jcarman

Devcon topcoat issues

46 posts in this topic

I am using the devcon 2 ton epoxy for my topcoat and i am running into issues with small "dimples" in it once it dries. I am applying the epoxy with epoxy brushes, heating it to eliminate air bubbles prior to putting the lure in the turner, but I still seem to get a few here and there. It might be dust/ dirt, but I keep my area as clean as possible. Anyone else having these issues? Is there a better topcoat?

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Oils from your hands can cause epoxy problems as well. Yes there are much better top coats out here. You must search these boards and find the one that works best for you.

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I use 2 Ton also and have not had problems like that since I started using a blow dryer. I place my bait in my turner and coat it real good with the Devcon, then I turn on the turner and run the blow dryer over the baits. It seems to really smooth out the Devcon, and it drys good and smooth and clear.

Hope This helps.

Emmett

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There lies your problem. Don't heat it after you've applied the Devcon. Let it dwell for a few minutes after you mix it to release air, or heat it a little while mixing. If you take the time to brush out air bubbles, you can avoid all that. I never concern myself with air. My epoxy is full of air after I mix it, but brushing it out elminates it, and I can't remeber the last time I saw an air bubble in a cured lure. also another example of using quick-set epoxies. Think sllloooowwwwww cure.

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I think maybe your brush is not wetting out the lure surface properly. Like Striperknight, I mix the heck out of Devcon. Then I use a soft flat artist's brush to smooth it out on the lure. If done properly, brushing gets rid of 99.99% of any bubbles. I don't see any need to heat the lure afterwards. If I see a small bubble, breathing on it usually gets it gone. Some guys use a coarse flux brush to apply epoxy, then throw them away. I think you can do a much better job with a 1/4" artist's brush that has fine bristles which pop bubbles as you brush the lure. Clean it "vigorously" in denatured alcohol, lacquer thinner or acetone and brush it dry on a clean cloth. My current brush has lasted 2 yrs.

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you want the way to fix it let me tell ya cause i had the same problem with bolth devcon and etex.

it was from oils and or dust ......:cry:

shoot a clear coat over the plug and let dry befor you epoxy problem solved.......:yay:

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Gentlemen-

Thanks for all the tips and help, even got a phone call from a member giving me a few hints. I'll try them all and see how it works! The hell of it is that when I was doing a few lures here and there I had great success, but since my volume is up and I am in more of a hurry these problems have cropped up. Thanks again-

Jeff

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I think maybe your brush is not wetting out the lure surface properly. Like Striperknight, I mix the heck out of Devcon. Then I use a soft flat artist's brush to smooth it out on the lure. If done properly, brushing gets rid of 99.99% of any bubbles. I don't see any need to heat the lure afterwards. If I see a small bubble, breathing on it usually gets it gone. Some guys use a coarse flux brush to apply epoxy, then throw them away. I think you can do a much better job with a 1/4" artist's brush that has fine bristles which pop bubbles as you brush the lure. Clean it "vigorously" in denatured alcohol, lacquer thinner or acetone and brush it dry on a clean cloth. My current brush has lasted 2 yrs.

I disagree. A 1/4" coarse brush is the best for epoxy, unless it's a tiny lure. You need the coarseness to forcefully wet out the lure surface. That's a unique property of epoxy. It levels out rather well. I put my lures on the rack with brush marks all over, and they turn out like glass.

Purpledemon.jpg

Edited by Downriver Tackle

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Wow; lots of differences in methods and results. Maybe, there is more than one issue being dealt with. Personally, I use kid's crafts brushes from wallyworld; 30 for $2.50. disposable.

I have tried to clean brushes but they never seem to work properly a second time for me.

When ever I try to rush the work, problems crop up. Sometimes dimples or very small uncovered areas can go undetected by not having good light or rushing my inspections.

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Guess this a litteral case of "different strokes/different folks". I never have a problem wetting out the surface with Devcon. I think of it as laying on epoxy rather than forcefully brushing it, and I want to keep the brush loaded so I'm not dragging a "dry" brush over the surface. I use inexpensive square "blending brushes" that cost $8-9 for a 6 pack. They're not really "soft" bristled but they're way softer and finer than a coarse bristle flux brush. End result? - same glass like coating as DT:)

Guys who do it regularly develop a routine that works for them and it's always different from someone else's. It doesn't matter as long as we get to the same finish.

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Hi Jeff

Here are my comments for what they are worth as I have been through your problems more times than I care to remember. First thing is the epoxy, good quality is a must this is why everyone will recommend D2T or Envirotex, both these are proven epoxies. Second, well sealed wood as air problems which create craters and dimples can be air release from the wood and not the exoxy, remember if you are using heat to smooth and level then you are going to expand the air within the wood which will then force its way out into your top coat, I have in the past created craters like volcanoes.

Third is cleanliness, silicone and grease marks will prevent the exoxy adhering to the surface and thats when you get your classic 'dry' spots where the epoxy pulls away from the contaminated area, these are of a quite different appearance than craters or dimples. I would suggest that dust does not come into the equation as all this does is sit in and on the epoxy and not look nice, it is an aesthetic corruption.

