Confused about the coat hangar downforce method of bedding a stock. - M14 Forum

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Confused about the coat hangar downforce method of bedding a stock.

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Old April 11th, 2013, 11:04 PM   #1
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Confused about the coat hangar downforce method of bedding a stock.

Got this as a PM from a new member "Dling" from Canada and Welcome Aboard to him if I haven't said so already. More forum members will probably be interested, so I'm posting the answer here.

"Hello Gus,

I'm currently building up a USGI stock for my Norinco m305. I've reinforced the fore end with fiberglass, and I've filled the necessary areas with JB weld. I've taken note that there is no downforce on the barrel at all from my ferrule. I've been trying to figure out this welding rod/coat hangar method of judging proper downforce. Do I slide the rod in and then close the trigger guard when the receiver sits 1/2" at the heel to the stock? I tried it and it just closed shut with no visible differences. I then shimmed the first inch of the front two areas where the receiver sits instead. I pulled on the front of the stock just behind the ferrule with a spring scale, and I'm getting about 7-8lbs before I feel the stock move away. Is that enough force? I figure if it is, I can bed the area behind the shims with jb weld, allow it to cure, then do the area were the shims are. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks,
Dan "

Dan,

Shimming the first couple inches of the receiver is not the way to do it for more reasons than I really want to type out.

What you do is get a piece of coat hanger wire about 2 1/2 or 3 inches long. You VERY SLIGHTLY bend it in the middle so you just barely have something that looks like a VERYwide topped and shallow "V."

To check if it holds the receiver high enough, lock the stock in a padded vice and just barely place the Gas Cylinder into the ferrule, but keep the rest of the barrel up off the stock. Slide coat hanger between the bottom of the barrel and the top of the stock and push it forward until it sits about 2 inches back from the stock ferrule. Gently lay the barrel down until the coat hanger is supporting the barreled receiver AND DO NOT FORCE THE BARRELED RECEIVER DOWN ON THE STOCK. Then check to see how high the receiver heel is off the top of the stock. THAT'S THE EASY PART.

The hard part is after you have spread bedding material on the receiver, you lay the barreled receiver upside down on your work bench. Then you spread the bedding material in the stock. Then you turn the stock upside down AND place the coat hanger back into position aboiut 2 inches behind the front band and with the point of the wide topped "V" facing UP. Put the stock down straight over the receiver and HOLD it there. Pick up the trigger housing and get it in place. Push the stock down a little until the trigger guard will lock down and let the trigger guard lock it down in place. Clean off the squooshed out bedding material and wait for the bedding material to cure.

Thanks from Bamban, budster, HM6972 and 1 others
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Old April 12th, 2013, 12:18 AM   #2
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Unless I've misinterpreted the whole coat hanger method, it means that the bedding is done with the front band off, yes?

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Old April 12th, 2013, 06:43 AM   #3
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The front band is on. the coat hanger is like a fulcrum, to put pressure on the stock, when the receiver is pushed down into position.

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Old April 12th, 2013, 08:07 AM   #4
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Hey Gus.....why not just buy the donut from Brownells and be done with it??? Is the coat hanger method superior for some reason???

I know I am always asking you questions. Sorry, but could you explain briefly.

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Old April 12th, 2013, 08:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by covert View Post
The front band is on. the coat hanger is like a fulcrum, to put pressure on the stock, when the receiver is pushed down into position.
No, the coat hanger method requires the gas cylinder be final fitted (and that includes shims if you are giong to use them) before you glass the rifle.

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Old April 12th, 2013, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammonje View Post
Hey Gus.....why not just buy the donut from Brownells and be done with it??? Is the coat hanger method superior for some reason???

I know I am always asking you questions. Sorry, but could you explain briefly.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate that donut fixture that Brownells and other places sell? Not sure if I have ever mentioned how much I Hate it. Actually, it is hard to even type out all the reasons I HATE it. Grin.

We used those things back in the early to mid 70's and glassed a huge number of real NM M14's with them. The problem was and remains that the donut causes the front band to be off to WAY OFF from bottom center on the ferrule. That causes the front band to dig in, catch, rub too hard, squeek and generally not allow the barrel to whip around and come smoothly back to the same position after every shot is fired. Of course that means the rifle will throw shots ALL OVER the place instead of shooting a nice group.

Also, I can't even BEGIN to explain how using that donut caused us to waste hours and hours sanding between ferrule and front band so they would slide smoothly. Oh, it also caused the FB to dig in and ruin the much thinner metal of some ferrules and then we had to replace the ferrules and start over.

