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Weapons and Gear => Rifles => Topic started by: booksmart on June 26, 2019, 02:29:05 pm

Title: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on June 26, 2019, 02:29:05 pm
Last year, Brownell's was doing a closeout on some of their HOWA 1500 reciever offerings... I snagged a bull barrel .308 action.

I also snagged a nice walnut stock on ebay for cheap, but it is profiled for the tapered barrel, not the bull barrel.

I have a lathe, and a micrometer, so I could turn 1" dowels down to the right size to use as sanding blocks to change the barrel channel in the stock.

The question is, do I really want to, on my first bolt action build? Or do I want to pick up a bull barrel stock, and take the easy way out?

I plan on glass bedding the action.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: Plebian on June 26, 2019, 02:42:49 pm
Last year, Brownell's was doing a closeout on some of their HOWA 1500 reciever offerings... I snagged a bull barrel .308 action.

I also snagged a nice walnut stock on ebay for cheap, but it is profiled for the tapered barrel, not the bull barrel.

I have a lathe, and a micrometer, so I could turn 1" dowels down to the right size to use as sanding blocks to change the barrel channel in the stock.

The question is, do I really want to, on my first bolt action build? Or do I want to pick up a bull barrel stock, and take the easy way out?

I plan on glass bedding the action.

Just sand it out if you are comfortable with woodworking. You might also find some places to shape to your exact fit as well while working on it.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on June 26, 2019, 03:28:13 pm
I'm a little worried about whether or not there would be sufficient material remaining in the forearm, with how much I'd be sanding out.

I'll post a pic tonight, showing the profile and the channel.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on June 26, 2019, 06:30:11 pm
Your caution may be well founded.  I attempted the same operation on a factory stock in order to relieve a couple of pressure points on the barrel and the stock ended up warping badly enough that I am now hesitant to use it.  To be fair, the previous owner had installed a bipod on the rifle and the stock was never intended for that type of use so that may have had as much to do with it as my removal of material from the barrel channel.  Still, the damned thing twisted along the axis of the grain and putting a straight edge across the top of the fore end side to side shows one side over 1/4" lower than the other and putting it along the top from about the recoil lug out toward the fore end shows a drop of about the same size.   I'm calling it scrap lumber and starting over with a laminated wood stock at this point.

Natural wood stocks - particularly the inexpensive ones - tend to be selected with an eye toward maximizing the use of the wood to the greatest practical degree rather than making certain the resulting stock is completely aligned along the grain of the wood.  Bull barreled rifles add more weight to the action area and the mounting screws which compound the stress on those areas during handling and the recoil impulse.  Glass bedding helps with that by spreading that stress over a larger area and adding stiffness to the stock in critical areas but most glass bedding doesn't extend much past the end of the receiver.  Free floating the barrel leaves the wood out at the end of the stock to do what it is going to do in terms of warping or twisting. 

Hey, all you can do is try it and see how it comes out unless you've got another project in mind for the stock you bought.   If you decide to enlarge the barrel channel go slowly and check your measurements periodically.  As I recall, the Howa is a flat bottomed action with an internal recoil lug so you won't really be doing anything that should affect that area unless it needs to be sanded or relieved for the glass bedding to be successful. 

Most walnut is fairly hard and dense and takes a good finish.  For that job 180 grit to 220 grit is really as far as you need to take it but make sure you seal any sanded wood that is not covered by the glass bedding compound.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on June 26, 2019, 07:02:41 pm
The rest of the stock is gonna get TruOil.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on June 26, 2019, 10:18:58 pm
Probably OK if it doesn't spend any time out in the rain. 
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: ksuguy on June 26, 2019, 11:05:29 pm
As I see it, you have three options. 

