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One of the best threads od Swedish stockwoods, very informative:

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196FMJ
Posted - 05/15/2005 : 8:10:08 PM
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15 May 2005
2 questions for the Husqvarna experts -

I recently bought this mint 1941 Husqvarna M38 at a local gunshow but almost walked past it at 1st as I thought the stock had been splashed with black paint: after closer inspection I saw the dark areas were part of the native wood.

The stock doesn't look at all like my other beechwood Husqvarna M38 but I did find a similar example on the House of Karlina site
[ http://www.rebooty.com/~dutchman/beech.html ]. There's a 1919 Swedish M96 sn 475233 with what is described as "flaming" beechwood.

question 1:
was this flame-patterned beechwood a common-use material with Husqvarna stockmakers and I just haven't seen enough examples?.

question 2:
there is a considerable difference in the quality of fit, workmanship and machined finishing between my 1941 and 1942 Husqvarna M38: I always appreciated the 1942 until I got the 1941. IMHO the difference is that of a WW2 RC capture mis-match K98 and a pre-war Mauser standard model.

The 1941 quality is like a pre-war custom order for an important client but it was part of a production run: most impressive.

Obviously the war was heating up, but was there an internal mgmt shakeup, fire or other major event at Husqvarna that would affect production quality? Hopefully none of the master craftsmen on the arsenal floor were called up for military service.

BTW, not knocking the 1942 or later Husqvarnas..they're all excellent.

Thanks for adding to my education.
196FMJ

1941 with sight hood next to standard stock 1942 M38

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swede
Posted - 05/15/2005 : 8:45:32 PM
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Well , I see the differance in the 2 stocks , but I cannot tell anything about the quality of each in the photos . I personally have not noticed any differance in the Husqvarna production from 1941 to 1944 . With so few of these Husky M-38's produced , nearly all were issued & rebuilt numerous times . Some more than others . Perhaps that is what you see . As for a mint conditon M-38 , most likely it is rebuilt & unissued since the last rebuild . Remove your stock & see if it has matching wood . Most do not . As for the flame pattern in beech , it varies from one piece of wood to another . Some hardly have any of the light colored cresent shaped markings , while other are quite vivid . The spectacular beech stocks are not real common . They will bring more money at auction than a plain beech stock . The Swede stock makers used what ever wood was provided . They did not pick stock wood for beauty , these were military rifles . Since the beech wood is nearly white in its natural state , I doubt that the flame patterns were even noticeable until after the stocks were completed & stained .


Dutchman
Posted - 05/15/2005 : 10:37:27 PM
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There's no telling exactly *when* your rifle, or any other, were restocked after they were manufactured. Could've been 10 years after it was made. That information just isn't available to us.

That particular rifle you cite, s/n 475233, is one that I've owned for quite a while and is one of the prettier of the beech stocked m/96 I've seen, though there are others out there that have more flaming, or flash like that. I'm not that partial to beech as it's rather dull looking, uninteresting, when compared with walnut, maple and elm but there are exceptions and the beech stocked rifles are too numerous to ignore.


196FMJ
Posted - 05/15/2005 : 11:38:04 PM
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Swede and Dutchman, appreciate the good info: wasn't aware that most HVA rifles had gone thru multiple overhauls. I've done only K98s for the last few years but am enjoying the Swedish Mauser learning curve.

The perceived quality differences may be subliminal. Perhaps it's like the urban legend of between an automobile made on a Wed and a Friday.

One of the many reasons why I'm converting my collection from K98 to Swedish is the pleasure of buying a mint-condition WW2-era military rifle with a wood stock that doesn't look like a fungo bat used to swat rocks.


Dutchman
Posted - 05/16/2005 : 7:20:03 PM
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Then perhaps it's time to change your handle to 156RN, hey?


196FMJ
Posted - 05/19/2005 : 02:09:03 AM
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Dutchman -

If I ever do change my 196FMJ handle it may be to "6.5 Grendel".

Fascinating story at "http://www.65grendel.com/" how US arms/ammo maker has developed a short case-length round using venerable Norma 6.5mm 140-grain FMJ spitzer: results are a shorter action rifle with the same accuracy and lethality of the 65 yr-old M91 Swedish ammo.