I honestly don't remember which Marine MOS 2112 RTE or "NM" Armorer came up with the Coat Hanger method. I wish I did remember as he deserves great credit for it. It ALMOST totally alleviated having to do ANY sanding between the ferrule and front band PLUS it ACCURATELY centers the FB on the ferrule as nothing else comes close to doing AND so darn easily. I was NEVER so happy to STOP using a "special tool" to NM modify M14's as when we came up with the coat hanger method and GLEEFULLY scrapped all the donuts we had, NEVER to use them again.

Eh, have I ever mentioned how much I HATE those glassing donuts? Grin.

Now what makes the coat hanger method so easy and so accurate is what you do before you use it to glass bed the rifle. You have to:

1. Unitize the GC and FB first, IF you are going to unitize it. This method will also work on a non unitized GC, BUT if you are going to unitize it, you HAVE to do that before you bed the rifle.

2. You have to fit the GC with any shims it needs for the GC Lock to tighten down properly before you use this method.

3. Although this is not required for using this method, we also centered and glued the op rod guide so it would center the op rod on the piston, before we used this method. We glued the handguard on after we used this method to bed the stock when building rifles originally, but it does not require the handguard be either on or off the rifle. Works fine both ways.

The whole idea is the GC is going to be completed fitted and mounted in it's final position BEFORE you bed the rifle and that ENSURES the fit and centering of the ferrule to the FB is the best it can be after the bedding sets up.

Thanks from hammonje, jmoore and Dling
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Old April 12th, 2013, 09:20 AM   #7
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Thank you for the warm welcome and clarifying the method. I will hopefully give it another try this weekend. Just to clarify, I lay the receiver into the stock until it requires force to go further? It's a pretty tight fit for the legs on my receiver so I need to push down on it lightly for it to move down into the stock. I think this might of been what was screwing me up yesterday.

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Old April 12th, 2013, 12:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dling View Post
Thank you for the warm welcome and clarifying the method. I will hopefully give it another try this weekend. Just to clarify, I lay the receiver into the stock until it requires force to go further? It's a pretty tight fit for the legs on my receiver so I need to push down on it lightly for it to move down into the stock. I think this might of been what was screwing me up yesterday.
Yes, if the stock liner fits the receiver legs pretty tight, then that would be outside of the loose fit we normally associate with having cut wood and the liner out for bedding material to be placed. Normally that is not the case when checking the fit of the coat hanger wire.

IOW,with the piece of coat hanger is put in the correct place on your stock and you gently allow the receiver to go down as far as it will go BEFORE having to press the receiver legs into the stock liner, the rear of the receiver should be held off the top of the stock 3/8" to 1/2" by the coat hanger alone and without forcing the receiver into the liner.

Thanks from hammonje, jmoore and Dling
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Old April 12th, 2013, 12:52 PM   #9
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The concept is making MUCH more sense now.

I've always farmed out bedding M1As to a friend who's very good/persistant, so it has been a case of "better him than me!"

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Old April 12th, 2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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"Glass" or Epoxy Bedding these rifles is one of most time consuming and lowest paying part of working on either M1's or M14's. That's why most of us who do glass bedding, do it as part of a "package deal," so we make most of our money on the REST of the work and overcome what we lose on bedding the rifles.

Most people have no idea how much work it takes to prepare the stock for bedding, clay up the receiver and trigger mech, do the bedding and RE DO the bedding when it does not come out correctly, cut/"clean up" the bedding so all the parts wlll work correctly around the bedding, and finally clean the clay out of the receiver and trigger mechanism.

Thanks from Law483, hammonje and jmoore
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Old April 14th, 2013, 10:06 AM   #11
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lock the trigger guarddown using spacer?

I am full bedding the reciever top contact surfaces of my chinese m1a in a big red birch stock using a spacer block I machined at my shop. There is no barreldown pressure and the lock-up is not tight. From what I have read the block should make the reciever heal reat about 3/8 to 1/2 inch above the stock. I am not doing a match rifle, just improving fit. How high would you recomend?. Also, when I acually bed it do I use the triggerguard to clamp ? If I do use it do I lock it all the way down or just part way or leave it loose,or clamp some other way? The stock checks level, little snug at the reciever legs but I think I would like to keep it tht way, not bedding that part. The barrel seems to center pretty well using the barrel spacer.