1.  Make a go of it,  if it fails, buy the bull barrel stock and throw the other away.
2.  Sell the other one and buy the bull barrel stock.
3.  Buy an extra barreled action that will fit the tapered stock and have two guns.  Maybe you could buy one in a different caliber?  6.5 Creedmoor or 7mm-08 perhaps? 
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: Plebian on June 27, 2019, 02:45:44 am
As I see it, you have one option

1.  Buy an extra barreled action that will fit the tapered stock and have two guns.  Maybe you could buy one in a different caliber?  6.5 Creedmoor or 7mm-08 perhaps?

You make a good point here. There is no reason to waste the opportunity to get another gun.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: ksuguy on June 27, 2019, 03:41:17 am
You make a good point here. There is no reason to waste the opportunity to get another gun.

I once bought a gun to get a shipping box so I could send another one to the gunsmith.   
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: aikorob on June 27, 2019, 06:58:20 am
I once bought a gun to get a shipping box so I could send another one to the gunsmith.   

You Sir; win the internet for today  :thumbup1

proving that any excuse to buy guns and gear is a good one
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on June 27, 2019, 09:34:26 am
3.  Buy an extra barreled action that will fit the tapered stock and have two guns.  Maybe you could buy one in a different caliber?  6.5 Creedmoor or 7mm-08 perhaps? 
You make a good point here. There is no reason to waste the opportunity to get another gun.

This has actually been contemplated very thoroughly, and is a very likely path forward, saving the walnut stock (which actually has some very nice figuring in it; it was sold as a second because of two very small pinhole knots on the butt end of the stock) for another build.

Has anyone handled the Boyd AT-One and Varmint Thumbhole stocks?

Anyway, here are the promised pics -

Fit at the end of the action is good:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48137809067_e93efb96a8_z.jpg)

Showing general straightness of the stock:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48137745648_8588950749_z.jpg)

Showing width of barrel channel walls:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48137815682_33c015253b_z.jpg)

How much I'd need to remove to use with the bull barrel:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48137808997_abec15ab3b_z.jpg)

How much I'd have still supporting the barrel:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48137745733_5d5627edcd_z.jpg)
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: ksuguy on June 27, 2019, 11:26:39 am
You Sir; win the internet for today  :thumbup1
proving that any excuse to buy guns and gear is a good one

It was actually 2 guns,  a Mosin Nagant and a Turkish Mauser.  Because the Mausers were like $60 at the time, so I figured I might as well throw one of those in too.   They go for quite bit more 17 years later, so it was a decent purchase.   
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on June 27, 2019, 01:23:48 pm
Good pics.   :thumbup1   The project looks doable to me but only you can assess your level of skill and motivation. 

I have not handled the Boyd's stocks you mentioned but that is the company I will likely go to for the stock to replace my scrap lumber stock that warped so badly ( that was the factory stock ).  They seem to know their business and have a good selection.  Lots of options out there but Boyd's has a pretty good reputation. 

Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: ksuguy on June 27, 2019, 05:36:48 pm
I've got a set of Boyd's laminate handguards and butt stock on an AR.   Looks good.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: JesseL on July 01, 2019, 04:45:42 pm
Widening the channel for a bigger barrel isn't usually too difficult - assuming you take your time and use the right tools.

Gunsmiths usually use one of these, and they work very nicely:
https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/stock-work-finishing/stock-making-hand-tools/barrel-channel-cutting-tools/1-bedding-tool-sku364700900-6796-16655.aspx


I've also taken the shortcut of getting a ball end router bit of the appropriate size and chucking it up in the milling machine. It works amazingly well, but it's not for the faint of heart. And you've got to have a mill.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 01, 2019, 05:28:35 pm
Widening the channel for a bigger barrel isn't usually too difficult - assuming you take your time and use the right tools.

Gunsmiths usually use one of these, and they work very nicely:
https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/stock-work-finishing/stock-making-hand-tools/barrel-channel-cutting-tools/1-bedding-tool-sku364700900-6796-16655.aspx

I've also taken the shortcut of getting a ball end router bit of the appropriate size and chucking it up in the milling machine. It works amazingly well, but it's not for the faint of heart. And you've got to have a mill.