Appears that they've just re-invented the Swedish Ljungmann 42b with a scoped M-16 appearance.



cosmic
Posted - 05/21/2005 : 07:27:39 AM
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Interesting post... I have several M-38's in beech. Two were purchased with tape still on. Both had been stripped of their exterior finish, however, what remained was a layer of stain - in one case a dark walnut or mahogany, and the other a vermont maple orange. Looking at the internal stock surfaces, you could see the almost white beech.
I recently picked up a stock for a restoration project. Stock had been in a fire which had scorched the outer finish, but not the wood. I started by stripping the wood with furniture stripper - the removed finish was a reddish brown color. Decided to take it down further with superfine steel wool. I started to notice the appearance of the beech medular flecks as I removed more finish - even moreso after BLO
In the end, it became clear that a lot of the wood figure had been obscured by the stain layer. This leads me to suspect that the Swedes stained the beech stocks before final coating with BLO.
My project stock looks exactly like your stock in the pics - I suspect the variations in color are from the remnants of the original stain. Perhaps others can shed some more light on this?
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Edited by - cosmic on 05/21/2005 2:49:39 PM


jim in Oregon
Posted - 05/21/2005 : 6:32:32 PM
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The arctic beech wood used in the Swede rifles all has some degree of flecks in the wood which most say are the result of wind and freezing on the trees during their growth.

The wood takes stain in those areas differently than the plainer grain which is why one sees some stocks with more character approaching flameing.Rarely will you see tiger stripeing or fiddlebacking in the arctic beech tho..Usually seen in walnut.

The purpose built Husqvarna M38 rifles( not the converted M96s) all had arctic beech stocks when made.

Some have observed that the stocks on the Husqvarna rifles seem 'fatter' and less refined than those on the older M96 rifles.

I don't think this is so much a result of war era production shortcuts as it is compareing rifle stocks from vintage Swede M96 rifles which may have been re-worked-refinished several times over their 40 some years of service in the hands of many dozens of different conscript soldiers.
The shortened M96 stocks used for the M38 (non Husqvarna) M38 rifles certainly were refinished after shortening and haveing the lightening cuts filled and this included sanding and smoothing and restaining-oiling you may be sure.

The polishing on the metal and black-blueing on the Husqvarna M38 rifles seems a bit less than on many of the better specimens of the M96 rifles.

While the finish is hardly what anyone would call 'substandard or poor' for a military issue rifle, it does indicate that the Swedes were gearing up for their potential entry into WWll..
Function always takes precedent over cosmetics during such times.jim


Bimmer
Posted - 05/28/2005 : 2:32:38 PM
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I've not heard of Arctic Beech (Arctic Birch, yes, but that's a totally different thing) but the beechwood used in Swedish stocks looks virtually identical to European Beech, unsteamed which results in that orange tinge (steamed beech looks much closer to white). The flaming or flecks visible have absolutely nothing to do with the temperature or wind conditions and are equally apparent in European Beech harvested in the Balkans (the major source of European Beech these days).

While it may not be as attractive to some, beech is an extremely hard wood and very stable if dried properly.


swede
Posted - 05/28/2005 : 4:11:34 PM
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" Red Beech" is the type of stock wood used after 1915 on Swedish mausers . See " Crown Jewels " , page 70 . Freezing temperatures & strong winds caused stress in the trees that resulted in what we are calling " tiger stripes " or " fiddleback " in the stocks . This has nothing to do with the flecks or light colored cresent shaped marks in Swedish mauser beech stocks . Someone posted the reason for these flecks & I failed to make a note of it . Perhaps someone else will remember that post .


kriggevaer
Posted - 05/28/2005 : 10:51:27 PM
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Hi Swede,
I remember that post and have been searching for it. No luck yet, but in searching I've run across some materials science websites and The International Wood Collectors Society. Yup, there are people who collect samples of wood as a hobby. Anyway, the people that seem to know wood call the markings in European beech (Fagus sylvatica) "ray fleck". I'll keep looking for why they are in the wood.


196FMJ
Posted - 05/29/2005 : 09:19:00 AM
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29 May 2005

kriggevaer -
Good citations.

I did some research on "ray fleck" and found the following information from the website for Swartzendruber Hardwood Creations, a custom period furniture shop in the USA Midwest that uses 1900-era European woods and manual fabrication processes: the reference is for oak but does describe how the sawmill quarter-sawing method which reduced warping also created the ray fleck striping in semi-finished blanks.

