Sunday, December 23, 2012

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!

Ah the Christmas classic never gets old. If you have never wanted a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas then I feel sorry for you. This was a right of passage for every kid I grew up with, but then again so was your first chainsaw. Which my brother promptly used to cut down a Christmas tree on top of me, ah youth! My goddaughters already have their first Red Ryder and dad has been teaching them to shoot, but unfortunately the stock is a bit long for them. So when I heard they were having trouble shooting I felt it was godfather duty to remedy that. I simply could cut down a stock Red Ryder but what fun is that? Nope, this was going to be a one off worthy of the little girls learning to shoot.

 I had a nice piece of walnut in the shop that was about the correct width. I traced the stock onto the walnut and cut it out on the bandsaw and rounded it over on the router. Unfortunately it was just a bit thin, so I had to mill some 1/16" shims to blend in and fill the gaps. In the upper right you can see the rough shims being fit. The picture to the right shows the shims blended into the stock and fit.

For the the forearm I had to laminate the walnut to get the width built up. Here is the original and the laminate walnut, the grain was really tight so the seem just melted away. In hindsight I should have milled the inside channel before this, but as I've never made a gun stock I didn't know this. It worked but I found out why the router is dangerous when trying to  channel. Chisels are much safer and it ended up being a near perfect fit after a few hours of learning the hard way.
Dry fit test before final polish with 400 grit and lots of poly to build up a durable finish. 

Finished custom built Red Ryder! I used a wipe on Poly to build up a high gloss finish. First coat, then 400 grit, then using steel wool between the next six coats to really bring out the figure. Not the mostly highly figured piece of walnut I've found but a nice upgrade from the factory stock. This one is 1.75" shorter in the length of pull which should make practice much easier for them. Hey, if they want to come hunt with the godfather, they better be ready. I'd settle for just a canoe trip with them.

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