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Iroko 90 - first gun build

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Active Member
Jun 16, 2020
So I’ve a few thread dotted over the place asking about various aspects of my first gun build so I’m going to start an actual thread to consolidate everything.

Hopefully someone else finds this helpful or inspirational so they can go on and do something similar.

Originally I wanted to do a teak build (as everyone does) because it’s rebust and well known in maritime applications. However importing teak is banned in the UK so the only stuff you can find is reclaimed and tends to be insanely expensive. Iroko has a similar tight grain and I discovered my old man has a huge pile of surplus iroko cladding dry stored in his garage from when he built his house 20 years ago. Some of the boards have warped but a lot are still straight. Grabbed a few bits and cut them roughly to length (1.3m length). The boards are 20mm thick and probably 100mm wide.

Luckily a nearby friend has a good thicknesser planer so I took them down to 15mm thickness and lopped off the tongue and groove edges. Then using west systems epoxy I stuck them together and clamped them up.

Then after a few days this was released

I realised I actually had enough height for 2x 45 by 38mm blanks so I ripped this down the middle and squared up the blanks leaving me with this:

Two lovely square and straight blanks. I went for 45mm wide by 38mm tall as a start point as this is the dimensions neptonics use for their blanks. I’m hoping to eventually slim them down more to around 40mm wide by 28mm tall but it depends on how the trigger mech and handle base fits (I’m just building one gun for now, the other blank is a spare for when I cock it up!).

Talking of triggers and handles I’ve ordered a neptonics reverse euro mech and AR15 handle along with the other bits needed (line release, anchor etc). Luckily I’ve got someone in the states that can forward me stuff from their business so I don’t pay shipping or import duties on it which makes it a fair bit cheaper. Was looking at over 80 bucks for delivery otherwise for a tiny package!!

I’ve also bought a 130cm 7.1mm riffe shaft and some 16mm bulk rubber that’s on its way. Eventually the plan is double 16s on a 90cm gun. Basically anything more than this isn’t worth it in the UK, however the blanks are long enough currently to do a 100cm with a reverse mech.. but I’ll probably leave that for now, I actually think a small (65cm) wooden gun would be pretty cool.

Currently I’m waiting on the stuff to get delivered from the states so can’t do much but I’ve managed to get a decent router table and bandsaw second hand for a cheap price and have got all the various cutters needed to cut the track and trigger pocket etc.


Plan on cutting an 8mm diameter track for about half the depth of the shaft (seems to be what riffe does. Gives me .45mm clearance either side of the shaft which should hopefully be enough to not cause excessive friction but also keep the shaft straight. If it doesn’t work well I can alway go back and cut it deeper or wider if needed.

so that’s it for now, just got to wait another few days for the bits to arrive but in the meantime I’ll probably have a play about with some scrap wood cutting tracks etc to make sure I know what I’m doing on the day of the race!
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Well not much progress recently, the trigger mech, line guide, anchor and a few other bits have arrived from the states however which is good news.

What’s not so great is that I ordered a riffe shafe from spearfishing.de almost 4 weeks ago... took them a few days to tell me it wasn’t in stock but would be back in stock in 10 days time. I messaged them yesterday to find out what on earth is going on as I’ve received nothing and they’ve now said it will be in stock on 10/11/20 now (and I’ll receive it 3 days after that).

So it will be a minimum of 6 weeks from ordering this shaft (which was marked as in stock) to actually getting anything. Very frustrating as I’m going to be overseas over winter so now won’t be able to finish this gun until next year unless I buy a cheapo shaft from somewhere else.

I wish I could tell this company to poke it but it’s literally the only place that offer the riffe spear that I need this side of the pond
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