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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was trying to correct some grouping problems I was experiencing with an old rifle I own, so I had it bedded with a steel bedding compound. Unfortunately I didn’t fix the issue so I will need to rebarrel it. When I tried to disassemble It, I found that the epoxy compound had stuck the metal parts to the walnut. I have tried to separate it with a rubber mallet and applying gun oil to the junctions between metal and wood. Though through this procedure I have succeeded in losing the barrel, the area holding the loading platform and receiver is really stuck. Is there a solvent that won’t damage the stock, which I may use to fix this problem?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Acetone, but it will take the finish off the stock (most likely).

You can try putting it in the freezer overnight, if it will fit.

Good luck.
 

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Try backing out the action screws a bit… a wooden dowel on the heads of the action screws and some judicious mallet work on the other end of the dowel. Back and forth between the front and rear action screws…

Did whoever bedded the rifle use release agent and disassemble/clean after the bedding cured… or just glue your barreled action into the stock?

What you touch up or refinish the stock with depends on the amount of damage and the type of finish that is already on the stock or if you intend to strip the stock of its original finish….. At any rate linseed oil is not comparable with synthetic finishes…never drys completely and not a very good finish anyway.

Knowing the make of the rifle, what its original finish was/is would help in giving proper advice.

Photos would help as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I have already removed all the screws and the spool magazine and done some mallet work that resulted in losing the barrel from the forend, but the rest of the metal parts are still very stuck to the stock. Unfortunately no release agent was used after the rifle bedding was cured…

The stock was polished some years ago and treated with linseed oil as far as I remember, which gave it a natural finish. I believe I´ll have not major problems in giving the stock its natural finish back once I manage to disassemble the rifle.

The rifle is a mannlicher schoenauer half stock rifle, sold in the US as the M 1950

Should I try to apply the acetone through the stuck parts where the metal and wooden parts are attached? Is there another procedure you suggest?

I will be trying to attach some photos soon.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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The release agent goes on the metal parts PRIOR to placing the barreled action into the stock with the bedding compound freshly installed. As suggested, replace the action screws a turn or two and use a wooden dowel to tap on them and see if that will loosen the action.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You´re right. Should have gone prior.. Anyway, I will be taking your advice and let you know.
 

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E.O. you may break out some wood (if you succeed) but that can be fixed. I would turn the screws in almost all the way to have as large a bearing surface in the threads as possible. You only need the slightest movement to break the action loose. Just keep in mind that the bedding material may have entered side gaps as well.

To be honest with you I must say that the possibility also exists that you may damage the stock or even lose it. To loosen the action from where there is narrow wood ledges where the main bedding is done without breaking out too much wood remains a risk.
 

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MusgraveMan has the best solution. pounding on the bolts when not all the way in will work.

You may want to get some longer studs (no heads) with the same threads as the original screws/bolts. the you can put the full threads into the action. you can start with a rubber hammer; but you will find a steel hammer with sharp blows will usually do it.

with the studs, you will not bugger the action threads nor your nicely blued factory bolt heads.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Maybe I should apply some acetone before starting tapping through the action screws and doing it very carefully. There is no internal magazine so the inner sides of the wood are exposed. I have already tapped the action platform from where the magazine is inserted, using a bronze rod to prevent damaging the steel parts, but had no success. This is why I am wandering about using some sort of solvent.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I found some breakthrough solvent. Could this solvent do permanent damage to the stock?
 

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Another, More Active, solvent for Epoxy is "Methyl Ethyl Keytone" (sp?) but it is Dangerous or breath or have in contact with Skin.
Yes it will remove stock finish, and if left in place on wood too long, remove the Lingnum (sp?) that 'glues' the wood fibers together.

Another choice is Conducted heat (electric Soldering Iron perhaps) that will cause 'over-cure' of the Epoxy.

All these suggestions will NOT Help IF the Epoxy Bedding Compound is "Keyed" into pockets and reliefs of the Metal parts.

Best Regards,
Chev. William
 

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The MS without release agent is more than likely a permanent installation. There is NO solvent to dissolve enough epoxy to get it out.
Gunsmiths usually try to heat the action by induction until smoke is seen. Then the mallet can sometimes work.
I would declare the gun 'ruined' and go from there.
 

