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Guide Comfortable Wood Goodness with a modern touch.

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1115111748a.jpgLow Recoil Wood Goodness- a simple guide.

 

 

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Hey guys. I thought this walk-through might help others with similar thoughts.

 

 

I opted to take a break from studying and fit a Kick-EEZ recoil pad to my Bulgarian wood stock.

I am very pleased that I ended up doing it this way, because I believe it is a much better pad than the other options I have seen. I think all told I have about $7 and 20 minutes in to this and I did it with all the wrong tools.

 

Kick-EEZ pads are made out of a fancy stuff called sorbothane, which is made from the oil of the rarest breed of snake. OK, it actually is really good, and it doesn’t get hard and crack like other rubbery materials. I like it better than the Limbsavr pads I have tried. They typically cost around $35, but I frequently see them on eBay for under $10. Sometimes a gun smith will sell a lot of take-offs and there will be a couple of these in there. In my case, I had got one off of eBay for another project and measured the stock wrong, so I had an extra pad. $7 (including shipping) Mine was KZ 107 a pre-fit model. (ProTip all KICK-EEZ pads are solid and bigger than an AK stock, so they are all effectively grind to fit. Just check that the screw hole spacing won’t cause problems when you grind it down. Limbsavr pads generally have hollows so this won’t work. The pad that Tromix sells is not the same as the usual Limbsavr line up. I haven’t tried it, but I think what I have is superior in looks, function and price.) (If you do have a Tromix stock, I noticed that someone has a Remington 700 pre-fit Limbsavr glued to his stock with the stock ground to match it, and that looks better too.)

 

I have done a fair amount of grinding and metal fab over my employment history. Accordingly, I have fairly steady hands for this kind of thing and pretty good technique. It would be easy to let the abrasive grab, and make a gouge instantly if you aren’t careful and skilled. Using the proper tool would solve most of the need for skill. Namely, a bench mount belt sander. The movable table would make a big difference in controllability, steadiness and matching your grind angle to the lines of your stock.

I did it with a $15 angle grinder and a flap-wheel chucked into a drill. I didn’t really need the flap wheel.

The manufacturers of recoil pads usually say to 1) put the pad in the freezer first 2) grind with a 50 or 80 grit belt then step down to 220 grit when you get close, and finish with 220 and motor oil. That leaves something like the original shiny surface.

 

I opted to use the freezer trick and skip the progressive sanding and oil. This was because 1) I didn’t have a belt sander with several belts, 2) I actually kind of like the texture I have better. It is similar to brushed suede and was very easy to keep even without any wavy mismatched textures 3) quit while you’re ahead. Once I got it down to the right profile, doing fine sanding touch ups could quickly turn into an ugly botch job.

My steps:

 

1) Measure screw spacing on the stock. Use a square blade to mark and find the center line on the back plate of the pad. Mark where the screws should go. (I added about 3/32” to help the pad follow the curve of the stock) I slotted the existing holes, but if I did it again, I would just drill from the plastic side toward the soft side of the pad. Easy.

 

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Find center line:

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Use calipers like compass.

 

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2) Mount it on the stock. I left a bit of overhang all the way around, but followed the line of the stock to the point on the bottom of the pad when I chose my alignment. That dimension didn’t really change; I just buffed it to make the texture match.

 

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3) I used a piece of steel to gauge where the grind should go, and then followed with a pencil shaved so that I could hold it flush and level with the surface of the stock. I traced all the way around and then checked with my steel scrap. Scribing with a knifepoint could work too, but it will tend to follow wrong paths and you can’t rub mistakes out. My carbide scribe didn’t want to give me good results, and I could see the pencil line. Stick with the pencil.

 

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4) Threw the thing in the freezer and went back to studying.