Last edited by hrragen; April 15th, 2013 at 04:19 PM. Reason: adding picture
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Old April 15th, 2013, 09:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrragen View Post
I am full bedding the reciever top contact surfaces of my chinese m1a in a big red birch stock using a spacer block I machined at my shop. There is no barreldown pressure and the lock-up is not tight. From what I have read the block should make the reciever heal reat about 3/8 to 1/2 inch above the stock. I am not doing a match rifle, just improving fit. How high would you recomend?. Also, when I acually bed it do I use the triggerguard to clamp ? If I do use it do I lock it all the way down or just part way or leave it loose,or clamp some other way? The stock checks level, little snug at the reciever legs but I think I would like to keep it tht way, not bedding that part. The barrel seems to center pretty well using the barrel spacer.
Without pictures, I really can't visualize what kind of spacer block you mean and how you intend to use it.

Here's what I would do when the stock liner fits the receiver legs pretty well and not doing a NM bedding job in a case like yours. Use clay to fill up the voids in the receiver and anywhere you don't wnat the bedding to go and mold release the receiver and trigger housing. The next thing I would do is at least roughen the stock surface under the receiver, just stay inside the outside edges of the receiver so it won't show after you bed it. I would route a channel on both sides under the forward portion of the receiver that would be maybe 1/8" wide and about 3/8" deep. If you do not plan on filling up the void in the stock under the right side of the front of the receiver, then keep the front part of channel (on the right side of the stock) a litttle back from where the wood starts to go down for clearance for the front part of the connector assembly;. Route a horseshoe shaped channel under the receiver heel and the "feet" of the horseshoe should be about 1" to 1 1/8" long. You will fill these channels with bedding material so the bedding is stronger than just bedding the top of the stock. USE the coat hanger up front to get downward pressure on the front of the stock and bed the entire top of the stock for the receiver. DO NOT roughen the stock for the trigger housing and DO NOT try to bed it at this time, but you WILL lock the triggerguard down after you bed the top of the stock. By locking the trigger guard down, the receiver legs will sit correctly in the stock liner and the rest of the bedding area on top of the stock will "AGREE" with the way the triggerguard locks the receiver down into the stock liner and top of the stock as well as keeping the receiver aligned top to bottom in the stock. As noted, this will give you a great bedding surface on top of the stock and you will get downward pressure on the front of the stock.

Then "clean up" the excess bedding material inside the stock for clearance for all the working parts where the bedding material "squooshed" out under the receiver. Throw the piece of coat hanger away as you won't use it again.

OK, you won't have good lock up on the trigger guard, so we address that next. To get some trigger guard tension when locking it down, you have to increase the distance of the trigger housing bedding surfare DOWN from the top of the stock just a little bit further. I use cut up pieces of brown shipping tags that are about .006" to .008" thick. I cut a strip that is narrower than the width of the bottom of the receiver bridge. USUALLY I fold the strip into three thicknesses on top of each other. With the receiver down in the stock, turn the receiver and stock upside down on your bench. Put the folded strip of three thicknesses on what is the bottom of the receiver bridge, but it is now facing up. Put the trigger housing down in place. TEST to see how much more tension it now takes to lock the trigger guard down. If there is good tension, you know three folds will do it. If not, try four folds, but having to use four folds is not common.

Then you need to cut channels under the two front legs of the trigger housing on the stock and on the two small bedding areas for the rear of the trigger housing. Use clay to fill the channel between those two small areas at the rear. After claying and mold releasing the trigger housing, keep the stock upside doen on the bench tight on the stock. Fill the channels with bedding material and a little on the areas of the trigger housing that go over them. Put the folded piece of shipping tag on the receiver bridge and push the trigger housing down on top of it BUT DON'T lock the trigger guard down yet. You only want the hook of the trigger guard to do a little ways lower than the trigger (with the stock upside down) and then wire the front of the triggerguard through the safety hole to KEEP it there while the bedding hardnens and cures. IF you mess up and lock the trigger guard down, you have to take the trigger housing out, repack the bedding, put the folded spacer back and press the trigger housing back down. Clean off any squooshed out bedding material before you set the rifle aside for the bedding to cure.

After the bedding cures, cut the wire off, and take the trigger housing out. Throw away the folded spacer. Cut/clean up any bedding that would interfere with the operation of the parts. NOW when you lock the trigger guard down, you will have good tension on the trigger guard when it closes and locks.

The FIRST time I did this was over 10 years ago when a customer asked if I could bed his walnut stock, but 1. Not make it look like it had been bedded and 2. He could still use a fake connector assembly on the stock. Took a little thinking and came up with this method and ensure the bedding would not interfere with the fake connnector assembly.

