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Custom spearguns pictures

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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oneoldude

oneoldude

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Feb 7, 2005
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Re: Custom spearguns pictures (very long)

Hi guys,

Here are some points that might be useful. Pardon me if you already know them all but I presume some do not. The points are in no particular order and they are not exhaustive. I only have so much time. Perhaps others will add more.

1. Only use high quality real epoxy as a glue. You can tell it is epoxy because it says so on the container and the mix of resin and hardener is usually on a 1:1 basis. The stuff is strong, flexible, bonds with oily wood is is very good water barrier.

2. Do not use polyester resin as a wood glue. This is the stuff common fiberglass boats are made of. You can tell it is not epoxy because it is often called "fiberglass resin" and the mix of resin and hardener is often a few drops of hardener to a lot of resin. This stuff is not strong or flexible (without fiberglass in it) and does not bond well with oily woods. Also it is not as good a water barrier as epoxy.

3. Do not spray any two part chemically activated glue or paint without a proper respirator and environmental suit. One of those paper or fiber masks used in a wood shop is not sufficient. The mist and vapors will go right through them. This stuff can and will kill you if it gets into your lungs. Avoid spraying this stuff at all costs if you value your lungs.

4. Do use acetone to clean oily woods to prepare them for gluing and finishing. You will see the oil and some color come off for what seems forever. Keep cleaning with fresh rags saturated in acetone until the rags come out almost clean. You will never get all the oil off the surface. But get it as clean as you can. When done cleaning, let it dry completely before gluing up. Use skin protection and do this out of doors keeping yourself upwind and the item down wind. Acetone is not good to breathe or to get on your skin. And remember, no smoking or open flames. The stuff is violently flammable. In fact so is all the rest of the stuff we are talking about. Take precautions.

5. When glueing, make sure you use epoxy that has a long enough working time for you to get all the parts together and clamped. Be sure to use enough epoxy, but not too much. Experience and judgement must be used here. Also do not clamp too tightly. You do not want to squeeze out all the epoxy. Again experience and judgemet are important here. Make sure everything is absolutely straight before leaving it to cure.

6. To begin finishing, use several coats of penetrating epoxy to soak into the wood grain all over (especially the end grain, inletting locations and screw holes ) before finishing. This will help protect the wood from water intrusion and actually make the surface of the wood harder. The proper way to do this is to put on a coat, let it soak in and then let it harden completely. This might take several days or longer depending on the wood, temp, humidity, epoxy, thinner, etc. When hard, lightly sand, clean and do it again and again until the wood will absorb no more epoxy. You can tell when this happens because upon application the expoy will film over the wood and stay shiny. BTW, you may have to sand inlets and re-drill screw holes, pin holes, etc for things to fit right because of surface build up.

7. Do not use epoxy as a finish coat. Epoxy is attacked by ultra violet light and will turn yellow and ultimately get brittle, crack and flake off. It becomes a nightmare. Epoxy must be protected from UV rays. The way to do that is to finish the wood with Spar Varnish, Long Oil Varnish or Polyurethane Varnish that has UV protectors in it and is designed for outdoor or marine use. Try to get varnish that has a very hard surface finish. Ask you supplier which is best and use and apply it as the manufacturer reccomends. Use at least three coats to UV protect the epoxy.

8. Penetrating epoxy is expensive. If you are using epoxy already, and you should be, you can make penetrating epoxy by thinning with xylene or acetone. Don't thin much more than about 15%. The thinner goes a long way and when you thin much more than 10%, fewer solids get into the wood and the solids do not harden as well as they could. Xylene is a better solvent than acetone because it allows for quicker hardening time and harder hardening. But use what you can get. First mix the epoxy as usual and then add the solvent and mix very well. Then go through the process described above. Pot life is extended when the epoxy is thinned so you do not have to hurry too much.

9. When finishing, the plan is to use multiple thin coats. If you want a glass like finish, this is what to do. Follow the manufacturer's reccomendations re: time between coats. If they have a plan to allow complete drying, use it. Then sand between thin coats, clean the surface (usually with a rag dampened with mineral spirits), let it dry, and coat again. This will slowly fill the grain with many thin coats, sanding and cleaning before each succesive coat. Take your time. Eventually the grain will be filled and on the last coat the surface will shine like glass. BTW, keeping the item vertical will keep a lot of dust off the surface for a better finish.

