gunnie3035

Don't beat me, about another Etex question

21 posts in this topic

Ok, so I decide to give etex a try. I have a couple test baits to make sure it turns out before I try it on the good stuff. I read 47 pages of etex posts on TU to make sure I get it right. Everything is cool, but I have a serious problem with the tiny air bubbles.

I read and read and read more etex post, but I couldn't find anything remotely asking this questions. I'm sure it has been asked and answered 100 times, but what do ya'll do to get rid of those tiny air bubbles when you brush it on??

The etex instructions suggest using a torch and run it over the bait, luckily I couldnt find my tip last night or I would have tried it. I'm sure it is a simple answer so throw a dawg a bone....

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first start by mixing the epoxy with something non pourus. Mix together slowly without whipping it. This way you start with less bubbles. You can also mix it in the bottom of an unopened cold soda can. This gives you more working time and gives the bubbles more time to rise and pop. Thinning it a tiny bit also helps. When applying it you can brush the bubbles out by running your brush over them, and lastlly you can apply heat to pop the bubles once your bait is coated. You can use a torch or BBQ lighter or a heat gun. Also once the bait is painted I suggest not touching it with bare skin. The oils from your hand can make the epoxy bead up. Use some disposable latex gloves to handle your baits.

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This headache has a very simple solution.

Gently exhale (breath/blow) on the lure where the bubbles are. I use a 6", or so, piece straw and gently blow through it. The carbon dioxide from your breath is what gets rid of the bubbles. They go away almost instantly.

Regarding the torch, its the carbon dioxide from the torch that gets rids of the bubbles, as well, not the flame/heat itself.

Edited by jameso321

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In addition to the above, you could also try breathing on the bait when you're done applying the epoxy.

No, I'm not kidding it works...not as easy as a heat gun or a torch, but it will definitely work.

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The exhaling on the freshly applied Etex really does work !

good luck :yay:, diemai

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The best tip on the subject that I read here on TU, was breathing into the back of a hair dryer set on hot. I could not find the link, so could not give credit to the publisher.

Dave

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...but you don't want to heat Etex on bare wood, or unsealed wood, or you'll be creating a bubble factory. With Etex's slow cure time, the breath trick works fine. Avoid creating excess bubbles by using the bottom of the can like Mattlures said. Mix it with a piece of wire bent into a circle. Don't lift the wire until you are through mixing to avoid plunging air down into the mix, and mix it thoroughly. Allowing it to sit for a few minutes before using will let bubbles release which you can augment by breathing on the mixture. Letting it sit will also allow it to thicken slightly, which I, and many other people, like to do anyway, but don't wait any longer than 10 minutes.

Dean

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Run a hair dryer over it while it's still in the mixing container. I roll the container a bit so the epoxy is thinner on one side at a time. This gets rid of all but the smallest bubbles, and the heat makes the epoxy more runny, so the bubbles that are still in it can rise and burst more easily.

I like the epoxy to be more runny when I brush it on. I use the brush to remove any bubbles that remain.

I turn my lures on a wheel that looks like a ferris wheel, with two large plywood discs on a shaft, and the lures suspended between.

I try not to use the hair dryer on them once they're on the wheel, because it makes the epoxy so runny it can sag.

I find that preheating the lures on the wheel with the hair dryer before I coat them gives me more working time in cold weather.

For the second coat, I try to keep the epoxy runny with the hair dryer in the cup, to eliminate any pulling on the first coat, since I often recoat after only 12 hours in warm weather.

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Another general thing about topcoating with etex.

I just mix mine with a craft stick (popsicle stick) Never had an issue there. Dont whip it as mentioned.

Take a plate and cover that plate with aluminum foil. Poor the etex out on to the foil. This will greatly reduce bubbles AND greatly extends the working time easily 33% or so. Heat is spread out along the foil, so the curing is slower. I have done a dozen or so two ounce size lures with one batch of etex. Prior to that, I was getting about 8 lure max before the stuff was longer workable.

