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pillar bedding question
kansashunter Posts: 1,917 Senior Member
I got my new stock for my Howa and I am getting ready to bed it but I am trying to make the pillars. The material I found fits the screw pretty tight and now I am worried that might be a bad thing. My question is how tight should the screws be in the pillars?
― Douglas Adams
If the screws are 1/4" ( .250 ) I'll drill them 1/4" then ream them to .290, I like .020 - .030 clearance all the way around the screw
"Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
The screws should not touch the pillar. Drill the pillar out with a slightly larger bit to make clearance. Don't ask me why specifically. All I know is this is what people like the late and great gun rag author Warren Page said in the papers I read on bench rest pillar bedding. I read a lot of his writings on the subject of bench rifles which discussed bedding and pillar bedding for bench rest and did my own pillar bedding before there were any aluminum blocks or any other fancy fixtures. Back in the day they started out with stainless steel bushings. Or they did what I did which I learned from Warren Page's papers. You made the pillar in the stock with aluminum epoxy. My old .270 still has this. You drilled the action screw holes out like you were going to insert bushings but instead you filled the holes with epoxy and drilled them out later on a drill press. Made for an excellent pillar that became part of the stock. After the pillars are made and the epoxy cures then you tied these pillars into the rest of the action bedding. The pillars not only keep the action screws from compressing the wood when tightened, they also help secure the whole action into the stock. They help make the action more a part of the stock because when tied into the recoil lug and action bedding it makes for one mass that is less likely to move with recoil or from changes in humidity (wood swelling and contracting). But according to Page you still didn't want the bolts touching the pillars, most likely because if they touch, this could cause alignment problems and/or uneven pressure.
Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.