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Gunsmithing stock making - chop old stock or inlet your own?


Full Member
Apr 28, 2005
Madison, WI
i'm working on a couple of custom stocks and wanted to get some opinions

for those of you who have done your own custom stocks, have you taken an old stock and chopped it and put it into your new stock (cut the old inletted area out and glue/fiberglass it into the new stock) or just drill/chisel or mill the new inletting area.
i have a mill but it's manual, not CNC.

just looking for some advice, thinking it's going to be easiest to chop an old stock.
Re: stock making - chop old stock or inlet your own?

Are you talking about wood, or synthetic?

What action(s)?

The designed structural integrity of a stock is built <span style="font-style: italic">around and through</span> the metal, for the lack of a better way to put it. What you are suggesting isn't anything I've ever heard of doing, or would try to attempt myself. Just doesn't sound...well....like it has any structural integrity.

Learn how to inlet....it isn't hard.
Re: stock making - chop old stock or inlet your own?

wooden stocks.

savage action model 110 and a .22lr savage (don't have the model number right here).

what I'm thinking is to cut out the inletted portion then permanently glue / fiberglass that into my prototype.

however i have the tools to do the inletting.
Re: stock making - chop old stock or inlet your own?

So you want to transplant an inlet from an old stock into a new one? I would just take the specs and dimensions from the old one and use it as a baseline on the new one. Would probably take longer, but I see a Franken-hack coming from an attempted transplant. If that were a good idea you'd see that being done more often.

Mill a rough out from scratch, bed the action for the end results.
Re: stock making - chop old stock or inlet your own?

It's just some fancy holes, and a long groove.....no big deal.

Hell, I've done them by hand, with chisels and a blacking lamp....a manual mill will make it a cake walk.

Make your blank absolutely square and flat, top and sides. On the top lay out your "construction" lines from a sacred centerline, and start making chips. You'll probably bed everything in anyway so make your depths a little deeper than what the metal requires. The only thing you really need to fret over is gashing out any widths that would need to be fixed later for asthetic reasons.

Fit your barreled action in first (without the trigger assembly), and then bed it. Find long bolts with the same thread as your stock bolts and use them as a guide tool through the stock bolt holes you drilled to keep your shit level and plumb. Bed for a no stress condition, basically just let the metal set in the epoxy with no clamping action applied.

Then, with the long stock bolts still employed, layout and inlet your bottom metal. During that process, much of the needed room for everything (trigger assembly) will magically appear. For final fitting and clearance in the action inlet, a Dremel and some rotary cutters are your friends. Just take out what's in the way.

After the metal is all inletted, and working properly, THEN shape the stock to your taste....
Re: stock making - chop old stock or inlet your own?

I don't think you will have much luck cutting out one stock for its inlet and transplanting it into another stock shell wood or composite.

A manual mill is a great accessory for stock inletting but a lot of very high end stock makers don't use them.

By your question I assume that you don't have a lot of expierience with this. With that in mind I might suggest a preinletted blank with or without an exterior profile roughed in. The blank maker can help with questions you may have and can use your existing stock as a pattern if thats what you want.

Several books, videos and you tube are available resources. You might want to practice a little in some scrap wood, of the same material that your blank is,to get the feel for it if your not comfortable starting on the blank.

Stop.....and take all the time you need to learn how to keep the cutting tools very sharp, and then keep them very sharp. You'll get a much better job.

Most of all go very slow, be patient and don't be afraid to stop and rethink your plan. It's very easy to remove wood, metal and resin but its not so easy to put it back. By the same token its easy to pour bediding compound on but not so easy to remove or clean up, especially if you forgot the release agent. Good luck and keep us posted.
Re: stock making - chop old stock or inlet your own?

thanks for the advice. i hadn't thought about using bedding compound to fill any gaps, that's a good idea.

i've been reading up on the posts for doing beddiing, some great info there.