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GSmith1883 04-20-2013 11:38 PM

Pillar Bedding
I just pillar bedded a Winchester M70 with a wood stock, and i botched it. Luckily the customer is a friend and has the time to let me make it right, but i do not want to do this ever again, i have been trying to make a good reputation and this isn't going to help. This is the fifth rifle i have pillar bedded and all the previous jobs came out great (the last one being for the same customer).
So i stripped the rifle down first, wrapped the barrel in 10 mil tape and free floated the barrel, removed the pressure point at the front of the barrel channel and dremmeled out the epoxy at the recoil lug in the stock. I drilled out the front and rear action screw holes with a 5/8 bit with the stock leveled in my drill press.
I did a trial fit to make sure everything still lined up, and it did.
I wrapped 10 mil tape around the front and sides of the recoil lug but i did not put tape on the barrel (which i think was a mistake), filled all the voids with modeling clay on the stock and the receiver, and put a thin coat of kiwi neutral shoe polish on the receiver, inside of pillars, and inletting screws as a release agent. I used masking tape on the stock to make clean up easier (which was a mistake).
Using Devcon steel putty I coated 1 1/2 inches forward of the recoil lug of the barrel channel, recoil lug, the flat between the mag well and the recoil lug, the sides, and around the rear action screw hole on the stock. Using the inletting screws i put the pillars on the receiver and coated the outside of the pillars.
With the receiver upside down on my bench i pushed the stock down on it, I didn't use the bottom metal (trigger guard) to line up the inletting screws because it is a two piece (another mistake). I tightly wrapped electrical tape around the receiver and stock to pull everything tight, cleaned of the excess that seeped out, and let it cure for three days.
I pulled the stock and receiver apart, took the masking tape off (which pulled most of the factory finish off the stock, leaving me with a whole new job!). I cleaned everything up, put the trigger group, and bolt release back on the metal, and put everything back together.
Finally heres the problem! The barrel and receiver now sits at a slight cant to the right in the stock, the bolt handle hits the stock when closed, the left side of the barrel is touching the barrel channel at the front, and the magazing door in the bottom metal fits so tight it wont open when the button is pressed.
So at this point I think I need to dremel out most of the bedding compound in the stock and redo the bedding, I think the pillars are ok.
I am about to lose a lot of money and time on this job (the customer already got a free stock refinish thanks to the masking tape). So i would really appreciate any advice or pointers on where i went wrong, and how to fix this.
If anything maybe someone reading this can learn from my mistakes!

atrbertothy 04-23-2013 05:06 PM

When I do the pillar bedding on a stock, I always drill from the underside where the bottom metal is. I use a pointer to get the center of the holes as well to keep the holes on center as much as I can. Doing the holes like this will keep the wood from breaking out on the finish side, and I use the blue masking tape (also called painters tape) to keep the wood from breaking when I drill. The blue tape will not lift the finish. You can use the tape to make clean up go faster, and take the tape off the stock after you get the action tighten down in the stock. If the action screws are flat on the bottom like the muaser then use the bottom metal; if they have an angle then you don't have to the will center off of the pillars.

GSmith1883 04-24-2013 05:46 PM

I think the pillars are ok, their should be enough slack for the screws to move, I'm going to dremmel out enough of the bedding to let the barrel and action sit strait, tape the barrel at the forend to center the barrel again. Trial fit. And bed it again, this time with the bottom metal. And I will try the painters tape to mask the stock, that or I've used wax before and it worked pretty well.

atrbertothy 05-14-2013 05:40 AM

How did the pillars come out.

GSmith1883 05-14-2013 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by atrbertothy
How did the pillars come out.

Came out great, I drilled out the bad pillars, dremmeled enough of the bedding to let the barreled action sit correct again. Taped the front of the barrel, used the blue masking tape on the stock ( I was always afraid to use the blue tape because I was afraid it wouldn't hold and the compound would seep under it, but it worked great). Bedded it again, this time using the bottom metal. And it sits strait again.
I think the first time I rushed it. Not taping the barrel and not using the bottom metal is what really screwed me. Money lost, but a lesson learned!

atrbertothy 05-16-2013 08:10 AM

Making errors is the only way why learn with some thing.
If you need any more help on anything just shoot me a message.

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