It was the first week of December 2017 when Ben contacted me wanting a custom burned rifle stock for his girlfriend…in time for Christmas!
I had never worked on gun stocks before…but I was excited by the challenge!
I told him that as long as he could deliver it to me with all of the finish removed and sanded down smooth before I got started I thought I could get it done for him in time.
And I did!
I worked with him to find just the right image to hand burn onto the one side. A mama bear with three cubs. His girlfriend’s nickname is Mama Bear. So, we thought this was a really great photo to use. I also helped him select the font for the name on the other side. I got busy transferring the art and then burning it onto the raw gun stock. As I mentioned, I had never worked on firearms before, so didn’t know anything about finishing them. I went to my local Rockler wood working store and talked to one of the knowledgeable associates there. My client, Ben, was sure he wanted a deep cherry/burgundy stain finished with a high-gloss clear coat. So, that’s what I chose for this project.
He LOVED IT!
Personally, I think a lighter stain would have emphasized the burning much better…I really prefer the look of the gun before the stain was applied. And I had told Ben, up front, that a lighter stain will show off the burning the best. But he was set on a darker stain and he was really happy with the result.
I’d love to do another gun and this time use a lighter stain to see how burning looks with that kind of finish.