Thanks for checking in, Jesse. I do not have a mill.

I think the barrel contour goes from 1" to .92" (I haven't measured the contour yet - that will definitely be my first step).
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 05, 2019, 11:44:50 am
Had a further thought on how to accomplish this: wrap the barrel in butcher paper, then use sheets of sandpaper to contour the stock, sorta like you would shining a shoe, and just work my way down the barrel.

On the other hand, found a Boyd AT-One stock in the right contour ( :cool), in coyote brown ( :shrug ), for $100 on ebay ( :thumbup1).

So, that's on the way, and the next time Brownell's does a sale on the HOWA actions, I buy one in .223 Remington/5.56 NATO, with the tapered barrel.  I may go ahead and finish this stock, so it doesn't warp, sitting in the closet.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on July 05, 2019, 03:11:39 pm
Sounds like a plan.   :thumbup1
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 05, 2019, 04:30:11 pm
Or in .300 BLK, because apparently that's an option, and I already stock the calibre (but I already stock .223 Rem, too, so hey... options).  >:D
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on July 05, 2019, 09:45:54 pm
Well, if you reload or plan to start either choice would save you some coin in reloading equipment/supplies.   The .308 and the .300 could share some bullet weights and a few suitable powders.  The .300 and the .223 could share primers, powders, shell plates/holders and even brass in a pinch if you have the necessary expanders.  They could also both run out of the same AR pattern rifle with a few modifications.   :hmm

Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: ksuguy on July 05, 2019, 10:00:52 pm
I'd go with 6.5 or 7mm-08, but that's mainly because I like bigger cartridges.   
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 05, 2019, 10:28:12 pm
I have ARs in .300 BLk & 5.56... I'll eventually inherit (hopefully, many moons from now), a .30-06.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: Nick Cage on July 10, 2019, 05:17:32 pm
I would buy a stock made for that barrel profile. They aren't all that expensive...
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 10, 2019, 09:50:46 pm
I would buy a stock made for that barrel profile. They aren't all that expensive...

I was trying to do it as cheaply as possible, so not buy crisp, new stuff.

Right now, I've got $250 in the action and $100 in the stock, for what should be a very decent varmint remover...
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on July 10, 2019, 10:00:30 pm
Pics upon completion - at your convenience.   
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 11, 2019, 11:22:50 pm
Stock arrived today, so ask and ye shall receive:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48262113556_851610f179_z.jpg)

Obviously, I haven't shot it yet, but here are my first impressions...

The inlet is perfect. The action dropped in, no rubbing, no filing, no looseness. 5 minutes after I opened the shipping box, I had a complete rifle.  The action feels like it's in there tight*.

The springs on the adjustable LOP and cheek riser are *stout* (understandably). I feel like I have a reasonable amount of adjustment in both of them.

The overall design of the stock is very modern, very sleek, very angular... which is partially what I wanted. BUT: I do not like the grip.  There's a ridge that feels like it could get uncomfortable under the right thumb, and the front of the grip is perfectly flat - you end up gripping the stock with your palm and your fingertips, and not your entire hand. I'm going to check Boyd's website, see if there are additional pads to get, as they look like they're supposed to be swappable.  The forearm is - again - all angles, and neither uncomfortable nor comfortable.

That being said, the finish feels very good, very durable, and (like I said above) the inlet routing is spot on.

Now, I just have to decide how to mount the glass I have for it (Nikon 4-12x40 BDC). I have Weaver mounts with see-through base (a little redundant as there are no iron sights), and I also have a rail (but no rings, at the moment - easily fixable).