 

5) took it out of the freezer, put my crappy grinder on its back on a table and ground to just outside the line. You should grind with the abrasive moving from the plastic plate toward the sorbethane. (Facing the other way will tend to grab, chatter and gouge. Just take my word for it.) Use the flat surface of your abrasive, not the edge and use smooth rocking motions. Don’t get in a hurry. I had it basically down to shape in about 5 minutes just being smooth and steady. As the thing got warmer it was more prone to grab and chatter. When I was pretty close to my line, I put it back onto my stock and checked with my makeshift gauge. I remarked it anywhere my markings were indistinct.

 

Here's what it looked like after the rough in:

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6) Threw it in the freezer again.

 

7) back to the grinder, going extra slow and careful. I am just finishing up the last little bit and evening out any waves. At this point the edges came to a corner on the top, so I carefully chamfered the edge. I had a few wavy lines on the edge, but nothing to worry me.

 

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8) I used the flap wheel (80 grit) to even out any waviness, make my chamfer uniform, and generally make the texture even all the way around. This was surprisingly grabbier and harder to control than the grinder. It actually left a less smooth finish than the grinder too.

 

(The texture is very even, and much like brushed suede. It should mount smoothly without catching on clothing and still stay in place on my shoulder. Perfect.)

 

The daylight goes away when I tighten the screws down, but I wanted you to see.

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Total grinding time ~10 minutes.

Total time between fitting and checking ~15 minutes (not counting freezer and taking pictures)

 

Note: I plan to fill the groove where the plate would be with black urethane caulk or similar after refinishing the stock to match the fore-end, and modifying it to fit a hinge. This also allowed me to leave the pad very slightly larger than the stock for more surface area. I can use the urethane to blend the transition and visually keep a constant profile.

 

I am also going to use this as a template for my other saiga, before I put on the caulk. I chose not to use the back plate for a template, because it is smaller, and does not exactly follow the curve of the main body of the stock

 

Here is a link to the whole album.

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Part 2 Project Mercury:

 

 

You may note that there is something in the cavity for the cleaning kit.

 

That is a C&H mercury tube. Cobra 76 puts in some of his builds. Benelli charges an extra $200 to add one to their gun. http://www.mercuryrecoil .com It seems to work, but I haven’t ever done a proper scientific comparison.

I had bought the biggest size which fit easily into the Monte Carlo stock. It is 7/8” diameter. The hole in the stock is ¾” or very close to it. It would have been ideal to get a ¾” mercury tube at 12 oz. and just drop it in with a plug of junk to hold it in place. I didn’t want to order another, so I simply used a 7/8” reamer and reamed just deep enough to slide the tube in. I actually stopped an eight short or so, and then tapped the tube in with a rubber mallet so that it is snug. I am pleased with the results.

 

Approximate location:

 

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Here is a picture with the factory plate just to show it can be done.

 

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I could have reamed a little deeper and left room for the trapdoor, but I don’t intend to find out what my shoulder looks like with little parallel ridges on it.

I plan to update this later with the addition of a hinge and reinforcement plate, and then refinish to match my fore-end.

 

1115111928a.jpg

 

If you have tips for refinishing, please PM me, because I am nothing like a master woodworker. I have checked threads, but more detail would help. There’s gotta be a few C&R guys here who know their stuff.

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Interesting stuff! Thanks for sharing your progress.

 

On the Romanian laminate I'm working on, I found two holes in the stock. The lower hole was for the cleaning kit, and the upper one was either as a weight-saver or to attach the wood to the lathe. The upper channel interfered with some work I was doing on the exterior, so I had to glue a bit of 3/4" dowel into place. I suspect the actual diameter is closer to 20mm, so reaming to 7/8" and using that size would have been a better choice.

 

What kind of finish are you looking to put on it?

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Thanks.

 

I don't know. Whatever matches the fore-end. I would call the color "hazel" I guess that is some of the advice I could use.

 

This picture looks closest to the color that my phone will do. post-17871-0-21047800-1321437566_thumb.jpg

 

Yeah, I thought about 20mm. all I know for sure was that a 3/4" drill bit seemed like a really good fit. I bet they weren't too particular about that tolerance as long as the kit would slide in there.

