The New Dick Nite Topcoat
91 replies to this topic
Posted 04 November 2010 - 12:33 PM
Dick emailed asking why he hadn't seen TU discussion on the topcoat. Guess he didn't see it buried in the KBS topcoat discussion, so thought it was time to start a new thread. He sent out test samples a few weeks ago and has not received results from many of the testers, perhaps because the new topcoat takes 12-14 days to fully cure and that has delayed responses. I don't know when the new product will be available, I'm just Joe Blow user like other guys on TU. I can't say if the end formulation will be the same as the sample I received. That's up to Dick, working with his own findings and those of various testers. With those caveats, I can make a few observations.
The sample is a water-borne urethane, can be thinned with water and applied by brushing, spraying, or dipping. It cleans up with soap and water. It dries to the touch in about an hour and dries completely in about 4.5 hours, after which it begins an air-oxidizing cure that lasts 12-14 days. Suggested re-coat time is 5 hours for fastest development of final film properties. I don't know if New DN is similar to or different from Target Coatings water-borne urethanes, which have also been discussed here on TU.
For my test, I cut 2 wood blocks 1"x1"x2". The blocks were undercoated with Devcon 2 Ton epoxy, sanded, sprayed with Polytranspar Superhide White as a color basecoat, sprayed with Createx fluorescent red paint, then dipped in topcoat and hung to dry at 70 deg F. I build crankbaits with the same process. One block was coated with Dick Nite original formula moisture-cure urethane as the "control sample" The second was coated with the new stuff. I did scratch testing on the blocks every day for 12 days, using the point of a drafting compass to scratch a "tic-tac-toe" pattern in the topcoat.
Observations: The New DN is dead simple to apply. I didn't expect any drama with with coating incompatibility like you can get with a solvent based urethane and there was none. It has a milky color in the container and dries clear. Compared with Old DN, the New DN made the test block a couple of shades lighter in color. Not a lot, but noticeable. New DN has slightly less gloss. A single dip resulted in a very thin low gloss coating so I re-dipped it after 5 hours, which improved film thickness and gloss. When dried, the New DN seemed smoother and slicker than the old.
Comparative Scratch testing: New DN scratched very easily after one day and up to day 4, was easier to scratch than Old DN. After that, it caught up to the Old DN. By day 6, I could not judge one better than the other. After 12 days, they still seem identical.
Comments: New DN rates well in the things I tested. Easy to use, easier to store, more compatible with other coatings, looks good and performs well in scratch testing. Personally, I would probably dip 3 coats on a crankbait to reach the film thickness I like. Re-coating is easy and trouble free, but of course requires time if you wait the recommended 5 hours between coats. Also, if you are one of those impatient guys who paints a crankbait today and wants to fish it tomorrow, you are out of luck. I wouldn't fish one until the cure had gone for at least 5 days. Lastly, I didn't try New DN on the water in actual fishing conditions. So my test says nothing about adhesion, impact resistance or resistance to water infiltration. If these untested qualities are as good as those tested, it's a definite winner.
Posted 04 November 2010 - 01:11 PM
Bob, that was a very informative report. I sure wish the full cure time was not 12-14 days. Is there a need to turn baits at the start or do you get clean drips of the tail hanger?
Posted 04 November 2010 - 01:48 PM
As I said on the KBB post, I sprayed the new DN with excellent results. I did not have to thin it. I sprayed on a pretty heavy coat and just used 1 coat for testing. To me it seemed very hard after day 3. The stuff laid very flat when sprayed. I fished a crank very hard after day 3 and the crank had very little hook rash and no chipping. I too did the scratch test with the same results as Bob. It is very user friendly. I love it. I think 2 or 3 coats would been extremely tough. No storage problems. Can't wait to get more.
Posted 04 November 2010 - 02:28 PM
I too tried the new DN and found it to be extremly easy to use. I used a balsa bass lure that was sealed with Devcon.
Painted the lure with a white base from Createx.
Used the hair dryer to dry base coat and continued with Createx for the final color I Brushed the new DN on and hung it to dry for 5 hours.
After that time I brushed on another coat and hung lure by the nose and let the excess clear run off the tail.
After 3 days I used the lure and found no problems. I like this new product from DN more than the old product.
I don't have to use Bloxygen to keep it fresh, just close the lid and it will be ready for the next time..
I hope to use quite a bit of the new DN in the near future.
Posted 04 November 2010 - 02:28 PM
The new formula sounds great so far. I don't mind the 12-14 days of curing. Hope it will be available for sale soon. If anyone that is testing it comes across some type of problem, let us know. Other than that, this stuff seems like it would be perfect for us.
