blazt*

Clear Heat Shrink Tubing?

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Has anybody tried clear heat shrink tubing for stencils? I've been prowling on ebay for some and so far I've seen two different kinds: PVC and polyolefin, which I think might be some kind of polyester. I asked the seller about the polyolefin and he said it shrinks down very hard but that I should be able to cut it. Problem is doing the detail on a bluegill pattern might be too time consuming and awkard if it's too tedious to cut. What I want is something soft like regular heat shrink, and that will hold the shape of the lure after being cut away. The craft foam I've been using actually make for a great stencil except it's not transparent, making detail cuts, layouts and alignment before painting a pain. Takes too long. (pics attached to show the kind of pattern I want and the craft foam I've been using for stencil.) The stencil you see below was unfinished when I took the pic but after cutting out the detail I painted a KVD 1.5 and saw that the bars didn't go nearly far down enough on the belly. So of course at this point I realized I need something transparent so I can avoid this kind of trial and error. I think the clear PVC might turn out to be ideal if it's soft enough. Has anybody tried either kind?

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Hey blatz your pics didnt go through.

But I have used the clear heat shrink tubing to make craw patterns. It cuts ok and holds a shape fine. I melted the first lure I tried it on though as there is a fine line between the melting point of the tubing and the lure. also you have to cut the shape while on the lure so if you have on with detail wou cant really sand it down smooth after so I have dedicated one to use for templates and such.

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I swear I think this board has a mind of its own. Here are the pics again. In the sketches you can see that the bars are straight, which I'll do for some patterns but others will have a wavy edge. This along with the curvy gill plate is why I want something easy to cut.

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Check out this post. stencils

Hughsey - I'm glad you posted that - it's just was I was looking for. Mind if ask if you are still using the 3M, and if you know if it's PVC or not? I have my finger on the trigger here, the stuff on ebay sounds good...4 mil clear PVC....just want to make sure I don't wind up with 5 feet of uselessness.

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Hey blatz your pics didnt go through.

But I have used the clear heat shrink tubing to make craw patterns. It cuts ok and holds a shape fine. I melted the first lure I tried it on though as there is a fine line between the melting point of the tubing and the lure. also you have to cut the shape while on the lure so if you have on with detail wou cant really sand it down smooth after so I have dedicated one to use for templates and such.

Yeah I've been thinking on this a lot. I was planning on possibly doing a partial cut with the stencil on the lure, the finishing the cut around a wooden dummy to avoid sacrificing any lures. I plan on doing quite a few models.

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Seeing as I had a piece of heat shrink tubing, I decided to have a go and see what is involved.

My first attempt was a shriveled blob of rubber, way too embarrassing to photograph. From this I learned that you have to clamp around the profile.

Attempt No2, the shrink molding process went quite well. I used a spare wooden body blank for the job.

Carving is tedious, but doable with a very sharp blade. I cut the template with the blank in situ. I think carving the empty stencil would be much more difficult, but If I had to do it, I would pack the stencil with modeling clay, to give it some substance to cut against. A good wash in soapy water would remove all traces.

I think for the best results, you need to make a pair of plywood profile clamps, a couple of millimeters larger than the blank. This would give you a perfect crease around your master and a good definition of the shape, which would eliminate the problem that you had, by missing your target with your cuts. Obviously a lot more work, but you only have to make one set of profile plates to make as many stencils for that lure, as you like.

If you don’t fancy the profile plate method, then strong clamps and lots of them. Arrange the clamps so that they are touching each other, for the best possible edge definition.

Dave

tools.jpg

assembled.jpg

shrunk.jpg

carved.jpg

sprayed.jpg

Seeing as I had a piece of heat shrink tubing, I decided to have a go and see what is involved.

My first attempt was a shriveled blob of rubber, way too embarrassing to photograph. From this I learned that you have to clamp around the profile.

Attempt No2, the shrink molding process went quite well. I used a spare wooden body blank for the job.

Carving is tedious, but doable with a very sharp blade. I cut the template with the blank in situ. I think carving the empty stencil would be much more difficult, but If I had to do it, I would pack the stencil with modeling clay, to give it some substance to cut against. A good wash in soapy water would remove all traces.

I think for the best results, you need to make a pair of plywood profile clamps, a couple of millimeters larger than the blank. This would give you a perfect crease around your master and a good definition of the shape, which would eliminate the problem that you had, by missing your target with your cuts. Obviously a lot more work, but you only have to make one set of profile plates to make as many stencils for that lure, as you like.

