My info says that a barrel pad is essential for heavy barrels - period. For those interested a barrel pad is an extension of the bedding into the barrel channel three or four inches ahead of the recoil lug recess. Gives some support so the barrel is not just "hanging".
Here is another topic - release agent. Brownells sells a good spray release agent but I have seen good old Johnson's Paste Wax on some benches of top rifle builders. Thin coat of paste wax, give it a nice buffing, works like a charm, just make sure it is everywhere. Not sure, maybe heating the action with the blow dryer softens the microscopic layer of wax and makes removal easier the next day??? Or does it simply make the metal shrink or expand or something so release is easier?
You rifle builder dudes, how is this for a breakdown of "degrees" of bedding.
.. minimum - involves recoil lug recess and tang area
.. basic - involves full action reciever/recess area - top only - no pad, no pillars
.. basic plus - pillars added, sidewalls optional, pad optional
..full action top and bottom - bottom metal bedded, pillars, sides, top from tang to just past recoil lug recess, barrel pad if necessary, likely for heavy barrels.
..McMillan method - full action top and bottom, pillars plus full length of barrel channel all continuous
Ian's method - bedding compound in stock bolts, trigger left on action and it becomes one with the receiver (for ever), Marine Tex'd hair on arm, two fingers welded together (makes it awkward giving guys the finger [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] ), action sitting in stock leaning 20 degrees to one side, maybe not level with stock line also, lost a stock bolt under my bench - it is never going to be found in that mess...
Way smarter to get a pro to do it if you are a clubfoot like me. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I never have tried it before, but I think I'll throw these rifles in the freezer tomarrow for a bit. Hit 'em with a heat gun and that should help break the bond a little more easily.
This synthetic M7 stock sure ate up the epoxy (JB Weld) with all the holes I drilled in it to lock it in. I ended up using Marine-Tex on the M70. The MT wasn't as stiff as I thought it would be, didn't really run though... nice stuff. With JB, you have time to have a cup a coffie and give it several minutes to thicken on up first. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
Do you guys mask your stocks off, or just clean the excess off with Q-Tips and cleaning patches etc?
I mask and clean. I'll tape off any visibale surface that I think the epoxy may come into contact with. Then when it squeezes out, I either trim it at that time, or let it set up and contour it with a razor knife.
I bed the minimum though. First the ring/lug. Then the tang the next day. Taper on the sides and bottom of the receiver so it's just sitting on the pillars, not squeezed into the stock. Not at all good for a hunting rifle, but fine for my match guns.
I have started sealing the barrel channel and all non bedded in-letting with black Dupont Centuri. Not sure if it's the best choice, as it seems that 99% IPA will rub it off the filler of the stocks. It looks great though. I haven't had any solvent on the paint yet, so I have no info on how it'll hold up.
Masking is a very good idea, some guys mask the entire outside of the stock if it is a customer's rifle. Also the modeling clay sold by Brownells is essential for filling screw, bolt holes, any recesses that you do not want bedding compound in. Also makes a dam up in front of the lug recess, stops bedding compound from moving forward into barrel channel, makes a nice clean line. Also a clay dam determines how big the barrel pad will be if you include a barrel pad ahead of the lug recess.
Amazing how easy Marine Tex is to clean up when it is wet, just a bit of spray-oil on a rag or Q-Tip and comes right off any surface. I have a pressurized can of Knight Oil and it is doing a great job.
Bottom line, for pillars, full action bedding, bottom metal bedding, barrel pad, plus sides of mag well - probably smarter to let a pro do it. Those guys have done so much that they have little tricks and methods that someone who has never done any bedding would not even think of.
Full action bedding top and bottom, plus pillars is the way to go with any stock, you can even hear the difference when you close the bolt and dry fire. Even pillars have to be individually sized for length, opened up inside, many pros make their own oversized pillars.
For basic bedding like tang and lug recess, even I can do that one.
Is it worth doing - big time. Without bedding composite stocks eventually compress from recoil, maybe also form overtightening stock bolts - then things shift, barrels touch channels etc.. Even HS aluminum bedding blocks pound a bit, plus they usually don't mate evenly anyhow. Good bedding job will fix that, makes you rifle better.
I never masked these two off, but if a guy was worried about gettin it all over the place, it's the safe way. I don't get in too much of a hurry with it though and find plenty of time to keep things wiped up nice. Masking off any checkering is probably a real wise move in any event, probably get tied up cleaning it out for a while if you got any in it.
I like to do the whole thing at once, partly because I don't want to screw with it a second time, and partly because I think it makes the best fit behind the recoil lug. Probably fine either way, but doing the tang afterward leaves the possibility of it being higher in the rear than it was when originally bedding in the recoil lug, this could keep it from contacting fully near the top of the lug where it's most critical.
Nice tip on the oil thing, Ian. I'll have to try that next time.
Rubbing with "0000" steel wool takes the wax skin back off and cleans the edges nicely after you get it all cleaned up and the epoxy is now semi-solid. Softens the edges and leaves a clean look to it, and won't remove the blueing, just polishes it up nice.
Brent, here is another tip just for you. Popsicle sticks. By them in the grocery store, they are essential for cleaning up over-runs. Use a razor knife to make various edges on the wooden sticks, maybe a 90 degree with a slight edge like a blade, maybe a really fine sharp V point, whatever shape will scrape nicely.
Also we find the waxed paper pads from Brownells are perfect for mixing up smaller batches of Marine Tex, just throw the whole thing away when finished, including any leftover Marine Tex.
I remember the popsicle stick tip from??, maybe earlier in this thread, good one too.
I had the little 2oz container of M-T, just poured the catalyst in and mixed it up on this one. Had to do the whole barrel channel and everything and didn't want to stop to mix more if I ended up short, which I did not. I had enough too do two rifles if the barrel channel didn't need to be done. I had a place order me the 12oz deal of Marine-Tex for the future, should last a while. I usually mix epoxies on a little piece of cardboard, easy to hang on to.
I never had the time or the pillars for the M70, later on I'll put them in if it doesn't get a new stock here shortly.
Here's my daughter's M7 before bedding.
My buddy Brian just brought over the latest fiberglass stock he popped from the mold last night, weighs in at 11oz! The epoxy resin is suppose to be 7 times stronger than fiberglass resin, lighter too. The one the other day was 15oz. Need a tactical, a thumbhole and a BR version now.