Tag Archives: custom carving

Custom Carved His & Hers Shotguns

Matching Ithaca Model 37 Custom Carved Shotguns


This is a carving commission like none other I have ever had.   This gentleman wanted to give a wedding gift to a good friend that would truly be one to be remembered forever.



He wanted to give the Bride & Groom, His and Hers shotguns and have them custom carved and matching.   When we talked initially, he had not decided on a make or model of shotgun for the gift but only knew that there had to be beautiful wood on the shotguns.  


He did decide on the shotguns by Ithaca Gun and the Model 37 pump shotgun.    He went directly to the manufacturer and by doing that he was able to custom order a higher grade of wood for the stocks.  He ordered a Ladies Featherlight and a Trap Model, both the model 37 Pump.  

Here is a little info on the shotguns from the Ithaca Website.  





Model 37® Ladies Stock

Ithaca Gun is proud to introduce the new Model 37® Featherlight® with Ladies Stock. The gun features a unique drop of comb, drop of heel, cast pitch, and toe out. Since this stock is designed for women shooters, the ergonomics make it comfortable and well-fitting for women. It is available in 20 gauge only.

The Ladies Stock project began in December 2008 from a simple conversation with a firearm instructor who was disappointed that no manufacture offered an off the shelf firearm that would fit the average woman. We took this as a challenge and set out to build it with the input from many people both in and outside of our industry.





Model 37® Trap Model

The Trap Model holds all the features as the traditional Model 37 with the exception that it comes with a Monte Carlo style stock. This stock can also come with an adjustable comb.


Ithaca actually shipped the finished stocks directly to me.    The plan was then for me to complete my work, then ship the custom carved stocks back to Ithaca to be fitted to the shotguns and then be shipped to the client – all in time for the wedding.


The wood Quality and Beauty was fantastic and while the guns were being ordered and produced, my client and I finalized the carving designs on the stocks.   He chose Basketweave, Oak Leaves, and Acorns.  To make the two guns matching yet slightly different, I designed the Basketweave on the Brides stock slightly smaller in scale, and the leaves were to be carved in a bit different style.  Both had the same elements, but different enough to see His & Hers easily.  Also I added a Monogram of the Bride and Groom’s initials were added to their respective stocks, as well as the Wedding date.


The first step was to remove the checkering on the buttstock and forearm.   This was very touchy work on the forearm since the wood was very thin in this area.  I had the barely shave the checkering off to have enough wood to still carve the Basketweave into this area.  The buttstock was thicker, hence more forgiving, allowing me to carve the weave area with no worries of totally penetrating the wood.   All Leaf carving outside of the basketweave area was carved in an inlaid style with no exterior relief.   This allowed for showing off as much of the beautiful wood grain of the stock as possible.    I had suggested not to do any scenes on the off side of the buttstock because the stock wood was just too pretty to carve over.  The client agreed.

After the carving was complete and the carvings finished, the stocks were shipped back to Ithaca and then on to the client.   I am looking forward to some photos from him showing the bride & groom with their shotgun.


If I can help you with an extraordinary gift for someone who really deserve one, drop me an email.


Thanks for Stoppin’ by …




A Custom Carved, Handmade Slingshot

Hand Carved Fishscale on a Handmade Slingshot.



     I’ve completed hand carvings on many different custom and handmade items in the past, but this project was the first, and possibly only job of this type for me.   My client contacted me and wanted to finish off his handmade slingshot with some Fishscale carving,  

     It was made, as all slingshots should be, from a Y-shaped piece of wood for strength.  The wood he used was Butternut and it was just beautiful.   It was custom shaped to his hand and the fishscale was needed so the grip would not slip off his palm.   It has a beautiful semi-gloss finish that makes it, with the addition of the carving, a one-of-kind masterpiece.










The slingshot was already completed and ready to fire when it arrived, as you can see.   I had to be careful and protect the surgical band he used for the sling itself while I carved.  Just like on the pistol grip on some rifles, I had to carve around a palm swell shown in the photo to the left above.   You can see the back of the slingshot is shaped perfectly for his fingers.  I say that because it did not fit my hand at all.


     If you have a different project that you think could be augmented by custom carving, drop me an email.  Lets figure it out.

Thanks for Stoppin’ By…

Lance Larson


New “Katana” Design for 1911 grips

A 1911 “Samarai Sword” Grip Design


     Model 1911 grips are difficult to design custom carvings for because there is just not much wood to work with.   They are very thin.   Here is a new grip carving design that gives a solid hold on the firearm and has a bit of style.   Call it the “Katana grip” modeled after the Japanese Samurai Sword, sometimes called a “Katana”.

     It’s carved to copy the grip of a Samurai sword like the one above.   The braided cord area on the grip is carved to show the individual braided cords in the swords grip.  The diamond areas in the middle are in lower relief and stippled to copy the stingray skin used underneth the cording on the sword’s grip.    The grip of your sidearm should make it feel like it’s an extention of your hand,  just like a Samurai’s sword was an extention of his.













       If you would like a carving like this on your 1911’s grips, or on any other sidearm grips,  contact me.    I liked the feel of this design so much, I carved one for my own .38 Super model 1911.


Thanks for stoppin’ by…

Lance Larson

Completed – Custom Carved Presentation Pistol Case

The Case of the Custom Carved Elk – Part II


     I finished the Presentation Pistol Case that I wrote about a few months back and wanted to bring you up to date.   This case was originally built by by the client in his  high school shop class and he wanted to give it to his father as a gift.   The size of this Poplar wood case is about 24″ x 15″.      

     The center oval relief area took a fair amount of time to bring down to the correct depth.   The Poplar wood was 3/4″ thick and I wanted to carve it down to at least half that depth.    The pine boughs and pine cones were carved in an inlaid style and closer to the original wood surface.   

     There was quite a bit of variation in carving depth needed with the mountains in the background, the trees to the sides and the log and the rock in front of the elk.  It took some time to work out the depth of the carving.

     Poplar wood is a softer wood so it won’t hold the carving detail that a wood like Walnut or Maple will, but it worked quite well in this project.   Once I got the depth of each area carved down to where I wanted it, the time consuming work of texturing the trees and the meadow started.   The elk was really the last thing that I worked the detail into.   This was a gift to a Father from his son so I also carved the Father’s initials in the front of the case 

     After completing the carving, I started on the staining by covering all carved areas with a pre-stain conditioner.   Then I stained all the areas with a light walnut base coat.  After that it was just a case of using diluted oil paints as stains and staining the individual carved areas to the correct hue.

     I finished the Presentaion Pistol Case with serveral coats of Minwax Tung Oil Finish.    I can tell you, the client’s father was very surprised and delighted with the gift.   It currently holds two of his father’s favorite handguns. 




     If you have a case that you may want to personalize, drop me a line and we can work on you design ideas together.



Thanks For Stoppin’ by….

Lance Larson








Custom Carved Rifle for a Church

Custom Carved Rossi Lever Action Rifle

     While at a gun show recently, a gentleman came to my booth and asked about carving a stock for a rifle that was to be a gift for their Pastor at his church.   Over the next couple weeks of email communication we worked out a design  for the stock.   It featured leaves, western boots, a sentiment for the Pastor’s 25 years of service to the church, and the church’s logo.   The Rifle was a Rossi Lever action rifle in 30-30 caliber.







     The Church was very happy to present this rifle to their Pastor and it will be displayed with pride.   I do hope it gets shot a few times too.

     If you have a gift like this you need personalized for you needs or to commemorate some event, drop me an email and we can talk.


Thanks for stoppin’ by……

Lance Larson