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SlowFISH last won the day on July 2 2018

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About SlowFISH

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  • Birthday 02/22/1972

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  1. Bryan - Your 100% correct 350 in the middle only isn't cooked enough.... BUT - your clearly missing my point..... if you're heating in a micro you CAN'T stir while it's heating... so you can easily see 20-30 degrees hotter in the center than the top/side when you first remove it... so by understanding how hot the center is when you first remove the cup you can judge how long you can keep it in the micro without scorching the center. Meaning once I start to see 340-350 on the center - I cook it less and less (time wise) after removing and stirring... IF you use IR or stir first and measure you can easily over cook that center point by alot - even though you might only be 320 (after stirring). WIth dark colors you probably don't notice... with clear/light stuff you'll see it brown in the center (when over cooked) then tint the whole cup (brownish) instantly once stirred - and you might still not be at 350 yet (whole cup temp). Again - not saying IR doesn't work.... I use IR on my presto pots with stirrers if I 'm cooking a big batch - but with micros and smaller batches (1 cup) I found the digital thermos worked better for me.... J.
  2. IMHO... Purely speaking as a hobbist who's used both..... if you heat in microwave - the center of the cup (about 1" off the bottom) seems to get ALOT hotter than the top surface of the plastic. With a probe/digital type thermometer you can measure that area.... granted once you stir the plastic as you should be doing - either (probe/laser) should read about the same - but I noticed I didn't overcook small batches in the micro once I moved to a probe style digital thermometer as I measure that hot spot the second I remove from the microwave to insure I wasn't getting it TOO HOT in the center as I was heating it. By measuring the hot spot - you can better control how long you should nuke between stirs... which can really help insure your colors don't brown or you burn the plastic! Again - if you stir then check temp - shoudn't be much of a difference... but I found that center spot getting alot hotter so using the probe was helpful at first to know when I'm getting close to overcooking. J.
  3. For my own learning (as I've made all my bait molds and with few exceptions design them with a single top port and run the bait "vertical") when shooting a "side port" laminate... are you using a blending block? If so - I assume the port is on top of the mold and the bait running "horizontal"..... any issues with the colors not being somewhat even as it fills the injection port then has to "turn" and fill out the bait horizontally? I'd imaging if you don't have the block registered correctly obviously that would be an issue... but otherwise does it work pretty well? Thanks! J.
  4. Sometimes I shoot new molds I make with just 1 cup of plastic to test them out in my garage in the winter... so I know the pain of using a cold injector as temps can be in the 30s-40s. I now have a couple 2x4 blocks I use to rest the injector on with the tip / end sitting pretty far off of the wood - under the tip of the injector I have a small alcohol lamp lit to heat it. I don't have the injector in the flame - but above it an inch or so... it get's the tip HOT.... after 1 or two shots to warm the body of the injector up, the lamp does a pretty good job of keeping it warm/hot enough to shoot without too much of an issue. One note - I'm pretty sure this isn't great for the o-rings... but I bought a bag of 10 o-rings from McMaster Carr - so losing an o-ring or two every now and then isn't ta big deal. J.
  5. LOL.... this happens all the time with our clients... we had Client a few years back that had some cool car cleaning products but nothing with IP or unique about their offering other than the style/aesthetics. They had a Chinese factory produced parts for them - the factory determined after 6 months they'd make more putting their own name on the product and selling thru Walmart right along side our clients product. There was literally NO difference between the items other than the color and logo. Our client had to dump the product line within months as their sales tanked. I agree - things that need a very high level of accuracy are much harder to knock off then those which have a far greater level of tolerance. The scary part is as I mentioned above - where it isn't "other" producers knocking your stuff off... but your own factory bumping production up and selling it around you! J.
  6. Dave - Being a product designer by trade... I deal with this all the time... it's hard to innovate at times if you stick or are forces to utilize the same methods, shapes, processes, costing, etc etc everyone else does.... Kinda why most mass produces baits (hard or soft) are kind of the same... its not just the physics - but the manufacturing as well. Is it possible to make something new and innovative - sure - that's my job every day for my clients.... but it's usually a bit harder to do than if you are able to borrow or search out a different method/technology which brings a new element or variable to the equation - or break a "current" rule or variable of the category/area you are working in. 90% of what i work on is "boxed in" within constraints of current machinery, process, cost , line speed, etc, etc.... we are talking line speeds in production of 1200 items a minute and billions of items a year... and we still find ways to do something new and special - but it's tough at times... but on projects where we can break one of the category/current variables - usually you can do something really unique! So the way I look at lure design is two fold - one - what's working now that just makes damn good sense to borrow from... sort of the reuse old ideas part.... but also really understand what "rules" do NOT apply to me.... For instance - I'm working on some pretty cool softbaits that need a 3 part mold PLUS a machined insert to get what I want. To produce my bait at a huge scale / fast would be a nightmare or really really expensive to develop the molds and tooling to open / seperate / close fast for high speed production. BUT - I'm able to break the line /production speed rule cause I'm only making for myself so taking 1 minute to demold 2 baits isn't an issue and therefore I can have something really pretty cool that hasn't been done before - even though it complies to pretty much all the other variables/constraints of current softbaits! J.
