.dsaavedra.

Water on unfinished wood

13 posts in this topic

ok so you have probably seen my swimbait project (if you havent, check it out! "a swimbait in the making").

well before i go ahead and epoxy everything together and paint and epoxy and all that, i wanna see if this bait will swim. if it doesnt swim, i do not know what i will do, but if it does, then i will carry forth with the finishing process.

my question:

if i were to test this bait in a swimming pool WITHOUT sealing the wood with anything, would there be any adverse affects on the bait? im not gonna let the lure saturate in the pool, just a few casts to see if it swims or not.

would a coat or two of polyurethane seal it enough for a pool test?

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Definitely seal it before you test it. Unsealed it will soak up water, and this will affect it buoyancy. It will also need to be dried out thoroughly before painting. In addition, water intrusion will raise the grain of the wood when it dries, necessitating further sanding and surface preparation. Last, but not least, any water not dried out of the wood when you finish will make the wood swell and contract, which can damage the paint and clear coat. It will also rust any hardware inside the lure body.

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yeah thats what i figured would happen :cry:

would 2 coats of polyurethane seal it good enough?

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That should do it. Let the first coat really soak in, then dry. Lightly sand it, then apply the second coat.

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I got this tip from one of the veterans on here but I use 75/25 2ton (75) to denatured alcohol (25)....I love it and It really soaks in the wood well. I think there are folks on here that use a 50/50 mix as well.

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The time used for topcoating before first testing really pays off :yes:!

Like previously mentioned here , the smallest problem would be having to sand over again , the bigger problems are failures of balancing the lure properly , since it soaked water !

Also I heard , that certain kinds of epoxy should not be exposed to water the first three days , so a paint coat would protect the bonds as well .

Also once a friend told me , that he got quite annoyed over one jerkbait , that just did not dry properly , since he was in a hurry about finishing it !

After the testing I'd just sand those topcoats a little rough , so that following primer coats would adhere better !

Good success with your bait , Dieter

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Undercoating, waterproofing, priming - I can't keep it all straight! I brush 50/50 denatured alcohol/Devcon 2T on raw wood. 8-10 hrs later, I sand the gloss off the epoxy and paint. The denatured alcohol will slightly raise any end grain on the bait but that gets smoothed when sanding off the gloss. Cured epoxy is a fairly inert coating and won't react with any succeeding coating I've tried.

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Definitely seal any wood before you get it wet.

Wood cells are generally shaped like a honeycomb, hexagonal. When the wood is alive, the cells carry water and minerals up to the leaves, and processed sugar (sap) back down to the roots.

Once the wood has been cut and slowly dried, the cells are stable. If you get them wet again, they absorb the water and swell so the outsides of the cells are almost rounded, and when they dry out again, the walls collapse, unless it dried really carefully. That's why unprotected exterior woodwork, like windows and doors, show shrinkage and cracking at their joints, if water has gotten into them. And why keeping up your exterior paint on your house is so important.

Minwax Polyacrylic is a good sealer, dries quickly, and can be painted over after light sanding.

I dip my lures in it after I've epoxied in the hinges, hook hangers, and line tie, and then I can water test for buoyancy and balance without worrying about getting wood waterlogged.

On smaller lures, you can just coat it with crazy glue. Like BobP said, D2T cut 50/50 with denatured alcohol works well, too, and, in the case of softer woods like balsa, can help make the lure more durable.

Edited by mark poulson

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i dipped each piece in polyurethane and let them soak for about 20 seconds and then swished the around in the polyurethane for about another 20 seconds and then dripped off all the excess and let them dry.

do you think this one coating will be sufficient or do i need another?

i hope one coat will do cuz im very anxious to see if this thing will swim or not!

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That should do for water bucket or bath tub testing, so you can check the balance and float/sink.

I don't remember if you said you wanted it to float, "suspend", or sink. You can get the weighting right in a 5 gallon bucket of water. Be sure you have the hooks and split rings you're actually going to use attached, the line tie in place, and any tail you might want to use attached. All those things add weight, and you can use the hooks to hang additional weight temporarily until you get it weighted like you want.

I try to get my lures to hang horizontal in the water. The floaters have about 1/2" of the back out of the water, the suspenders just barely float, and the sinkers fall and, hopefully, rest on the hooks on the bottom in an upright position.

I use #5 split shot to add weight as needed.

I usually figure my paint and topcoat are going to weigh around 2-3 grams, just about a #5 split shot, so after I've figured out how much ballast I need and where, I subtract one spit shot, to allow for the finish. If it winds up lighter than I wanted, I just add another coat of epoxy, but it's usually pretty close.

I never cast them at the local pond without a second coat of water proofing, and, usually, my first coat of Krylon primer. Too much can go wrong when I'm actually casting them across the water.

It sucks big time if you get water into the lure after all the work you've gone through, so be patient and take the extra time and precautions. You don't want to worry about the finish failing because you trapped water under it.

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ok thanks for the info mark.

for weights i used steel bearings, so i have no idea how much they weigh. i would say around 1/16 oz.

im gonna stick it together with rubber cement and give it a run in the bath tub.

if it has no swimming action at all, is there anything i can change to give it action?

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There are a couple of things to try if it doesn't swim well. First I'd say get it adjusted so the weighting right and it sits in the water horizontal, with most of it's body immersed. If you have it sitting too high, even if it sits horizontal, it will lean to one side or the other on the retrieve.

After you've gotten the weight right, if it still doesn't swim well, you can add a bill. I haven't made swimbaits with bills, so I can't advise you on that part.

First things first.

Stick it together and give it a bath, and let us know how it works.

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i made a post in the other thread about the bath test.

it was leaning over in the water and struggling to swim. i did get a few tail kicks out of it. i need more weight along the belly to keep it upright.

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