CL Rods

A few epoxy / clear coat questions

15 posts in this topic

1. D2T dries to a very hard finish, does ETEX or Dick Nites or ??? dry to a finish that seems more flexible?

2. If they dry more flexible how well do they hold up to hook rash from use and tackle boxes?

3. I got some tiny tiny air bubles in the finish of the epoxy, and I have not had that happen before after blowing over the coat once applied. It's not like when there may be a surface contaminent and you get a missed spot or just a thin barely coated spot. These are just real tiny bubbles. They don't really affect the looks but is it likely that water will get through and ruin the paint? What would you do? Thin the epoxy and put on a second coat?

:popcorn:

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I can't tell a practical difference in flexibility among ETEX, D2T, and DN. It does seem to me that epoxy on older baits becomes less flexible over time, possibly due to UV exposure. The DN tends to soak into and bond with the underlying paint and I've never been able to flake it off of a bait to see how it flexes. Contrary-wise, you can usually remove epoxy by running a sharp knife between it and the underlying paint, causing large sheets of epoxy to delaminate from the lure for easy removal. Hook rash - both Etex and D2T seem to have moderate scratch resistance. How long the coating lasts under hooks is mostly a function of how thick the coating is versus how sharp you keep your trebles. But they will show rash pretty quickly. JMHO, DN seems to be more rash resistant than any epoxy I've tried. It's slicker and harder than epoxy in my experience. The specific performance of any of the 3 (especially the epoxies) varies due to mixing, application and curing procedures. Tiny bubbles - ignore them. They won't make the coating any less waterproof.

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I can't tell a practical difference in flexibility among ETEX, D2T, and DN. It does seem to me that epoxy on older baits becomes less flexible over time, possibly due to UV exposure. The DN tends to soak into and bond with the underlying paint and I've never been able to flake it off of a bait to see how it flexes. Contrary-wise, you can usually remove epoxy by running a sharp knife between it and the underlying paint, causing large sheets of epoxy to delaminate from the lure for easy removal. Hook rash - both Etex and D2T seem to have moderate scratch resistance. How long the coating lasts under hooks is mostly a function of how thick the coating is versus how sharp you keep your trebles. But they will show rash pretty quickly. JMHO, DN seems to be more rash resistant than any epoxy I've tried. It's slicker and harder than epoxy in my experience. The specific performance of any of the 3 (especially the epoxies) varies due to mixing, application and curing procedures. Tiny bubbles - ignore them. They won't make the coating any less waterproof.

Couldn't have said any better!

David

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Its starting to sound like DN is the go to to stuff now. Am I mistaken? I havnt tried it yet but my epoxy reserves are almost used up and I am thinking about giving it a try. I had a ton of West Marine epoxy left over after building a drift boat and have been using that with pretty good results.

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MT, I think DN is good stuff but does have handling and storage quirks that are very different from epoxies (search on DN for tips and techniques). I still get more consistent results with D2T and I still go with it when appearance is critical. I'm also more likely to use D2T on a bait that will benefit from a thick finish that levels out very well (often on balsa). I'll use DN when I'm after a more durable surface or when a thin coating is preferable, like on repainted plastic lures. I'm a hobby builder who focuses more on performance than appearance, so I use DN more as I learn its quirks.

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76gator - I have a 'puck' of DN which dried up in a jar, part of it is a thin film (.01mm thick) where it was up the side of the jar. This set DN is probably a year old, and you can not tear/break the thin film, it's as clear as the day it was set, and still very flexable - if this was epoxy it would shatter like glass. pete

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1. D2T dries to a very hard finish, does ETEX or Dick Nites or ??? dry to a finish that seems more flexible?

2. If they dry more flexible how well do they hold up to hook rash from use and tackle boxes?

3. I got some tiny tiny air bubles in the finish of the epoxy, and I have not had that happen before after blowing over the coat once applied. It's not like when there may be a surface contaminent and you get a missed spot or just a thin barely coated spot. These are just real tiny bubbles. They don't really affect the looks but is it likely that water will get through and ruin the paint? What would you do? Thin the epoxy and put on a second coat?

:popcorn:

Heres my take on your comments

1. I can only comment on etex as this is the only stuff I use and it is glass hard. Why do you need flexibility on a lure ??

2. I dont think we will ever get over the problem of hook rash, whilstever hooks brush against a lure they are going to damage the top coat, such is life.

3. The bubbles are a natural phenomenon which we can only do our upmost to assist them in release. What can help is identifying where they are actually coming from, the bait or the epoxy. Leaving the epoxy in the pot to breath before application I find helps and during curing a quick blow over with a hair dryer to lower viscosity during the curing process helps the bubbles to disipate after initial application. CO2 is the secret ingredient to getting rid of trapped air, this is why exhaling over the finish works so well, exhale into the back of the hair dryer for a double whammy, warmth and CO2, luverly.

