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Jr Branham

Flatside Crankbait Finishing

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Hey gang,

  My first attempt at building flatsides. I have cut my blanks, sanded them and now want to learn about finishing them. The two baits shown have been coated with thin super glue. The one on the left has two coats, the right one has only one coat. I have some rough spots where the arrows are pointing due to the grain of the balsa. I will topcoat with BSI epoxy. I have built  a lure tuner. My question is, will the epoxy flow on the smaller portions (edges) where the arrows are? Will this flow cover the rough areas from the grain? I can imagine a broom stick getting perfect coverage in my turner, I want the edges to get flow to cover the rough grain. I want my baits to look like plastic when painted. I will keep the paint jobs basic, just want a smooth bait. Those that seal with thin super glue---how many coats are you putting on the bare balsa? Any help is appreciated, thanks

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I do the same as Nedyarb. For me the super glue is more for strengthening the wood than it is about sealing the bait. One thing to remember about epoxy is that it doesn't like sharp corners and will pull away from them leaving a very thin layer. As long as you round the corners of your baits your fine. After applying the super glue they get a light sanding to knock off any rough edges or uneven spots. The baits are then coated with Bob Smith 30 minute epoxy and put on the turner. Once the epoxy has cured the baits get a light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper to give the paint something to "bite" to so the paint adheres to the bait better.

 

Ben

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@ Jr

 

I do not think the areas where arrow are will be a problem. But the nose and tail of both baits will be a problem. They really need to be rounded off like Ben is talking about. If possible the whole bait should be rounded of like the belly of the bait without arrows. Epoxy will flow away from sharp edges leaving them unprotected. I am still learning with the superglue. Experience has taught me to use a fine sandpaper between coats of superglue. Two is the number of coats i use on everything but I think more may help fill more spots. Two leaves a decent surface. The smoother the surface one can get before paint the better. 

 

@Ben 

 

When you add the epoxy after superglue, do you install bill and hangers first? If not, how do you keep the epoxy out of the holes? 

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I've been installing the bill and hook hangers before applying epoxy Vic. The bad part about installing the bill before epoxy and paint is having one of those "oops" moments and then end up with blemishes on the lip. I always tape the lips off with painters tape, but even this isn't a100% foolproof way to keep these "oops" from happening. The thing I like about installing the lip before paint is that I can use the centerline I've drawn on the lip to line up with the centerline that's drawn on the bait. By sighting down both lines I've never had a lip that was setting crooked in the bait. The drawback to this method is ending up with the aforementioned blemishes.

 

I'm going to try waiting to install lips until after the painting is done and hope that the lip and lip slot are cut square enough that they can just be pushed tightly against the back of the slot so everything lines up correctly. As far as keeping glue out of the lip slot a scrap piece of Lexan can be slid into the slot while applying epoxy and then be removed before placing the bait on the turner.

 

Ben

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I'm using this to sand with. It is a piece of hardwood that I routed a round profile into. Then a piece of 400 grit sandpaper is wedged in there. Is there a better way. My eyeballing didn't work out too good!!

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@ Ben 

 

Thank you for explaining how your doing it. My main reason for not applying epoxy is the oops factor and the added weight and cost. I thought that was how you were doing it but wanted to be sure. Thanks again!

 

@Jr

 

How your sanding is great.

 

The epoxy has a tendency to run away or pool away from sharp edges.  It does better with most rounded ones but even these can be a problem if too sharp.  I think all liquids have this quality but more noticeable on a slow curing thick epoxy. The epoxy has time to pool together where it is easiest to do so. Easier to sit on the side of a pin than the point of one. The best you can do is round off all sharp edges with sanding. 

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My pleasure Vic.

 

The epoxy flowing on the edges isn't the problem Jr. It's a matter of it having a tendency to pull away from sharp corners. It's possible you could have exactly the same amount of epoxy on sharp edges as you would the rest of the bait when applying it, but when it is no longer being moved around by brushing is when it starts to pull away from sharp corners.  Vic's analogy about the pin is a good one.

 

I use something similar to your routed block when shaping baits. When the final shaping is done I then go back with just a piece of sandpaper and blend the top and bottom into the sides by hand. This does away with anything resembling a sharp corner as well as making the transitions look better. Think of it this way. How many critters have you seen with corners on them? This just makes for a more natural looking presentation. IMO at least.

 

hope this helps,

Ben

Edited by RayburnGuy
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Jr.,another handy tool to use in sanding are those wide flexable Emory boards at Walmart in the fingernail polish area ..Gene (Lincoya) turned me on to those years ago..They work great...Nathan

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Nice catch Nate. :yay: I had forgotten about those. Another trick I use is to wrap a tongue depressor with sandpaper and glue it in place. I keep three of these handy with different grit sandpaper on them.

 

Ben

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