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Dick Nites Water Reducable Top Coat Durability

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Checking to see if anyone has had any issues with the durability of the new clear coat. I had a couple guys tell me that the clear and paint was coming off some baits I used it on. I used three coats on the baits.

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Did you let the top coat cure for the required 14 days before they were fished?

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Did you let the top coat cure for the required 14 days before they were fished?

Yep, more than two weeks of cure time

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If you do a search on Dick Nite, you'll find a long thread on the results of tests that a number of TUers did with it. Some guys reported good results, others reported failures similar to what you are experiencing. I'm not sure anyone can say yet what specific circumstances cause good vs bad results. For myself, I stick with Dick's original moisture cured solvent based topcoat.

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If you do a search on Dick Nite, you'll find a long thread on the results of tests that a number of TUers did with it. Some guys reported good results, others reported failures similar to what you are experiencing. I'm not sure anyone can say yet what specific circumstances cause good vs bad results. For myself, I stick with Dick's original moisture cured solvent based topcoat.

BobP & others,

I do not have the slightest idea about what a polyurethane topcoat is. Cannot find anything similar. All I know about this is from TU. What I see from the discussions here is that one of the 2 new DN topcoats - the water based one - might experience some problems, if, after waiting the long necessary time for the cure, the lure is fished for too long. This problem might appear because once cured, the topcoat could take in water again, if submerged for a long period of time. But in my oppinion this problem could be easily solved, by adding a few coats of solvent based plastic, such as propionate solution or even the new plastic DN topcoat. By doing this, you will prevent water from touching again the water based topcoat, and therefore there will be no way that problems could appear. Too complicated? It wouldn't be for me anyway. I guess there will be no adhesion problem to the DN topcoat, but I also think that the topcoat could be lightly sanded, and the solvent based coat would bring back the perfect clearness again.

One more thing about the DN plastic clearcoat. In a recent thread, Nathan said the clearcoat could be thinned with acetone only. I doubt that.

Anyway, when you can choose between several topcoats, I see no reason why you could not combine 2 of them on a lure, in order to benefit, if possible, from the qualities each one has.

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It is my humble opinion that all finishes, if submerged in water long enough, will fail. If high durability is your priority, a two part, slow setting epoxy is the answer. There is really no laquer (like DN's), urethane or waterborne clear that can compete with its durability. The waterborne that we use claims that it is as durable as a two part epoxy, but I don't believe it. It works well for us becuase we only make topwaters, and we like to dip the final coat. By its nature, epoxy bonds to form a new crosslinked polymer that cannot be chemically broken. Laquers and urethanes just have a solvent that evaporates, and what remains is your finish, so they can be 'uncured' with a stong solvent or even water that has a high alkalinity.

John

Aiden James Lures

http://AJLures.com

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I tested the new water based DN and wondered about long term adhesion problems. I use the original because I like the fact it bonds with the paint and the lure. I use it exclusively on my top waters and jerkbaits because you can easily control the finish thickness and not negatively affect the lures action. Plus unlike epoxies it won't crack when you hit a rock or a fish throws the bait and it nails the boat. I do like epoxies for my cranks and jig heads though for the high build. Etex and System 3 work great.

I did a submerge test on the DNWB, the original DN, and epoxy. After 24hrs the DNWB turned whitish and soft, the original and the epoxy baits stayed under water for 3 days and I could see no change.

Edited by bobv

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It is my humble opinion that all finishes, if submerged in water long enough, will fail. If high durability is your priority, a two part, slow setting epoxy is the answer. There is really no laquer (like DN's), urethane or waterborne clear that can compete with its durability. The waterborne that we use claims that it is as durable as a two part epoxy, but I don't believe it. It works well for us becuase we only make topwaters, and we like to dip the final coat. By its nature, epoxy bonds to form a new crosslinked polymer that cannot be chemically broken. Laquers and urethanes just have a solvent that evaporates, and what remains is your finish, so they can be 'uncured' with a stong solvent or even water that has a high alkalinity.

