True craftsmen are becoming a rare breed but they do still exist. Wood has always been one of the main choices of true craftsmen and that really shows up in the construction of Wood Gun Racks. There are many kinds of wood that racks can be built from and most will have their own look, color, and grain pattern. Many gun racks are a combination of wood and animal parts from taxidermist or wood and metals of different types.
People that make most of these racks are craftsmen in their own right. The many shapes, sizes, and details show this work. Tools they use vary by the individual.
The final product will be a thing of beauty when the final finishing is done. Whether it is some type of oil, a varnish, epoxy or some other finish it will be a piece of work to be proud of.
Materials for wooden gun racks
Probably the most common material used for wooden racks is cabinet grade plywood since it is readily available in most locations. Some favorites are Oak, Pecan, Birch and Maple. There are many more but these are good examples because they will all take stain and varnish to make a nice finish.
A basic type for general use is regular lumber from a lumberyard for racks in storage rooms, cabins and out of sight out of mind places.
A favorite of some people are woods that have a natural and distinct color of their own. These can be Mesquite, Cedar, Redwood, Mahogany and several more depending on the location. Supply on these woods would sometimes depend on finding a sawmill with a supply of logs to cut out the particular dimensions wanted and the look that can be obtained by sawing a certain way or direction.
Driftwood is another good material for gun racks. Most of the driftwood is actually roots of trees that were uprooted because of flooding or other disruption from the soil. To a certain extent this is a luck of the find. Most of this type is found by people searching river banks, log jams and land that was cleared of timber years before and has laid out in the weather and cured.
Another material that is often combined with wood to build racks is parts from animals harvested by hunters. This can be anything from deer hooves to deer, elk and moose antlers. The use of certain metals in combination with wood is becoming popular as well.
Craftsmanship makes fine Firearm racks
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes this can lead to a very expensive and ornate piece.
Basic tools for making a gun rack would be a saw and hammer. Maybe a screwdriver, jigsaw, chisel and a drill would fit in with this tool set.
The next set of craftsmen would use these tools plus a hand held router. In this case the imagination begins to take hold because experience with a router will lead to not only the edge rounded with a radius but perhaps shapes cut in to a certain depth. Be it basic shapes of round square and rectangle or somebody’s name. Sometimes it will be outlines of animals, pictures or cattle brands. Very often brands and other symbols will be burned into the wood with a hot iron. Most times brands will be burned in with the actual branding iron itself.
In this day and time a lot of the gun racks made of wood are cut on a CNC Router (Computer Numerical Control). These machines are quite expensive but depending on the wood texture and hardness they are very fast cutting and moving. For the most part if you can write the program for the machine and load it any idea, shape, or figure can be run on these machines. Bad part is these machines need a lot of volume to make money.
The use of metal combined with wood to make gun racks is a popular way to build unique racks. With the advent of CNC Routers, CNC Plasma, CNC Waterjets and CNC Laser machines a combination of wood and metal is limited only by the imagination.
Finishing the surface of Gun Racks
Now comes the tricky part of putting a flawless finish on Wood Gun Racks. Choices here can be almost endless. In the end it will depend on usage and looks. If you want a natural look or maybe just to seal the wood some natural oils may be the best. These can be Tung Oil, Linseed Oil and Nut Oil. The concern with these could be a possibility some people could have an allergy to some Nut Oils.
An age-old method is to sand and varnish the surface. If done right, it is a beautiful long-lasting finish. Polyurethane is also a good-looking finish.
Clear Epoxy is sometimes used because it is usually a thicker more protective coating, but if you want to embed small objects or emblems of some type in it, the thickness can be adjusted to accommodate the objects.
If part of the rack is a metal type that will not rust such as stainless steel, copper or brass then the natural finish can be left or a brushed finish can be used. If the metal will rust it will almost always need some type of treatment, be it enamel paint, electrostatic powder coated or some other rust proof coating for metal.
We have gone thru a brief study of wood gun racks including the woods that can be used to build them.
As we noted a lot of craftsmanship will go into most of these and they will become a work of art.
The final phase to these racks whether they are wood or a combination of wood and metal the finishing process is very important.
One final thought, the finish as well as most of the woods used to make the racks will react to direct sunlight after a prolonged period which will discolor or crack the wood and finish. To protect these characteristics it is best to limit direct contact with the sunlight.