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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:12 AM
No matter how much I sand PVC trim I can't get a smooth finish, is this normal? I see all these other guys posting PVC swimbaits and what not and they look great! What am I doing wrong?
Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:05 PM
400 grit is about as fine as I go and can get a pretty smooth surface. The PVC I'm using isn't a pure PVC product though. It is PVC mixed with what I believe is wood fibers. Whatever it is it's not the same thing as what I looked at while in Lowe's. The PVC they had on hand looked to be the pure PVC.
If your sanding down to as far as 600 grit and still getting a rough surface you could always brush on a coat of epoxy. I sometimes do this to insure a glass like finish to start painting on. It's an added step, but it would at least be a way to give you the smooth surface your looking for.
There are others here at TU who have much more experience than myself with PVC so maybe they will chime in.
Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:26 PM
i am using pvc and i do use and epoxy as a base to get it nice and really smooth ....all i sand it down to before is about 200grit before applying the epxoy ...i have although found in previous tries that i didnt sand down much only about 140 then painted while it was still a tad rough and epoxy clear over and came out real nice in the end unless there was extremely too rough ...
Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:05 PM
PVC is polyvinyl chloride, there is no wood fiber in the material I buy. Ben, I doubt that the manufacturer would put wood fiber in the material unless it is in there as a filler. I purchase mine from Lowe's and have found it to be the best as far as zero bubbles in the material and no filler, such as wood fiber of any sort.
I've made mention that when sanding the material I end up with about 400 grit. Once the blank is to shape, ballast, line tie and hook hangers; I paint the blank with white primer made by Krylon. Once that is dry, I'll sand it as well to baby butt smooth, then paint. I rarely have any sanding marks afterward, if any. I hope this helps.
Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:13 PM
Jerry the PVC boards I have definitely have some type of filler in them. You can see that just from looking at it. They make a variety of PVC products for different uses. I have 3 different varieties and none of them weigh the same even though they are the same size boards. Now if they were all 100% PVC wouldn't it stand to reason they would all have the same specific gravity? I've looked at the stuff from Lowe's your talking about and it is definitely not the same stuff I have. And just because a product is called by a specific name doesn't mean it has to be 100% pure.
Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:58 AM
The PVC board do have wood fibers in them, to give them enough strength for people to walk on.
The trim boards have less, so they are lighter, and have a finer "grain". Whatever they use makes the trim board even more buoyant, but it is not as strong as the decking.
"Pure" PVC would be like plastic pipe, and sink like a rock.
Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:38 PM
I'm not trying to get into a pissing match here. I apologize if it came off like that, but what I've seen on the manufactures site there was no evidence of wood fiber mentioned in the list of ingredients that make up their materials. Alot of poly this and poly that and what have you. I still love the material to work with and hope a lot of others turn to the "dark side" lol.
Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:53 PM
You're right, it isn't important what it's made out of, what's important is that it is a great bait building material.
Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:14 PM
I didn't take it like that at all Bassguy. But for the sake of those just getting started I wanted to make them aware that there was more than one type of this product. The stuff I'm using can be sanded down to a really smooth surface if you care to take the time doing so. And when it's sanded down like this there's really no need to give it a coat of epoxy for the glass like finish the epoxy gives it. I just hate doing all the sanding and usually give it a thin coat of epoxy before painting.
Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:47 PM
I hear ya Ben, the material I use can be sanded down to super smooth too, but it takes time which I don't have a lot of these days, so that's why I prime and then sand the primer which does the job for my wants and needs. Right you are Mark, thanks to the chemists that thought they were making a product for home improvement market and some bass fisherman got their hands on it and ta da! Crankbaits, swimbaits and so on.
Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:23 PM
With the AZEK trimboard and decking I use, I find I need to put a seal coat of runny super glue on after I sand, but before I paint, or I get little bubbles in some of the painted areas from the PVC off gassing.
It is annoying when that happens.
I know there's no grain in the material, but I think something in the way it's extruded that aligns stuff along the long dimension, because I notice the bubbling where end grain would be exposed if it were wood.
Then again, ever since I quit drinking, I notice a lot of weird stuff that wasn't there before. Hahaha
Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:48 PM
I've noticed that the density can vary depending on who makes it. I always got mine from Lowes and then they changed suppliers and the stuff was more porous with some occasional voids in the material. switched to getting it at Home Depot and it's more to my liking.
Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:17 PM
The PVC that you gentlemen are talking about, would that be the plastic decking that's been out for years? If so, which brand works the best for crank baits ? Does it accept eye screws well? Thanks Guys
Posted 22 February 2013 - 07:03 PM
There are several different types of PVC products that have been introduced into the home building trades in the last decade or so. Decking is one of those although the PVC decking material that I've seen is quite heavy. There are also PVC products that are designed from trim molding which are much lighter and more suitable for some baits. The heavier decking material might be great for deeper diving lures, but not so much for something like a shallow square bill where higher buoyancy gives the bait better deflection off of stumps, rocks, etc.
Vintage Woodworks is one place you can order PVC online. At one time they offered a sample pack of all the different PVC materials they offer and they may still do that. They even pick up the shipping costs on the samples. They carry the Azek brand which is what many of the builders on this site use. The link to their site is below.
Hope this answered some of your questions.
Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:23 PM
Thanks Ben, just to let you guys know, I've been building lures for years and this is the best source of information I've ever come across. A wealth of info and everyone is eager to help ! Hats off to the ones who make it work. Thanks
Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:33 PM
I just posted this in another thread, and am too lazy to retype it:
I am just a hobby builder, and make baits mostly for myself and a few friends.
For me, PVC has cut my bait making process down from four days to four hours, tops.
I got turned to the dark side (PVC) several years ago by JR Hopkins ( ) when I was struggling with finding a way to seal my wooden swimbaits, without success.
I can make a bait, attach the bill, line tie, and hardware, and ballast it in my test bucket without any sealing, because it is totally waterproof.
PVC has allowed me to make, paint, and topcoat (Solarez) a bait in one day and fish it the same day, if I want to.
The PVC trimboard I use, made by AZEK, is as buoyant as all but the lightest balsa.
For feather light cranks that Plaster of Paris up like corks, there is nothing like light balsa.
But for all other cranks, including top waters, the PVC trimboard works great.
It is waterproof, light, and strong. My biggest fish on a homemade PVC popper is 8.5lbs, and that bait is still going strong.
I do use the AZEK decking for my jointed swimbaits, because it is stronger and more dense (it is structurally rated to support people) than the trimboard, and it is plenty buoyant (like poplar).
I have a ton of wooden baits lying around in my garage that I no longer fish because, with PVC, there is no water intrusion worry, and it is so hard that it just dents if it hits a rock, and can be touched up on the water with clear nail polish.