52 Create, my weekly creative outlet for 2011… Well, this one’s going to seem a little out of left field. In past weeks I’ve made everything from toy cameras to flat pack rocking chairs, and then suddenly a rifle stock? Let me explain… In a former career I was a biathlon coach. What’s biathlon? Well it’s a crazy winter sport dreamt up by the scandinavians that combines cross-country skiing and target shooting. While coaching I ended up repairing a lot of rifle stocks as they are carried on the athlete’s back while skiing, so needless to say, people at some point crash, and the wooden stock generally breaks in half. Somewhere along the line, repairing turned into building, and then we get to the present day. While I’ve been out of coaching for a while now, I do keep in close contact with my former athletes and a few have recently approached me about making them custom stocks. When you are unemployed, and dreaming of being employed as a woodworker, you jump at any chance to get paid to do what you love!
That being said, I’ve had several requests, so the next few weeks of 52 create are likely to revolve around these stocks in their various iterations. The trick to building these is that you want them to be strong, yet light, and these two are not always related…. The stock in the picture is made of maple and has been hollowed out everywhere possible to try and shave off every possible gram.