Edited by philB
Typo

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Phil - I think flexibility is a good thing. It keeps the finish from shattering or cracking on that EXTREMELY rare occasion that you cast your crankbait into a rock:lol: As far as hook rash, I agree if you keep trebles as sharp as you should, most crankbaits will show a rash eventually (or darned quick if you troll them). However, DN takes longer to show a rash than epoxy. We may have a similar attitude about crankbaits. Fish them hard if you want to catch more fish. Forget about making an indestructable crankbait - ain't no such thing! But build them as durable as good performance allows so they will catch as many fish as possible during their limited lifetime.

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Hey 76gator I have that D2T micro bubble issue very rarely myself and when I do I just wipe off the brush and go over the bait then turn the blow dryer on it for a few seconds and then blow on it and they are gone.

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Phil, I like the bit about blowing CO2 into the back of the hair dryer, just don't get your lips too close to the intake ! !pete

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Thanks for the responses. I will probably try DN next. The epoxy I am using worked great on the first couple and sets up a little slower than D2T (although not much) so I think I have just been pushing the envelope on how many I can coat at one time. Seems like it is the epoxy itself that tends to generate the microscopic bubbles more than D2T and as long as they aren't real visible I am going to ignore them.

The epoxy comes from Hobby Lobby and it is just gin clear versus most of the D2T I have seen has a little yellowish tint to the resin which means a lot of times I won't buy it to begin with and have to go search for 'newer' batches of the stuff. So I really like the new epoxy over blue and white colors on baits as the color rendition isn't altered at all.

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Phil, I like the bit about blowing CO2 into the back of the hair dryer, just don't get your lips too close to the intake ! !pete

Simply breath-taking!!!

David

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I've not tried DN, because I tend to shy away from solvent based stuff.

I've used D2T, Etex, and now Nu Luster 55 UV inhibited.

There are several things I've found that really distinguish one from another.

I've found the D2T is a very hard, brittle finish. When I used it on sectional wooden swimbaits, any rock contact (by others, of course, not by me :D) would result in flaking off of the top coat in large sections. I think the wood is flexible enough to bend under impact, and that the D2T doesn't, so it cracks.

I use D2T now exclusively for plastic bait repaints and for coating the inside of wood swimbait joints. The plastic is rigid, so the top coat is never flexed. On the swimbait joints, I wanted an epoxy that wouldn't sag, so I could coat all the little areas while the baits were unassembled, without having to put them on a drying wheel. I've found the D2T is just right for this, as long as I don't put it on too thick, and I can assemble and top coat the lure two hours after I've coated the joints.

I've found Etex to be excellent for wooden baits. It is a tougher, more flexible epoxy, so it handles impacts far better, and doesn't delaminate, like the D2T. The only thing I don't like about Etex, and it's true for D2T also, is that it yellows with exposure to sunlight.

Which brings me to Nu Lustre 55 UV inhibited. It has all of the characteristics of Etex, but it doesn't yellow.

One common complaint about epoxy is that it doesn't like sharp edges, and tends to pull away from them as it sets, leaving exposed areas.

I sand my edges on my swimbait joints so they're soft, and then coat with the D2T, which I lap up onto the face of the lure about 1/4", so there's a continuous film from the inside of the joint onto the surface. Then I assemble the lure, put it on the wheel, and coat it with the Nu Lustre, and there is a good overlap of one epoxy to the other without having to get wet epoxy into the joints again, which is a nightmare.

Lastly, someone on this site, who trolls lures back east, suggested "T"ing my trebles to prevent hook rash. It has cut down on my hook rash 95%, even on jerkbaits and cranks.

I hope this helps.

Edited by mark poulson

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Mark, Re: solvents. Etex contains solvent and I'd guess Nu-Lustre also does if it has a similar consistency and work time. I see pros and cons to all of the clearcoats discussed here on TU. I can't say I have a favorite - using several depending on what clearcoat qualities I want to get on particular baits. I have very rarely seen any delamination like you describe with D2T - 1 or 2 baits out of hundreds. On those few, I suspect I did something "different" underneath the D2T that precipitated the problem. I use D2T on soft balsa baits (I'm sorry I got SOFT balsa, but that's another story). You can squeeze the baits, denting the surface, and it will spring back into shape, D2T clearcoat intact - so the epoxy displays quite a bit of flexibility. I guess what we're all after is an epoxy that's tough as nails and flexible as rubber. Call me when you find it.

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Phil - I think flexibility is a good thing. It keeps the finish from shattering or cracking on that EXTREMELY rare occasion that you cast your crankbait into a rock:lol: As far as hook rash, I agree if you keep trebles as sharp as you should, most crankbaits will show a rash eventually (or darned quick if you troll them). However, DN takes longer to show a rash than epoxy. We may have a similar attitude about crankbaits. Fish them hard if you want to catch more fish. Forget about making an indestructable crankbait - ain't no such thing! But build them as durable as good performance allows so they will catch as many fish as possible during their limited lifetime.

Etex does shatter, I know cos I've done it, only the once mind :).

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