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This is the bedding kit I offer (link)
There are several brands of bedding on the market, I have only used 3,
all have been good.
I offer a pretty good kit, if you follow the kit instructions,
you should get a good result.
In my youth, I epoxied a Rem. 600 solidly together, having glossed over
the part about the release agent.
Bedding is not difficult, a bit of thought and planning go a long way.
I believe bedding gets a bad rap, especially when it is used to fill large over inlet gaps. Honestly,
it does look
pretty bad in a case like that.
To strenthen a stock, sealing it from moisture and resistance to oil, I cannot think of a better tool.
I have not the skill to inlet a stock to give 100% wood to metal fit without a skin of glass, although
I have heard of such skill in others. Not likely I could afford such a job, and if you could, most likely you wouldn't be
Many antique stocks would be in excellent condition today if glass bedding had been around way back
On the broken or cracked stocks I have examined, mostly antiques, show sign of being weakened
by oil and moisture. The wood turns black and crumbly like charcoal. A start of this decay can be seen on newer stocks
also, if not protected by bedding of some type.
Pressure points are revealed by glossy spots between the tangs or at points of contact at the
reciever end, or ends of the tangs. Look for dark spots where metal contacts wood, same in the forearm at the receiver
end and barrel channel. Eventually this will get worse, so why let it start to begin with.
The bedding should flow into the areas that are not touching, pretty much eliminating the uneven contact.
Barrel channels on lever guns and single shots benifit also.
There is some evidence that there should be a paper thin gap between the forearm and reciever
of a single shot forearm.
I like to bed the barrel channel of the forearm entirely. Lever actions get the full treatment, at
the receiver, barrel channel and forearm tip.
Barrel band forearms may benifit with bedding under the band, that is up to you.
Filling holes where bedding can flow and lock is important. Each gun will
have its own nooks and crannies that you will have to fill. If your inlet job is fairly tight, it does not require much bedding,
the excess will squeeze out, or in, depending on your situation.
Using 2 stir sticks, I have scooped out two halves of the compound
into a mix cup. You can use a piece of plastic, or cardboard if you don't have a cup.
Do your best to get a 50/50 mix, and mix
the two parts well. Mixing them completely with the stir stick is more important than being dead on with the 50-50.
When the bedding starts to cure, (check the tackiness of the extra bedding in
the mixcup, under normal conditions this may be about 4 hours) it is a good time to remove some of the excess that squeezed
out. I generally scrape it off, or cut it off.
This can be tricky, as you do not want to pull out the bedding between the wood and metal. Done
correctly, it can save you quite a bit of cleanup.
The remaining squeeze that hardens I remove with a file.
Laquer thinner on a wrag will remove bedding before it is fully cured.
Use it sparingly if needed, you do not want it inside the bedded area. This is mainly to clean up the outside if you got excess
on the metal or wood. Bedding is pretty sticky stuff and tends to cling to anything it touches.
The leftover bedding in the mix cup will be a good guide to how fast the
bedding is curing. When it is no longer soft, but not fully hardened (cold temps slow the cure) I move the stock back enough
to break off any bedding that might lock up when fully cured.
I do not fully remove the stock at this point, moving it straight back a 1/4 inch or so should insure
it will come off when fully cured in a day or so. When you have confidence with bedding after more experience this may not
be needed, I only suggest it
if you are not sure.
This picture shows the completed bedding, with the excess having been completely
removed by file.
I actually filed down to the metal, and sanded the wood and metal together.
This is not something you will want to do if you are not willing or able to reblue the gun.
Cold blue is often used to cover nicks and scratches, but it usually will not stand close inspection.
Sometimes it won't stand inspection from along ways off either...
If you cannot mar the finish on the gun, you have a much more difficult job ahead.
You can try protecting the metal with layers of tape, but this may not prevent the occasional
nick or scratch.
The other drawback is the wood is going to be higher than the metal.
Removing the excess wood and bedding with a file is the fastest
way to get the job done, and you can also make a mess in a hurry.
Without a good Vise to hold your work, this is nearly an impossible
I spend 2 or 3 hours refining the shape of the stock with a file. I work 15 minutes at
a time, a bit here, a bit there, working around the stock, not dwelling on any one spot for more than a couple of minutes.
After working for 15 minutes, I stop and go take a break or work on something else for a short time. This helps me keep perspective
so I do not dig a hole that I can't get out of.
The whole flavor of the job depends largely on how well you detail
The best full-fill finish and flawless inlet job go un-noticed if the profile of the stock is not
flat and smooth. Curves have to be judged in bright light, lines that should be straight can be judged with a straight edge.
Standing behind the stock and looking down the side will tell you alot about high and low spots.
Now a bit about finishing. I have to say I've never finished
a stock that was exactly like I'd planned. To be blunt, I am not as good at it as I'd like to be.
Like most of this page, I do not expect it to be the last word on the subject.
Perhaps the best advise I can give is KEEP IT SIMPLE.
The finish job you have admired on other guns is not a product of a super secret, foolproof,
wonder gunstock finish, it is rather HOW IT IS APPLIED. And that is what I am still trying to figure out.
I have tried Spar Varnish (Phenolic),
Tru-oil, several "london oils", Shellac topped with oil, epoxy, plastic compounds, and Tung
oil. Out of all of them, I have personally had the best result with Phenolic resin spar varnish. Your mileage will
Since most of my stock patterns are for traditional rifles, you may be interested in a simple
traditional finish. Perhaps the easiest result might be had with low gloss tung oil that can be found in most hardware stores,
'Formbys' is easy to find and works pretty good. Without getting into 'full fill' finishing and rubbing compounds,
this product can give a decent
low luster oil finish that is reasonably durable, easily repaired, and looks decent on a period gun.
More information on this topic continued on these pages linked below
fitting the forearm
Basic stock fitting