The Process and Preperation of Glass Bedding A Rifle Stock
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Having a good bedding will prevent moisture and oil from damaging the rifle stock. It will also strengthen the rifle stock. Glass bedding a rifle stock is not really difficult, but a little thought and planning will go a long way in getting a good result.
Bedding looks bad when it is used to fill large gaps, especially large inlet gaps. Bedding is a tool to protect your gun stocks and forearms from moisture and oil. Many antique stocks that are around would have been in excellent condition, if only glass bedding was available way back then. Broken or cracked stocks get weakened by moisture and oil. The weakened area of the wood starts to turn black and becomes crumbly. Even new stocks are affected by moisture and the best way to prevent this is glass bedding.
When inspecting a rifle stock or forearms, look for dark spots where the metal comes in contact with the wood. These dark spots will eventually worsen and ruin the stock. The ideal bedding should flow into areas that have gaps and are not touching and eliminates any uneven contact.
Nooks and crannies are present in all guns and this is what that has to be filled. It is essential to have a tight inlet, as it will not require any bedding. Resin and curing agent have to be mixed in equal quantity to prepare the correct compound. Take a small plastic spoon and scoop. Scoop out equal quantity of both and mix them thoroughly in a plastic cup stirring constantly. Remember that mixing is very important than getting the exact amount out of the resin and curing agent containers. With the help of a spoon or a small flat plastic spatula apply a thin coat to the places required. A thick coat will float into unwanted areas and this is applicable to the bottom of the gun as well. Take care to apply the compound to all areas along all the edges. Normally after four hours the bedding starts to cure. Check for the compound in the cup. If the tackiness has started to reduce and the compound has begun to harden, start scrapping out the excess compound that has been squeezed out. Do not try to pull the excess compound, as this may result in the entire bedding between the wood and metal being pulled out. Instead try and cut off the excess with a short sharp knife. Remember, if you apply the compound correctly, you wouldn’t require extensive cleanup. Another idea that you could use is filling off the excess hardened bedding. Lacquer thinner can also be used to remove excess bedding, before it gets completely cured. However, care should be taken, so that the thinner does not get into the bedded area. Generally bedding that gets stuck on the metal and wood can be cleaned using the lacquer thinner.
Remove the excess wood and bedding with a fine file, while holding the stock in a good vise. Take your time and reshape the stock neatly. A hasty job will only make a mess. Finely detail all the lines and curves for a neat finish. Stand behind the stock and look down the side to identify the high and low spots and file as necessary. Using a sanding block is recommended, as free hand sanding is a sure shot way of ruining a stock.
Now the stock is ready for the final finish. You may choose from a variety of finishes available. However, for traditional rifles a low luster oil finish looks good and is pretty durable. You may achieve this, by using low gloss tung oil that is available in most hardware stores.
Posted November 30, -1 by Justin Ott