use of stains in finishing, but when properly applied to the right kind of maple very beautiful results are obtained. I have seen a stock of curly maple with a few birds-eyes scattered here and there, the beauty of which could not be surpassed by the finest imported walnut.
APPLE (Pyrus Malm) : Occasionally one of the old school rifle-makers would employ this wood for a stock, with splendid results. Although the outer wood is nearly pure white when cut, the heart is a rich reddish-brown very hard and dense—die pores not being visible to the naked eye. So durable is Apple wood that it has been successfully used for cog-wheels in light machinery, and is largely used for tool handles, being nearly as satisfactory as ligum vitae for this purpose. It has also been suggested as a suitable wood for the heads of golf clubs. It should be seasoned ior several ycais, ¿uid ¡la ux requires sharp tools- Although I never made a stock from Apple than the indescribably intricate pattern of a fine African mahogany wood, I would expect it to take the finest of checking, and woidd burl—and nothing much scarcer, either 1 So unless you are lucky, employ oil for finishing, same being thinned with turpentine to assure and just happen to run across such a piece, better stick to walnut—
penetration. for the straight grained mahogany usually sold to furniture manu-
CHERRY (Prunus Avium): A well known wood, and one con- facturers would make a mighty cheap looking stock, siderably used in earlier times, particularly by the backwoodsman Personally I believe that mahogany, if used for a stock, belongs building his own rifle. It was not the choice of the gunsmith as a on the sample gun, or one intended for presentation, rather than rule, who preferred curly maple. Cherry, when first cut, is of a light for serious work. The wood is more brittle, and has not nearly red or pink, but darkens somewhat on exposure. The annular rings 86
are very distinct, the pores very fine, but numerous, and medullary the strength of walnut. It is much lighter in weight,—from 26 to rays strongly marked. Due to its greater density of grain, greater 31 pounds per cubic foot—so that unless the stock is very large and weight, and greater strength, I consider Cherry superior to mahogany thick, the gun will be decidedly muzzle heavy. The large pores do for stocks. It must be thoroughly seasoned, and only the heart wood not adapt it for checking except by an expert, neither is the wood should be used, as the sap is almost certain to become worm eaten adapted to oil finishes. Filler is an absolute necessity, and cither in a few years. By using a little filler, a very fine oil finish can be lacquer or dull rubbed varnish should be employed in preference obtained on Cherry. The weight ranges from 33 to 49 pounds per to oil.
cubic foot. MYRTLE. At least one firm in the United States advertises
ROSEWOOD (Valberg'us nigra), Brazil: This wood is quite Myrtle wood stock blanks, but I am of the opinion that the word is well known throughout America and Europe, but is less popular a misnomer. Boulger, in "Wood" (London, 1902), says "—a name for furniture now than formerly. The grain is very firm, very hard not applied to any useful wood in the Northern Hemisphere." The and of close texture. It takes an exceedingly smooth surface and Myrtle of this country is a small bush or shrub, although the name a high polish. Pores are irregular in size and position, varying in Myrtle is sometimes incorrectly applied to some varieties of Beech, size and numbers in the different concentric growths. The color is MYRTLE, BLACK (Cargillia pentamcra). This wood, a native a light red which, before finishing, fades on prolonged exposure to of northeast Australia, is also known as "Grey Plum/' and it, or light. There are irregular belts of dark lines following the con- some of the other varieties of that district should prove desirable for centric growth, and the medullary rays are fine and numerous» often stock wood, and may be the wood offered in this country under the crossed at right angles by fine whitish lines, forming a beautiful and general name of Myrtle. Black Myrtle is reddish in color, close intricate network pattern. Quarter-sawing often brings out a beau- grained and tough, strong and durable, taking a high polish, tiful ripple or "fiddle back" grain. MYRTLE, DROOPING (Eugenia Ventenata). This also
An excellent stock wood, although quite heavy (54 pounds per comes from Northeast Australia, where it is known as "Brush cubic foot) and usually difficult to obtain in sufficiently large pieces. Cherry." It is heavier than walnut—\7 to 57 pounds per cubic
Should be oil finished, using light colored oil. Takes fine checking foot; it is light reddish or yellowish, not very attractive as to grain, perfectly with sharp tools, and is one of the easiest woods to check, but strong and elastic, stands seasoning without checking or crack-
by reason of its density and hardness. ing, works well, and takes a good polish. In Australia it is used
85 for boomerangs, staves, oars, boat building, and tool handles.
