MTfishingrods

Could this be a solution to bubbles in epoxy coats?

7 posts in this topic

With all the problems that arise with bubbles forming in epoxy top coats I have been wondering if drying our bits in a vacuum box or a pressure box would solve that problem? Has anyone ever tried either of these methods? Or can anyone think of any reason it would not work? Batery operated turners are already available in the rod building industry so it can still be turning while drying. But under enough pressure the air bubbles should be crushed. Or under a vacuum should be removed.

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Heat up your lures before you apply epoxy.. does 2 things.. takes out the bubbles because your putting it on thinner... plus you can spread it a whole lot easier!! it will spread like melted butter!!! if it start to get really sticky and hard to spread... Heat it up some more.. Just not too much or you will get holes in the first coat... you will know what I mean the next day... if that happens.. To fix that.. scuff the lure with 1,000 or 1,200 grit sand paper very lightly and reapply another coat! Also if your used baits have some hook rash that hasnt broke the clear yet.. you can do the rescuff and apply a 2nd coat to fix the hook marks! Bait will look brand new after you done and you dont have to repaint them.

The Rookie

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Your 100% right Rookie, but on wood baits if you heat them you create the gassing which in turn creates more bubbles. Your method would work perfectly on everything else though, and is exactly what I do to get bubbles out of the flexcoat finish on rods. A light flame with my alchohol burner is all it usually takes. I was just thinking of something that would be foolproof every time. Consistent from bait to bait. Under x amount of pressure the bubbles should be crushed and the finish would be perfect every time. Shouldnt matter if the epoxy is heated or not thinned or not. Somebody smarter than me come tell me this is not going to work. I know there are a bunch of you out there.

Edited by MTfishingrods

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Just my humble oppinion about a thing that I have not too much experience with.

Pressure is not what you want your lure to be in, while the epoxy sets. After the process is done, the volume of the lure would like to come back to normal, and this may lead to cracks in the clearcoat, especially if you forget your tackle box in the car, on a hot summer day. And I do not think that the bubbles would just disappear, they may just become smaller.

On the contrary, vacuum is something good for for the lure, even if more bubbles would come out of the wood. Those bubbles would also make their way to the surface, and disappear into thin air (or vacuum?). Maybe those bubbles would also destroy your paint job, but that's a minor issue, I think. Such a problem can be avoided if you make a good sealing of the bait.

When the lure is again at normal atmospherical pressure, you do not have to worry about clearcoat cracking, because the pressure in this case is applied from outside to the clearcoat, and the clearcoat has something to lean on (the wood), so it would not crack.

Anyway, I do not know why you want your lures to be clearcoated this way, because you have enough ways to get the bubbles out of the clearcoat. Heat, as Rookie says, should be enough to solve the problem, but if it isn't, you could also try thinning the epoxy, which would make it even more like melted butter, thus allowing the bubbles to escape from the epoxy.

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I have yet to epoxy finish any of my baits as I am just starting out and still in earlier phases, but here are my thoughts. First, was the alcohol burner, which I also use in rod building, but as you mentioned, may not be the answer. Another rod building tip I used and may be helpful here is blowing on the bait thru a hollow ball point pen. It moves the epoxy around enough to break up the a lot of the bubbles. However,I do not know how effective the final result will be using this method only as I always go over the rod with the alcohol flame as a last step.

DaveB.

KelpKritter

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I generally agree with Rofish but think vacuum would just suck a bunch of air out of the bait and into the epoxy finish. I also think pressure may supress bubbles or make them smaller but might cause a problem after the bait is returned to normal pressure. A bait can withstand much more pressure from the outside than it can from inside due to its surface curvature. If I were going to try one, I'd pick pressure. But I wouldn't get my hopes up because I think MOST epoxy bubbles are caused during its application.

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BopP,

As I said, a good sealing of the bait would prevent air bubbles to escape from the lure, and even if they would, the vacuum combined with heat, and possible with epoxy thinning, would determine the air bubbles to continue their way up to the surface, so to the vacuum itself.

As you say, a bait can withstand much more pressure from the outside that it can from the inside, and that's exactly what I was saying. So if you apply the epoxy under air pressure, when the epoxy is cured and you return the lure to normal pressure, that lure might have a problem, which would be very much amplified if the lure is kept at a high temperature (as I said, in your car, perhaps under the windshield, in a hot summer day). The lure has already a higher pressure in the inside, compared to normal atmospherical pressure, and if you increase the internal pressure by heat, I think you might have a problem.

So I would choose vacuum instead of more air pressure.

But as I said, neither of the 2 is necessary since you have heat and thinning at your disposal to get rid of air bubbles.

Just look at the pictures in the gallery posted by Fatfingers, for instance (could be anyone, but Fatfingers also has some close ups, and the finish of his lures is perfect). Do you see any air bubbles there?

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