If you don’t fancy the profile plate method, then strong clamps and lots of them. Arrange the clamps so that they are touching each other, for the best possible edge definition.

Dave

tools.jpg

assembled.jpg

shrunk.jpg

carved.jpg

sprayed.jpg

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Blatz,

Heat shrink is all I use to make my stencils. It works great, below is a couple suggestions. I generally shrink around the lure, draw on the stencil and modify as required, cut out the pattern then paint.

1. Be careful with the heat, if you shrink it too fast in one section it will not come down tight in others. You want a gradual shrink around the entire lure.

2. Ensure the knife you use to cut the pattern is very sharp.

3. Leave the shrink to cool before attempting to cut

4. Before you start shrinking, with your lure inside the heat shrink, pinch the end where the tail is with a clamp. That way when the tubing is shrunk around your lure, the clamped bit allows for future support of the lure while painting.

5. If you cant carve the pattern with the lure inside grab some sewing scissors which do a good job. They are not as neat as a blade, however, you dont need the lure inside. I generally "borrow" the wifes, they are super sharp.

Regards,

Angus

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Seeing as I had a piece of heat shrink tubing, I decided to have a go and see what is involved.

Wow...I'm overwhelmed. Great post and very helpful. I see your tubing has the same shrink temp as the stuff I'm looking at buying. And I like your idea about fabbing a profile plate. I've actually never heard that term before, but it seems to be pretty self descriptive and what I visualize is two thin, rectangular plates placed back to back like a sandwich with the profile of the lure cut from the center of each piece. I think I might go with polycarbonate and a glass cutter. I don't really have many woodworking tools. Or I wonder if acrylic might be cheaper, and cuttable with a glass cutter also? The clamps would work but, as you mention, there could be some problems with aligning the more intricate patterns (like bluegills and craws) and I do see there are a couple of "dead" spots on your test piece. And I see the Great TU Brain is double posting again. It did that to me when I started this topic, so don't pull your hair out. I think it does that when exceptionally excellent posts are detected.:lol:

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Wow...I'm overwhelmed. Great post and very helpful. I see your tubing has the same shrink temp as the stuff I'm looking at buying. And I like your idea about fabbing a profile plate. I've actually never heard that term before, but it seems to be pretty self descriptive and what I visualize is two thin, rectangular plates placed back to back like a sandwich with the profile of the lure cut from the center of each piece. I think I might go with polycarbonate and a glass cutter. I don't really have many woodworking tools. Or I wonder if acrylic might be cheaper, and cuttable with a glass cutter also? The clamps would work but, as you mention, there could be some problems with aligning the more intricate patterns (like bluegills and craws) and I do see there are a couple of "dead" spots on your test piece. And I see the Great TU Brain is double posting again. It did that to me when I started this topic, so don't pull your hair out. I think it does that when exceptionally excellent posts are detected.:lol:

Thanks for the kind words.

Having mammoth I-net problems here. My system is dropping out every minute or so. It has dropped me twice so far into this post. I have had quite a few double posts, but missed that one, lol.

The poly or acrylic might work, but keep in mind that you are hitting it with heat. Test a piece first before investing time.

Your understanding of the profile plate is correct. matching plates each side and clamped. It may be easier and just as good to do a top profile and a bottom profile, making four plates in all. They will be much easier to make.

I was going to try the vacuum molding, but having thrown the above together, I can see that this is a very doable solution. I need to explore other ways of cutting the material, I made a bit of a dogs dinner out of the test piece. If you come up with more cutting ideas, please post them, also pics of your results, even a tutorial of the method, would be a valuable addition.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman

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I've been using 1 1/2" PVC clear 2:1 ratio shrink tubing with some success, a tad heavy to cut but do-able with a sharp knife. Make sure you order only single wall...as the double wall alternative has a thermal melt glue in it. Also, if you have an extra few bucks, pick up an Exacto swivel blade system. The knife is around ten bucks and the replacement blades are around a buck or so, really makes for an impressive system for following the intricate cuts necessary for stencils.

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The tubing arrive and I have been working with it. Early results seem pretty decent so far. Shrinking it down on a lure lure was fairly easy using vman's excellent suggestion for a profile plate. When shrunk, the material is a lot like a plastic Coke bottle, but much thinner. I'm still trial and erroring, will report back if anyone is interested.