Next is something that I believe is very important, this is temperature and humidity. Epoxy does not behave well in high humidity and low temperatures. I cured a load of my problems with the purchace of a de_humidifier which has a heater incorporated. A dry atmosphere and warm environment will encourage epoxy to behave.

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BobP and philB; Thank you for taking the time to record your experiences and the reasoned way you present your observations. Most of all I wanted to complement your writing skills; I still "smell" a book on luremaking. Wouldn't it be awesome to include sections on some of the "masters" past and present? Woody Bell (early Japanese lure designer?), Tennesse Tuffy, Bagley, and so on.

Yes, I am sober, ken

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Everyone who responded to silverdoctor's problem was possibly correct. Eliminating or preventing any possible surface contamination before applying any clearcoat is always necessary. If you're going to heat your epoxy, then the lure must be thoroughly sealed, as philB noted...and as anyone who has ever tries to seal balsa with heated epoxy immediately learns :eek:.

Dean

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Guess this a litteral case of "different strokes/different folks". I never have a problem wetting out the surface with Devcon. I think of it as laying on epoxy rather than forcefully brushing it, and I want to keep the brush loaded so I'm not dragging a "dry" brush over the surface. I use inexpensive square "blending brushes" that cost $8-9 for a 6 pack. They're not really "soft" bristled but they're way softer and finer than a coarse bristle flux brush. End result? - same glass like coating as DT:)

Guys who do it regularly develop a routine that works for them and it's always different from someone else's. It doesn't matter as long as we get to the same finish.

I wasn't saying your technique was wrong. Just disagreed that a fine brush "can do a much better job", as you posted. Maybe with urethanes or acrylics, but brush doen't matter too much with epoxies. I buy packs of 85 1/4" disposables on Ebay for around $10.

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Using the hair dryer on the bait, after the epoxy is applied and while it is turning on the wheel, to just smooth it out works great for me. I don't heat the bait, just blow the epoxy with a little worm air to smooth it out. What can I say, it works good for me.

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All great tips, but like Striperknight & smitty mentioned, craters or voids in an epoxy finish is most likely oil/wax contamination.

Heating & various application methods will improve or ease the application an epoxy finish, but if the surface is contaminated, oils & waxes will "repel" the epoxy from flowing or wetting out properly.

Make sure you have adequate light to inspect your application if you are brushing on epoxy, its real easy to miss a spot, if you indeed covered the entire surface & voids continue, then its contaminated.

Smitty's solution of adding a barrier coat is one fix, another would be to avoid touching the body with bare hands & make sure you have a good water/oil trap, along with a filter on your air lines (if airbrushing).

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IMO, epoxy has a single advantage over moisture cured poly - it levels out and hides surface irregularities extremely well. Otherwise, the poly is tougher and slicker. On the high end japanese bait repaints that Rookie is famous for, DN wins hands down. Thin, clear, glossy and tough as nails. Just what he's looking for.

A few TU'ers (well, maybe just Dean!) use multiple coats of Dick Nite as their standard clearcoat. It makes a very durable lure but takes several days to apply. If you've ever sanded moisture cured poly like DN to prep a repaint, you'll see why guys choose it.

TU'ers are roughly divided between guys who build baits as a hobby and guys who are into production for sale. The different perspectives mean alot when choosing equipment and finishes.

Haven't had so much fun since the Devcon-ETEX skirmishes! Cry "Havoc!" and loose the dogs of war! :lol:

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All great tips, but like Striperknight & smitty mentioned, craters or voids in an epoxy finish is most likely oil/wax contamination.

Heating & various application methods will improve or ease the application an epoxy finish, but if the surface is contaminated, oils & waxes will "repel" the epoxy from flowing or wetting out properly.

Make sure you have adequate light to inspect your application if you are brushing on epoxy, its real easy to miss a spot, if you indeed covered the entire surface & voids continue, then its contaminated.

Smitty's solution of adding a barrier coat is one fix, another would be to avoid touching the body with bare hands & make sure you have a good water/oil trap, along with a filter on your air lines (if airbrushing).

Craters are produced by escaping air. To demonstrate this the picture shows a crater created in a jerkbait by the eye. If the air escapes during the early stages when the curing is beginning and the epoxy is at low viscosity then the chances are the epoxy will just refill the crater. However if it happens when the epoxy is at a high viscosity it may not be fluid enough to run back into the crater. If it happens at a very advanced stage of curing then a ruinous crater will appear which could be large and with a sharp edge (a lot of craters look rounded at the edges like a hollow dimple).

The pictured crater happened because I bought some eyes with a peg on the back and had to drill a hole to fix them. Instead of filling the hole prior to fixing the eye I just popped it in the hole and epoxied over. During curing the temperature rose and at the stage where the epoxy was almost cured the air bubble forced its way out :oooh:8O. The resulting crater is a sight to belold and in a strange way I am quite proud of it:?. Hows about a competition for the best lure makers out takes with a prize at the end ?? I think I am in line for a medal with my 'awesome crater'. If you look carefully you can see plenty of small air bubbles around the eye.

