Tag Archives: custom relief carving

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








So many leaves I may need a rake…….

So many leaves I may need a rake…….

Recently I acquired a Marlin model 60 semi-auto .22 rifle.   I got lucky at a NRA Fundraising event and won it in a raffle.  I knew very little about them but once I brought this little rifle out to the range, I realized it was way too accurate not to be a keeper.   Since I will be making this my go-to small game rifle, I had to hand carve the stock.   There have been millions of these rifles sold in the last forty years so I had to custom hand carve mine like no other model 60 around.   After all, it’s what I do.   The photo below is the rifle I am starting with for my “leaf camouflage” rifle.

Marlin model 60 photo

After deciding to do some Oak Leaves on forearm and grip, I started working on the design.  As I was working on the design, an idea came to me and I decided to really go “Over-The-Top”.   I am doing a custom relief carving over the entire stock with leaves.  I thought it might be interesting to show the steps I go through to complete this project over the next few weeks (months?).

Leaf carving - Outline leaf cuts imageThe first step was to draw out an outline of the stock and then draw and trace many, many, many, many, (Did I mention many?) many leaves on the drawing of the stock outline.   This is not something to try and do at one sitting.   Transferring that pattern onto the stock and start cutting the leaf outlines is the next step.   There are several individual carving steps to go through on each leaf to complete a custom relief leaf carving into the gunstock.   Now multiply that by over a hundred leaves and I’m wondering what I’ve gotten myself into.

Leaf carving -Outline leaf cuts around cheekpiece imageThese photos show the first couple of carving steps.   The initial cutting of the leaf outlines and the start of some rough gouge work to get the basic shape of the leaves.  Since they are Oak Leaves, I have added some Acorns here and there in the design.   As you can see the stock is made from a light colored hardwood so I will have to do some staining again when I have this carving completed.  

Leaf carving - rough shaping the leaves imageI will keep you all posted as this project comes along.  There is plenty of work yet to do with rough gouging out all the leaves, and then shaping each individual leaf.  Not to mention the staining of all the individual leaves to get color and hue variation all through the stock.   I also have to put a nice finish on it too.   (What have I gotten myself into? )   I will try to get an accurate count of how may leaves are on this rifle in my next project update, unless my eyes permanently cross while counting them.   

Thanks for stoppin’ by…….

Lance Larson