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The tubing arrive and I have been working with it. Early results seem pretty decent so far. Shrinking it down on a lure lure was fairly easy using vman's excellent suggestion for a profile plate. When shrunk, the material is a lot like a plastic Coke bottle, but much thinner. I'm still trial and erroring, will report back if anyone is interested.

Glad that one worked. I'll try it myself now :D

Very interested here. Don't forget to take pics.

Dave

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I finished a lure yesterday. Sadly, it looks like a tutorial isn't quite on the horizon yet. The DN is curing on a KVD 1.5 as I type, but the final results were marginal. Somewhere between the first test shot and the last detail coat I lost the almost perfect alignment at the gill plate slot, and wound up having to adjust the gap spacing by manipulating the stencil with my fingers as I painted on each side. I'm not sure what happened. Two possible causes come to mind:

1)I did a test shot (black on the gill plate, at this point the gill looked awesome) and probably left it in the warm sun for a few, where the black may have gotten hot enough to warp the stencil but it doesn't seem likely.

There seemed to be a point when forming the stencil under plates after which it won't deform any more, no matter how hot it gets. Although sitting there in the sun, it wasn't supported by the profile plates. The deformation was subtle, but enough so that even when tweaking all I could by hand the gill plate wasn't uniformly wide like I'd hoped. I got a decent looking lure but it took waaay too much work.

2) The cuts I made on the "bars" running down the side of the lure to correct the width at the last minute may have opened up the plastic so much that it couldn't hold its shape on the gill end. But cutting a dozen or so bars out didn't throw the gills off?

As I mentioned, this stuff is like a plastic Coke bottle - semirigid and slick. If you've ever tried to cut on one you know sometimes the knife slips and goes where it wants very suddenly. I had to toss probably 5 stencils before I got one right. I think for now I may need to find some tubing that is clear and has a rubbery, semisoft feel to it. I have a very strong feeling it would work 5x better. The ebay seller I got this from says it's PVC but I've never seen PVC like this. Looks and acts just like PET. I'd be willing to bet a dozen Lucky Crafts it's not PVC!

But for now, Vodkaman, some lessons learned:

1) Shrinking is relatively easy. I started at the tail with a hair dryer to avoid wrinkles at this tight spot and worked my way around, smoothing out the plastic with extra heat and a pencil eraser as needed.

2) For the gill detail, I starting by doing sketches on paperboard. Once I got a drawing I was satisfied with, I cut it out and placed it on the back of a piece of electrical tape. I then cut around the paperboard template. The gill shaped electrical tape is your layout piece. Put it on the stencil, trace w/ grease pen or sharpie, remove, evaluate, and cut if it looks good.

3) I'll post more later.

Glad that one worked. I'll try it myself now :D

Very interested here. Don't forget to take pics.

Dave

Edited by blazt*

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I finished a lure yesterday. Sadly, it looks like a tutorial isn't quite on the horizon yet. The DN is curing on a KVD 1.5 as I type, but the final results were marginal. Somewhere between the first test shot and the last detail coat I lost the almost perfect alignment at the gill plate slot, and wound up having to adjust the gap spacing by manipulating the stencil with my fingers as I painted on each side. I'm not sure what happened. Two possible causes come to mind:

1)I did a test shot (black on the gill plate, at this point the gill looked awesome) and probably left it in the warm sun for a few, where the black may have gotten hot enough to warp the stencil but it doesn't seem likely.

There seemed to be a point when forming the stencil under plates after which it won't deform any more, no matter how hot it gets. Although sitting there in the sun, it wasn't supported by the profile plates. The deformation was subtle, but enough so that even when tweaking all I could by hand the gill plate wasn't uniformly wide like I'd hoped. I got a decent looking lure but it took waaay too much work.

2) The cuts I made on the "bars" running down the side of the lure to correct the width at the last minute may have opened up the plastic so much that it couldn't hold its shape on the gill end. But cutting a dozen or so bars out on the first pass didn't throw the gills off?

As I mentioned, this stuff is like a plastic Coke bottle - semirigid and slick. If you've ever tried to cut on one you know sometimes the knife slips and goes where it wants very suddenly. I had to toss probably 5 stencils before I got one right. I think for now I may need to find some tubing that is clear and has a rubbery, semisoft feel to it. I have a very strong feeling it would work 5x better. The ebay seller I got this from says it's PVC but I've never seen PVC like this. Looks and acts just like PET. I'd be willing to bet a dozen Lucky Crafts it's not PVC!

