better.

http://www.gunstocks.com/

of course the Rover is a great idea too!!
 
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