Palmetto Balsa

Propionate/Plastic Dip...Sealer, Sanding Sealer, basecoat, Primer, Paint, Topcoat

18 posts in this topic

I have been doing a lot of testing with Propionate, and hope this will open a discussion on its capabilities and other possibilities. I use acetone with all my solutions but virgin lacquer thinner will work and I am sure other solvents might work as well.

Wood penetrator and sealer/sanding sealer: A thin solution works great for penetrating the wood and raising the grain. I soak balsa until all the bubbles stop escaping and then hang and dry. Now sand till smooth with a fine Sand paper.

Basecoat: Continue dipping and hanging form alternate ends till you have a good base to prime for painting.

Primer: By adding compatible pigments to the propionate solution you can use it for a primer. The amount of pigment used will determine how many dips you will need to do to get a full coat.

Paint: This one surprised me. I added pigment to acetone and mixed it. Then I added a few drops of thick propionate solution and stirred it a little till mixed.(I made it very thin) I took a syringe and put some in my airbrush color cup and started to paint. It was dry to the touch in about 1 second. It turned out great and it was easy to change colors and clean up.

Topcoat: Dipped a few times into a slightly thicker solution than the sealing solution. when working in low humidity conditions the topcoat will dry crystal clear. If working in humid conditions the propionate will dry with a milky/whitish haze. This haze is only on the surface and will stay on the surface even if you dip over it. I found 3 ways to solve this problem and get a clear surface. Dip in acetone and hang dry. If that doesn't work then dip the corner of a rag into acetone and rub the surface till it becomes clear. Third way is the one I like best is to use a cotton buffing wheel on my Dremel to polish the haze away.

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This is an example of dip primed in white/pearl propionate.

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This is a sprayed primer and fast fade with a propionate paint and a simple scale pattern.

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The next set is the Sealed, Primed, Painted and Clearcoated Pinewood Derby Baits. All done with Propionate. I messed up the Clearcoat and got a few bubbles because I didn't hang them after I dipped them.

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This final photo is the other side (the sun set) of the lunar eclipse form this evening.

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Thanks for looking and please let me know if you have any other ideas on uses for propionate and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

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Very cool. I've been doing my sons Pine Wood Derby car lately, too. Getting ready to paint it. Thanks for the ideas. We're going to attempt a red metal flake with some foil details. Lots of fun.

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too bad many post were lost in the crash earlier there were plenty of posts there about propionate sealing/basecoating/topcoating & you forgot to tell it can be used as glue for thruwire & glue on rapala lips thats loose & that it is used by rapala in their lips on the wooden lures

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I would think the dip would eat the paint off a finished lure. Are you using very little acetone and getting a consistency close to epoxy?. I made my first plastic dip from the cups. I have not got into carving or foaming any lures yet but have been reading up on it. Will be getting some propionate in the near future.

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Good primer on propionate Palmetto Balsa. I was introduce to it by Swede who invested more than 8 years in sourcing for the material & also to finally determine which is the correct shore hardness of the pellets for lure building. As too high it becomes brittle and too low it does not serve the seal & protect purpose. Getting the correct shore hardness for the pellets is one of the key issues.

PSSsss, let you in on a secret, Swede is getting his from the same source as Rapala and he's got too many kilograms of it :D Bug him if anyone wants some to try; price is really affordable too. A win win material for sealing and top coating if you want to do that too.

skeeter jones, the trick with propionate solution is to go thin (consistency of milk/juice or thinner) and many dips.

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For some months now, I've been doing some resarch of my own in the field of plastics, trying to come up with a new plastidip solution which, hopefully, will be at least as good as epoxy or propionate pellets. Work is hard, mainly because I knew nothing about plastics when I started this, and getting information which could be turned into a practical solution is a difficult thing for someone who has to learn the abc of plastics first.

Anyway, up to now, I have some ideeas which could apply to the propionate pellets plastidip.

1) The white haze appear to my crankbaits as well, only that it seems it builds up whith each layer, not only on top of the last layer, as Palmetto Balsa says. I tried the buffing wheel as he suggests, but the white haze won't disappear. And I expected it wouldn't.