Posted 04 November 2010 - 03:16 PM
I hope its going to be available soon. I've stayed away from DN before because I was worried about storage problems
Posted 04 November 2010 - 03:18 PM
benton B, I also dipped a crankbait already topcoated with Devcon twice (5 hrs between dips) in New DN after sanding it to remove the epoxy gloss, and just hung it to dry. The New DN is fairly low viscosity, similar to fresh old formula DN, so the excess readily drips off the tail. As far as using a lure turner, that didn't occur to me because I never turn lures coated with Old DN. IMO, turning won't hurt and might give you a more even coating but I think the film thickness either way would probably not be noticeable to the naked eye and it might not make much difference in drying time. I didn't apply heat to the topcoat after application. Don't see why you couldn't do that but I didn't need to. I also presume you could speed curing if you put the lure in a warm environment for an extended period. Higher temps usually speed chemical processes. But I stuck with room temperature.
Posted 04 November 2010 - 04:09 PM
Can someone take a test block that has cured for a bit and just submerge it for a day or 2. If this is a water based urethane im hoping it doesnt fail the water intrusion test. It sounds verymuch like Minwax to me... I wonder what properties DN has added to protect against this.
Like I said before I hope this is as good as it sounds because im down to my last little bit of the old DN formula and would like to keep my business going with such a great guy and company like DN.
Posted 04 November 2010 - 06:00 PM
I was also one of those honored by Dick to provide testing. Upon recieving the email that I was selected, I completed 40 baits that were waiting for the sample to arrive. Initially I was not impressed with the sample because I was using the original DN as a baseline. I have tried almost every topcoat out there a and initially the new waterbase DN reminded me exactly like Target Coatings 9300 waterbourne urathane, it smelled like it, looked like it and applied like it, needless to say after being VERY excited about DICK coming out with this new formula and expecting it to act like original DN I was extremely disappointed. It does not apply like original DN it is VERY thin, it doesnt have the clearness (shine) nor the hardness/slickness (initially) of the original. After one or two coats it did not not have the what I call the WOW factor of a truely custom finished bait and I hung five of the baits after 3 coats out of the way and finished the other 35 baits with etex so I could sell them. I figured Dick sold out and after fighting with the chemical procurement issues he has had settled on a inferior product because he had to. I forgot about the 5 I had set aside to watch. Until today, after 13 days of curing I grabbed one of them and thought that it was one of my last original DN coated baits because of the clarity, hardness and WOW factor but I discovered I had 4 more and the realized these were the DN2 (NEW) formula. Something chemically changed with these baits since the last time I dipped them and thought they were dry that has changed my view of the DN2 formula. I am continuing with my testing and will post the rest of my findings. This new DN2 is NOT the original but as I figure it out it may be better, definitely easier to store!!!!!
Posted 04 November 2010 - 06:46 PM
Some great reports, thank you for sharing. From what I have read so far it sounds like my only concern would be with the cure time. Several days is a long time to wait!
Posted 04 November 2010 - 07:21 PM
Anyone also tried the KBS for comparison?
Edited by RiverMan, 04 November 2010 - 07:22 PM.
Posted 04 November 2010 - 08:07 PM
I still had my scratched up test blocks, so immersed them in water tonight and will report how they do after 24-48 hrs. Old versus New DN. I'm not especially impressed by this test because to me it doesn't represent how crankbaits are actually treated in the real world - unless you snag one and lose it! How long are crankbaits submerged under typical use? Repeatedly for short periods, not for 24-48 hrs straight. But you asked, so...
Posted 04 November 2010 - 10:30 PM
I'm glad you said that Bob.
Unless you hang a crank, and break it off, it won't be submerged long enough for the finish to fail if it's a decent topcoat.
Of course, I am an amateur builder, and don't sell commercially, so I have a different point of view.
My buddy hung one of the first douglas fir Lunker Punker knockoffs I ever made on a buoy line, and we couldn't get it back for a week.
It soaked bigtime, but, when we finally were able to launch and retrieve it, the six layers of solvent based rattle can paint were still in tack, and there was no water intrusion.
I've since moved on to airbrush paints and epoxy top coats, PVC decking, and now to Target Coatings' SC9000.
Even though it's an interior finish, it holds up fine for cranks and swimbaits, if you don't soak them overnight, or leave them on wet carpet overnight. Their EM9300 exterior urethane does hold up to soaking, but it's not "Super Clear" like the SC9000.
I have cranks and swimbaits with SC9000 on them that I've fished hard for the last two years, and the finish has held up well.
Having said that, I am still searching for the "perfect" topcoat. The handling issues with the original DN made me shy away from it. And I didn't like the long cure time.
Three days until a lure is fishable is fine with me.
So I am eagerly awaiting the new DN.
Hopefully, the new DN will be "it".
Edited by mark poulson, 04 November 2010 - 10:32 PM.
