Gunsmithing KMW loggerhead (terry cross) DIY cheek riser hardware install

Nathan Gravitt

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Jan 23, 2018
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I haven’t seen much on this so I figured I would post. I have been wanting to install one of these cheek riser hardware kits for sometime now. I purchased the hardware from Stocky’s for $50 plus the ride. This is the same hardware that some top stock companies use, including Manners. I have done quite a few of the Mathew’s cheek riser style cheek risers that mount by simply drilling 2 holes in the stock but I wanted something a little bit better. I have a Savage FCP that came with an HS Precision stock. I used my manners T4A as a reference and laid out some painters tape on the stock and drew out the design I liked. The top piece is 1 5/8” deep(this was what I measured my manners cheek riser to be.) once laid out, I simply cut out the shape on my bandsaw by hand. I suppose it would have been better to make some sort of jig but it worked out pretty close to square. I then put the stock in my gun rest(a bipod would also work) and leveled the stock from left to right across the barrel channel. I then checked to see how level my cut was. It was about 1/16” from being level. I started with a block of wood and some 150 grit sandpaper. This was time consuming so I got out my orbital sander and some 60 grit. Once I made the sides level, I then dropped back to 150 grit and made sure the long edge was perfectly flat. Again using the flat block of wood and sandpaper. Once I was satisfied, I moved to the front and rear sides and sanded them flat as well. Once I had leveled and flatted the stock on all 3 sides, I fit the cheek piece on top to see how it fit. I followed the same process as before to get all 3 sides flat and smooth. Once I was satisfied with the fitment, I simply rounded the sharp edges with 150 grit sandpaper by hand and wiped down with soap and water. The hardware has not arrived yet. I am on vacation next week but I will continue this thread when I get back from vacation. I’ll be happy to answer any questions
 

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Wannashootit

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I suppose it would have been better to make some sort of jig
I used to do quite a bit of stock work (I used Graco hardware); being off just 1/16" is pretty impressive freehand without a holding "fixture".
Simple "jig" is just a block of 1x, that gets screwed to the butt of the stock after removing the recoil pad (using the same screw holes). This serves to keep the top line of the stock perfectly at a right angle to the table, and I'd tape a shim block under the stock ahead of the comb (tang area usually) to hold the stock parallel. Then all you need to concentrate on is keeping your cut lines straight...

Do you have a mill to do the cutout work for the hardware after you do the epoxy fill of the "hollows"?
 

Nathan Gravitt

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Jan 23, 2018
144
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Lynchburg, Va
I used to do quite a bit of stock work (I used Graco hardware); being off just 1/16" is pretty impressive freehand without a holding "fixture".
Simple "jig" is just a block of 1x, that gets screwed to the butt of the stock after removing the recoil pad (using the same screw holes). This serves to keep the top line of the stock perfectly at a right angle to the table, and I'd tape a shim block under the stock ahead of the comb (tang area usually) to hold the stock parallel. Then all you need to concentrate on is keeping your cut lines straight...

Do you have a mill to do the cutout work for the hardware after you do the epoxy fill of the "hollows"?
Yes, that would work better. I do not have a mill. I have a large drill press. The material is soft enough that I think it would be “safe enough” to use the drill press as a mill. I am debating on just using hand tools if their is enough interest. Just so the DIYers can see that it can be done with basic tools. If their isn’t any interest, I will go the drill press route.
 

Wannashootit

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^^^
Without a mill, I don't think I'd go that route. If you use a "soft" enough filler, I agree you could probably do it with a drill press using an end mill without too much side load. Even then, you'd need an X-Y type vise to slide the stock around on the table like a milling table. Rather than fill in the voids only to machine them out, I'd go a different direction.

Given the stock and your comb are already hollowed out, were I you I'd consider laying up the two parts into wet epoxy. Hollow out more if needed. For the comb, I'd fill it to the level needed on which to place the base, let it set up enough to lay in the base- then just fill in more around it. Done.

Same for the block that goes into the stock, fill to the level needed so that the top of the block sets flush with the top of the stock. Let set up, lay in the block (probably tape across the bottom so no epoxy can ooze up into the holes if needed), then just fill around it until flush. Coat the tops of the two sections with release agent just like you would bedding an action, if you get any epoxy where you don't want it it'll clean up easy.

Not clear how their floating clamp system works, so not sure how that would affect whether this method would work.

Just my $.02. Good luck with it.
 

Nathan Gravitt

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Jan 23, 2018
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^^^
Without a mill, I don't think I'd go that route. If you use a "soft" enough filler, I agree you could probably do it with a drill press using an end mill without too much side load. Even then, you'd need an X-Y type vise to slide the stock around on the table like a milling table. Rather than fill in the voids only to machine them out, I'd go a different direction.

Given the stock and your comb are already hollowed out, were I you I'd consider laying up the two parts into wet epoxy. Hollow out more if needed. For the comb, I'd fill it to the level needed on which to place the base, let it set up enough to lay in the base- then just fill in more around it. Done.

Same for the block that goes into the stock, fill to the level needed so that the top of the block sets flush with the top of the stock. Let set up, lay in the block (probably tape across the bottom so no epoxy can ooze up into the holes if needed), then just fill around it until flush. Coat the tops of the two sections with release agent just like you would bedding an action, if you get any epoxy where you don't want it it'll clean up easy.

