DIY pillar bedding?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by mtelkhntr78, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. mtelkhntr78

    mtelkhntr78 Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought a new Remington 700 LSS in 257 Wby. My plans so far are adjusting the X-mark trigger and of course developing and handload(s) for it.
    But like everyone here I want to make it as accurate as possible. So I am pondering Pillar bedding it. I had a couple of questions.

    1. Is this something I can do? I see Brownells has a couple of kits for doing this and I was wondering if there are any folks that had sucess or horror stories of doing a pillar bedding on your own for the first time?

    2. Should the pressure tab on the fore-end of the stock stay or go? I have read alot about them helping with whippy barrels. But also read alot about removing them and making the barrel free-floating. Thoughts?

    I havent shot the gun yet but I am thinking I want to get all the details of accuracy squared away before I start my load development. Everything I have read about bedding it seems pretty straight forward but there are always "Surprises" that pop upon first time projects like this. I am not afraid to try it I just dont want to ding this gun up while I adjust to the learning curve.
     
  2. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    There are lots of guys who have done a bedding job at home.

    Some did a great job.

    Some did ok.

    Then there are the guys who later showed up at the GS shop with an action glued to a stock.

    It's all about the prep work and the procedure.

    Bedding is not easy, nor is it difficult. There are a series of steps that should be observed and followed to the letter. Deviate from that and all bets are off. So be honest with yourself. if you have some experience/knowledge with resins and a good mechanical aptitude, you will probably be ok. If you don't, then perhaps its a good idea to leave enough alone until you can afford to have someone else do it.

    If it's worth doing twice, then its worth doing right the first time. If there's doubt, take it to someone who knows (and by knows I mean KNOWS) what they are doing.

    Good luck

    Chad

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009

  3. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    mtelkhntr78

    Do a search for "pillar bedding" , there were several good posts about this last year.
    I have had good success using Richard Franklin's method, link below.

    Dave

    Stress-Free Pillar Bedding
     
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    +1
    Also don't expect it to look as good as Chads bedding the first time.

    I have bedded many rifles and This is the best bedding job I have ever seen !!!!!!

    Do I hear an "a-men"

    Beautiful work Chad.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  5. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    Amen...............JohnnyK.
     
  6. mtelkhntr78

    mtelkhntr78 Well-Known Member

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    Well the kit is on the way from "Score High" Gunsmithing. I am also renting the jig for drilling the stock from them as well. I talked with one of the GS and he gave me some pretty good confidence in doing it myself. They have some great customer service so far and I am pretty hopefull of a nice finished product.
    Chad that is a beautiful bedding. I am not fool enough to think I will acomplish that kind of finish. Basically I will call it a sucess if I dont A. Glue the barrel to the stock B. Ruin the finish C. Screw up the drilling the holes

    I will keep you posted on how it goes if anyone is interested.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  7. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    10 Commandments to bedding:

    1. Epoxy waits for no one.
    2. It will go places you never intended so don't be shy with the tape and clay
    3. Release agents can screw you so:
    a. shake the can like you have Parkinson disease
    b. apply the wax carefully to ensure it has really stuck to the surfaces you don't want to glue.
    4. Make sure you have no mechanical locks anywhere. This means the action has to be either on centerline or slightly above to avoid the stock mechanically locking the action in place. Make damn sure you pack the full length of the action with clay. "Klean clay" from brownells is by far the best stuff to use. Don't cheap out on the stuff sold at a craft shop.

    5. Warm your resins first and mix them till your hands hurt. The chemical reaction depends on the esters and resins having complete contact with one another. Epoxy cures, it does not dry. When you warm it up, it'll also flow better and this avoids problems with porosity and trapped air.

    6. Rehearse your process so you don't get out of sequence.

    7. Trial fit everything before you ever mix the resin

    8. Double/triple check all taped/clay'd/released surfaces

    9. Be aware that you are dealing with a time sensitive item. Epoxy has a fairly specific time span (pot life, or open clamp time) to work within. Understand that heating it will reduce this time, sometimes significantly depending on the brand/type of resin system.

    10. Use good work habits. Cleaning cured epoxy off of tools and gun stocks is ranks right up there with invasive dentistry.

    Good luck.

    Chad
     
  8. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Is there an advantage to installing pillars if you have a good bedding job? All the pillars do is center the action screws.
     
  9. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    Not true.

    Before I answer it, lets look at what is really going on.

    You have a pair of screws holding the action in the stock (in some cases you have as many as four). In most cases it's also holding a hinged floor metal or at least a trigger guard.

    If it's a Remington its a 1/4-28 thread pitch. If you sit and take the time to do the math to calculate the compressive/tensile loads generated, its quite remarkable. Its over a thousand lbs when torqued to around 40inch lbs.

    A stock (wood especially) is only going to tolerate that kind of tensile load for so long. It'll eventually yield and this will result in compressed fibers. Now the stock is a sponge and the screw that was tight today isn't as tight tomorrow or the day after. Now your chasing your rifle with a torque wrench instead of enjoying it cause shot groups are wandering around the paper like Bedouin tribesman.

    A pillar (properly installed) resolves this issue when used in conjunction with a good bedding job. Just the same as pillars (footers) support the load on a concrete slab that a house is built upon.

    Also, FWIW a properly pillar bedded rifle will result in the screw only touching the floor metal and the threads in the receiver. At no time should it contact the pillar/stock as this will end up being a secondary recoil lug. That's bad for accuracy.
     
  10. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    OK Chad; but there is little or no diminished tensile strength in a synthetic stock, so why bother with pillars in those???
     
  11. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    There are those who argue whether pillars are needed. I advocate their use personally.

    A very dear friend and mentor of mine that I admire greatly is Middleton Tompkins. Mid doesn't see the need for pillars and he even says he likes the fact that a non pillar bedded action compresses into the stock when he tightens the screws to it. Mid has forgotten more about winning national events than 99% of us will ever know so it's tough to argue with him. He's been kicking peoples asses since the late 1950's. His daughter Sheri was the world Palma champion in 2003.

    I'm still not convinced and my example is that I've used them in rifles that shoot in 1000 yard Palma matches, Olympic 3p rifles, and in Silhouette rifles. All these guns have done equally well during marquee events.

    They certainly aren't hurting anything.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  12. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    Chad just curious and I have to know. Looking at the pic of the palma rifle's bedding, and knowing that you have some serious cnc skills, did you do some re-inletting after bedding? I am just learning how to do bedding and have looked at yours several times as something to shoot for. I won't thing anything less of the job, it is wonderful in any case, but some of those lines just seem too perfect to have been poured. Did CNC play any role after the bedding cured?
     
  13. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

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    You bet it does.

    Hey, I'm not born with some magical gift for doing this.

    I'm an inherently lazy person and I use that to my advantage every chance I get. CNC programming is a crucial element to my gunmaking. I have no shame in admitting that.

    So, rest assured that every single feature present that suggests "that's just too nice to be done by hand" is in fact done with a CNC. I have THOUSANDS of hours worth of programming for just about any action out there. The Nesika stuff alone took almost a year to do.

    The really kinky part of this is the variable system I implemented. These are not cookie cutter, "one size fits all" programs. Each action is mapped out and the critical dimensions are then used to drive the program. Same with barrel channels. Just cause I didn't do it with a file or dremel tool doesn't mean it isn't still fitted properly.

    My floor metal inlets are the best example of this I think. No bedding anywhere. All 1:1 machined fit.

    The process is pretty cool IMO.

    Thanks for the interest.

    Chad
     
  14. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    Chad,
    Pretty cool IMO also. Thanks. Once again that is the best freakin bedding job I have ever seen, it is perfection.