Gunsmithing Bedding question

stello1001

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    ORIGINAL POST DOWN BELOW
    **EDITED TO ADD**

    Ok so I think you guys pretty much convinced me to go all out and install pillars. There is actually a very close family friend with a drill press and so long as he lets me use it, I'm sure I can get the holes drilled in perfectly square.

    I think some of you mentioned drilling the stock for the pillars with some bit of extra clearance so this makes me more comfortable. My action is going to go into the stock with the pillars and screws already on it so the pillars will be square (accidentally bedding pillars not squared was my initial concern) to the action regardless and the bedding compound will fill whatever clearance was in the stock on the pillar holes.

    Having said that, I still have some concern. The front action screw is right on the integrated recoil lug. This means the pillar is going to sit deep in the recoil lug inletted part of the stock. Will this be problematic or cause inconveniences in the bedding process? Maybe I'm just overthinking it.

    I plan to pretty much do it the way @iceng described. Drill out holes for pillars in stock, drop the action in with pillars and screws attached to it, and let the bedding do its thing. I'm just trying to make sure I can prepare for anything different that this particular type of action may require (being that it's front action screw is where it's at).





    ORIGINAL POST STARTS HERE:


    Hello all,

    I will be taking on a project very soon. I will bed a howa mini into a boyds laminate. I'm very self-inclined to work on things myself and enjoy it for the most part.

    This is really just going to be a budget build for hunting texas deer inside 200 yards and to be used as a truck gun. I also don't have a drill press to make pillar holes perfectly straight into the stock. For these two reasons, I will not be using pillars.

    I feel confident to do the whole bedding myself. One of my biggest concern is putting the screws in. I plan to plug the action screw holes on the action with a bit of play-doh after I've applied some release agent in them. However, when I set my barreled action into the stock, I'm sure some of my bedding compound is going to flow into the screw holes on the stock. So long as my screws are covered in release agent, I will be perfectly fine to do it this way?

    And what release agent have you guys found to work best?
     
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    mcameron

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    for release agent, i just use johnson paste wax.....i put a thin coat on the receiver, and i coat the screws and screw holes heavily.

    i press the action into the epoxy, then i use a q-tip coated in WD40 to clean out the screw holes of any excess epoxy that spilled in, then i run the screws in.......i dont usually tighten them fully, i just get them a few turns in, then hold the action in place with surgical tubing wrapped around the action/ stock.
     

    KnowNothing256

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    Hello all,

    I will be taking on a project very soon. I will bed a howa mini into a boyds laminate. I'm very self-inclined to work on things myself and enjoy it for the most part.

    This is really just going to be a budget build for hunting texas deer inside 200 yards and to be used as a truck gun. I also don't have a drill press to make pillar holes perfectly straight into the stock. For these two reasons, I will not be using pillars.

    I feel confident to do the whole bedding myself. One of my biggest concern is putting the screws in. I plan to plug the action screw holes on the action with a bit of play-doh after I've applied some release agent in them. However, when I set my barreled action into the stock, I'm sure some of my bedding compound is going to flow into the screw holes on the stock. So long as my screws are covered in release agent, I will be perfectly fine to do it this way?

    And what release agent have you guys found to work best?
    I use headless studs for the action screws. Thread them into the action with a healthy coat of release agent, then I slot them into the action screw holes in the stock as I press the action into the bedding compound. I drill out the spillage into the holes after I pop the action free, if you time it right you can do it by hand with a drill bit.

    I use Kiwi wax, and buff the action (and barrel, if barreled) thoroughly after applying. You only need a microscopic layer of release agent on there, but I’m with @mcameron in that the screws get a good bit more wax.
     

    iceng

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    Devcon and Hornady one shot lube as a release agent.

    As for pillars. You DONT want to drill your holes tight. You want clearance.

    Howa are M6 screws. Go get some spare flat head bolts. Get some pillars. If your pillar is 10mm diameter, make your hold in the stock 11 or 11.5mm.