Not clear how their floating clamp system works, so not sure how that would affect whether this method would work.

Just my $.02. Good luck with it.
Yep, that’s the route I was going. I already have Devcon on hand. I definitely don’t want any part of milling that with a drill press
 

Wannashootit

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TreyMeTrey

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Jun 6, 2018
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I haven’t seen much on this so I figured I would post. I have been wanting to install one of these cheek riser hardware kits for sometime now. I purchased the hardware from Stocky’s for $50 plus the ride. This is the same hardware that some top stock companies use, including Manners. I have done quite a few of the Mathew’s cheek riser style cheek risers that mount by simply drilling 2 holes in the stock but I wanted something a little bit better. I have a Savage FCP that came with an HS Precision stock. I used my manners T4A as a reference and laid out some painters tape on the stock and drew out the design I liked. The top piece is 1 5/8” deep(this was what I measured my manners cheek riser to be.) once laid out, I simply cut out the shape on my bandsaw by hand. I suppose it would have been better to make some sort of jig but it worked out pretty close to square. I then put the stock in my gun rest(a bipod would also work) and leveled the stock from left to right across the barrel channel. I then checked to see how level my cut was. It was about 1/16” from being level. I started with a block of wood and some 150 grit sandpaper. This was time consuming so I got out my orbital sander and some 60 grit. Once I made the sides level, I then dropped back to 150 grit and made sure the long edge was perfectly flat. Again using the flat block of wood and sandpaper. Once I was satisfied, I moved to the front and rear sides and sanded them flat as well. Once I had leveled and flatted the stock on all 3 sides, I fit the cheek piece on top to see how it fit. I followed the same process as before to get all 3 sides flat and smooth. Once I was satisfied with the fitment, I simply rounded the sharp edges with 150 grit sandpaper by hand and wiped down with soap and water. The hardware has not arrived yet. I am on vacation next week but I will continue this thread when I get back from vacation. I’ll be happy to answer any questions
Nice job.Much better than I could ever do.
 

Nathan Gravitt

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Jan 23, 2018
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Lynchburg, Va
Nice job.Much better than I could ever do.
Probably not. I showed the pictures of the initial cut so that everyone can see how ratty it looked. I think sometimes people over complicate things to make it seem like things are harder than they really are. Just took time and a little patience with the sanding part.
 
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CNJarvis

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You’re braver than I am yet. Looks like it will turn out well. Curious to know what width bandsaw blade you used?
 

Nathan Gravitt

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Back from vacation. I marked out the top piece with a razor blade. I just scored around it once I centered it up. I have a small laminate router that I put a 1/4” bit into. I set the depth of the router to match the hardware depth. I then took off about 1/8” per pass until I got it right to the line. I then fine tuned any adjustments with 150 grit sandpaper. Test fit, and sand, until it is just right.

The next step was to inlet the stock for the bottom metal. I added spray foam in the stock to fill some of the voids. I am trying not to add too much weight. (Although this stock is already pretty heavy) I had to wait for this to dry before continuing. It’s very important that when the stock top piece closes all the way, it is perfectly aligned with the bottom portion of the stock. Measure and mark the center of the post as this is the most critical. You also need to make sure that the top posts have enough clearance in the stock so that the cheek riser will close all the way. The inletting for this was made a little more difficult since their was a void already there. After making sure everything was aligned, I drilled the holes to clearence the top post and inletted the stock as needed using the same process and tools that I used for the top piece. That’s about all I had time for after work today. I will try to post tomorrow.
 

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Nathan Gravitt

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Ok, I feel like this is the most critical step. Drilling the hole through the stock. I layed out the stock on both sides and drilled a 9/16” hole from both sides. The hardware is 1/2”. After drilling, test fit the hardware. As a side note, I decided to recess the hardware 1/16” so there would be not clearance issues. I would recommend just making it flush. Recessed would probably work if your stock does not have voids but it made it a pain to fill in around the hardware.

With the lower hardware in place, I double checked the the cheek piece would fit. After confirming fit, you will need to epoxy the lower hardware in place. I used devcon because of the recesses around it but I would probably just use a 5 minute 2 part epoxy if the inletting was exact. As you can see, the devcon didn’t fill all the voids since I had to work it in 2 different directions
 

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Nathan Gravitt

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The last step was to bondo any voids. After taping everything up, I bondoed any voids, and then hand sanded with a block. I then primed and painted black. I plan on doing a camo sponge job that I will post when I finish
 

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Nathan Gravitt

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Finally got everything finished up. I wanted to show pictures all along the way. Hopefully it may encourage some of you to go ahead and try it!
If I had it to do over again I would have made sure that the bottom hardware was flush with the stock rather than trying to recess it. Also, the bottom hardware needed to have been located about a 16th of an inch further towards the rear for a perfect fit. I could have done one more coat of Bondo to make things absolutely perfect but I knew I was going to put a camo paint job it would hide any imperfections . More than likely I will never have the cheek piece fully down. I was happy with the result.

This was more of a “ it’s not that hard“ post, then a tutorial. I did learn a few things along the way. Feel free to ask questions. I am by no means an expert but if I can do it so can you. And probably save yourself about $300-$350 on a stock
 

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