How to Make a Gunstock From a Wood Blank

By Wade Shaddy

All gunstocks are made from wood blanks. Factory-produced stocks are cut from wood blanks using computerized routers, but craftsmen produce gunstocks by hand with a few simple tools. Gunstocks can be abstract or simple. Design your own gun stock with any wood species you like; it will be one of a kind. Finish it by hand-rubbing penetrating oil into the wood. It will take time, but you will achieve a custom gunstock that will be priceless in terms of satisfaction and pride.

List of Items Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Dado blade set
  • Table saw
  • Forstner drill bit
  • Band saw
  • Drill press
  • Bench vise
  • Chisel
  • Coarse-tooth wood rasp
  • Medium-tooth wood rasp
  • Handheld rotary tool
  • Engraving cutter accessory
  • High speed cutter accessory
  • Oscillating tool
  • Hook and loop pad accessory
  • 120-grit sandpaper accessory
  1. Measure the width of the gun's steel parts with a tape measure. Set a dado blade in a table saw that will accommodate the barrel, bolt and action of the gun. Use specifications from the factory, or take direct measurements from the gun that you will be installing into the stock. Set the depth of the blade and the distance from the fence.

  2. Turn the wood block upside down on the table saw. Turn on the saw and run the channel for the barrel and the action.

  3. Place the Forstner bit into a drill press. Choose a bit that will match the diameter of the trigger cutout and magazine. Place the wood blank under the drill press and drill down through the wood blank to accommodate the trigger, magazine and any other steel parts according to the manufacturer's measurements and instructions.

  4. Lay the wood blank out on a flat surface. Draw the outline of the gunstock on the wood blank. Cut the drawing out on a band saw. Clamp the blank in a bench vise. Use a wood chisel to square the round corners from the drill bit.

  5. Hold a coarse-tooth wood rasp at a 30-degree downward angle across the top of the blank. File with a downward motion to round and blend the stock into the desired shape. Work along one side. Move to the other side and continue rasping off wood until the stock begins to take shape.

  6. Remove the stock from the vise. Turn it over and clamp it tight again. Use the same downward thrusts with the rasp to shape and blend the stock. Use the rasp at different angles to shape and define it further. Draw on the stock to help you get your design refined.

  7. Pick up a medium-tooth rasp and continue adding detail to the stock in the same manner. Blend and round edges with the medium rasp. Add further details, including any intricate designs desired, with a handheld rotary tool equipped with a engraving cutter or high-speed cutting bit accessory until finished. Use a oscillationg tool equipped with a hook and loop pad accessory and 120-grit sandpaper to sand the finish smooth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Liberally coat the stock with linseed oil. Wait one week and apply another coat of oil to the stock before installing the metal parts. Apply another coat of oil to the stock once a month for six months.
  • Always wear safety glasses when working with power tools.

© Demand Media 2011