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For future reference, neutral shoe polish makes a good release agent. It goes on easy, won't peel, it's thin and creates a snug fit, and it won't rust the metal if you don't get it all off (in fact it's a good rust preventative).

But just as importantly, you need to carefully inspect the action and ensure that any recesses into which the epoxy could flow and mechanically lock the action in the stock are filled and smoothed flush with modeling clay before you bed the stock.

Even if the action were properly coated with a release agent, the epoxy in these areas would have to be broken off to release the action, and that's ****ed hard to do with steel filled or flocked bedding compound. Plus once you get it broken out, you'll have to clean out all those recesses if the compound interferes with moving parts.

Epoxy resins also set up fairly quickly, and then continue to harden over several days. You want to get the action out of the stock as soon as it has cured enough to not be damaged by the removal process - after perhaps 8-10 hours depending on the ambient temperature, as it will still be soft enough to allow some give without permanently deforming. After a day or two it gets a lot harder., and I like to have the stock cleaned up, critical corners, rounded, etc before then to prevent damage from the action being removed, re-installed, etc. If it were not steel filled it would also be a bit brittle, which could have worked in your favor.

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I sweated out the first twenty or so stocks I bedded, particularly as I was doing M1 Garand accurizing at the time for people who'd have been really upset if I glued their Garands together in a non firing condition.

But I've never had a failure and I haven't worried about a failure in 20 years - due to careful attention to detail. If you have any doubt about the process, or your ability to do it successfully, send it out to some one who knows what he's doing.

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Heating an action to get it to release is problematic.

Depending on the epoxy resin used, you may have to heat it to 400-600 degrees to get it to break down. At 600 degrees, you'll char some wood, and you'll run the risk of discoloring the finish of the steel, depending on what is in contact with it, and it won't do the heat treatment or tempering of the steel any favors.
 

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If you are going to bin it you could cut the stock of and salvage some bits.
 

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One of my gunsmithing students tried a 'new' release agent that glued a wood stock to an '03 Springfield. It took a hatchet and several hours work with chisels to remove all the stock.
The MS receiver has two slots that if not filled form keys that won't allow salvage of the wood which is a shame. They usually have the best money can buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have been working patiently in trying to release the stock from the mechanism and have been able to loosen most of the metal parts that were stuck the stock except from an inner spot presumably before the front screw, where the chamber is attached to the barrel. I have been checking photographs of the action and there is a spot where the metal is wedged, so probably the bedding material has accumulated locking the action inside the stock.

I am using an industrial hairdryer, which somewhat melts the epoxy material but has also slightly expanded the stock. I’ll keep up working this way until I get to detach it.
 

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E.O--
Most epoxy chemically 'turns loose' at about 380 deg. F. 500F is usually considered as hot as a receiver should get without damage. You can heat the receiver and chamber area of the barrel with a propane torch (NOT Oxy-Act) by cutting a piece of sheet metal with a slot in it as a heat shield for the stock. Go slow!! Use a piece of round metal in place of the bolt to lift the action as you lift the barrel. Try to pull straight up. Pull and heat, pull and heat. It will pop out just about time the stinky smoke starts so no use pulling too hard before then. ;)
 

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Sounds like you used Devcon and once it comes, I don't know of anything that's make it turn loose other than heat. You have already decided to replace the barrel, so no harm in heating it with a direct flame above the stock and let the heat travel down the barrel. While doing this, have a piece of steel rod that will fit in the receiver, about the size of the bolt, but longer, heating to almost red hot. Slide this rod into the receiver and it should transfer enough heat into it to make it turn loose. Other than that. I think you are pretty much screwed..
A good coat of Johnsons Paste Wax on all metal parts would have been worth it's weight in gold about now.

Devcon 10110 requires about 300 degrees to make it release. I've used a soldering iron to heat screws to get them to release, but the whole barreled action is a little larger than a screw.
 

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The standard in the composites industry for releasing a bond is by using dry ice. If you can get the bond-line very cold, you can just pop or peel it loose. You might try placing dry ice ( we used to get it a Walmart) and alcohol (isopropyl or denatured) in a tube such as a piece of PVC plumbing pipe, and place the gun, barrel down into the cold mix (not the stock, just the barrel). Let it chill a while, if you think it'll help, you can place dry ice around the action while it soaks.

Pull it out while handling it with gloves, and give it a good whack with a plastic hammer.
 
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