But for now, Vodkaman, some lessons learned:

1) Shrinking is relatively easy. I started at the tail with a hair dryer to avoid wrinkles at this tight spot and worked my way around, smoothing out the plastic with extra heat and a pencil eraser as needed.

2) For the gill detail, I starting by doing sketches on paperboard. Once I got a drawing I was satisfied with, I cut it out and placed it on the back of a piece of electrical tape. I then cut around the paperboard template. The gill shaped electrical tape is your layout piece. Put it on the stencil, trace w/ grease pen or sharpie, remove, evaluate, and cut if it looks good.

3) I'll post more later.

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4) Placing a 1" piece of craft foam under the stencil , one small section at a time, was enough to protect the crank from the blade.

Edited by blazt*

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Have you tried using a stencil burner? I made one out of a small soldering iron and it seemed to work OK. I have only used it a couple of times as I don't make that many stencils. Also not sure how the stencil burner would react with the heat shrink tubing. The heat is concentrated in a very small area, but that may still be enough to throw things off. Just throwing this out there for you to consider.

Edited by RayburnGuy

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Have you tried using a stencil burner? I made one out of a small soldering iron and it seemed to work OK. I have only used it a couple of times as I don't make that many stencils. Also not sure how the stencil burner would react with the heat shrink tubing. The heat is concentrated in a very small area, but that may still be enough to throw things off. Just throwing this out there for you to consider.

Maybe. I'm afraid it would overmelt the plastic and make a curled edge, though. Wouldn't you have to plug it up, let it get hot, unplug it , then let it cool a bit to just the right temp? Or does yours have some kind of temp control?

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No temp control. All I did was take one of the small, pencil type soldering irons and sharpened the tip to a fine point and then bent it at a slight angle so I could hold it similar to a pen or pencil. It's not like you have to force or drag the tip through the material. (clear plastic in my case) It goes pretty quick. But then I kept it moving and didn't give it a chance to melt a large hole. Not sure how it would react to the heat shrink tubing. You might try taking a finish nail, or something about that diameter, sharpen it to a fine point, heat it up and try it on a piece of scrap tubing that's already been shrunk. It doesn't have to be red hot. A picture of mine is attached below if that helps.

Stencil Burner 003.jpg

Stencil Burner 003.jpg

Stencil Burner 003.jpg

Stencil Burner 003.jpg

Stencil Burner 003.jpg

Stencil Burner 003.jpg

Stencil Burner 003.jpg

Stencil Burner 003.jpg

post-21848-0-55339000-1304659167_thumb.jpg

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No temp control. All I did was take one of the small, pencil type soldering irons and sharpened the tip to a fine point and then bent it at a slight angle so I could hold it similar to a pen or pencil. It's not like you have to force or drag the tip through the material. (clear plastic in my case) It goes pretty quick. But then I kept it moving and didn't give it a chance to melt a large hole. Not sure how it would react to the heat shrink tubing. You might try taking a finish nail, or something about that diameter, sharpen it to a fine point, heat it up and try it on a piece of scrap tubing that's already been shrunk. It doesn't have to be red hot. A picture of mine is attached below if that helps.

Ben, the heat shrink does not behave like plastic. Even red hot, you still have to press to get the nail to penetrate. I just tried it. I was surprised that there was only very slight shrinkage, but as a means of control of the cut, it did not work.

Dave

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Ben, the heat shrink does not behave like plastic. Even red hot, you still have to press to get the nail to penetrate. I just tried it. I was surprised that there was only very slight shrinkage, but as a means of control of the cut, it did not work.

Dave

Swing and a miss. I'm 0 for 2 here lately. Better be careful or I'll be sweeping out the clubhouse.

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Does anyone know if clear HST (heat shr tubing) with a rubbery texture is being produced at all? I was doing another lure Saturday and got a little crack in my stencil...as anticipated fatigue life is limited.

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Does anyone know if clear HST (heat shr tubing) with a rubbery texture is being produced at all? I was doing another lure Saturday and got a little crack in my stencil...as anticipated fatigue life is limited.

CA glue holds well on this material. Use a pin to apply to the crack.

Dave

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