33 replies to this topic
Posted 10 December 2008 - 07:13 AM
I think all you need is some courage to make the solution.
I had never measured the required proportion between the 2 components. Even the first time in my life that I made the solution, I put 3 teaspoons of propionate pellets in a jar of about 250 ml ( 8.45 fl.oz.), then filled it about 60% with solvent, and after complete dissolving (2-3 days) I tried the solution with a scrap piece of wood, to see how fast the drops fall off the wood. As the first layer of solution penetrates the wood, maybe the best feeling of how fast the drops fall off the lure can be attained after 2-3 layers. If needed, I added some more solvent.
You have to bear in mind that after using the solution for several lures, the solvent will partially evaporate, and this will make the solution thicker. Practically each time you unscrew the lid of the jar, the solution will become thicker. You may be very scientific when you prepare the solution, and ways can be found to come up with the right quantities without the help of a digital scale ( I admire Vodkaman because he can always find a practical solution to a problem). But then, as you use the propionate solution which will become thicker, you will need to add solvent to it. How much will you add? I think that not even Vodkaman will be able to help you with this. In other words, you may start preparing your solution in a very scientifical way, but then you will need to be an artist to correct its viscosity.
I would suggest you the following:
1) First step is to find the right jar for you, and this depends on the maximum length of the lures you intend to make. The jar has to be about 15-25% taller than the length of the lures.
2) Divide the capacity of the jar in 2 (as per volume, so in fl.oz.). Put 3 teaspoons of propionate pellets for each 4 fl. oz. of that half capacity of the jar. For instance, if the jar has a capacity of 16 fl.oz., you will need 6 teaspoons of pellets and 8 fl.oz. of solvent.
3) Let the mixture dissolve for some days, shaking the jar occasionally. I do not stir the solution with a stick or teaspoon, because I do not want to unscrew the lid of the jar. Depending on the solvent you use, the complete dissolving happens between 2 and 7 days (it also depends on how often you stir in, or shake the jar). Acetone is great to dissolve propionate pellets, but I donít like to use it, because the so called blushing effect is more likely to appear when you use acetone, because this solvent evaporates very fast.
4) Add more solvent if needed, after trying the solution with a scrap piece of wood. I hope to be right about USA measurements. I know that fl.oz., pt., ml, etc. measure volume, while oz., lb., g, etc. measure mass, but I can only think in terms of metric measurements.
Some more things. I think that you will not need a jar with a thick solution of propionate for the moment. This will be handy in case you start making mass lure production.
Donít worry if you think the solution is a little too thin or too thick. It will still work for you.
Depending on the solvent and the temperature of the room, the time between dips can vary. In my case, this time is at least 2 hours. In winter time, after the solution has dried on the lure (15-20 min. hanging on an S wire), I put the lures on the heater of the room (it is warm, not hot). You can be sure that the propionate solution has completely dried out only when you smell the lure and you do not feel the smell of the solvent anymore. And this will happen, as Palmetto Balsa says, in about one day.
I hope you will have enough courage to start working with this stuff.
Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:11 PM
Really good point here. There is a common misunderstanding of curing times of prop. Sure it dries off pretty quick but remains pliable for a good length of time but can be overpainted at this stage, I overpaint mine in around 48 hrs. I believe some luremakers will use prop as a topcoat and that is when the length of set time would become relevant, once hard though it is quite a durable finish but will scratch.
Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:16 PM
I would not be too sure about that
Posted 11 December 2008 - 02:07 AM
Well, I think just the other way round. If as a sealer, the propionate coat can be overpainted in 48 hours, without any subsequent damage to the paint, even if the propionate will still continue to cure for about a month, then the more sure you can be about the propionate as a clearcoat, because there is nothing on top of it, so it can damage nothing. You just go fishing your lures after 48 hours from your last layer of propionate as clearcoat, and the clearcoat will continue to cure in your tackle box, as long as it likes to.
I must admit that you have a good point about Vodkaman. Well, you know him better ...
Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:56 AM
If you are really looking for consistency, then a painters viscosity cup would help control the mix. But as stated above, is it really necessary.
I am considering using prop as a top coat as well as a seal coat. Can anyone post a pic of both side by side, so we can see and compare? I mean a D2T or etex top coat next to a prop top coat.
Posted 11 December 2008 - 01:18 PM
Unfortunately, I can show you only crankbaits made with the printing foil technique. Here they are:
1) This one has about 18-20 layers of propionate solution as clearcoat
2) This one has a single coat of Devcon 2 ton
3) And finally a small thing with a layer of thinned Devcon 2T on top of which I added about 9-10 layers of propionate
I think you can notice the following facts:
1) If I use only propionate on top of the printed picture, the foil doesn't want to show too much through the printed image
2) Same happens if I use a coat of straight Devcon 2T. It is perfect to level out the surface, but you would not be able to see that I have used a foil with a pattern on it.
3) If I thin the epoxy, the foil will show up through the image, and will remain so, even after applying about 10 layers of propionate afterwards.
The foil also shows up beautifully if I use only propionate solution, but this will last less than a minute (while it is still very wet).
Posted 11 December 2008 - 04:08 PM
Great looking biats Rofish. Where did your Romainian accent go. Now you just seem like one of the locals on the site.
This Pinewood Derby Car is sealed with propionate, airbrushed with propionate paint (that I made using pigments and pearl powders), and topcoated with propionate.
Before I discovered the easy method to a crystal clear finish I was able to polish this topcoat with a cotton buffing wheel on my Dremel. The easiest way to get a clear topcoat is to put a few drops of acetone in an empty jar, and hang the bait in it to dry after you have just made your final dip into the propionate for a topcoat. This method removes the moisture from ambient space in the jar and it is the moisture that causes the topcoat to get the blushing effect.
When you hang a lure in a jar with the lid off you can feel the evaporated acetone rolling over the rim of the jar and falling down the side (same as it does when you have the jar of sealer open). It cools the air quite a bit, same as it does to the lure as it evaporates from the propionate.
My avatar is painted and finished the same way.
Edited by Palmetto Balsa, 11 December 2008 - 04:11 PM.
Posted 11 December 2008 - 05:20 PM
Guys ....... thanks soooo much ....... this is great information. Exactly what I was looking for.
Rofish ....... you said you don't use Acetone any more. WHat do you use now to mix with the propionate pellets to put them in a liquid state?
I mixed 2 batches just as instructed the other day. I also found the right jars and I installed a 5" screw through the lid and tightened a nut and washer over some gasket material to seal the hole. I also used 3 nuts and a washer to adjust the place where the lure will stop so it will be held under the solution. I'll probably soak one tonight to see how it does.
Anyway ...... thanks ........ good info !!!!!!
Posted 12 December 2008 - 06:21 PM
Thanks for the pics Rofish and Palmetto.
20 coats is a bit scary, but still planning this route.
Posted 13 December 2008 - 02:36 AM
Thanks. Sometimes when I reread my posts, I can find some mistakes. Perhaps they represent about 20% of the total you can find? Nevertheless, I think the ideas behind the words can be understood.
I use a thinner which is meant for "nitrocellulosic products". The label also indicates it's components: toluene, acetone and butyl acetate, but says nothing about proportions.
You said you've made a device on the lid and it contains a gasket. That gasket has to be solvent resistant, I think you know this.
Now let me tell you something else, because I see you intend to soak the blanks.
I know of 3 ways to accomplish a deep penetration of the wood:
1) This happened to a friend of mine (pikeman, also on this site). He left the blank in the jar with the propionate solution, and forgot about it (he went away from home for a week). When he came back, he found the blank on the bottom of the jar, which means that the wood was completely soaked in solution.
2) Palmetto Balsa has developped a way of deep penetration of the wood by using a vacuum device. There is a thead somewhere here where he explains in detail what he has done and what he has found out. Maybe you can find this thread, because there are some very interesting things to read there.
