An affordable alternative for a new gun stock.
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The practicality of high-quality synthetics aside, many shooters appreciate the aesthetics of a fine walnut gunstock. If executed properly, a custom stock made from a figured blank of juglans regia (walnut) is a functional piece of art.
Due to the labor-intensive nature of producing a properly inletted, shaped and finished stock, custom masterpieces can be very expensive with “best quality” examples starting at $3000 to 5000, plus the cost of the blank. Such prices are impractical for most folks, but luckily there’s another way to own a fine gunstock, which is an ideal pursuit for hobbyists.
An untrained hobbyist can begin transforming a blank of dry walnut into a proper gunstock with a machining method known as duplication. In this process, a stylus and router cut a blank of walnut into a specified pattern. A pattern stock is locked into the router opposite a blank of wood. The craftsman traces the pattern stock onto the blank with a stylus, and the corresponding router cuts the blank to match the path of the stylus. It is a laborious process, but saves dozens of hours with hand tools.