Matador Customs

16lb Foam Questions.

9 posts in this topic

Im hoping the people that have used 16lb foam can help me out with my questions.

Im gonna use an rtv silicone to make a mold from a 6inch two piece wake bait that ive been making from poplar, it takes me a few hours to carve out the shape and detail and want to make them faster. I searched this site already for different types of casting resins and saw two that might work. Ive read alot of people here like to use feather lite and im gonna give it a shot to see if it works out for me, the only concern i have is it might end up a bit heavier than the original wood bait.

The other stuff i saw was the 16lb foam, which i couldnt find much info on. I read that it turns hard as a rock, if thats true will it hold eyes screws?, since im using the pin hinge to join the two pieces.

And the other question, will it have a smooth finish after it cures, good enough to lay some paint on also would d2t, etex, amazing clear cast work well for a clear coat on this foam stuff.

Any tips would help alot.

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I'll chime in here.. F'lite is about 10% heavier than Poplar. It's smooth enough to easily finish. Foam is a giant PITA in terms of castabiity and finishing. The molds must be made from a rigid material, because of expansion. Even with a large gate, I had problems with silicone molds and any weight of foam. And you must use wire form.

F'lte is a great choice with silicone molds.Lots of labor up front, but if you have a good design, it will be worth the effort.

I made some good "turbo mixers" for the F'lite to use wth a cordless drill.

Contact me,and I will give you more info about F'lite. Its good stuff.

Edited by markinorf

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I'm interested in 16lb polyurethane foam but haven't tried it. All said and done, I think it's the only molding material that comes close to the density of balsa - and that property makes it very interesting for bass baits. Suddeth baits used to sell 16lb foam baits and the company was sold to Blademaster Baits a few years ago, who still manufactures them. Suddeth baits were very popular in the SE and they had some unique designs. You could order baits from them to either float or suspend. I repainted a few Suddeths and the foam surface structure made refinishing an issue, which also exists with mold materials requiring microballoons.

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I'm interested in 16lb polyurethane foam but haven't tried it. All said and done, I think it's the only molding material that comes close to the density of balsa - and that property makes it very interesting for bass baits. Suddeth baits used to sell 16lb foam baits and the company was sold to Blademaster Baits a few years ago, who still manufactures them. Suddeth baits were very popular in the SE and they had some unique designs. You could order baits from them to either float or suspend. I repainted a few Suddeths and the foam surface structure made refinishing an issue, which also exists with mold materials requiring microballoons.

I used the 12 and 16lb foams, and it is as light as balsa for sure. Balsa typically found at hobby and RC shops is between 12-14lb/cuft. Very difficult to cast in a small confined space like a lure mold. The curing is so quick that the cells that are formed arent consistent, and can be so large near the gate that I hated trying to get a good sealed substrate to paint. This also added to the my frustration, since I was trying to make topwater and slow sinkers, not cranks, and the overall weight problems cropped up. I cursed this stuff for 3 months and walked. I gleaned as much info on this as I could and made some fine lures, since the action is identical to balsa, but the labor for finishing was twice compared to a handmade balsa plug.

The F'lite is a good alternative since the cells are so small that only errant bubbbles and humidity cause surface problems. I used bloxygen to store the F'lite and casted when the humidity was 50% or less. And it holds screw eyes like they are in hardwood.

Alumilite white and silica baloons were not as strong at the same lure weight.The baloons are very hazardous.

I think Smooth-On uses melamine fillers ( mixed in already). And I could cast as many as 5 2 pc molds at once, before running out of time.

.

I had storage issues with all the products mentioned here. Use it or lose it.

Edited by markinorf

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Thanks guys for sharing, sounds like im going with featherlite, but before i do im investigating a product i found called polywood. Has anyone used this stuff. On paper it sound like a good choice for someone who wants a Buoyant resin.

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I read up on it. The viscousity is very hi. The tensile strength is not as good as Flite. The density is about the same. Mite not hold screws very well?? Too thick to work with? The Flite is like melted icecream, and thats hard enough to deal with. I remember looking at the V for Polywood and thinkin its like twice that of Flite.

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Check out www.alumilite.com site.  They have a 10 pound foam, a 20 pound foam, and a new Alumifoam that has the same density as a middle weight cedar wood.

 

If you go to the following: http://www.makelure.com/Lures.cfm you will see a graph that might help you out.  You will see that the 10 pound foam is the same density as balsa, so the 16 pound you are talking about will be a little less dense.

 

The 320 and 610 foams in the graph are self skining in the mold.  You get an excellent finish so you don't need to worry about painting.  The Alumifoam skins very well as well.  Also, the 10 and 20 pound foams expand well enough, and slow enough, that you do not get mold expansion from silicone molds.  Still, the sprue gate, when trimmed, will require sanding and sealing if you want any quality in your finish.  My sample of the Alumifoam is faster expanding, even though not as much, and it cures fast enough that you might get mold expansion.  You must use a pretty large sprue gate to use it.

 

I find the 610 foam to be more then enough to hold hooks, just as well as balsa.  I do not find the 320 to be nearly strong enough.  I have not used the 16 pound foam you are talking about, so I don't know what to say.

 

I hope that this helps some.

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I have been experimenting with several types of foam lately.  I have used the alumilite products with mixed results.  I was wondering if you would care to share some more info on F'lite products you were describing above.  Do they have a website?

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