Gunstock Carving – Replacing Pressed Checkering
A few weeks ago I received an email from a gentleman from Georgia that wanted a custom gunstock carving done to commemorate the one year anniversary of his business, a website and forum dedicated to the outdoors. You can check out his website and forum at www.theoutdoorstrader.com
He had a pump action shotgun he was going to give away for the anniversary and wanted it customised and his logo carved in it also. After sending a few drawing back and forth via email regarding what we could do with the old, uneven pressed in checkering (take a look at the forearm below), we decided on a design and he sent me the stock.
The design he decided on was replacing the pressed checkering with a basketweave pattern with maple leaf accent carvings. I noticed when the stock arrived that it was a solid walnut stock. Because of this, the carvings were only going to need a nice Tung Oil finish when complete. The first step was to draw out where the leaves would go and carve those areas. Then to remove the checkering where the basketweave would go. Removing the checking is a slow process – once you cut out the checkering and even out the area, it has to be sanded smooth and a finish applied. I always apply a light finish at this point so the pattern will stick to the area to be carved.
The areas that had the checkering were darker because of the pressure indentations used to make them and the oil from years of hands holding the grip and forearm. It is also caused by the oiling of the shotgun for general upkeep over the years. Once the finish coat dried I applied the pattern and cut the basketweave into the prepared area. I also cut out the leaping deer which was the client’s website logo.
As you can see the areas between the weave is removed and then the weave itself is shaped and carved to look like a rattan weave. The leaves are carved and shaped after the basketweave is complete. When carving leaves it is important to give them depth and give them some texture. Having dried leaves to look at help you in this – many different types of leaves to look at – Photos, Drawings, Artwork, Actual leaves to put your hands on – they all help. The true key to carving leaves is Practice, Practice, Practice.
The carving area seemed a bit light colored in the leaf carving areas and darker in the areas that had been checkering so I chose to give the entire carved area a coat of walnut stain. Before I added the stain, I coated the carving area with a coal of Minwax pre-stain to make sure the wood stain would be taken in evenly by the wood.
By the way, the deer carving was just an outline cutout and I removed a bit of the depth (about a 1/16th of an inch) and stippled the entire area. Stippling is just tapping the entire area with a small round headed burr. It’s very time consuming but it has a good look. I finished the carvings off with two coats of Tung Oil finish and it’s ready for the field.
If you have some checkering you would like to have replace on an old cherished firearm – give me a call – drop me an email – lets talk.
Thanks for stoppin’ by……