*IF I keep the stock, I'll still bed it, no worries.  If I don't keep it, at least I can find out exactly what LOP to order, for a custom fit.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on July 12, 2019, 01:41:56 am
Nice looking stock.   :thumbup1   
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 12, 2019, 10:14:19 am
One more thing I forgot to mention... the stock is nice & light.  While the action is pretty heavy (owing a lot to the barrel contour, no doubt), I'm thinking ordering the 1" recoil pad along with the overmolded grip is not a bad idea.  :whistle
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: Mikee5star on July 12, 2019, 10:01:22 pm
That is sexy.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 24, 2019, 10:51:32 am
How it looks with the new accessories on... (thicker recoil pad, new grip panels, and new forearm pad)...

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48365126017_8847a62f0e_z.jpg)

I'm happy with the recoil pad and the forearm pad... still not quite happy with the grip panels...

Here's why :

Single screw attachment, like this...

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48364992321_a44ab89c43_z.jpg)

leads to this...

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48364991791_9be1dc0b6c_z.jpg)

I think it'd work better if there wore two screws holding the grip panels on, and a slight overlap/lip (maybe even snap together spots) between the two panels, to protect against pinch.  It does fill the hand a little better, but I'm still not 100% sold on it.  Thinking of what I can do to tweak it.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: Mikee5star on July 24, 2019, 11:12:36 am
Over all, looks damn good.  I personally am not sure about the grip at all.  It looks a bit awkward, but that could just be optical illusion.

I wonder if you could use a Chicago screw countersunk on both sides down near the heal of the grip to suck it together.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 25, 2019, 09:58:11 am
Over all, looks damn good.  I personally am not sure about the grip at all.  It looks a bit awkward, but that could just be optical illusion.

I wonder if you could use a Chicago screw countersunk on both sides down near the heal of the grip to suck it together.

There's nothing internal to support it.  I'd have to build it up with something.  And yeah, it's not the most comfortable.

It's a pretty new model. I'm seriously considering writing a thorough evaluation and sending it to Boyd, recommending a different approach to the grip. The unfortunate part is that, since it's all molded plastic, it'd cost them a pretty penny to redo the molding, and they're not likely to do it unless they get a *LOT* of complaints.

Which leads me to a question: Howa 1500 & Weatherby Vanguard... same critter, right?  I haven't been able to find a photo of the two inlets side by side, to visually compare them, but I've seen more than a few stocks (including Boyd) where they're listed as compatible, but Boyd's website only lets you choose between three models on the Howa 1500 bull profile, while it lets you choose between a lot more on the Weatherby Vanguard bull profile... I wonder if that's due to licensing restrictions, since Boyd makes some stocks for Howa?

I ask because there's a Pro Varmint stock that I'd probably swap out for... it looks much more comfortable (I would probably go for walnut, or the pepper laminate).

(https://www.boydsgunstocks.com/images/default-source/gallery-images/stock-pro-varmint.png?sfvrsn=56f00b6f_4)
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on July 25, 2019, 03:46:06 pm
Might not be too expensive to simply modify the existing mold if the fix is minor.   Can you tell what is causing the gap in the fit on the grip?  Is it simply a matter of improperly formed pieces or is there something on the laminated part of the stock that is physically holding them apart?  Perhaps some judicious trimming of material might yield satisfactory results.   :hmm

I think the actions between Howa 1500 and Weatherby are identical.  There may be some variation in barrel contours between the two but I don't know for sure.  If the action is completely free floated there should be one or more of the Weatherby specific stocks that would fit your rifle.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 25, 2019, 04:53:51 pm
There is an indexing divot in the stock, with a corresponding key in the grip panel. The screw in the ^2nd picture^ is in the center of that key - it's about 1-1/2" long, about a 1/2" wide, and runs parallel to the front surface of the stock grip surface.

I've tried backing off that screw, to see if I had overtightened it (thereby causing the sides to flare), but I didn't see any noticeable difference.

I could probably shave a little off the supporting surfaces of the stock, but I'm leery of making changes to something I'm only ~90% sold on - it'd make it a lot harder to sell it off if I decide to move to another stock.

