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Spacehog

Easy Inexpensive DIY Wood handguard for the Saiga 12

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I have been wanting standard AK wood handguards on my Saiga 12 for some time. I have read numerous threads on who makes furniture and who has the hardware to mount it. I really like the Dinzag solution, but I cannot bring myself to pay $350 for a cosmetic upgrade. Most of the custom furniture places aren't cheap either and wait times can be lenthly. This thread is for the DIY guys that want wood on the handguard of the S12.

 

I had an old set of VEPR rifle slant back furniture. I had been saving it because the wood grain was beautiful. As much as I did not want to separate the set, the hand guard has become part of my S12:

post-37530-0-22927600-1392704474_thumb.jpg

 

Interesting thing about VEPR handguards, they will almost fit on the s12 without much modification. Here is what I did:

From the back of the handguard (where it butts up to the receiver) measure forward 8.25" and cut off the front end of the handguard. This will line up with the front of the gas block. You'll be left with a piece like this:

post-37530-0-92374200-1392704966_thumb.jpg

 

The main areas on the inside of handguard that need to relieved of material is a channel in the front for the gas block attachment stud, the sides where the gas block will sit, and the rear retaining lip where it inserts into the receiver. (It has to be made thinner):

post-37530-0-70060400-1392705746_thumb.jpgpost-37530-0-36773400-1392705790_thumb.jpg

 

Once properly fitted, cut down the front sides to the angle you want:

post-37530-0-38800800-1392705930_thumb.jpg

 

Mark and drill hole to match up with the standard thread in the gas block. Once the hole is drilled, use the handguard sling plate and hole as a guide to trace around the sling plate. Mill out this area carefully with a Dremel with a flat grinding stone:

post-37530-0-34056500-1392706159_thumb.jpgpost-37530-0-40933200-1392706208_thumb.jpg

 

Once fit tested you can leave slab sided or use a drill press with a 1/4" straight router bit to cut vents. I use a fence and slid it along the fence to cut the vents:

post-37530-0-79273400-1392706733_thumb.jpgpost-37530-0-38722700-1392706755_thumb.jpg

 

The handguard looks and feels like it is supposed to be there. There are not any strange gaps or misfitments as seen from the top view:

post-37530-0-03211900-1392707008_thumb.jpg

 

It took me about two hours to convert the VEPR rifle handguard over. If you can convert a Saiga, you can easily do this. I still have to stain and finish the wood to bring out its grain and I will post some additional pics once that is done. Here is how it looks on the shottie as is:

post-37530-0-68785200-1392707349_thumb.jpgpost-37530-0-08185000-1392707387_thumb.jpgpost-37530-0-66864500-1392707424_thumb.jpg

 

Hopefully this will help someone seeking a similar look.

Edited by Spacehog
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Looks good but still doesn't accomplish the first sentence. It's a great workaround though and that wood is sexy.

Technically you are correct, still no AK handguards on it, but as much as I like the look, I just can't justfy the expense. Either way, I am happy how it turned out, and I don't have a penny into the project. The wood will look much better once it is stained and Spar Urethaned.

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You did a awesomw job. I tried this with a s308 wood set...lasted half of a range trip

What was the issue? Did you remove too much material to get it to fit?

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I figured as much. The VEPR handguard has a lot more meat in the base and much less inletting to do to get it to fit. It should hold up fine.

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Yea. I like the s308 stock though. Wish my buddy was able to make a mossberg stock adapter so i could of ran a new magpul stock

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p.s. I linked your forend thread at the end of my refinishing thread, along with AZG's good thread. 

 

Your method ends up with something more like the russian sporting style furniture that doesn't get exported to US than AK forend. It leaves a little more thickness than mine.

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p.s. I linked your forend thread at the end of my refinishing thread, along with AZG's good thread. 

 

Your method ends up with something more like the russian sporting style furniture that doesn't get exported to US than AK forend. It leaves a little more thickness than mine.

Thanks for mention. Actually it was threads like yours and AZG's that gave me the inspiration.