When I dipped the bait in the jarr, I noticed there is a white haze in some portions of the bait. If you turn the jarr and the crankbait while partially submerged, so as to have different angles to the natural light, you'll be able to see this. I think the white haze is either air or a thin film of wather. And I came up with the ideea that the haze could be easily removed if after dipping you brush the crankbait then dipp again. But I didn't try it, because I do not bother much about the haze. Anyway, the haze cannot be something which stays on top of the last layer, but it is something which is kept prisoner between layers. If you use the buffering wheel to get rid of it, you have to do it whith each layer which got a white haze as prisoner.

2) I made 2 plastic solutions, one with acetone, and one with thinner. The acetone nedeed 1 day to dissolve the plastic, and the thinner needed 6 days. I dipped acrylic painted crankbaits in both, to see the difference. The one with acetone made the paint run immediately, the other not. But even the second one would make the pait run, if you keep the lure longer in the jarr, or if you hit the lure to the wall of the jarr. So this is a matter which each one should try, to see for himself if it works or not.

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What I am asking about is the final coat using the pellets. If you use the standard dip it has almost a pint of acetone in it. Like the post above mentioned this is a paint remover. The dip works for foam and wood don't use it for a plastic lure or you will get a sticky mess.

If I cut back the acetone will it make a mix that is simular to epoxy that can be brushed on and not eat the paint?

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Here goes lots of questions. I am fairly new at all of this and have been using the laquer thinner and solo cup plastic dip. I like it. After reading your post this morning I tried dipping some freshly painted lures (Dried)in it for a topcoat. One of them I dropped on the garage floor while shaking it down. Totally ruined the paint job. I tried wiping it off and most all the paint on it came off as a gummy mess. It too will make the acrylic paint run if the dip is not quick. Not sure how durable of a topcoat this is but I like the semi-glossy finish that it gave my lures.

Will find out how durable it is this Wednesday. We have our first club tournament of the year. Oh yeah, as I said crank bait making is a new experience for me so I'm gonna brag. Last week I fished my cranks for the first time and put them thru the wringer to see how they would hold up. One of the Balsa's fell apart with some abuse. Me slapping it on the water to clear it of moss. But my redwood cranks held up just fine I caught two small bass on it. I went again on Friday used the same redwoood crank and landed two more small bass on it and one large mouth bass which weighed 6lb 14oz. WOW-EEEE. I love my crank. So I must give it the best protection available. Is that 2-Ton Epoxy, Solo cups, or Propionate?

Your pics really look good.

So, what exactly is propionate and what is it used for other than this?

Some one mentioned the shore hardness of the pellets, What shore hardness do I need?

What is the ratio of acetone to propionate to mix to get one quart of sealer?

A Quart of Top coat?

Is the mix by weight, volume or just till it looks right.

Where do I get it?

Thanks J Blaze

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What I am asking about is the final coat using the pellets. If you use the standard dip it has almost a pint of acetone in it. Like the post above mentioned this is a paint remover. The dip works for foam and wood don't use it for a plastic lure or you will get a sticky mess.

If I cut back the acetone will it make a mix that is simular to epoxy that can be brushed on and not eat the paint?

skeeter if you use acrylic paints &heatset them with a hairdryer you dont have to worry about making a mess of your paintjob

It can be used on some plastic lures too .I have used it to smoothen out bodies on old Storm thundersticks with no problems at all

many older lures was "welded" by using acetone on bodyhalves & quick dip wont affect it at all since its been cured for long time

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I just bought some off of Swede and i just want to say he has been MORE then helpful explaining all the ins and outs of prop pellets. If you are really interested in persuing this proccess i'd give Swede a holla' :)

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A simple search on any popular search engine for Propionate Sealer help you find a local source for Propionate. This is what it looks like.

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Propionate Wood Penetrating Sealer and Base Coat

Items needed to start

  • Propionate pellets
  • Acetone (or Virgin Lacquer Thinner, not recommended)
  • (2) 16 oz. glass jars with wide mouths. (Mason jars work good)
  • Clip hangers and hanger rack for drying