10. Keep in mind that if you use teak, much, if not all, of the waterproofing and finishing described above does not need to be done. Teak is often used on the decks of sailboats where it is placed in an unfinished condition and only wiped down with teak oil from time to time. It has been known to last for years this way and that is one of the reasons it is favored for spearguns. While teak is expensive, so is the cost of finishing materials and the time necessary to apply them. I would suggest you use materials other than teak only if you cannot get teak and must do without.

FWIW,

oneoldude
 
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Old Man Dave

Old Man Dave

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Feb 19, 2005
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Nice one oneoldude. There's not much I would argue with there. As an alternative to teak how about Iroko (bastard teak), It's nearly as good as teak in the longevity re water imersion stakes but half the price, more available and easier to work. It's slightly less dense than teak which is good as the one drawback I can see with teak, is it barely floats.
Whats your opinion on the number of laminates.
OregonSpearo - Douglas Fir is an open grain softwood about as far away from teak as you can get. But what the hell you can probably make a gun out of any wood.
How about metals? Tubes in Marine grade ali (HE 30), Stainless (316 - A4), even Duralimin or titanium mixes?
Enjoying this thread - my thing.
Dave
 
OregonSpearo

OregonSpearo

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Oct 11, 2004
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Old Man Dave said:
OregonSpearo - Douglas Fir is an open grain softwood about as far away from teak as you can get. But what the hell you can probably make a gun out of any wood.
Omer made the barrel of the Master America out of laminated Douglas Fir. If Omer did it, there must be a good reason.
 
OregonSpearo

OregonSpearo

New Member
Oct 11, 2004
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Plastic lumber for barrel

Does anyone know if plastic lumber floats? I'm talking about that recycled plastic substitute to cedar for decking: http://www.trex.com/
It will never rot, fairly cheap and can be worked with regular wood tools. It's also eco-friendly unlike teak and the likes. It may be a bit flexy but this could be improved by sandwiching epoxied fiberglass cloth. Anyone knows if it floats?
 
OregonSpearo

OregonSpearo

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Oct 11, 2004
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Acetone to dilute epoxy

oneoldude said:
8. Penetrating epoxy is expensive. If you are using epoxy already, and you should be, you can make penetrating epoxy by thinning with xylene or acetone.
Well I tried Oneoldude's recommendation by thinning epoxy with acetone, except I used a lot more acetone than epoxy and I must say I LIKE IT! I applied it on some dry cedar and the acetone penetrated it very easily, carrying the epoxy along the way. After drying 24 hours and cuting the piece in half, it looks like it went in about 1mm deep under the surface. It sounds like a first coat of that mix could really help seal and protect oil-free woods.
 
oneoldude

oneoldude

New Member
Feb 7, 2005
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OMD,

I really don't know anything about Iroko except I have seen some specs for it where its S.G. is described as higher than Teak and in other specs showing it lower than Teak. I have never seen it exposed to Florida salt water for years on end without any damage other than turning grey. I have seen that with Teak.

My intuition is that laminations should be even in number and from alternate bookmatched pieces turned 180 deg so that all twisting and bending pressures are evenly opposed. Can't do that with odd numbers or with pieces that did not come from next to each other in the same board. Probably four to six liminations should do. More might be better but there must be a point of diminishing returns somewhere. I Have noted some high buck guns use an odd number of laminations. That might be to avoid cutting the spear groove through a glue line and therefore save wear on cutters.

OS,

I can think of two major corporate reasons OMER made the America from Douglas Fir. Here is a list of truths about Douglas vs Teak. You pick the two you think were most important to OMER: Douglas is not as strong as Teak; Douglas will quickly rot away without extreme water protection; Douglas is lighter than Teak; Douglas is way softer than Teak and will damage readily where Teak will not; Douglas will machine more easily than Teak; Douglas will make an almost white gun that is flashy and different and will attract the eye of the consumer; Douglas is way cheaper than Teak. While you ponder the truths list Keep in mind that Mark L. lobbied arduously to have the America that was to be imported to the US, made from Teak. Also read the America user manual that is on line at the OMER site. Pay particular attention to the parts that describe the care that must be taken to fix scratches, chips, gouges, dents, refinishing, etc. so the gun will not rot away from water intrusion. Hmmm, this ain't rocket science y'a know. Come to any conclusions yet?