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I need some opinions from the forum. I cleaned up the handguard particularly around the venting, but I am having some issues with finishing it. Once stained, the wood almost has a reflective quality to it. From one angle it looks dark, almost like special walnut, from the opposite angle it looks much lighter. The pics really do not show the change to its fullest, but it is pretty distinct. In one sense it is pretty cool, almost like a paint that changes color from different perspectives, but honestly I do not know if I like the current color. I think the grain will stand out better with a lighter stain or finished natural. I have stained the handguard and have the first coat of spar urethane on it. The process I use requires three more coats of Spar Urethane with 72 hours and sanding in between coats. Here are some additional pics: focus on color as opposed to sheen of the finish (that will change with additional coats of urethane):

 

post-37530-0-54739100-1392871761_thumb.jpgpost-37530-0-76849400-1392871786_thumb.jpgpost-37530-0-00328800-1392871813_thumb.jpg

 

My go to color for AK orange was a combination of Minwax "Fruitwood" and "Early American". The kitchen dinette table I made sports this color below:

post-37530-0-60317300-1392871992_thumb.jpg

 

I think the color above would look great and really show the grain. The only issue is "Fruitwood" is no longer made by Minwax and has been replaced by "Gunstock" which sounds better in name but is more pink in color. Ironic...more masculine name...more fufu color.

 

 

If I am going to strip it and change the color, now is the time before I wait another 36 hours and finish out the top coat. What are your thoughts on color?

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That's some beautiful crazy grain!

 

I love the color in the first three pics.

 

Maybe reinforce the inside with poly and chopped fiberglass? I'd feel sick if it cracked.

 

The hardest thing, when learning how to work with polyurethane, is the dry-time. I'm not patient.

Edited by Sim_Player
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Well thus far it looks like it is a go for finishing out the top coat. Maybe it is bothering me that it is not a traditional Combloc color. I may reinforce it, but honestly it is really solid even without mounting. There is still a lot of wood along the bottom and sides. It may not hurt to acrylic glass bed it behind the gas block. I will look into it for sure.

Edited by Spacehog

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No problem brother. I use my Ipod4 for all my posts.

 

Frustrating, at times.

 

Ha! You're like me. I knew you'd fix that post! :)

Edited by Sim_Player

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Both Poly and Spar does require a lot of patience. And you are right, you have to give it time to fully cure before doing the next coat. I typically put three coats on within an hour of each other. Let it cure 72 hours. Sand. Repeat. Sand and repeat. It takes a while, but the finish you get is durable, hard, and smooth as glass. My first coats are semigloss, and the final is Satin. The final product is not too shiny, but looks deep and wet.

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I refinished three AK stock sets in poly.

 

That was a rough education.

 

Before that, my knowledge of working with urethane was in construction, where waiting wasn't a problem.

 

Don't let the color "put you off". It reminds me of early American "hardwood" furniture.

 

Looks great, so far. Keep us updated.

Edited by Sim_Player

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You did a awesomw job. I tried this with a s308 wood set...lasted half of a range trip

What was the issue? Did you remove too much material to get it to fit?

 

Then you did it wrong... or more likely the handguard was  BUGGERED up before you started...  I have put them on multiple shotties... NEVER had splitting

issues...

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So how much the hg cost? I missed that somewhere. That looks reLly good! I think it fits the overarching style.

The Vepr furniture set was given to me by a friend about a year ago. I helped him out with a firearm project and the set showed up unexpectedly in the mail as a "Thank you".

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You did a awesomw job. I tried this with a s308 wood set...lasted half of a range trip

What was the issue? Did you remove too much material to get it to fit?

Then you did it wrong... or more likely the handguard was BUGGERED up before you started... I have put them on multiple shotties... NEVER had splitting

issues...

All i did was cut it so the sling holes matched up, opened up the end by the gas block, re shaped the rear to fit in reciever. Hand sanded to fit. It was a tight fit. Maybe ill try again

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Leave the color as-is. It's beautiful and unique.

I should have the final coats of Urethane on Sunday night. I will post up pics of the final product.

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