Pro-Bed 2000 Stock Bedding Epoxy
Product History and Development:
I started gunsmithing professionally in 1979 and since then, I have bedded thousands of stocks using a variety of industry standard products. I utilized these products for many years but was concerned that they didn’t address the unique needs of gun stock bedding. Pro-Bed 2000 was developed specifically for stock bedding and performs exceedingly well in that application. Every raw component in this kit has been chosen because of how well it works for stock bedding.
The world of gun stock bedding is unlike any other epoxy application. It has very special needs.
In 1998 I started studying epoxy from the standpoint of what a gunsmith requires. I found that no existing epoxy compound had the necessary characteristics needed for stock bedding. They all shrank as they cured and they lacked the compressive and flexural strength needed for a consistent platform to handle the recoil forces involved in the discharge of a rifle cartridge. Epoxy resin requires the right additives to create the structural properties required to bear the load.
I first looked at the metal fillers. The atomized metal particles used for epoxies have coarse irregular shapes not unlike crushed stone, except on a much smaller scale. These rough irregular shapes require large amounts of epoxy resin to hold them in suspension or the resin and curing agent cannot be mixed well. The mixed epoxy must also be fluid enough to flow into the pores of the stock’s bedding surface. Without this flow-ability, the epoxy will not wet the bedding surface and will not stick to the stock.
This is what led me to use high compression strength microspheres. Because microspheres are perfectly round they will roll over each other and are quite easy to mix. It takes very little liquid epoxy resin to lubricate the microspheres so they can flow. The microspheres are also surface treated so they can bond well with the epoxy resin. Because of their size distribution (microspheres used in Pro-Bed 2000 range from 3 to 25 microns) there are very small spheres in between the larger spheres displacing even more epoxy resin. It is a fact, the more epoxy resin that can be displaced, shrinkage will be reduced, and compressive strength will be enhanced to more resemble the compressive strength of the microspheres. In this case, crush strength will be from 10,000 to 60,000 PSI.
Here’s an example to compare the relative amount of epoxy needed using atomized metal vs. microspheres.
Atomized metal closely resembles crushed stone on a smaller scale. High compression strength microspheres resemble marbles or ball bearings on a much smaller scale.
Imagine a five-gallon bucket filled with angular crushed stone. Would it be possible to thrust a mixing stick all the way to the bottom of the bucket? If you were to tamp the bucket on the floor, the crushed stone would become more and more packed as each stone found a better resting place. How much epoxy resin would it take to lubricate and hold the stones in suspension so that the bucket of stone could be mixed or stirred?
Imagine that same five-gallon bucket filled with marbles and tiny ball bearings of varying diameters. It would certainly be possible to thrust a mixing stick all the way to the bottom of the bucket. If you were to tamp the bucket on the floor, the marbles and bearings would not become more and more packed as each one found a better resting place, rather they would just slosh around and occupy the same space. Being able to mix the bucket of spheres even with no liquid present means that it would only take enough epoxy resin to fill the bucket to the top level of the spheres to have a mixture that would flow. This could be as little as one gallon.
Remember – less epoxy, less shrinkage.
Microspheres, carbon fiber and E-Glass are the back bone of Probed 2000 and not cheap fillers. They cost much more by volume than atomized metal or epoxy resin. These premium structural additives have yielded the best stock bedding epoxy you can buy and your quality work, like mine, is worth the best bedding compound.
Pro-Bed 2000 also simplifies the ease of mixing issue, using a non-critical ratio of 1:1 resin and curing agent, by volume. This was intentional criteria in the selection of the components in Pro-Bed 2000. The goal was excellent results with ease of use for the customer, and Pro-Bed 2000 achieves that.
Note: Currently we have shelf-life test samples of Pro-Bed 2000 epoxy that are over 4 years old and they are still running strong.
Stock bedding involves more than the epoxy itself. Another specific stock bedding issue addressed by the Pro-Bed 2000 kit is the mold release agent or parting compound. Our kit includes the best mold release agent ever offered to our profession. It is both easy to apply and clean off, and it leaves the bedded surface blemish free. It is not a generic, commonly available product. Instead it is a specialty product used in industrial epoxy applications where reliability and compatibility are critical.