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Sealing balsa

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I am going to start making baits again. I see a lot of the guys who make a lot of baits have them rigged up where they can dip their baits to seal, primer, and top coat. I did something similar but what do you guys think is the best thing is to seal baits with before painting that you can dip. A lot of these guys are secretive on what they use. Thanks

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Minwax has a wood hardener/sealer.  The lid is too small for dipping, but if you poured it out into a glass jar it would probably work.  I brush it on.  There are a lot of people seal balsa with thin superglue by running the applicator over the bait.

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2 parts Etex 1 part acetone is what I use for sealing wood. Never tried anything else so can’t say how it compares to other methods 

Odds are you already know this method since it’s an old way to seal

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Etex and acetone both store well separate but Etex being a 2 part epoxy the mix would cure. It is thin enough to dip but I always give it a brushing 

I use it because Etex is what I use for a top coat and always have acetone around for clean up. So for me it’s a matter of multiple use products. Good chance there is better options if you are only looking for a sealer 

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I honestly don’t get the “has to be dippable” thought process.  It ought to be “has to be best”.  But if it does have to be dippable,  my choice would be uv cured polyester resin, such as Solarez Dual cure gloss resin.  Jmho, it’s not suitable as a topcoat but it is fast, waterproof, and very tough.  I most often use Devcon Two Ton epoxy  cut with a little denatured alcohol, since I can also use it for top-coating.

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I use minwax fast drying polyurethane, just dip and hang.  For me that step is about helping waterproof the wood, and seal up the open pores or end that can sometimes mess up the first layer of epoxy.  I think some of the youtube guys also dip Minwax polycrylic, and use that for a sealer or midcoat before finish.  I do not have experience with that one.

This reminded me, i've also use spar urethane cut with some thinner.  They all seemed to work ok, but I only make  a few baits at a time for myself.  Minwax sanding sealer works as well (I've never dipped it). 

 

Edited by eastman03

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Sherwood CAB Acrylic. 40$ a gallon and will last a lifetime. This seals and can be used a white under coat prior to painting. This stuff cures exceptionally fast and sands awesome......(doesn't gum up sand paper). Solarez is nice but if your using balsa your taking away from the reason we use balsa..buoyancy. The more resin=more weight. Less ability for that bait to hunt. All up to the builder imo. The CAB acrylic gives some reinforcement as well. I dip twice about 2hrs apart and sand smooth. This eliminates any grain issues with the Balsa.  

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Jmho but I wouldn’t use any non-waterproof water based coating to undercoat balsa.  The reason I started building baits 20 years ago was that I bought several expensive commercial balsa baits that were the “latest and greatest” and they each disintegrated after one day’s fishing.  A tough waterproof undercoating goes a long way to avoiding disaster when a bait’s topcoat gets dinged..  I have to disagree with jcromerangler about a thick undercoating, per se, compromising balsa performance or buoyancy.  Overall design determines performance.  Buoyancy and hunting are determined by the bait’s volume versus its weight and the placement of ballast, lip angle, and line tie.  If you’re “building” plastic knockoffs or store-bought wood baits  you have a point but if it’s balsa from scratch, you can design around the minimal weight difference a thicker undercoating might make.  If you want to see THICK undercoating, cut up a Poe’s or an old Rapala crank.  Their undercoating is about 1/8” or more thick.  I think they use thick undercoating to avoid hand sanding and surface prep in their industrial process.

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2 hours ago, jcromerangler said:

Sherwood CAB Acrylic. 40$ a gallon and will last a lifetime. This seals and can be used a white under coat prior to painting. This stuff cures exceptionally fast and sands awesome......(doesn't gum up sand paper). Solarez is nice but if your using balsa your taking away from the reason we use balsa..buoyancy. The more resin=more weight. Less ability for that bait to hunt. All up to the builder imo. The CAB acrylic gives some reinforcement as well. I dip twice about 2hrs apart and sand smooth. This eliminates any grain issues with the Balsa.  

Where do you get that stuff at

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