JaguarJim

Problems With Top Coat, Help!

34 posts in this topic

Ok, been on here a couple months and have been reading a lot of what other guys do for base, finish, and topcoats. I have been using createx for my base & colors for the past 2 years, and have never had any problems, I always blast it with a hair dryer in between coats because createx says to heat cure the paint on the bottles, maybe I'm doing that wrong, and this problem with my top coat is based off of that. I use a finish coat epoxy made for model airplanes bought at the local hobby shop for my topcoat, tried the CS coatings vinyl coat when I first started painting and it made everything spider crack under the topcoat, so that went in the trash. the finish cure epoxy sets in about 30 mins so I usually have time to do about 4 baits for each batch of epoxy that is mixed. I've always just hung them by the bill and let the excess run off, then trim it while its stil soft, I know sounds half assed, but it works all the baits I do turn out great with no high spots or anything of that nature. So we come the problem, I've been doing 20-40 baits at a time when I'm doing my topcoat, my brother helps and we're able to get them finished in about 3-4hrs, I saw that a lot of guys use a drying wheel or a rotisserie of some type to dry the topcoats and keep them even, so my brother & I built one last week out of a bbq rotisserie. after we topcoated all the baits last night, within 1 hr of them being done, we noticed that the all the epoxy was running off the backs of the baits, it wasn't pooled anywhere else on the baits but now we'll have to sand and re-topcoat the baits, is there a better way to do this, or a different product to use?? is this a common thing when using a drying wheel I see guys using devcon 2 ton & ETex a lot, but I'm unsure of how thick either of those products are. Also as a side note we used small spring clamps to fasten the bills to the rotisserie, and the rotisserie spins at around 4 RPM's, any help would be great. thanks!!

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Sounds to me like your trying to put too much epoxy on at one time. If your used to applying it and letting the excess run off the end of the bait this is probably too much for the drying wheel to deal with. Being that the epoxy is self leveling it sounds like the excess is trying to pool up in one spot and creating the high spots your talking about. Try using less epoxy at a time and see what your results are.

Ben

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Jim, I can't say definitely because I never used your epoxy, but Etex and Devcon are thick enough that after you clip the lures on a turner, it will not ever sag or drip. I use a 6 rpm turner, other guys use turners that rotate as slowly as 1 rpm, so that is not the problem, per se. Maybe your epoxy is VERY thin so that it won't add significant weight to a model airplane. Most epoxies popular for baits are fairly thick, viscous topcoats. I'm also wondering if your topcoat is really epoxy. If it doesn't come in 2 parts that have to be mixed, it isn't.

Devcon 2 Ton is quite thick, about the viscosity of honey. Guys often thin it slightly with denatured alcohol to make it brush longer/better. You can only brush a couple of baits per mix before it gets too thick to brush.

Envirotex Lite (ETEX) is thinner, about the viscosity of a typical canned wood finish. It contains some solvent and is slower to cure than Devcon, with a brush time that is much longer.

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thanks for the reply Ben. I did think of that, that maybe it was too much at once. Usually when I did hang the baits to "drip dry" the excess that ran off the back was only about the size of 3/16" dot, or none at all, most of the time its just a drop on the rear hook hanger, and like I said as we looked the baits over while on the wheel last night, the epoxy had not "run" to another location on the bait, it just was all coming off the backs, maybe if I put the baits on the rottisserie parallel to the rod itself? I don't know, I'm new to the drying wheel, and now I question even using it thanks for the help.! Jim.

Edited by JaguarJim

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Thanks Bob. The model expoxy is two part, and it is thin, I would say in beteen honey & maple syrup. so maybe I need to switch to a thicker epoxy and that would be the end of this newfound problem. thanks again Bob.

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Jim you might try some Bob Smith epoxy or Devcon 2 Ton. I've been using the Bob Smith epoxy for a good while now and like it better than the Devcon. It seems to have a little longer working time and getting the bubbles to dissipate seems to be easier as well.

good luck,

Ben

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Thanks Ben. I will try the bob smith! is it available at any local hardware store? also about the bubbles in epoxy. The stuff I'm currently using (model airplane finish epoxy) never bubbles, thats one thing I was perplexed about when I've read some of the post on here about the bubbles, and guys having problems with it, I never have. But, obviously I'm having problems now Bob's reply has me thinking that it is in fact too thin. thanks again! Jim.

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Jim I'm not sure at what stores it's available. I buy mine online and order two of the 9 oz. size so it offsets the shipping a little bit. Two of the 9 oz. size will last me a good while. I use the 30 minute slow cure. I've heard some folks say they use the 20 minute, but I can't offer an opinion on it as I've never used it. The Bob Smith is also a little cheaper than the D2T so that helps pay for the shipping as well.