John

Aiden James Lures

http://AJLures.com

John, both the new water reducable DN (WRDN) and the solvent DN are urethanes that cure after application. WRDN crosslinks via oxygen exposure. Solvent DN crosslinks via moisture exposure. Cured and dry, they are indistinguishable from each other and, without a calibrated scratch resistance test, they both seem at least as scratch resistant as epoxy. In my experience building and fishing hundreds of baits, solvent DN is actually more scratch resistant than the epoxies I've tried (Devcon, Etex, Flexcoat). And the solvent DN has proven just as waterproof. WRDN failed my test because it re-hydrated and softened after significant time underwater. So in real world fishing conditions, I would agree with you that WRDN it is not as durable as epoxy. But would disagree about the solvent DN. I choose either epoxy or solvent DN based on aesthetic choices and ease of application considerations rather than performance. They both work great.

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John, both the new water reducable DN (WRDN) and the solvent DN are urethanes that cure after application. WRDN crosslinks via oxygen exposure. Solvent DN crosslinks via moisture exposure. Cured and dry, they are indistinguishable from each other and, without a calibrated scratch resistance test, they both seem at least as scratch resistant as epoxy. In my experience building and fishing hundreds of baits, solvent DN is actually more scratch resistant than the epoxies I've tried (Devcon, Etex, Flexcoat). And the solvent DN has proven just as waterproof. WRDN failed my test because it re-hydrated and softened after significant time underwater. So in real world fishing conditions, I would agree with you that WRDN it is not as durable as epoxy. But would disagree about the solvent DN. I choose either epoxy or solvent DN based on aesthetic choices and ease of application considerations rather than performance. They both work great.

Good stuff BobP! I'd like to try it. How long does the solvent DN take to cure? Do you think I could mix a waterbased UV reflectant in with it, and then dip my lures?

John

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Good stuff BobP! I'd like to try it. How long does the solvent DN take to cure? Do you think I could mix a waterbased UV reflectant in with it, and then dip my lures?

John

John, Solvent DN dries to the touch in less than an hour but the cure process goes on for days, maybe a week or longer. Like epoxy that takes up to a week to 100% final cure state, the real question is "when is it hard enough?" - I fish lures after 4 days with no problems. I've no idea if you could mix it with a water based UV product but I would probably mix the UV reflectant into a water based clear acrylic and shoot that as a last coat before dipping the lure in DN topcoat. Some guys brush on DN but I've always dipped because that's a big reason I started using it: fast, easy topcoating. Dip it, hang it, done.

Removing finish from DN coated lures for repainting, I see that the topcoat has actually soaked through the acrylic paint and adhered to the underlying substrate (plastic or epoxy over wood). That makes for a really durable finish. You won't peel it off like you can epoxy. But lest I wax poetic about solvent DN, there are also downsides - storing it so it doesn't cure in the container, tendency to bubble over many solvent based coatings (including itself!), tendency to bubble or lift paint if the DN film thickness is too great (i.e., if you rotate lures like you do with epoxy and the rotation causes DN to collect in a thick film anywhere on the bait, you will get bubbles or lifted paint). But if you take care when storing it and just dip/hang baits, it's among the easiest, most durable topcoat available.

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Bob,

I got a sample of the DN WRTC, and it has a slight amber cast.

When I dip a lure, it takes on the amber cast. Multiple dips makes it more pronounced.

Is this typical of WRTC, or did I just get an off colored bottle?

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i also tested the DN2 and while it was ok I like the original better. I finish approx 150 baits a month and I use 2 coats of DN1 then after cured I use either etex or 2 ton as an additional coating to protect the entire bait and am very happy with the results (so are my customers) DN1 by itself is not very abrasion proof. the dn1 does however bond to the paint and if the epoxy coat is compromised the dn1 acts as a extra barrier

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he still offers a moisture cure top coat (like the original DN), but it uses a different formulation. it appears some folks are calling the new moisture cure top coat "original DN". Dick tried establishing acronyms for all three of the new top coats but they don't seem to be catching on lol.

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The Water Reducable DN and Seal Coat are not acceptable as clear coats...............they won't hold up to the water test. Stick with the original DN, etex, devcon, or various auto clear coats.

If the clearcoat smells really bad and is so toxic that it drives your dog and wife out of the house, it's probably good! If the smell is something you don't really mind, it's probably not going to work!

Jed

Edited by RiverMan

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Dsaavedra - I didn't notice any amber hue to the 2 oz bottle of S82 (WRTC) Dick sent me for testing, but it WAS a small sample. Like other water borne urethanes, it was milky but dried more or less clear. I say more or less because my sample had a white-ish hue to it after curing that lightened the color of my neon red test block several shades to neon pink - compared to results with original formula S81 (DN1). My results with WRTC seemed identical to what I got with Target Coatings EM-9300, which is billed as a "water borne polycarbonate".