Later,

oneoldude
 
oneoldude

oneoldude

New Member
Feb 7, 2005
50
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OS,

If you follow my original suggestion you will use multiple coats several days apart until full saturation occurs. This will give the thinner, preferably Xylene, a chance to totally evaporate and allows the epoxy time to harden. When it does it leaves microscopic empty spaces in the pores and cells of wood. You want to fill up all the empty spaces to make a true seal. The more coats you use, until full saturation with epoxy solids, the better the result and the better the protection.

As with many things, sex included, speed is no substitute for technique.

BTW, I understand that some commercial penetrating epoxies are as much as 75% thinners.

oneoldude
 
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Daryl Wong

Daryl Wong

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2003
108
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Hi Spearos,

I had written a lengthy post to answer Dobs and Oregon spearo, but got caught up in answering another post on triggers. So when I pasted it on the trigger section, I had to delete it and then I lost it forever in cyberspace.
Anyway, oneoldude, you are the man. It was as if you read my post or I send it to you. Oneold ude knows his stuff and hit all the points I did. Especially the one about not using acetone on the wood pryor to laminating.
I also think that any manufacturer that says or uses other woods besides teak is just trying to save our rain forests and some money. Thats ok, but I think teak is the way to go. The bottome line is any wood will work. Some better than others and I happen to be biased toward teak since it has given me the best results in all they ears I have been making guns.
This is a great section for all of us to learn about woods and gun making. I am always learning things and when I think I know it all, I learn something new!
The reason I work with wood and my partner in Aimrite works with the lathes and mills is I like the feel of wood and working with something that is natural.
And if I make a boo boo theres always wood filler and glue! No turning back with metal.

Hey Oregon Spearo. are you a Duck or a Beaver? I lived four glorious years in Eugene so you know what I am!

Aloha, Daryl
 
OregonSpearo

OregonSpearo

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Daryl Wong said:
Hi Spearos,

Hey Oregon Spearo. are you a Duck or a Beaver? I lived four glorious years in Eugene so you know what I am!

Aloha, Daryl
Hey Daryl! Corvallis, orange and black here!
 
Alison

Alison

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Mar 6, 2004
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Daryl Wong said:
Hi Spearos,

I had written a lengthy post to answer Dobs and Oregon spearo, but got caught up in answering another post on triggers. So when I pasted it on the trigger section, I had to delete it and then I lost it forever in cyberspace.

After hours and hours of battling through the horrors of cyberspace, Ive rescued said Princes post for you all to read:

Daryl Wong said:
Hi Oregon Spearo,

First question, before I answer....Ar you a duck or a beaver? Answer carefully! :)))))Nah, I'm a duck, University or Oregon 79'.

I personally don't like douglas fir because it is a soft wood. It is very good to use as your practice stock though. Like I mentioned earlier, you can use any wood to make a speargun, but your best chances of having a stable gun stock is better off with teak.
Dave you are correct about Mahogany and I meant to say that I am just biased towards teak.
With a lifetime waranty, its better to not have to do andy rework, especially with the wood stock. Our aimrite products no probem, just grab a handle or mechanism and send it out in the mail or replace it. The wood stock on the other hand is faster and easier to just give the customer a new one. Pretty much any warped stock can be restraightened or relaminated but it takes time when you are the only elf in the shop. To stop what I'm doing and concentrate on only making one new stock is counter productive. That is why I would rather work with what has the least tendencies to crack or delaminate.
Here's something I have found and I know others will say it isn't the correct way, but after all these years and too many guns to count on my fingers and toes, it works for me.
I don't do the cleaning of the oils off the teak or rough sanding them to increase surface are. I just cut the teak to the sizes I want to laminate. And then let them sit for a few days in my hot shop. Then I just laminate them together. Others will call that plasphemy but it works for me.
The reason is that the epoxy (West systems) has proven to be more than adequate in laminating teak together. I used to use resourcenal but I got tire of gettng purple fingers all the time. (wood workers will agree) I have a friend that uses a polyurethane glue and his stocks hold up great. I tried it and like Dave said...all of them fell apart. You know some things just work better in others hands, but not for me in this instance.