Ben

http://stores.aeromicro.net/Categories.bok

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You fellas are right, you can get it at any hobby shop. Called my brother to find out what the MFG was on the bottles we are currently using, and it is indeed bob smith finish cure 20 Min. So, what did I do wrong if a lot of other guys are using this product, but its not running off their baits? like I said never had a problem until I put the baits on a drying wheel.

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Ben, I suppose maybe going to the slow cure 30min instead of the 20min finish cure could be a sloution?? thanks again for the insight. Jim.

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It takes about 12 to 15 hours for bob smith 20 min to harden...thats what they told me when i called them.....They also said that the 20 min being waterproof was not guaranteed.... and that 30 min. was the way to go.....Also do not put it on to heavy....I think just about everyone has a lure turner for epoxy....and they work great. Just my :twocents:

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Here's my comparison of the 2 BSI products but I have been brushing them on.

This is what I’ve found out about Bob Smith Industries 20 Finish Cure and their 30 Minute Slow Cure.

The 20 Minute Finish Cure is much thinner than the 30 Minute Slow Cure and much easier to brush on. They are two completely different products by BSI. The 30M SC is similar to D2T and will allow you to do 3 baits. One coat comes out great. The 20M FC allows you to do about 6 baits. One coat is sufficient for complete coverage, however 2 coats gives a deeper Finish and has a much better appearance. The 30M SC has a little bit harder finish. If you want a thinner coat I would use the 20M FC. I have done well over 500 baits with the 20M FC and recently tried the 30M Slow Cure Epoxy. Even though I think both products are great...........I find that 1 coat of 30M SC looks better than 2 coats of 20M FC. Both are ready for hooks in 8 hours (but a little longer is better) and both have great flow properties Just my findings......oh, and NO bubbles with either one!

At this time, I have probably equaled close to 500 baits with the 30 Minute slow Cure. I have settled on doing 2 baits per batch (no thinning) at my leisure. When I try to do three baits ………well I think I’m about to have an Anxiety Attack! LOL. I find the warmer the weather the easier it is to apply. I give both parts a little shot of the heat gun(when it is below 70 degrees) before mixing and that helps. BSI claims that their 20 FC is water resistant and the 30 SC is waterproof. I’ve had baits cleared in both with one coat submerged for 24 hours with no ill effects. There isn’t any odor with either which is what I need because the lungs I have now are shot. Maybe when I get my new ones, I’ll use auto clear………..not! These are just my findings and what seems to me working for me right now.

Richard

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About the bubbles.............It may be that the reason I get bubbles in the epoxy is that I mix the HELL out of it and don't worry if it is getting bubbles in the mix. Bubbles are easily taken care of so it's not a problem for me. The way I mix epoxy is to mix the two parts until they are well incorporated. I then add a couple drops of denatured alcohol to the mixed epoxy and mix it again. This does two things. By thinning the epoxy just that wee bit it makes it a little easier to brush on and it makes it easier for any bubbles to rise to the top and pop. After mixing in the denatured alcohol I exhale on it for 20 seconds or so. The combination of the the carbon dioxide and the warmth in your breath pops all but the smallest of bubbles. I use a quality, 3/4" natural hair artists brush to apply the epoxy. The natural hair is soft and fine enough that it will pop any remaining bubbles. And if cleaned properly in denatured alcohol will last for a very long time. I have been using the same brush for over a year now. I'm not saying that this is the only way to do it. Others may have a better way of doing things, but this is what works for me.

Richard thanks for sharing your experience with the different types of BSE. I was thinking of trying the 20 fast cure next time I ordered epoxy, but after reading your post I think I will stick with the 30 slow cure.

Ben

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Richard, thanks so much for the info on the Bob smith, I will be getting slow cure 30 min tomorrow for the next batch of baits. The main reason I was using the 20min finish cure was because it was thin, and I was trying to keep the baits as balanced as possible, but like you pointed out they probably need 2 coats if I stick with 20min, I don't mind only getting through a couple of baits at a time as long as they turn out perfect, last nights disaster was far from that, so I learned my lesson. If I stick with 20 finish cure, 2 coats, if I go with 30min I can do fewer baits at a time, but have a more durable finish that sounds like its easier to apply. thanks so much for the tips guys, you're saving me tons of frustration, and keeping me from ruining baits. Ben, thanks for the info about the brush, and the method of keeping the bubbles out, to be honest I've been using just plain old throw away brushes like I would with model airplain applications, it makes sense though, after all I'm not using a 5 dollar airbush with a can of propelent, so why should I skimp on the details of my finish brush. again, many thank you's fellas, you're saving my ass!! Also double trouble, I have no doubts that the bait turner is well worth it, I just panicked when I saw all my epoxy run off the backs of my baits. again, thanks everybody!! Jim.

