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OK, about this stuff called "wood" that some people still use for gun stocks ... can someone tell me about the differences between English and Bastogne walnut?
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<br>In particular, which is easier to work with, easier for a novice to checker, etc.? Is Bastogne heavier?

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John
<br>Best for what? Like anything else, point of view means everything. There are three major walnut species in the US, black, claro and the imported english walnut varieties. Bastogne is a hybred of the claro and any english flavor.
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<br>There are many English walnut varieties, the "best" is usually applied to Turkish grown Circassian walnut. It is closer to Bastogne than most English, though it tends to be a bit lighter, I believe. Good dense blanks of any kind are better to work with, though not easier. There is something about a solid wood cutting beautifully, but slowly, and extremely precisely that must be admired.
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<br>Bastogne is commonly called Paradox because the name was given to it before they figured out what the strange trees really were. If I am not mistaken, it was the noted botanist Luther Burbank who, on assignment, figured out what they were.
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<br>Price is based subjectively on quality of figure and color more than any rational unit, and can be unbelieveable. I saw a 2-piece set of Turkish that a local gun dealer had bought for his persaonal use which was totally unsuited to any stock because of grain runout of about 45degrees in two directions through the grip, which he showed me a $1,500 invoice for! I would not feel comfortable even if it was to be used with a stock bolt! Personally I haven't seen too many 870s or 1100s stocked with $1,500 blanks...
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<br>Being a hybred, Bastogne tends to vary quite a bit in color and character. It is not my favorite walnut because I generally build rifles as light as possible and Bastogne runs significantly heavier than most walnut. It can be as gorgeous as walnut gets...
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<br>Checkering a finished stock is about the same with any walnut, as checkering tools are more finesse work than grunt work and only coarse stringy woods really cause problems. At least in my experience, that is.
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<br>I restocked a 375AI last winter in a plain piece of Turkish, which I had not worked with in many years. It made me wonder why I ever used anything else. It was hard, it was dense, but it cut in any direction and fairly rang when tapped with a fingertip... it was wonderful!
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<br>There was a thread that was fairly long last year which went over all of this and quite a bit more...
<br>best to you
<br>art


Mark Begich, Joaquin Jackson, and Heller resistance... Three huge reasons to worry about the NRA.

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