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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Well, after letting some mesquite logs 'age' (thats the word you use when you've just been too lazy to do anything with them) for about 2 1/2 years in my garage, I finally got motivated to do something with them.

These were carefully harvested from a brush pile on someone's deer camp with my Stihl chain saw, then stored in cat-litter buckets with the lids on (to better prevent the spread of the carpenter ants which always infest mesquite).

After 2+ years the ants were finally deemed to not be a threat, and off we went. In the meantime I've bought several sets of stocks from Scott Kolar and this experience just reinforces what an utter bargain his work is.

It is a simple process at heart, you just cut off the wood that you don't need (ha ha ha....). I couldn't sell these things for $200 and make minimum wage, so no, I'm not going in the business I can assure you! Just wanted to try it for myself once.

Mesquite is interesting stuff. I had to saw up probably 50 lbs before I found a big enough piece (no worm/ant holes) that I could get these two panels out of. So there wasn't much choice in how the grain ran, figure, etc. It is extremely hard wood - even a fairly rough wood rasp leaves a surprisingly smooth finish. I did very little sanding, and this is the result of only 3 coats of Tru-Oil (not counting the first which was from a bad bottle and about panicked me because it stayed gooey for several days. Didn't want to start over!).

Naturally I could have bought a piece of kiln-dried wood with good figure for substantially less than I spent in picking this stuff up, but I would have gone to the deer camp, anyway. I try not to think how much my deer meat costs per pound, either.

The left-side panel (on the right side of this picture, sorry!) has a nut inletted and epoxied on the inside, that's why there isn't a hole through it. On the right panel I made a tiny aluminum sleeve for the screw head to bear against, although the mesquite is so hard I'm not sure this is necessary. The screw is an ordinary 6x32 pan-head machine screw, with the head filed down.

They aren't perfect but they were good enough to quit sanding on! Still need another coat or two of oil.

<IMG src="http://home.att.net/~mgiboney/mesquitestocks.jpg">
 

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Mike, nice couple of pieces of wood! As you have well said, a labor of love! They sure did turn out nicely though. Good Job.

I've got some wood squirreled away as well, just no time to do anything with it. I've put away what we up here in N. Idaho would say is our hardest commercial wood, and that's Northern Larch. Some people call it Tamarack, it's a beautifully dense grained wood, that's VERY hard and has tremendous color contrast to it. Thinking that when I get slowed down around here..... about 2053 a.d. that I might get around to doing something with it!

Glad you didn't have to wait that long to work up your deer-camp stocks!



Marshall
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Mike, great looking grips. Marshall, I can't wait to see what you have planned. Me? Well, I've got some quilted maple that is laying up getting ready to stock the 32/20 32HR Ruger Convertible. The wood is really extraordinary, I sent a piece to M141A, but have to admit, I did keep the nicest two pieces for myself. It may not look quite right on a blued revolver, but after epoxy hardening, ought to work great on the stainless Redhawk. The visual depth of it is about 16" from a 1" stock. Really interesting stuff.

Mesquite is really beautiful wood. Too bad our brush wood in Alaska is alder. Great for smoking salmon, but ugly and wet for working wood.
 

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MikeG
Ialso have some interesting pieces of exotic hard wood that is almost plum colored. There is a place here in Spokane that does custom jobs with exotic hard woods an throws the scrap out in the dipsy dumpster free for the taking. I also have a piece of iron wood that I think has the density of steel. These will all be winter projects for me. You did a great job on your handles. I have a pair of love handles that I'm trying to get rid of. It took me only a few years to make them but it's taken me years to get rid of them.
Bob
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #5
Bob,

Be sure and post some pictures. Also, if you come up with some really fascinating piece that would be big enough to put on the forend of a stock, let me know. I've got a project or two where that would be nice to have.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #7
Bob,

Just something to put on the forend of an old military stock that I am going to cut down. The main purpose is to hide the cleaning rod hole. It would have to be an inch and a half on each side, minimum, and 2 inches long. So 1.5" x 1.5" x 2".

As far as color, grain, etc., just something to contrast nicely with a walnut stock (yes it's actual walnut on a military gun!).

I only paid about $70 for the entire gun so it's nothing for the collector, just something to tinker with. An 1895 Turk mauser (not the 1898 model, it's older than that).
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #9
I'll send you a PM.
 

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Quilted maple on blue

Alyeska,
I think the maple would look great on a blue gun. A nice contrast.
Also, the muzzleloading boys use nitric acid on maple, looks like aged cherry when done. I have a 3% solution.
Reagent grade is bad stuff, I got mine while at college from chem department. Pour acid into water, not water into acid.
Swab it on. You can leave it sit, or flash it with a torch for instant gratification. Its easy to touch up if nicked. Then just oil it.
Might be hard to come by.
They also use Chromic acid for a much blacker look. Technique is the same.
Humpty
 

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humpty,
Thanks for the info. The quilted maple is pretty easy to come by in thin sections. I've got enough right now for my stainless Redhawk and the blued Blackhawk. I may leave the grips "natural" for the stainless with just some epoxy hardening, then several applications of a nice clear coat. The "blond" grips look really good on stainless.

You are right about the blued gun though. A darker finish that lets 3D effect of the maple come through would be nice. I don't see either happening in the near future, but maybe this winter when life slows down a bit....
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, I always wondered where that sort of look came from.
 
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