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Thread: inletting a stock

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    inletting a stock

    so i have a mcmillian.wheeler lrb stock that has no inletting.
    mcmillian has done them in the past but now refuses.
    neither of my 2 local gunsmiths will do the inletting
    the good news is i own an lrb that is inlet for the same basic action( borden brmxd)
    but i do not have a mill
    my option is a drill press of decent quality and a milling/2 axis vice.
    what i need is some input on a quality milling vice for this job.
    i have had cheap poor quality items and wish to not screw up my stock.
    help
    and maybe what cutters to use

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsmithsr View Post
    so i have a mcmillian.wheeler lrb stock that has no inletting.
    mcmillian has done them in the past but now refuses.
    neither of my 2 local gunsmiths will do the inletting
    the good news is i own an lrb that is inlet for the same basic action( borden brmxd)
    but i do not have a mill
    my option is a drill press of decent quality and a milling/2 axis vice.
    what i need is some input on a quality milling vice for this job.
    i have had cheap poor quality items and wish to not screw up my stock.
    help
    and maybe what cutters to use
    I have inletted on a standup drillpress.

    I built fixturing and SLID by hand the cuts because no 2 axis vise has enough travel, I tried.

    I now use some of the fixturing for vertical work ie milling into the end of and milling off buttstocks for weighting and LOP

    I casted all my stocks into bulk epoxy resin blocks for holding on the irregular surfaces and even then, with super-rigid holding blocks nothing is "smooth" running and side-milling on the skinny drill press spindle is very hard on it.

    I will not recommend it, period.

  3. #3
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    Side milling is not recommended on a drill press as most chucks are held on with a taper and the side forces can cause them to loosen. Now you could use a drill press to remove the majority of the materiel by boring a series of overlapping holes, possibly with an end mill or Forstner bit. If you are going to use bedding compound, a rough finish helps with bonding. The visible edges are the only critical areas, the rest gets filled with bedding.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilGunsmith View Post
    Side milling is not recommended on a drill press as most chucks are held on with a taper and the side forces can cause them to loosen. Now you could use a drill press to remove the majority of the materiel by boring a series of overlapping holes, possibly with an end mill or Forstner bit. If you are going to use bedding compound, a rough finish helps with bonding. The visible edges are the only critical areas, the rest gets filled with bedding.
    I CAN do a pattern/layout based on the first stock,
    remove a ton of material with just down cuts
    my big concern is getting it all straight/inline with the stock

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsmithsr View Post
    .......
    my big concern is getting it all straight/inline with the stock
    That's on you.... you must MAKE it straight, pick/generate a repeatable index. This is why I set up blocks and cast epoxy to make these blocks aligned. Kinda' like "you should be able to set it on the table and it set perfectly vertical" and with parallel sides. In other words, you generate/promote a centerline and work off it.

    You must be able to take it out and put it back and not lose index..... just within a thou or three so not hard to do....

  6. #6
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsmithsr View Post
    my big concern is getting it all straight/inline with the stock
    You can use a router with a guide rail to cleanup the straight edges. Clamp stock between two pieces of plywood to give you a straight reference surface for the top, and then run the guide rail along one of outside edges. You could even do most of the inletting with a router.

  7. #7
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    Lower Dakota Territory
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    The late Dick Davis from McMillan told me that before the advent of CNC inletting programs, they first positioned the action screw holes perfectly. They became the 'index' for all subsequent cutting. I hate inletting stocks but on the ones I've done, his advice proved to be very helpful.

    I can't imagine any scenario where I'd attempt this on a drill press. If you choose to use the action screw holes as your index, doing those in a mill is even more important There's enough quill wander on even a very good drill press that your 'index' will be skewed right from the start.

    If push came to shove, I'd inlet it by hand first.

    But I'm not a machinist, just a hacker. My advice and $1 might get you a decent cup of coffee at a 7-11 but that's it.