  7. 400 is gonna scorch the plastic.... best bet is to do 2 things... 1. Pour the second color as fast (shortly after) as possible after the first.... the more heat you keep in that first pour while it's in the mold the better the stick yo'll have with the second pour. The bond is a relation of how much the second pour "remelts the first" and fuses together.... since you can't really raise your second pour temp up too much more.... try to keep that first pour warm/hot in the mold. The reason your ends aren't fusing are there is more mold surface area at the ends... which cools the plastic more/faster. 2. To help the first pour not chill so fast - warm that mold up.... usually silicone holds heat pretty well so you don't have to bake it or anything like that - but even pouring a couple single color worms first should get its temp up a little - notably if the mold is as cold as the ambient air (40-50 degrees) as you mentioned. I use resin molds and they always work better after a shoot/pour or two. J.
  8. As Dave suggestions highlight in his diagram.... AIR MOVEMENT is key to drying and drying fast - heat helps - but if you trap in the moisture (ie. oven with door shut) you're just basically creating a sauna which doesn't really dry very well. I've had good sucess just laying molds on a window sill that gets alot of sun and having a small cheapy fan blow over it... actually worked better than my small electric oven with the door cracked open.
  9. Like it... Now I have something to add to my little arbor press as well!!! FYI - You'll find a ton of uses for those little press beyond cutting tubes... it works well for snapping my kids toys back together as well!! LOL!! J.
  10. As others have stated.... to get a "mirror" like chrome or metal finish of any color - plating is probably your only option. You can get a good silver flash or gold flash with foils, paints, transfers, glitter, etc.... but the mirror finish you'll find on a rattle trap is plated and about the only way you'd be able do it. FYI Spaz Stix LOOKS great - (trust me I researched that stuff for weeks) but you'll notice it's sprayed on the INSIDE of a polished acrylic 99% of the time - then backed with a dark base (and looks great). BUT... the second you try to reverse the process it it won't look the same cause - your black base will need to be polished perfectly for the spaz sticks to flat perfectly AND you'll need to cover the Spaz Stix paint with a clear/epoxy/etc.... it may still look good and flash - but it won't be a mirror finish if that's what your' looking for. Lots of other products will give you a good silver/gold flash base to work on without all that headache. J.
  11. Subscribing cause it's not like I don't have enough stuff to work on!!!! LOL!!! This is a great thread guys - awesome info and cool to see your work. I gotta say - it's a perfect challenge for using 3D prints for prototypes.... you'd basically guarantee the bodies are the same each time and you could print 4/5/6 interchangeable lips to pop in place and test instead of trimming on the spot.... J.
  12. McMaster Carr or a supply house like that has these things as well... measure what you got and look it up on their site. They list every dimension/spec you could ask for. J.
  13. Figured I'd post up some info on what I've learned since everyone was kind enough to share with me.... 1. I seem to be able to pull about a 3:1 ratio out from a bait with decent consistency. Meaning I can pull 3/8" diameter rod from a 1/8" hole and not trash the bait... of course there are things you have to keep in mind and do to make it happen and you can go for a higher ratio with certain design features (I think)!!! 2. Make sure you have a decent amount of plastic around the hole you're pulling from.... using my above example - if I have .030" around that 1/8" hole you have more trouble than if you had 1/8" wall around that hole. I know that doesn't seem to make sense but too thin just rips/tears or doesn't rebound to original shape.... not sure if a really thick wall is an issue as I didn't test - but too thin won't work - you need some meat at the smallest part of the opening/hole. 3. Temp - I found I have more stretch with warm parts as many have stated... but in my case I was pulling a thicker rod through a small hole... so having a cooler bait was better as while the plastic didn't stretch as far - it rebounded better.... I was having some parts deform permanently if they were too warm. So as usual with this hobby - it's a matter of trail and error on each design!! 4. Insert - polish that bad boy up!!! Rougher the finish the more of a challenge - totally expected - but I was surprised even the difference between an unpolished piece of aluminum rod vs. polished - makes a difference. Also - ramping up to the large diameter over a long stretch makes life easier than a blunt step in the insert/mandrel. Yeah - common sense actually works here!!! 5. Vacuum - I could also up the ratio if I was ok with making a hole in the bait opposite the mandrel I was pulling out. I found some of the challenge was as I tried to pull the mandrel out of the bait - it sucked down tighter around the insert until I reached a point where air back filled the cavity. So if you can live with a pinhole or something - you could probably go bigger or get mandrels/inserts out much easier. 6. Just like in any mold - your insert could cause areas to shut off quick and result in sink marks. In one mold I had much better results with a larger - longer insert that kept the wall thickness more uniform than another insert that shut the bottom of the bait off too quick and resulted in sinks/dents. Anyway - figured I'd post this stuff up for anyone that likes to tinker/play.. Im still still messing around alot to get things how I like them! J.
  14. USUALLY - they print the patent number on the package.... might be an easy place to start if you have a few packs lying around. J.
  15. Cutting in small bits is key. Otherwise you burn up the stuff that melted the fastest while still melting/cooking the solids. I use old baits with just some heat stabilizer at times.. usually stuff that I'm trying out in a new mold and don't wanna waste good plastic on. J.
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