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Bedding Materials, Mold Release and other things

This is a discussion on Bedding Materials, Mold Release and other things within the Gus Fisher forums, part of the Gun Professionals category; I have found myself retyping information for questions, so I figured it would be better to start a new permanent thread with a lot of ...


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Old September 2nd, 2011, 12:00 PM   #1
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Bedding Materials, Mold Release and other things

I have found myself retyping information for questions, so I figured it would be better to start a new permanent thread with a lot of the info I seem to keep retyping and some more besides that. So let's start with bedding compounds:

1. ACRAGLAS® from Brownells. I have not used this stuff in decades for bedding purposes because it is thin and runs out a bit too easy. What this IS good for, because it is so thin, is to inject it into cracks in wood stocks, though. It also can be thinned to use as a stock finish, though I have never used it for that.

2. ACRAGLAS GEL® from Brownells. This stuff is thicker and does not run out of the stock. It has a little give to it, so it is somehing I usually recommend to folks who have never done bedding before. IOW, there is a little forgiveness to it that can come in handy when you first bed stocks. The brown dye Brownells sells for it can be used to get a fairly close color match to wood. You only put a teensy weensy bit of dye in and mix thoroughly and then add more until you get the color you want. It WILL harden a little lighter than when you mix it, though. Also, since it better blends when it is a bit darker than the wood, I always go a bit darker than the wood I'm using it in.

The most common reason I use this stuff is when I am bedding really worn G.I. M1 Garand or M14 stocks that are as loose as a goose. The intention is to provide a stock in a wood set that is at least as tight (if not tighter) than any NOS G.I. stock was when it came off the manufacturing line. I have an early round front M1 Garand action that I use to 'refurbish" these stocks by bedding them and so they will fit over 95 % of all Garand receivers. I apply THICK coats of Brownells ACRA-RELEASE™ mold release for this.`

I also use this stuff to fill in the stock voids of G.I. M14 stocks when a customer wants that done for a semi auto commercial M14 receiver.

I also use this stuff for repairing cracked or broken modern and antique gun stocks.

I do not use this stuff for NM rifles, Walter Mitty rifles, or most custom work.

3. Bisonite. This stuff was a HUGE technological leap over the old Fenwall bedding material we used in the early 1970's. We began using it in 1974 on THE Marine Corps Rifle Team guns. It was our bedding of choice until we started using Marine Tex in the 1980's. I believe Ted Brown mentioned they changed it to where the glass floc or steel was premixed in more recent years and that is a good thing. It is still a pretty good bedding compound for NM rifles today, though I personally have not used it in years. It can be a bit hard to find for some folks.

4. Marine Tex. This stuff is hard and tough and does not compact easily so it lasts a LONG time as a bedding material. We found it does not as easily soak up oil or grease as Bisonite and that is one reason we replaced Bisonite with it. Once there are enough rounds fired that the glass does compact, it won't compact further, so it is an excellent base material when you have to skim glass.

I use this stuff for maybe 80-90 percent of the glass bedding I do. It sticks well to both wood and fiberglass stocks. We also used it on M40A1 Sniper Rifles, so it is good stuff. It is a very dark charcoal grey color,but if you file or grind it, the surface becomes a lightrer gray.

The only "bad" thing about this stuff is you MUST mix it carefully by volume in a Ratio of 5 parts resin to 1 part catalyst hardener. You can NOT "eyeball" mix this stuff or it will be soft. I use metal kitchen spoons to measure it out. BTW, a Tablespoon has three Teaspoons in it (not four teaspoons). I messed up some batches when I was first using the kitchen measuring spoons until I looked that up. (I wasn't using enough resin and the bedding was soft by wrongly figuring a tablespoon was four teaspoons.) Finally got it right on the third batch after looking that up.

5. STEEL BED from Brownells. Personally, I like this stuff better than the steel filled Bisonite as I think it is harder and stronger. It is a 1/1 ratio mix by volume of resin to hardener, but I would still defnitely NOT eyeball mix it. I use the metal kitchen spoons to measure it. For the higher end NM and custom rifles, I prefer to use this stuff, though it costs a bit more than other compounds. It makes as good if not slightly better base coat than Marine Tex when compacted from many rounds fired. I was surprised it can also be used as a good skim glass.

