Moon39

Wood Grain

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what is the best way to fill in the wood grain on balsa wood baits? Is there a dip or spray on undercoat someone could suggest . Thanks

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what is the best way to fill in the wood grain on balsa wood baits? Is there a dip or spray on undercoat someone could suggest . Thanks

I use etex to seal the bait before I paint. Most times two coats. Although I am constantly trying different things to seal the bait in order to cut down on time. Some guys use propionate (sp?). Several different ways to skin a cat but the skinning is sealing the bait.

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@ Moon39

Like danderson said , ........there are several ways !

I haven't used probionate yet , but here are some instructions :

http://www.tacklemaking.com/default.php?pageID=112

Most likely a wood sealer has to be used to protect the wood from water sepage , if the topcoat should get damaged(hopefully by big toothy fish :lol: ) , but particulary with balsa as a very soft wood it is also important to kinda "harden" the wood's structure itself , thus render it more rigid .

I remember , that mark poulson had sometimes mentioned a product he called wood hardener , .......put this term into the search function , you will definately find something , ........though I am not quite certain , whether it was suited for balsa as well !

But maybe , he'd even chime in as well soon ?

good luck , diemai :yay:

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I use two methods - epoxy or propionate (aka prop). Both work. You can get propionate pellets to dissolve in acetone from a couple of TU members (I think Palmetto Balsa is one). Make a thin solution of prop, just slightly thicker than water, and dip the bait multiple times. I use 8 dips on soft balsa. It takes only a few minutes between dips for the acetone to evaporate. Let the prop harden for several hours before painting. Alternatively, I coat the bait with two coats of Devcon Two Ton epoxy thinned with lacquer thinner, sanding any rough areas between coats. If you start with a bait sanded down to 400 grit, both methods will give you a glass smooth surface. Both are good balsa reinforcement.

ps - it takes about 24 hrs for prop pellets to dissolve in acetone. I use about a rounded teaspoon of prop in a 12 oz jar. Some guys say other solvents will dissolve the pellets but I know acetone works every time and it has the advantage of evaporating quickly between dips, so I stick with that.

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I use two methods - epoxy or propionate (aka prop). Both work. You can get propionate pellets to dissolve in acetone from a couple of TU members (I think Palmetto Balsa is one). Make a thin solution of prop, just slightly thicker than water, and dip the bait multiple times. I use 8 dips on soft balsa. It takes only a few minutes between dips for the acetone to evaporate. Let the prop harden for several hours before painting. Alternatively, I coat the bait with two coats of Devcon Two Ton epoxy thinned with lacquer thinner, sanding any rough areas between coats. If you start with a bait sanded down to 400 grit, both methods will give you a glass smooth surface. Both are good balsa reinforcement.

ps - it takes about 24 hrs for prop pellets to dissolve in acetone. I use about a rounded teaspoon of prop in a 12 oz jar. Some guys say other solvents will dissolve the pellets but I know acetone works every time and it has the advantage of evaporating quickly between dips, so I stick with that.

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Thanks for the good information I have another question,from this forum I got the disolved plastic cup method for a water seal dip dose the propionate dip do something different from that? I have never dipped a bait more than 3 times in the plastic cup dip but 3 times dose not fill in the grain to a smooth surface.

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I think the plastic cups and prop do about the same thing. I haven't tried the cups because some guys reported that it cracked later. Probably have to use the right kind of cups,huh? Anyway, I'm happy with the prop.

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@ Moon39

Like danderson said , ........there are several ways !

I haven't used probionate yet , but here are some instructions :

http://www.tacklemaking.com/default.php?pageID=112

Most likely a wood sealer has to be used to protect the wood from water sepage , if the topcoat should get damaged(hopefully by big toothy fish :lol: ) , but particulary with balsa as a very soft wood it is also important to kinda "harden" the wood's structure itself , thus render it more rigid .

I remember , that mark poulson had sometimes mentioned a product he called wood hardener , .......put this term into the search function , you will definately find something , ........though I am not quite certain , whether it was suited for balsa as well !

