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CoreyH

epoxy topcoat question

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When using a 2-part epoxy for a topcoat, which of the following gives the best results:

1.  brushing on a thin coat, letting it cure, and then brushing on a second (and even third?) coat

2.  bushing on a single, thicker coat

3.  brushing on a single, thin coat

I've only topcoated a handful of baits so far and I've been doing a single, thicker coat.  It looks ok, but definitely not perfect.  I've had some air bubbles present and because I've just been using a 5-minute epoxy (it's what I've had on hand), I've had a couple areas where I start to go over the bait again but the epoxy is already curing and it winds up not being as smooth.  I'm going to order some slow cure in the next couple weeks and start using it, but want to do things the correct way.  Thanks!

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Well for sure move to a high quality slow cure epoxy.  Joe Peterson's Tru Coat, Envirotex, Alumilite Clear cast,  Devcon 2 ton (slow cure), BSI 30 min,  there are a bunch of them.  All of them can provide much higher quality results!  And for the most part, I would do 2 or three thin coats, depending on the epoxy I suppose, and depending on the potential use of the lure.   Making large wooden muskie lures, I like 2 or three thin epoxy coats.  And I love the look of epoxy when it is done well!  

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This is what I do with Etex but odds are you will find people have their own routines that are just as good or better 

1) I take a small brush and do the areas around the lip

2) I use a foam brush and apply a moderate to thin coat. I brush the heck out of it to be sure I don’t miss spots. If you try to go to thin it seems to get voids 

3) I let it cure a bit then brush over it again to help prevent bubbles 

4) let it dry then repeat 


This is what works for me anyway 

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I realize that I should use something other than 5-minute epoxy, but I had a few baits I really wanted to try and get finished (I'm not very patient at times) and saw a video of a guy just using 5-minute epoxy and it seemed to be coming out ok.  The ones I have done with the 5-minute have turned out ok for the most part, but just like building baits, I want to continue to get better and have cleaner builds, and that means using a better product for my topcoat.  The videos I have seen of guys applying topcoat have shown them applying one coat.  Maybe they do two or three and just don't show it, which is why I asked if that is the better route to go.  My baits are just intended for bass, but I do catch some pike on my bass baits, so I'd like the topcoat to be durable enough to handle the occasional pike.

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If pike are around definitely use multiple coats.

for my resin pour pike baits I use 3 coats and wood baits 4-5 coats. These are seeing non stop pike abuse and some big pike so probably more than you need

2-3 coats would be my choice 

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I pretty much do exactly what Hillbilly does as well!  There are lots of great pages on this site with tips for finishing.  If I'm prototyping a bait, or just want to get out and fish with a lure I made myself, one coat of epoxy like envirotex provides lots of strength.  It wont last as long a several coats, but it will do!

Here is a really good list of pointers for getting that glassy finish...

 

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OK, next question...how long do I need to wait between coats?  Do I want to wait until the epoxy has completely cured (24 hours at least) or do I not need to wait that long?

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Thanks for the link eastman03!  That answered my previous question and also helped with with my original question as well. 

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Corey, sorry but you screwed up using 5 minute epoxy.  It cures too fast to brush without bubbles, turns brown quickly from uv light, and is water resistant, not waterproof.  Eastman03 listed a bunch of brands that all yield good results.  They break down onto two basic epoxy types.  Slow cure glue or Rod thread epoxies like Devcon 2 Ton that yield thick one coat topcoats, and bar top/decoupage/casting epoxies like ETEX (Envirotex Lite) which are usually modified with solvents and yield a thin coating that requires multiple coats and longer cure times.

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I just use KBS for small baits Epoxy for larger baits like 7" up. just dip the KBS and 2 maybe 3 coats. Dipping is great with KBS I don't use the turner just drip. Epoxy I use the turner. 

 

Wayne

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BobP, thanks for letting me know about what will happen with regards to the browning of the topcoat.  Luckily, I haven't made any baits that I'd be really disappointed in ruining with a bad topcoat.  I'll mark this down as a "learning experience" and move forward with either KBS or a good slow cure epoxy.  Thanks again.

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