Edited by GunFun

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I got around to modifying for the hinge. I also decided to eliminate some more length at each end so now it is about warsaw length even with the extra hardware.

 

People have given me some good advice for the final finish in another thread, and I will take that advice when I get time.

 

In the meantime, AZG asked that I do a how-to for the ferrule.

 

The goal was to match the factory fit and contour. I was going to alter the drop at heel, but changed my mind. I think this is how it will stay.

 

I will let the pictures do most of the talking, because I have class tomorrow. I don't have any class right now.

  1. measured . drilled and reamed the hole for the mercury tube almost 3/4" deeper, using the same steps as before. By my measurements I should have been safe to go deeper if required.
  2. cut the butt end flush and flat with the end of the tube. I used a carpenter's clamp padded with cloth as a guide to make sure my cut stayed straight. I actually used a hacksaw, but it went quickly enough because the stock is mostly hollow. No splinters or burrs to speak of, but I dressed it with a file to make sure it was a flat plane.
  3. Then I screwed the buttpad on. It overhung a bit due to the removed stock, so I traced around with a scribe and then ground as above in the post.
  4. Profit: post-17871-0-28486800-1329122569_thumb.jpg
  5. Then I cut off the tang end, and about 5/8" from where it would meet the receiver. I kept my cut square to the bottom of the tang portion of the stock, not the vertical line. (That is not trustworthy because receivers are not 90*) Again I used the wood carpenter's clamp as a sort of mitre box to hold my cut square.
  6. Important for looks-- I made sure to offset my cut by 1/8" so that it looks right with the ferrule: Pics will explain:post-17871-0-19665100-1329122884_thumb.jpgpost-17871-0-70599200-1329122978_thumb.jpgpost-17871-0-38166600-1329122987_thumb.jpg

Next post for more pictures:

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8.

post-17871-0-97172100-1329123102_thumb.jpg

 

It's hard to see but the ferule tangs both have recesses in the stock to fit. The bottom one ended up with 3 #10 machine screws countersunk and is flush with the wood.

 

I simply cut it out of a strip of 1/8" aluminum. I intended steel, and it really should be. Steel would have been easier too. This is ok and will stay if it holds up, but if you do it use steel. I was just making do with what I had in my apartment so I could go play the next AM. Bends like this are easy to do in a vice, with a hammer or a monkey wrench and a couple of taps of a hammer. I did it with an anvil, because I don't have a proper vice. It helps immensely to have a line scribed at your bends and not do your final trim until after bending. It is easy to get an angle or uneven radius if you don't have the scribe as a visual cue.

 

I measured everything out with a square and did lots of fit checks as I went.

 

I used a dremel like a router or mill to make the recess for the bottom groove. I have a bit shaped like an end mill that is good for this sort of thing and used a scrap of aluminum as a straight edge as a safety to make sure I stayed inside my lines. I traced a socket that fit the curve in the upper grooves to make the radius on the tangs and the tang groove on the bottom. The fit is pretty good.

 

9. I bolted the ferrule to the tang with loctite and countersunk machine screws.

10: Slide stock between the tangs and put the screws in.

11: Tested it out at the range. Satisfactory.

Oddly the side to side wobble that people complain about with the ACE pushbutton wasn't there. Instead there is a little vertical play that seems to be slop in the hinge. It is the bolt acting as the axle could stand to be a shade bigger diameter. I can live with it. It is quite solid at the tang, but it needed all three screws in the bottom. Obviously the holes should be pilot drilled before you use screws.

 

post-17871-0-29460500-1329123109_thumb.jpgpost-17871-0-29544300-1329123114_thumb.jpg

 

I plan to paint it to match the receiver when I stain and finish the wood.

post-17871-0-79594000-1329123105_thumb.jpg

Edited by GunFun
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When you are happy with the aluminum part, bed it in with acraglass or 2 part epoxy. Nicely done!

