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Tj_Ryan18

Softener/ Hardener

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I buy medium plastic, and then add one or the other when I want softer or harder plastic.

Softener makes stiff plastic softer.  I add it when I add salt, because salt makes plastic stiffer, or if I'm pouring finesse worms.

Hardener makes soft plastic stiffer.  I add it to my swimbait plastic, to make the tails swim better.  Some baits just work better with harder plastic.

I don't ever add hardener to hot plastic.

Add hardener before you heat your plastic, and mix it thoroughly, or you'll wind up with hard lumps from unmixed hardener.

For reheats, where I want to add more hardener, I mix the hardener into new plastic first, so it is completely mixed, and then cut up the stuff I want to reheat, and add the new stuff before I reheat it all together. 

I add heat stabilizer so my reheated plastic doesn't get scorched when I reheat it all to 350 to kick over the new stuff.

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5 hours ago, GaryDel said:

I'm trying to get my sinkos and swim baits as soft as possible.  Any suggestions?  Are all softeners about the same?

Yes most softeners are the same.  It's the hardeners that are not. 

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The hardener I have, which I got from Bear many years ago, needs to be mixed with raw plastisol before it is cooked, or it stays unmixed and forms hard lumps.

I have never used any other brand, so I don't know how others behave.

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You can add hardener to hot plastisol if you thin it with frresh plastisol and mix well before adding.I would also add a squirt of temp stabilizer when you do.

Edited by robalo01
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1 hour ago, robalo01 said:

You can add hardener to hot plastisol if you thin it with frresh plastisol and mix well before adding.I would also add a squirt of temp stabilizer when you do.

Very, VERY good advice! 

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I use medium baitplastics myself & never use softener because i think my baits are plenty soft. If i want a bait firmer i just replace some of the medium with hard. Most times i work in  4 ounce batches so it works easy for me.

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