22 replies to this topic
Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:46 PM
I've been using my daughter's reject hair dryer for my painting. I've decided to invest in a heat gun because I wanna try shrinking some stencil material. Any particular brand y'all recommend?
Also, fixin' to purchase a stencil burner. I found one that is "30 W" while the others are around 15-18. How powerful does this thing have to be?
Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:34 AM
I picked up a Dewalt heat gun at Lowes and have been using it for almost 3 years with no problems whatsoever. Be careful when using it on baits as it's much, much hotter than a hair dryer. It will make a plastic bait blow up like a toad frog if you get the bait too hot. Keep a little distance between the bait and the heat gun and always keep it moving.
For a stencil burner I took an old soldering iron and made one. The soldering iron was one of those small, straight ones with the interchangeable tips. I sharpened the straight tip to a point and then let it get hot enough that I could put about a 45 degree bend in the end so the soldering iron could be held like a pencil. I posted a thread on it a while back with a picture of it. If you can't find it holler back and I'll have a look.
Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:00 AM
I got a dual setting heat gun from Harbor Freight and I'm sure my "noob-ness" is a large part of the problem but so far I'm not a big fan... I held it about a foot away and on low heat with a two second "on" and then off I still managed to boil my D2T and had to sand down and start over... Honestly, living in Georgia (where they don't call it "Hot'lanta" for nothin'!!!) I probably don't really need a heat gun. I just saw Solarfall using one in his (most excellent!!!!) videos to help flatten out and cure his finish but dude lives in Finland!!! It's COLD there! I'll revisit the heat gun around November or so but for now I'm just gonna leave it in the box.
Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:35 AM
Unless your sealing lures in temps below what the manufacturer suggests there is really no need to apply heat to epoxy to "level" it out. A couple drops of denatured alcohol will make the epoxy more than fluid enough to make it self leveling. If you don't believe that then try putting too much epoxy on your next lure before putting it on the lure turner. There will be a big lump of cured epoxy that flowed to one side of the bait. It might be confusing since the bait is constantly turning, but if you think about it gravity is having an effect on the epoxy irregardless of where it is on the lure and gravity is steadily pulling on it. If the epoxy didn't flow well enough without the application of heat then this would never happen.
I know what's coming next. That applying heat gets rid of bubbles. This is true, but learning how to properly mix and apply the epoxy will do the same thing. I mostly use epoxy as a sealer, but the same rules apply whether it's used as a top coat or a sealer. I never use heat as a way to thin the epoxy or get rid of bubbles. It took me a while, but I finally learned how to use epoxy and can now put on a coat of it as smooth as glass. And without using any type of heat.
A lot of the time we are our own worst enemies. We tend to over complicate things and the more steps we add to a process the more we open ourselves up for failure.
Posted 28 May 2012 - 12:56 PM
I agree completely. As I discovered yesterday... A tiny ( and I DO mean TINY) amount of DA in the epoxy coupled with a breath or two completely dissipated any bubbles in my D2T. Once I got the hang of how fast to stroke the brush I eliminated all but a very few bubbles in the finish.
Edited by bluetickhound, 28 May 2012 - 12:57 PM.
Posted 28 May 2012 - 01:57 PM
If you'll hold the bait up to a light after coating you can see any imperfections ( bubbles, incomplete coverage, etc.) by slowly turning it and looking at the bait from different angles. Any small bubbles can be popped with a toothpick, needle or any sharply pointed object you have on hand.
Posted 28 May 2012 - 02:10 PM
I just finished doing that w/ lure #2... I was swim testing it and after several adjustments I was back casting and SMACK!!! Right into the dock.... Packed up, went home, sanded down and broke out the wood filler to repair... While I had it sanded down I drilled my hole for the ballast slug. After all was buttoned up I re-did the D2T and got a toothpick to Plaster of Paris the few bubbles I had. Every time I do this I get a little better!! This is a pursuit that so far has seen very tangible progress with each exercise...
Posted 28 May 2012 - 02:43 PM
Yeah Ben, those heat guns are the souped up v8 version of a hair dryer. That dryer blows less than 100 degrees. The heat gun is typically 570 which is getting close to the temperature to melt lead (621). I don't use either.
Talking about that stencil stuff. Saw an ad for one of those Cricut pattern cutters they use for scrapbooking. Asked the seller if it would cut vinyl. They didn't know. Anyway started reading about these things and learned the Cricut will only cut premade patterns sold in cartridges. And the patterns are limited in size. Minimum of 1 1/2" or something.
There is a new machine called a Silhouette that connects to the computer and has a software package to make your own patterns. I don't know a thing about it yet, but seems to me you could design a patterns, cut it in soft vinyl, wrap it around the lure and airbrush it.
Ever heard of this?
Posted 28 May 2012 - 02:57 PM
I've thought about using the heat gun as well but found out it can be used to remove old house paint, so I shelved that idea. I picked up a normal no frills hair dryer for around $12 at Wally world.
Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:30 PM
I tried a stencil burner with commercial stencil material and it tended to glob up the material at the edges of the burn. Maybe it was my stencil material but in the end, I went back to cutting stencils with an X-acto knife. I'm sure it takes a little more time but I'm happier with the results.
Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:33 PM
Ok, as far as stencils, I bought .01" butyrate sheet from McMaster Carr (25$ for a sheet big enough to make about 50 left and right stencils). It can be used with a homemade vac former, and a low cost heat gun without any damge to a bare plug. I make resin based 2 piece lure halves, so I put one half on the perforated can and heat a small square peice of sheet with the gun until it starts to sag. Being only .01 thick, it doesnt take much heat to get it going. Then I flip the vac on (wich is attached to the can). Voila. Instant form fittimg stencil blank. I have to thank Dakota? baits on Youtube for his ingenuity. Ive thermo-formed plastic before and all that is needed to do this is the right kinda plastic sheet. I cant emphasize this point enough, cause I tried thicker polyethylenes (.025"), only to find that I couldnt easily cut them for the shapes I wanted. The.01 butyrate/acetate is the ticket. An Xacto is all thats needed. Dremel for spots.
The guy on Youtube was forming over a complete plug, but still got the desired result. He stated he used a dremel to make the cuts, afterwards. His material was similar to the one I first tried, but gave me fits when cutting. I even tried a wood burning type tool only to find huge burrs underneath that required too much labor to remove.
I'll bet the butyrate hits the rite temp with a hair dryer, if you have patience.
I also bought a Ecraft Craftwell die cutter and Im learning how to stop paying my local graphics artist to do my vinyl layups on my saltwater lures. This machine will also do any other kinda stencil I can dream up. Am I obsessed, or what?
Hope that helps!
Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:28 PM
I've heard of the Cricut as well as seeing it advertised on TV. It only using pre-cut stencils was enough of a drawback for me to forget about using it. The Silhouette sounds promising depending on the cost. If it will cut out anything that can be drawn up in a computer program it should come in really handy for doing the sort of things we do. (for those of us whose painting skills aren't as good as we'd like them to be anyway) If you end up purchasing one I'd sure appreciate some feedback on it.
Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:39 AM
You can get lower-powered heat guns that are made for "embossing" etc. I bought this one on Amazon for about $20.
They get a lot hotter than a hair dryer but not as hot as a pistol grip type heat gun. I was looking for something for shrink-wrap tubing. You can probably find one at a crafts store in their "stamping" or scrap-booking section.
Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:28 PM
Im almost out of the vinyl layups that I paid a local to "cut" for me, so I need to get busy learning the Make The Cut software for my Ecraft. When I do I will certainly provide feedback. But, I did make sure that I could use this machine with my scanner before I bought it, and it does just that, so I will be able to make any template/stencil I want and get the Ecraft to cut it. I simply drew a circle on some paper, loaded it in the scanner and it came up on the drawing screen for me to modify and send to the cutter, but learning all the finer details about nodes and crap like that will take me awhile. But, I will show some work for the site when I fianlly learn the nerdy points.
Posted 29 May 2012 - 11:48 PM
After the feedback...think I'm gonna rethink the air gun purchase.
Posted 30 May 2012 - 12:05 PM
markinorf, the Ecraft is another avenue to explore. I was pretty much sold on the Silhouette Cameo after talking to some people in craft forums. One woman posted a 3 dimensional turtle the size of a dime she cut with hers.
The only thing I didn't like was the price. $300 buys a lot of screw eyes.
Looked at some of the better grade value vinyl cutters too. You can get a 28 to 34" inch cutters in the same price range but it will eat you up on the software end. It would be interesting to compile the specs on each machine and compare. And do the same with the software.
You might want to check out SCAL (Sure Cuts A Lot). From what I've read version 3 included the drivers for the Ecraft.
Also look at SignBlazer. It is unsupported, the owner passed away, but it gets raves as a cutting software.
From reading, the Ecraft has quite a learning curve just to do the simple tasks. And the ads sound great, but the reviews come with a lot of cautions and complaints. The biggest seems to be the claim of no cutting mat necessary only to be told later to use a stabilizer which is the equivalent to a cutting mat.
I'm pretty much locked in to buying a cutter, talked to my son last night and he liked the idea, so I'd be very interested to hear your experience and see what you think of the Ecraft.
Posted 30 May 2012 - 12:07 PM
Salt, you ain't thinking of using dynamite now are you? An air gun is not so much an "Oops. Dropped that one in the boat" deal!
Posted 30 May 2012 - 06:50 PM
Yeah, the Ecraft Craftwell is the one I bought. 230$. But the standard software wouldnt communicate with my scanner, so I laid out another 60 for "Make The Cut". It works.
I was paying stupid money to a local graphics artist, and everyone else who quoted me was too high, as well. I need hundreds, not hundreds of thousands of cuts made! "The man makes it hard to be a playa"
I guess I just got pissed off about it enough to do some review/homework on buying one of these things, and I'll make the money back pretty quick, hopefully within months of my startup. I used to cut these out by hand from metal templates! Geez.
I will post a review on this thread of this machine soon. I still have quite a few of the old layups to use, so I mite procrastinate a little learning the new machine. Wont be too long though, at the current pace of building my plugs.
Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:36 PM
I'm going to start a new topic on this soon.
Salt has been more than generous allowing us to take this thread off topic.
I appreciate it Salt! Thanks!
Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:00 PM
Have you tried the stencil material at Michael's or Hobby Lobby? I have used it recently and the guy at Dakota Baits makes it look easy. Don't know if the stuff is too thick or what. Seems that when I heat it it's either too cold or too hot. I am using a heat gun and not a hair dryer. I have wondered if my stencil material is too thick. Just wondering if you have tried the bought stencils and tried it.