What do you do when you have a warped stock? My laminations are done verticle and horizontal. Vertical to prevent warpage in the vertical plane and a horizontal laminate over the two or three vertical pieces. It prevents the sideways warpage. This is like having a T or half an I beam. I believe I am the only one I know of that has been doing this for the last fifteen years. It works for me.
Also it is better to laminate pieces a little bigger than you need so that it will be a little thicker than the finished size. This is so that you can let the laminated stock sit and see if there are any warpage that will happen after it has been sitting. If it does warp a bit,, you can just re-joint the stock straight and then proceed with the finished dimensions. Laminate to exact thickness and then get warpage means you are up the creek.

What if you have a piece that is warped one way and others that are straight? I don't laminate only one warped piece it with the straight pieces. Instead re bend the warped piece till it is straight and then laminate. I have also laminated two pieces that were both warped the same way but made sure that the warped pieces were aligned so that they will pull against each other. Usually I try to have a straight pice in the middle. The T lamination is a lifesaver in my opinion. That is what I would recommend to you all.

Also I like to laminate the stock and them mortise for the trigger mechanism. Then rout your track in to meet with the mechanism. Its much easier that way.

I hope the little I have learned will help those of you doing your own guns. Good luck and have fun!

Aloha, Daryl

Its a hard life being me! ;)
 
portinfer

portinfer

Aquatic shopper...
Jul 3, 2003
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"It's also eco-friendly unlike teak .."

Re that plastic stuff OregonSpearo mentioned - I'm no expert but the whole process of manufacturing plastic is not exactly eco-friendly... It might be better than chopping teak but still no saint...

Just my opinion.

Alison - you are a star ! Just the stuff i wanted to read.
Now I guess I will rebend the warped piece, laminate the stock, mortice the trigger mech and then route the rail....simple (well maybe, after wishing that I hadn't got the teak planed down to a few mil of where I wanted the finished dimension - might be one of theose thin sinking guns.... or I could make it one size smaller at 75cm with a 110cm shaft ? - I'll work it out with the other two 'elves').

Cheers - very interesting reading - Ed
 
Alison

Alison

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Actually (aparently) most teak is plantation grown in south east asia, we saw huge forrests of the stuff in Sri Lanka just before Xmas. So I wouldnt feel to bad about it
Ed your welcome :) but dont mention my thin sinking gun, gawd did I get some grief over that rofl
 
Old Man Dave

Old Man Dave

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Phew ! You gotta be quick in this thread.
Agree with Daryl about just about everything. Interesting about "West system" epoxy and lack of prep but if it works for you don't mess with it.
My wood experience leads to say that the way to ensure non warping stocks is to use lots of laminates cut from one stock and reversed for glueing as suggested by Oneoldude, who beat me to it.
Agree totally about Douglas Fir. The thing here is the difference between custom one off and commercial batch production. Commercially it pays to make things that look good, are easy to make and don't last too long if you want to make money. Softwood guns would look mega smart though. The grain pattern in softwoods caused by their climatic growth pattern makes for a very attractive apperance. Probably better in a case over the mantle than in the sea though.
Iroko has largely replaced teak in European boat building. I find that it is always less dense (lower SG) and seems to be an excellent substitute. Top boat builders use Iroko plywood for boat construction. You don't get teak plywood (except teak faced). Maybe it's not caught on in the States yet.
I agree that timber is much more user friendly than metal for amateur construction but I'm going to post some sketches ASAP to see if I can inspire anyone. - Gotta be quick!
Daryl is this what you mean by "Tee" shape laminating?
Dave
 
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A

ajwaverider

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Re: Plastic lumber for barrel

OregonSpearo said:
Does anyone know if plastic lumber floats? I'm talking about that recycled plastic substitute to cedar for decking: http://www.trex.com/
It will never rot, fairly cheap and can be worked with regular wood tools. It's also eco-friendly unlike teak and the likes. It may be a bit flexy but this could be improved by sandwiching epoxied fiberglass cloth. Anyone knows if it floats?

I was looking at the same stuff a couple of months ago.There is another type
that has wood mixed in it and it would probaly not be good,My question was the same as yours does it float?I still haven't found if it does or not.I wonder how much it weighs compared to wood.
 