DSCF0721.jpg

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IMO, epoxy has a single advantage over moisture cured poly - it levels out and hides surface irregularities extremely well. Otherwise, the poly is tougher and slicker. On the high end japanese bait repaints that Rookie is famous for, DN wins hands down. Thin, clear, glossy and tough as nails. Just what he's looking for.

A few TU'ers (well, maybe just Dean!) use multiple coats of Dick Nite as their standard clearcoat. It makes a very durable lure but takes several days to apply. If you've ever sanded moisture cured poly like DN to prep a repaint, you'll see why guys choose it.

TU'ers are roughly divided between guys who build baits as a hobby and guys who are into production for sale. The different perspectives mean alot when choosing equipment and finishes.

Haven't had so much fun since the Devcon-ETEX skirmishes! Cry "Havoc!" and loose the dogs of war! :lol:

Haven't been here long enough to have been in on the great epoxy-urethane debates, but I can see where epoxy is getting bum rap. Like I've said about a dozen times so far......... it's because people are using GLUE, not PAINT epoxy. Two totally different animals. For one, glue film properties are much different that epoxies formulated as protective coatings. Glues are formulated for strength and adhesion. Pretty much nothing else. Coatings are formulated for those properties, plus mar and abrasion resistance, wetting and flowing for ease of application, UV resistance, etc. Glue epoxies are epoxy resin and accelerator, nothing else. Possibly a wetting aid. Epoxies made for coating applications contain epoxy resin, accelerator(much less!!, a key!), wetting aids, surface leveling agents, slip and mar resistance additives, and some have UV inhibitors. I can see where some guys who do it just for themselves don't want to buy a quart of clear, so a couple of tubes of D2T is perfect. But, if anyone likes epoxy, and paints a significant quantity, they should take a look at the different 100% solids flooring epoxies out there. IMHO, if you're using a good paint epoxy, the only thing SOME urethanes have over it is UV resistance.

As far a coating weight/thickness also, which people freak out with epoxy too. We did a huge study on epoxy and coating weight for a very concerned customer. We weighed about 10 lures/ea of all kinds of different brands and types of a big order I was doing. No matter the manufacturer we checked, lure weight varied about +/- 25% right out of the box, even suspending baits. Some varied by +/- 50%!!!! We reweighed all the lures after painting and clearing with 100% solid epoxy and compared them to that lures weight before painting. A full multi-color paint job and a thick coat of epoxy only increased lure weight by 10-12%, very consistently. We even wet tested some of the heavier suspending and floating baits, and even though they were on the heavy end coming right out of the box, and painted, they all still floated or suspended as they should.

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Hi DT

Words of wisdom indeed, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head. I have tried more epoxies than I care to mention and although I have not done any kind of in depth studies as you have I see the results of my efforts and decided out of them all that Etex and another I have (don't even know the name !!) are the best finishing epoxies I have used, I don't think it is coincidence that they are both coating epoxies. The unknown one is a solvent free flooring epoxy and Etex is marketed for coating all sorts usually table tops ect. I reckon in practice these two epoxies take at least 48 to 72 hours to attain their full hardness even though the claimed times are a lot lower.

Personally I am very happy with epoxy as a finish coat though I have to admit they are a lot fussier than others available.

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Philb , I've had the same problem with the air coming out in later stages especially at the carved details. I used to carve small lines on the lure and everything went well until the topcoat , the brushing was as smooth as it can be , turned the lure for 30 min and let it cure overnight , in the morning BOOM the air was there , noticed that I've had the same problem with propionate then I've solved it somehow , the details must be well defined and the topcoat as thin as it can be...with propionate there is no problem due to the fact that you can thin it alot a do multiple dips. As for Devcon , I used it now only on larger lures ;)

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DT, you're very knowledgeable about finish epoxies and I appreciate the added info. I've used Devcon Two Ton, ETEX aka Envirotex Lite table top epoxy, and one other table epoxy (forgot the brand but it yellowed like crazy).

I often use Devcon. Readily available, fairly cheap, brushes well, levels great, cures hard in 24 hrs, looks good and wears pretty well. When I say "wear well" I mean equal to most factory baits. I can't see any yellowing on pearl white lures I painted with D2T 3 yrs ago, so I'm not knocking it on that score either.

Other TU'ers prefer ETEX. It contains a solvent so is a thinner finish that cures more slowly. Users give it high marks for durability. It's a favorite among custom builders who use multiple coats for a thick clearcoat on musky lures.

Dick Nite Lurecoat is a very thin (compared to either of the above) moisture cured poly. DN had it formulated to clearcoat DN spoons. Tough, slick, thin, glossy stuff. If you want to dip finish it's a great choice but you can also brush it and get a nice clearcoat.

One critical quality of ALL these "TU Favorites" is they are readily available. Walk into any Walmart and buy Devcon. Walk into any Michael's Craft store and buy ETEX. Click on a banner ad at the top of this page and get DN at a great special price for TU'ers.

Most of us are not wedded to any particular product or brand. Show us something better at reasonable cost and we'll jump at the chance to use it. So - what's its brand name, where can we get it, and how much does it cost? Is there a minimum order size? Do we have to contract with an epoxy company to get it custom formulated?

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