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Balsa grain

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Ok I've pulled all my hair out so I guess I'll ask, I've tried everything I can to get rid of the grain showing thru on my paint job's (Kilz,poly urt.,etc....) still I can't get a perfectly slick finish,I'm shaping with 80 grit, then going to 150 grit,then i'm slicking it up with a 600 grit, Is this wrong ?

When you use your f/c or devcon as a first coat (which im not,so far) is that what fill's the grain in ??

as always thanks in advance for your help.

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When working with balsa,I generally sand smooth,then dip in poly-acrilic,sand again.Then I apply a coat of devcon 2ton.Sand again..and start painting.When done finish up with one or two coats of devcon..nathan

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When you use your f/c or devcon as a first coat (which im not,so far) is that what fill's the grain in ??

Yes. If yo use anything water based it will raise the grain. I stay with a coating of epoxy bar top finish.

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Am in the process on several balsa flat sides right now...Sealed some with Minwax Polycrylic some with their Polyurethane. Not much problem with grain on either. This is with 2 heavy (dipped) coats. Baits were then lightly sanded and are now being clearcoated with FC.

Think Nathan is right on, the "base" clearcoat will fill some of the grain and then level to a smooth finish when you turn it. Takes a little more time but it works.

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Dave,

Why do you use the Minwax? Seems that you could just use the FC to coat the bare balsa and that should seal the wood and give you a smooth surface to start your painting.

Skeeter

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Skeeter,

I've found that by first dipping in poly-acrilic,it penetrates the wood,and seals.This keeps the epoxy from penetrating the wood as deep,and leaves more at the surface to smooth out the grain.I have by- passed the poly stage,but the epoxy soakes into the wood(not a bad thing),but leaves you with a rough surface that generally requires another coat to smooth out..Nathan

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Also a caution in the FC instructions about contact with porous materials, ie: wood. Still think you need to seal the wood in some way, but will admit I am still learning on the balsa baits.

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Dave,

I am now convinced that you practice voodoo!!!! That's right bud. I have NEVER had a problem with my Devcon clearcoats. But yesterday I took a prototype balsa square bill out for testing. I caught 3 fish and the smallest one was 4.11 lbs. I fished it in the wood. After the 3rd fish, I had a round crushed spot in the middle of the back of the bait near the head and my Devcon was cracked. I'll bet that if I came to your shop there is a picture of one of my baits hanging above your workbench with a couple of pins sticking in the exact same spot. GO AHEAD, ADMIT IT!!!!!!! This stuff didn't start untill you started talking about it.

However, I think I have the answer to all of this problem. As I have said, balsa will flex. The baits will flex clearcoated or not regardless of what we use to clearcoat. This is what is causing the cracking. The wood has to be hardened before we paint. I have never had a problem with any type of hardwood. This is because it just plain won't flex under the strains that a bait goes through. What I am going to do is to completely clearcoat the bare wood of balsa baits before I paint them and spin them. It will be a thick coat just like the finish coat after painting. I am going to do this on the bare wood because I want all of the penetration of the epoxy into the wood that I can get. This will harden the bait as much as I can get it before painting. Water based paints will not hold on bare Devcon, so I am going to shoot a white lacquer undercoat straight onto the Devcon. My base color pearl, yellow, or whatever will be lacquer also. Latex enamel will hold onto lacquer just fine after it is completely dried. So I can do scales, eyes, and dots with the enamel. I will then clearcoat one thick application of Devcon for the finish. I will let you guys know how it turns out. I will be doing some heavy painting next week.

P.S. Take the pins out of my picture before Monday.

Skeeter

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Hello

To seal my baits of balsa, I dilute with the ?poxy with some acetone in a proportion of 5 for 1 neighborhood. In this way, the first coat(layer) penetrates profoundly into the wood. Having let dry and grit slightly I apply a second coat(layer) of the same mixture.

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Big boy,

Some of the other guys suggested the same thing. But I just want a one time application. Spread it once and no more sanding. The reason is because I may have 20 or 30 baits to do and it just gets to adding alot of time with multiple applications and sanding. I clearcoated a bare balsa lure today. One thick coat. It worked out real well. No sanding. Just a good slick finish. Now to see if the lacquer just holds. I will let you all know.

Skeeter

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I only practice voodoo at work, and only on prescription insurance. Sorry to hear about the bait, good news is it caught a nice fish!

My Devcon problems have been while the baits were just sitting in boxes, for the most part.

***I only stick pins in new Normark/Storm baits...at least since they jacked up the wart.

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Well, I clearcoated a bare wood flat balsa bait this weekend and shot the paint to it. It worked beautifully. I just got the eyes and stuff on it tonight so I haven't put the final clearcoat on it yet. The paint and finish were flawless. Lacquer shoots beautifully onto the devcon. This is the way I am going to head with this problem. I think it is the way to go on a balsa bait.

Skeeter

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