/t\ xl • 7 .-x is \ it r A' u ii MYRTLE, SCRUB (Backhousw myrtilfalia). Another north-
ROSEWOOD (Datberfia laufolta), East Indian Although well ca5tern ^^ y kn(jwn ^ ^ ^ M1 Grey known m thi country as a desirable furniture wood,jt «> seldom M1 Lancewood. Light yellow, often beautifully marked
UKd for gunstocks, although occa»on.lly a rosewood stock .» found wfth ¿^ b wa|nut colored 8tain, ve hard and clost ine()i on a fine handmade shotgun. _ Its greatest drawback is tne mmcui^ h and d(jr2b,^ Seasons and ^^ welL jn common use in of obtaining it in pieces sufficiently large as nearly all the supply is this country for bows> also extensively used for tool handles, mal-
made up into veneer. Its color is variable, generally a rich light red j tc Should take checking well, and good finish, streaked with a deep purplish black and witfi varying golden ycUow BEECH (Vagus syivatica). This wood is light reddish brown in shades. It is dense and hard, with fine close grain, heavier than color finc grain> snjaJl porcs< wifh Mnular lillg5 and mcdullary rays walnut and somewhat more brittle Average weight 53 pounds per stTOngly marked. lt shouid be sawn into boards or planks immedi-
cubic foot. It takes a splendid polish with oil, which deepens the ^ ^ ^ ^cch has been used in gunstocks because of its color and improves the appearance. Usually it is easy to check, closc ^ and nch colorj wh[ch dtLrkena wjth oil ^hing, but its being so hard and dense that there is little tendency for the tool to 1Jabnity to attack bjr wormg makcs it somewhat undesirable. It takes follow the gram. Sometimes, however, there will be a contrary hard chedcing well and is very ^g and dastic. This wood is found in
"w^wRS1! dlSSult 10 huidUs ^ ^e^arpestoftaols. Qrcar gritain Norway> and throughout central Europe to Spain;
MAHOGANY: There are so many varieties of this well known aho |n ¿m Minor and japail. Thc Asiatic varieties are lighter in wood that one wonders why its use should be so largely confined color than thc European) wjth ^^ uniform color; are also some-
to furniture. Mahogany is found in Africa, Central America, the what ^^ and morc ^¿¡y worked.
West Indies, Cuba, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and many BEECH, TASMANIAN, or EVERGREEN BEECH (Fagnt other parts of the world, and the different species vary so greacly Cunningham*). Also called Myrtle, and Nigger-head Beech. Na-
in appearance and character that many of them would not be recog- oi Tasmania and Victoria. A rich brownish satiny wood, vary-
nized as mahogany by the average person. "Spanish mahogany gg comes from the Spanish possessions in the West Indies, and not, as many suppose, from Spain. ing from greyish brown to brown-pink. Cuts to smooth surface,
The varieties best known in this country are the Central Ameri- and wears smooth. Very strong and close grained, with greater can, West African, and Honduras. "Cherry" Mahogany is a term strength than the European beech. Alexander L. Howard, in "Tim-
applied to any variety that is similar in color to our Cherry wood, bers of the World" recommends it for felloes, staves, saddle trees and is not a distinct species. and gunstocks. Quite possibly this is the "Myrtle" sold for stocks,
The color varies from a light cherry to a deep reddish brown, as the description would indicate its desirability for that purpose, although the color of most mahogany furniture is deepened with although I have never seen it used.
stains. Most of the wood used in furniture is straight grained, the BEECH, AMERICAN (Fagur ferruginea). A heavy, hard, very grain being laid in alternate layers a half inch to xn inch wide, each rough and strong wood, rather coarsely grained, warps in drying, running in slightly different directions. This makes mahogany very but takes a very smooth beautiful polish. Color ranges from white difficult to work—roughens one streak while smoothing another. to light brown. Used for planc-stocks, shoe lasts, tool handles and
Most mahogany has a rather open grain, is softer than walnut, and furniture. Should take checking well, and make a strong, durable generally less desirable for gunstocks. The man who has a "hanker- stock, but would likely require staining.
ing" for a fine mahogany stock may, if located near a dealer so that WALNUT (Juglans regia). Boulger states that the European he aui make his selection from a large stock of several varieties, walnut wa3 originally a native of Northern China and Persia, hav-
succeed in finding a piece that will be the everlasting envy of all ing been introduced into Greece and Italy in the early times from his shooting friends. For there is nothing in nature more beautiful Persia and from thence into other parts of Europe. The trees are
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