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Lightning bolt custom rifle

by Jim

A customer had an unusual request. He had seen a picture of the Lichtenberg burning process and wanted to see if it could be replicated on an existing gun stock. Yes. I can do that for you. He also wanted a replacement custom bolt knob on his rifle as well. This is an unusual request for a rifle that is much different aesthetically to what you would normally find. To begin the process, I cranked up my forge and pounded out a large acorn shaped knob and added it to the bolt handle of the rifle.

Next came the preparation of the stock itself for the Lichtenberg burning process. Using a neon sign transformer and a foot pedal wired in and a couple of jumpers, I was able to get started, after stripping the original finish from the wood.

After carefully covering the stock with the pattern, I then sanded it lightly to smooth out the burnt surface. By using an electrolyte, I zapped the wood with 15,000 volts of electricity to achieve the results.

Next, I mixed up a two part clear epoxy with a tint to fill in the primary burn channels to add a small bit of subtle color.

Once the new finish was put on the wood and the bolt knob was Cerakoted to match the rest of the bolt, these are the results of the project.

The customer had requested this unusual rifle that’s a bit different than what you would see in the woods while hunting. He’s very pleased with how it turned out.

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