Steaming a stock

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PathfinderNC

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This is very interesting.
I bend wood in my occupation as a luthier, so the woods I bend are generally about 1/8” thick. I have a friend who builds banjos and he bends thicker wood to form the resonator.
Bending wood requires heat if you intend to keep it in the bent shape. Steam is the best way to introduce enough heat into the wood to allow the fibers to bend and, if held in place, it will retain much of the radius, though we often get some spring back. And these are flat slats of wood.
If you are going to try and bend a rifle stock that is already channeled out, I fear you are on a fool’s errand, the amount of heat and then the pressure exerted on that shape will most certainly break in one way or another. But who knows, stranger things have been accomplished!
My thought is if it can be returned for a good one, do that.
Good luck to you!
 

JGD88

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Update - IMA replied and said 'you've worked on it, no returns', which is fair enough.

What I didn't appreciate was their rather condescending tone saying "we wish you had contacted us before you worked on it. It would had been very obvious when you received it, you should have seen it and returned it". Well, unfortunately I didn't notice until I had started chiselling but I guess that's a learning point to inspect everything, even when you pay the extra for 'hand select' which they claim means they inspect and pick the best of the batch.

As for the stock, I undid the zip ties and it sprung straight back to its bent form.

I then took a propane torch to barrel, heated it until too hot to touch, put it in the stock then took a heat gun to the stock until it was too hot to touch. Strapped it up, wrapped it in towels and left it overnight.

Opened it up yesterday and it sprung straight back. I took the torch to it again, made it hotter, so hot it smoked when I put it in the stock, then spent a good 5 minutes of constant moving heat on the stock, strapped, wrapped and left overnight. I've just opened it again and it has sprung straight back.

I fear this stock is either a write off, or I need to try 'wet' options. I am going to start researching how to build my own steamer...

Such a shame. Something that should have been so easy, and I paid to have 'hand select' from IMA has become a pain but then that is all part of the fun! If I can fix this, it is only beneficial knowledge for the future
 

JGD88

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OK, I will try heating it, strapping and wrapping it tonight and leave it another week, until next Monday.

If that doesn't work, I will boil it overnight in water and then repeat the heat of the barrel, strap it and leave it for another week to dry.
 
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