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I have only done about 20 lures with the BS 30 min epoxy! I have noticed that the finish has a slightly yellow tint to it! The resin is really yelow in the bottle, is that normal? I know etex yellows,because I had some for a year and it appeared to get yellower! Did I just buy an old bottle? Thanks Rob

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The hardener does have a slight yellow tint to it but the resin is clear. The finish should also be clear. Must be an old batch?

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I've gone through almost 4 bottles of the BS slow cure and haven't had any problems with yellowing from what I've bought online. If your buying it from a Hobby Shop, or some other local store, there's no telling how long it's been sitting on the shelf. Here recently I purchased some resin and catalyst from Hobby Lobby to pour some lure bodies. When I opened the can of resin it had already hardened inside the can. The seal on the can was in place and tight so there's no telling how long it had been sitting on the shelf. Hobby Lobby made good on it, but I had to eat the cost of making another 48 mile round trip to the store.

Ben

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It is in the nature of epoxy to yellow slightly over time from UV exposure. The better you measure and mix it, the slower that will happen. You can also buy epoxy that has UV inhibitors. Flexcoat and Nu Lustre are 2 brands that market UV filtered epoxies - but at higher cost. I've heard that all topcoats yellow over time, including anything ending in "ane", like urethane, and I believe it. Urethane has an advantage because it is typically applied in a thinner coating. When it yellows, the effect is not as visible as with a thicker coating like epoxy. As a practical matter, I don't worry about yellowing topcoats. They all do it. And I don't think the fish give a hoot.

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I agree with Bob, having been doing model planes for years, i"ve seen batches that yellowed, and batches that didn't yellow, and I know some of those batches were mixed dead on perfect, and some weren't, also I know most of us don't just leave a box of crankabaits out in the sun all day, whatever yellowing effects there are I haven't seen them yet, both my brother and I have specific crankbaits we fish year round, every weekend and haven't seen those yellow yet, knocked the finish off of them, but thats another issue. :eek:

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I Use Etex a couple tips on getting rid of bubbles.Warm the bottles in a pan of hot water for 5 -10 min.It pours better and there are less bubbles when you mix. After it is mixed, pour in a small bowl lined with aluminum foil. Let sit for a couple minutes and then hit it with heat gun or hair dryer,this will take care of most of the bubbles.Apply to your baits wait 5 min use heat to get rid of bubbles should be good to go.

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I Use Etex a couple tips on getting rid of bubbles.Warm the bottles in a pan of hot water for 5 -10 min.It pours better and there are less bubbles when you mix. After it is mixed, pour in a small bowl lined with aluminum foil. Let sit for a couple minutes and then hit it with heat gun or hair dryer,this will take care of most of the bubbles.Apply to your baits wait 5 min use heat to get rid of bubbles should be good to go.

That's fine with a decoupage epoxy like Etex, but I wouldn't try it with something like D2T or Bob Smith epoxy. Warming those will only shorten an already limited working time.

Ben

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Didn't want to start any new threads so I picked this one to bump!! Lure #2 is going really well (so far!!) and I'm at the point of sealing it to get ready for its swim test tomorrow. It's actually on the lure turner I made (which turned out GREAT!!!) even as I write but my issue is this. I thinned out my D2t and it went on smoothly (enough...) but I do have some tiny bubbles that will certainly be there when the dry time is complete. Can I wetsand with some 2000 grit and recoat or am I pretty much hosed?

Thanks!!

BTH

Edited by bluetickhound

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You can sand and re-coat with no problem. It doesn't have to be anywhere close to 2000 grit and there's no need to wet sand unless you just want to. If I have a problem with an epoxy coat I lightly sand with 400 grit being careful not to sand all the way through the epoxy coating. If you sand down into the paint you've opened up a whole new can of worms. The epoxy will fill in any small scratches left behind by the sanding and you'll never even be able to tell there was a problem as long as the new coat goes on smooth.

As far as dealing with the tiny air bubbles it works better for me when I use a natural hair artists brush. The fine hair on this type brush seems to pop any tiny bubbles that I didn't get out of the mix by exhaling on it while it's still in the mixing cup. I use a 3/4" Sable brush that holds quite a bit of epoxy. You want to keep the brush wet with epoxy when brushing it on. If you feel the brush start to drag then it's time to load more epoxy on the brush. A couple drops of denatured alcohol and exhaling on the epoxy for several seconds goes a long way in getting the bubbles out of the mix before you start to apply it to the bait. Just remember to mix the two parts together before adding the alcohol. If you add it before mixing the epoxy the alcohol will bind to one part of the epoxy and keep it from being mixed properly.

Ben

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