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It is the Co2 that encourages the release of trapped air in etex that is why breathing on the surface works and running a naked flame above also works. I rotate my baits 30" or so above the cooker burner after coating only for a few seconds though this lowers the viscosity of the etex and helps release air. When on the dryer I will breath into the back of a small hairdryer if there are any stubborn air bubbles and this is usually sufficient to do the trick. It will only work for air trapped in the coating and not for air emanating from the wood beneath but that is a whole subject on its own and I dare not go down that road :)

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You can actually enhance the breath trick by adding a catalyst to the process.

Prior to blowing on the bait, eat one of Tater Hog's special plates of Road Kill Squirrel with a lot of his special Possum Garlic Sauce.

You can actually hear the bubbles scream as they vacate the premises.

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I appreciate not getting beat up for the question. Here are the results;

I had a jerkbait that I waited a little too long with 2-ton. So I had some "pointers" in the bait. I lightly sanded them off and re-coated with etex. Threw it on the spinner and it came out perfect. All the advice worked out..... I think I may have been using paint brushes with bristles that were too thick.

So I figured all was good in lure land. I grab one of my prized jerkbaits that I spent the better part of an afternoon painting and applied the etex in the same manner following everyones advice. I let it sit, used the fine bristled brush, and a straw for all the bubbles. It looked awesome!! Threw it on the spinner and went to work on some other baits. A few hours later I glance over and notice the clear coat looks like the tide coming in on the west coast. Waves in the clear coat freaking everywhere!!!!

I must have applied it too thick? I seriously doubt this one can be fixed. Maybe I should just stick with 2-ton...... This stuff is giving me fits!!

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@ gunnie3035

When a Belgian friend has sent me Etex years ago(was my first time using it) , he has clearly warned me to mix the stuff thorougly , also not using up the last remainder in the mixing cup , since the stuff would be easily prone to de-mixing .

I haven't had proplems with it like you have now , but I did with different kinds of epoxy topcoat .

There are also threads about it around , also on German sites , some say , that it happens due to touching the lure with fingers , since the skin emits small amounts of moisture or grease leaving it on the lures surface preventing proper adhesion on certain spots.

Others say , that this happens , because the epoxy was not mixed in exactly required relations or it did not set a bit straight after mixing .

I strongly believe in the latter statement , since the epoxy that I use , does that sometimes as well , but only with the first one or two lures out of a bunch of six to eight .

I'd start to apply it fast after mixing , since it starts to cure pretty soon , if I notice , this de-mixing occurs on the first lures , I just take a little more epoxy and quickly brush the lures over before my mixture has turned too much to a jelly-like consistency , at this stage now it won't de-mix anymore .

But I guess , that it really depends on the brand , that one is using !

good luck:yay: , diemai

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Gunnie, you may have answered your own question,

I must have applied it too thick?
But, on a wheel, it still should have levelled.

Maybe you did the straw thing too late, in other words, the epoxy had already started to thicken, to the point were it was unable to level. But I think you would have noticed the wave at that stage.

A third possibility, is the speed of the wheel was too slow for etex, which is thinner than D2T. But I don't have much confidence in this idea.

I think the straw thing was the culprit, it seams to fit the results that you experienced. I suggest you do the coating under a bright light, this will make imperfections much easier to see.

Dave

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philB,

I dont' know if I'm the only one who has experienced this, but, when I've used a straw to blow onto epoxy to get rid of bubbles, I've gotten condensation dripping out of the straw, and fish eyes in the epoxy. Maybe I am blowing too much, or just have too much water in my breath, but that's been my experience.

Maybe I need a straw with a moisture trap. :lol:

I stopped blowing on the lures once they're on the wheel and coated. Instead, I take the same artist's brush that I used to put the epoxy on with, and brush out the bubbles.

The worst bubbles I get is usually from air trapped under my stick-on eyes. I watch for that during the first hour, while the epoxy is still plenty soft. I found hitting the lure with a hair dryer after the top coat is on can actually cause these bubbles, since the air that's trapped under the plastic eyes heats up and expands, and has to get out some way.