Netman - yes you can still get the solvent based moisture cured S81 urethane from Dick Nite. Since he now sells 3 varieties of topcoat, you need to be specific when ordering if that's the one you want.

Rofish - re: layering different topcoats: Why not just buy the one with the performance you like and use it only? Other than ease of storage, the WRTC S82 doesn't excel in any area that I can detect. If you want multiple coats of either S81 (DN1) or S82 (WRTC), recoat in 24 hrs and then wait for the cure period. If you want to layer them, you would probably need to coat with S82 and wait 9 days for it to cure hard from oxygen exposure before coating it with S81 - and then wait 4-7 days for that to cure from moisture exposure. And that's assuming the 2 are compatible and S81 would adhere over S82 (undetermined). If I have to go to the extra cost and trouble, I would probably just buy a premium high solids 2 part auto clearcoat and be done with it.

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Rofish - re: layering different topcoats: Why not just buy the one with the performance you like and use it only? Other than ease of storage, the WRTC S82 doesn't excel in any area that I can detect. If you want multiple coats of either S81 (DN1) or S82 (WRTC), recoat in 24 hrs and then wait for the cure period. If you want to layer them, you would probably need to coat with S82 and wait 9 days for it to cure hard from oxygen exposure before coating it with S81 - and then wait 4-7 days for that to cure from moisture exposure. And that's assuming the 2 are compatible and S81 would adhere over S82 (undetermined). If I have to go to the extra cost and trouble, I would probably just buy a premium high solids 2 part auto clearcoat and be done with it.

I wonder how I could explain some facts so that I could be understood without hurting anybody.

I think that I would think the same way if I were you. You have the possibility to choose from various types of clearcoats (epoxies, urethanes, liquid plastics, etc) and there are many brands in each category. But what would you think if you would not have ANY clearcoat available? Or you would have to order it through a third party and pay about double for it, if not more?

I am lucky to have some epoxy and plastic coat from a friend across the pond, and I have combined the 2 of them to see the results.

What I was thinking when I posted in this thread, was that if the DN water reducible topcoat does not have anymore the same storage issues as the original DN topcoat, but is scratch resistant and clear, it could still be used as a clearcoat, provided that you find a way to counterbalance the issue you and others have discovered, by just waterproofing the clearcoat, which is indeed a nonsense, but it is a way to solve the problem.

In my case, I also try to make or improve the clearcoats I use, but lately I did not have the time (or mood perhaps?) to test or make new lures. I'll be happy when I will do it again.

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Bob,

My WRTC sample is amber. It dries with a slight amber cast. I've put it on a couple of lures, and am in the process of testing it for durability.

Right off the bat, I will say it looks like it goes on thinner, but the finished coat seems to be as thick as the SC9000. Weird.

If I got a strange sample, and the actual WRTC is truly clear, I'll gladly make the switch.

I am not a commercial builder, but sell baits to friends from time to time, so my need for a "bullet proof" finish is different than for someone who is in the lure making business.

For hobbiests like me, a water-bourne urethane, like the WRTC from DN, or the SC9000 from Target Coatings is fine.

My SC9000 is milky, but dries crystal clear, with no color change. My EM9300 dries semi- gloss, and will get a little milky after several coats.

I typically use only one dip of the EM9300, if I'm doing a crackle finish, and then two dips of the SC9000.

The EM9300 has such a strong film strength that it will crinkle a Createx paint job if its put on directly over the paint. So I dip once with the SC9000 to protect the paint job, and then two dips of the EM 9300 for salt water lures.

For freshwater, three dips with the SC9000 is fine. It truly is "super clear" as advertised, and holds up fine unless you soak it.

And for me, these urethanes have the added advantage of being accelerated by a hair dryer, so I can dip once an hour, as long as I hit it a couple of times to speed up the initial drying process, and complete a lure in a day, start to finish.

I have, and do, fish them then next day, but letting them hang an extra day helps the finish to harden a little.

The EM9300 does dry out much harder than the SC9000, but the 9000 is the only finish I've found that doesn't take away the shine from metalic paints.

In that way, it's like water-cured urethane we use for hardwood floors. Unlike traditional solvent-based urethanes, which give wood a rich amber glow, the water-cured urethanes impart no color to hardwoods, making them ideal for light floors, like maple. There is a two part floor urethane that my flooring contractor uses, called Trafic.

