View Full Version : Yet another thread about glass bedding

August 4, 2009, 07:59 AM
I'm actually surprised there are not any regional forums on TFL. I think that would be a great resource for those of us looking for recomendations on gunsmiths, good gun shops, ranges, etc. But as there is not I shall post my questions here and hope for the best.

1) Is a glass bedding job something that is hard to screw up?
2) What is a reasonable fee for such a job?
3) With a synthetic stock (McMillan in my case) should I consider pillaring as well?
4) Can anyone recommend a competant gunsmith in the DC area?

I realize my Savage 10FCP isn't exotic or anything, but it was a signifigant investment for me, and I always seek out quality craftsmen when I have ANYTHING of mine worked on. So can I trust the "local" smith to do this properly?

August 4, 2009, 11:42 AM
To really answer your questions.

1. Yes and no. It's really not hard at all. You can do it yourself. The thing is... it does require a little attention to detail. If you aren't careful then results could turn out pretty nasty. The thing is, it's not that it's super uber hard to do... it's more that if you do screw up you're going to have to work 5xs harder with a dremel to prep a do-over.

2. I would think 60 bucks should cover it. I would do it for 60 bucks... of course I would do it for 30 but I'm not a professional smith with a open for public shop.

3. Hmm... if it's not pillared I would do that as well. IMHO, pillaring is more to protect the stock when you seperate stock/action for cleaning. The action bolts really shouldn't be transferring much if any recoil to the stock, but you still have to be careful about torquing the bolts if it's not pillared. I would do it. Someone will beat me up for suggesting this, but countersinking the action bolt holes in the stock slightly so you could use a quality flat washer on the action bolts would really be just as good as pillaring. Of course, to do that properly isn't much easier than installing pillars, so you may as well pillar it.

4. Can't help you there.

August 9, 2009, 01:17 PM
Hmmm...glassing costs a lot around here in DC apparently. And the lead time is absurd. For $25 I can buy a good kit and some bedding tape and do it myself. I am a stickler for detail and can follow instructions...and am good with my hands.

I don't think I will attempt pillaring myself. First I don't have a gun vise or drill press...


...and second, I would REALLY hate to trash the McMillan stock on this gun if I were to screw up. Since pillaring is more of a preventative measure for over-torquing the action bolts (and killing your stock) and not necessarily an accuracy "improvement" I think that modification can wait. The bedding I think I want to do right away.


August 9, 2009, 01:40 PM
Just remember, candle wax to fill in all of the holes in the action and pam cooking spray to thoroughly coat it... these things are you're friends ;)

Also, make sure you get a very good surface/bed to mate to the recoil lug if you're not going to pillar it. A very good bed surface behind the recoil lug will ensure that the recoil lug transfers most if not all of the recoil to the stock... instead of the action bolts. I think you'll be fine without installing the pillars if you do this.

longrifles, Inc
August 11, 2009, 09:09 AM
Get a hold of Garrett Caldwell. Good friend and former employee who will bed your rifle the right way. Garrett lives in the Wash-DC area and still does work for folks from time to time.

Regarding pillars:

Bedding a rifle and then going back to install pillars afterwards is kinda like building an engine and then deciding that you want different pistons. It's far simpler to do it all at once.

This is an example of mine and Garrett's work:


If your interested, PM me for a phone number.


August 11, 2009, 10:30 AM
Also, that gun comes with the barrel free-floating already. If the recoil lug contact with the McMillan is symmetrical now, you may not see any accuracy improvement from bedding? See how you can make it shoot first, and if tuning loads or using Federal Gold Medal Match with 168 grain Sierras lets you stay under a half moa consistently at 200 yards, then messing with success may not be the best plan. Bell and Carlson recommends trying shooting before bedding their fibrous Carbelite stocks because adding bedding to a working stock increases the sharpness of the recoil by firming up the energy transfer and reducing any cushioning by the stock material. No point in taking that on for no reason.

There was a period of time where Devcon Flexane 80 was being used as a rubber bedding for recoil lugs to get even contact, but avoid increasing recoil sharpness. Probably the mid-90's that I saw it among Champion Shooter's Supply offerings on Commercial Row at Camp Perry. I don't know if that fell out of favor for some reason? I believe the Browning A-bolts still use that type of material today, and their BOSS rifles seem to tune in pretty well.

August 11, 2009, 04:33 PM
From what I've been reading about these guns they allegedly benefit from a quality glass bedding job. But your point is well taken! If anything it will be worthwhile to establish a benchmark with the rifle right out of the box.


August 12, 2009, 11:15 AM
Just remember, candle wax to fill in all of the holes in the action and pam cooking spray to thoroughly coat it... these things are you're friends

Sorry, I have to disagree. Pam has no place in a bedding job, particularly on a wood stock. It makes an unholy mess to clean up. I suggest the Brownells aerosol release agent. There is virtually no cleanup required, and it is foolproof. Pretty much the same idea and possibly on hand over your reloading bench is Hornady One Shot Case Lube. You can also use Johnson's Paste Wax, but cleanup is more involved. For filling places where you don't want the bedding to go, use modeling clay (NOT Play-doh. Play-doh contains significant amounts of salt which is not good for metal contact!).


