Preparing to epoxy bed my stock; two questions...

Joeymac

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Feb 21, 2019
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I’m seeing conflicting procedures all over the place. After I install the action into the epoxied stock and clean up the excess goo on the outside of the rifle should I:

A) pop out the action just after the epoxy has set up but isn’t fully cured (so I can clean up the inside and edges easily with an exacto knife) and then reinstall the action to finish curing?

OR

B) let it fully cure to rock hard for 24hrs or whatever and then pop it out and deal with clean up?

Also, what torque should I put on the action screws for the cure?
If it matters, I read that ProBed 2000 can be kind of a thicker/pasty epoxy. I do intend to wrap it liberally with bungee cords along the action length to maintain even compression during cure.

Background - I’ve never bedded a rifle, but I looked at a bunch of tutorials and YouTube videos. I’m using ProBed 2000 single rifle kit (epoxy resin, release agent, & clay). I’ve taped up the stock and prepped the inlet by lightly removing any paint/primer with a sanding wheel anywhere I expect bedding to cradle the receiver. I now have pillar contact with the receiver, still have good function check (mag feeds rounds), and the barrel is floated & centered in the channel with about .050” clearance all around.

It’s a Grayboe stock. Pretty light at about 28oz, decently rigid, good looking & feeling, not too expensive and the wait wasn’t bad. Overall I like it. But the way they make thier stocks (almost entirely by molding into pretty much the final shape with no inlet machining or cleanup) left a bit to be desired. It wasn’t a bad fit persay, as it was snug with almost no play... but the contact was not very uniform at all with a few very high spots & lumps and no pillar contact (not even close). A thick nonuniform painted inlet wasn’t helping. After fit checks I could see it was really only making contact in a couple of small patches where it burnished and smoothed the paint from rubbing. Plus there’s a few small molding voids and one actually uncured spot (soft, like dried toothpaste) right at the ledge of the recoil lug inlet shoulder of all places, lol. I’m not too worried about these perceived issues since was sort of anticipating bedding both the stock and scope rail on this build anyways and bedding well should cure all of it.
 

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Supersubes

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    I pop them out after full cure. Being your first time, id advise the same. You should have zero torque on action screws. Use bedding studs (long screws with no heads) for alignment purposes. Install them before the action goes in the stock. Wrap the tops of them up near the action with tape to further center the screw in the hole, and to prevent squish going down the hole. Test fit everything before you start laying in bedding. You then remove the studs from the bottom after cure, and before removing the action from the cured bedding.
     

    Ledzep

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  • Jun 9, 2009
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    Similar story as the above from me. I put two 'bands' of masking tap on the barrel to center/free float it in the barrel channel. Number of wraps depends on how it fits. Then I will either use bolts/all-thread with tape wrapped on them (to center in the stock holes/pillars) or the action screws just snug, and use zip ties to secure the action to the stock.
     

    TRPrecision

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    I pop them out after full cure. Being your first time, id advise the same. You should have zero torque on action screws. Use bedding studs (long screws with no heads) for alignment purposes. Install them before the action goes in the stock. Wrap the tops of them up near the action with tape to further center the screw in the hole, and to prevent squish going down the hole. Test fit everything before you start laying in bedding. You then remove the studs from the bottom after cure, and before removing the action from the cured bedding.
    Exactly the answer I was planning to type. Using the studs is almost a must. If you drop the action into the wet bedding material and then install action screws it is highly likely you will push some of the epoxy up into the action. Not a good thing to have happen at all...
     

    Surly

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    You might get more feedback if you posted in the Armory forum...
     

    Joeymac

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    Feb 21, 2019
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    ... Wrap the tops of them up near the action with tape to further center the screw in the hole, and to prevent squish going down the hole...

    Wow, that’s a good idea. I watched like 10 YouTube video and none mentioned this. I was curious how I was going to avoid epoxy in the threads of the action, too.

    I had been planning on waxing the action screws then rubbing clay into the threads on the screws and making sure I engaged the screw threads in the receiver holes before smooshing epoxy - the clay in the threads would keep epoxy out... then tighten the screws just finger tight.

    But using longer screws sounds like a much better idea. Hopefully I can find some longer 1/4-28 studs/screws locally.
     
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    Joeymac

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    Feb 21, 2019
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    well, it came out pretty decent considering I’ve never done this. The bedding goes about a half inch past the lug, but it’s mostly for looks - I left the whole barrel floated with a couple wraps of tape at the chamber end. There’s a bubble or two and it didn’t come out glass smooth - still pretty smooth but the brush strokes from the paste wax seems to have imprinted. But I can drop the action into place and the fit is still tight enough on its own that I can pick it back up and the stock assembly stays stuck to the action.

    That ProBed-2000 stuff is THICK, but I could see something thinner being really messy. Even as thick as it was there was still a bunch of stuff that oozed down into the stock inlet that had to be cut out. Then I trimmed the edges with a razor and just touched up the edges wherever the white resin was showing with a black sharpie.
     

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    Elite_KG

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    Not bad for your first time. Good job!

    You can avoid bubbles by skimming epoxy directly on your action before you drop it into the stock with epoxy. Just spread it on the action like buttering toast. I also wipe epoxy out from the mag box area after installing to avoid some cleanup after cure.

    Also, you don’t have to mask every thing off. Q-tips and alcohol and you can wipe away the squeeze out epoxy. No masking required. You did a good job masking it off though.

    Another note, if you use Devcon steel and plan to wipe excess with alcohol and q-tips, its a good idea to put clear scotch tap on the action from the stock line up (Gift wrap sticks the best). The tape protects the finish on the action when wiping the steel putty away. If not, the steel putty will polish the action finish along the stock line from wiping it away several times with the q-tip during clean-up.
     

    KnowNothing256

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    After applying wax, I buff the action with a paper towel. It still leaves a fine (microscopic) layer of wax on without having the wax pattern imprint like you mentioned. I never would’ve thought it would still release if I hadn’t seen it in Richard Franklin’s videos.
     

    Joeymac

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    Feb 21, 2019
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    After applying wax, I buff the action with a paper towel. It still leaves a fine (microscopic) layer of wax on without having the wax pattern imprint like you mentioned. I never would’ve thought it would still release if I hadn’t seen it in Richard Franklin’s videos.
    I actually did buff the wax smooth, got nervous and then reapplied another coat - haha.