6. Devcon Liquid Steel or Liquid Titanium. We used this stuff in the 80's for a while. The problem with using it for a complete glass job is that it is so loose it is hard to work it at just the right moment where it just begins to harden so it will not run out. We also cut into it as we did all bedding materials and we found too many voids with it. It was hard to work with even for those of us who were extremely experienced using bedding compounds - so it is definitely not good for amateurs. We did use it for skim glassing though and it worked OK for that.

7. Devcon Plastic Steel® Putty (A) and Titanium Putty. Now THIS stuff is thick enough to do a complete bedding job with it, though it is VERY expensive. I am not sure if there is enough difference between the Devcon Steel Putty and Brownells Steel Bed to really be noticeable. I think it is a toss up, so use whichever you can lay your hands on. I like to use the Titantium stuff on the really high end NM and custom guns for skim bedding.

8. JB Weld. I have never used this stuff for a complete bedding project and it is not really designed for it. However, I have used it occasionally to bed a Trigger Housing on a G.I. wood or fiberglass stock and it works well for that. It can also be used to fill in the voids of a G.I. M14 stock if you don't mind it won't match the wood color.

OK, that's all I can think of off the top of my head. In the future, I will update this list as I think of something else or try something else.
.


Last edited by Gus Fisher; September 7th, 2011 at 04:21 AM.
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 06:14 PM   #2
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Mold Releases. This list is a bunch shorter. Grin.

1. Floor or Car Wax. Some guys use this and have had moderately successful results. The ONLY time I used it was when we ran out of good stuff at the RTE Shop and we were in a huge rush to glass bed two NM M14's so we could take them apart and show people how we glass bedded stocks at the NRA convention back in the 80's. I was chosen to do those stocks because the bedding was supposed to be as perfect as possible, with no voids, and with the very best and even "artful" clean up. Well, the first stock came out off the receiver OK, but with only the normal amount of force used to "break the receiver out of glass," the buttstock broke off the second stock. OH YEAH, EVERYONE in the RTE Shop was watching when I broke them out because they knew the OIC had recommended using car wax and I had a very bad feeling about it. You can not imagine the laughing and cat calls that came when the butt broke off the second stock!! Personally, I think that stock was extremely dry and that contributed to the problem. Fortunately, the "good stuff" mold release came in just in time so I could use that on another stock and both stocks were completed on time for the NRA Convention.

The problem with using either kind of wax as a mold release is that it is just too thick. When you clean it off the receiver and glass, the bedding is not very tight to begin with. There are also times it WON'T release and then you are trying to get the receiver out without ruining the stock. NOPE, I DO NOT RECOMMEND CAR OR FLOOR WAX.

2. Brownell's ACRA-RELEASE™. This stuff is sold in a spray can, that is a good size for the average person. It always releases and nothing sticks to it. The only slightly bad thing is it is just a bit too thick for the absolutely tightest bedding job. I DO recommend this stuff for folks who are first starting out though as it is so forgiving and will even get you out of some tight spots where you may not have done something right, when you first begin glass bedding. I know some people wipe much of it off when they spray it on and just leave a little bit on every surface to get the tightest bedding job possible with it. I did that a couple of times when I ran out of the good stuff and it worked OK.


3. Ram Mold Release 225 now known as Valspar Mold Release 225. THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF!! Though there is some wax in it, it is so thin it is like water. One single coat is all you need and you can paint it on with a clean brush to save money, or dip a receiver in it as we did at the RTE Shop. (The only problem with the latter is it does get contaminated after long use and when it gets cloudy - STOP using it.) Still, it ALWAYS releases. It gives you the very tightest glass bedding job possible. The only problem it can be extremely difficult to get. I buy it in one gallon cans that cost $ 50.00 to $ 60.00 - depending on who you get it from. That will last me at least 5 to 10 years even as much glass bedding as I do. I have been informed that a gun shop in Arizona stocks this in Aerosol Cans and that would be the way to go for most individuals. However, at this time, I lost the gun shop's name and address. Does anyone know it?

4. There are another couple of mold releases I have tried that did NOT work or I haven't tested thoroughly yet. I will let you know more about them in the future.

What NOT to use.

A. Thanks to Tonyben for reminding me about Brownell's TFE mold release. I am sure there is some use for this in industry somewhere, or they would not continue to make the stuff, BUT even when sprayed on with many coats for gun bedding - it can not be trusted to not allow bedding materials to stick where you don't want it. DON'T use it.