I have been using this method for YEARS to "remanufacture" M1 Garand stocks that are woefully loose and have no trigger guard tension, but where a full NM glass job is not required or not cost effective.

Thanks from budster and Dling
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Old April 15th, 2013, 05:09 PM   #13
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pictures of spacer and stock

Here are some pictures. The spacer fits snug on the inside of the stock and has a v- block cut on on top that centers the barrel. One picture shows how high the reciever heel rests above the stock with the spacer in place, about 3/16 of an inch. I can add shims to the spacer to increase that distance. Is it suppose to be 3/8 to 1/2 inch? Another picture shows the action, with spacer , using the trigger guard to draw the reciever down just enough so the back of the heel contacts the stock. The stock surface curls up just past the point that the back of the heel makes contact but it is within tolerance between there and the under surface where the back of the trigger housing sits.
I think this is the position it should be held when I bed it. Correct me if I am wrong. Wouldn't this give me both down presuure on the barrel and draw pressure when locking the trigger guard? In this position the trigger guard just contacts the trigger. It seems to me if I lock the trigger guard all the way down I will loose most of my barrel down pressure.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 06:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrragen View Post
Here are some pictures. The spacer fits snug on the inside of the stock and has a v- block cut on on top that centers the barrel. One picture shows how high the reciever heel rests above the stock with the spacer in place, about 3/16 of an inch. I can add shims to the spacer to increase that distance. Is it suppose to be 3/8 to 1/2 inch? Another picture shows the action, with spacer , using the trigger guard to draw the reciever down just enough so the back of the heel contacts the stock. The stock surface curls up just past the point that the back of the heel makes contact but it is within tolerance between there and the under surface where the back of the trigger housing sits.
I think this is the position it should be held when I bed it. Correct me if I am wrong. Wouldn't this give me both down presuure on the barrel and draw pressure when locking the trigger guard? In this position the trigger guard just contacts the trigger. It seems to me if I lock the trigger guard all the way down I will loose most of my barrel down pressure.
GOOD pictures. Wow, I wasn't envisaging any thing like that and I don't have any experience with anything like that.

OK, first thing. COMPLETELY DISREGARD the advice about the receiver heel having to be about 3/8" to 1/2" off the stock to get the correct draw pressure using your device. THAT advice is only good for a piece of coat hanger wire that is going to bend somewhat when the trigger guard locks the rifle together. Your solid device will have no such bend or "give" and if you shim your device so it keeps the receiver heel that high, you MAY not even be able to close the triggerguard because the receiver may be held up too high to do it and there won't be enough bend possible in the barrel.

I really don't like to tell you this after you went to the time and trouble to make your device, but I see some real problems possible with that device. Your device will center the barrel in the stock channel, which is what we want for a Bolt Action rifle, BUT you don't have to worry about a Gas Cylinder and Front Band to Stock Ferrule fit on a bolt action rifle. Stock ferrules are almost never centered real well on the barrel channel. This is not as much of a problem when the front band (FB) is not unitized to the GC and is loose enough to allow the FB to center on the ferrule. However, if your FB is untized, your device could cause the bottom of the front band to rub hard, catch or squeek more on the stock ferrule and not allow barrel to come to rest in the same spot after each round is fired.

I am at a bit of a loss with recommendations on using your device. I can appreciate how you may or probably want to use your device after taking the trouble and time to make it. Personally, I would NOT shim under the device to raise the receiver heel any more and if you are bound and determined to use the device, glass bed it with it just sitting in the barrel channel as long as you can lock the trigger guard down without extreme pressure being necessary to close the trigger guard when you bed it. Then after the bedding cures, see what kind of downward pressure is on the front of the stock. I don't think the trigger guard will have more tension after bedding it this way, but I can't know for sure until after you bed it. IOW, this is going to be a learning experience for you until you do it enough that you will know what to expect. Sorry I can't do better than that.

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Old April 15th, 2013, 07:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammonje View Post
Hey Gus.....why not just buy the donut from Brownells and be done with it??? Is the coat hanger method superior for some reason???

I know I am always asking you questions. Sorry, but could you explain briefly.
You have to use the free bedding donut you have a few times to appreciate the coat hanger bedding.

Not speaking for Gus but the donut takes more effort to set up and use correctly IMHO. The coat hanger can be used on a finish fitted rifle. It self centers a lot better in the stock channel and you can tweak the tension with thicker wire or wire placement.

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