But maybe , he'd even chime in as well soon ?

good luck , diemai :yay:

Dieter,

Thanks for the props.

I would be afraid that the wood hardener would penetrate so much it might affect the buoyancy of a balsa bait, and that would defeat the characteristic that makes balsa so unique. Plus,I don't think it's that hard. It only reinforces the cell structure of what ever wood you put it on.

So here's what I do for balsa baits.

For balsa baits, which I only repaint, and do not make from scratch, after I've sanded them down to raw wood, I put two coats of the runny crazy glue on them, letting them dry between coats.

It penetrates, dries fast and really hard, and is strong. I don't think it would be practical for a production run, and propionate is probably the way to go for that.

But for a one or two lure repaint, it works really well.

Is it time to fish in Germany yet?

Those big pike should be coming shallow soon. Throw that perch swimbait, and hang on.

Mark

Edited by mark poulson

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Dieter,

Thanks for the props.

I would be afraid that the wood hardener would penetrate so much it might affect the buoyancy of a balsa bait, and that would defeat the characteristic that makes balsa so unique. Plus,I don't think it's that hard. It only reinforces the cell structure of what ever wood you put it on.

So here's what I do for balsa baits.

For balsa baits, which I only repaint, and do not make from scratch, after I've sanded them down to raw wood, I put two coats of the runny crazy glue on them, letting them dry between coats.

It penetrates, dries fast and really hard, and is strong. I don't think it would be practical for a production run, and propionate is probably the way to go for that.

But for a one or two lure repaint, it works really well.

Is it time to fish in Germany yet?

Those big pike should be coming shallow soon. Throw that perch swimbait, and hang on.

Mark

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I thought I would add that if you use the prop you probably should be careful with the bills that you are using. Acetone eats up polycarbonate and if I'm not mistaken would do the same with the prop. This is only a problem if you install the bill before sealing and painting. That is why I have never used prop because the one particular bait I make most of the time for a customer has the polycarbonate bill installed before I seal and paint therefore no prop.

Also, I could be wrong but I think you won't get a smooth surface with prop but you can sand it smooth. Again, I haven't done it so I don't know but it may also depend on how many coats you put on. Mr. Ignorant, that's me.

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Yeah, you don't want to get prop on clear lips. I install lips after finishing. As to smooth surface, prop in acetone will be just as smooth as any solvent based undercoating. I dip a couple of times, lightly sand out any bubbles from the wood, then continue dipping. Smooth as silk.

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That has to be a million times quicker than etex twice. The bill has just always been the issue. I have through wire construction with the line tie in the lip, therefore I like to install it at the same time that I glue the bait together. I could glue everything and let the lip swing in after I seal the rest of the bait but that creates other issues. It's just hard to change a system once you have one that's working. But this one bait is a production type thing and quicker means more money which of course is a hard thing to do anyway in this hobby. haha

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Personally, I don't care about 1/8" of clouded lip but I don't like that it peels off the lip later when it is flexed. Prop just doesn't bond to polycarbonate. On the few occasions I've used it like that, I flex the lip and cut off the resulting loose flap of prop with a razor blade. It's a hassle to do neatly so I usually reserve prop for wood baits where I can mount the lip after finishing.

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Hey Guys... My propionate mix is almost fully dissolved..(after 7 days of stirring and shaking!).. I used two ounces of Propionate pellets in a half gallon of fresh clean acetone. ( i did spray with thompson water seal (spray can)..three heavy coats. The blanks have been drying for 4 weeks..the grain is flat and smooth. I used 800 grit sandpaper for final finish and shaping. I will keep you posted after I dip.. I will seal with at least 8 coats(dips), Then base coat (3) with a 70% Pearl white/ 30% pearl sliver, then wet sand to smmmooooth perfection and spray the base once more..dry... then paint. I use D2T to finish with a rotisserie that I made from grill rotisserie,(wal mart).18RPM, that holds 8 baits at once! ahhh ... Fish catching perfection!!

Steve

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