bluetickhound

Left Lure In Hot Car... Finish Bubbled... Doh!

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I may have learned a valuable lesson here... My beautifully finished bluegill pattern crankbait is now not so beautiful... I left it in the car (in Atlanta Georgia, where it's about 95 degrees outside right now) and the finish now has blistered all over the place. It seems easy enough to say "well... Stupid! Don't leave your bait in the car!!" but I'd like to think the finish should be able to endure being out like that. I'm sure that being a balsa bait, the problem is either air or moisture trapped inside expanding and causing the paint to blister but could it be something else? More importantly, what can I do differently to prevent this from happening again?

BTH

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I feel your pain.

I've had that happen to older balsa baits when they were in my boat's storage compartment.

I think it may be the finish itself that's the problem.

What paint and top coat did you use?

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I sealed with D2T, primed with polytranspar superhide white, base coated with polytranspar bright silver and used either ctex or polytranspar paints for the finish coat. Topped off with 2 coats of D2T and I gotta tell you... It was gorgeous!! Glorious!!! I wish I could post pictures but that'll have to wait for the time being. I hope to have my new laptop in the next week or two and hopefully that will take care of my "not being able to post pictures" problem. I posted in the home page in hopes that a Mod or Jerry himself could help but so far I haven't seen any response....

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If you had 3 hard coats of D2T on it, I don't think any other combination of coatings would have fared any better. Balsa has lots of air inside - it expanded.

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So basically I need not to be so careless (read:stupid!!) as to leave my baits in a hot car... I kinda figured it was an air problem. Heat softened topcoat enough to let the trapped air expand= blisters.... Lesson learned. I can't treat my lures like store bought Rapalas. I've already dremeled down my finish to bare wood and am starting over.

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In the "taking lemons and making lemonade" department... I had finished another lure yesterday that I lake tested this afternoon. It swims like a champ and is going to be the pattern lure I'll use for subsequent crankbaits of it's type (2.5 inch .75 to 1.00 oz.). Since I had already removed the finish on the ill fated bluegill I broke out the Murphy knife and contour gauge. I got busy making a duplicate out of the stripped down blank and can't wait to see if I can make it do what the other lure does!! I'll repeat the bluegill pattern on the duplicate ( the original is chartreuse yellow with a purple back... think LSU Tigers colors... Ugh!!.. and a very subtle shimmering violet wash... Gives the lure great "depth"...) . I'm saving pictures of all these projects and will post (in the gallery of course!!) when I can.

BTH

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i had a KO 1.5 clear with d2t and it was in my car for a whole day in 90+ weather and is still perfectly fine.

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Not sure what a KO (knock-off??) is but if it's a balsa bait then you did better than I did. Mine looked like an overcooked hotdog... I think the fact that it was in direct sunlight in a car that had to be well over 100 degrees inside was my undoing...

Edited by bluetickhound

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BTW - all of us have to remove finish sometimes. Most times you can peel epoxy right off of a bait with a fingernail after you get it started. It does not make a very strong bond with acrylic paint. Another strategy is to hit the bait briefly with a propane torch, which will usually cause the finish to bubble and delaminate from the lure. This works great on Rapala wood baits because the undercoating on them is a thick nonflammable substance. It can be a disaster on some older wood baits like Poe's because the undercoating is very flammable and will burst into flame in a heart beat. I haven't tried torching a bait topcoated with Dick Nite moisture cured urethane S81, so can't help there.

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Apparently polytranspar makes for really good adhesion... I had to dremel down the entire lure with a fine wire brush to get it back down to bare wood. Possibly baking in the sun (and then drying out again) had more than a little to do with that but hopefully this wont be something that happens very often...

Edited by bluetickhound

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It is possible that a solvent-based primer still had some latent solvent trapped under the paint, and the heat made it epand and bubbled the top coat

Be sure your primer is truly solvent free. I used to hit my lures with a hair dryer the day after I'd primed them, and then wait another hour before I began my paint scheme.

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The polytranspar is water based. I know they have the solvent based type also but I was careful to order the acrylic. I do use acetone to clean my airbrush and it's entirely possible that I didn't let all the acetone flash out between colors... My gut on this is that the air within the balsa expanded as the lure baked in the direct sunlight and caused the heat softened D2T to blister. The entire lure didn't puff up though... Only in random spots did I get blisters but I think that had I let it sit out longer the whole thing would have been one big bubble!