    Spray your action with one-shot. Put the pillar and screw onto the stock, tighten lightly. Put some wax or kids plasticine into the screw head. Devcon in the stock, install the action with the pillars on it. They will be absolutely square to the action, which is exactly what you want.

    I don't have any pics from previous jobs I've done, but I've done this like 100+ times. Works great.

    I make my pillars marginally longer, and machine them flat after for a perfect fit.

    I often wrap one or 2 layers of tape on the screw, then put it into the pillar, so it's perfectly central and not touching the sides of the pillar. Super important !
     

    stello1001

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    Devcon and Hornady one shot lube as a release agent.

    As for pillars. You DONT want to drill your holes tight. You want clearance.

    Howa are M6 screws. Go get some spare flat head bolts. Get some pillars. If your pillar is 10mm diameter, make your hold in the stock 11 or 11.5mm.

    Spray your action with one-shot. Put the pillar and screw onto the stock, tighten lightly. Put some wax or kids plasticine into the screw head. Devcon in the stock, install the action with the pillars on it. They will be absolutely square to the action, which is exactly what you want.

    I don't have any pics from previous jobs I've done, but I've done this like 100+ times. Works great.

    I make my pillars marginally longer, and machine them flat after for a perfect fit.

    I often wrap one or 2 layers of tape on the screw, then put it into the pillar, so it's perfectly central and not touching the sides of the pillar. Super important !

    This is great info. And as much as I think bedding with pillars would be more beneficial, I'm thinking of just going ahead without them. I don't think I can be careful enough to drill perfectly square through the stock.
     

    iceng

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    You don't need to. I often open the stock holes with a round rat tail file. The bedding compound fills the gaps, which is what you want.

    Pillars DONT help accuracy. They help prevent over torquing and squashing the stock. Over the years, a wood stock will crush. So each hunting season you very lightly tighten the screw an extra 1/8th of a turn. Well a few years later you have crushed the wood, and the bottom metal doesn't fit properly because you squashed it. Pillars prevent this.

    Pillars can be installed at a later date, you don't need to install them, but it does help to do it all in one shot.
     

    KnowNothing256

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    I’m actually with OP, I’d skip the pillars until you can get nicely squared-up holes drilled. Now, you can get a drill press from Harbor Freight pretty cheap, and I made a jig out of a couple short sections of 2x8 and some hardware to be able to hold the stock in place while I drill. It’s a pain in the butt to get it centered up, but since it’s only two holes it’s worth it to me.

    I’m with OP, not sure I’d install pillars if I could only hand-drill the holes. I get the point that it doesn’t have to be perfect, but if something goes sideways I’d hate to have a ruined stock.
     

    spife7980

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    I say the sloppier the pillar holes the better. Get some chewed up woood for the bedding compound to bite onto. If it too tight the compound will squeegee off the pillars and not be there to hold them solid.
     
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    308pirate

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    This is great info. And as much as I think bedding with pillars would be more beneficial, I'm thinking of just going ahead without them. I don't think I can be careful enough to drill perfectly square through the stock.

    I would listen to @iceng on the pillars.

    I think a smarter course of action is to pay someone with the right tools to drill the pillar holes for you, then you do everything else. It doesn't have to be a gunsmith. Any halfway competent small machine shop or furniture maker/wood working shop should be able to do it. The flat bedding surface makes a great indexing location to level the stock in a vise.

    If you go to a machine shop, you can take the pillars with you and have them faced off to the correct lenght while you're at it

    Doing a half-assed job because you don't have all the tools/skills is dumb when you can outsource the parts of the project that you can't do.
     
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    powdahound76

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    Sloppy hole?
    Shim it with ham. 😉
    Protip from a guy with a chronically undersized pillar.

    Wait, whats this about?…..🤣

    Yes. Pillars in wood stock.
    Use appropriate limiter for bolts.
    Seen more than one guy ask about it and had buggered a stock from his “tighter is good”.
     
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    supercorndogs

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    I like McLube mold release. You spray it on, and it leaves a nice smooth finish.

    The pillar holes can be fairly straight and work fine. Because you would bolt your pillars to your action, then apply glue and put it in the stock. Bolting them to the action is going to keep the pillars straight.