But I don't want to have to mix, and then lose part of the mix when I'm done.

So I have two pickle jars, one with SC9000 and the other with EM9300, sitting on my workbench, ready to dip lures with no mixing, and no skinning.

Again, this is from a hobbiest's perspective.

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:twocents:

I tested the S82. I used it on several crankbaits that I was building at the time for my own use, so I could give it a fair hard-fished evaluation. Since I don't normally store my lures in water, or troll them behind my pickup truck, I could find no validity in testing them anyway but by fishing them. I had no preconceived notions other than Dick's initial findings, and I came away being very impressed with the S82. I have found it to be as durable as S81 while strafing snag and rock incrusted shorelines. While I've had to replace ground-off circuit board lips, and sand the roughness from the edges of the Lexan lips, I haven't had to fix the lure bodies themselves.

Some time ago, I found a system for building baits that worked for me. If a lure failed, I figured out why it did so and corrected the failed lure. While most times it would have been expedient to toss the failure and start over from scratch, the lessons that this method taught me became invaluable in learning what works, what doesn't, and why. Rather than contantly introducing new variables into my system and then having to solve all those new problems, I worked on refining each new variable that I brought into play, after I'd learned the basics of building a durable dependable lure, and then changed one aspect of the lure at a time.

All that is to say is this: When I began testing S82, I already knew that prepping the bait to accepting any topcoat is the most vital, and also the most overlooked step that most luremakers make. I made many, many mistakes to learn this, even with a background in coating application that helped me learn how to achieve successful coatings on lures. Perhaps that is why I didn't experience any coating failures with S82.

The only coating failure I've had with S81, is over epoxy, which use on foiled lures. I learned that it is essential to properly prep the epoxy to achieve total adhesion. S81 is probably still my favorite, simply because I have a long track record of success, while S82 hasn't been around long enough for me to know how it will be a few years down the road.

Dick, you da man!

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I wonder how I could explain some facts so that I could be understood without hurting anybody.

I think that I would think the same way if I were you. You have the possibility to choose from various types of clearcoats (epoxies, urethanes, liquid plastics, etc) and there are many brands in each category. But what would you think if you would not have ANY clearcoat available? Or you would have to order it through a third party and pay about double for it, if not more?

I am lucky to have some epoxy and plastic coat from a friend across the pond, and I have combined the 2 of them to see the results.

What I was thinking when I posted in this thread, was that if the DN water reducible topcoat does not have anymore the same storage issues as the original DN topcoat, but is scratch resistant and clear, it could still be used as a clearcoat, provided that you find a way to counterbalance the issue you and others have discovered, by just waterproofing the clearcoat, which is indeed a nonsense, but it is a way to solve the problem.

In my case, I also try to make or improve the clearcoats I use, but lately I did not have the time (or mood perhaps?) to test or make new lures. I'll be happy when I will do it again.

Ro, I've learned here on TU that relatively few coating combinations work really well. But necessity is the mother of invention. Experimentation is good, but only as long as you don't necessarily expect to get a fishable crankbait at the end of the experiment. My concern is that we hear so often from newbies who try random combinations of coatings which end in disaster, usually followed by posts asking "What did I do wrong?" We have no answer because none of us ever tried that one. Instead, we had our own distinct disasters, then read TU and adopted a few "known-good" coating combinations to avoid all the drama. But I do see where you're coming from.

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BobP,

I would slightly disagree.

“Experimentation is good, but only as long as you don't necessarily expect to get a fishable crankbait at the end of the experiment.”

Remember all the discussions here about using plastic cups dissolved in acetone to make a fishable crankbait? If my memory serves me right, there was even a “how to” tutorial about this subject on this site. That’s how I started anyway. And then, I tried to find new types of plastics which could be dissolved in different types of solvents. I have even managed to dissolve polycarbonate, and right after dipping the first coat I got a perfect clearcoat. Sadly, it didn’t last more than a minute (it started to peel off), because the evaporation process of the solvent was too quick. So I ran into another problem – how could I slow down the evaporation process? This is where I had to stop, because I couldn’t get the necessary additive to slow down evaporation. Anyway, why not trying to make your own clearcoat ? Just because there are too many types of clearcoats readily available on the market? If we would apply the same principle to the lures we use, TU would have never come into existence.

