Why a Custom Rifle Stock is so Expensive

I’ve been drying this blank for over a year and a few days ago I cut it to rough shape. After it was cut, it started ‘checking’. You just never know when this will happen, and it can ruin a beautiful piece of wood.

“Checking, the separation of continuous wood fibers, is a naturally occurring consequence of the seasoning process of wood. The outer fibers lose moisture to the surrounding atmosphere and attempt to shrink, but the inner portion of the timber member loses moisture at a much slower rate. The different rates of shrinkage can cause the wood to check or split. Rapid drying increases the differential moisture content between the inner and outer fibers and thus increases the propensity for checking in the timber. The checking (and shrinkage) process will stabilize as the moisture content of the member reaches equilibrium with the surrounding environmental conditions.”

Source http://www.apawood.org/glu_level_b.cfm?content=prd_glu_gen_check
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