Good wood to use for stock carving practice?



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Offline gokidd

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Good wood to use for stock carving practice?
« on: October 30, 2018, 02:00:30 PM »
Hi, all.
What kind of wood is recommended for learning basic stock carving skills?
Most likely using hand tools plus a band saw and maybe a routing table.


Thanks!
Bob
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Offline Frank in Fairfield

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Re: Good wood to use for stock carving practice?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 03:53:06 PM »
Bob,
Go to the masters:

Mike McKeown (Airgun Show guy)
Michael@airgunstocks.com

and:

Frank
fsa@charter.com

Mike does CNC work and Frank does old school hand carving..
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Offline Danradko

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Re: Good wood to use for stock carving practice?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2019, 05:50:44 PM »
While i havnt made a stock (yet) i do lots of custom woodworking in my profession and for practice you want anything cheap. If it is around the density even better. If you have to deal with knots for burl; practice alot more. A good way is hit the scrap bin and glue a couple pieces together, for burl turn some sideways so you know how to deal with changes in grain direction. Each piece of wood is different start slow and get a feel. Be sure to get some practice on the router for inletting before actually cutting. If no scrap bin id look for some free pallets. Ive actually found an amazing one before that was made of scrap mahogany and burl ply i salvaged from a boat builder. But dont expect to be so lucky. Although beleive it or not homedepot near me often has a decent selection of figured maple. It would take a couple pieces glued together for a whole stock but would make nice accents.

Home depot figured and dyed maple:
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 06:01:17 PM by Danradko »
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Offline gokidd

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Re: Good wood to use for stock carving practice?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2019, 06:02:43 PM »
Thanks, Dan.
WOW, Home Depot find? Sheesh. Nice.

I was practicing with a Forstner bit on a piece of structural 2 x 4.
HOLY COW, that stuff is hard.

B
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Offline Danradko

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Re: Good wood to use for stock carving practice?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2019, 02:33:02 PM »
For forstner bits a good drill press/vice setup is best. but jigs are your friend. Doing a custom project ill spend a good deal of time on jigs. For a forstner bit simply drill a good flat board with the bit and then line the hole in the board where you want the hole in the actual project and clamp it to it. This prevents the bit from walking just make sure you keep the drill pumb and level and youll have a nice straight hole where you need it
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Offline gokidd

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Re: Good wood to use for stock carving practice?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2019, 07:03:53 PM »
GOLD, Pure Gold!
That makes a lot of sense.
Thanks, Dan.

Here's the rig I built to drill horizontally with the Forstner and a drill guide. It is adjustable for vertical height from the table.
I use a Gun Vise and motorcycle tie-down straps to hold the project during the operation.
Bob
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 07:14:30 PM by gokidd »
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Offline Eddie_E

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Re: Good wood to use for stock carving practice?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2019, 08:13:28 PM »
Poplar is the easiest of the cheap hard woods to work with. It rarely has any knots and the grain is very forgiving. you can plane a piece and leave it on the floor for a week and it will still be straight when you get back to it. The down side, and the reason you don't see it much is that it doesn't take stain well and clear finishes look green, so you really need to paint it. Red Oak is slightly harder and still somewhat cheap. The good thing about Red Oak is that it only needs to be oiled with a wipe on finish and it looks amazing. If you have a place with pallets from South America or tropical parts of Asia, do look for Mahogany like Dan said. It looks a very red color when used in a pallet. I got a few pieces of Sapele or Utile off a pallet just 3 weeks ago. It was 2 pieces of 2"x3" that had a shallow dado for a pallet strap and no nail holes.
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Offline gokidd

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Re: Good wood to use for stock carving practice?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2019, 12:25:23 PM »
Great info, Eddie.
I thank you muchly!
Bob
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Offline profsrgary

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Re: Good wood to use for stock carving practice?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2019, 01:27:51 PM »
As Eddie said poplar would be a good place to start. It is available in soft version as well which has less of the green look and more of the gray look. As a cabinet maker for over thirty years I have worked with most of the domestic hardwoods and found when finishing poplar a tinted topcoat worked best. I bought J.B Moser aniline dyes and tinted my topcoat. While you could come up with a cherry or oak color you could not turn a piece of birch into cherry which is what some customers wanted. An example of a tinted topcoat available over the counted would be minwax polyshades. The problem with using a brush to apply is that if you have overlap the finish will be darker where it is overlapped. I do not know if the product is available in spray cans but if it is you could probably get better results.
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Offline gokidd

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Re: Good wood to use for stock carving practice?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2019, 08:25:35 PM »
Truly, Gary ... if this trial project got to the point of adding a finish ... I'd be ECSTATIC!
Haaa!
Many thanks,
Bob
  • La Pine, Oregon USA
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