Monday, May 9, 2016

Project Pink 10/22 Stock 1.0

Another 10/22 stock project. I decided to make this one a target stock for a girly rifle. 

This is just one of many projects that I will be trying out, using factory Ruger 10/22 stocks as the basis of design.

This is the gun that inspired me, it was done by a member of the WAGuns forum
I also spied this one on the internet and thought briefly about cutting in some holes in the forend.
My plan is to strip the stock, cut the butt stock a couple of inches (making the butt flat, removing the curve), open up a hole in the butt stock (like above), carve some flutes in the comb, perhaps route some finger grooves in the fore end and then stain it pink. Finally cover it in many coats of Tru Oil.

You may be aware that 10/22 stocks have been made of either birch or maple since 1980. This presents some difficulty in staining. You cannot use normal stain, you must use a dye. This is because of the natural soft and hard spots in these woods, some places will accept stain and some will not.

The picture below is of a stock that was dyed with RIT fabric dye by someone on the Ruger forum. I have been warned to stay away from RIT as it uses salt to set the color in fabric (I'm not sure how much salt is in the dye vs how much you add to activate the dye), something which you do not want impregnated in your wood stock (Browning had a problem with this in the 1960's).

While researching pink stains and dyes I came across this guitar from Suhr, the body is maple, imagine if we could get the stock to look this nice?

I also found some people who had used berries to make their own home made dyes
The raspberry looks promising.....

I was able to find some alcohol based pink leather dye on ebay.

If dying the wood doesn't work out, I will probably paint it pink, perhaps a sponge camo paint job like this?
Here is the stock that I am starting with. Someone had plans to cut the stock down, the marks are length of pull, marked off at 9.5, 10.5 & 11.5 inches.
I plan on cutting the stock just ahead of the curve, which will take 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches off the 13 1/2" length of pull with the factory stock. I will add a home made recoil pad made from a pink flip flop.

The first step was to tape off the area where I will be cutting (to help prevent splintering).
Then cut parallel with the comb, which closely matches the 10/22 factory stock angle.
I put a fine tooth blade on my compound miter saw and cut away.

Next I removed the old finish with some Citristrip brand finish remover. Make sure your wife doesn't see you doing this in the kitchen sink.....While this stuff is safe for use indoors, you should probably do this outside.
Here it is after removing the finish, you can still see some of the stain left in the wood, we'll be sanding it from here.

First step is drilling the holes in the outline of the void we plan to create
 Then I cut between the holes...what a mess, I should have scribed the line to make the holes more uniform and easier to follow.
Then rasp and file smooth, don't worry about the chips, when I fit the recoil pad they will get sanded out
 I started adding the flutes, I angled them to match the top of the wrist. I wanted the angles to flow and I guess "complement each other"...if that makes any sense...
 Here is a progress shot, sanded to 100 grit

I found these Old Navy pink flip flops online, they have similar grippy surfaces on both sides.

I traced out the outline of the stock and cut it out a little big using an Exacto knife

I roughed up the wood and flip flop material and married them with some epoxy.

Then ground it to fit with my belt sander

 After sanding the whole stock to 400 grit and cleaning with acetone

I then began applying the dye. I realized immediately that I should have thinned it with rubbing alcohol as the dye was concentrated and made the stock too dark, I was hoping for bubble gum, I got cardinal
Here it is in the natural light, too much red....
So I broke out the paper towels and rubbing alcohol and wiped some of the dye off...this is why dyes are better for this type of project, you can re activate them with their base (water or alcohol) and lighten or even remove the color.

You may notice some gold highlights, I continued to wipe until the finish was even and lighter. Not a pastel/bubble gum pink like I was hoping for but closer than the dark magenta.

I went with B-C Tru-Oil on this project, for a couple of reasons. One: I have been having trouble getting the Spar Urethane to dry in a reasonable time and Two: I wanted to try a new technique for applying Tru-Oil.

The technique involves sealing the grain with a thin coat of Tru-Oil, rubbed in by hand. Then when dry, gently rub with 0000 steel wool, then spray with Armor-All and wipe down. Then apply the second coat, by hand. The Armor-All speeds up the drying process and helps cure the Tru-Oil.

After 4 coats of Tru-Oil I buffed it gently with 0000 steel wool and waxed it the B-C Stock Sheen and Conditioner.

 We ended up with a 12.5" length of pull, about 1" shorter than stock

I also weighed the stock, we took 8 oz (1/2 a pound) off the weight off the stock, which moved the balance point forward.

Here is the stock in natural light, you can kind of see the "candy" look of the dye, it is difficult to get a good picture of this color.

Here it is compared to the Ruger pink laminated stock

You can see the grain in the wood, which was the whole point of this exercise.

The cheap yet functional flip flop recoil pad

The stock is not perfect, but I learned some valuable lessons that I can apply to the next one I make.