Last edited by Gus Fisher; September 7th, 2011 at 04:22 AM.
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 06:23 PM   #3
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I was bedding a Ruger 10/22 with JB weld, but had forgotten to buy a release agent. Using good ol' American ingenuity, I discovered that margarine, when allowed to warm to room temperature and applied with a brush, works pretty well.

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Old September 2nd, 2011, 06:30 PM   #4
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Gus,
On your recomendation I used the valspar aerosol release agent and It worked beautifully.
I got it, I believe, from the manufacturer.
I'm not at home now but will check when I return to the home computer.
I'm no expert but I recomend the valspar.
Goes on thin and releases, every time.
pg

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Old September 4th, 2011, 05:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polygunner View Post
Gus,
On your recomendation I used the valspar aerosol release agent and It worked beautifully.
I got it, I believe, from the manufacturer.
I'm not at home now but will check when I return to the home computer.
I'm no expert but I recomend the valspar.
Goes on thin and releases, every time.
pg
That would be great news for most folks and it would be helpful for me as well when I'm traveling to just carry a spray can of it. Thank you.

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Old September 6th, 2011, 11:02 AM   #6
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Here's where I got the release, not the manufacturer.
I just got on the phone and asked the nice lady that answered the phone if I could order some release agent. She was happy to help.

http://www.sherfab.com/

pg

Thanks from Dave P
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Old September 6th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #7
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DO NOT USE BROWNELL'S TFE MOLD RELEASE!!!

I took Gus' advice and got the Valspar 225 and it worked beautifully. I recently used some to bed my bolt gun too. A spray can should give you 2 or 3 rifle's worth of release agent.

The TFE caused half of my bedding to stick to the receiver and some of the wood from my stock as well.

Some super glue and another bedding job fixed it.

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Old September 6th, 2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zardoz View Post
I was bedding a Ruger 10/22 with JB weld, but had forgotten to buy a release agent. Using good ol' American ingenuity, I discovered that margarine, when allowed to warm to room temperature and applied with a brush, works pretty well.
Good to know. In a tight spot a couple years back I used Pam successfully with JB to do a little surface filling to the glass under a bolt gun receiver. I wouldn't recommend a steady diet of it; get the Valspar for major work.

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Old September 7th, 2011, 04:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polygunner View Post
Here's where I got the release, not the manufacturer.
I just got on the phone and asked the nice lady that answered the phone if I could order some release agent. She was happy to help.

http://www.sherfab.com/

pg
Thank you.

Thanks from budster
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Old September 7th, 2011, 04:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyben View Post
DO NOT USE BROWNELL'S TFE MOLD RELEASE!!!

The TFE caused half of my bedding to stick to the receiver and some of the wood from my stock as well.

Some super glue and another bedding job fixed it.
I could not agree more. I had the same results when I tried it some years ago. I could not remember it, but I need to add that to the list of what NOT to use. Grin.

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Old September 7th, 2011, 05:32 AM   #11
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Have you guys used this for release agent? I've used this bedding bolt guns before.

http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm...rdit%20Aerosol

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Old September 8th, 2011, 09:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamban View Post
Have you guys used this for release agent? I've used this bedding bolt guns before.

http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm...rdit%20Aerosol
I've heard of it, but never heard of using it as a mold release before.

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Old September 8th, 2011, 12:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Fisher View Post
I've heard of it, but never heard of using it as a mold release before.
Try it sometime and let us know. I know of other people using this like I do. Spray it, let it dry it is good to go. Never stuck an action, just bolt guns. I do not know how to do a 14 or Garand.

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Old September 8th, 2011, 12:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Fisher View Post
I've heard of it, but never heard of using it as a mold release before.
Try it sometime and let us know. I know of other people using this like I do. Spray it, let it dry it is good to go. Never stuck an action, just bolt guns. I do not know how to do a 14 or Garand.

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Old September 10th, 2011, 06:54 PM   #15
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Where is there a place to get Bisonite. I was looking for it to bed my Remington M40. I know thats what they used in Vietnam on those rifles. I would like to have it in brown so it matches the stock. Does anyone know where I could get it? I have checked Champion shooters but they dont have it in brown.

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