    You can use a glue that expands as it drys on the pillars to make sure they lock in.

    I agree with other posters, if you are not comfortable leave the pillars out. Maybe get a cheap stock off flea bay, and practice on it.
     

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    smoothy8500

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    As for pillars. You DONT want to drill your holes tight. You want clearance.

    Install the action with the pillars on it. They will be absolutely square to the action, which is exactly what you want.



    I often wrap one or 2 layers of tape on the screw, then put it into the pillar, so it's perfectly central and not touching the sides of the pillar. Super important !
    9 out of 10 suggested pillars..... If the OP wants to ignore this valuable information due to an irrational fear of imperfectly drilled holes, then so be it.
     

    Baron23

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    I think a smarter course of action is to pay someone with the right tools to drill the pillar holes for you
    This was my first thought....if you don't live at the bottom of Death Valley, I would think it would be very easy to find a shop (or friend if you have more friends than me! haha) to drill the pillar holes.
     

    stello1001

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    Ok so I think you guys pretty much convinced me to go all out and install pillars. There is actually a very close family friend with a drill press and so long as he lets me use it, I'm sure I can get the holes drilled in perfectly square.

    I think some of you mentioned drilling the stock for the pillars with some bit of extra clearance so this makes me more comfortable. My action is going to go into the stock with the pillars and screws already on it so the pillars will be square to the action (accidentally bedding pillars not squared was my initial concern) regardless and the bedding compound will fill whatever clearance was in the stock on the pillar holes.

    Having said that, I still have some concern. The front action screw is right on the integrated recoil lug. This means the pillar is going to sit deep in the recoil lug inletted part of the stock. Will this be problematic or cause inconveniences in the bedding process? Maybe I'm just overthinking it.

    I plan to pretty much do it the way @iceng described. Drill out holes for pillars in stock, drop the action in with pillars and screws attached to it, and let the bedding do its thing. I'm just trying to make sure I can prepare for anything different that this particular type of action may require (being that it's front action screw is where it's at).
     

    Wannashootit

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    There is actually a very close family friend with a drill press and so long as he lets me use it, I'm sure I can get the holes drilled in perfectly square.
    Wrong approach.
    Use a piloted aircraft counterbore. It'll follow the existing action screw holes in the stock.
    No need fuck with trying to get a stock in drill press vise perfectly set up- you can chuck the counterbore in a cordless drill and it'll work just fine.
     

    KnowNothing256

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    Wrong approach.
    Use a piloted aircraft counterbore. It'll follow the existing action screw holes in the stock.
    No need fuck with trying to get a stock in drill press vise perfectly set up- you can chuck the counterbore in a cordless drill and it'll work just fine.
    I’ve been reminded by this thread that I’ve done this, works just fine. I recommend coming at the action screw hole from both sides, it’ll mismatch a hair in the middle but that’s better than a shredded exit wound on the far side of the stock.
     

    iceng

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    If you are really worried, get some cheap modelling clay. Use that as "bedding compound" and lots of lube on the action. Test fit to see how things move and flow.

    You are over thinking it. You are gonna rock this and do well.
     

    308pirate

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    Having said that, I still have some concern. The front action screw is right on the integrated recoil lug. This means the pillar is going to sit deep in the recoil lug inletted part of the stock. Will this be problematic or cause inconveniences in the bedding process? Maybe I'm just overthinking it.

    You are overthinking it.

    One other reminder. There is an often repeated statement when it comes to bedding: don't bed around the front and sides of the recoil lug. That only applies to actions with recoil lugs that have no taper (like Remingtons/R 700 clones/Winchester M70s), to avoid locking them inside the bedding.

    Howa recoil lugs, as you know, are heavily tapered at the front. That taper guarantees that the action will never get locked in the bedding compound so bed 100% around the lug: front, back, sides, and bottom.
     
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    Ranchhand

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    I drilled out for my pillars with a cordless Dewalt hand drill. Really ugly.
    After bedding was complete you couldn't tell unless you pulled it all apart.
    Rifle shoots great too.