KelpKritter

Epoxy Help

6 posts in this topic

I just got the first feedback from one of the guys I have given my swimbaits to for testing. I topcoated the bait with D2T with one coat. The feedback was that after a few fish the topcoat started to chip off. The bait is made with PVC and painted with waterbased acrylics. Any advice on why the finish was chipping? The fish were calico bass which have heavy grit sandpaper like teeth.

The angler was willing to pay in the $50 range based on the performance of the bait, which to me, was a bonus. However, the reason he is testing for me is to provide this type of negative feedback to avoid it in the future with other potential paying customers.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

DaveB.

KelpKritter

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Epoxy forms a "shell" that has only moderate adhesion to the substrate it sits on (latex paint). If you've ever removed epoxy from a bait, you know you can usually peel it like an onion. Its durability depends on the shell staying intact and preventing water infiltration. Any sharp edge, e.g., sharp edges on the segments of a swimbait, will look OK but will have very thin epoxy that will wear through quickly. I can't comment on epoxy over PVC but wonder how much heat expansion/contraction PVC has. Maybe not enough to make a difference on a small bass bait, but perhaps enough to matter on a swimbait? I would ask for the bait back for an "autopsy" that might give you clues about why it failed. Perhaps you will need to switch to a solvent based topcoat that has better adhesion.

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Bob,

Thanks for the response. I am fairly familiar with the properties of epoxy, but the D2T seems to be so popular here for topcoating. I have had problems now with baits with no sharp edges, however I was sealing the baits with the solo cup and virgin laquer thinner method. In this case I think the problems was a result of the brittleness of the sealer. With the swimbait there is no sealer, just the paint and topcoat. The trailing edge of the swimbait sections is not rounded over so that could be part of the cause. I was not expecting these issues with all of the positive feedback here. Unfortunately, the bait was lost so I cannot examine it, but the good news is he wants three more ASAP!

Thanks again,

DaveB.

KelpKritter

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Dave-

I use D2T on all my baits and have not had this problem ever. My baits are used for stripers and muskies, blues, tuna and halibut, including surfcasting into the rocks and sand, and I don't have this problem!

Are you spraying or thinning the D2T?

My baits are ABS and lexan, but can't imagine PVC being a lot different. I use createx and faskolor paints, but again that should seem to matter.

Are you brushing the D2T on your baits? Have you tried to apply a second coat and see if that stops the chipping?

Jeff

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You also might try Envirotex Lite (aka ETEX). Musky bait builders seem to like it, applied in multiple coats (3-5?). It contains solvent so may soak into the acrylic better than D2T, but it does take longer to cure and multiple coats makes it a process taking several days. My alternative to D2T has been Dick Nite poly. It's solvent based and has excellent adhesion on wood and plastic (again I don't know about PVC). When I peel epoxy covered baits, the finish always separates in the acrylic latex paint layer, and that tells me the acrylic is the adhesion weak point. I can't peel a Dick Nite bait because the DN has soaked completely through the acrylic paint to whatever lies beneath. That makes for a pretty strong bond. If there is a cost efficient topcoat perfect in all respects, I haven't found it. There always seem to be trade-offs in application, adhesion, storage and handling. But at least we have options.

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I have been applying only one coat. In this case the D2T was not thinned but I have thinned it in the past with denatured alcohol. I am going to see the results I get with multiple coats and the use of an epoxy called Marinepoxy. It is a brand made by a boat building company in Florida that I have used for marine building projects. It seems to be a little more flexible than the Devcon, but I am not sure about it's toughness and abrasion resistance.

Bob, you are right about options. It is one of the great things about building anything for yourself. You get to choose exactly how you want something done.

DaveB.

KelpKritter

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