Home spun cavalry carbine stock.

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Home spun cavalry carbine stock.

Postby englishman_ca » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:30 am

I have several restoration projects that ground to a halt due to the lack of available parts to complete the assembly.

IMG_2444-2.jpg (148.71 KiB) Viewed 1699 times

Cavalry carbines were purchased by the Canadian Govt, 500 Lee Metford in 1895 and 2300 in 1896, with an additional 300 in 1898.

These carbines are out there and many have done stellar service after they were released into private hands. Many that I come across have been sportered and used as deer guns. I have fun putting them back to their original configuration.
5814A beforenafter.jpg

The parts that I found or rather, didn’t find are the front wood, handguard, nose cap and barrel band. I had a rack full of half finished projects. They all were returned to tip top shooting condition, but were waiting for wood and furniture.

I spent a lot of time and resources trying to track down the stuff that I needed to no avail. Since there were not a lot of carbines made compared to the rifle to start with, any part out there on the loose would be a take off part from a stripped rifle. After about ten years of searching I decided that if I were to continue with my restorations, I would have to make these parts myself.


These are my options. From left to right New CNC made, original, investment cast.


The nose caps were duplicated in a machine shop on a CNC controlled milling machine, the barrel bands were converted from rifle bands and the fore stock and hand guards I made myself.

I used to do the stockwork totally by hand without the use of power tools. But I got tired of squatting on the garage floor with hand tools, so I ponyed up and bought a wood duplicator. I purchased a duplicating machine that uses a router head thqat is ganged mechanically to a stylus. Wherever I move the stylus, the cutter follows the same path.

One challenge is to find suitable wood for the process. I was lucky. I found a cabinet maker who had some nice old growth walnut on the rack. It was cut in the Niagara area and the logs were stored inside in a barn for about 35 years. The cabinet maker bought all the logs and had them milled on site. He has had the boards racked in dry storage for about 25 years. So the walnut is well seasoned and very stable. Nice dark colour which is a perfect match to some of the old growth walnut used on the stocks, hard to find these days

To make a stock I cut out a blank from the plank and mount it into one side of the duplicator. The master pattern is mounted up on the other side. To mount the master, I need to drill one small divet in the nose of the fore stock for a center, and attach a small batten to the back end with two small wood screws. These are unobtrusive and completely hidden when the original carbine is reassembled.

The machine cuts using only light finger pressure on the stylus to trace the shape. A fore stock appears out of the wood blank like magic.
I made a lot of scrap wood when I first started, but now I have my technique down, the stocks come out dimensionally accurate to within about 20 thou. I make allowances in the set up and cut a little oversize to allow me to make a nice finished fit by hand.

The hand guards are a challenge as they are very thin and difficult to mount. My current technique is to cut the internal barrel channel with the machine but then finish shape the exterior by hand.

Look to your front, mark your target when it comes.
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Re: Home spun cavalry carbine stock.

Postby englishman_ca » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:37 am

So with a bit of effort theses old war horses can be brought back.

Non of my projects are wall hangers. I live in Northern Ontario out in the country. I can literally step out of my back door (or front door) and shoot my rifles safely. My carbines get carried a lot in the woods for predator control around the farm. Black bear, timber wolf and coyote live here. I never leave home without one of my toys.
Never had a problem. I have had wolves stalk and encircle me, but one shot in the air sends them running.
Black bear are just disappearing shadows. Coyotes are sneaky and not afraid of man, but they only pick on things smaller, they have no bottle like the wolves do..

All my arms are good shooters. If they are not, I make them so, or they become donors.


So I hope that you enjoy the pics. I think that I got the file upload thing sorted out.
Look to your front, mark your target when it comes.
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Re: Home spun cavalry carbine stock.

Postby Niner » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:43 am

Nicely restored. And... very well done and interesting post. Thanks for taking the time.
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Re: Home spun cavalry carbine stock.

Postby DuncaninFrance » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:45 pm

Fascinating and tremendous to see these pieces come back to life. I really envy your abilities, I don't posses the ability to work wood to such a fine finish. 6" nails are more my ability level!

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Re: Home spun cavalry carbine stock.

Postby M14man » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:40 am

I too am amazed at your metal work, along with your wood working abilities.
A rare skill these days!
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Re: Home spun cavalry carbine stock.

Postby Niner Delta » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:38 pm

If possible, could you post more photos of the router setup you use to duplicate the wood stock.
I repaired machinery for 35 years and it still fascinates me, especially homemade setups.... :D
And your work is very impressive, I have neither the patience nor ability for woodworking.


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Re: Home spun cavalry carbine stock.

Postby Aughnanure » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:08 am

Add me to the admirers of your work,

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