“My concern is that we hear so often from newbies who try random combinations of coatings which end in disaster, usually followed by posts asking "What did I do wrong?" We have no answer because none of us ever tried that one. Instead, we had our own distinct disasters, then read TU and adopted a few "known-good" coating combinations to avoid all the drama.”

I cannot remember of any such “ending in disaster” case.

Instead, I would show here some of the “good” coating combinations:

1) Epoxy + propionate.

In fact, thinned epoxy + propionate. I have lightly sanded the epoxy, for a better bond with the propionate solution, then I have applied as many propionate coats as I wanted. I have also applied propionate solution to non sanded epoxy, and it seems OK. True, I have not tested any of these lures in hard conditions ( like trolling a lure behind a pick up truck :) ), not even in harsh conditions in the water (rocks, sand on the bottom, structures in the water, etc), but up to now I have nothing to complain about this combination. In fact, my idea was that since Devcon 2ton was reported in some cases to be brittle, causing the clearcoat to crack and go off the lure, why not protect the epoxy with something softer, but waterproof as well, which would lessen the chance that epoxy would crack, when you hit the lure on a rock? Anyway, since I cannot be 100% sure yet that this combination is a proven one, I see no reason why others could not try it, to see for themselves if it fits their demands for clearcoats.

2) DN WRTC (S82) + epoxy. A combination which works and satisfies customers. See comment by Yardape in this thread.

3) If I remember well, epoxy + DN 1 was also tested with good results. (I think Lure – Proof tested it, but I am not sure).

4) Some have even mixed up epoxies. Here I mean Devcon 2 ton and Etex. Devcon cures a little bit too fast, and it may be brittle, while etex needs a very long time to cure. So what the :censored: would happen if I would mix up the 2 of them? That’s the question some have asked themselves, and the result was a longer cure epoxy than Devcon 2 ton, which would not be brittle, and would not make you let your turner run overnight.

Maybe there are other combinations I can not remember of. Anyway, I think we are all here because we have asked ourselves a fundamental question - WHAT IF ?

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Really some good points there Rofish!

I recently coated DN's S8-2 with S8-1, just to see if it would work. After cleaning the S8-2 with a quick scrub with Dawn at the kitchen sink, I scuffed the gloss off and wiped it thoroughly with a clean microfiber cloth, and brushed on a coat of S8-1...I've encountered no problems at all thus far. Potential advantage to some people would be the ease of use of the water dilutable S8-2 for the initial coats, and a final coat of the moisture cure S8-1 for its proven near bulletproof properties. When using mutiple coats, this would minimize the handling and exposure of the moisture to a single coat.

I often combine epoxies to get the properties I desire...in my case BSI Finish Coat with Etex-Lite, for both sealing balsa and other woods, and sealing foil, before painting and finishing with DN. I prep the epoxy surface the same way as I did the S8-2 above, adding another scrubbing step at the sink after scuffing. If these surface preparation steps sound like a lot of trouble, they are not nearly as much trouble as a failed coating, and besides, they only take a minute or two...and your finished product is only as good as your surface prep.

Seeking a better way has always beenan underlying attitude here at TU. If more new builders would search this great site for answers to their questions, 95 out of a 100 of which have been answered before, more of the advanced builders would stay around here and contribute even more avanced problem solving. Most of the older members I talk to who no longer, or very seldom contribute anymore, are simply tired of looking at a board and seeing the same old questions asked over and over, and most have tired of answering them again and again. Thank you all who hang in here year after year and work to further the knowledge base; you know who you are!

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Rofish, I take your point but would also point out that all of your examples include epoxy. I hope newbies take note. Epoxies are the Gold Standard of coatings because they are chemically inert when cured and will not react with other coatings. And that's a bigger deal than many people realize. I've rarely built a wood crankbait that did not include a layer of epoxy somewhere in the finish. What I really had in mind are the many posts we see concerning failures from using a grab bag of aerosol rattle can finishes that guys pluck off the shelves of their local home center.

I stand by my comment on experimentation. If an experiment cannot fail, it's not an experiment. And a failed finish experiment = unfishable crankbait. Maybe we're getting bogged down in semantics? My point is not to criticize experiments. If you never experiment, your crankbaits will never get better. It's to suggest that we label untested experiments for what they are: a guess that a method might work if tested, acknowledging that it might not and that we haven't tried it yet.

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