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Minwax Wood Hardener

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Hi guys,

I do not believe in product bashing without justification, and thus I thought I would share with you my personal experience with the Minwax Wood Hardener. I will first say that I came up with my first batch of 50 muskie lures last year, and that I had sealed them with Nu Lustre 55 prior to priming and painting, and then re-sealed with the same product after the paint job. Those lures really stood the test, but though I like the strength and durability of epoxy, I hate manipulating it as I find it is a pain in the neck. Thus, I looked around for an easier (dipping) way to seal my lures prior to painting, though I still intended to use epoxy as the final coat over the paint. Thus, this year's batch of 36 lures were sealed with the Minwax product, then primed and painted, and sealed again with NuLustre 55.

On my first day out, half of the tested lures cracked lengthwise. I believe not sealing them at all would have given the same result, and as I am a new father and have less time to spend in the workshop, I am extremely disappointed. I will never use the Minwax Wood Hardener again. I will go back to two sealing steps with epoxy instead. I am sure that the Minwax product is good for some other applications, but not for my type of lure making. Here are the details about the lures:

- All lures are made out of wood (birch or maple)

- All lures are jerkbaits (subsurface, 1-3 feet)

- All lures are 6-7 inches long, with a max. 2 in. diameter

- The primer and paint are Createx

- I dipped the lures into the Minwax product ONCE, for 10-30 seconds, and let them dry for more than 48 hours prior to painting

- The lures were tested for pike, but all the ones that cracked had not caught any fish (hence no punctures in epoxy coat)

Back to the workshop...


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There are many on this site who've experimented and had successes and failures with a multitude of different items. most or all of these people will gladly assist any or all to not repeat the same mistakes and also to not re-invent the wheel.

Thus I feel compelled to state "wood hardner is not wood sealer". While multiple coats may provide you with a good base to begin with it's my opinion that you are better served using another sealant. My preference is 20+ dips in proprianate.

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