This is a discussion on Bedding Material- Devcon or Marine-Tex??? within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; What what be the better bedding material for the M14, Devcon or Marine-Tex???
I will be bedding my newly aquired McMillan M2A M14 stock ...
IMHO, I think Devcon is a better product. Devcon makes several different grades of material (Steel, Titatnium, etc.) that gives you a choice of which one to use depending on the application.
For the main receiver area, I think Devcon is stronger and will outlast Marine Tex over a given period of time, reducing the need to skim bed. The closest to the Devcon Steel Bed material that I have used is the Acra Steel Bed material which is also outstanding.
Devcon Steel Putty and Marine Tex are both easy to use, but Marine Tex is a bit more "buttery". Both will stay where you put it, but I find the heavier, thicker material easier for me to apply.
Recently, in pillar bedding a Rem 700, I used all Devcon products, the 5 minute epoxy to hold the pillars in place, the Devcon Liquid Steel to flood the pillar base and then used Devcon Steel Putty to do the final bedding and it came out GREAT!
My remaining Marine Tex will be used for non essential areas like barrel channels, repairs, etc. Or maybe skim bedding, but Devcon or Acra Steel Bed will be the choice for me in the primary bedding job.
Good Luck on your bedding project! I don't think you will unhappy or dissatisfied either which way you go.
In your response here, you talk about 'skim' bedding, 'flooding', and 'final' bedding. These sound like three distinctly different operations, versus most of the instructions out there that sort of suggest to smear it on and clamp it together for an M-1A.
Could you elaborate on what the differences are in these bedding techniques, or do they only apply to a Remington 700?
Yes, I was describing to Skullboy the different products that I used on a "pillar bed" project for a REM 700.
The 5 minute epoxy holds the pillar in place, while the Liquid Steel, is poured into the milled cavity surrounding the pillar to give it the foundational strength in keeping the pillar in place. Then the Steel Putty was used for the final phase which the receiver itself would sit in.
All of this is DIFFERENT with a simple M14 type bedding project. It only requires the use of one product (whether Marine Tex, Devcon, Acra, etc.) to bed the receiver to the stock.
I think it is essential that the bedding material be applied properly to both the stock and receiver to get a good and tight fit! The bedding material is not "smeared" but more "rolled" in place, thus removing air pockets. Air bubbles, craters, pock marks is the worse thing from an "looks" perspective but may not affect performance, but it does demonstrate the bedders ability to apply the material.
In bedding a standard bolt action rifle without "pillars" would be the same as in the M14 type rifles. One product should do all...
Working with different bedding materials, you will find that there are big differences in consistency and texture. The steel, titanium, etc. are much thicker and can feel like butter to peanut butter in texture.
In Skullboy's case, he asked about two well known products. Marine Tex and Devcon... and both are excellent products. I'll bet his rifle came out AWESOME!!! We should PM him to post pictures of how it turned out!
I hope I was able to be more clear in this post... please let me know if I can be of additional help. You should also check with Warbird, Ted Brown, M14Dan, etc... these guys make some really cool stuff!
My background is an engineer in package design and prototyping. When we want to make a prototype of an injection molded part, rather than spending thousands on a steel injection mold, we can make a small mock-up using milling machines, clay, glue, whatever, then we cast that in RTV (silicone). After we cut open the silicone and extract the original part, the silicone cavity can be used as a mold. We pour urethane or epoxy compounds into these molds to create duplicate parts. On one or two projects, I have cast high precision parts using Devcon aluminum fill epoxy. I've never cast as thick as peanut butter materials, but close.
The big trick to getting excellent surface finish is degassing. When you mix your epoxy halves, you will entrain some air. This is especially true if it is more viscous. What we typically do is take the paper cup of mixed resin and put it in a vacuum chamber, making sure the cup is no more than about 1/3 full. You then pump the chamber down. As the pressure drops, all the tiny bubbles which are trapped in the mix will expand, and the mix will actually begin to foam as they float to the surface (hence the free space we leave in the cup). After about 2 - 3 minutes of foaming, all the tiny bubbles will be gone, and the foam begins to collapse back on itself. Once this happens, you can release the vacuum, and you are left with a cup of material which has zero bubbles in it. If you then apply this carefully to avoid re-introducing bubbles, you will get a bed which is bubble free.
In the event that your material is too thick for the bubbles to float out under vacuum, we also use a technique where you cast your part, then put it in a pressure chamber, slap about 80 PSI on it, and hold that pressure for 24 hours to let it cure under pressure. The pressure collapses the bubbles down to way small size. Just make sure you keep pressure on until after the glass sets up, or the bubbles will try and re-expand before the glass is strong enough.
Granted, I have nice lab grade vacuum pumps and chambers which the average gunsmith doesn't own, but I think you can get by:
You can buy small hand vacuum pumps, where you squeeze a grip with a little piston/cylinder arrangement. I think these are about $ 75 from a Cole/Parmer or a VWR Scientific catalogue, I think you can get it for 1/2 that from a surplus place. If you mix your epoxy up in an old glass jar, you can probably fit an airtight barb fitting from Home Depot into the lid, so you can mix in the jar, screw the lid on, and pump it down.
For a pressure tank to fit a rifle, you could try some schedule 40 pipe and a couple of pipe caps/bung screw. Drill/tap a small fitting so you can connect a valve so after you pump it up, you can close the valve. If you are real cheap, you can just drill a hole and fit a tire stem from a car. Put your glassed up rifle in there, screw on the plug, and pump it up with a small air pump, or even a foot operated bicycle pump. Just make sure it is schedule 40, which is rated for that pressure.
I might end up using some of these techniques myself, as I am not allowed to bring guns to work. Maybe I'll have to borrow some equipment for a weekend.
Tom, I haven't bedded my rifle yet.The M2A McMillan stock I was going to bed found it's way back its original owner in retuen for a AMTU contour .308 Match barrel for my AI 700 rig.This rig I will be "skim" bedding to the chassis.When it is done I will post pics. :wink:
Your desciption and process is way over my head for sure! Please let us know how your experimentation progresses... :lol: You might be interested in looking at Tank's web site, he made a receiver block and mills that into the stock for a "SUPER" strong bed.
You know I read your posts with great interest... I have been wondering how you and Laz made out on that rifle. Well, I would love to see how the AI turns out! I haven't made the leap to an AI stock yet, but yours certainly gets my motor running!