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A while back we had a discussion on here somewhere about putting alignment pins in slightly larger than average holes. I was a big proponent of knurled pins. I've knurled lots of stuff in the past. Tool handles, injector nozzles, lock and adjuster nuts on optical mounts, and on my home made carbide scribes. Well, I accidentally drilled some press fit pin holes with the clearance size drill bit the other day. Oops. I decided to prove my point. Unfortunately the stainless that my stock pins is made of would not take a big enough knurl to do the job. I studied it on it a bit, and then decided to do some experiments. If the hole was only a thou or two I could get enough, but at 4 thousandths over size it was tough. Now I could have delved into my sealants and adhesives cabinet and dug out some of the exotic Loctites I have in there, but I wanted to see what the mechanical answers were. You can shim a hole of course, but its hard to do so it looks good. Maybe for my own mold, but not for a customer. Finally I just did it the easy way. I turned custom pins. No kidding. I keep 416L and 303 stainless rod (in a pinch my local metal vendors stocks 304) on hand for various other projects in a few sizes, so I just picked up a piece of 416 that was larger and turned it two about 3 thousands larger than the over sized hole. Then I turned the part that would stick out of the hole to the standard size to fit the clearance hole on the other plate, and radiused the end the way I normally do. Works perfectly. Now I wouldn't want to have to do hundreds of them, but the 5-10 minutes it took me to do one set was certainly more efficient than recutting the mold from scratch. Now that I've done a set could probably do it 2-3 minutes in the future. especially if I move the small lathe into the machine room with the big lathe so I don't have to walk back and forth. Making custom pins was the fastest and easiest way to do it. Now I want to be clear. I have knurled a pin to over size it to have an interference fit in a hole many times, but I've never done it before with such a small pin with that alloy. My vendor just says 18-8 which encompasses a whole range of stainless alloys. I hesitated to post this for a few days, because I know some guys who never make a mistake at anything might take it as an opportunity to be negative, but then I thought. So what. By posting this I might help somebody.
I've been getting prepped to do some powder coating. So far I've done swirl and sprinkle. Preheat jigs and swirl them in the powder jar, and preheat spinnerbaits and sprinkle powder over them with a spoon. I've been using a heat gun because I have one anyway for shrink tube and other stuff in places where a torch just isn't a good idea. I have a couple torches too. Anyway as I look at the wall I can see that some of my precoated baits are better than others. The latter ones better than the former. Many of them clearly have way to much powder. making eye sockets to small or rounding features that should look sharper. Particularly on a spinnerbait head I have been working on a lot. I know many folks use a fluid bed, and I see the appeal. I can certainly make one in an hour or two probably faster once I've done one. I just begrudge my hour here and my hour there until I know it will work for what I want or I know I'm doing something nobody else has done before. Time is precious. I've probably got all of the parts in the shop. Most of the fluid beds I've seen made seem a little shallow for a spinnerbait. A cursory thought on it seems like you have to dip it hook first. I considered maybe something like slits down the sides with a rubber a neoprene flapper gasket, but I also though the heat in the wire and the hook might ruin the gasket fairly quickly. Even if it doesn't or I can find a high heat material like silicone to make such a flap it would still leak powder as the wire and hook slide up and down. That leaves me getting back to dipping hook first or setting up a more involve static gun and powder recovery system. Yeah. That's to much work if I am begrudging an hour to make a fluid bed. It seems a deeper fluid bed than most I see would be required. I don't think that's an issue. I thing I recall one person here is dipping a 10" saltwater bait in a deep fluid bed. My big concern is the hook. I sure don't want to powder coat the hook. Does the hook build enough heat while you are soaking the head in your heat source to hold powder? I know eyes on jigs sure do. I haven't baked anything because I don't have an oven in the shop yet, but I've got a wall full of stuff ready to bake.
I've been using the Mustad heavy wire spinnerbait hooks, and I really like them, but in the bigger sizes (5/0 & 6/0) the eye is quite wide. I was wondering if there was a spinnerbait hook in those sizes (and length) and those heavy wire sizes that has a smaller eye. I really like the Mustad hooks, and they work great in most molds, but when I am pushing height and length while still trying to hit a target weight the thickness has to suffer. This makes the clearance around the eye very small and has a negative affect on the percentage of good pours from a mold. Yes, I'll email Harry at Mustad and ask if they have something different too, but this time of year I imagine he is quite busy. Now if I could only find my Mustad Hook catalog.