boomah21

Devcon

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I have been using Devcon 2 ton epoxy 30 min and for some reason it is not really getting hard.

30 some hours after application it is still tacky? Any thoughts

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You either didn't mix it enough or didn't dispense equal amounts, which is easier than you think to do. Oddly enough, I mixed enough to coat three small lures. Two came out great, one never hardened....ALL FROM THE SAME PUDDLE OF EPOXY......weird.

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Is it tacky in spots or is the whole thing tacky? Spotty patches means that you had some spots that did not get completely mixed. If the whole thing is tacky, I'm not sure what happened to you. 30 hours is more than enough to get a full cure.

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Kevin,

I have run into trouble when I almost run out of mixed epoxy and end up scraping the last bit out of my mixing container. I think what happens is that you can tend to get poor mixing around the edges and bottom of your container. Since then I take extra time to scrape my mixing stick along these edges and watch for small "ripples" in the appearance of the mixture to tell me that it is fully mixed. Also helps to mix a bit exra so you don't run short.

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If it is just tacky another coat should fix the problem. Keep in mind if you left finger prints anywhere they will be there forever though.

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Kevin, you had some resin or hardener that didn't get mixed. 2 problem areas with epoxy prep - insufficient measuring or mixing. If you do both right, it comes out smooth and hard every time. Don't mix it in a container that has any creases or corners, and use a flat piece of plastic (like a strip cut from a credit card). I mix the heck out of mine to the point where it has lots of bubbles in it. No problem. If you brush it out on the lure properly with an artist's brush, the bubbles will disappear. If you coat sticky epoxy with new, the new stuff will cause the sticky layer to cure most times.

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If you're interested in trying to achieve a flawless finish (meaning as flawless as possible...lol, seems like theres always a flaw if you look hard enough)...try to slow down when applying the final topcoats.

Put down a clean piece of paper for a work area. It can be an old magazine or the backside of something you copied, but its always good to have a clean work area and a clean spot to place the lure before you begin.

Wash your hands thoroughly first. Your hands very often contain dust of one type or another which will fall onto the sticky surface and show in the final finish.

Clean your brush of all dust particles by fanning it with your finger or thumb till you can no longer see dust flying off the bristles. Also remove any loose bristles so they can't get dragged into the epoxy during the application process.

Mix the epoxy on a clean non-porous surface. Some guys like the bottom of a soda can. I like medicine cups because if you buy them by the hundred count, they are cheap and disposable...about 4 cents a piece...for four cents, I don't have to slow down and clean anything when I'm done and if I'm mixing envirotex instead of Devcon 2 ton epoxy, the medicine cups have markings on the side which help you achieve a perfect 50/50 mix every time.

I prefer use acid brushes for applying the epoxy. I crimp the tip near the bristles with a pair of pliers to lock down the bristles and fan the brush to remove loose bristles and dust. I do not clean the acid brushes. I toss them when I'm done, because for the cost (about sixteen cents if you buy them in bulk), I don't have to repeatedly expose myself to the toxic solvents required to clean any type of epoxy. For me at least, it is not worth the health hazard, which you will repeatedly encounter if you make baits in any quantity at all...say 50 baits a year times only two coats per bait...you are inhaling highly toxic chemicals 100 times per year...unless you wear a mask and how much trouble is that?

I prefer to avoid mixing on paper or any other surface that might have tiny loose particles on it, because the tiniest of particles will usually show in the finish after it dries.

Mix thoroughly. I use wooden sticks similar to popsicle sticks and despite the idea that it may throw a few bubbles into the mix, they work great. The heat gun remove all bubbles anyway. I know others prefer plastic mixing sticks of some type but I have easier access to popsicle sticks so I use them and toss them after using both ends several times. 99 times out of a hundred if you have bad patches which are still tacky after 24 hours, you failed to mix properly. Once in a great while, I've gotten a bad tube of Devcon. Devcon seems to have a finite shelf life. Try to buy the tubes that have the least amount of yellow in the one tube. It seems to be the "freshest" stuff and goes on a LOT easier and does not have the abbreviated working time that the very yellow tubes have. I've had no such problems with Envirotex lite.

After application of the epoxy, take a moment and turn the bait over as you hold it under a light and carefully examine it for any fish eyes, missed spots or dust boogers. If you find dust, you can at times just remove them by wiping them off with your finger or rolling a toothpick next to them to sort of roll them onto the toothpick.

If I find minor dust or epoxy specks in the finish during the first one or two coats, you can usually leave them as they are and just sand them lightly with fine grade sandpaper prior to the application of the next coat. Of course the final coat is the one where you won't have the luxury if ignoring them because you can't sand them out afterward without scuffing the final finish.