Daryl Wong

Daryl Wong

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2003
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Hi Spearos,

Wow! Alison you are an angel! Thanks for finding my lost post. It was so long and then I saw that many of the things I wrote were covered by other craftsmen so I didn't try to rewrite another one. But thank you so I could re read my own post.

Aloha, Daryl
 
Daryl Wong

Daryl Wong

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2003
108
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Hi guys,

I forgot to mention that I looked into the fake wood. I had the same thoughts about using it too. I had bought a bunch of it to use for the bunks on my trailer. It works great since it doesn't rot.
But when I cut the plasticized wood, it is kind of porous and it won't work at all. Also it is very... how do you say it...if you were to leave it laying against something, it would bend and then stay that way till you lay it on a straight flat surface. I found that out from just bringing it back from the lumber yard in my truck. Many boards had bent and when I set them on the driveway they slowly rebent to conform to the flat slab. I don't think its a good property to have. Works great on my trailer though!

AJ, The two types of fake wood you looked into, are both heavy. Your gun would also sink with CF or fiberglass inserts. If you are going to build a gun, stick with something easy to work with. First practice with a few guns and then get into other woods or materials if you want. Oh...I forgot to mention the most imprtant thing....The stuff is more exsspensive than wood! For what it costs, I'd use Douglass fir from OREGON first. I'd even paint it Green and Yellow.:)))

I've done laminations of Carbon fiber sheets with teak and it was ok. I didn't think the cost of the CF justified the benefits. It was difficult to sand ( got itchy like fiberglass) and tough on router bits. Also breathing the dust is not good for your bottom times.

Dave, yes the way you drew the drawing is what I was talking about. I just call it T lamination, because the glue joints form a T when you look at it.
Another reason is I don't like to have a glue joint in the middle of my enclosed tracked guns. I don't do the delrin tracks or graphite filled epoxy tracks anymore. Been there done that. That's another story.

Dave you also said what I was thinking about how if something looks good but doesn't last, its good for business. For me, It has to look good and last forever or its bad for my hobby and especially my Dental practice... heaven forbid.

Aloha, Daryl
 
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Old Man Dave

Old Man Dave

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Hey Daryl you know I was talking about mass production manufacturing. As a dentist you're in the sevice industry and as a custom speargun builder I don't expect you're listed on Wall Street just yet. I am sure that your products are excellent and extremely durable, in fact I hear that your wooden teeth last a lifetime. After all they are laminated teak! :D Tee Hee . If you need more evidence that mass production companies make money by producing products that look good but have a limited life: Ever bought a Ford? :vangry.
Dave
 
Daryl Wong

Daryl Wong

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2003
108
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Hi Dave,

Hey be careful what you say...I have a Ford 350 diesel truck and it is in my opinion one of the better trucks out there. Of course my dive partner Rick has a Dodge one ton and you know how opions are :))))
Yeah, the nice thing about wooden teeth is that you can paint them any color that you want. If they wear down, just laminate another piece on! Even better, if the patient wants purple, I use purple heart. If they want a darker look, there is always ebony. But dont forget the softer looking light shades of good ole Douglass fir! And for the really hard chewers, you can use lignum vitae.
For all of us do it yourselfers, all you need is a good hardware store nearbye and a lumberyard. Teeth cleaning? just put on another coat of epoxy! Ha Ha! :))))

Aloha, Daryl
 
Dobs

Dobs

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Nov 17, 2004
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OK guys, I just found a teak supplier in my town! :D
The teak is not as expensive as I thought it would be. It costs some 40 euro for a sq meter of 1cm thick sheets. The sheets are long 2 metres by 25 cm so one such sheet would be enough for two 90-100 cm guns and it will coast some 20 euro – cheeep. Is this price right or it is suspiciously cheep?
I have another question though. The guy selling the teak told me that it cannot be glued with epoxy!!! I first thought he was joking but then I understood that his intentions saying this was to try to sell me some kind of super-glue used in boat building. I refused to buy it.
So then he told me that the teak wouldn’t hold the epoxy and the best way to go was to use only teak oil for the surface finishing.
So my question is how do you finish teak guns? Do you put 2-3 coats of epoxy on the finished gun and then 2-3 coats of Polyurethane Varnish that has UV protectors in it? This is how I finished my mahogany gun, but I’m wondering now if this is absolutely necessary with teak? However I would really love to have that shiny glass-like look on my new gun.
Cheers!
 
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