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I'm going to take the plunge and make a laminate gun stock using walnut and maple hardwoods. The easiest way to do it, I figure, is to laminate straight pieces together with a glue like Gorilla Glue under high pressure clamping. Any thoughts?
 

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I'm going to take the plunge and make a laminate gun stock using walnut and maple hardwoods. The easiest way to do it, I figure, is to laminate straight pieces together with a glue like Gorilla Glue under high pressure clamping. Any thoughts?
Now that sounds like a lot of work. You can buy 99% finished laminated from Richards Micro-fit for around $75.00
But if you have the tools, it might be fun.
I mean, it is football season and all---
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Not sure how the gorilla glue would look when finished? Might try a test piece.

Suspect that epoxy is the more popular choice of adhesives for commercial products. Good luck and let us know how it turns out......
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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If you do a search here on the board for laminated stock making, we had quite a complete thread on this about a year back, including pictures. Might find it worthwhile reading.
 

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Unless you have a press large enough to clamp the whole blank under a LOT of tonnage, Gorrilla Glue would not be a good choice. It works as good as it does because it is an expanding glue and in well clamped wood, it expands into the pores and really locks the parts together. However, not-so-well of clamping results in the glue actually pushing the parts apart as the glue goes through it's curing (expanding) process. Gorrilla glue, on a large flat surface has a lot of pushing power as it cures.

Your best choice is plain old carpenter's glue. An outdoor version of the same is probably a bit better but it is doubtfull that you would ever realize the added benefits. I've made a half dozen home-made laminate stocks... the key is in the clamping. Use as many clamps as you can get on the piece.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I wondered about that. At the deer camp, the reflective surface fell off of the passenger side mirror on my old truck. All I could find to glue it back on was some Gorilla Glue. Next weekend, there was some weird yellow-orange "stuff" seeping out of the bottom of the assembly. Hope it stays on.... time will tell.....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great info. Thanks. I'll search for the previous thread too.
 

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I've made 4 laminate stocks using wood from old bed headboards and etc. Have a decent assortment of woodworking tools both power and hand and lots of clamps. Personally, I prefer to use polyurethane type glues, such as Gorilla Glue is, but I've not used that particular one . Why? It's been my experience regular woodworking glues are not as sandable as polyurethane types. Use the polyurethane glue sparingly as it does expand, some brands more than others. Never tried an epoxy glue when laminating a stock. I'm lucky to own an old cast Iron top table saw that allows me to clamp the wood down to its flat surface using lots of clamps.
 

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It could be my thread that kdub mentioned... I've made a few hardwood/carbon fiber laminate blanks and I did a long thread on a custom walnut/carbon fiber stock I made.

Key things...

-I don't use clamps. You want to have even pressure across the entire length of the blank.

-Make certain your lumber is planed perfectly flat and smooth. The boards should mate flat together without gaps. No exceptions.

-I use a two part epoxy resin (due to the carbon fiber) and if you go that route (and it does work), make certain your epoxy is mixed properly. Measure accurately, mix it for twice as long as you think is necessary, and glue the blank up at the right temperature (the warmer, the better).

-You can't use too much glue/epoxy.

Here's a few photos of blanks and stocks made with them.
http://northernriflestocks.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/stock-blanks/

A little comment on Gorilla Glue... Richard Franklin used them for his spectacular hardwood laminate stocks, but then again he used a 30 ton press. 30 tons is a lot of pressure.
 

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One of the blanks I made was a lamination of 3/16" layers of walnut. The place where I worked at the time was a custom interior door shop. I used a version of the old carpenter's wood glue that had some sort of RF sensitive agent in it. The press was a 200 ton press that generated heat and RF frequencies. As used by the company, door components had veneer glued to both sides, put in the press for just a few minutes and came out ready for the next machining operation.

My goal was thin glue lines and, like one of the previous posters noted, it is important to have even clamping. The last blank I did there was accidently left in the press under compression over a weekend... It turned out really nice.

For full length rifle stocks using traditional glues, it would be very difficult to insure full and even clamping with just a collection of wood clamps. One smaller stock I did was a 1-piece AR15 thumbhole buttstock/pistol grip made from alternating layers of walnut and cherry wood. That one was glued and clamped with an odd collection of every clamp in my shop (including the bench vise). It turned out pretty nice but, if you look really close, you could see a bit of "waviness" to the glue lines.
 

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I'm in agreement with Cobbler that Gorilla Glue is certainly not the glue to use in this application (or any application I can think of). I would use, as Cobbler said, standard yellow glue (aliphatic resin), such as a Franklin or Titebond brand. Titebond II, which has been shown to have superior strength and some water resistance, would work fine too.

Where I disagree here is in the pressure used to laminate the pieces. Really, there is no need for a "tonnage" force press. Quality C-clamps, or even medium duty bar clamps (Jorgensen, Bessey, et al) with oak cauls on each side of the lamination are more than sufficient. In fact, too much pressure will lead to a starved glueline, which will seem fine at first but will weaken and maybe fail under repeated force pressure as is found in recoil.

The key when gluing wood is to ensure even coverage and timely clamping before the glue begins to set. There are glues with extended "set time", but if you plan first and work quickly, you generally won't need them unless the number of laminates dictates so. Spread the glue with a medium-stiff brush (I use 1/2" acid brushes) onto both sides of each piece of laminate. I've seen people squirt glue onto pieces being laminated for this project or that, but for the best joint, an even spreading will give the best results.

Have your cauls ready (and some sheets of wax paper), and clamps adjusted to the known final thickness. Your laminates faces should be left smooth from the planer and at least two dry runs made before the gluing begins. When finished you shouldn;t see any glue lines or voids.
 
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