Steps to make and use propionate as a Penetrating Sealer/Base coat

  • Jar 1 needs approximately 1 oz. of pellets and jar 2 needs approximately 2 oz. of pellets in the bottom.
  • Fill each jar 3/4 full with acetone, put top on good, and shake for a while. (five minutes or so)
  • To totally dissolve it will take 3 to 5 days but you can speed it up by stirring with a piece of unpainted metal, and shaking every few hours or so. When stirring dig into the clump at the bottom of the jar to break the propionate up then shake.
  • After it is completely dissolved your solutions should be as thick as 2% milk in jar 1, and like warm honey (thin honey) in jar 2.
  • Now you are ready to soak your wood in jar 1 to penetrate and seal the pours in the wood, and raise the grain. (Balsa is very hard to seal. [i use balsa and love this stuff]) Start by submerging your wood into jar 1 for about 30 minutes and up to 6 hours if you have a way to hold it down. Then remove it and let it dry till all vapors are gone. This should only take about 30 minutes at the most. (To hold it down: twist a stiff wire into a spiral that will fit the jar and make a tag on top to hold a few egg weights and place on top of your wood)

A) If your fishing lures and already have the lip slot cut you need to clean the slot after each dip. This can be done with a small piece of paper cut from a brown paper bag. (If you have a way to re-cut the slots clean, then don

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Rofish,

To try and help solve the white haze problem...

I am not sure what is going on with your dip and why it wouldn't re-clear the coat on each dip. I had a problem with one of my jars of dip when I had dipped a damp lure in the solution and it contaminated the jar. After that my every bait I dipped had a white surface. The solution was not the clear to light blue it normally had been and it had turned a touch milky. It could be the type of plastic you are using? One key I found is to make sure the wood you dip is dry and keep the moisture out of the jar.

J Blaze,

to answer your other questions. Most propionate is used in high quality plastic containers and boxes and most have specific uses like in the medical field.

To make a quart of each I would start with 2 oz. propionate (by weight) and 26 oz. acetone for your soaking/sealing solution. For the thicker base coating solution, 4 oz. propionate to 25 oz. acetone. This will leave a little room to dip the baits with out spill over.

To get a little thicker if needed.

I keep a jar of very thick solution (thick as molasses or thicker) around to add to my other jars and use when I make paint. This is ready to mix with out having to wait for pellets to dissolve. To make this, I fill a jar about 20%-25% with propionate pellets then fill about 90% full with acetone. leaving room for shaking. Then put a very tight lid on and shake for about 30 min. (Just keep it moving so it won't set up in the bottom). Stir a little the next day and agitate to help the solvent get to it to break it down.

It is very important to use a good jar with a good lid.(Not the jelly jars with 1/2 turn lids. Trust me.:eek:) Mason jars work great. You might want to let the acetone eat the seal away before you use it so not to have little pieces of rubber seal in the bottom of solution. The propionate will make another seal around the top. If you have access to leak proof High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) bottles they will work great also with out the worry of breaking.

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Palmetto Balsa,

Thanks for your ideeas. Anyway, the damp lure is not my case. The solution I made is crystal clear and remains so after at least 100 dippings. But believe me, I could clearly see that white thing, not to the whole surface which was dipped, but only a portion of it. Only you have to try different angles to the natural light to see it, if it appears. And it had the look of trapped air. That's why I thought I could easily solve the problem by using a paintbrush after dipping, then dip again. As I said, I didn't tried it yet, because the white haze is not something I should care about (I do not sell my crankbaits, so I'll have to ask the fish first, if they like it or not :wink:)

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Hi guys,

I've searched for and ready every post I could regarding this subject and I have a few questions...

I tried it out using clear plastic shot glasses from a dollar store and used lacquer thinner to dissolve them. They dissolved well but so far the mixture doesn't appear to cure hard at all once applied.

I bought some acetone today but it seems to take much longer for the cups to dissolve. After a number of hours they are still in a goopy mass where the lacquered ones are completely dissolved. Does it take longer for the acetone to break down the platic and will it cure harder? Perhaps these particular plastic cups are not going to cure hard no matter what I dissolve them in?

Should I invest in the propionate pellets or is there a plastic that will work just as well? Thanks in advanced.

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I use prop disolved in acetone to waterproof and smooth baits before painting. It's excellent at reinforcing soft wood and a number of dips give you a hard very smooth surface to paint. However, JMHO, I don't think it's as tough or gives as reliable results as epoxy or moisture cured polyurethane for final clearcoating. Maybe that's due to where I live in the humid SE U.S. JBlaze, prop is cellulose propionate and comes in small bluish clear pellets about 1/16" dia that you disolve in acetone. A little goes a long way so it's a good cost effective product. I got mine from Swede too (thanks again!).

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