Once you apply the epoxy LEAVE IT ALONE and put it on the spinner or spin it by hand by holding the bait by the tail with a vice grips. Don't keep brushing it and trying to spread it...It will only get progressively worse and it will almost always flow itself out nice and level after normal brushing.

Try to apply the next coat before the previous coat has fully cured...once the first coat has dried to the point where the bait can be carefully handled. By doing this, the next coat will chemically bond to the first giving you the best possible bond between coats. I've had occasion to have to sand out aberrations in a finish and have noticed that allowing the epoxy to fully cure between coats creates a distinct separation between the two, which could create the possibility of delamination of the latter coats, especially with envirotex under certain conditions and most especially if the first coat is applied over foiling. With Devcon, I try to apply the second or next coat after 4 to six hours.

With envirotex, which I use almost exclusively these days, I find that leaving it sit with a cover over the medicine cup (to preclude dust settling on the surface...I use a piece of scrap Lexan as a cover) makes it gel slightly. Because it is a bit thicker after allowing it to sit for ten to 15 minutes, it behaves much more like Devcon...goes on evenly, less prone to run, and far less prone to show dust and foreign particles. It will only slightly abbreviate your working time, but it will go on a bit thicker and require less coats to achieve any desired level of protection. By allowing it to thicken just a bit, I find that I can usually get by with three to four coats instead of four to six thin coats and the finishes are clearly superior and have far fewer flaws. It is probably the best tip I can share about envirotex. I've found that applying envirotex immediately after mixing encourages separations and fish eyes. I know there are times when you only want one thin coat, but even then I let it sit for 10 minutes and try to apply it sparingly while still covering the bait completely.

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One added tip - if you get a contaminant (dust, gnat, hard piece of epoxy, whatever) in your brush while brushing epoxy wipe it off on a hard surface or a lint free cloth - NOT a paper towel. An epoxy filled brush will lift numerous fibers off a paper towel and you don't want them in your clearcoat.

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Here is a good way to mix take a big roll of masking tape found at wal mart and tear a piece of and put it down on your work area mix the epoxy right on the tape when your done peel the tape off and throw it away. (this eliminates non mixing thouroghly)

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thogan6,

Great idea. I'm always trying to figure out where I just mixed the last batch of 5 minute epoxy. I use a margarine top, which is clear, flexible plastic, but, after mixing a bunch of epoxy on it, it's thick and opaque, and I can't see the epoxy once it's mixed and the bubbles have disappeared.

I sometimes wind up using my finger to find the wet spot, so I can use the last of the epoxy before it sets.

Mixing on blue painters tape sounds like the way to go.

Thanks.

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I really like the using the masking tape for a mixing bed. I use paper plates. On the topic of Devcon I have heard people having the problem of it becoming too thick to use. What I have found works for myself is when the clear devcon becomes too thick to drip off the jig/lure to my preferences I simply wave the jig/lure over a flame being careful not to let it get so close as to cause the hair to shrivel. I like to catch the drips and clean the hook eye with a toothpick at this time as well. After I have completed this proceedure I like to ensure that a drip does not accumulate on the jig/lure tip by using a piece of rod handle foam to embed the jig hook into and position the foam handle material and the jig body so that the jig tip is pointed up and let is sit until the devcon is setup. In this way the drip will always move to the back of the jig or lure. Did I mention that I use a toothpick to catch the drips and clear the hook eyes? I know that it all sounds rather complicated but that is the sure way of not having jigs being messed up at this very critical last stage.

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Good tips FF! I make it a habit to work in short sleeves shirts, to cut down on dust...I do however reuse my application brushes, can bottoms, and mixing wire by cleaning immediately afterward with rubbing alcohol...much less nasty than other cleaners. The ten minute waiting period is just a must for E-tex, like you say, even for thin coats.

Dean

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I keep a large "tupperware" type dish with denatured alcohl next to me when I coat with epoxy, and clean my brush in it as I go. I also wear throw away latex gloves ($8 for a box of 50, thank you Pete), and clean my finger tips in the alcohol if they get epoxy on them. A clean towel next to me dries the alcohol off my hands quickly, so I can continue working without delay.

The gloves let me handle the lures without leaving finger prints, which can cause fish eyes and dry spots.

Thanks FF for the tip about letting my Etex sit to avoid fish eyes, and about avoiding yellow D2T.

I've been having issues with the Devcon staying tacky, even though I mix it equally and well. I was wondering what was going on.

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