In cold weather, since I put the eyes on just before I top coat, I preheat the entire lure before I put on the eyes and before I put it on the wheel. And I heat the epoxy to help it flow out more easily.

So far, this method had eliminated the eye bubbles.

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Gunnie,

That happens to my lures if I apply the epoxy too thick.

Etex, and Nu Lustre 55, which I now use, are both decoupage (who came up with that word?) epoxies, designed to pool and self level on horizontal surfaces, like table and bar tops. When we put them on lures, the coats need to be thin and even, to avoid the waves you're seeing.

The good news is a second coat tones down the waves, and the fish can't tell the difference. Plus, it will give the bait a unique hydro signature as it goes through the water.

You can wet sand the first coat to get rid of the worst waves before you recoat it. The epoxy is thin, so it shouldn't affect the lure's action too much to put on a second coat. I double coat all my lures, and sometime do three.

I try to put on just enough each coat to have it smooth out when I brush it. And I watch the lures for an hour or so, off and on, so I can redistribute any sags or thick spots by re brushing them, which usually does the trick.

The temptation to put it on as thick as with D2T is great, but it's not the same material, so several thin coats is the way to go.

I just reread your post, and noticed you said you used a straw to get rid of bubbles. Try just brushing them out with a fine artist's brush. I've had problems with using a straw. Probably something along the lines of Rookie's breath.

I appreciate not getting beat up for the question. Here are the results;

I had a jerkbait that I waited a little too long with 2-ton. So I had some "pointers" in the bait. I lightly sanded them off and re-coated with etex. Threw it on the spinner and it came out perfect. All the advice worked out..... I think I may have been using paint brushes with bristles that were too thick.

So I figured all was good in lure land. I grab one of my prized jerkbaits that I spent the better part of an afternoon painting and applied the etex in the same manner following everyones advice. I let it sit, used the fine bristled brush, and a straw for all the bubbles. It looked awesome!! Threw it on the spinner and went to work on some other baits. A few hours later I glance over and notice the clear coat looks like the tide coming in on the west coast. Waves in the clear coat freaking everywhere!!!!

I must have applied it too thick? I seriously doubt this one can be fixed. Maybe I should just stick with 2-ton...... This stuff is giving me fits!!

Edited by mark poulson

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Gunnie,

As you, Mark, and Dave said: Too thick! Be patient, don't give up, everything you do has a learning curve, from lure painting, to sports, music, drinking, or sex. It is why this forum exists, so those with more experience can help those who have less.

Besides, if you quit now, everyone who has helped you with your Etex problem will have wasted their time which will p*s* us off,:pissed: and then we will come and find you, and BEAT YOU UP!!

Not that we'd want to, we would just feel obligated, you understand.

:yay:

Dean

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If only "a few hours" had passed when you noticed the wrinkling/sagging on the baits, you most likely could have simply removed the baits from the wheel, hit them with the heat gun, rebrushed them and removed the excess etex...and then placed them back on the wheel.

Etex takes many hours to solidify under most conditions and you have quite of window during which you can rectify sags and runs...if you pay attention to the baits for the first few hours after you put them on the wheel to spin.

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The waves were only on the sides of the lure. The spinner rotates from nose to tail. At least this is how I had the lure clipped on. The sides would be where the least amount of leveling would occurr. I've coated a lot of lures with 2-ton, I think I simply put it on way too thick. Plus I handled the lure quite a bit. This may have been a factor as well.

On the up side, I lightly sanded the waves an applied another coat. It looks much better. I think one more thin coat may save it. Thanks for all your help.

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Use thin coat etex with acid free brush or 1" sponge brush. Hang tail down. Flip few times in first hour. No problems. Want thicker, can do same thing 24 hours later. I am assuming the guys using spinners are putting etex on very thick. If thin, just hang and flip.

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Fatfingers is dead right, I have managed to rescue baits when the epoxy has been so far advanced in the curing stage I have hardly been able to pull the brush across the surface. The hairdryer is a savior in that situation and when used will make it workable again.

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