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Wooden gun - design question

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New Member
Dec 19, 2002
Does anyone have any design experience with anything other than teak? I have read that Mahogany works but you need to add more ballast, which can't be a bad thing. Any domestic (USA), none tropical hardwoods work by any chance. I am going to add a 20mm 3/4 inch Delrin rod with a machined enclosed track, which will help to dramatically reduce any chance of warping over time.

I have access to most hardwoods for next to nothing EXECPT teak.

Any thoughts.
Originally posted by the Svenmeister
Teak is dakine material for a few reasons- it's a very oily wood that resists water absorption and rot. That doesn't mean you don't have to take of it, but it's pretty stable as long as you use your common sense and don't use it to jack your car up to change the tire. Teak, and all wood is a cellular structure, just like a bunch of celery or a fist full of drinking straws- t has long hollows that can fill with water and oils, but Teak has more oil than most woods and is perfect for outdoor exposure. It is also found with a pretty straight grain when you go looking for it and with some prep and the right stuff can be cut and laminated with epoxy to really make a barrel that will resist the tendecy to twist due to the grain's direction.

It has inherent bouyancy from those oil-filled cells and is quiet, or more quiet than metal barrels. But then the noise is mainly from the bands cutting loose... The oil also has a lubricity- it let's the shaft slide along without much fuss, though there are a few of us that coat the track with a graphite compound to get the absolute edge on things.

Teak is a hard, dense wood, like me, and is easily worked with the right, sharp tools. It will split violently if stressed and will take a new blade or bit and flush it if you push too fast or hard. It's akin to the girlfriend in many ways... It finishes beautifully with oil and epoxy/polyurethanes. I'm typing this on a big slab of the stuff matter of fact. My table was a door from an old temple in Java, 1942 and I scored it for salvage and a lot of sawdust later, it's a 300 pound table for 6. Cool stuff.

I like teak for the more open water use, where it won't get smacked around the rocks and such, but that's more of a cosmetic and force of habit thing perhaps. My banging around the rocks and the rig legs is left to aluminum barrels (JBL's). Carbon has no place near these areas.

Yeah, I'm doing teak barrels and complete guns. A barrel like you were asking about will set you back 125-160 depending if you want a solid piece, laminated, the shaft track milled, the trigger pocket machined, release slots, handle pad.... Teak ain't cheap, at about $12-16.00 per board foot. You use teak and you'll quickly have no use for mahogany, though it can be pretty, it's not as stable once it gets wet and depends on the finish for protection.
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Reactions: icarus pacific
Yep, like I said. :king
There was a guy down your way that was making and selling his guns on ebay a while back and we were going back and forth on some things and he was using Koa which is a cousin of Teak as well as some stuff from down in So America that looked more like Ash than anything else.

I've seen and held barrels made of Koa and it's pretty stuff, but you're going to play Hell trying to find some with a straight and clear grain that won't twist all over Hell and breakfast once it gets wet. Looks good on the wall though... :duh

Mahogany is pretty easy to find with clear and straight grain, but the stuff absorbs water to the point that it relies too much on the epoxy coating for me to give it mad props. It looks nice and all, but no thanks. AB Biller and JBL Woodies are made of Mahogany.

Yes, teak is pricey. It's the primary reason that Jay came out with the MetalTech series of guns, the stuff just doesn't grow on trees, if ya get my meaning. :confused: But once you score some and do all the stuff involved with grading it, cutting aneasoning it, laminating and the machining, you'll understand that after all is said and done, the fish is on the coals and that bad thing is leaning in the corner, all other woods are teak's bitch. Nuff said.

I have made a gun from Artic beech and it is working well for me
still straight and good neutral bouyancy with shaft in floats after firing
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