  8. #8
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    Without a mill, with a pretty good amount of travel at that, I'd square things up with jigs and use a router. A friend builds some nice stuff this way but of course starting from scratch makes squaring to the centerline easier rather than harder. If you're gonna paint it, you could do the entire action and bbl channel in one cut, then fill/build back in the necessary places with epoxy or similar. You can also affect the bbl channel size, to a degree, by making a shallower cut as you approach the end of the forearm. Another option is thick heat shrink tubing is available from places like McMaster that can make a nice, even gap in the barrel channel by shrinking it over the bbl then epoxying the bbl channel and setting the barreled action into the stock, like or even when you bed it. I'd use a core box cutter bit like this..
    https://www.amazon.com/Magnate-Flute.../dp/B000635S58
    The hard part will be fixturing everything nice and square but if painting, epoxy can cure a lot of stuff when done but before painting it. Even with a mill, fixturing is the hard part. Just think it through well, measure twice and cut once. It can be done but I'd avoid using a drill press.

  9. #9
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    Thank you guys for jumping in here....

    First of all I so much agree with all that's been said and want to restate that those core box router bits from Amazon are Da' BOMB..... just be sure to get 1/2" shank, search 'RANNB cove router bit' for a brand that's even cheaper than the one Mike listed and know that these things CUT!! They are designed for hand-routing and if you box out and square up a project you can drive them quite easily.

    The way I've done my "casting in fiberglass resin" fixturing is to make 2 or 3 identical squared-up blocks around 4-5" wide by 6-10" tall as appropriate and jigsaw out an appropriate opening for the butt and forend sections of the stock. Now drill crossbolts top and bottom, and split them with a skilsaw for removal. In use I first tightly wrap the stock blamk with saran wrap, prop everything into place square and level ON IT's SIDE and pour in the lower half of epoxy. Let 'er set up and release agent the joint and fill the other half...... now you've a perfectly fitted holding clamp with parallel surfaces to which you can affix guides/rails/slats/plywood etc

    It bears repeating, the old mantra of milling (and painting, and pouring concrete, and setting up for a night with the loverly wife)......."PREPARATION is everything!!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    19
    Alex Sitman @ Masterclass stocks has always done superb work for me. Priced well, quick turnaround, and is happy to do an inlet and bed job without any other work.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2019
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    i have a masterclass stock as well..bought from alex.
    but i think he has gone to wood only...and then there is the distance...he aint close.

    thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by LVLAaron View Post
    Alex Sitman @ Masterclass stocks has always done superb work for me. Priced well, quick turnaround, and is happy to do an inlet and bed job without any other work.

  12. #12
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    May 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsmithsr View Post
    i have a masterclass stock as well..bought from alex.
    but i think he has gone to wood only...and then there is the distance...he aint close.

    thanks
    He'll do work on any stock. I've used him for 3-4 F class rifles. Pack your stock and barreled action in a PVC pipe, put in in a box and send it to him.

  13. #13
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    Feb 2007
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    Michigan
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    Using a router is not an easy but very doable method, I have been in-letting for decades with a router. The main thing is preparation before turning the router on. Mistakes happen when getting in a hurry and they happen fast!
    My site has some examples of setups and methods that I have used over the years..
    Start by making a drill guide, very easy even with a drill press, use the action to center the guides on a flat plate and weld in place.From there you have a reference for all your cuts...

    Stock drill guides

    Budget F-Class 6 BR

    Carbon fiber/ Redwood stock.

    Rickaverill.com

    Good luck

    Rick

  14. #14
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    Dec 2003
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    washington.........STATE that is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A. View Post
    Using a router is not an easy but very doable method, I have been in-letting for decades with a router. The main thing is preparation before turning the router on. Mistakes happen when getting in a hurry and they happen fast!
    My site has some examples of setups and methods that I have used over the years..
    Start by making a drill guide, very easy even with a drill press, use the action to center the guides on a flat plate and weld in place.From there you have a reference for all your cuts...

    Stock drill guides

    Budget F-Class 6 BR

    Carbon fiber/ Redwood stock.

    Rickaverill.com

    Good luck

    Rick
    Rick,

    post linkie please

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
    Posts
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    BTW Rick, I was recently gifted a book 'The Marsh King's Daughter' based in the "wilderness" above Tahquamenon Falls..... decent read by Karen Dionne with quite a bit of local color if that's your beat

    She's been off the road just enough to have actually fired a gun and caught a fish or three which I found refreshing. Her politics bleed thru some if that bothers you, but I read thru with a smile.

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