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MartinD

Help! Trouble making swimbaits

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Hey, just after some.advice. i am very new to making softplastics and i have tried to shoot some plastics today, they are 6inch swimbaits, im using medium plastisol but i am having problems getting them to come out right, the seem to come out tacky and.sticky with not much strecth before brewking, am i kosing it in the heating or using the wrong plastisol? What do iadd for additional durability. Thanks

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We see this problem, question all the time.  I am sure you did not mix the plastisol  very well before you heated it.

Plastisol can settle out over time and if it is not fresh it settles out so that you don't get the proper mix.  On the next batch, mix it very well, then heat while stirring till it turns clear (350 degrees F), then you can shoot, pour, etc.  Most of us allow it to cool quite a bit (~320 deg. F) to shoot it.

Give that a try and let us know if you still have issues.

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16 hours ago, Anglinarcher said:

We see this problem, question all the time.  I am sure you did not mix the plastisol  very well before you heated it.

Plastisol can settle out over time and if it is not fresh it settles out so that you don't get the proper mix.  On the next batch, mix it very well, then heat while stirring till it turns clear (350 degrees F), then you can shoot, pour, etc.  Most of us allow it to cool quite a bit (~320 deg. F) to shoot it.

Give that a try and let us know if you still have issues.

 

These two tips (insure mix is right, no hard pack - and heating to 350 to set the plastic up) solve probably 95% of the problems people have when starting out... I failed at both for awhile!!!

To layer on those suggestions.....

One is how are you heating the plastic?  If in a microwave.... the temp will vary within the cup of plastic - with the hottest area being about 1" above the bottom in the center of the cup.... you might find a 20-30 degree difference here compared to other areas in the batch depending on how much your heating.... so you need to check this area to insure you're not "burning" it (ie. at 360 or higher).... and make sure to stir to try and make sure you heat the whole cup to 350 evenly.... as it's easy to hit 350 in that one area - under cook the rest and still have problems because you "think" you cooked the batch to 350.... AND if you just cook like hell figuring you'll make the cool areas 350 - you'll torch the center and it will burn.... which really sucks - trust me!  LOL!!

Also regarding mixing the plastisol... because i wasn't pouring alot - few cups of plastic every couple weeks - the first brand of plastisol I used hardpacked (some hardpack more than others).  I made sure to stir/shake/whaterver until there was NOTHING left sticking to the bottom of the jug.  If you have alot stuck to the bottom - you can just assume the formula will be "different" than is should be which can cause issues.... I would shake/scrap it like crazy the day before I was going to pour... to insure there was no settling.... then when I needed to pour - usually a few twists of the jug was all I needed to make things right.

Hope this helps.... 

  J.

 

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15 hours ago, SlowFISH said:

 

These two tips (insure mix is right, no hard pack - and heating to 350 to set the plastic up) solve probably 95% of the problems people have when starting out... I failed at both for awhile!!!

To layer on those suggestions.....

One is how are you heating the plastic?  If in a microwave.... the temp will vary within the cup of plastic - with the hottest area being about 1" above the bottom in the center of the cup.... you might find a 20-30 degree difference here compared to other areas in the batch depending on how much your heating.... so you need to check this area to insure you're not "burning" it (ie. at 360 or higher).... and make sure to stir to try and make sure you heat the whole cup to 350 evenly.... as it's easy to hit 350 in that one area - under cook the rest and still have problems because you "think" you cooked the batch to 350.... AND if you just cook like hell figuring you'll make the cool areas 350 - you'll torch the center and it will burn.... which really sucks - trust me!  LOL!!

Also regarding mixing the plastisol... because i wasn't pouring alot - few cups of plastic every couple weeks - the first brand of plastisol I used hardpacked (some hardpack more than others).  I made sure to stir/shake/whaterver until there was NOTHING left sticking to the bottom of the jug.  If you have alot stuck to the bottom - you can just assume the formula will be "different" than is should be which can cause issues.... I would shake/scrap it like crazy the day before I was going to pour... to insure there was no settling.... then when I needed to pour - usually a few twists of the jug was all I needed to make things right.

Hope this helps.... 

  J.

Greatly appreciate all of the advice.

So is it paramount to have a thermometer and check the temp before shooting? Some of the advice i have been given is more along the lines of just getting the consistency and clearness of the plastic once heated. I am just using a cheap.microwave, is rhere a better technique to use?

15 hours ago, SlowFISH said:

 

 

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From my experience, getting the plastisol up to 350 degrees is very important, or you can have baits that stay tacky forever.

I use a cheap digital thermometer, and stir with a doubled over metal coat hanger that has a 1/2" flat section at the bottom, holding the two metal arms apart.

Once I've gotten the plastisol up to 345 on the surface, I mix it so I bring the middle material up to the top, and check the temp again.  The plastisol heat from the middle out, so the middle temp is always hotter, and that way I can get all of the plastisol up to 350 without burning it.  I do add some heat stabilizer, just in case, but the Baitjunky's plastisol I use already had stabilizer in it, so I only add 1/2 tsp. per cup.

Once I've gotten the plastisol up to 350, and it has become clear and runny, I never heat it past 335 again.

I use the degassed plastisol.

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I don't always use a thermometer, especially if I am just doing a few at a time.

When you heat raw plastisol, it is milky white.  Even if you add color first, it is still milky.  I put it in my microwave and heat it for a period of time depending on the amount of plastisol I am heating, then I take it out and mix it.

I then put it back in and heat more, then mix again.  Repeat as necessary so you are not over heating but also mixing the "hot spots" into the "cool spots".  Once it converts from milky to clear, you are good.  You don't need to confirm it is at 350 degrees F, because it goes from milky to clear at that temperature anyway.

What gets people in trouble is not mixing the raw plastisol first to reverse settling, and not mixing well while heating.  Once it converts from milky to clear (you can/should be clear and have color), you can pour or shoot.  Most of us shoot at lower temperatures because some molds fill better that way.  It is not a requirement.

The other thing that gets people in trouble is overheating.  Once it is mixed and goes clear, it is done.  Overheating will not make it convert more, it only burns it.  Mixing well and often is the best preventative to yellowing plastic.

Now, reheating previously melted plastic is a little different, but that is another topic.

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