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Posted 04 March 2008 - 04:10 PM
I tried my hand at applying the D2T last night with a brush. I wish I could say it turned out great, but it did not. I have a wavy or uneven finish and was wondering what suggestions you all would have to eliminate this from happening again. I had the bait set up on my rod drying motor, so the sags/waves are not from being in a stationary position for an extended period of time. Thanks for the help in advance.
Posted 04 March 2008 - 06:26 PM
I've made my share of lumpy finishes and here is what I have learned...
First, have everything ready to go before you mix the epoxy. You really only have a few minutes to work with the epoxy before it starts to stiffen up so be ready to start painting as soon as you mix it.
Second, mix thoroughly - I use the underside of a beer can and a tooth pick. Look for wavy lines in the epoxy which indicates that it is not fully mixed. make sure to work the toothpick up against the edges of the can so that you don't get into unmixed epoxy when you swipe up the last bit of it with your brush. What can happen is you end up with tacky spots.
Third and this is the secret to a super great finish is to mix the epoxy, then thin it with a little acetone. This slows the cure enough to allow it to level. Don't add the acetone until after you mix it, I did that once and it seemed to affect the quality for some reason. Add just a little bit and it will look like a mirror.
4th - know when to leave it alone. As the bait turns I watch for spots that do not get full coverage and use the toothpick to touch up small spots. When the residual epoxy in the bottom of the can starts to get stiff and slow to level - the same applies to the bait and you will have trouble leveling it. You can apply heat to the bait to get the epoxy to flow and level but my experience is that you end up with bubbles and it looks crappy.
Hope this helps...
Posted 05 March 2008 - 01:20 AM
I mix mine in a lid lined with aluminum foil and use a 1/3" strip from a credit card to mix it. Like Pete says, mix it well. You'll have time to coat 1 or 2 bass baits, no problem. Good mixing is critical for a hard slick finish. I add a few drops of denatured alcohol in cool weather to extend brush time. No need in warm weather. There's a knack to brushing D2T. I hold the lure with hemostats. D2T shouldn't be so thin that you need to worry about dripping or running while you brush. Don't overwork it. I use a flat 1/4" wide artist's brush and think in terms of laying it on, not brushing it like paint. Keep the brush loaded and brush in one direction, brushing over the wet surface a few times to make sure there are no voids and any bubbles are broken. You never want to feel the brush dragging on dry lure surface. I hit the margins around the lip and the hook hangers first, then start applying epoxy length-wise around the bait, making sure I haven't missed any spots. Don't worry about excess epoxy on the hook hangers, you can clean if off later with a piece of wire chucked in a Dremel and it's one way to be sure they're properly sealed. After you've cured the epoxy, if you find voids, missed spots, fisheyes, soft spots etc, you can recoat with another batch of epoxy and that will cure the problem.
Posted 05 March 2008 - 08:53 AM
I have a limited experience with epoxy topcoating. Even so, I have learned a few tricks.
I try not to put epoxy on the wire eyes, but if it happens, I pass a toothpick through the eye. The diameter of the toothpick happens to be the same as the diameter of the eye, and so it will clean the eye while the epoxy has not started to stiffen. I think it is easier to clean the eyes at this stage, than when the epoxy is already cured.
I have topcoated a single crankbait yet, using unthined epoxy, and it came out perfect.
But for the other crankbaits I have used thined epoxy, and the surface is rough sometimes. I think it is because I could not get rid of air bubbles, even though I thought that thined epoxy could better solve the air bubbles problem. I started to use a hair dryer immediately after brushing, and also from time to time when the lures rotate, and then I could see much improvement in the smoothness of the topcoat.
Posted 05 March 2008 - 09:02 AM
I've found if I try to put a real thick coat of epoxy on a bait, I get the unlevel finish. Now I brush the excess epoxy off the bait and if needed apply a second coat.
Posted 05 March 2008 - 09:27 AM
If you have spots that are "dry" after the epoxy cures, you can dab on some additional epoxy with a tooth pick, and then put some scotch tape over it to smooth it and blend it in. The tape will pull off after the patch epoxy has cured, leaving a smooth finish.
That works for the big baits I make. I'm not sure if it will work for smaller cranks.
Posted 05 March 2008 - 01:25 PM
I have found that after brushing the epoxy on, a quick shot with the heat gun does wonders to thin and smooth the surface.
Give it a try.
Posted 10 March 2008 - 10:10 PM
I bought a heat gun this weekend and used it very quickly with a quick "breath" on the surface and it makes for a super finish!!! You can see the tiny bubbles release when you quickly work the gun across the surface and the lure looks like a mirror.
The heat gun works much better than a hair dryer. The key is to use as quickly as possible and do a once over the lure with the gun to release the air bubbles.