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That being said... I will say that I didnt really let much time pass between color applications... I'd hit it with the hair dryer and move on to the next step in the paint schedule... Of course, I'm not glooping on the paint either like some Tammy Faye Bakker bluegill wannabe.... The only culprit as far as possibly not being dry would be either the superhide white base or the brilliant silver undercoat... The good thing is that I can (and have...) repeated the same paint scheme on at least two other lures and I'm really happy with the result.

Edited by bluetickhound

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I do use acetone to clean my airbrush and it's entirely possible that I didn't let all the acetone flash out between colors.

You'd have to be awful fast at adding your next color to the bowl and starting to spray again before the acetone didn't have enough time to flash off. I'm not sure it would even be possible. Unless your not spraying all of it out during the cleaning process. I seriously doubt this is your problem. Like Bob said there is a lot of air trapped inside balsa. If you don't believe it just keep heating your lure up when your heat setting. It will bubble up just like you described. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. :mad:

Ben

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I use lacquer polytraspar and D2T on a few balsa,basswood and some plastic KO's I leave in my truck year around as samples . I live in Alabama it's been over 100 the last few days supposed to be 107 Friday and 109 saturday . I just went outside to check on them after seeing this post . They were all OK . Maybee it's just with water base paints .

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Only "95"? :oooh: The entire thing would have disentegrated here. :?

It's probably the balsa. I leave plastic blanks on the dash of my truck all the time. Even got one hangin' from my rear view mirror. Sometimes they get so hot you can barely touch 'em, but, no other problem.

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I put some photofinish baits up on the roof of my shop for one straight week, just to see the effects from the sun. I had heard rumors that this and that would happen to photofinish baits, if left in the sun. It was 100-106 degrees all week and all looked the same, as the day I first put them up there, when I took them down at day 7. All where cleared with Devcon or Bob Smith's epoxy.

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I've had the finish on commercial lures, including Lucky Craft, split down the middle of the back from the heat. Those were some kind of an applied film, like foil but not foil, and I think the film just shrank from the heat.

I've left homemade lures on my boat deck in 90+ degree heat, and had no problems.

I think it must be the balsa. Balsa is classified as a hardwood, even though it is soft, because it has a closed cellular structure. Maybe shaping the balsa opens some of those cells, or weakens their walls enough that heat expands the air trapped inside the cells and it escapes under the top coat, causing bubbling.

Or maybe it's from UFO's.....hmmmm....

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It was always odd to me that the hardness of wood had nothing to do with the type of wood being classified as hard or soft wood. Trees that loose their leaves each fall are hard wood trees and trees with cones are soft wood trees. That is the only thing I learned by teaching carpentry for 29 Years. :halo: Musky Glenn

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It was always odd to me that the hardness of wood had nothing to do with the type of wood being classified as hard or soft wood. Trees that loose their leaves each fall are hard wood trees and trees with cones are soft wood trees. That is the only thing I learned by teaching carpentry for 29 Years. :halo: Musky Glenn

I bet you learned to keep your fingers out of saws, too. Hahaha

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My comments on this are not necessarily directed at the fact that the finish bubbled, but instead more of a general comment on the bond of the clear coat to the paint...

When I first started building, I used to use primer on the bare wood. The primer seem to be the weak link in the bonding process and on a few baits I had some 'delamination' where the finish and paint separated from the bait, at the primer level.

I stopped using primer and instead began sealing the baits with sanding sealer, then a thin coat of clear (followed by a bit of light wet-sanding) and then I put down a coat of white paint, not primer, as a basecoat. I then paint and finished the bait as per usual.

The wet-sanded clear coat seems to provide a much, much stronger base upon which to build paint layers compared to the somewhat chalky primers that are commercially available.

I have had zero problems with delamination ever since.

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Welllll once I was cleaning my boat and had taken my plano boxes of baits out and put them on the sidewalk in the hot sun. They were there for several hours and when I opened them up I had one bait that had done the same thing. The finish had cracked and was peeling. The bait itself was warped. The bait was a plastic bait (Cordell I think) that I had repainted with acrylics and topcoated with DK2. Not wood. Any thoughts on that? Not had it happen keeping baits in my hot compartments during the summer??

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I would try two different types of wood Balsa and Bass, and then PVC all done the same way at the same time and see what you get.

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BTH

What are you sealing the wood with?

I had some problems with this early one. I was not letting the wood sealer or my base coat dry. I was dipping lures with multiple coats upon one another to hide imperfections. Bad idea. Now I wait 24 hours between all coats. Also was told by another balsa lure builder that several of his baits did what you describe. He traced the problem to high humidity. The wood itself was acting like a sponge. He now only seals his baits in the morning while the humidity is at it's lowest point and the problem went away. He told me what he considered a safe humidity range but i have since forgotten.

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