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How Consistent Is Your Resin?
19 replies to this topic
Posted 15 October 2011 - 03:54 PM
I build primarily from wood and I tried my hand at resin baits within the past year. All the advantages are clear but the straw that broke the camels back for me was that as I worked through the batch the weight of the finished blanks kept varying up to 1/2 an ounce in some cases with the same ratios and stir methods? I finally thought to myself, may as well go back to wood if the densities going to be so volatile. Of course, that means a lot more work and mess.
I was using featherlite resin.....I have a fairly heavy (almost neutral buoyancy) design that I think would lend itself well to a resin application but I'm really apprehensive due to the lack of consistency in the density. Anyone have a resin system that consistently lands within a 1/10th of an ounce or so?
Posted 15 October 2011 - 08:24 PM
The Doc said mine was purdy constant.
I use mainly alumilite with micro balloons and i have noticed little difference in any of the pours. I used featherlite once so im not real familure with it. Just a couple questions do the molds have a ridged back or thick enough to prevent swelling. Sometimes with resins the pour hole and vents will have cured resin and block the expansion of excess resin out of the mold and cause the mold to swell kind of like putting 10lbs of tatters 5lb sack.
Posted 15 October 2011 - 09:01 PM
I use two piece molds and they "breathe" pretty well. I could tell the heavy baits from the light baits. The heavy baits would push out a little material before setting up.....the light ones would mushroom out everywhere. I haven't read too many glowing reviews about the featherlite so perhaps I'll give it a go with the alumilite plus micros and keep my pours in cooler weather or at night.
Keep em' coming....
Posted 16 October 2011 - 12:52 AM
Weird, I though it would have been very consistent. Are you supposed to mix it up before doing the chemistry thing, as I would imagine that the light components would settle out. Just a thought.
Using a resin with micro balloons can be very consistent, if you use an accurate gram scale.
Posted 16 October 2011 - 01:20 AM
I should qualify my results more carefully. I noticed that as I started using a fresh batch of featherlite the consistency was good. I would think I had it nailed then go back a few days later and the weights would start moving....the closer I got to the end of the batch the baits were lighter by a full half ounce and varied a lot more widely from bait to bait but getting progressively lighter. That makes no sense to me because I would think if anything the heavier parts would settle and possible make the mix slightly heavier. It also seemed like a change of 10 degrees in ambient temperature caused more expansion and thus produced lighter baits.
Just seemed like I was fighting a losing battle with factors largely out of my control. Quality of the resin changing and the temperature. Of course, it haunts me knowing plenty of guys are doing it and with all the benefits. That tells me its possible....does it swim as good as wood?....hahahahhah...should be fine on the heavier baits. Light baits like topwaters and wakebaits I'm still a big believer in the raw buoyancy and sound of wood.
Posted 16 October 2011 - 11:51 AM
It makes sense. The lighter stuff is all solids and the heavier resin is fluid. So as it settled out, when you poured, the thick light stuff did not move and the heavy resin poured underneath.
I think you need to stir before use on the next batch. That is a pain.
Posted 16 October 2011 - 02:12 PM
I made some poppers with alumilite and microballoons. I didnt notice any major differences in weight and I was building a healthy sized lure. My issue was humidity. My NJ weather patterns dont lend themselves to 2 part Urethanes. Any humidity or moisture ruins your pour.......and I dont have a climate controlled work area.
Posted 16 October 2011 - 02:52 PM
Good observations. Thanks for correcting my thinking on the solids versus fluid...now that make sense. Fortunately I'm in so cal and we have a pretty temperate mild climate for the most part with low humidity most of the time. I think I'm going to give it a go again and do two things to help control the density issues:
1.) Work with smaller batches of resin and use the entire batch in a single session to control the settling issues. I mixed pretty well before but apparently I had some storage issues that were affecting the consistency of the resin.
2.) Make the pours in relatively dry cool periods at night in 60-70 degree temps. Time to go make some masters and start building some molds....ahhhh fun.
Thanks much guys.
Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:00 PM
If i were using resin, I'd try and make the baits lighter on purpose, so I could place ballast in the bottom of the lure to both achieve the floation I wanted, and to give the lures a bottom heavy orientation, which would keep them stable at all retrieve speeds.
One tip I'll share is to keep the ballast in the front sections, and in the head only if possible. If the tail section is more buoyant, it will help keep the lure swimming horizontal at all speeds.
Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:54 PM
I've had crap luck with resin too. I was using resin from Aero Marine mixed with micros. I recorded everything possible including 5 different points in which the lure was weighed after pouring and had lures weighing almost 3 grams different than one another (from a lure with average of 21 grams). I poured 3-piece swimbaits using one mold having each section channeled for the resin. Each lure wasn't even proportionally consistent among the sections. For example, my heaviest lure overall may have had a tail section that was average. Maybe my resin is just crap, but something is terribly wrong. I even used pvc pipe around the mold to prevent swelling. Perhaps I shouldn't pour 3 sections with 1 mold? How close are people getting to their average weights?
I was having major differences in swim action within the 3 grams difference with some of the heavier lures not even functioning. However, the closest to average weight lures ran the best.
I started loosing it and had to switch back to wood for a few just to make sure I can still make a lure wobble.
Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:29 PM
i typically do a bunch of the same segment then do a bunch of the next segment and so forth instead of doing all the segments then moving on to the next bait. keeps me focused on the resin consistency for each segment for a bunch of baits. youll figure it out then you will move onto changing the density in the cross section of the segment which is really fun stuff.
Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:18 AM
i'm not even able to keep the segments within the same pour consistent. My "heaviest" lure still doesn't have the 3 heaviest sections. It may have mid section that is the heaviest in comparison to all other mid sections, but the tail or the head may fall into an average. Like I said, if no one else is having this extreme of results, than perhaps I should change to alumilite. I haven't used this yet, but everyone else seems too. I've tried featherlite and was not impressed, very messy too.
Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:23 AM
oh... and this isn't like I've done 10 lures to see this. I've poured hundreds trying to get it right, which led to me recording absolutely everything and making new mold designs and such. At first, I just looked at it as, resin is resin. If I find a less expensive resin than I just have to figure its "formula" out for making the right density.
How fast is the alumilite stuff? I know the stuff I was using set very quickly and could be de-molded in about 20 minutes. I ran into a few times that I could barely get it all poured before it started to thicken.
Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:35 AM
ive never used featherlite but alumilite has varies cure time resins. the typical alumilite cures in like 10 minutes. just look at thier site they have all the info.
im sure it was trying to set if your pouring a multi-piece swimbait in one shot. i can almost gaurantee you thats why your sections are not coming out with any consistancy. if i were you i would make a two piece mold of each section, properly vent it, and see where that gets you.
from my experience the more steps you skip trying to make the process faster, the more likely your going to mess something up
Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:59 AM
yup, that makes sense. I also have a 4 section trout lure that was having issues as well. By having just 1 vent/pour hole, I can see where different section are curing differently... ESPECIALLY, in larger cavities. I remember mixing up way too much on the first pour with both featherlite and the aero marine and the left over resin cured hard as rock in about 5 min after pouring. So I think you have the right idea. Such a shame, the molds looked awesome! I guess they will just be chopped up and used as fillers in the next ones.
Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:05 AM
just to add to the curing part, if 1 section cures faster, that prevents another section from pushing out resin as it cures; thus increasing the density in the slower curing section. Or the faster curing section is pushing its excess into another section that is not vented, also increasing density. Hmmm, sounds legit for why the sections are inconsistent.
dang-it, that means I have to make a silicon mess again... not my favorite part of lure making. oh well, thanks for the info nitro98! my confidence has been boosted!
Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:55 AM
If it was easy everyone would do it lol! It's always easier the second time around lol
Posted 16 November 2011 - 12:04 PM
Well I just ordered some featherlite. hope I don't regret it. Been using Alumilte white with MB. I agree with you in that I make a mold for each section (2 vents and pour hole) and I only mix enough resin for one section at a time. Stuff cures way too fast. So far, my few baits have casted pretty consistent. Can't be in a hurry with this.
Nitro, regarding your resin pouring, how long do you wait between the bottom pour and the upper pour?
Posted 16 November 2011 - 12:17 PM
Come on now mike...I cant give away everything on how I pour my baits. But honestly I dont have to wait
Posted 30 November 2011 - 10:23 AM
I just poured 2 baits with featherlite and 1 bait with some left over alumilite and M/B's. They seem to float the same as far as I can see. However, the Featherlite takes much longer to set up. I was able to pour two sections in one batch with no problem. I think I could have done more. It stays fluid for a long time compared to the alumilite.
The Featherlite is weird stuff. It comes in 2 metal paint cans. When you open it, the top half is solid material. You have to push through it to the liquid and stir it. It dissolves pretty fast. I thought it was a bad batch at first, till I spoke with someone at Reynolds Plastics. Seems to be pretty good for me so far.