August 12, 2009, 01:28 PM
As much as I am a fan of home brew fixes and concoctions I'm not sure I want Pam anywhere near my rifle. It may work fine...but since there are so many "approved" products for this purpose I think I'll stick with those (no pun intended).

The kit I was looking at actually comes with modeling clay and release agent. Its the Miles Gilbert kit from Midway:

clicky click (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productnumber=790049)

Thanks for all the responses...

August 12, 2009, 01:52 PM
Sorry, but pam works just fine... as does alot of other stuff that isn't marketed to do a certain job but does it quiet well.

I equate it to the "scope mounting kits" that have the 1" metal dowels with the precise points... Yeah, a 1" piece of metal pipe sawed in two can and will get it just as precise for pennies on the dollar. Or at least my rifle took well to pam cooking spray for release agent and 1" piece of pipe to mount the scope... it shoots 1/3 moa.

If you're not comfortable with it though, by all means buy some releasing agent. It's not even all that expensive IIRC. I just don't believe in buying something I don't have to... call me a tightwad.

Edit: That kit looks pretty good to go actually. I don't recall finding a kit that had everything needed before. forget my pam cooking spray idea, buy that man. It's not that much and will surely work.

August 12, 2009, 02:05 PM
I wouldn't call you a tightwad at all! That's what I would call "New Yankee resourcefulness".

I'm gettin' the kit, as I'd have to go out and buy some, and clay, etc. For the $ that kit is brilliant!


August 15, 2009, 06:39 PM
If your McMillan stock is a synthetic, AFAIK glass bedding compound won't adhere to it - which is why synthetics are generally set up with pillar bedding and/or long aluminum bedding blocks.


August 15, 2009, 08:13 PM
If your McMillan stock is a synthetic, AFAIK glass bedding compound won't adhere to it - which is why synthetics are generally set up with pillar bedding and/or long aluminum bedding blocks.

If you do your bedding the right way it will ;)

August 16, 2009, 09:50 AM
Nothing I've encountered in my research leads me to believe that the synthetic McMillan stocks can't be glassed. In fact with my gun that seems to be the first thing done to it right out of the box!

This does re-introduce the question of how hard this really is...and if it can be screwed up easily. It doesn't look hard to do, as long as you take your time, are conscientious, and give attention to detail.

I'm going to shoot it first. Then glass & pillar it somewhere down the line.

August 16, 2009, 10:51 PM
Shoot it first. Glass bedding will stick to the metal of the action quicker and much better than it will to the fiberglass stock. You will need to drill small holes in your stock, at various angles and opposing one another, to make sure the bedding compound sinks and hardens in those holes to adhere to the synthetic properly. Then use copious amounts of release agent (in my case, pam) on the action only. Though this is done with wood or composite. I really thought it was one of the common knowledge things.

August 16, 2009, 11:03 PM
Fiberglass stocks are made to be bedded with Epoxy compounds like Acraglas and Acraglas Gel. The good synthetics like Brown Precision, McMillan, and MPI, for instance, are fiberglass. The bedding compound will stick with only a simple cleaning and roughing of the surface first.

Less expensive stocks (Ramline, for instance) are made of different compounds that do not adhere well to epoxy bedding. Then creation of a mechanical lock for the glass bedding is required.


August 17, 2009, 04:29 PM
Then creation of a mechanical lock for the glass bedding is required.

Thank you very much for reminding what the term for that was. I spent 15 minutes trying to remember before I wrote that post.

Also, thanks for clearing the air concerning bedding compounds adhering to fiberglass better than some composites. I learned something ;). I was taught to ALWAYS set up for mechanical lock though I suspect that was as much for insurance/ease of teaching.

August 27, 2009, 02:45 AM
The real purpose of pillar bedding is to make certain you don't bend your action when you tighten your screws. The tubes are very, very easy to get right if installed as you glass bed. You can actually drill your screw holes oversize, and the bedding compound will ooze between the pillar bushing and the stock, and it will be perfectly located. Proper pillar length can be determined with a dial caliper. Just set the action in the stock and insert the pillar. Measure the amount that protrudes on the floorplate side and shorten to fit. Remember that the full contact of the glass gives great rear lug support as long as you don't tighten the rear screw while the glass is hardening. I actually prefer inletting guide screws because they are just pins, so no tension can be put on the rear lug, and they project through the stock and give me something to tap if needed to break my action loose. Just make sure you install the floorplate and trigger guard to make sure all relationships (incl the pillar) are perfect.

Also, paste furniture wax has worked as release agent for me for about 40 years just fine. WD-40 is pretty good, too, but the paste wax really protects action screws you need to turn with a screwdriver because it won't wipe off.