"The Quartersawing Method

At the sawmill, the log is first split into four quarters (hence the name 'quartersawn'), then cut on the diagonal from the center of the tree out toward the edges. A peculiarity of oak is that it has very strong, well defined ‘rays’ running from the center of the tree outward. Look closely at the end of a sawn oak board or branch and you can easily pick out the rays. They look like fine, straight lines spreading out from the center of the tree, perpendicular to the grain of the wood.

The Quartersawing Method places these rays on the face of the board, revealing the distinctive stripe or 'ray fleck' running across the grain that is the signature of quartersawn oak. According to Gustav Stickley "The quartersawing method of cutting...renders quartersawn oak structurally stronger, also finer in grain, and, as shown before, less liable to warp and check than when sawn in any other way."

Quartersawing fell out of favor in the first half of this century because it yields less lumber per tree and takes more labor than plainsawing."

I haven't yet found any information if Carl Gustaf or Husqvarna stock fabricators used quartersawing but the process was known and in use circa 1900.


swede
Posted - 05/29/2005 : 10:19:19 AM
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I have oak flooring in my home , which was built in 1945 . It was probably not quartersawn , but I do see a few boards with a similar fleck pattern , but quite a bit larger in size than the beech flecking . If my memory is correct , the post that I saw , said the flecks were something like food storage sacks . I have no idea if this is correct or not . I have little or no knowledge of trees . The US Deparment of Agriculture may be a good place to look for info . Dana Jones sent a number of stockwood samples to them for analysis & proved what we were calling ash , was really elm .


swede
Posted - 05/29/2005 : 10:54:40 AM
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See this site : www.merillatbusiness.com/woodcharacteristics Click on natural characteristics part 2 , as an example of ray flecking in oak is shown & it stores & transports food horizontally in the tree . See part 1 for an example of tiger striping in oak .
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Edited by - swede on 05/29/2005 11:00:32 AM


kriggevaer
Posted - 05/29/2005 : 12:05:15 PM
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Really good stuff here - thanks guys - another very interesting website is http://www.matweb.com . This is a materials property data site and it is chock full of all kinds of interesting things. I did searchs for European beech, European walnut(Juglans regia), and European birch(Betula pubescens and got the properties data sheets for these woods. Very interesting and very technical, but there is some neat stuff there.

All the different types of walnut we read about, like, French, Carpathian, Turkish, Persian, English, etc., are all the same species, Juglans regia. The differences come from environmental conditions where they grow.

Walnut really seems to cause confusion with people because it can vary so much in color and grain characteristics. My m/96 Swedes have everything from a golden dark yellow to a very dark brown with black streaks. My K31 Swiss run from yellow to very dark brown. And I have a brand new unfinished Beretta BM59 walnut stock that is nearly white. When I dampen the wood surface slightly to bring out the color and grain it turns to a cafe au lait color with all kinds of wild mottling.
Swede, I think you are right about the ray flecks, they have to do with nutrient transfer within the living tree. 196FMJ you are absolutely right, the method of sawing the logs and planks has a tremendous effect on what the pattern will be once the wood is finished into an item for use.


swede
Posted - 05/29/2005 : 1:13:51 PM
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The Swedes were probably not concerned with the appearance of the wood , but they wanted wood with the least chance of warpage . The quartersawn log gives the least warpage , but not the most boards per log . I do not know what milling process the Swedes used , but most of the beech stocks ( but not all of them ) show the ray flecking alomg the top or bottom edges . That would lead me to believe that the wood was " not " quartersawn . Otherwise , you would see the vivid ray flecking on the sides of all beech stocks .


196FMJ
Posted - 05/29/2005 : 5:53:58 PM
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29 May 2005

There's a good description of walnut stock grain and color variation factors on the Great American Gunstock Company's site at: http://www.gunstocks.com/digst.html


TE53
Posted - 05/30/2005 : 03:05:10 AM
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The rays in beech are normal and will appear wherever the wood happens to be quarter sawn. The same thing will be seen in some oaks, which are in the beech family (Fagaceae).

The blotches on 196FMJ's stock are caused by differential absorption of the stain, possibly after refinishing. I have a number of beech stocked rifles with the original finish, which is quite uniform. I'm not sure how the swedes did it, but it resembles the finish seen on modern furniture where a stain/varnish blend is sprayed on.
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Visit my site-- http://mausersonline.spaces.live.com/


196FMJ
Posted - 06/07/2005 : 01:01:53 AM
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06 June 2005

Here's a stock shot of 1 of my 1942 HVA M38s with a nice horizontal grain in the beech.

196FMJ

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