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I was thinking of epoxy, but it is quite solid. I need to countersink one of the internal screws a bit more, because it is making a little gap too. I'll fill that if the gap doesn't go completely away. This does feel like the "right way" to do it. Once the piece is painted, it will feel more factory.

 

I find that the pushbutton wants to friction bind if there is any force side to side on the stock when pushing the button, whether it is open or closed. that is very frustrating to me.

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It's plenty strong on the wood, I would bed it to prevent the aluminum from stress cracking. Steel would not need it.

And again - NICELY done!

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Thanks.

 

I think it would be more worth while to remake the bracket in steel when I get a scrap. I will just use this one for now.

 

I need to pick up some bleach and stain and whatnot to get the wood to match. People have given me some advice I need to apply.

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Done!

 

post-17871-0-90116200-1333510063_thumb.jpg

post-17871-0-75277000-1333510069_thumb.jpg

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Apologies for the camera. The color is a graphite grey-- about like carbon fiber. In daylight the end grain flashes blue tint from certain angles.

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Update, I eventually did replace the Alu-mini-um ferrule with steel.

 

It's plenty strong on the wood, I would bed it to prevent the aluminum from stress cracking. Steel would not need it.

And again - NICELY done!

 

The issue is that tempered 60 series aluminum always gets stress fractures when you bend it. Bedding helps, but steel is lifetime strong, and the same effort as bedding the other. If there had been any gaps with the steel fitting, I would bed it with the syrupy syringe type epoxy for a snug fit.

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Thanks. Hopefully I will get some better pictures when I can borrow a better camera.

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Here is a link to the related wood finishing thread, with pics of the other buttpad I did, differently. http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?/topic/74112-advise-me-on-dyingstaining-wood-aka-stock-options/

 

The pad for the IZ 108 is a sorbecoil pad like this, and I bonded it to a spare steel buttplate, so it is completely reversible. http://www.ebay. com/itm/Sorbocoil-Sorbothane-Rubber-Recoil-Pad-Gun-Butt-Size-SMALL-Shotgun-Hunting-/230680949221?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b5a7f1e5#ht_4686wt_1037

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Update: I did make a steel ferrule to replace the aluminum one a while back. I also got a better camera, so I may try to get some better pics in here.

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For the handguard? I have a custom setup where I shaved the length so that the HG just can be rocked in behind the gas block. I cut a Bulgy '74 retainer into a "U" and it slides up taking up all the play and locking everything in place. an empty .22lr fills the cleaning rod hole locking it all together, and the bit of picatinny rail hides that. This is a whole lot more trouble than I would recommend for others. It is solid.

 

If I were you though, I would go with the KVAR retainer for their "RPK" handgrip set. I am sure the dinzag one is good too. Sadly none of these have the obvious built in bit of weaver rail on the tang that mounts to the gas block.

 

PM me if you are serious and I will scrounge up some old pms I did that show more detail on the fore grip for another guy.

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Somehow I failed to crosslink the very similar and useful thread that AZG started on the same topic. more than one way to skin felines. Other useful stuff in this thread is trouble shooting and mistakes, and plastic stock modification. http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?/topic/68931-ace-folderwoodstock-install/ Note, AZG did beautiful work, not the mistakes. These two threads kinda developed in parallel and reading them both gives you a more complete view.

 

Anyway, If you want to take on a project like this, you should read both threads for ideas. I do think my ferrule innovation makes for a stronger and better looking stock. Otherwise I haven't added much new.

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very nice..

 

we need t o g et a fund going to get you a new digi cam!! those pics are makin me dizzy!!!


ya i went the k var route...

 

thanks for the offer! i am runnin wood ak hand gaurds ( romanian donky dick) and removed most of the dick...but hte kvars have a gap.... oh well

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I actually got a cheapie shortly after making that thead so that I could do the muzzle break testing... Thanks for the thought though.

 

Where is the KVAR gap you are referring to?

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This is another way to add a bit of class:

 

 

 

Got to love those videos done by the Mr. Rogers of the firearms world.

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