Posted 05 November 2010 - 01:21 AM
Well guys, the New DN sample block failed after immersion for 6 hrs in cool well water. The New DN topcoat and Createx acrylic paint wrinkled and had begun to peel off as a unit from the white acrylic color basecoat. The Old DN block was perfectly intact, in comparison. You can read above about how the blocks were finished and what damage they both received in prior tests. Both blocks were moderately damaged, with the acrylic paint down to the acrylic white color basecoat exposed in some of the scratches. The results were starkly different from Hughsey's field test, so I'm wondering at this point what his paint process was. Lacquer paint?
The DN still adhered to the Createx, but the Createx had separated from its color basecoat. It looks to me like water traveled into and along the Createx paint, causing it to expand and lift off. What does it all mean? I'm not sure! Hours of immersion are not typical for crankbaits but yeah, we'd all like a topcoat to be invulnerable to water, indefinitely. I'll add pics tomorrow.
Edited by BobP, 05 November 2010 - 01:22 AM.
Posted 05 November 2010 - 04:52 AM
When guys were describing this it sounded just like a polyurethane and this post just proves it. The only way your going to get that coating to work is if it's crosslinked with Aziridine or something else.
Posted 05 November 2010 - 09:34 AM
Before you resort to drugs, per Salty's post, how about trying to heat set the new DN between coats?
I do that with the SC9000, and it seems to make it harder faster.
Short story long, I wonder if heat setting the new DN will make it stronger? I suspect that the solvent in the old DN penetrated all the way down to the primer, and made the whole paint scheme one hard layer, and that's why it is so water resistant, but I hold out hope that the new DN can pass muster and become my new wonder topcoat.
Posted 05 November 2010 - 10:37 AM
Not to hijack this thread or anything, but if you're looking for an interim topcoat until Dick Nites is available again, you might try Permagloss from U-40. I've been using it on lures lately, and it seems to work very well. The swimbait below was top-coated with U-40 Permagloss, and I think it turned out pretty good.
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Permagloss is a single-part, low-build, moisture-cure urethane rod finish. It's hard, slick, and scratch resistent; I put some on a lure, and after a few bass there are virtually no scratch marks, and no hook rash at all. I haven't extensively tested it, but I know that the other products I've used from U-40 (their LS Supreme topcoat, both the high-build and medium-build versions) seem to be slicker, more flexible, and more scratch-resistant than other topcoats I've used. I've got a lure coated with high-build LS Supreme epoxy that is smoother and looks better after 25 fish than some of my lures with Etex or Flex Coat do after half that number. That's not to say there aren't any issues with them; the high-build LS Supreme bubbles much easier than other epoxies due to its thickness (I tried pouring it out on foil after mixing, but that didn't do much), and the medium-build LS Supreme fish-eyes like crazy, unless you use it over Permagloss. I found that it doesn't fish-eye if you coat the lure with Permagloss first.
Faults aside, these topcoats are very slick and tough. Below are a couple pics of the damage to a lure after I slammed it into a rip-rap boulder at high speed. The lure is coated with U-40 LS Supreme High Build, and the only damage was a couple scratches on the shoulder.
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By contrast, the other day I had Etex crack when I dropped it on cement from about 3'. What was funny about that was, the outside of the lure (it was a keychain, actually) was coated with U-40 LS Supreme Medium-Build, and the U-40 didn't crack. Both coats had fully cured, but the damage was to the internal layer of Etex while the U-40 was unharmed.
You do have to be careful with Permagloss because it reacts with Createx paint, but I solved this by coating my lures with Minwax Polyacrylic before I coated with Permagloss. I'm going to get some U-40 Color Lock sometime to see if that works under LS Supreme medium-build instead of Permagloss, and also I'll be able to use it on lures under Permagloss to prevent it reacting with the paint.
Permagloss also smells quite a bit, so I'd recommend wearing a respirator.
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Posted 05 November 2010 - 10:46 AM
I finished 6 crankbaits with the new finish as soon as I got it. Like some have already said, not real impressed initially with the gloss. However it's been about 10 days now and they definitely seem to have more depth now. Not sure what's going on but there has been a change. Some were just painted and a couple were foiled then painted, all look very good now. I got out yesterday and fished with a couple of them. Banged them on the rocks and trees some with no damage. I'm going to sink one over night in water and see if the paint separates.
Posted 05 November 2010 - 10:50 AM
Bob and Mark,
I am only curious for the imersion test because I have been known to take 30 minutes retrieving a swimbait. Doing this on a couple casts will mean 1hr plus in the water. I need a topcoat that can take the abuse of long term water submersion. Thank you for testing it for me Bob I can not say how much you have helped me over the years and its appreciated!
Posted 05 November 2010 - 11:26 AM
OK, here's the 6 hour water immersion pic. Block coated with Old DN on the left. Block with New DN on the right. Both blocks had undergone earlier scratch testing. No heat curing but should be at "final cure state" after 13+ days at 70 degrees, normal humidity.
Since Tim Hughes reported good results in field testing a crankbait, I'm wondering at this point how our paint process differed. If he used lacquers, they probably have more natural water resistance than the acrylic water based Createx that I used.