I found this article earlier this month (I bought the action last year - mine's a 20" barrel); this is why I think licensing may be involved in why I can't order a Varmint stock:

http://www.snipercentral.com/howa-supreme-varminter/ (http://www.snipercentral.com/howa-supreme-varminter/)

'Cuz I'm not gonna lie - I'd be happy with what's in the pic.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on July 25, 2019, 05:03:28 pm
Well, if its a nit-picky problem at best then maybe its best left alone.  Assuming Boyd's doesn't offer you any satisfactory solution for the funky looking fit. 

You might want to check with some gun smiths in your area to see if any of them have experience fitting the stock you want to the action you have.  At the very least they should be able to tell you definitively whether or not what you want to do is possible or advisable. 
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 25, 2019, 06:34:23 pm
To be honest, I was thinking of trying to brush on PlastiDip (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Plasti-Dip-14-5-oz-Black-Plasti-Dip-11603-6/202196703)...
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on July 25, 2019, 07:07:29 pm
In the time honored tradition of make-up artists everywhere .  .  .   :rotfl    Go for it man.   :cool
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: Mikee5star on July 26, 2019, 01:20:20 am
There's nothing internal to support it.  I'd have to build it up with something.  And yeah, it's not the most comfortable.

Beauty of a chicago screw is that it is mostly self supporting.  Just kind of squeezes things.  The suggestion about countersinking it was to get the head of the screw and the nut flush with the grip.  I tried to find an image, but I am tired tonight and the interwebs are fighting me.


Which leads me to a question: Howa 1500 & Weatherby Vanguard... same critter, right?  I haven't been able to find a photo of the two inlets side by side, to visually compare them, but I've seen more than a few stocks (including Boyd) where they're listed as compatible, but Boyd's website only lets you choose between three models on the Howa 1500 bull profile, while it lets you choose between a lot more on the Weatherby Vanguard bull profile... I wonder if that's due to licensing restrictions, since Boyd makes some stocks for Howa?

I ask because there's a Pro Varmint stock that I'd probably swap out for... it looks much more comfortable (I would probably go for walnut, or the pepper laminate).

(https://www.boydsgunstocks.com/images/default-source/gallery-images/stock-pro-varmint.png?sfvrsn=56f00b6f_4)

I don't know about the Weatherby/Howa model question.  But that Pro Varmint stock looks very nice as well.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on July 26, 2019, 08:20:53 am
In the time honored tradition of make-up artists everywhere .  .  .   :rotfl    Go for it man.   :cool

A run of grip tape would probably do just as well, if I'm going to be completely honest. It just needs to cover the gap, keep moisture and dirt from getting in and trapped inside.

I was just hoping for a more... elegant solution, I guess.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: Mikee5star on July 26, 2019, 11:20:32 am
I was just hoping for a more... elegant solution, I guess.

Yupper.  I get that.  You don't want to buy gear and then have to bubba it. 

Unfortunately I don't have one.   Contacting Boyd's might be the best solution.  Send them a pic and ask if that is the way it is supposed to be.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on August 04, 2019, 10:54:26 am
Range report:

The action is nice & smooth.

The trigger breaks *very* clean. There is noooo creep.

On the whole, the action is *very* accurate - multiple shots were overlapping, even though we were following 'break it in' protocol (shoot one, cool, clean, wash rinse repeat 10x, shoot two cool clean, wash rinse repeat for 10 shots... still have to do the last bit of 3 shots, cool, clean (ran out of time before dinner)).

Still not 100% sold on the stock.  The angular aspect of the grip makes it a little awkward to hold, and rubs a bit, particularly with that sling attachment right where the heel of my thumb ends up.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on August 04, 2019, 01:39:01 pm
And now you know why Weatherby has relied on Howa actions for their Vanguard series rifles for so long.  Hope you get the stock issues worked out to your satisfaction. 
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on August 04, 2019, 02:35:47 pm
And now you know why Weatherby has relied on Howa actions for their Vanguard series rifles for so long.