3) I thought about using heat for deep penetration of wood. I put the blanks in the oven, and when they were almost hot, I soaked them in propionate for about 2-3 minutes.
But I had a theory about this soaking process, which I had to prove to myself, and I think I did.
After submerging the hot blank into the solution (using pliers on a wire eye tie) I let them hang on an S wire. The surface dried off quickly, in less than a minute, because the blank still had a higher temperature than the room's temperature. After about 10 minutes, I put the lure back into the oven. What do you think it happened next? Propionate solution sprang out of the blank in places.
I do not recommend my method to anyone, because of the risk of an explosion. I was very careful, I turned off the gas fire before putting the soaked lures back in the oven, then after some minutes I opened the door of the oven, so that the accumulated solvent vapors there could escape out, then repeated the process, but still, there is a risk.
Anyway, the fact that the propionate solution came out of the lure when using heat, had a meaning for me: perhaps only heat can take out the unnecessary wet solution of propionate which is deep inside the wood.
Soaking completely the blank in solution has, in my oppinion, 2 major desadvantages:
- it makes the lure heavier
- the trapped solvent inside the lure can cause problems afterwards, when the lure is exposed to different temperatures
My theory was that since the lure starts to dry off from the outside to the inside, the cured layer at the outside will prevent the solution deep inside the lure to cure. After all, we are talking about a sealer here, don't we? So even if you will let the lure cure for a week at room's temperature, the wet solution inside the lure cannot cure. The wood is not a homogenous material, so in some places the solution will go deeper than in others.
Still, I do not want anymore my crankbaits to be fully loaded with propionate solution. Now I only warm the blank before the dipping, then put again the blank at the same temperature (or higher).
This is also less time consuming.
I think you have now enough information to start working with this stuff.
Posted 13 December 2008 - 05:59 AM
Rofish, very good points about the internal gassing problem. But I think that this problem exists for very sealer that completely seals, because the inside is full of air, especially balsa.
If the lure is left in the sun, the air will expand and try find a way out. If it succeeds then the seal is compromised.
It may be better to deliberately drill a small hole, to control the gassing and seal this with subsequent coats. This also indicates that the first coat may need much longer to dry than we originally thought.
Some may say we are getting a bit too deep with this, but we are just trying to get the best from the product and at the same time give value for money with our products.
Posted 13 December 2008 - 08:17 AM
I guess I forgot to say, that I was speaking about the first coat of propionate. But you have understood it the right way.
I could add that I made the same experiment after half an hour from dipping the blank into the solulion, and the propionate still sprang out of the lure when it was exposed to high heat.
In fact, I believe that heat is the only solution to cure a blank which was completely soaked in propionate solution. Otherwise, there will be traces of solvent inside the lure, even if you leave it to cure for a month.
So I try to warm my blanks before sealing them, knowing that the lure can withstand higher pressure from outside then it can from the inside (remember when we discussed about pressures in submarines and airplains?)
So if you leave your crankbait in the sun, it will have better chances to survive in case the blank was sealed at a higher temperature.
Posted 14 December 2008 - 10:36 PM
I am thinking about giving this a shot but I want to confirm/disprove an assumption. I use Createx water based paints as well as thinned acrylics and I assume that this will not work with proponiate due to the acetone/virgin lacquer thinner reacting to the paint. However I thought I read on an earlier post that you could use water based paints if you heat set it. My question is can you safely paint water based paint on a propionate sealer and if so how long should you let the bait dry before applying paint to ensure the acetone/lacquer thinner has fully evaporated?
Posted 15 December 2008 - 02:20 AM
I remember that Palmetto Balsa has discovered that if he shoots thin propionate solution over the paint, in small quantities, leaving enough curing time between coats, the acetone in the propionate solution will not react with the paint. I haven't tried it yet (since I do not have an airbrush ) so I think he is the one who can answer all your questions.