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Struggling with clear coating. Any tips?

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I've been having issues with clear coat. It's not very smooth and I'm getting lots of bumps and some spots where there just isn't ant clear coat (air bubbles?). 

 

I've been using BSI 30 min Epoxy from hobby lobby and brushing it onto the bait then throwing it on the lure turner. I've been using a small scale to measure to make sure I'm mixing the right amount.

 

Any tips on what I could do that may improve this? Is there anything I can do with the baits that I screwed up one or are they just useless at this point?

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Epoxy is not mixed by weight, But 50/50 by volume... Notice the bottles are the same quantity?  Use a syringe or medicine cup and measure equally. 

 

I switched from epoxy to KBS Diamond Clear and never looked back... I keep it in a mason jar and wipe the lid clean before the top is put back on. 

Edited by 21xdc
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3 minutes ago, 21xdc said:

Epoxy is not mixed by weight, But 50/50 by volume... Notice the bottles are the same quantity?  Use a syringe or medicine cup and measure equally. 

 

I switched from epoxy to KBS Diamond Clear and never looked back... I keep it in a mason jar and wipe the lid clean before the top is put back on. 

I was looking into the KBS since it looks so easy to use. I've heard stories of it going bad on people though. I'll try a syringe next time and see if that helps!

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Basically, epoxy has to be measured correctly and mixed thoroughly before application.  If yours didn’t harden or has lumps, it suggests that it needed to be mixed better.  If you have fisheyes where the epoxy pulled away in a circle from a spot, that indicates it was applied over an oil or grease spot, which can be caused by a fingerprint on the paint.  You didn’t specify exactly what’s wrong with your baits.  If the epoxy is sticky, brush on a new coat that is well measured and mixed and this will fix that problem.  If the epoxy is hard but lumpy, sand it smooth and re-coat.  If your epoxy is curing too fast to get it on the lure before it begins to harden, do not heat the components during the process.  To extend the brushing time, mix in a FEW drops of denatured alcohol before you brush.  

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If its getting cold in your neck of the woods, temperature can make epoxy almost impossible to work with..... in the winter i make sure to heat up not only my epoxy, but also the mixing tray and of course the lure itself

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I agree with the previous advice, with a little to add.  On a whim, I bought some UV hard resin to try since I had a UV light from trying Solarez a couple of years back.

The name of it is DecorRom.  I tried it today on three cranks by brushing it on.  It went on smooth, and quickly dried to a hard finish.  It cured in about 5 to 10 minutes using the UV nail light, to a high gloss, non tacky finish, and is the best I've seen yet.  I know there has got to be  catch, so I'll find out when I get to fish them and bang them around.  I've  been using Dev Con 2, with pretty good results, but this is so much easier.

Just something to think about.

 

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2 hours ago, RonH520 said:

I agree with the previous advice, with a little to add.  On a whim, I bought some UV hard resin to try since I had a UV light from trying Solarez a couple of years back.

The name of it is DecorRom.  I tried it today on three cranks by brushing it on.  It went on smooth, and quickly dried to a hard finish.  It cured in about 5 to 10 minutes using the UV nail light, to a high gloss, non tacky finish, and is the best I've seen yet.  I know there has got to be  catch, so I'll find out when I get to fish them and bang them around.  I've  been using Dev Con 2, with pretty good results, but this is so much easier.

Just something to think about.

 

Do you need to have the bait spinning while using the UV resin? Or just put it under the light?

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I have used both BSI and Devcon 2 ton with good results. Initially I had some issues with the epoxy sometimes being a little lumpy.  A couple of things that I do are:

I always thin the mixed epoxy with a few drops of denatured alcohol. This helps it spread better and also seems to help bubbles to rise out.

After mixing and adding epoxy, I let it set for a minute or two for bubbles to rise. I may be kidding my self, but banging the bottom of the epoxy mixing cup on the table seems to help bubbles to rise.

If I use glitter in the epoxy, the presence of the glitter seems to break up bubbles.

All that being said, 30 minute epoxy only gives you a few minutes of working time. A mistake that I’ve made is trying to clear coat  too many baits at once. I have found that I can do a good job brushing on and spending evenly two baits, before the epoxy starts to cure. When I’ve done three or more, I’ve always had to refinish.

When I’ve had gaps or bubbles, I’ve waited 24 hours, then lightly sanded and recoated with epoxy, that I’ve thinned a little more than usual.

Also a bait turner is essential. I leave baits on for eight hours. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They did ok without a lure turner.  I had a small amount pool at the bottom  of one, I think I applied too much, but it was no problem. I thought about a drop wire on the tip, but when It dries, it could be difficult to get the wire out. It dries so fast when you put the light on it, I just don't think a turner is needed.   I do let it level out a little, maybe a minute, before I expose it to u v light. You could use a hand held  light to set it up before you hang it, but I'm holding off that for now.  This is new to me, so I'm learning as I go, but the results so far are very good.  I do use gloves when I handle the lure to keep skin oil off the lure,  which is also a good thing to do when using epoxy.

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The main drawback to uv polyester resin seems to be the cost. If you use, say, 1/4 oz of resin on a bait, you get 28 baits out of a 200 gram bottle of DecorRom resin, costing $22 or so.  Alumilite Alumi-UV resin is similarly costly.  The Solarez resin is much cheaper but contains wax flakes that leave a white haze on the lure when cured.  If your pocketbook can stand the strain, uv cured polyester resin is a really fast and user friendly, very durable topcoat.

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Costly it is.  I'm stepping out of my comfort level on this after using Devcon for quite some time.  I tried the concrete sealer deal also, but the smell just kept hanging around, and it sometimes reacted with some of my paints, so I quit that for now.  I still have a can of KBS to try and see how that goes, so that's next up.

Also, I just coated 3 SK swim bait KOs with uv, and had a few fish eyes on each, vs zero on the cranks. I wasn't expecting that. The cranks had a textured finish, the swimsuits were slick. Seems nothing is the perfect fit.  Definitely something to consider.

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Devcon and BSI 30 both cure perfect every time when mixed by equal weights. I highly recommend doing it this way.

I add about 6-8 drops of 100% pure Acetone to a total 20g mix. Enough for a 1.5 sb.

Mix well. At least a minute

Only do one bait at a time.

Work fast

 

 

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