Yeah - if you see a deal on a Howa action and are hesitant - don't be.  The friend who was shooting with me was very impressed with the accuracy and the trigger.

Hope you get the stock issues worked out to your satisfaction. 

So do I.  :-\
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on October 08, 2019, 04:35:19 pm
OK.  You got us all interested in this project of yours and its been a couple of months since the last update so now I'm nudging you a little to remind you that we are still interested in whether or how the stock issues got resolved.  Or didn't.  At your convenience, of course.   :coffee
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on October 09, 2019, 10:06:17 am
I decided I'm going to try that original walnut stock, but I have to back burner it for a bit.

I'm going to wrap the barrel in some thick, glossy paper (parchment paper, photo paper off a roll, etc.) to protect it while I use sanding strips to widen the channel in the stock to profile, with the action loosely mounted.  If all goes to plan, the barrel will eventually drop into place, with enough space to float the barrel.

But I don't have a place to set it up in my vice at the moment. Basement renovations.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on October 09, 2019, 12:14:19 pm
Got it.  Thanks.   :thumbup1     
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on October 09, 2019, 04:48:00 pm
Got it.  Thanks.   :thumbup1     

No problem. Thanks for checking in.  :thumbup1

If anyone has other suggestions about how to accomplish it, I'm all ears.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on October 09, 2019, 11:20:12 pm
I'm interested in how you plan to sand the barrel channel of the fore end of the stock while the barreled action is still in place - even loosely.   :hmm
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on October 10, 2019, 08:25:04 am
Pass a 2-3" wide strip of sandpaper, rough side outward, underneath the barrel, pulling back and forth, slowly progressing the length of the barrel.

Think of shining a shoe while it's inverted.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on October 11, 2019, 02:31:25 am
 :hmm  That's a new one on me but hey, if it works .  .  .   :shrug   
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on October 11, 2019, 08:45:03 am
*chuckle* Like I said, if anyone has a better approach to get the contour and depth right, I'm all ears.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: Mikee5star on October 11, 2019, 10:08:13 pm
Wood or steel dowel/rod and spray adhesive, to keep the sand paper in place?

If the barrel channel is not too tapered I think that would work.  If you have access to a lathe you could make a custom dowel that matches the taper of the barrel.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: coelacanth on October 11, 2019, 11:01:13 pm
Marking the barrel channel with ink or graphite will let you know where the abrasive is removing wood as well as how much and how fast.  Make some detailed measurements before you start if you have a caliper and refer back to them as you progress toward the finished contour.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on October 13, 2019, 08:37:03 pm
Wood or steel dowel/rod and spray adhesive, to keep the sand paper in place?

If the barrel channel is not too tapered I think that would work.  If you have access to a lathe you could make a custom dowel that matches the taper of the barrel.

I do have a lathe, but I was concerned with making sure that the barrel remained centered in the channel as much as possible, and that I followed the contour uniformly down the forearm.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: Mikee5star on October 14, 2019, 10:56:21 pm
I do have a lathe, but I was concerned with making sure that the barrel remained centered in the channel as much as possible, and that I followed the contour uniformly down the forearm.

Make reference marks on the top of the stock, and work slowly test fitting frequently.  I know "measure twice and cut once" is cliched, but it really is good advise.  Also remember the only places you will see the gaps are at the front and on top.  If you take out more wood than you are comfortable with under the barrel, it can be filled in with epoxy.  Also a black line on either side of the barrel could, possibly look good while hiding a lot of sins in the wood removal process.  It is faster to go slow and do it right the first time, vs going to fast and having to go back and fix oops.
Title: Re: What would you do? First time rifle build...
Post by: booksmart on October 15, 2019, 08:15:29 am
I'm not worried about there being gaps underneath, but there being bumps underneath that will keep the barrel from resting freely in the channel.